I remember when I visited Ketut Liyer, Elizabeth Gilbert’s medicine Man that she talked about in her book Eat, Pray, Love in 2015. You can imagine how excited I was after all of the profound experiences she shared on her journey to find love after her terrible divorce. She had weekly visits with Ketut and he mentored and guided her to self realization of self love and care of her soul.
When I get a notion about something I want to do in my head, I will go to the necesary steps to make it happen. In this case, we were going to Bali and I thought it would be so much fun to see Elizabeth’s medicine that she so much revered in her writing and in the movie. We had to schedule an appointment before we went because he had such a renowned reputation and I wanted to be assured I could get a spot. When I called, I got someone that was not very professional on the phone but the hotel in Ubud I was staying in, confirmed it was indeed the right place.
I couldn’t wait and of course my husband thought I was crazy but what else is new. He is very pragmatic and considers this kind of thing witch craft of sorts but he’s been with me long enough to know not to ask questions, because at the end of the day, I will end up doing what it is I want anyway. His mantra is why waste my breath. He is also very patient and always willing to go along with whatever joy ride I take him on. I wasn’t looking for any kind of enlightenment in the least as my life was a waking meditation pretty much at the time, (well as of the last 10 years I’d say); but it was more the fun of meeting someone with such wisdom after reading so much about him.
We arrived after getting very lost in all of the unmarked streets in Bali and navigating the motorcycles with 2-4 people riding on one, with animals, furniture, plants etc which is in and of itself a challenge. It was mind boggling to us and I hear it is nothing compared to India.
When we got there we were greeted by an old woman who turned out to be his wife who told us to wait and he would be coming out soon. It appeared we were the only people there so there weren’t the lines I expected which was curious to me after all of the hype. It was 20.00 U.S. dollars for the 30 min visit which I happily paid.
A younger gentleman came out as well and took me to meet Ketut and guided my husband to sit in a chair below me, while I had my fortune told and he could read his book. Then his wife came out to meet me and gave me a big hug and said hello as well.
Finally, the moment I had waited for was here and there in front of me stood Ketut Liyer, The Medicine Man. He greeted me with a handshake and the biggest grin you have ever seen with only a few teeth in his head, was hunched over, had a difficult time walking and was about 5 foot tall if that. He smiled ear to ear and then we sat down on the floor of his porch to talk. He like most all of the Balinese people we met had the warmest heart.
I didn’t have any burning questions. I suppose I just wanted to know what was so special about Elizabeth’s medicine man and what knowledge he had to impart and pass on to me. He sat and asked my name many times and said over and over “You are very beautiful” and he would touch my face and then hold my hands.
“What is your name”? Of course I would tell him and he would ask again and say “You are very beautiful and wise and wealthy”. Honestly, I can’t remember much more of what he said other than “you will live long and have a very good life”. And then he would start over saying “You are very beautiful, what is your name”? He repeated over and over again. I’m not sure I even had a question except to wonder if maybe I had met the wrong medicine man. He was the sweetest man in the world, however, this of course was not what I had envisioned. When I left he gave me a beautiful blessing with the Bali bell and a very big hug and smile and again blessed me with his same words. Of course my next mission then became finding a Bali bell, a story for another time.
As we were leaving, we walked in the room of their office home and were once again greeted by the young gentleman and I said “he is very sweet and very old”. He said “yes, he is my father and I am so sorry” but he has dementia”. I said “yes, I see that, but no apologies are needed”. He apologized profusely again and said “we tell him he can’t meet the people but he refuses and wants to see them as often as they come”. “Of course”, I said. I assured him it was all worth it and that I love old people, which is true and besides I said “according to your father, I am very beautiful, I am wise and I am wealthy” and that is worth every cent. That mantra sticks in my head when I think of Ketut Liyer the medicine man, and the pleasure is all mine.
Sadly, and luckily for me he died in 2016 so I feel very privalaged to have met him. The baton has been passed on to his son who is also a medicine man and he will happily see you and show you around the family compound and give you a tour. All of the pictures on the office wall are displayed of Ketut Liyer with Elizabeth Gilbert front and center as well as others. Let me know if you see my picture if you go. I have looked everywhere for those pictures to mark a memory in time in 2015 but so far no luck. The pictures below are not him or his wife or compound but representational of the beautiful people we met and a land we love.
Copyright © Cindy Georgakas
All Rights Reserved
Elizabeth’s book was magical and took off like lightening which only happens once in a blue moon and editors can’t even explain how it happened. Others continue to to try to copy the name in some way or an other but there is some kind of unexplained fairy dust that blessed this book that had a protective aura around it. I believe it was a story that we all needed to hear and the messages she was receiving were being channeled through her as she listened to her inner wisdom and followed her intuition.
“Eat Pray Love” sold more than 12 million copies worldwide and became so popular that Time Magazine named Gilbert one of the 100 most influential people in the world. It was a New York Times best seller. Four years later, her book was turned into a film, starring Julia Roberts as Gilbert.Sep 23, 2015The writer has easily made $10 million in royalties from the book, and according to one source with knowledge of the deal, she earned another $1 million for the film rights.Aug 16, 2010
The movie grossed 204,594,016 world wide. The trailor gives you a good glimmer into both the movie and the book.
Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) thought she had everything she wanted in life: a home, a husband and a successful career. Now newly divorced and facing a turning point, she finds that she is confused about what is important to her. Daring to step out of her comfort zone, Liz embarks on a quest of self-discovery that takes her to Italy, India and Bali. Release Date: August 13, 2010
I have read one of her books Big Magic but had no idea about her life story, passion and career as a journalist and writer. She has written 10 books and is and excellent speaker appearing on Oprah, Ted Talks etc. She is a master speaker sharing from her heart and has many wonderful YouTube talks about writing, her philosophy and it is well worth a visit. Her many life experiences and shared wisdom in writing and speaking is very inspiring. She has a contagious spirt that is motivating, colorful and inspires all of us to honor our process and live in joy while we follow our bliss.
Thanks so much for reading as always, liking (if you do of course), commenting and or sharing.
Have a blessed day and follow your heart wherever it might take you today.