Como Shambhala

I tried everything to kick my heartbreak blues. Therapy, reiki, meditation, psychics – you name it, I tried it. But even when I thought I was making strides in my healing, I couldn’t seem to rid the dark, black cloud of suffering that followed me everywhere. So I did what any self-help addict would… I went to Bali.

Every year, people flock to Bali in hopes of creating their own version of Eat, Pray, Love, and for good reason. Bali is an energy vortex formed by its two large Ley Lines. The places where the Ley Lines intersect are believed to be high points of energy and hold a high concentration of electrical charge. These locations tend to magnify the energy or beliefs that are out of alignment with your true self so that you can face them and become more aligned. Think of it like a Barry’s bootcamp for the soul – you’re going to metaphorically sweat out the toxins before you feel a payoff.

If you think that going to Bali will fix your problems, you’re mistaken. If anything, it brings up the unresolved issues to the surface and provides the time and space for you to really work through them. But in a place where healers outnumber doctors four to one, you’re in pretty good hands.

If you’re ready to set off to Bali, here are some of my recommends.

Where to stay

COMO Shambhala Estate occupies a lush location next to the River Ayung, where it boasts its own sacred spring revered by locals for its healing properties.

If you’re opting for luxury, The COMO Shambhala Estate is known as a ‘Retreat for Change’. Taking a holistic, 360-degree to wellness, they have resident doctors and customized programs that are focused on your specific wellness goals. Their treatments combine modern science with ancient healing, with therapies running the gamut from Ayurveda to Oriental Medicine.

The view at COMO Shambhala Estate, situated in a spiritual enclave of jungle just north of Ubud, Bali.

The resort is beautiful, nestled in a clearing above a jungle-covered gorge beside the River Ayung. While it’s quiet and peaceful, there’s much to explore, from the secluded cold spring pools, hydrotherapy treatments, yoga classes and daily wellness activities.

Outdoor rainforest pool at Capella Ubud.

If adventure is more of a priority, prepare for a sensation overload at Capella Ubud. Nestled in the rainforests of Keliki, Ubud, the tented camp was designed with the idea of “minimal intervention” – not one tree was harmed during the build.

Get out of your head and in your body on a sunrise to sunset day excursion, get your chakras cleansed in a luxury tent or listen to tales from a local storyteller at the evening campfire.

More economical yet equally great wellness focused options include Fivelements Retreat, an eco-conscious resort that offers plant-based cuisine and holistic Balinese-inspired therapies. Bambu Indah is also worth checking out, if not to stay, then have a meal at their restaurant which offers organic farm to table food.

Where to heal

Considered one of the 6 most important temples in Bali, Pura Tirta Empul dates back to 926 AD.  The spring water is thought to have healing properties.

When you arrive to Bali, prioritize a visit to a Balinese water temple to honor the gods of the land. One of the most famous water temples is Pura Tirta Empul, whose sacred springs are said to possess healing properties. Make sure you have a sarong and a sash, and be prepared to dunk your head in the fountains as you say prayers and intentions.

The resorts will usually have various practitioners that can guide you through a Balinese ceremony, clear your chakras or balance your energy. But there’s also Balian healers that are not as easily assessable, and only found through word of mouth. Out of the dozen healers I saw, by far the most profound was Pak Man, an intuitive bodywork healer. Warning, the bodywork is painful as he’s moving energy blockages you have stored in your body.

To help with my physical ailments, I had a bodywork session with Rahmat. Not for the faint hearted, this excruciating painful “massage” helped move blockages and blood flow in my body. Prepare to scream in agony, but it’s well worth it. For something more subtle, you can see Gede, who performs a chakra cleansing ceremony which includes intuitive guidance, numerology and a life reading.

I went to Bali with a heavy heart and left feeling much lighter. I learned that there is no one thing or place that could ever heal you, as only you can heal yourself. But Bali provided the space and peaceful environment for me to safely go within, calm my nervous system and really get a chance to recalibrate.