“Nicola’s extraordinary recovery was one of the many powerful
Balinese healing experiences that eventually inspired the making of Fivelements”
Chicco Tatriele, Co-founder, Fivelements
Nicola Martinengo, originally from Milan, has been a close friend of Chicco’s since the early 80s. He and a group of friends would visit Bali, and Chicco, every August. One year Nicola had a near-fatal motorbike accident, and the local healer who saved him changed his life forever.
Nicola tells his extraordinary story of Balinese healing…
I always loved Bali for its feeling of total freedom and the strong spiritual influence it had. It was a good place to heal my soul. This story happened my tenth summer there, and I loved the island even more afterwards.
I was in an accident with another motorbike. I fainted when it happened and floated up, seeing myself and the accident from above. The girl who had crashed into me looked like she had broken her arm and waist. When I came to I was in a trance and started walking into a rice field, unaware that I had broken bones. A policeman found me in a farmhouse where I was bleeding to death with an old Balinese woman crying over me. He put me in a cab and sent me to the ER.
My collarbones were both broken, I had hit my head badly (I wasn’t wearing a helmet), I had cracked ribs and a huge cut in my foot. I was horrified at my condition. At the hospital I had to fight to get ice for my head, which I was told I had to pay for, but I couldn’t even get my money out of my pocket I was in so much pain. They x-rayed my collarbones and gave me 17 stiches to my foot with no anesthetic.
When Chicco arrived a doctor told us I must have an urgent operation on one of my collarbones, which was planned for the next morning at 11am. That night, while on morphine, I managed to sleep but dreamed of my grandmother who urgently warned me not to have the operation. I was terrified. The next morning Chicco returned, saying his friend Made had telepathically heard from his uncle, a renowned Balinese healer and bonesetter from Ubud, that I would die on the operating table if I went ahead with the operation.
Chicco and another friend, Carlo, helped me escape from the hospital down the fire escape stairs, taking me to Chicco’s house. I was in so much pain I could hardly breathe. I spent the night on painkillers and the next day Made’s uncle arrived to help me.
I stood in front of Made’s Uncle. He had the most incredible green-blue eyes I had ever seen. He entered my soul with his eyes. I could feel his power. He told me to over ventilate and started putting herbs on my bones. His eyes changed from brown to blue and suddenly the room was full of wind, it was incredibly frightening.
His trance affected us all. I saw spirits dancing in my body and his hands went into my body operating on my bones. He fixed my ribs, hand and foot with just one movement, and then addressed the blood coming out of my left side.
He came to Chicco’s house once a day for five more days after that. Each day I also had Rachel performing crystal therapy, Jane helping with flower therapy, Barbara with more crystal therapy and Chicco helped heal me with oxygen with a natural breathing technique. He also took me to see Awahoshi, the guru of crystal sound therapy, who took us into the forest to heal us.
Six days after my accident I was swimming in the pool.
Twelve days after my accident I was in Milan, at a bone specialist. Usually it takes 40 days to heal a collarbone but for me, six days. He looked at the x-rays, he examined my bones and he couldn’t believe it. He was shouting at me, saying it was a miracle. I told him it was the power of alternative healing.
Made’s uncle didn’t do any healing on my foot as the hospital had stitched it up and bandaged it. It took a month to heal.
Before my accident, I knew I was slipping into a difficult life. I was going through a difficult time, I was angry, stressed, full of hate. Afterwards I became peaceful, strong and successful. I’m blessed. I know I could easily have died. Bali teaches you things that cannot be explained.
I am so grateful to my healers. I love them even if they don’t realise how much. They didn’t experience what I experienced, perhaps they have no idea how powerful they are. But they are my angels.
When my daughter is independent, in about 15 years, I will probably move to Bali and melt into the island. I have had an incredible life already, but by then I will be 60 and I want to live my days out there, in the land of peace.
“A few years ago, I remember meeting a man in Bali who told me that after 10 years living in Nepal and studying meditation under a more rigid style, he came to Bali, met Merta Ada and started practicing silent meditation together. After experiencing the programme, he found himself completely blown away realising that what was missing from his previous meditation studies was ‘the experience of self-Love.’
As surprising as it sounded, it hit me like a thunderbolt! I simply had to try this programme firsthand and when I did, I quickly understood what that man had meant. From then on, it became my mission to support this master meditation teacher, Merta Ada, and offer his self-healing Bali Usada Silent Meditation Retreat to a wider international audience at Fivelements. In particular, I envisioned participants coming from all over the world sharing a common thread – all living demanding lifestyles and in positions of influence or leadership (whether in the family or in business) and thus, able to effect positive change within their worlds with these teachings.
Meeting people where they are.
I have always believed in a gentle transformational process – This essentially means meeting people where they are, facilitating and inspiring them along the way in their own path of personal evolution. For all of us facing the ever-intensifying challenges of 21st century lifestlyes, Merta Ada's tapa brata self-healing meditation technique is one of the most powerful tools for survival.
The technique is both scientific and ethereal essentially teaching us 1) how to free our minds of negative thought patterns; 2) how to restore happiness on a daily basis; and 3) how to stay in alignment with our truths. What could be more useful and relevant than that?
Prior to starting, I must admit even I was a little bit intimidated upon the thought of several hours a day in noble silence. However, reflecting upon my recent years of birthing the business of my long anticipated dreams, running it with my husband and having to wear numerous hats in the operations, while also caring for our three children and juggling their increasingly complex schedules (who would have thought?), my thinking became crystal clear – this is the retreat for me! What I understood during the retreat was that I would be listening to several informative dissertations and endearing stories by the master himself.
Healing issues and traumas from our memory.
One of the most surprising and spontaneous experiences I had occurred about half-way through the program. I began drawing in various unresolved issues from my recent past and my childhood. Through the sequences taught, I was able to heal many issues. Merta Ada explained to us that when we experience traumas or repeating issues, they often get stored in various parts of our bodies, literally sticking in the memory of our bodies. Sub-consciously, they often have negative impacts on our thought patterns, overall stress and physical conditions over years. Through the practice of this simple, yet highly effective meditation technique, I learned to re-condition my mind into a more positive, compassionate and healthier state. The technique is remarkably simple, yet amazingly effective!
Learning invaluable skill for life.
My experience was indeed very powerful and the ultimate support to calming and quieting the mind, centering on my priorities and reconnecting with who I am as a mother, wife, daughter and co-founder/director. Although I’d practiced meditation for years, I was truly impressed with Merta Ada’s programme. A Balinese Buddhist priest, Merta Ada is a delightful, humble and wise teacher who emanates an endearing light. His numerous dissertations blend the science behind the technique with charming, heart-warming stories. Through this simple but very effective technique, I learned how to be more humble myself and to direct love and compassion to areas of my body that unknown to me needed extra care and attention. I learned an absolutely invaluable skill for my life and the lives of those around me.
Having experienced the benefits of this meditation retreat first-hand a couple years ago, I requested to incorporate the programme into Fivelements semi-annual offerings, and I feel so fortunate that Merta Ada agreed. I am committed to sharing the healing wisdom of this kind-hearted, dedicated Balinese meditation master with our international guests and would recommend this programme to anyone wishing to feel better and live a more free, happier existence!"
Lahra Tatriele, Fivelements' Co-founder and Vision Director
“Bali is famous for being the place of coincidence and instant karma.
You think something and it happens two minutes later.
After all, life is completely run by the Universe; it is that powerful.”
Do you believe in serendipity and the power of the Universe? When Chicco Tatriele set off on a wild goose chase to look at a piece of land in a remote Balinese village he didn’t really have the interest or money to buy, he had no idea he’d be stepping onto land that would set in motion a life-changing series of events, and which would eventually result in Fivelements.
- Before you start, put in your mind, “Meditation is attainable for me.” It is not difficult.
Meditation is about training the mind, eg. When you want to ride a bicycle, you keep trying and after practicing awhile, you can do it, then it becomes easier and easier.
Sit in a relaxed position for your body - on the floor or on a chair.
- Choose an object of focus that makes you feel good, e.g.: breathing, a mandala painting or a photo/image, etc.
Use this as a tool to bring harmony and love to your mind.
Use it as a way to bring about concentration and mindfulness.
- Turn your vision inward and observe your breathing.
By observing your breathing, you will calm your mind naturally.
Observe the fickle-mindedness of your mind coming in and fading away, bringing about a steady concentration.
Allow your concentration to turn into contemplation and slowly, you will forget about both yourself and any form, effortlessly blossoming into meditation.
- Become a source of love and light.
Once your calm mind is steady, let love permeate within you and around you like a radiant light.
- For healing, gently direct your thoughts to make your body healthy, alleviate your mind of stress, send your love to someone in suffering, etc.
Bring inner wisdom to your mind so that it becomes increasingly harmonious, and use this for healing the body, trauma or others in your life.
- Let go and let spirit in.
The practice of meditation will train your mind to become good, full of love – enough to heal yourself and others.
Ultimately, there will be no Form, only Atma or soul in union with the Divine.
• Articulated by Lahra Tatriele, Co-founder & Vision Director, Fivelements.
• Inspired by spiritual teachers from India and Bali.
“A harmonious mind makes your body healthy, your mind peaceful and gives you happiness.”
Are you tempted by five days of blissful silence? Last year Lahra Tatriele joined Merta Ada’s silent retreat and emerged with new self-healing skills. “It is extraordinary,” she says. “I’d do it every year if I could.” She loved it so much she invited Merta Ada to lead the Bali Usada Silent Meditation Retreats at Fivelements. She explains what it is all about…
From the first night you follow noble silence, which lasts for five of the six retreat days. You’re not allowed a computer or phone, book, paper or pen. There’s nothing to read, write or say, and removing those three things is huge. You get to see yourself in a quiet way, without writing things down, without purging on someone else. It sounds die-hard but it’s actually not that difficult.
The Fivelements story is nearly unbelievable. It started in a magical way and has been an extraordinary healing journey for all involved.
The first inkling I had that Bali would be central to my life was thanks to a clairvoyant in San Francisco in 1995, who said I would invest in something very important in Bali that would bridge East and West.
Fast forward to autumn 1996 when I visited Bali for the first time. The moment I arrived, I felt Bali as my home. I felt immediately connected. And I felt God for the first time in my life in a profound way. Bali became my well of wisdom, healing and spirituality. Every time I visited, I left with an important love lesson. I knew I’d live here some day...
My two young daughters and I moved to Bali in 2005. Following a year-long personal healing journey, one morning I woke up with a very strong message. “It’s time. Time to get out there and put intention back into the world. I wish to find my love and life partner and begin a new journey with deep purpose.”
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Hippocrates
Mother Nature provides us with living foods that fuel our bodies and minds with optimum energy and healing. Take your favorite recipes and gradually adapt them by adding more living foods to provide a fresher and healthier alternative.
Food sources: Select quality, fresh organic produce and whole foods from reliable sources
Shop local: Buy directly from local organic farmers when possible
Buy produce in season: To enjoy the peak of their natural goodness
Buy sea salt vs. processed table salt: For its additional minerals
“Call it karma, call it Love in Action, call it the magic of Fivelements –
Many of our guests return to our retreat because they feel a deep connection to the
sacred site and our staff, because they have experienced a positive impact from our
healing, wellness therapies and cuisine, and because they have a beautiful feeling
about Fivelements in their hearts.”
Co-founder & Vision Director, Lahra Tatriele
Whatever their motivations, our guests’ passion for Fivelements has inspired us to invite select retreaters to become Fivelements Ambassadors. Truly engaged in their own wellbeing, the wellbeing of those close to them and of the world as a whole, our Fivelements Ambassadors are all extraordinary individuals who stand as an inspiration to us all.
Fivelements Introduces our Living in Harmony Blog
Welcome to our new Fivelements blog, designed to be inspiring, informative, thought provoking, and most of all, a positive support for your everyday life.
Fivelements is Bali’s most awarded wellness retreat, set in the lush countryside just outside Ubud. We are renowned for our sustainable eco-luxe resort, gourmet healing cuisine, potent Balinese fire ceremonies and highly personalized, private transformative retreats. These include authentic Balinese healing therapies and sacred arts practices, such as yoga, soma, movement and sound, silent meditation and mindfulness programmes.
We are devoted to cultivating the most beautiful healing destination in the world and to nurturing our guests through deep physical, emotional and spiritual growth. We call this, Love in Action!