You have to know someone. It’s all by word of mouth. You hear about it, you know someone, and you drive up into the countryside, past the stone cutting shops, all the grey faced finished idols cued up on the earthen sidewalk like sullen beggars, awaiting devotees, almost to Ubud when you turn to the left and follow the long road between rice fields until finally you arrive in the Reiki Master’s village.
There you find a little community of Java style huts, open to the air all the way through, wooden racks for beds, a porch and chairs, all sweltering under the sluggish sun. The air is incense, everything breathes--the foliage, the earth, the grass, the moss, the stones, the very wood of which the huts have been made.
An old man sits on the porch, motionless, like a growth, a complimentary form of dilapidation. Younger men and women wait languidly on benches and chairs, waiting for their turn to be healed. The Reiki Master, when either he or the powers are ready, will examine the Chakras of each person--head, throat, chest, pelvis, sex organs, limbs, back and shoulders, and divine by the use of a little copper L-shaped rod which Chakra is healthy and which is not. The Master makes the diagnosis, and then sends his patient to the healers, the worker ants, within the humid bowel of the hut.
The Reiki Master says that I am fine in the head, the chest, the limbs; more than fine in the sex organs. This suits me more than fine too. I can have a baby he says. Should, in fact. But my back is shit. And my throat is not too good either.
Do I have MS? No, not at all. Haven't had for 2 years. Yeah, when he measures the time 3 years in the past the little copper gizmo doesn't turn well at all. But then the next year it turns pretty swiftly, in a full half circle. This year it zooms all the way 'round, 360 degrees.
So I am sent in to the healers, though I must wait in line. I stroll out to smoke a cigarette. Handoko (he who knew of the Reiki in the first place) smokes too, but hides behind some bushes. He doesn't want the Master to know he is smoking.
At last I am ushered into the suffocating inner sanctuary of the Java house and receive my healing. There is a man at each side, a woman at my feet, a woman at my head. They pray, silently. I sweat profusely.
Here's the good news: I am healed, I do not have MS. Here's the bad new: My feet are buzzing, the muscles in my legs are pretzels, and I am loosing every ounce of water in my body through the pores.
And here's the plain old news: It was interesting, it was an experience, and it was something to write home about.
(note: sorry about multiple typos in original, now corrected)