Click here to read Part I.
James and I woke up on Saturday morning around 9. We begun our day with a one hour sit of meditation followed by some Qi Gong and Tai Chi stretches, the perfect way to start any day. The weather had taken a drastic turn from the day before. In Melbourne on Friday the temperature was 32 degrees, sunny, and humid - on Saturday, 20 degrees, overcast, and raining. Waking up to the rain in the forest was amazingly beautiful, even though I was beginning to catch a cold.
We had an appointment to meet with another friend of James' at 12 that day, affectionately known as 'massage' Mike. Mike picked us up from outside an Anglican church a few train stations away from Upwey, in Heathmont. Upon arrival at his house I met his partner, Dennis and not long after met a friend of theirs, Sasha, who was partaking in the BBQ we were having for lunch. The day before, James showed me a bottle of Ormus (click the link to read about what it is). Sasha owned his own skin-care company, with an office in LA, and is in the process of selling bottles of the stuff at a very inflated price on a worldwide scale. I myself have been taking a cap-full of Ormus on a daily basis since returning to Sydney, and it has made me feel great! Truly is the Philosopher's Stone.
After lunch Mike invited the three of us over to his "office", a small building next to his house that was where he conducted business. Within the office (for lack of a better word), there contained a foyer/waiting room area, two rooms with massage tables, and bathroom facilities. "OK, who's up first?", Mike said. James and Sasha looked in my direction, with a gaze that almost said, "do it, do it, do it" - just like Jack Black's devil from Mr. Show (sorry for the obscure reference for those who haven't seen the episode...). I stripped down to my undies and lay face down on the table, unsure of what Mike was going to do.
"Any area that we need to work on specifically?", Mike asked. "Well, I have brain cancer, so I'm not sure if that helps...", I replied. Upon admission of my condition, I filled Mike in on my treatment and the initial symptoms. Mike started to lightly massage my neck, and felt some great tensions that I knew existed. The part that really surprised me was that he had the ability (healing ability if you will) to place pressure on an area of my back or neck, and ask (almost rhetorically), "This is a painful area, isn't it?" - Mike could find the tension spots just by touch, it was incredible. Now it was time for the needles...
Mike was not only qualified in giving an array of different types of massage, he also specialised in a form of acupuncture called dry needling - the treatment I was about to receive. I have never had acupuncture before so I'm not too sure what the differences are between the two, but from my limited understanding on the topic, during acupuncture the patient receives multiple needles at once - into special points in the body that block flows of energy (chi/qi/ch'i). Dry needling on the other hand only uses one needle at a time (Mike only used one at a time), and only in areas where he identified tension or blocked chi.
I was lucky to go first, because I later realised how long the needles actually were... and not only that, but how deep they went in. The average sized needle Mike used was around 15cm, and he placed the whole thing into the body (permitting that he could get it in). When he placed the first needle in my neck the initial entering of the needle didn't hurt, I liken it to being lightly pinched - however there was some significant pain once he got it in. "You may feel some slight electrical currents running through your neck", Mike warned me. I imagined him hooking up two large clips to the needle, and was picturing him dressed as Dr. Frankenstein. But I later found out that all that was happening was that the needle was hitting a nerve in my neck, causing say the right side (if he placed the needle in the left side of my neck) to throb - just like an electrical current.
After about 20-30 minutes of needles, the pain was over. Mike then gave me the best massage I have ever had, complete with hot stones, massage oil, and back cracking. It was so good that 2 hours later when the whole thing was over, I asked in a very relaxed voice, "Oh my God, how much do I owe you?". "Oh nothing Russell, it is priceless". My neck was slightly bruised afterwards, but throughout the day the pain (which I was told would be temporary) subsided, and my neck now feels 100% - all thanks to Massage Mike. As James, Carly and I were leaving to go to our next spiritual adventure I offered to pay Mike for healing me, however he very humbly said, "Oh no I couldn't possibly, buy those guys some dinner". Truly priceless after all.
From Mike's house we drove back to Upwey, where we were attending a Buddhist centre for a 90 minute workshop/ meditation session. The centre was located behind this couples house, and as we walked around the side we noticed a enormous Buddha statue that would have been around 7-8 metres high and 3 metres wide, plated in gold. We later found out that the statue was donated by someone in Malaysia, and had a value of $42,000! The actual centre was phenomenal; it had a library with over 10,000 titles, over 100 Buddha statues, and a corner where they practised painting meditation.
We left the Buddhist centre with mixed feelings, because the actual 20-30 minute meditation session that we sat was really good (for me anyway), however the people there (there were about 7 of them) seemed a little odd. For example they would try and push their belief's a bit too strongly on you, they followed the Buddhist religion a little too 'word-for-word', and upon finding out I was from Sydney they asked me multiple times (pretty much demanding) when I was going to come back. Not only that they had a photo of the centre's founder (now deceased) on the wall, and they would look up to it as if HE was the Buddha.
The night finished with a house-warming party in Richmond for a friend of Carly's. It was actually pretty awesome, as I hadn't been to house party in ages. Met some cool friends of Carly's from Israel and just chilled out on the couch out back watching this sweet JCVD movie - I think it was Street Fighter.
That night I stayed at Carly's share house in Ripponlea, just next to St Kilda. As I was falling asleep I listened to a track from the trip-hop band Bonobo, and experienced some crazy visualisation. Day 2 was over... little did I know what was in store for me on Day 3, and my fateful encounter with Tree - find out in Part III.