I headed to Ubud in Bali at the beginning of this year to immerse myself in what I had heard to be the town’s unique healing energies.
This lush green paradise is a hotspot for those seeking peace of mind and connection through yoga, meditation, Balinese healers, vibrant food and abundantly beautiful nature.
Besides that, one of the best things about Ubud is the nightlife. I don’t mean getting sh*tfaced on Bintang in less than salubrious clubs or bars—rather, every evening there is an opportunity to attend a consciousness-expanding event, be this kirtan (chanting), a conscious documentary viewing, a women’s circle, a raw food feast or, in this case, a Tibetan bowl meditation run by an archangelic shaman called Wakuha Blueflame.
Now, besides the fact that I had become increasingly convinced of the power of sound to soothe due to deep healing experiences in London, I knew that I had to attend this evening: it’s not often in your life that you get to hang out with an ‘archangelic shaman called Wakuha Blueflame. And so being the curious individual that I am, I felt compelled to go merely for this fact alone.
So that is how I found myself lying down underneath the stars one night in Bali surrounded by 50 strangers ready to see what these bowls were going to do for me.
You may be thinking “How can some bowls heal my woes?!” as indeed I have previously.
Traditionally used by Buddhist monks to aid meditation, Tibetan bowls are a type of bell that when sounded, vibrate to produce beautifully harmonious frequencies.
From what I understand, these frequencies resonate with our bodies by activating the relaxation response via our nervous system. This allows a deep meditative state to kick in, one in which the body can turn its attention to healing emotional blockages, stored traumas and cycles of negative thinking. As Wakuha says, the bowls “‘provide space for the body’s own innate intelligence to heal the mind, the emotions, the body and the spirit effortlessly.”
With this in mind, I walked into the upper deck of Ubud’s Yoga Barn to find the shaman (a diminutive woman dressed in white) kneeling down at the front surrounded by the bowls. Her face, which indeed did look reassuringly angelic, was lit up by candles and wafts of incense surrounded her.
As we all got comfy underneath our blankets, Wakuha began gently leading us into the meditation with her poetic affirmations of higher wisdom and reassuring us that we are on our unique spiritual path through life. She started playing the bowls softly as the hypnotic and melodious sounds chimed perfectly with each other and my attention began focusing within.
In previous sound healing experiences I have had intense visions that the cells of my body were realigning and any negativity was being lifted out and transported towards the healer. I felt this even more intensely with Wakuha as I believe the healing energies of Ubud served to amplify the effects of the evening. My sense of the outside world faded away and I became acutely aware of how the otherworldly tones of the bowls were resonating within my body.
I can only describe that hour and a half as being so deeply meditative that I was transported to a place beyond thought, beyond the constant mind chatter and judgement.
Any sense of time and space diminished along with the parameters of my everyday relation to the material world as I was left in no doubt of a higher wisdom that connects us all, a pure and loving force beyond what we are accustomed to perceiving.
It was an intensely sacred experience. Wakuha’s gentle yet powerful presence created an incredibly sacred space and I left that evening feeling deeply relaxed and very aware that I had experience something truly special—a place of transcendent stillness.
Whilst for many a sense of peaceful stillness is somewhat rare, especially considering our hectic urban lives, the great thing is that sacred ancient healing modalities are increasingly spreading around the world. From Tibetan bowl meditation, to cacao ceremonies and group healing nights, there’s plenty of opportunity to tap into these modalities.
My advice before attending a Tibetan bowl meditation, or indeed any kind of healing technique, is to try and suspend any judgements or expectations. Go with an open mind and an open heart with the intention merely to be curious about what comes up.
If nothing else, you can put it down to experience which is what we’re here for, right?
Author: Helen Morris
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Ben and Kaz Askins/Flickr