The star of the movie was Julia Roberts, one of the highest paid actresses in Hollywood these days, and probably the most famous.
I asked him about her. What she was like, and what is was like to know her. He laughed and said, “She very, very nice. Has great smile.”
Julia stayed there while they were filming Eat, Pray, Love, at a place close to Ketut’s home.
He got to know her very well, but he wouldn’t tell me all the details. He found her to be very genuine and very friendly.
Ketut Leyir is very much the same. All the people I met in Bali were so sweet. Very genuine, untainted, and simple personalities.
Everyone in Bali knows who Ketut is, but when I got near his home, I was a little confused. Right on his street you see signs for the guy who’s got an auto repair shop, and another guy who has a pharmacy – and they’re both Ketuts.
I found out they only use four names in Bali. How they make that work I have no idea.
The first born is called Wayan. The second born is called Made. The third born is Nyoman. And the fourth born is called Ketut.
Can you guess what the fifth born’s name is? They start all over again with Wayan.
I met a family there that had 12 people… they had three of each name!
So what they do is use nicknames… but there aren’t many nicknames, either. It can be a little strange if you’re not from Bali, but when you meet people there, it becomes a kind of endearing thing, really.
Ketut Leyir gave me a “reading.”
I made an appointment to see Ketut and he was very kind, funny and complimentary when I went to visit with him. He gave me what he calls a “reading.” He analyzes you and tells you what your strengths are and what your future holds and that kind of thing.
He said to me, “You very, very smart. You very strong. Smart and strong, very rare.” Then he said, “You also very good. Smart, strong and good very, very rare!”
I don’t know… maybe he says that to everybody. But I do admit he made me feel good about myself in a very short time.
I asked him how to do the most good with the time I have on this planet. He flashed a big grin. “You’re the smart one. You can figure it out.”
Ketut is a Balinese Hindu. And like others who practice this religion, he has three rules to live by. They’re called the “Tri Hita Karana.” The first rule is to have good relationships with other people. Balians who follow this rule do their best to make sure their actions affect others in a positive way.
The second is to maintain your relationship with nature. Your work and day-to-day activities have to support and strengthen your relationship with the world around you. And the third is your spiritual relationship.
It’s a more patient kind of approach and I like it because it’s a very humble way of looking at things. Instead of saying, “Nature is wrong and we’re going to fix it” like most Western doctors, Ketut’s approach respects nature.
Balians have a sense of trust in your body’s abilities. They tend to trust Mother Nature first.
Ketut is a ninth-generation Balian. His healing knowledge was passed down to him through lontars – leaves inscribed with knowledge of ancient practices and how to use them.
Balians like Ketut often prescribe a special kind of meditative healing exercise called Metta Bhavana. It’s designed to help improve your relationship with others and the world around you.
You can try it for yourself:
- First, seat yourself however you feel comfortable.
- Stay completely silent throughout the exercise.
- Begin to focus around your center.
- Breathe in and out from your center.
- Stay focused only on breathing and the sensations at your center.
- Concentrate on generating unconditional good feelings. Toward yourself and toward others. (It can help to think of a person who loves you unconditionally, think of how that makes you feel, and use that.)
- Try to feel and areas of your body that might resist you, concentrate on soothing them, and move on.
- If you want, you can repeat a traditional meditation phrase or one you choose yourself. Say or think it several times.
Stay with this Balian meditation practice for 15 minutes every day and it will help you overcome stress, have clarity and focus, strengthen your immune system, boost your energy and relieve worries.
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