I've been wanting to do this session for a couple of years.
In April 2013 I came to Ubud for the second time and worked out just what this place had to offer me - and what I had to offer it. This was unconditional love and acceptance and the knowledge that I'd found a community of like-minded spirits where I could just be me and not worry about being seen as anything strange.
This is a big thing when you're like me.
Why? Well, I'm a healer. Though we're normal people, we're also a bit special.
This isn't something that I talk about with everybody - but I'll do it now. See, being a healer is a somewhat lonely path. Well it can be.
Being a healer comes with all sorts of difficulties and charms.
On the good side of things, life is magic and you can see the magic all around. There's a viewpoint that there is good and great in the world. Lovely coincidences happen all the time - I find butterflies giving me kisses and feathers falling into my hands regularly. Animals come up and talk to me a lot. Babies seem to think I'm fantastic. I take notice of beauty and I feel charged by it. I've also learned how to manifest things. It's not a perfect art, but I've learned to bring to good into my life. It's also such a privilege to be able to work with people to take away pain - in what ever form it takes. I don't do it - I just facilitate this. The energy flows through, my role is to help direct this.
That's the good bit. On the not so good side of things, being a healer often makes me hypersensitive. I'm dreadful in crowds, loud noises and bright lights can hurt me if I'm not prepared for them. Being around angry and stressed people rubs off of me terribly, though I've learned how to self-protect - years of working in corporate environments has made that a necessity. There is also the knowledge that you can't heal the world. Every healer has to come to this knowledge in their own time. You can only do what you can.
This healer side of me is not something I talk about with people that much because you get looked at funny. These are conversations best left for when I'm with my group of like-minded folk. There's enough of us about so it's okay. Like some people have footy friends or gamer friends, I have healer friends.
Ubud also allows you to connect with and experience different modalities you'd not come into contact with in your normal lives. It was on the 2013 trip where I first got to experience Sound Medicine, something which has resonated with me ever since that first session.
On Wednesday, I went to another Sound Medicine session at the Yoga Barn. The studio was packed with around 50 people. I was a bit fried already after two Yin Yoga classes and meditation class, but I wanted to be here. Sound Medicine always restores you.
Shervin has been running these sessions at the Yoga Barn for a few years. They're always different and always special. There was something in his introduction this time round that's stayed with me. As modern human's we are not used to hearing unfiltered sound and music - it's now all digitised, layered, filtered and distorted. Sound Medicine uses natural instruments - such as didgeridoos, drums, cymbals and wooden flutes to work their magic. Pure, unadulterated sound. Taking in these sounds is amazing.
(Anybody who's gone to see the opera, or an acoustic set in a small room knows the power of raw sound. How good does it feel, eh?)
Sound also resonates with our bodies and souls. An example, I've been using Tibetan temple bells as a diagnostic tool for years. You can hear the energies flow through the chimes. It's how you know the work is done - when the sound runs clear. Or think of how at the sound of drums you find your hips moving or toes tapping without thinking about it?
Sound is powerful. Sound is a really potent tool for healing.
Thursday morning I made my way to a hotel and holistic retreat for a private session with Shervin. I'd tried to see him when I was there two years ago but the Gods were against it. This time around, the stars aligned.
Walking through the gardens to the hotel's reception area where the session would take place, a resort on the edge of town filled withlarge garden and bungalows, I felt at peace immediately. I had no idea what the session would happen in the session, but this had to occur. My only discomfort was the fact that it was about 30 degrees and about 90% humidity. Not a problem, Being sweaty is normal in Bali. Sweating is good for you. Purges the body.
On meeting, we walked over to the centre's treatment rooms. Shervin's space is set up with a treatment table over which tubular bells are set. Some cushions on the floor. A guitar was propped up in the corner.
After an initial chat, what followed was one of the most powerful healing sessions of my life,carried out in the gentlest way. Rather than describe it, Shervin's webpage gives a better run down than I can ever give it justice. By using the bells, tuning forks and a number of other accouterments, stress and pain left my body.
What I wasn't expecting was what went on at the other level - the images that came into my head. I do a lot of meditation, but what came before me was a path up a mountain. I was lead along by the same Blue Ganesha that I'd encountered a few days before. At the top of the mountain was a blue pool in which I bathed. No idea where that came from, but it was most wonderful.
Coming out of the session, the sense of calm was overwhelming. I can't remember feeling so peaceful and centred. It was like walking through the gardens floating on air.
I've not done this session justice here, but there are no words really. When you come into contact with something this special, it really is hard to describe. Two days on and I'm still feeling calm and connected, even after a five hour flight with numerous screaming babies and a muck up with my gin order at the Duty Free (Now resolved - I was not leaving the airport without my Precious).
I feel so very blessed to have been able to do this. I feel blessed to be able to speak of this.
Another thing that came from this session was a more clear sense of purpose, one that I can't shake or put away. It seems my book has come to me. A book on ritual and incorporating ritual into day to day life. Whilst writing this I've been jotting notes down on Scrivener. How do we, as people, get to reincorporate meaningful ritual back into our lives? It feels right. Best go with it. I've been barraged with ideas that haven't stopped coming in. The floodgates of ideas have opened. Now to corral them and get it into being.
Floating back to town, I walked down the road to the back of the Monkey Forest. Monkeys were cavorting on the road. I reminded myself that I was safe and that no harm would come to me - they're just monkeys - it's a bit like meeting up with a kangaroo or wombat at home, the only difference is that a kangaroo won't steal your camera or try to find bugs in your hair.
I hope this state of grace remains. To be able to find this sense of peace and grounding is a blessing in itself.