A collection of short stories, essays, blog-posts and photographs from Ubud, Bali.

The Ubud Handbook « The Land of Self-Healing and Snake Oil

A night scene where leyak, or sorcerers, perform a ritual dance attended by the Queen of the Witches

'The Dance Of The Witches' by I Ketut Budiana of Padangtegal, Ubud, Bali.
Courtesy of the ARMA Foundation.
Photograph by Ubud High.

MAN-BUNS, CAMEL-TOES, hipster beards and Buddha tattoos flood the downtown Ubud scene. Not enlightened yet? Then you're late to the Conscious Party.

Shake out those Kundalini Awakenings with some HoopYogini™ and Bhakti Boogie® at the Yoga Barn. Celebrate The Divine Feminine with a splash of Shakti Dance. Puff up your lungs in a Sacred Breathwork Immersion Workshop, insert a Jade Egg for luck at The Womb Temple and polish it off with some tantalising Manifesting And Abundance.

You know you're worth it.

Fancy a bit of intense evening groupwork? Sensual/Sexual Playday (Conscious Pleasure With Consent) is definitely your bag, run by a nice foreign gentleman with...

'... 18 years of experience in spirituality, shamanism, energy medicine, relationship coaching and sacred sexual bodywork. Your Keeper of The Sacred Space walks the world sharing his passion and supporting the resurgence of this sacred and ancient temple art upon the planet through workshops, retreats and sexual embodiment sessions.' *
* ($25 for four hours).

Oh, an orgy! I'm there! Oh no. My period ('Moon Blood') just came. Maybe I'll steer clear for a few days. But... wait! Perfect timing for a Red Moon Wavespell Session!

'We begin the light reprieve of the Monkey Wavespell after the intensity of the Serpent and Mirror Wavespells...'

I see. Let me just wash out my Moon Cup. Go on?

'The realization of pure consciousness comes with a willingness to explore all that had been throughout the cycles of evolution, stretching back beyond the presently known, with openness to awakening consciousness...

Oh, I get it now. And how exactly does that work?

'Pure consciousness flows into manifestation through the capacity to kinnect clearly with all beings... Many worlds are bridged in the flow of pure kin-nection, perfecting in the reflection of truth, the pure brilliance of all...'

I'm with you. And then?

'You will be gifted with MAGNETIC Attraction, LUNAR Stabilization, ELECTRIC Activation, SELF-EXISTING Definition with OVERTONE-Empowering, RHYTHMIC-Balancing, RESONANT-Inspiring, GALACTIC-Integrating, SOLAR-Realizing, PLANETARY-Manifesting, SPECTRAL-Releasing, CRYSTAL Co-operating COSMIC Transcendance.'

Got it! On second thoughts, I'm still a bit hurt from my previous incarnations. I think I need to go on a retreat first and Heal And Reveal The Woman Within.

'Deep in the rainforest jungle paradise of Ubud, Bali...'

That would be just off the high street, right?

'... you will work with the modalities of Awakened Human Dynamics and Metaphysical Anatomy. When you shift your Ancestral Patterns – at the cellular level, and beyond that at the level of your DNA – you will find yourself on a POWERFUL and FEMININE path to creating the life of your greatest dreams. What makes this healing workshop so unique is that the changes and transformation that take place are so deep and profound that you can never be the same again!'

Yeah, when I'm paying $2,000 for five days and following it up with a $300-an-hour Skype call. I'd call that pretty life-changing.

You know, I think I'll just be my own Guru. I put together a manifesto after breakfast this morning. What do you think?

'WHO ARE WE?

Where on the great vision quest will we be recreated? We must beckon ourselves and beckon others. The quantum shift of being is now happening worldwide. We must learn how to lead unlimited lives in the face of discontinuity. Eons from now, we seekers will self-actualize like never before as we are aligned by the quantum shift.

We are being called to explore the stratosphere itself as an interface between wisdom and rebirth. Soon there will be an evolving of karma the likes of which the nexus has never seen.' *

* ($4,000 per day.)

Love And Blessings™ to all.

What do you reckon? The only problem is that a New Age Bullshit Generator on the internet made this up. I wonder if I can copyright it? I'm gonna to talk to my lawyer.

Now, just in case you think I'm making all this up, take a gander at this recent Ubud Facebook advert. I reckon even the bullshit generator would blow a motherboard trying to invent this space soup.

'Dear Beloveds,

We come through in this hour from the unified field of consciousness that is the zero point. We come, sent forth on wings of great, great love to deliver a message to those who are gifted with the empathic capabilities to receive these words as activation codes, awakening the pineal center, the pituitary gland, and the higher heart consciousness.

Beloveds, take comfort that this has never been about you and your ego's desire for a relationship. Twin flames are finely tuned servants of the master plan and we affirm to you tonight with perspicacious knowing that indeed this intention for joy-filled twin-flame unions was decreed by God aeons ago, and you all agreed to be instruments to activate and actualize this divine plan.

The cost of this profoundly deep-soul infusion is $300.'

Thanks anyway, but I think I'll just go for an interstellar, cosmic nap instead.

Namaste, Conscious Ones®.

© 2020 John Storey.


The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

Other Tales of Tourism & Self-Enrichment from The Ubud Handbook

Eat, Pray, Self-Love

I'M SITTING IN Ubud's Black Beach Italian restaurant on Jalan Hanuman waiting for my spaghetti bolognese. A tattooed Australian woman in her thirties – all swinging-tits-in-the-salad and no bra – picks the table in front of me. Her obedient female friend, all frumpy and over-forty and painfully low on self-esteem, takes the opposite chair.

The Tattooed Lady kicks off with a beer...

[ ... » Read on... » ]


From Ubud With Love

I'M STAYING AT A CUTE, family-run bed-and-breakfast – a homestay – on Ubud's trendy Jalan Goutama. A young member of the homestay's family tours her compound, blessing it with incense and rice and jepun-flower offerings in little hand-made palm-leaf boxes.

All is well in Bali's spiritual capital...

[ ... » Read on... » ]


© 2020 John Storey.

The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

The Last Word

Portrait of the Day

Portraits from Bali by Ubud High

© 2020 Ubud High.


The Ubud Handbook by John Storey

© 2020 John Storey. All rights reserved.


The Ubud Handbook

The Ubud Handbook

THE UBUD HANDBOOK ~ Your guide to living in Ubud and Bali in a nutshell.

Chapters & Extracts

The Ubud Handbook will be published as and when the moon sees fit.

Until then, please feel free to enjoy 12 of the 42 chapters. Have fun, and keep reading.


Culture Bites

Cinema Paradiso


Religion Matters

An American Calonarang

The Tale of Ganesha the Globetrotter (Excerpt)


Getting Around

It's Silly Season Again

The Other Side of the Coin

Surviving Bali on a 'Bike


Personal Stories

Diary of a Market Girl


Food Talk

The King of Stink


Tourism & Self-Enrichment

Eat, Pray, Self-Love

The Land of Self-Healing and Snake Oil

From Ubud With Love


Holidays from the Jungle

The Heads of Trunyan

A Line in the Sand (Excerpt)


The Ubud Handbook

THE UBUD HANDBOOK ~ Your guide to living in Ubud and Bali in a nutshell.

THE UBUD HANDBOOK ~ Your guide to living in Ubud and Bali in a nutshell

And finally, the weather

Today's forecast for Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Check here for your 7-day weather forecast for Ubud and Bali.