The Writing Retreat of Your Dreams Goes to Bali The Writing Retreat of Your Dreams Goes to Bali
The Writing Retreat of Your Dreams Goes to Bali bali healers The Writing Retreat of Your Dreams Goes to Bali bali healers
Laos / Vietnam


Yoga for Writers: Bali Immersion


This trip offers an in-depth excursion into the culture of Bali through the eyes of the Balinese, for those who wish to observe, appreciate, and experience traditional healing methods, at the same time enhancing their own health with traditional massage and daily yoga.
There has been a strong, dynamic and extended movement in western culture to explore traditional medicine from many ancient cultures which received momentum in the early 1970’s. The study of Asian medicine has been in the forefront of this movement, particularly Chinese acupuncture, herbal medicine and the practice of Feng Shui. This trip is conceived as an introduction to the philosophy and use of traditional medicine in Bali---why Balinese use it, its causes--both internal and external, material and spiritual.
In Southeast Asia local people have long held their traditional healers (called Balian or Dukun in Bali) in high regard. With the advent of western medicine, healers have not been discarded, but seen as adjunct and complementary to what western medicine offers. Besides visiting a western-style doctor when ill, the Balinese consult a Balian, a traditional healer. These men and women work in different ways: some mix herbal remedies; some create drawings of magical inscriptions and symbols to protect the wearer; and some, while in trance, communicate messages from the Bali Hindu deities that dictate the creation of certain offerings and ceremonies. Paramount to the work is the study of the actual practitioners: who they are, the types and varieties, what they do, why they do it, who they work with, etiquette and behavior. Tantamount to understanding Balinese medicine is to understand the magic of the Left versus the Right. Love potions, black magic and their relationship to illness.
We will also explore the history of traditional medicine (Usada), the source of information, and where people learn about it. Medicinal plants & herbal medicines play an important, daily role in the indigenous population and we will spend time investigating the forms and applications of these. Every Balinese knows how to make the simplest medicines for common colds, flu, headaches and wounds. Made from basic ingredients found on the island, these remedies have been time-proven over the centuries to be effective in any country in the world. Most Balinese grow their own herbs, but they can also be found in the local markets. We will go on a herb walk, learn about mixing herbal medicines, and observe the use of these medicines during visits to Balinese healers. We will also learn the art of making a temple offering.
Purification ceremonies are an important part of Bali Hindu religious cycles. Usually held during times of stress, plague, transgression, or as part of the rites of passage, these ceremonies many times involve sacred masks, and most are held within the villages temples. Each member of our group will experience a purification ceremony.
Our personal health is of great importance, and that’s why in each location we visit, we include not only yoga classes, but some physical acitivity, taking advantage of what each area has to offer. We move three times, spending 4 nights each by the beach, in the cultural center, and in the mountains so you experience the contrasts that Bali has to offer.

bali sacred

“The connection to my own human nature and Bali spirits through ceremony, water shrines and purifications guided by Sureya's presence has been implanted in my blood. The healer was in on the deal too!!! I cried with aliveness and joy being purified and blessed bathing with water spouts and all the families in such an ancient rich place. Anka and I just looked at each other and cried...and cried again in total bliss and connectedness.
The incredible meals Surya arranged at Munduk for the group and the guide he hired again with the walking sticks - helping everyone get to the falls ....fantastic snorkeling- safely off the both have magic you impart into your work infusing a group with sensitive confidences.”
- Carol Engberg, Palo Alto CA USA

“I wanted to say Thank you, for everything.
It was a beautiful, gorgeous, incredible trip. It was an opening for me. Maybe a “coming home” in a way to a place I’ve never been. I was in the ocean today, offering my last and most beautiful offering to Vishnu. I had such peace, a calm like I have not known for a very long while, a ‘perspective’ moment- the vastness of the sea, the utility of the life around me, the comparative minuteness of my own person, in this ocean, in this world, in this life. I thank you, and honor you for your part in that, sharing your should, wisdom, family, and humor with us all.”
- Marie Hale, CO USA

"The workshop was a rather overwhelming experience (in a good way!) and it changed my life. Subsequent practitioners I have seen here described my peculiar condition in the same way...almost the same words as Surya''s translation of what the healers were describing/diagnosing me in Bali. I have learnt so much about myself, a much deeper connection to 'Me" and therefore more confidence to be who I am in the world. Its a challenging but highly creative path. “
- Patrick S., Byron Bay Australia

“The course you presented was a very good introduction to Bali culture and healing traditions of Bali. My sisters and I know that there is more to learn and 1 week is not enough. I like the general informality of the learning process further made interesting by your enthusiasm for Bali culture, your inherent spirituality, and the fact that you yourself are an artist of several kinds. Thank you too for so many personal touches throughout the course. We had a wonderful time.”
- Agnes G. , Lower Hutt, New Zealand

““Thank you for sharing your culture...and for the unusual learning experiences.
I came back to the Philippines with a clear mind and a light heart.
I no longer try to get in the middle of everything and zoom in for an immediate solution. It's a circle of balance which always comes to the forefront. We are slowly pushing through with the hospital's alternative therapy center. It will take a lot of patience and determination but... hopefully... it will become...
May you be able to share with more people the essence of Bali.”
- Z. R. Cagape, M.D., Philippines

““I am so glad that we were blessed with you as our guide and translator.
Thank you so very much, this was truly a special day for us.
I send you much light and many blessings. May your days be full of wonderful moments.”
- S. Bush, Abu Dhabi / UAE

“I would like to thank you for the course that I just did in Bali. It was a unique experience one that I am grateful for and still processing. I met some lovely people on it and learnt an untold amount of information that will always sit well with me. It was great to see the healers , especially the trance medium as I am a medium myself and work on a similar vibrations. I had a fantastic time.
- Kathy Perkins, Perth Australia

““Thank you for this wonderful course that you have both put together
I went to Bali with very heavy energy because of what is happening in my life at the moment and had noticed from the first day and the purification ceremony that this energy began to lift and was so light when I finished the course
I also enjoyed sharing the moments with the healers and insight I to how they do their healing and how trusting they were with their connections
I loved the herbs and concoctions that you show us and am introducing them into my life once I source them here in Australia
Surya you completed the course with your humbleness, knowledge and wonderful energy and I have taken in all that you shared with us and it has changed many things for me on various levels and would not hesitate to recommend this to my friends and associates.”
- Beverley Bryant, Capel Australia

Itinerary: June 19-30, 2015

Day 1 Fri. June 19 : Candi Dasa B Arrive Bali and transfer to east Bali and our beachfront bungalows overlooking the azure spell of the Indian Ocean at an intimate beachside resort. Check into hotel and unpack before first meeting and dinner together, where we find out who you are and why you are here.

Day 2 Sat. June 20: Candi Dasa BD Early morning yoga followed by breakfast. Afterward, we will we will venture by minibus to our waiting boat and a morning snorkeling excursion to a nearby coral reef preserve with hundreds of tropical fish—a wonderful way to “arrive” fully in Bali. Over lunch back at the hotel, we will have our first orientation session focusing on basic Indonesian manners and customs, including a demonstration of how to wrap a traditional sarong. After a short break, Made Surya gives background on Bali Hinduism and its relationship to traditional healing. Late afternoon we will walk together to the center of the village to tour Bali's only Gandhian Ashram, followed by an exquisite many-course feast served outdoors, overlooking the Indian Ocean, prepared by ashram members.

Day 3 Sun. June 21: Candi Dasa B Early morning yoga. There will be second orientation/language session focusing on the Community organization (Banjar) and the caste system. We embark on an excursion overland (trek) where your guide points out medicinal herbs growing wild in nature. Later afternoon a talk on the Balian, traditional healers in Bali and their different catagories. In the evening, an ethnographic film will be offered to those who want to delve more deeply into the culture of the Balinese.

Day 4 Mon. June 22: Candi Dasa B Early morning yoga followed by breakfast and a final language class. Then we travel to nearby Tenganan aboriginal village, and meet a local healer with an opportunity for a “check-up.” Back to Candi Dasa for lunch. Late afternoon seminar on the Four Spiritual Siblings, the mystical elements that accompany us throughout our lives and their role in healing. Dinner on your own.

Day 5 Tues. June 23: Travel Day to Ubud B Early morning yoga. After breakfast, we’ll depart for Ubud After settling in at our new hotel, we’ll have a short orientation to all that Ubud has to offer. Affer lunch we depart for small village near Mengwi for visit with Healer specializing in bones, joints and muscles. Dinner will be on your own or in small groups.

Day 6 Wed. June 24 Ubud B Early morning excursion for a purification ritual at Tampaksiring village in a natural spring said to have healing properties. Then visit near-by Gunung Kawi temple, and have lunch overlooking terraced rice fields. At 4 PM, a restorative yoga class. Afterwards, Made Surya discusses he magic of the Left versus the Right: love potions, black magic and their relationship to illness.

Day 7 Thur. June 25: Ubud BL Early Yoga class before breakfast. Then we proceed south for a very special visit to the traditional Balinese healer in his family compound with an opportunity for a “check-up.” Return to Ubud for lunch, and talk with Made Surya on the concept of Cakra’s and western misconceptions of Tantra. He will also review the treatments you experienced that morning, and illustrate how the healer calls his spirit.

Day 8 Fri. June 26: Ubud B After early yoga and breakfast, an excursion to south Bali for a meeting with a guest speaker from the Udayana University Medical Dept. on subject comparison of traditional healing with western medicine. Then after lunch, a visit to a healer, a woman who speciality is trance channeling.

Day 9 Sat. June 27: Travel Day to Munduk BD After early yoga, we’ll have our final breakfast in Ubud and then depart for an island tour of volcano country and north Bali. We’ll wind our way through stunning landscapes and Bali’s fruit and vegetable basket. Our first stop will be the State temple of Mengwi, and then stop at Pura Ulun Danu, Bali's most beautiful temple, floating on a small island in a volcanic lake. We will arrive in Munduk mountain village and check into our beautiful eco-friendly hotel, perched on rice fields. After we settle in, healing massages beging with a gifted local body worker, then we’ll enjoy the first of our family-style delicious group dinners together, followed by an optional ethnographic film: The Three Worlds of Bali.

Day 10 Sun. June 28: Munduk BD After early morning yoga, and breakfast, we’ll go on a trek through the neighboring countryside: small villages, rice fields, coffee and clove plantations, culminating at the magical Growing Stone. After lunch, we’ll have an offering making workshop, and learn the meaning and symbolism concerning the ingredients and colors. Evening meal together.

Day 11 Mon. June 29: Munduk BD After yoga, breakfast, and then we examine the medicinal plants growing in the hotel’s garden, and have a class in making traditional medicine. Massages continue. Evening dinner together.

Day 12 Tues. June 30: Munduk BD Morning Yoga class. After breakfast, we will hike to one of Bali's most breathtaking waterfalls through cocoa, vanilla, and banana plantations. If you’re brave, you can climb underneath. Late afternoon, healthy eating cooking class, and then we consume our creations for final dinner.

Day 13 Wed. July 1: Workshop concludes.

Included in this trip:
  • Four nights beachfront hotel in Candi Dasa
  • Four nights in Penestanan Ubud, Bali’s “Cultural Center.”
  • Four nights Munduk Mountain Village.
  • Yoga classes ever day.
  • Breakfast each morning, plus one dinner in Candi Dasa and four dinners in Munduk.
  • Snorkeling expedition in East Bali
  • An herb walk.
  • Visits with 4 traditional healers, and one healing massage treatment.
  • Purification ceremony at a healing spring
  • Visit with a member of the University medical faculty.
  • Two nature treks in Munduk.
  • A workshop in creating herbal medicine.
  • A cooking class
  • Visits to 4 important temples: Tirta Empul, Gunung Kawi, Mengwi, Pura Ulun Danu
  • Seminars in basic Indonesian, manners and customs, Bali-Hinduism, community and Caste systems, traditional healers, the four spiritual siblings, black magic, tantra, Cakras, mudras, western medicine vs. traditional.

Not Included:
Most meals, snorkeling equiptment, airport transfers, dontations to healers for those who want treatments.

Cost: $1941.00 per person
based on two persons sharing a room with bathroom.
Single supplement available. Minimum 6, maximum 12 participants.

Roommates: Single people may sign up for accommodations desired on a shared basis; roommates can be chosen from other tour members. If a roommate is unavailable, the participant will be notified of the adjusted price for a single supplement: $325.00 extra.

Deposit: A deposit of $500.00 per person is due at the time of booking. Final payment is due 45 days prior to departure. Deposit, minus a $75.00 cancellation fee, is refundable until 45 days prior to departure. No refunds will be made after departure.


Call toll free 888-476-0543 or email for further information.
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