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Healing in Ubud

INDONESIA | Monday, 2 December 2013 | Views [2837]

There is so much just below the surface

There is so much just below the surface

There are few places to rival the healing power of Ubud and some of its gifted residents. Similar to Pai, there is a very strong energy here and some healers will tell you that this enables them to achieve far greater results. There is every sort of therapy available here, from the more mainstream such as acupuncture and reiki to the curious water purification ceremonies. Like anywhere, there are both good and dubious practitioners and I'm in no position to pass judgement. What I would like to do is share some of my own incredible personal journey and perhaps one day, if you find yourself in need of healing, you may be inspired.

Seven weeks ago I literally limped into Ubud, which, before a Reiki session in Pai had not even been on my agenda. Following the Reiki, Mark felt drawn to lend me a couple of books on Family Constellations by John L Payne. I was fascinated by a process that could reveal the underlying issues of the stories with which we surround ourselves, keeping us in a state of gridlock. I was amazed when Mark told me that he had not only met John (Shavasti) while he was in Pai but that he now lives in Bali and holds workshops. There is no better endorsement than the recommendation of someone you trust and Mark certainly started me on quite a journey!

During the weeks spent in Bali, I attended two monthly workshops where I both experienced and watched others face difficult truths, most deeply hidden, and come through the other side. It can be difficult to watch someone release profound pain but by the second workshop I knew just how powerful Shavasti's workshops are, and that the process would help immensely. It's difficult to say exactly what the content of each workshop will be as it is heavily influenced by the needs of those present but they have a profound effect on everyone there.

Liana's acupuncture has sorted out the blood clots and helped with the underlying issue - pushing myself so hard for so many years resulting in energy depletion in most organs. Often we are so busy racing around on our hamster wheel of life that we don't notice quite how exhausted we have become. My answer was to go charging off around the world when I should have been taking it easy. We can only ignore the warnings signs for so long.

The ankle I sprained just after I got here has continued to cause pain and that, as well as a misaligned vertebrae have me being referred to an osteopath. Being Ubud it should come as no surprise that Dr Brown also practices cranial therapy and kinesiology. After bones have been alarmingly loudly cracked back into place, a diagnostic is performed and finally some gentle, although very powerful cranial therapy. I leave with dietary advice and the recommendation for a detox.

It is by invitation that I attend a Water Purifucation Ceremony held by Bali's youngest High Priestess. We meditate for a short time and then, in twos are repeatedly doused with blessed water which is supposed to purify and allow us to let go of restrained emotions. The only emotion I felt compelled to release were the gasps caused by how cold the water was that was being poured over me. We meditate a little more (yes we have bought a change of clothes) and chant some mantras. It was an unusual experience and whilst it seemed to work for some of the small group, I confess I seem to have perhaps missed something.

There are no shortage of festivals in Bali. The royal cremation that stopped all but basic functionality in Ubud was a colourful, musical and massively attended event. Floats symbolically decorated were paraded ahead of an enormous, what I understand was a representation of a Phoenix. With every celebration comes music and this is where my love of Bali falters. The main instrument is a very ornate sort of xylophone struck with a specially designed hammer - and there are usually several of these! A complete ensemble includes drums, gong-like percussion and wooden flutes.The result of all of this, is to my ear, a lot of clanging and bashing which lacks any sort of rhythmical flow. Jana and I went to watch a Balinese dance performance, the nuances of which were difficult to follow and involved more in the way of facial expressions and poses than actual dance moves. Having danced all my life I found this very difficult to enjoy. After 90 minutes it is finally over but left our ears jangling for some time afterwards.

While mentioning dance I should tell you about the weekly Friday Night Ecstatic Dance. After all that yoga this is perhaps Ubud's answer to a rave. After 75 minutes of around a hundred people leaping around in various states of dress with varying degrees of abandon, I decide I really have had enough. I'm sure, if only by the number of attendees, that some release can be found, but for me it's just not happening. For all of the healing, I am feeling rather adrift and lacking in direction as the end of my trip looms. It's a 10 day wait to see Noviana but she has enabled me to focus on certain areas of my life where I might best channel myself. I leave there feeling less home-less and more home-free and some guidance scrawled into my notebook.

There were many things I didn't get to try but at some point a decision needs to be made in where to draw the line and so I stay with a few things that come recommended. You may have noticed the glaring omission of yoga In my itinerary. It is possible I am among the few to spend so long in Ubud and yet not attend a single session. I could say that I found the 'yoga brigade' a little too much or I could say that my ankle prevented me from joining in. Both would be correct.

Suddenly it is time to move on and I am struggling to pull myself away. Air Asia didn't help changing flight times and thus obliterating my chances of connecting flights. In the end they came right and on Sunday morning I received confirmation that I could fly that evening. And so I leave behind 'The Island of the Gods' with its plethora of healing opportunities, raw foods, fabulous fruit smoothies and some truly wonderful people. A heartfelt thanks to those to helped me heal and to my friend Letia, for sharing this part of an incredible journey!  


Tags: acupuncture, ecstatic dance, family constellation, healing, kinesiology, meditate, osteopath, purification, reiki, ubud

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