Star Date: August 2014
Hello Dear Family
"I am because we
"A healer's power stems not from any special ability, but from
maintaining the courage and awareness to embody and express the
universal healing power that every human being naturally
The many worlds of Bali. Sometimes in life we seem to exist in parallel realities. True healers are able to build a bridge from darkness to light, from sickness to wellbeing, from one reality to the next. "Healing is Changing. Changing requires a dive into the unknown. Our unknown. We are shy to dive so deep. We try to avoid the Work by finding substitutes of a real inner change in new exotic objects, places, masters," (Gilles Bordessoule) but in the end it is we who must change.
And so my journey began as Ketut Jaya appeared in my life. He announced that his healing power comes from God, but in the end we must each heal ourselves. Bridging cultures, beliefs, and traditions we began down a path from the familiar to the unknown. Working with a healer one must be open, must know that this feels right and that the heart is allowing the healing to begin. A simple man in his 40's, father of 4, Ketut radiates a humility, a sense of well being and calm through his contagious smile. He is connected to the Energy that has followed me throughout my trip in Asia. A golden thread of truth and connectedness in the confusion of life. Balians or shamans in Bali are common. Every village has one or two. Like Ketut Jaya they are often 7 generation healers. As many young people do he wanted to try his own path, working in the party town of Kuta, being a tour guide, and finally selling wooden antiques to Australia. He even visited there, a rare event for a poor villager. He learned English which makes our interactions rich in imparting his knowledge. His scope or world view is larger than just village life, yet he was drawn time and again back to his healing roots. True Balians never ask for money. A chicken or two will do if that is all you can afford. There are a lot of 'fake' Balians out there stringing foreigners a line. We have heard negative stories about Balians even squeezing locals who are brimming with superstitions. "Don't go to the hospital. Your Dad has to go to Lombak to get this medicine or he will die. By the way give me $1200 to make this happen." The Dad ended up in emergency of the hospital anyways with serious pneumonia.
80% Hindu, the Balinese have an entangled set of
beliefs, especially Karma. If that is true I'd say that dishonest Balian
has a good chance of coming back as a chicken! There are also two
types of true Balians: those who deal in white magic and healing and
those who deal in black magic and cast spells, sacrificing
chickens along the way. Choose
wisely. Word of mouth seems the only way to be led down
Ketut Jaya heals those who appear before him, leaving the spells and trances to the others. Ketut from Eat, Pray, Love fame is enjoying his limelight and supposedly is still nearby telling people they are beautiful and will live long. A friend ended up at an impatient Balian who gave her a memorized line then hit her on the head 3 times and announced his price. Oh, oh, maybe his Karma will reincarnate him as one of the many pigs that appear in most local diets. Who knows?
When I first went to Ketut Jaya's home I was taken to the wrong Ketut/Healer by mistake. We waited for 20 minutes, at which time a man appeared and bluntly stated, "Pay first, palm reading after." I replied, "This is the wrong Balian, in more ways than one. Good bye." Luckily we had our Ketut's phone number (there are literally a zillion Ketut's in Bali - 4th born in a family). Off on the motorcycle to the village of Balauan 15 km away, we turned down a dirt road and entered a simple old family compound. Ketut Jaya smiled widely, embraced me and offered a glass of homemade Kombucha tea. Then I joined him in a little room with a massage table, an altar with Buddha and Balinese images and a corner full of herbs, potions and oils. In a place of reverence was a large covered urn in which the family had been making 'arak' (rice wine) for over 100 years. He spread coconut oil on me, followed by sea salt collected on the north shore, and just as I was feeling like a chicken ready to roast, he sprinkled some 'arak' or rice hooch over me, "to make any bad spirits drunk and happy as they left my body." Salt opens the windows of the body.
Roosters crowing outside, chicken wire on the windows and me properly basted, he began the healing. He burned mushrooms, resins, and herbs and waved feathers over me as he prayed. I felt his energy surge through me. I had been warned that this was 'pejat' - not relaxation massage or even therapeutic massage. He found places on my body that were so painful I could hardly stand it. One by one he rubbed and pressed blockages in my chakras and energy meridians, releasing and clearing the flow of energy, and thus allowing healing. We are made up of energy, just ask any scientist, and when this flow is blocked illness develops. Not ever being told what I needed he found the points corresponding to different organs that needed help and healing. After 2 hours my sometimes sore spine and body felt fluid. I was then smeared with a mixture of 60 herbs and left out to dry. Relaxing in a hot sauna for 30 minutes the treatment was done. A one of a kind Bali experience.
Ketut Jaya offered to take me to Sebatu Temple to wash away any illness and cleanse my body. Meeting at the large statue in Ubud, I rode behind him on his motorcycle for 20 km not knowing the 'what' or the 'where', only trusting the 'why'. Driving through rice fields and tropical ravines we arrived at the temple. We passed a water temple filled with locals and tourists, but thankfully kept going. Sebatu is a place for only locals; in 2 hours we saw maybe a dozen reverent but smiling Balinese. We had entered one of those other worlds of Bali, far from the maddening crowd. All by ourselves, silence prevailed as we absorbed the energy in this beautiful lush valley with water surging through. Walking down steep steps through a bamboo forest we first paused to drink and splash water from 3 artesian wells. Further down we offered incense and flowers, honoring and thanking God, the Sun, the water spirits living there, and finally our ancestors. Each offering has significance. Multi flowers for thanking all of the spirits around, a single plumeria blossom representing the sun, incense honoring ancestors, rice giving thanks for food, and so on.
Wading into the river I was told to put my face against the rock as the force of the waterfall and river washed and cleansed my body, mind and spirit. Humbled and cleansed we started the climb back up the steep stairs. The connection with Nature and the All was overwhelming.
Back on the motorcycle we stopped at a 'jamu' stand in a tiny village. We discussed my problem with a UTI and soon we were drinking a special combination of mixed herbs, mine minus the raw egg. I took some turmeric juice and herb packets to go - kind of a fast food get well stand! Everyone in Bali tries Jamu and possibly a Balian before going to a more expensive doctor for chemical drugs. A tradition which is good to see still being followed. I have been boiling and drinking teas from roots, leaves and pounded bark. Mother Nature provides once again. Doctors certainly have their place at times of trauma but just passing out prescription drugs has caused so many unnecessary side effects. Old and new. East and West. Balance must prevail.
later Ketut Jaya, Joseph and I went to Swastiasta Water Temple
to cleanse and clear our bodies. Walking down a country
lane, then steep stairs we came to the river. Again we
were the only ones there, joined later by a few locals and even
our driver in need of some cleansing. Water came shooting
out of 6-8 pipes, all used to cleanse the body of illness or bad
energy. Each one had a different pressure to help you do
your healing. Joseph enjoyed a long swim in the river
while Ketut Jaya and I cleansed and gave offerings at the
Mr Ketut. A gentle spirit. No talking just doing. When I walked the ricefields looking for a little place I was literally led to Mr Ketut's house. Simple, modern it waited for us to call it home. Not much for talking Mr Ketut, (our nickname for him which he likes), from the beginning just like a magician quietly made things appear. I mentioned a garden, planting seeds the first 2 days, he materialized 3 little gardening tools, a few days later a watering can appeared in the same corner by the temple. I asked if he had a bowl so I could arrange fresh flowers on our lanai. Once again the bowls appeared, now a great source of daily meditation and joy.
One day he offered to do a chakra healing. Makes sense he would be yet another healer in my life. Energy work appears as needed. True healers appear as I am open to it. A healer for 18 years, Mr Ketut carefully opened my chakras one by one, cleansed them, balanced them and put me back to together, closing in the healing energy. I almost floated up from his table and out the door. Thank you Universe for sharing yet another energetic gift.
Walking by our neighbor's compound daily we waved and greeted each other. One day there was a colorful flurry of activity. Everyone was preparing for Devi and Wayan's wedding. They warmly welcomed us to attend and we enjoyed several hours absorbing the excitement and cultural customs of a traditional Balinese wedding. An interesting new twist seems to highlight the importance of off spring in the Balinese culture. We were told that often the wife-to-be becomes pregnant first, showing that she can bear an heir. Then her parents do not attend the wedding, showing their disapproval; but secretly they are happy with a new grandchild on the way. First the daughter has a ceremony in her village or compound during which she says good bye to her former life and family. She then moves to the family compound of the the husband, where the final wedding takes place and she moves into one of the small rooms with him.
friends are definitely an important part of the healing process. Life in Ubud was
filled with meeting people from all over the world. Bali
gave me many new friends and great girlfriend time full of
laughter, sharing and delicious raw, vegan no guilt deserts like
chocolate torte, raspberry cheesecake or tirimisu. Thanks
for the fun girls, I know our paths will cross again somewhere
We explored the island with our family this year. What a wonderful surprise when their trip came together and we saw Mariah, Shane, Kayla, and Kaimana walking down the path to our little home in the rice fields. We wandered through the rice fields showing them all our favorite organic cafes, shopped at the handicraft market, indulged in massages, scrubs and flower baths; cooked and shared meals together. Tutu and Grampy babysat the 'chuchus' and gave the hard working parents a break. It was fun to just relax and catch up. Chillaxin'. Kayla would wander over across the lane to 'find us' every morning and we would take turns hiding. Later she made fruit salad with Grampy and we shared it on the lanai. We made up a game to bounce orange seeds on the floor and land on the ledge of the rice field wall. She couldn't master the difficult task so she got down on her knees and placed a seed on the ledge, looking at us incredulously and remarking "What's the problem?" That's our independent Kayla who we love dearly. Cute little Kaimana is just coming into his own and is already picking up tricks from big sister. After a days activities she would come over to listen to the sounds of the night descend, including the infamous 'fart frog'.
We took a full day trip up the east coast,
having lunch in Candidasa along the ocean next to the Iguana Hotel, then
danced across the stepping stones
and bridges of the
Taman Tirtagangga Water Temple.
Driving through magnificent terraces of bright green rice fields
we arrived at the blue waters of the fishing village of Ahmed
for a swim. Kayla and Kaimana loved splashing in the surf.
Weaving our way around the volcanoes, past Sideman Village we
returned tired and happy to crash at home. Our next
adventure brought us, with friendly Agus at the helm, to the
postcard renowned lake temple Denau Bratan near
Bedugal, then hiking to Gitgit Waterfalls. Through the
countryside and scores of villages of the ant hill called Bali,
we braved the busy roads of the conglomeration of Denpasar and
Kuta to reach the quieter peninsula of Uluwatu. We arrived
just in time to take in the famous Kecak and fire dance along
the ocean, swells crashing on the cliffs below the temple.
The next day we chose a surf beach to hang out, home to world
class surfing competitions. After dinner we sadly said
good bye to our dear little family as they returned home to
their life in Hawaii and we continued doing what we do; whatever
that is? We all have our paths and are at different
chapters of our lives.
Love, Light & Laughter,
1 US Dollar = 11,000 Indonesian Rupiah. It is nothing to withdraw 2-3 million for spending!
Mr. Ketut is a wonderful, friendly helpful owner. Nyoman is a great help also when Ketut is gone.
Contact Nyoman for help finding
a rental, or driver or getting fresh coconuts daily, a tour local or
island wide, or just about anything. He will take you on his
motorbike for the going rate or go get something for you. A
great guy, helpful, wonderful smile, and honest. Call or email
him for anything you need.
This is the only unit that faces the rice fields. The other two are nice but face the other direction.
Ibu Dayu - across the lane.
The upstairs unit is great and has views. Two budget
Three Win Homestay - our
friends love this
BALINESE SACRED GEOMETRY
Restu - near Seeds of Life on
Jamu: bladder infection: kumis kucing leaf or beetle nut leaf tea. Turmeric jamu - great for the immune system and even Bali Belly.
Komang works out of Bali Buda
every afternoon. The little extra they charge is worth not
having to go to Denpasar 1-4 times.
Monkey Forest Sanctuary: a must see. Those monkeys are real characters. 30,000 r p.p.
Just down the street: Warung
Siam for good Thai food
Yoga Barn: (pet name the yogurt
Angelo Store - nice little herb shop along Sugriwa St.
Bali Buda: Restaurant and health food store. Great food and juices - most comprehensive store in town. Bali Buddha down the Main Road, turn right, across from the Post Office. Great organic menu and small bakery and health food store. Another wonderful place to chill and hang out with like minded people.
Down to Earth: A bit more
pricey in the cafe and store but a good selection and may have what
the other stores do not.
Dewa's Warung -