The Sweet Waters of Danau Batur – Initiation Part I

 

Thursday, June 5th, I awoke from a dream with the sudden desire to go to the temple on the lake. I held this sense and awareness throughout the day, curious to see if it would pass by the time night arrived. That evening, I was on the internet searching google maps for the directions to this water temple I was summoned to. It was necessary for me to go the following morning, Friday, June 6th.

Morning of June 6th:

Arranging my money in my pouch in a way that I would not flash an abundance of bills to the eyes of the Balinese, I wondered why it was necessary for me to place a 50,000 bill in a pocket that held my passport, license and motorbike receipt, instead of amongst the 10 and 20K bills. I knew not to argue with my intuitive insights; perhaps I would find out later in the day.

I headed north on Jl. Raya Andong, in anticipation of my journey – I will be answering a summons to Dewi Danu at one of her floating temples. Forty-minutes into the journey I began searching for the sharp right turn-off that was indicated on the map. I silently prayed for an indication as to where to turn because I honestly could not tell where I was; no idea how far or close I was to the mountain, let alone the lake. I did not have a smartphone or a handheld gps.

A Balinese man pulled up alongside me on his scooter to inquire about my destination. “Lake Batur”, I yelled. He smiled and nodded, pointing to himself to indicate his familiarity with the area. He then waved towards the side of the road to suggest I pull over. So I did. He introduced himself as ‘Ayoman’, and proceeded to give his sales pitch with a little bit of personal history. Ayoman showed me a picture pamphlet of his coffee plantation and suggested I follow him to try the coffee. The temple would not be opened until 12:00 pm, and it was not too far from his plantation – so he said. Seeing as I was not sure which direction to go, I went ahead and followed Ayoman.

The route he took was a maze – I prayed that I would safely find my way to my destination and a more straightforward return route. I tried my best to memorize the turns – a left here, a right there, and could not align them with any landmarks. I saw the signs for “Bali Eco Village” and hoped that I would eventually see the signs for Kintamani or The Ayu Kintamani Villas. Those were the landmarks I memorized from the map on my tablet the night before. They are very close to the lake.

The road eventually straightened out, yet was at a steady incline. In the very least, for me I was on a mountain. Now to be done with the coffee tour and be on my way.

Ayoman suggested I take pictures during the tour of his establishment. He offered to hold my helmet for me; I declined his offer, and he took it anyway. I took a few pictures as he spoke about the infamous Luwak coffee, the way it is processed, how the tea is processed, and how beautiful the view is at the end of the tour. I honestly was not into the tour; I‘ve already experienced one from the owner of the villa I am renting – it was a much larger plantation, more appealing, and the teas were priced at a more reasonable price for the quantity [which was much more than Ayoman’s plantation]. Besides, I really wanted to get to the temple.

We sat at a table and a Balinese woman brought over a small assortment of brewed teas, coffee and one cup of hot cocoa. The Luwak coffee was brought over in a slightly larger cup and was not available as a free sample. It was 50,000 rupiah for this one cup. Hm, now I see why I separated my money the way I did earlier that morning.

I sipped my coffee and participated in small talk with Ayoman. He’s an artist, studied traditional Balinese dance, and could not help but repeat at how ‘sexy’ my body is shaped. He liked that I enjoyed the Ginger tea since, to his knowledge, it helps with obtaining and maintaining a sexy shape.

After I finished my coffee, I prepared myself to leave. I strapped on the one liter backpack I borrowed from Bella [villa-mate], grabbed my helmet, and sought to pay for my coffee. I had no interest in purchasing anything else.

My bill for the coffee was waiting for me at the counter – so too was a small container of ginger tea. I briefly browsed the shelves of the small shop, paid my bill and proceeded to walk towards the exit. Of course they insisted I buy the ginger tea; I declined, and kept walking. Ayoman caught up to me and…attempted to seduce me? I don’t know what one would normally call his behavior [making a pass at...?], but he gave me a shoulder hug, which I was okay with. He then tried to give me a full hug, whispering words of how lonely he was, adding that he’s single. I did a dodge and push-him-away action, and stated “That’s nice. I have a boyfriend”. Ayoman then said ‘But we are both artists, so it is a good thing”. I responded that my boyfriend is an artist as well, and that he is currently in London composing music. Ayoman laughed and gave me a look as if he didn’t believe me. I reassured him that I do see my BF often enough; my time in Bali was my vacation time for me, but that I looked forward to seeing my BF again. Ayoman said okay; I am glad he dropped it – I did not have a picture readily available to show him the BF I do not have. And if I were to gain internet access, I would be able to show him a picture of my friend that is not my BF, yet no pictures of us together. Of course, that would raise the creepy factor beyond the level it was already at if he insisted on seeing pictures.

On my scooter, ready to go, I point in the direction I am assuming the lake is in, which is opposite the direction we arrived. He nodded, and suggested I follow him. Thirty-seconds into the drive, he pulls over and proceeds to light a cigarette. He says that he’s coming in a few moments, but that I should go on ahead of him. I said okay, a thank you, and pulled off, not caring if he caught up with me or not. All I wanted to do was get to the temple. My 45 minute drive was not 45 minutes…no need to delay any further.

About five minutes later, I come across a police check-point. Please let this go smoothly…I just want to get to the temple on the lake. I’ve heard horror stories of foreigners and the Polisi. I hoped that my experience would mirror that of when I was in South Korea – pleasant, serene, easy going and laid back.

I was asked to pull over and to hand over my license and registration.

“Registration for what”, I asked.

“The bike”, he said. Thank goodness I left the rental receipt in my pouch. I handed him my state license and the receipt. He looked at them, handed them back and said “Okay, have a nice day”. I asked if Lake Batur was ahead and he said “Yes, yes, Lake Batur, go”.

That was easy. Exhaled a big sigh of relief, said thank you and zoomed away!

I began to see road signs and got really excited! I was almost there!

…Thirty-minutes later I’m still driving up a mountain. Where the heck was the lake!?

 

to be continued…

Friday, May 30, 2014

I wore lace today, from head to toe: Gold and Black lace Mantilla adorned with pearls for my headdress, a beige laced dress and black lace tube bra from American Apparel, and a beige lace skirt, with a thigh-high split on the right with a nude mini underskirt/slip from Foreign Exchange, body dusted in gold mica as per my ritual practice within my lineage/tradition, and a pair of flip flops just because I’m in the tropics. ^_^

 

It was a day to finally rent a motorbike, sot at I may get around more efficiently. The room I am renting for the month is on Laplapan, a 30 minute walk to the city of Ubud [to the Arjuna Statue to be precise]. Having learned the hard way that I would be charged for every trip into town, and that walking during the heat of the day would drain me each and every time, it was necessary to rent a bike. 

 

So I searched many places for a decent price for a 10 day rental. By the time dusk arrived, I settled on a little booth that stands at the entrance of the roadway that leads to Dragonfly Village. Before I began negotiating a price, someone called out to me from the street.

 

“Excuse me, I saw you walking earlier, and I thought, ‘Wow, what is this’? I cannot comprehend you; you are very beautiful.”

 

I smiled and said thank you. He bowed from his upper body, I bowed my head in acceptance, and then he left.  Not sure which country he was from – could have been Europe, or New Zealand, or Australia…

 

The white-haired man that wore white, left in the same direction he came from…

OF Gold….

I decided to be present for and participate in a Spring Equinox celebration, this past Saturday….facilitated by a Shamanic Practitioner [his label, not mine].

I arrived with two colleagues/peers from school; we were a bit late, yet  just in time – the drumming did not begin. The participants and host were standing in a circle on the labyrinth.

The three of us found a space to stand within the circle and waited for things to begin. The practitioner put his drum down and proceeded to the center of the labyrinth to light the sage so that my peers and I would be cleansed.

This post is pretty much about what was witnessed by another participant when it was my turn to be cleansed. I’m highlighting this because it has a lot to do with my practice and the work I will be doing in this world/lifetime. Nothing dramatic or way out there…just something that will stick with me as I further engage my work that I wanted to share.

After we finished the first part of the equinox ceremony, just before we went inside to eat, a woman [another colleague/peer] approached me to share her experience of when I was being smudged/cleansed.

“I saw your aura.”

Of course, I got excited about that and  was curious to know the color(s) she saw/what she observed. She  wrote them down so that she wouldn’t forget while I guessed the color(s).

I said purple, and she said that color showed up during meal times this past seminar we were both in attendance for, but did not show up in those moments. She asked me to guess again.

I did not know what else to say; I wanted to say a particular color yet didn’t think it was the case. So I said turquoise.

She said she saw gold…like a gold-orange color with light. She also said that once the smoke hit the area around my throat and forehead the colors lit up and flared outward, sparks flying here and there.

I was  not surprised, yet surprised…I thanked her for her observation and pondered about the gold.

I’ve been adorning my face with gold [and sometimes on my body at night] for a little while now.

Why? Well, it has been a theme in my dreams for some time. My dreams have informed my waking life; this is something I am exploring within my research interests.

And to hear of someone else’s experience of me during ceremony is more than enough confirmation…

This is not to say that because of adorning myself with gold, my aura will have gold within it. I’m just sharing this because there is a connection there – it’s all in my dream material and it is something I will share more of as I move forward in my work.

Path less traveled…

Drifting to sleep, my body fell into a state of natural paralysis, while my mind maintained its grasp on my external surroundings.

Remaining aware of going into REM sleep used to scare me to the core. I would encounter those that have crossed over, being left with the task of delivering messages to family members. In some cases, I would be pulled into a space that existed in the realm of the unseen, traveling landscapes that would never exist on the realm of the seen as the tangible reality.

Nowadays, I willingly jump out of myself during the process of falling into sleep. If I’m exhausted, I don’t give anyone or anything the luxury of speaking to me while in that state. I usually invite them to the land of dreams to speak. It’s hard enough to get a full night’s rest these days; having conversations during REM is the last thing I want when I’m exhausted.

Which brings me to a recent experience:

As I welcomed sleep, I felt the onset of REM state, and was curious about any new developments with regards to my growth and process. My curiosity was satisfied by a visitor…

A visit from the masculine part of myself.

The last encounter I had with myself was earlier this year. He relayed a message I had difficulty integrating into my being. Who wants to ‘wear a gold crown'; letting go of everything that is not in support of the changes that come with the responsibility of ‘wearing a crown’?

Everything you thought you knew; everything you thought you should be doing is naught but delusional whimsies. The realization of what you are to be doing requiring a re-evaluation of self, purpose, and associations.

The work done up to know has been fruitful. This time he showed up as a High Priest, revealed a bit of information that reassured me that I am indeed doing my work and am on the right path…

I wish to serve you.

What better way for your ‘Other Self’ to come to you and consummate the law of balance. ‘I Wish to Serve You’. I’d like to serve me too! As a matter of fact, I am serving me. In doing so, I am helping others.

The sad part about this experience was the response I received after sharing it with someone I looked to for assistance when my experiences are beyond my usual scope of experience.

When people practice a set path, their ‘everything’ is shaped and molded by that path. So when someone outside of their path comes along, their interpretation of the Other is from their own experience. Whatever happened to lending ear to the experience of the individual before placing your blanket of understanding/seeing/experience on the Other?

It boils down to, once again, limiting the ‘who’ I share to and how I share what it is I share.

But that’s with everything right? So why should this be any different??

I’m beginning to see that the path I am to take, is one less traveled, if not existent. A priestess recently said to me

“You must follow your heart. However if you choose to do so, it will be lonely at times. It’s a hard road to travel for many.”

 

Snippet of a Draft…

I grew up in a house of Wisdom and Royalty. My biological father, a Priest of an age old Yoruba tradition out of the continent we now call Africa [Ifa]; my step-father, the man my mother married [and later divorced], a Prince – one of the many sons of an exiled King [may he rest in peace]; my mother,  a woman that possess within her blood knowledge she has yet to come to terms with. 

Life for me was easy, fun, magical, enjoyable. 

As a child [and still to this day], mirrors always fascinated me. Their ability to reflect felt like a façade to me because the truths of all matters were hidden behind the glass. I liken this observation to the way of my life – as above, so below, the truth concealed behind the reflection. It is not the reflection that matters most; it’s what is hidden beneath the surface that is key.

Here I am, emerging from one way of being into another, one that is not written where I can emulate. Rather, it is already written – in a book within myself yet shared across space with my predecessors. There is nothing ‘out there’ that details how to be…

This isn’t the yoga of India, the Zen of Japan, or the Martial Art of China. It is a secret society whose secrets have been very well kept through millennia. This is a reintroduction to something that has been kept hidden for far too long.

The very thing that stars are made of, is the same material that the human body is made of. If one were searching for the blueprint of the human body, one would have only to look up. If one were to search for the perfect model for growth and transformation, one would have only to look up. For all things Tangible, there is an Intangible counterpart…

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