Here is a story…..
Once upon a time, there was a couple that had traveled very far to go to the land of India to find a great healer. They had heard tales from many travelers of a healer and how powerful he was.
This was of great interest to this couple since the wife was very ill and was not given much time to live. They had heard stories of this healer and thought that even if they were not able to find him they would at least enjoy one last trip together.
The stories were vast of this very old Indian healer that lived in the mountain of Haramukh. It had been said that being in his presence would awaken healing prana and one would heal instantly! Other stories were also told of thousands of travelers finding their way to Haramukh mountain and after spending a few hours with this Sage they not only healed but had many questions answered as to their purpose in life and how they should continue to live to their fullest potential. The stories of miracles and his greatness were worth the passage to India and the search for this great man.
The problem was that this great healer had no address, but this couple didn't think it would be an issue since he was so well known that they would naturally find their way to him.
After many days of travel, the couple finally found themselves on Mount Haramukh and began their search, they were both very excited and encouraged by their arrival to Mount Haramukh.
They spent many days wandering the mountains paths in search of this great man, they looked in all the local villages both common and obscure but could not find him, and they began to become despondent. They assumed that finding him would be easy once they arrived but every time they asked about this great healer people said that they have heard of him as well but they have not ever met him, they thought that the stories must have been old and perhaps embellished over years.
This was very disconcerting to the couple, but they continued their search.
Finally one day they had been up and down the mountain so many times they decided that it would be their last search for this great man assuming that the stories were fables told of a man that perhaps had lived long ago.
Assuming that what they searched for was just too great to wish for and this great man, if he existed was either long gone or living in a palace so grand that it would not befit him to live on such a plain mountain, they felt foolish for even thinking that finding this healer was possible.
Finally, they decided to go home, they were resolved to the wife's illness and they accepted their future.
On the way down the mountain path, they passed a homeless man that they had seen on various occasions and decided to ask this man what he might know of this great healer. This had never occurred to them to ask him since he was obviously unkept and they assumed him deranged to be sitting on the side of a dusty old road with rags for clothes and clearly not able to eat enough food to keep any meat on his bones, but they were weary as well and they thought at the very least they would sit near him to rest and ask what stories he may have heard of this great healer and at the very least they would leave him some of their food since he looked very much in need.
When they saw this older homeless man once again sitting on the dusty road they approached quietly since he looked as if he may be asleep, but as soon as they arrived and sat near him the older homeless man opened his eyes and they were surprised that his eyes were very clear and bright, they assumed they would be bloodshot and crusty from all the dust on him. They smiled and were about to ask him about the healing man from the mountains, but they felt so comfortable they began to tell him their story and why they had come to this mountain in search of this healing sage. The homeless man had tears in his eyes when they had finished telling their story, he looked upon them both and said that he wished he could help them find this healing sage but that he had spent the entirety of his life on this mountain and had never seen or heard of him, that it must be an old folk tale made from people wishing to believe in miracles. He held out his hand to them and for some reason, they both bowed their heads and the homeless man touched them both on their forehead and bid them farewell and safe travels home.
They thanked him for his time, dusted themselves off, and returned to their homeland.
The couple was resolved that their path together would soon come to an end for they never found a cure for the wife's illness. They had an appointment with her doctor and they both showed up expecting to hear the sad news of how much time was remaining until this illness took the wife to a place the husband could not follow.
To their surprise and astonishment, the doctor greeted them both with a great smile and handshake, and had them both sit down since he had some miraculous news! He said that the tests they did upon her return came back and her illness was completely cured! It was a miracle and he and his staff had no idea how this must have happened! The doctor said that the only explanation must be that they found the miracle healer and he wanted to know more about this magical man!
They said that they had no idea what he was talking about because they had never found this healing sage but could not deny the results and understood that a miracle actually did take place!
Then they both remembered the homeless man, and how when they bowed down before him and he had touched them on their foreheads, they suddenly understood that He was indeed the great healing sage that they had searched throughout the mountain to no avail. They felt foolish and arrogant that they could not see this man for who he truly was. The blessing they received was not only for healing the wife but also for opening their eyes and heart.
The humbleness of this great man would stay with them always and would continue to remind them of the true magic that can exist in the world when you begin to look with special eyes and listen with special ears and see the beauty of all beings no matter what their plight appeared to be.
This is a story I have told many times and I am retelling it because of a particular person that I have met many times on my trips to Bali.
The first time anyone generally meets this beautiful soul is on arrival at The Bagus Jati Resort in the Rain Forests of Bali! On arrival, we are first all welcomed and escorted to a beautiful holy area to receive a blessing ceremony. Buddha, the man I am speaking of greets us all with welcoming eyes. The staff then helps dress us in traditional sarongs and sashes. Buddha then brings us to the ceremonial platform where he begins to this very beautiful offering and ritualist blessing for us all.
We were so very moved by his beautiful and soulful words and his expertise in what is clearly a holy endeavor and lifestyle for him that we imagined him living in a temple with thousands of followers and worshipers honoring his very existence and living a life of service to all of humankind.
We as a group, already on the third tier of our “yoga retreat”, were not novices to the way of the Balinese and dove right into the lifestyle and surroundings of our new digs as well as finding the beautiful pool to go hang out at!
It is hard to imagine the expansiveness of this particular resort, it is hidden in the rainforest and to say it is breathtaking would be a misinterpretation of words. The amount of staff alone to care for the surroundings must be quite impressive!
While we sat around the pool enjoying the new surroundings we saw the “pool attendant” working very diligently passing out towels, sweeping fallen leaves, clearing away dishes and glasses, and serving all that came to bask in the Bali sunshine, to our surprise was Buddha! The Holy Man from your earlier ceremony! But how could this be? How could the man that was just adorned in his priestly clothes now be wearing black slacks and a white polo shirt as he cleaned up after everyone and took orders for Bingtang’s and Pina Coladas?!
At first, emotions arose of being uncomfortable for him and his lowly position, as he smiled at us and swept the patio grounds. While he smiled and greeted us he never acknowledged that he had just seen us all in the Royal Grounds on Holy Land and Blessed each and every one of us, he only smiled and asked if he could get anything for us, set up our towels and place the cushions on the chaise lounges for our comfort. No one mentioned it, no one knew what to say.
Later that night when we went to teach our evening yoga class Buddha was there as well, he had set up the room and organized all the yoga mats and blocks, props opened all the doors, and placed flowers around! He place individual flowers above everyone's mats as well as lit all the candles and created a beautiful atmosphere for all of us to enjoy, then he quietly left the space and went about his business. When we were through with our class he was waiting for us outside of the yoga shala asking if we needed a car to drive us up to dinner (this might sound funny but it is actually very steep and very far from where we were, so we always appreciated a lift in a golf cart!) He would always bow to us and thank us for our presence and basically for our existence. We still hadn't mentioned our own awkwardness to each other.
The next morning just before our early morning meditation I was walking down to the yoga shala, and once again I found Buddha there. “Good Morning Miss Berta” he would greet me with his bowed head and shining eyes. “Good Morning Buddha”, I would mention how beautiful all things were there and how I appreciated the flowers and the care to the room he gave, he only smiled and thanked me and bowed and left.
That morning I mentioned to the group how humbled I was by his presence, how moved I was by how purely he lived his life. Everyone remarked on how truly surprised and equally humbled they were as well to see the balance in Buddha's life and how he truly served God on all levels. We were once again reminded of our arrogance and perhaps our simple naiveté as to how to live a humbler life of service to God and humanity.
Buddha continued to be a presence in our day-to-day stay here at Jati and he continued to move us with his kind gestures and generosity.
A few days ago, I had forgotten to let Buddha know that we were not meeting for yoga at 5:30 but would be there at 7 instead! I know how terribly hard he works on clearing all the flowers he placed for us the day before and how he prepares the space by sweeping and opening the doors and lighting all the candles. I felt embarrassed as I sat at dinner and one of the waitresses asked me if we were going to be going down to the yoga shala that evening. I looked at my watch and realized it was 6:15! I envisioned Buddha waiting for us for the last hour while we gluttonously ate our dinner. I informed the waitress that yes, we would indeed be there at 7, knowing that Buddha would wait there until we arrived, I felt ashamed of myself and how selfish my actions had been.
When we arrived at the Yoga Shala, we were all so very surprised at what we were seeing. Buddha, finding himself with some extra time on his hands decided to take his bag of flowers and create a sign on the floor for us, it read RAJAYOGINI with an array of the most beautiful flowers he could find. Instead of just waiting for us, brooding as many of us may have done for the waste of our time and the gluttonous Americans, he decided instead to create something so that we would come upon it and smile, which we did.
There is so much more I can say about this priestly being, this Bhraman but I will allow the photos of him to say the rest.
He came and greeted us, blessed us, and continued to do so with such care and such love that it once again moved us all to tears.
I know that there are no words to express how these Balinese have moved us and changed our lives forever, the only thing that I know is that I always leave Bali more humble and more committed to making a difference in as many ways as possible, and to serve humanity and God in the smallness and largeness of what we can bring to the universe, without fanfare and accolades, to know that to sweep and clean and place flowers around and serve all beings is equal if not greater to blessing them.
We will forever be blessed with this beautiful Bhraman, this beautiful man, this Buddha.
Life is beautiful, all is beautiful, That's that!
“Wendy Lima, Bali 2022”
Hari Om Tat Sat