Rest in Peace Ketut Liyer 1916-2016

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When I first visited Bali 17 years ago, I was told there was a very special medicine man, Ketut Liyer, who lived in Ubud. I didn’t get a chance to meet him then. Years later, I read the book, Eat Pray Love and he was was one of the significant characters Elizabeth Gilbert met on her journey. I remember the way I felt when I read the book and saw the movie. I recall feeling like I understood the depth and connection she experienced meeting him as well as the connection she had with Ubud. I related and always knew I would return.

We’d been traveling around the world for almost 9 months before we arrived back there. In Bali. One of my most favorite places on earth. When I found out Ketut was right around the corner from us, I could hardly wait to meet him. I felt his presence in the village.

Ubud is a sanctuary, filled with amazing artists, culture, yoga, magnificent nature, rice paddies, and a bohemian, earthy, spiritually awakening atmosphere which I cannot get enough of.

I felt deep joy from the the moment we entered the home of Ketut. As I walked around the corner, I saw him and felt connected immediately. When I sat down , I was so happy to see his toothless grin and the sparkle in his eyes. I experienced the wisdom of a 100 year old man sitting before me just by looking at him. I felt every bit of his healing energy, before a word was even said. He was so charming and funny and had me laughing so hard, I was crying. This meeting was a destined component on my path. This day, exactly as it was, couldn’t have been more special.

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He read my palm and analyzed my soul. Deeply. He brought to light much for me to contemplate about this life, my place in it and things to come. He made me laugh the kind of belly laugh that makes one truly understand what joy is.

I will always remember this day. I will continue walking on this path with my heart open and the willingness to recognize and embrace life’s teachers, lessons and answers along the way. I will continue questioning, observing, learning, giving and growing with all of the awareness and love in my heart.

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In all of my travels around the world, I find myself very interested in the citizens of each country and their culture. I like to see how they live, what they value, what they stand for and how they treat others. There are two places in this world so far, in which I have met the kindest, warmest and most generous human beings. The first is, Ireland. The second, is Bali.

Indonesia is split religiously between Hinduism, Muslim and Christianity. Bali is predominantly Hindu. I am not a religious person although I consider myself deeply spiritual. I have never witnessed such a peaceful religion. The energy here and everywhere we go is gentle and kind.

Many Balinese people prepare offerings and pray three times a day asking for good blessings. They strongly believe in Karma and live their lives, speak their words and treat others with that in mind. They truly think about what they are doing or saying before they take action. They want to ensure that these align with their intention, purpose and good will for others.

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As a citizen of the United States of America and a witness to all of the violent, senseless and evil crime that takes place in this world, I see light. I see that we each play a role and have the power to make a difference. Not all people of any race, religion, or country are good. Not all people are bad. We are all different and responsible for our own actions and what we choose to give and take from this world.

That said, I do believe it’s possible for ONE person to evoke Hate and it is just as possible for one person to induce LOVE.

I thank you, Bali, for shining brightly through the darkness. I thank you, for choosing Love and for generously sharing it. I promise to act with the same kindness and to offer whatever I can to you and all people.

Ubud is still my favorite place in Bali. It remains tranquil and filled with so much warmth and kindness. It is in this peace-loving village that I had the pleasure and honor of spending time with Ketut, the Medicine Man.

Lastly, I’d love to share this deeply poignant excerpt from Eat Pray Love. I truly believe in and agree with this sentiment:

I’ve come to believe in something I call the Physics of the Quest. The rule of quest physics goes something like this…

If you’re brave enough to leave everything behind familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house, to bitter, old resentments

And set out on a truth-seeking journey, externally or internally

And if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue

And if you accept everyone along the way as a teacher

And if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then…

The truth will not be withheld from you.

I couldn’t have said this better myself. The truth is being revealed each day and shall continue…

May you rest in peace, dear Ketut. You made a difference in my life during the short period of time we spent together. Thank you.

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