I wake up to a lovely view of my new home with a short coconut tree filled with fruit in impeccable sight. Good morning beauty. There is a thick trail of ants crawling with intention near the front of my door and I attempt to sweep them away but am politely requested by Nyoman to let him do the work. I feel like royalty. He shows me his studio where he paints in a traditional Balinese fashion before lending me a complimentary bicycle to head into the center of Ubud. Motorbikes are also available with courtesy.
The ride into Ubud is not easy, crumby streets and hills prohibit bike riding. There is a reason all are on scooter. I feel a bit inept and jealous and hope to learn asap (although Ubud would not be the best place for such education for the streets are too broken, narrow, and busy). Patience, I remind myself, patience.
There is a magnificent art museum/studio on my ride (really a walk alongside the bike/bike push), a huge barn-like structure with large canvases filled with bright colors. Ubud attracts so much culture. AMAZINGNESS.
In town I march through the central produce market at the bottom of the tourist stalls, the flower stands to make offerings the most exquisite before riding a bit more.
I will spend the afternoon at Iman Intuitive Healing for a traditional massage treatment. There has been a bunch of spiritual work I have been doing, without sharing too much, and I feel as if I could use some assistance in moving the undesirable energy out of my body. The spa center is flawless and I am guided to a private room where I am requested to change into disposable undies. The garment is an ill-fitting, pleated black mosquito net. I laugh; I am not being erotic I simply must share…
For an hour the masseuse rubs oils and releases all that does not serve, beginning the session with a prayer/invocation with her eyes closed. I feel the heat that emanates from her fingertips as she releases and grounds the energy through my feet. The kneading is followed by a milky sand scrub all over my body, first the application and then a binding between two batiks where the coarse substance is meshed in more deeply. It feels a little nasty, like ocean sand beneath one’s mildly wet swim suit, but I trust in the process still. The dry powder is polished off and a layer of cool seaweed cream is lathered on. I am wrapped like a cocoon with my arms crossed and asked to remain in such position for a bit of time. The temperature grows quickly in my bundle; I am trying to remain as still as possible but am eager to explode.
She washes my body in a cool, high pressured shower before I am placed in a bath surrounded by fresh flowers. It is in the bath I sense all of my guides and ancestors, and benevolently request cleansing from them all. Water baths are all that one needs it seems. Water. Water. Water. We forget so easily the magnificence of water, the Earth, our bodies, our births, all water. Let us honor her mercifully. I am renewed.
I (actually) bike some more after complimentary ayurvedic ginger tea, heading back to the meditation center for an hour long open-eyed meditation before my first class. The women sit on the right and the men on the left; I am encouraged to squat near the front, soft music is played in the background as the lights are dimmed into a red glow. Astral traveling begins. We are off!
Some of the hour is guided meditation in English, some of it in Bahasa Indonesia, the remainder in reflective simple sound. I am unsure of who rests in the picture in the front of the room or the philosophies behind the center but I am in a state of contentment, happy to have shared the hour of peace with all members.
At 7 pm I sit in front of a sister, both of us squatting on plush white cushions in the temple room. We stare at each other intensely, third-eye to third-eye, a feeling of falling into a trance engulfs my body. I will enjoy the ride. I can feel her healing power oozing from her pores. She reads me well.
She teaches a bit about the definition of raja yoga…raja meaning king and yoga defined as union. Raja yoga is connection with the supreme source. In the Brahma Kumaris tradition one meditates open-eyed to mirror regular life; one should walk with the same bond to creator as one does while in active prayer. There are no formal ways of sitting. Any comfortable position is requested (on a floor cushion or in a chair). I am further educated how the individual soul is defined, as one of purity, perfection, stillness, love, and light. Ok. Cool. Thoughts are deemed the seed of one’s consciousness, shaping one’s reality.
More lessons…repetitive habits become part of one’s character and with further repetition form one’s personality. The cycle can be broken if necessary by controlling the mind. Wasteful thoughts are those of the past and the future. It is only in the now. We continue to gaze into each others eyes.
I mention channeling to my sister for I feel the energy flowing (I also feel a spirit strongly on my right shoulder), she reminds me we are all vessels for divine light. I know she is avoiding answering my question completely. We practice meditation again at the end of the hour, she sitting directly behind me. It is a bit odd it seems in an empty room for her to choose that particular location but I am open still. I do sense her presence strongly, as if she is guiding me into a dream. I feel blissed out, cracked out, all is perfect.
With many questions unanswered I head out for dinner alone at Bubu’s Warung (her sambal is rockstar status as is her gado-gado) and then borrow a moment of wifi at a chic hotel across from my homestay. I find that if I order a tea anywhere, regardless if I stink from a day of biking or I am wearing one the same three ratty outfits that I have for the last three and a half months, I am treated like a queen as I should be. We all are regal and deservingly so.