my favorite flowers in bali
I arrived in Bali, sleepy and dazed. at immigration, the officer informs me I don’t have any pages left in my passport to put the visa in. So he points to an office, says go in there and they’ll take care of it. While waiting for about 20 minutes I am watching the people in the office. everything seems normal. then I’m asked to go in the office and suddenly I start to feel attacked. We can’t put the visa in your passport, its breaking the “rules”, you need to go back to bangkok, why are you here, to teach, to make money. I start to panic and get upset. How can I go back, I’m just here for 5 days, my training starts tomorrow. I keep on asking if I can call the US consulate and they don’t give me the number. Then he gets up to leave to talk to his boss, and I suddenly realize: he wants me to give him money.
Despite living in Karachi for most of my life, and traveling to all corners of the world, I have never had an experience like this. The “bad” cop immigration officer leaves and the “good” one comes back in. He says he doesn’t want me to have to go back and if there was anything I could do for him, then he could do this for me. I ask, softly, “you want me to give you money?”
Yes, and gestures to his mouth, sealing his lips. I start to really lose it now. My body is full of emotion, hopelessness, confusion, and I start to cry. How can I bribe someone? Is this the right thing to do? I felt like God’s eyes were on me. And I realized how constantly we are confronted with the struggle to be present. I told myself, don’t resist, accept this moment and notice your breathe. Starting to calm down I realize that in that moment I have to give him money. Ask for forgiveness and pray for him. Find compassion and though its still hard to access it, at least I was able to step out of the airport, enter Bali, and treat myself to an avocado smoothie.
After that in Happy Bali, what the locals call it, turns out to be the perfect name. A couple’s paradise, romance seeps from each nook and corner as we drove to the Shangrila (http://www.bali-shangrila.com). I meet Shauna (also attending the training), an Ontarian Canadian, at the airport as we drive to our destination. We end up driving to the top of a beautiful mountain and then down to the other side, feeling cool air, seeing beautiful views, and having easy conversation.
julie, allisone, and jill!
As I walk up the steps to my room, I see Julie sitting outside on the balcony. Julie was in my teachers training program last year at Yandara, with the biggest most loving blue eyes. I already feel home as I hug her and get ready to go for dinner. Meet Allisone, my teacher from Yandara next and then Jill, another Mexico reunion.
Dinner starts with delicious pumpkin soup and ends with yummy coconut flan type dessert. I breathe in the oceans sounds and quietly return to bed. The next day I’m going to keep a roza and attend Level I reiki training.
I wake up to the sounds of roosters at 4 am. Have my sehri ready to eat and walk towards the ocean before morning even begins. Its so quiet. So soothing. 7:30 I stroll in to yoga class. just perfect. the room set up in a circle, the energy of the class led me to a theta wave savasana.
At 9 am, I really start to feel the roza. I avoid going to the restaurant during meal times, and spend breakfast just relaxing in bed. 10 am we begin our Reiki training and get our attunement. I am so tired. My back is hurting, my shoulders are killing, my neck wants to just droop down and I keep on jerking in and out of sleep. I start to think of some recent memories. Start to feel guilty and upset about decisions I have made. And after the attunement, one track plays in my mind: “swim in the ocean”.
At lunchtime I spend the afternoon trying to swim in the rocky coral ocean with little success and end up by the pool swimming, tanning and drooling as I nap. The day floats into the next and I am ready for another roza, and another day of training. I thought the second day would be easier than the first in terms of not eating and drinking, but it was so much harder. My body was really feeling deprived of water and yet again somehow I survived as I watched the sunset, anxiously awaiting the moment I could eat my khajur and drink water.
Day 2 I felt the loving Reiki energy in my hands. I couldn’t believe it. It is real. And its just about my intent. Through that Reiki Flows. We ended the day with a post dinner Yin Yoga class. Just incredible. And I started to feel an open channel of energy in my spine, touched, soothed, and free from pain.
yin yoga, mandala style.
I have no more Reiki rozas to keep I realize as I wake up the next morning. I have maybe the best breakfast ever and we spend the day reviewing “add-ons” to Reiki, with my favorite being the use of crystals. Crystals which have organically been part of my personal meditation and self reiki practice for the last year. Whenever I receive reiki I am easily able to slip into a state of complete reception. How much has changed in just a short few months. My intent to create the space within myself to receive love, though still a work in progress, has finally started to settle in.
We ended the night with a huge bonfire on the beach, burning away our fears, throwing into it all the things we need help letting go of: and I released my fears of abandonment, rejection and that I will spend my life alone. I came again to realize that I cannot know the future and I cannot control it. I can just be where I am this moment, present, establishing and accomplishing my divine purpose on this earth. and I know simply it is to heal. to heal, to support, to encourage and find myself over and over again in the arms of loving embraces.
Hono Pono Pono – Hawaiian – Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.
Allisone told us that on our second day together and it kept on ringing in my mind. I had so much to ask for forgiveness for with my roller coaster year. And just the words, hono pono pono, so softly roll off the tongue. Life can be so simple if we just choose to step into the grace of loving energy. What stops us from healing ourselves? What keeps us trapped in our patterns, our “samskaras”, our unconscious behavior?
I found comfort each night as I read Deepak Chopras, Life after Death, realizing the incredible unity behind the multi-verse, and the multitude of choices we have present to us in every moment. I understood what energy it is that Reiki harnesses. And I realized the potential we all have to be reborn, every moment, every breathe to be what we thought we could never be. To live in a way that we never dreamed possible. And mostly I felt how this life of mine is a continuation of something much greater than what I can comprehend. Is part of a process that will unfold as my soul matures and my consciousness expands. That what is ahead of me is not something to fear, that it is already written while it is being unwritten.
When I was born and saw the light
I was no stranger to this world.
Something inscrutable, shapeless, and without words
Appeared in the form of my mother.
So when I die, the same unknown will appear again
As ever known to me.
And because I love this life
I will love death as well.
– Rabindranath Tagore