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Bali is Good for the Soul

Elizabeth Gilbert, Julia Roberts, Mick Jagger and Steven Segal - Send These, the Tempest-Tost to Bali's Welcoming and Healing Shores.

(11/2/2009) The current filming in Bali of the Elizabeth Gilbert best-seller "Eat, Pray, Love" underlines, once again, the world-renowned restorative powers of the Island of Bali. For decades, paupers and princes, celebrities and ne'er-do-wells have flocked to the island's shores to enjoy the restorative powers of yoga, dance, music, meditation, spirituality and quiet rest so plentiful in these parts.

And, as Julia Roberts acts out before the cameras Gilbert's enlightenment under the mentorship of Ubud-based guru Ketut Liyer, we might also be reminded how in 1995 Hollywood action-star Steven Seagal traveled to Bali seeking spiritual insight; or, how several years earlier, rock legend Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall sought consecraton of their relationship in Bali.

Seagal, the 7th-dan Akido Master, spent part of his 1990s Bali holiday with the late Wayan Gabra, a spiritual advisor based in Banjar Gambang, Mengwi. A close friend of Gabra's, Ketut Gogong, remembers Seagal search for solutions to various issues in his life. During Seagal's Bali interlude, the star was embroiled in a divorce from his third wife, Kelly LeBrock, who claimed Seagal was romantically involved with, Arissa Wolf, the nanny for Seagal and LeBrock's three children.

According to Gogong, prior to 1995 and on an earlier trip to Bali, Seagal had his fortune told by Wayan Gabra who predicted the complicated marital and romantic situation ahead. Seagal reportedly dismissed the soothsayer's predictions, only to have them proven correct over time.

Persuaded and in search of more answers, on December 25, 1995, Steven Seagal returned to Bali and the home of Wayan Gabra. Gogong told beritabali.com, that the Hollywood star was advised by Wayan Gabra to change the basic concepts that guided his life and his thinking.

Gogong also remembers Seagal as an exceptionally kind man and to this day treasures a photo they had taken together.

As despicted in movie magazines, novels and, now, in Hollywood films - Bali remains an island of physical, spiritual and emotional rejuvination.