Bali is home to many monkeys and it is thrilling to see these playful creatures for the first time. They are everywhere in some places, like our squirrels.
Haniman is the ancient monkey God-google it- and is a very present presence here in Bali.
One of the nights we were at the ocean we went to 3 different temples and had 5 ceremonies.
The first temple was Pabian which was on the ocean and is the temple that honors Kwan Yin- it’s the temple of compassion. We were with our healer Ibu and about 30 members of her community for a transformational Melukat by the water. I cannot describe the beauty of this ceremony with all of these beautiful people singing and supporting and loving. Magical!
We went to the temple after for a ceremony and my unasked question I had when I first saw some people with long sticks was answered when they banged them on the ground or on the poles that hold up the shade structures to scare off the monkeys from stealing and eating our offerings!
The second temple was Pulaki Pendanda- the temple of energy-Shakti -enlightenment.
While I was praying for enlightenment, a monkey from high up on one of the aforementioned shade structures threw something off and it rolled up to my offering tray. I opened my eyes and picked up a worn, green marble- and I thanked the powers that be for this talisman!
The last temple was the temple of abundance-Melantung- very beautiful and the most ornate. We did 2 ceremonies here. One in a very small part of the temple in which Ibu went into her trance like state and the ancient ancestor came through. One of the men went into a trance and started snorting like a pig and was wandering on all fours and clung to Ibu’s leg.
Something you don’t see every day- unless you’re here of course!
We had another ceremony in the big temple. These ceremonies involve sitting cross legged for about 1/2 an hour on the stone floor, being doused with holy water by the priest or Ibu, praying with empty hands, hands with flowers, offerings, flowers and then empty hands again, more holy water and then rice placed on your forehead, temples, and neck.
I have never had so much water dumped on my head in my life. Forget about doing your hair or putting on makeup here!
After we danced. Everyone closes their eyes and goes into a trance-like state, swaying to strange dissonant and then beautiful music- from an iPad. They call it the dance of the angels and when I open my eyes to peek it is so beautiful to see us all moved by spirit.
Several of these women and men go into states of ecstasy, some fall to the ground, some shake, some have strange guttural sounds come out. To bring them out of it- you guessed it- more holy water to the head.
As ancient as this all is, when it is over you see people making and getting phone calls and kids playing games on their cell phones! Too funny. And the monkeys come running and sliding down the poles to eat up all the rice that has fallen off our heads.
I will write next about my dreams which are coming fast and furious. And, like all things in Bali, they are magical.
I forgot to mention the coffee plantation we visited on the first day during the bike tour. It was in a particularly lush and tropical area and we walked through a forest of coffee, cocoa and vanilla “trees”. Im not sure if they were trees but they seemed to be so thats what I’m calling them!
They showed us how to tell the difference between new plants and ones that were ready to harvest.
One of the more interesting types of coffee they had was from a coffee bean that had been eaten by a nocturnal animal called a Lumkat (have to check the name), then shat out and the beans were collected and cleaned, then roasted and made into coffee! I kid you not! I did not sample that one thank you. It’s actually more expensive than the regular coffee.
I did try their coconut latte, ginseng, chocolate and regular coffees which were all pretty fantastic. We had about 8 different kinds to sample and I cannot remember them all.
I can’t really remember what we did on our last day in Ibud! The days are all running into one another and we are experiencing so much.
We are now at the ocean on the beautiful northern shore of Bali. The weather is perfect and the water is too. And of course the beautiful Balinese people’s smiles and spirits continue to bless us.
We had another lovely Melukat water ceremony with Made last night. His devotion to service is inspirational. He hoped that my sadness is leaving. I am amazed that he can know these things even though I am very happy here with this group and in this place. It’s not completely gone but I know that time will help with this healing and again I feel so blessed to be here to help with the transition.
It’s all about ritual and ceremony here in Bali and taking time and honoring the ancestors and spirits and celebrating moon cycles with deep gratitude for it all. Such a completely different way to live than in the Western world. Our healer Ibu told us to bring back this joy to the Western world when we return.
As I lie here on this beautiful beach I am so grateful to not know what’s happening in the world, to not know what day or date it is and to just be.
Sat Nam, So Hum, Namaste!
I have heard this from several people today. They look at me and they stop and they stare and they cannot stop looking at me and saying how completely different I look.
It’s true. I do look different. I feel different. I am different.
I am becoming myself again. I am shedding the energies that no longer serve me. It is absolutely fantastic!! I haven’t felt this alive in years.
Today my friend Aine and I had breakfast at Clear Cafe then met 2 friends of hers at Bridges. Christine is a clothing designer among other things and Heather is a hairdresser. Loved these women!
Then met my group and we had lunch at Tatmuk. Really good Gado Gado -a traditional Indonesian dish with veggies, tofu and peanut sauce.
Our afternoon was spent visiting a lovely high priestess/healer named Resi who blessed us with yet another Melukat water ceremony, followed by a beautiful meditation.
On to the sacred cave of Goa Gadjah, the cave that seats Siva and Ganesh which dates back to the 11th century. We made offerings to the 3 lingams and let go of the energies that no longer serve us, then made offerings to Ganesha, the remover of obstacles and bringer of new energies. We completed this ceremony by walking down the steps to where the Godesses spout holy water from chalices held at their heart chakras and blessed ourselves with the holy water there. This site had apparently been buried by earthquakes for decades and was only unearthed around 1954 Ken thought. It was a beautiful place and a huge tree soared above us all.
An amazing thing happened here. One of us started singing while she sat at the bottom of the steps near the pool and it was beautiful hearing this sound echoing off the stone walls. After a few minutes she started crying. I mean really gut wrenching sobbing. After a few minutes, one of the keepers of this temple came down to her. I, and others, thought he was going to kick us all out -which I think they surely would have done in America-because it was so late. But instead he held out his hands for her and took her into the pool of water and they waded over to one of the goddesses spouting water. She was anointed with this water and after a few minutes her sobs turned into laughter-joyous, grateful laughter. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. He brought her back to the steps and thanked us all for being there and told us he hoped we would come back again. I am continually blown away by the love and generosity of the Balinese.
Later I went out with Aine and Christina for a bite to eat, a martini and then to Ozibar, a dance bar which is apparently owned by the Japanese mafia. There was a great band playing and I wound up singing a few songs with them and dancing our butts off. Too much fun.
Can’t wait for tomorrow!
And I thought yesterday was amazing. I feel like I’ve been here for a month!
I will have to do a Cliff Notes version of events as this blog is taking up the very little free time I have available!
We went to an amazing healer today named Made. I can’t give too much info on these healers as our guide Ken does not want what happened to the Eat Pray Love healers to happen to these beautiful people. We all had to sign a waiver saying we would not divulge too much information about them and I am glad because these are very special people indeed.
OK- my reading-which was a combination of him reading our names, hands, chakras, and finally we placed our feet on his and he got a past life reading as well. Fascinating.
From 1-5 years old I did not get enough love, attention and nurturing from my parents. I could have told him that one!
From 30-35 was also very challenging because my husband did not pay attention to me or give me the love that I deserve and it is the same pattern now. I could have told him that too and am now realizing this guy is the real deal.
The potential for this to happen again could come between 60-65 and this all stems from the lack of love from 1-5.
I have had 4 lifetimes that he can see and the first 3 were all very spiritual. I got off track again this time because of the early lack of nurturing.
In one lifetime I was a very handsome and pure priest. I had lots of women offer themselves to me but I always said no.
I chose to come here this time as a beautiful woman, remembering what it was like to be a handsome man and I wanted to experience the other side of that. Which, quite frankly, explains a lot!! If my family had been nurturing I would have been on track spiritually.
Catherine, by the way means “pure”.
I have a lot of money that comes into my life and goes through again-a waste of resources. Well-yeah.
I have 8 major life challenges this time ’round and I have been through 4 of them. No one else in the group had more than 4 and this quite frankly freaked me out and made me really sad. I started to cry because I cannot imagine going through 4 more challenging things. This current challenge (the end of my marriage) has been so all consuming and painful. But he said he could work through this in the upcoming ocean ceremony and not to worry. Easier said than done. But he said he can balance me.
My crown, third eye, throat and heart chakras were not open-completely closed. My stomach was open a bit, my sexual a bit more and my root chakra was wide open. Thank God something was!!
Again this was very different from the rest of the group which were more open.
He said its time to let go of my old story, to shed the old skin and to move on. It’s perfect I am here with the opportunity to change the patterns and let go and move on. Everything is in alignment for me to be here.
All this makes perfect sense to me and is what I have known.
I asked if I should stay in my house as this has been a question I have had for a very long time. He looked at his numbers he wrote down for me, did his head shaking, eye blinking thing, hit the page and said I was supposed to move to Asia!!!! That there is nothing left for me in North America or Europe.
This , not surprisingly, surprised the hell out of me and I asked him “what about my daughters?”
He asked how old they were and when I told him he said to wait til they get through college.
Either Thailand, Bali, Singapore, but definitely not an Arab country.
I am supposed to make journeys to Asia as this will be healing for me.
I have felt for a long time about leaving the continent- of course I was thinking Italy or France but Asia?? Are you kidding me?! Shocking to me as you can imagine!!!
I am supposed to lead a spiritual life (I have also known this and have been putting this off rather well for a few decades!) and this has to be my priority.
He could not see my aura. I was the only one out of 11 of us that he could not see.
He then performed a Maluket water cleansing ceremony on each of us. We sat on a stool in front of a huge pot of water with a ton of the most gorgeous flowers in them- I had 11 different kinds- and he ladled the water and the beautiful flowers onto our heads while he chanted. It felt wonderful-peaceful and beautiful. I loved it.
There were some more blessings, annointings with sacred water and finally he tied red, white and blue string around our wrists.
He made me stay when we were done to check my chakras again which he does with these cool silver divining rods and this time they were all fully opened. I have to say I felt really fantastic and more balanced then I have in ages.
He said my aura was a bright shining gold. This made me really happy of course.
It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had, not only for myself but watching him do the readings for the other women as well. He is a remarkable man.
Everyone was different and the readings resonated truthfully with each one.
I look forward to our ocean ceremony, whatever that is, when we head there in a few days.
Oh my where to begin!
We started our day by traveling to the 1000 year old site of Tirta Empul in Tampaksiring. It’s a very sacred site with spring waters that flow into 2 large pools from about 20 ancient chalices.
Today is especially powerful, not only because of the full moon, but because it marks the birth, death and enlightenment of the Buddha. About 10,000 people bathed in these waters today and it was absolutely magical to do so with the beautiful Balinese people.
Hundreds of us waded in the waist deep pool in our sarongs in a long snaking line for about 30 minutes to get to the sacred waters where we let go of old relationships, patterns and energies in our life that no longer serve us and invited new ones in. It was incredibly powerful and beautiful.
The people bring offerings of flowers and incense, and the colors of all these gorgeous flowers floating around us, the butterflies flying about and the koi swimming among us was surreal.
We had a lovely lunch and then went to our first healer- a beautiful woman named Ibu.
We danced and then she went into a trance and had to be helped to sit down where she transformed into an old woman who was a combination of all the ancient ancestors in Bali. It was incredible.
We each had a turn kneeling before her, she held our hands and touched our faces and had some things to say to each of us as this cackling old woman.
When she got to me she said some very specific things- knew exactly what was going on with me. She said it was why I came to Bali and I could leave all my sadness here and it’s not as important as it seemed. She took a long time with me and it was an amazing experience for which I am truly grateful for.
After dancing some more we were blessed by her two at a time. Most of us fell to the ground for a bit and some went into trances.
A couple of gals had strange gutteral sounds shrieking from them. It was wild. She brought them back by flinging water onto them.
Then we went to the temple and said some prayers there. When we finished about 50 bats started swooping all around us overhead- it was so cool and I happen to love bats. They are one of my power animals.
The moon was coming up and you could see the eclipse. I mean could it get any more perfect?
As if that wasn’t enough we went to see a performance of the Kecak Fire dancers.
This is performed by about 50 men and boys and is basically a good versus evil tale involving a strange “cak cak cak cak” chanting with about 7 different rhythmical combinations and the throwing about of fire. Literally great balls of fire being flung and kicked about the stage. Incredible. And a fitting ending to this very powerful day.
My wrist is almost completely healed and I think its remarkable how quickly that happened.
Definitely something in the water!