Guru in Bali
Updated: Dec 9, 2019
“I might as well go all out”, I thought as I booked my flight to Bali, Indonesia. And I wasn’t sure what exactly it entailed but I knew I had to see a guru, you know, I had to go all ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ on this journey. I had been researching various gurus in Bali for a while but how do you even book an appointment? How do you get there? How does it work? Do you need to get referred or know someone? What do they actually do?
But in my mind, it didn’t matter; I just knew that whilst in the mecca of spirituality, I had to see one.
Pak Man was his name. And he was located in a random village in Ubud, Bali. At the time, I was in Chiang Mai, Thailand when I decided that he was the guru I wanted to see. And that was quickly confirmed to me when I hopped on a random tuk tuk in Chiang Mai and conversed with a stranger about how my next city was Bali and that I was most excited about going to a ‘guru’. The ecstatic stranger proceeded to tell me how she had an incredible experience in Bali and she warned me “be careful, because everything you wish and pray for might just happen and by the way…I went to this amazing guru, his name was Pak Man”. And there it was, confirmed to me by a total stranger.
Once I got to Bali, the first thing I did was tried to get in contact with Pak Man for an appointment. I found a random number online and decided to see if it’d work – no ring. UGH, okay let me try again. Nothing. But maybe it’s because my phone or something so I asked the hostel worker to try on her phone. She also tried several times with no luck but said she would try again later.
After returning from hours of exploring, the hostel worker said she was able to finally connect with Pak Man, but it was his wife, Lucinda who made appointments. Together, we dialed once more and it finally went through.
Lucinda answered the phone, luckily she is from London and translates everything for Pak Man. She told me he gets booked out months in advance and the earliest that was available was 3.5 weeks out, on a Saturday at 1:00pm.
I told Lucinda that I will be there (although in my mind, I had no idea how I’d find this random village).
As the weeks progressed, it was finally the day of my appointment. I made sure to get up early just so I wouldn’t be late or God forbid I got lost. I was staying in an Airbnb in a village in Ubud where many locals lived. As I left my Airbnb I was strolling along the road, looking for a taxi or scooter so I could inquire about the village. As I was walking, I noticed a ‘taxi’ sign and a lovely Balinese woman came out and I showed her the address. She wasn’t sure of the location but said she’d ask her son. She came out of her home nodding her head and confirming that her son knew the location and that he could give me a ride to my destination. He was no more than 16 years old, handed me a helmet and I hopped on his scooter.
Blissfully riding through the bustling streets, I put my faith in this teen’s ability to maneuver in his local streets. I fully trusted him. Quite honestly, my entire trip in Bali was in the hands of my locals; hopping on and off of scooters.
[sidenote//flashback: Later in my trip I was exploring streets of Uluwatu, it was scorching hot. I felt sweat pouring down the back of my shirt. One driver stopped and asked if I wanted a lift and I intuitively said ‘no, thank you’. About half a mile later, I hear a voice, “Hey, need a ride?” I looked up and without hesitation, “Uh….yes, please”. As I hopped on his scooter, I wasn’t sure if it was his long black curly hair or charming smile but I felt at ease. “So where would you like to go?” The beach, please, I replied. “Thank you so much for ride, where are you from?” “I’m traveling here from Amsterdam, what about you?” We went back and forth, until the beach came too soon. I hopped off and thanked the stranger, but it also felt really uncomfortable knowing I’d probably never see him again. Felt like a missed opportunity or short-lived thrill. But in that moment, I felt so alive.]
Sorry, I deviated a bit but back to my story…
As we weaved and in and out of traffic, we made a right turn into a village. From there, we made many lefts, then rights, then stopped in front of the entrance to the village. I got off the scooter, gave the boy an equivalent of $3.00 and he genuinely thanked me for the money. Mind you, I wanted to give out my money because the Balinese were so kind.
I walked up to the white gated home, unsure of what I was supposed to do; didn’t see a doorbell or anything to signal. So I waited for someone to come out. The man across the street saw me waiting, he walked up and rang the bell to the right of me. I thanked him for the gesture. A woman appeared and greeted me inside the backyard. She had me sit at the outdoor table, placed tea in front of me. I sat there, in the serene backyard, however, I won’t lie – I was a bit nervous.
Within minutes, Lucinda walked to the table, sat down, and asked, “so why are you here, how can Pak Man help you?”
Well…I begin to word vomit. Whoa, a lot of sh*t apparently wrong with me.
“I have had a rough year, really bad depression, anxiety…generally confused about life and my purpose and what I’m here to do”.
Lucinda looked at me and said, “Look, I won’t downplay what you have felt…however, I want you to know that a lot of people feel like this, especially at your age”.
Okay, so I’m not crazy and this is normal, I slightly felt better.
So then, Pak Man came out…in all white, long black hair in a ponytail, dark skin. He sat there, observing me, not saying much, but Lucinda asked how long I was traveling in Bali. We conversed a bit and then she said, “okay, well, follow Pak Man”.
I followed Pak Man to what appeared to be an extension of their home; inside it was filled with various Balinese sculptures, Buddahs and cultural pieces. He told me to lay down on the ground so I did. He began but taking a q-tip and dipping it in some oil and rubbing it on my forehead and stomach all while chanting. Pak Man is a hands healer so he identifies low points of energy in your body and sometimes applies hard pressure. So he started at my feet and progressed through my body. As he got to my pancreas, he said there was low energy. He then progressed to my right arm and identified a low point, “low energy for a long time?” he asked. “Yes…I’ve had low energy for a long time”, I replied.
Towards the end of my session, he asked me to sit up, legs crossed, Indian-style. He sat behind me. Placed his arms on my heart center, applied pressure and started to move his hands clockwise. Instantaneously, I begin to sob. Tears were uncontrollably falling down my face and I wasn’t crying because it physically hurt. I had no idea what was happening in that moment. But I knew something that was suppressed deep inside of me was being released.
After sitting in tears, so many rapid emotions were flowing through me but I felt so much lighter.
Pak Man and I then went back to sit on the patio. Lucinda was waiting there for us. Pak Man began speaking to Lucinda and she began translating, here’s what was said:
· You have to be good with YOU, no matter where you are. Whether you’re traveling in Bali, or back home, you have to be happy with yourself.
· You don’t have to travel to Bali to see change in your life, it all starts with you, regardless of location.
· Baby steps. Take baby steps to incorporate changes into your life.
· I will never heal you, you’re your own guru, I can only help guide you but the work comes down to YOU.
· Nothing happens overnight, you won’t feel better after one trip to Bali, it’s a lifelong destination with small steps. One day you will see how big those small steps actually were.
He shared a few more comments as it related to me personally, however, I think the above insights can relate to so many people.
Although, if you are in Bali and looking for a similar experience, I do recommend it. You might not get instant healing but there is certainly something you can walk away with. It might be the catalyst to help you start making changes in your life, just like it did for me.