The first day of the rest of my life

Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Of course it is every day like this but there is a chance that this day will turn out to be different. Fingers crossed.

I am in the beautiful garden of Villa Blubambu where in a little while from now a Balinese ceremony will take place. I spent time in this villa last year when I traveled to Bali with my friend Mike and owner Mathieu has been following my journey, noticed my arrival on Bali and invited me for the ceremony. I am not completely clear what it is about but there is food and there are guests and it is a big deal for the Balinese staff. Funny enough there are only white people in the garden at this moment. Mathieu told us to come at 4 pm so everybody did. But there is no sight of any of the Balinese people yet apart from a few ladies who are preparing the buffet.

I feel clean, rested and peaceful. The temperature is very nice, not hot and sweaty and certainly not cold. There is a gentle breeze. I am typing in the garden of Villa Blubambu because I wanted a different setting than my bedroom at my brother’s place. Also I wanted to describe a different kind of experience and add some colour local. So I brought my laptop and decide to work from here.

Mathieu just brought me a glass of white wine and explained me what the occasion of today is. There is a little temple outside of the main building. Today is the anniversary of the temple. Every year there is a celebration and every 3-5 years there should be a bigger one with more guests. Today is a bigger one. We celebrate that the spirits on the grounds are well taken care of and in a good mood.

Its 30 minutes later and the ceremony just finished. I felt it was beautiful. A priest did his prayers in front of the altar with the offering. He blessed the people with water (I assume holy water) and flowers were handed out for us to hold between our fingers during the group prayer. I like the sincerity, single mindedness and peace of such ceremonies. What struck me was that many gestures of the priest are very similar to what I have seen in Zen Buddhist ceremonies.

While all this is going on I am observing my own inner experience. Today was the day where I underwent a shamanic ritual: a soul retrieval. The idea is that all the unhealthy connections between me and other beings are cut. I prepared myself by doing a kundalini yoga class this morning and by meditating with certain visualizations before the start of the session. At a certain time I lied down on my bed and had to listen to a specific song. It was nice music and after a while I spaced out. Meanwhile the shaman, who lives in a different country, would go to otherworldly realities to hunt for all pieces of my soul that got lost or stuck during this lifetime or any other lifetime.

The connections or ‘chords’ that were cut were all that hold me to the past and keep me from moving on. This includes ‘chords’ that attached me to situations and people like friends, parents, former girlfriends, relatives etc. I am freed from all the unhealthy chords and they are replaced by connections that come from the heart. And this is supposedly quite literal: strings that come from the heart connecting me with the other. But not that literal: we are talking about invisible strings here. Also the shaman would retrieve all pieces of my soul that got lost one way or the other. As we speak my soul should be whole and complete and all the missing pieces of the puzzle should be in place again.

To be honest: I don’t feel very different from any other good day. But I do feel good. And I realized during the Balinese ceremony that I felt a lot of love inside me. No idea if these feelings are supposed to be permanent. If the result of the soul retrieval is that my heart is more open than before I would consider it a success. On the other hand: the last hours I have seen come up many familiar unconscious thoughts. Nothing new or different going on inside my head nor do I feel surprisingly free or liberated from old burdens. But let’s see how this unfolds. If the inner kindness persists and transforms into forgiveness and acceptance of self and others I am a blessed man.

It was a beautiful day filled with ancient ceremonies and practices. If this first day of the rest of my life says anything about the days to come I am heading for a beautiful future.

Below more pics of Villa Blubambu and the ceremony:

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  1. Dana says

    Thank you for sharing both the ritual and the ceremony with us Atalwin. How wonderful for you … “the first day of the rest of (your) life” sounded so lovely. I am very happy for you.

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