Yesterday I made a magical trip down and deep into the Monkey Forrest of Ubud.
I had memories of and the theme tune for Monkey Magic in my head
I was also feeling as though I were a character in the movie Avatar, surrounded by the lushness and the trees with long red hanging vines.
Here are some photos of the lush jungle and the beautiful trees.
Monkey Forrest Trees
Similar to the Tree of Life in the beautiful movie Avatar
Forrest-bathing is something I love doing- just moving very slowly through a dense forrest smelling, listening and touching the plants to re-connect with nature and Mother Earth- %100 nourishing and grounding. In this case I was Jungle-bathing in deep humidity to the sounds of waterfalls and monkeys everywhere- some of the monkeys were such posers literally lounging about in a very human way or posing on top of people’s heads. I didn’t shoot photos of the poser monkeys but I did do some posing of my own together with one of my neighbours a Norwegian blogger, traveller and fellow fiery redhead Ida Kristine Høgbakk who is living a dream on a tour around the world with her husband and writing about it in Norwegian Ida’s (Norwegian) Blog
I told her about the musical and uber creative Norwegian HK119 aka Heidi Kilpelainen (who coincidentally just saw a photo of me posing in the jungle and asked if I could send some of the vines over for a bespoke piece of magical jewellery she is going to make for me). Heidi is a brilliant London-based creative making music, videos, performance art, sculptures, jewellery and clothes. I had a great time catching up with her on my radio show. You can listen to that episode HK119 on K2K Radio “Motivational Monday’s” and check out her website here: HK119
Here’s a photo of Ida & I in the jungle:
And some monkeys …
(I felt like this statue could have been a prop from a James Bond film with cctv cameras in the eyeballs)
It was a beautiful walking meditation through the jungle and we went to join a guided meditation with Andrea, Detox Director at The Yoga Barn There I was reminded of how the mind has to be trained like a puppy during meditation all it wants to do is run off into stories, dramas or fantasies. Bringing awareness to this energy-wasting and distracting habit of being hooked on intellectual stories (which the Buddhist call a “monkey mind”) is the key to rising above or anhillating thoughts. It reminds me of something I studied called Transactional Analysis which is a logical method for conflict resolution that focuses on “The Drama Triangle” and how all drama whether intellectual or in relationships/conflict is rooted in one of three roles “Persecutor- I am right and you are wrong” “Victim-Poor me” “Rescuer- After everything I have done!” Learning about “The Drama Triangle” helped me to sort through and decipher between the useful and the useless thoughts.
As I often say to myself and others: “I am not my thoughts” and that is the goal to see thoughts as mere constructs, stories, projections, dramas. Then, to move above and beyond the thoughts into a state of empty bliss. One of my teachers/mentors David Sye (Founder of Yogabeats) would say “Just watch your thoughts floating by like cars on a busy highway”.
After the bursting inspiration of the forrest and the reminder of the beauty and romance in Avatar…it took some time for me to rise above my “Monkey Mind Busy Brain” full of thoughts, projections and fantasies yesterday. I dealt with that by introducing a different mantra to cancel out or assist me in rising above each re-occuring story I’ve got playing out in my imagination at that moment.
So after meditation, I did a Yin yoga class which was lovely and super chilledout. I decided though that I’ve had enough with all the floating and chilling of Yin yoga and meditation for a bit and now want to start doing some power yoga and this weekend I would like to get myself down to the beach and onto a surfboard. It’s funny here how the vibes and the people are so different from the jungle to the beach
For an evening activity and wonderful treat, I attended a mystical music and sound healing concert featuring two globally renowned and respected founders of Bali Sound Healer’s Collective that I had met a few years ago when I last came to Bali. Here is a photo of the lovely teacher, healer and musician Punnu Wasu
Here’s a photo of healer and musician Shervin Boloorian
And here’s a photo of the whole ensemble last night who played a powerful 60 minute uninterrupted set of songs and sounds designed to rebalance and open and heal.
It’s very unsusual t experience a concert lying down with your eyes closed and your head close to the instruments so you can really feel the music and energy moving around and through you. I love the sound healing and look forward to receiving more of it and to filming a documentary and interviews with the collective whilst I am out here. “SOUND HEALING” To be continued…