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Black Dragon Serpent

INDONESIA | Friday, 12 May 2017 | Views [732]

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Black Dragon Serpent

Anna is a woman in her late 30s that has been staying in the unit below me. Anna is from Bulgaria and has been here over one month developing a webpage, she is planning to stay another 4 months. Prior to yesterday we spoke only once or twice, casual hellos and a brief get to know you conversation. At that point we had established a mutual interest in yoga but one being more authentic as I have previously described. She also gave me the name, Dewa, and number of an instructor in town who does private lesions if I were to be interested. This instructor is a Balinese man roughly in his early to mid 60s. He has a school where he teaches kids English and yoga for free every day. He has been invited to Europe and the U.S. to teach yoga and give seminars. He holds a one month teacher training course per year with a limited number of people. He teaches the philosophy of yoga with some emphasis on traditional asanas.
Yesterday I was in the communal kitchen cooking some early dinner when Anna asked if I wanted to go meet Dewa (pronounced Day Wha), he was going to show her a friends place where she can move. At first I said no because I had to get my laundry before they closed. As I stood there cooking I thought I might be missing out on a nice invitation by another traveler and for what, my laundry? So I caught her before she left and told her I would like to go. We drove on her motorbike to an alley entrance into a housing compound. This is the way most houses are presented, not a front of the house with garage presentation as in the states. Instead, one enters into a back alley gate into a stone wall enclosed compound with a small walkway leading you to a beautiful garden where a house sits at the back of the property. Within the compounds is the house, most likely a temple, usually an abundance of naturally growing exotic flowers, and in this case a pool with goddess statues along one side that pour water into the pool.
We met Dewa, he showed us the place, Anna decided it was too expensive ($524/mo with a large room, bathroom, and kitchen looking out onto the pool), and then we planned a yoga session with Dewa for the next evening. Anna wanted to take me to her favorite vegetarian restaurant, she said it was by donation only. We travel again on her motorbike through the streets of Ubud, turning into smaller streets with less pavement, then streets I wouldn't call streets at all but walkways. We walked into what I felt like was an on the ground treehouse. There was no roof except in a small corner area where the food was made, the rest of the "roof" was tree, shrub, plant covering. Tables and seating were disorganized, no two alike, and scatter around the restaurant. There was an off centered area with a red cement floor, appeared to be for dancing, where a woman and a man sat playing music. Everything about this place was pleasantly unusual. All the decorations were clearly recycled, glass bottles adhered together to make tables, logs for seating, random birdhouses and other hand made art hanging from the tree ceiling. The restaurant also came equipped with a boxy covered reading library in a far corner of the place. And yes, the food was great, all vegetarian and a great mix of cooked veggies, potatoes, tofu and Tempe, combined with rich and slightly fiery Balinese spices. The suggested donation was 4,000 IDR per helping of each side, which turns out to be $0.30 each.
Toni, the owner of the restaurant, pulls up a chair as he knows Anna. He has peppered shoulder length hair and a stoner type demeanor. He tells us about the gardening he did that day, the changes he's making on the restaurant, and overall he had a quiet joyful personality. Anna asks him to take us to the sauna they went to on a different date, he was gladly willing. We wash our plates, which is another requirement of the restaurant, then hopped on the bikes and again took winding roads that turn into dirt pathways. The destination appeared to be out in a rice paddy where a hidden resort appears. We pay to enter and use the facilities, a steam sauna and pool. The resort mainly houses westerners all of which had bathing suits, but given our lack of planning I was instructed to disrobe and put on a borrowed sarong from the resort. First we enter the steam sauna which was no bigger than a ten foot round stucco room pouring out hot steam infused with ginger. The sauna was my happy place, I could have stayed there all night, breathing ginger air and sweating. After the sauna I went to cool off in the pool with Anna, just us two. Overall, the spa area probably had 10-12 people including us, plenty of space to go around. Time was lost through this entire process from the restaurant through till the end of the spa, I had no knowledge of the time nor was it necessary. I floated in the pool, a few clouds in the sky, watching the newly waning moon rising in the night sky. I could never float on my back very well, seems like I always sink, but this time I played this body game of inhaling and feeling my body rise and float, then exhaling and feeling it sink. I kept all but my eyes, nose, and mouth under water, listening to the sound of my breath and heart beat, lub dub, lub dub.
The evening ended with a self scrub down with a mixture in a bowl containing salt, coffee, cacao, coconut oil. We marinated ourselves by a palm leaf lit fire then rinsed and drove back.

Now for the story twist.

I was so relaxed that for sure I'd sleep soundly. My dream last night was chaotic and dark, and I was frantically looking for help because I felt a black serpent moving inside me, all over my torso. I found an old hag healer lady, she placed a mirror in front of my body and we saw a black dragon serpent, not in full form but mostly a misty cloud form with spines on the back frantically moving inside me as if it had been disturbed. The healer came and went a couple times in the dream always showing me this creature and then disappearing only to leave me frantic and scared again. So yea, great way to sleep and wake up. Upon waking my day was doomed after that. I had planned to go to yoga but my tolerance was shot, I couldn't stand the fake yogis, or the irritated look the locals sometimes gave, or the overtly inconsiderate Chinese tourist, or the incessant rooster crowing, or the constant burning of plastic and trash. I tried to do some planning for the next two weeks of my trip but ultimately became frustrated with that as well, feeling the constant need to hit all the highlighted sites, check it off the list. Then trying to schedule more intimate trips like scuba diving in Thailand, which I learned takes two flights and a ferry ride just for a day maybe two for a half day dive. Finally I got to the point where I stopped and thought what am I doing here? Funny how we arrive at these questions. A great night followed by a bad dream then a crappy attitude and suddenly I'm questioning my whole trip, whoa! Time to slow it down. At this point I figured best to cool off by getting caught up on the recent Comey debacle then take a nap!!

I woke up and remembered Anna and I were meeting Dewa for yoga tonight. We again rode over to the same place with the pool and set up our mats. We started out the practice unlike any other way I have started yoga. We prayed to ask for protection during our practice so that this practice can only bring healing. We then did only a few standing postures and breathing exercise. The breathing exercise was done standing. We lifted up our outstretched arms bring the energy from the earth, then we brought our hands together bringing them down to our core (belly button region), pressed our palms and held our breath. Strongly we slapped our palms together and blew out the air over our left shoulder, and repeated. The exercise was meant to bring energy into the body and stamp out the bad energy and breath it out. After a couple of rounds Dewa put is palm just in front of my face and moved his palm down toward my heart, his hand started trembling the closer he got to my heart. He'd stop there and pulled his hand away and flicked his wrist as if to shake something out of his hand. He repeated this but his hand wavered toward my right should then down, again he flicked his hand. One last time he did this and finished as if he was pleased. He then goes over to Anna to give the same treatment, palm in front of face then down, no flicking, just states, "you're good". Oh crap, what did that mean?

After the practice we sat to chat about the postures, what they mean, how our lives help heal us, taking care of ourselves, doing good deeds for others, always giving and not taking. He turns to us during this conversation and mentions areas of our body that need some attention and interestingly told us a food/drink not to consume as it could only make it worse. Anna's issue is her kidney, she wasn't supposed to drink/eat yellow, like pineapple. My issues he states is my heart and I'm not supposed to consume alcohol (at least not now). He also tells me that there was black in my heart, but he removed it and he had to go over toward the right shoulder a little because it moved a little and he wanted to get it all. Again, whaaat?!

I told this man nothing of my dream not does he know any of my toxic past alcohol related incidents. Anna had to go but I stayed and spoke with him a little longer, nothing very specific, I just listened to his stories mainly. He again said he removed the darkness and I am okay now, he said he could feel my soul just peaking out wanting to say something. I told him I wanted to learn more and understand more about how to love myself. He told me that it's important to treat yourself as your sibling, something dear to you that you take care of and help endlessly as needed. He told me to take care of my body because it is the house for my soul and it has the be kept nice on the inside more than the outside. Lastly he told me to stay positive and to say positive things and positive things will happen.

Some of these ideas are not knew information, the constant self reminding and the occasional reinforcement is very helpful. Abstaining from alcohol and keeping my temple clean somewhat easy tasks but the loving myself is a challenge, especially staying positive while trying to do so.

I still felt like crying when we were done as I had felt all day long, but somehow the urge wasn't as strong and it even felt like a different emotion. I'll always be a skeptic but it did make me consider again the power of belief.

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