How a visit to a Guru left me feeling closed... & why I made a quick escape.
Ratu Bagus is an Energy Master who lives and teaches shaking meditation in his ashram in Bali. Also known as Bio Energy Meditation or Shaking Yoga, this meditation works on freeing and strengthening our natural life energy. This practice connects us with our soul and with nature. It can clear the blocks that prevent us from living a healthy and happy life.
Oh bugger. My experience , as per usual, was not how it was 'meant to be'.
What is it with me?
Am i really that much of a control freak that I cannot let go enough to enjoy the full richness of such weird and sacred practices? Have I been so programmed into a western desensitized regime that I am unable to feel into these mystic energies? Is my ego so big that i cannot switch into the realms of male guruism and sleep in my dorm under the sheets which have the guru's name woven into them ... am i simply just too stuck in my energy field, am i one big highly experienced spiritual bypasser and not giving new experiences of energy medicine a fair chance?
And why am i always the one brave enough, stupid enough, daring enough, willing enough to push through my comfort zone, only to be the one who walks out on day two, having acheived little more than confirmation that I am all of those things and have added some new experiences to my entertaining journey in this life?
I really do make myself laugh. (Literally..)
How can I trust what is true?
Remember that most of the ancient Scriptures were written down by men, for men—even in the Shakti Tantra tradition. Even though these men were devotees of the Goddess, they were still men with various limitations , with certain views of women and not necessarily an understanding of the feminine.
So I am asking the question, how loyal can we be to our own deep inner voice ? How much can we trust her? How can we honour what is true and real for us as women & how can we determine the difference between what we're being fed and what is our authentic reality ? And even more importantly, can we be 'met' in that place without Criticism or judgement ?
So have I reached a point in this lifetime where I really am able to trust my inner teacher, my inner guide, that my decisions are based on self love, self care and nurture? Am I simply mastering my leadership archetype rather than falling for my ego and stomping my feet with a big fat 'NO!' when something feels uncomfortable?
My own inner teacher
One thing that I've learnt from Heart Circling is to honour the place that I am in, in any given moment. So although I appreciated other guru followers of the lovely Ratu Bagus telling me to 'stick out the 1st two days' because it would then get easier, I trusted my own inner teacher more.
A weird practice!
If you watch videos on youtube showing the practice of shaking with Ratu, it looks really weird.
But infact, it appears that he practice is no longer done to rave music (which in hindsight would have made it easier) but to my favourite mantra, the gaya mantra. From watching the yoytuve videos, i reckon that Ratu's magical energy has become even more powerful than t was even two years ago. Because what I witnessed was more dramatic than the clips show! The response to the lifting of Ratu's hand causing people to explode and fall backwards, as if struck by lightening, left me both terrified and in awe at the same time.
He is truly powerful!
This part gave me the creeps!
The part that most concerned me was when everyone sat around on the floor before the shaking and Ratu walked around offering little buscuits ( the size of dog buscuits) As he would hand a few buscuits to each one of his followers ( who sat like dogs begging to his master) they would either laugh hysterically like crazed madmen or fall backwards and writhe uncontrollably on the floor as if having a fit) or as if they had just been told that they'd won ten million pounds on the lottery and wern't allowed to say anything. I used to work in a high security locked ward in a mental hospital ( as we used to call them , is that PC, I'm guessing not)
On a full moon each patients weird ways would manifest to full power and was always truly a madhouse of crazed behaviour .
The ashram was crazier .
It was weird, man.
I know that this was not how it really was meant to be or how they seemed to experience it , because the followers were all such incredibly beautiful loving people. But i did feel some major concern and I'm trying to put my finger on it.
Does being humble mean closing down to ones innate power and glory? I noticed with some alarm the posture of many followers. They were very round shouldered and 'collapsed'. I understand that when we bow down to the Oneness that there is a humiiity and a humbleness that allows us to surrender and drop into the totality of spaciouseness and oneness. I even love how no women in these ashrams wear no make up. Why would they? I certainly didn't. And yet I noticed that as i left the ashram on day 2, 3 days ahead of time, that i looked forward to searching my little bag to find the remenants of an old eyeliner. I felt a wave of sadness that it appeared to me, perhaps falsley, that many of the beautiful women in that ashram, hadn't had a good orgasm or an erotic encounter for some time.
Or perhaps I am just the archetype of the wild Goddess.
Please respect my food choices
As i have a mild flare up of ulcerative colitis I am attempting to follow a carbohydrate free diet .I know that all inflammatory auto immune disease is aggrivated by carbs (sugars). So of course when 'they' suggested that many people at the ashram 'let go of their food allergies whilst at the ashram' I felt irritated. I am almost 56 years old and I often try the 'lets ignore the science and just eat what i fancy' approach. It dosn't work. There was nothing to eat but carbs and i ended up eating a plate of potatoes at 9pm before bed. Tummy ache and a bloated night of mild discomfort followed.. I know my body and really wont listen to others advice any longer. And then I thought 'Liz. Trust your own instinct.'
Devotees had been cured of cancers and tumours!
I refused to be 'beaten'. I googled 'crazy people shaking in bali' and found a great write up of someone who'd had a similar experience to me. But after 3 days he'd gotten into it all and left feeling amazing. Right, that was it! I went back to the shaking and tried to get into it. I noticed my ego wanting to 'get it' to be able to shake like the others, and i also noticed huge grief wanting to be expressed. It didn't feel like the place to do it. A lovely Irish girl came and found me when i left in tears and said to me reassuring that this was the place to release all grief .I took a deep breath.
I went to the next 2 hour shaking session and after 10 minutes i thought 'I'm outta here. Id already tried to leave three times and each time I'd been talked Into 'giving it 3 days...'
without making eye contact with anyone I went to my dorm ,packed my bags, paid 50 GBP for my one nights stay (all inclusive) and called a taxi to take me to the nearest beach. My head was throbbing from emotional exhaustion and i wanted to sleep. I felt out of sorts. I questioned my decision, and decided that I'd rather keep my colitis than have to indure another few days of shaking. Indeed there were many people at the ashram who'd been cured of cancers, brain tumours and aids. Quite remarkable. I'd like to go back one day. But not this year.
And I honour myself in not being too embarrassed in writing about my experience either. I'd told everyone on Facebook that I was off for a transformational 5 day ashram adventure !
Trust your inner voice
Sometimes we do need to listen to our inner voice and distinguish it from the mind.
My experience was real and true and I honoured myself. I went against all the advice of all of those loving souls. Wether it was the right or wrong ' decision, it was my decision.
And i love the part of me that tried to take care of myself and love myself. The part that trusted my inner guidance, however 'wrong ' it might've looked to others.
And that was the most valuable lesson that ive learnt this week .
That I won't judge or make wrong my decisions when they feel 'right' because I am worthy of feeling good , happy and at peace .
And I don't need a guru to find that place deep within .