(Following the steps of Elizabeth Gilbert from ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ in Bali)
We were lucky as we arrived early at the house of Ketut Lyer and were third in line. He takes all the time his ‘patients’ need and solves all the questions asked. The two girls before me asked him his age, questions and more questions about his age, in my opinion a waste of time as Elizabeth Gilbert couldn’t guess it either. Then, it was my turn.
At first, he did his usual check up, ears (very pretty), eyes (good), knees (pretty), leaver (working properly), kidneys (very pretty). Then, the three questions every Balinese asks: Where do you come from? Where are you going? And, are you married? He was very happy I was married, but he said if I were not, he would have given me a drawing to fix the ‘problem’. And then, he was all ears, what did I want to ask him? I went directly to the point. I said that I wanted a pray for my dad. His lovely smile turned into a face of concern.
-Why? What happened? You, dad, fight?
-No Ketut, he passed away!
To my astonishment he immediately relaxed, and he even started smiling again. Thinking he didn’t understand I repeated,
-He passed away! He kept smiling.
My mind went blank!
He said to me there was no problem as I was going to die too and he was going to die too. I was in shock! Oh yes, I knew this, it is kind of obvious, but hearing it from another person, and especially from Ketut Lyer kind of hurt my feelings! But then, out of the blue, he opened his heart to me. He explained in the most profound terms that life and death are the same thing, that death is part of life and they go together, they reach the hands of one another and they catch themselves all the time. Everything is a circle. After life goes death and after death goes life. There is nothing we can do to avoid this, and the only thing we can do for ourselves is make sure to have our own agreements with God, good agreements, in respect of how our lives are going to be.
We kept talking about that a little bit longer. But in my mind I already got what I wanted from him. To understand why things happen the way it happen and I found peace. I felt lucky to have the opportunity to talk to him. My conclusion was that Ketut Lyer was a wise man. After we realised both our names ‘Luz’ and “Ketut’ meant ‘light’ in our languages we laughed. We shook hands and I left.
That night we went out, I wanted to see Bali at night. I found nothing but perfect beauty. Anywhere in Ubud there is a Balinese performing a ceremony. This time, we were allowed to witness one of the most typical ones: The Purnama, a ceremony that is performed under full-moon to celebrate that the Gods descend to the planet to give their blessings. It was such a great opportunity to see it! We stayed for a little bit longer after the ceremony was finished. Everybody who was present said hi to each other, like family, like close friends. They felt in peace with the world, they were thankful for what they had, and after the ceremony they were blessed. A couple of kids approached us and asked: Where are you coming from? Where are you going? And, are you married?
After a couple of days enjoying Ubud we took a ferry to Gili Islands. I would be short of words if I describe Gili Meno as a hidden paradise. Gili Meno and Gili Air are the perfect islands for meditation, for finding the truth about yourself, to forgive your past and to hope for a better future. Gili Meno, the island we chose following the steps of Elizabeth Gilbert, is a tiny circle. You can walk the whole island in less that one hour and it is surrounded by the most beautiful and peaceful ocean I have seen in my entire life. Its colours were the perfect mix of blue and green. We arrived at night and some kids were still swimming and having fun. There were no cars, no motorcycles, no bikes. Just one or two little wagons with donkeys to take us to the only hotel in town. Our room was again a little house separate from the others. It was completely white. The shower was outside and its roof were the stars. The only restaurant was in the middle of nowhere, right in front of the beach. Same breakfast for me every morning, banana pancakes, watermelon juice and to finish mint tea with honey and lemon!
When I arrived in Gili I wanted to meditate as Elizabeth Gilbert did. This was the perfect spot to practice the teachings of Ketut Lyer. Always practice meditation with a smile, a smile in your face, a smile in your mind, so the good energy will find you. It is hard, even in such a proper environment to quiet the mind and stop hearing its words. But the important thing about meditation is to try hard everyday, because only through silence we will find what we are looking for!
I did my practice, but it was short. The perfect, transparent, warm waters in front of me were calling my name. I could hear my husband and my baby playing and laughing out of my sight but very close to me. It was then when I realised that the balance between the soul, the mind and the body that I was looking for came naturally! I could hear happiness telling me that I should just stand up and run next to my family and enjoy life. And so I did!