This Maui Ram Dass Retreat was the first real time I traveled alone. My wife and I met at 14, so almost everything I’ve done, has been with her, seemingly attached at the hip. To come to this new place, and to be guided by only my intuition, I kept likening myself to an outdoor cat. One minute I would be talking to people in riveting conversation, then the next moment I would have an intuitive pull to take a stroll, only to bump into the perfect person to share with. Just like an outdoor cat, I’m sure people were like, “Wait, where did Ganesh Das go?” and then they would see me rubbing up on someone’s leg, purring, and then the next moment chasing butterflies in a grassy field. I figured, in a situation where I didn’t have to constantly temperature check, it would be a great experiment to go with the flow of my intuition, rather than my mind for once.
To give some backdrop, Duncan Trussell is the primary reason I found out about Ram Dass, and subsequently Maharajji, Hanuman, and this satsang, so to meet him, was one of my biggest longings in this life. The first night of the retreat, I am eating dinner with some new friends at a table, and in total feline mode, I get this inner feeling to go for a lone sunset walk on the curved beach shore at the resort. I thank everyone at the table for the glowing presence and take a shimmering stroll on the soft sand, waves lapping up maybe five feet from me, creating these beautiful cascading patterns as they were pulled back into the ocean. Looking out, the subtle gradient of the sky met the clouds surrounding the peaks of the mountainous islands which hugged both sides of the visible scene. It was pure glory. My breath deepened as I took in this bliss, and then, not accounting for the wild variations of ocean tides, a mammoth wave came up and completely soaked my shorts. I was drenched, and the opening ceremony of the whole retreat started in less than half an hour. I noticed a little frustration peak, but I trusted the situation.
Turning around, I took one last look at the miraculous beach scene before me, and began to make my way back to my room. Once there, I was just going to change shorts, but figured at this point it may prove me wise to shower, despite my time window closing in on the official start of the retreat. I washed up, got changed, and noticed it was about to begin. I grabbed my necklace and my mala to toss over my head, but noticed that they had become totally interwoven and tangled together. Again, my head was a bit frustrated by this, like it used to get when I desperately wanted to play Sonic the Hedgehog when was I was a kid, but had to go through hurriedly untangling the controller cords. A part of me wanted to just toss them on the bed and run over to the ceremony, but a softer voice won out, and a I calmly followed my breath and untangled the knots.
I step out of my door at this point, after fixing all of these little “roadblocks” and make my way down the sidewalk path, which was now encapsulated in the soft breezy darkness of a Maui evening. I come to a place where the sidewalks met in a crossroad and see a family walking up at the same speed to meet right where the paths intersect. Instantly I recognize the fuzzy beard and glowing eyes of Duncan Trussell, his beautiful wife, and there glowing newborn baby. I finally have the opportunity to thank him for being a channel which helped me find Raghu, who helped me find Ram Dass, who helped me find Maharajji/Hanuman, and this glorious, radiant satsang. We shared in such a warm embrace and then he kindly introduced me to his family, and with his raspy lesbian voice, said “Let us walk, brother.” On this walk we were able to share some insights on the dreamlike quality of this whole experience. The big takeaway, was that neither of us have any idea what is going on, but whatever it is, at all seems very well tended to. Also, if you were worried about it. We made it to the opening ceremony on time.
Duncan and his radiant family (Pic by the amazing @psychoyogic)
A few days later, I am sharing dinner time with Raghu, and telling him this experience. The lesson that I got from it; which I think still stands, is that these things that were annoyances or frustrations, like the wetting of my shorts, and the tangling of my necklace and mala, were actually the exact things that brought me to the experience I was so devoted to having. The things that I had judged as negative, actually birthed out an experience which I would judge was so wholeheartedly positive. In essence, since they were all inherently connected, as everything else, the wetting of the shorts, and the untangling of the adornments were the same as meeting Duncan. It was and is, one continuous flow. So, I explain this to Raghu, and he is loving it, but then I bring my mind into the equation. I ask him the question, “So if this is all true, is it possible that this is happening all the time in our lives? Do these synchronicities actually happen more when we are here with each other, or am I just more tuned in and aware of them here?” The topic of the retreat being “emptiness,” Raghu looks over at me with that smile he gives and says, “Now there’s a thought that’s easy to let go of.”