Visiting the Baba under the Banyan tree

Just when you think you can’t possibly have anymore random experiences, India or more importantly the people within it deliver yet another moment that you weren’t expecting.

Yesterday I decided to explore the jungle area that Rohan (ballgate) had told me about behind sweet lake. I felt like a little adventure was unfolding but that is a normal sensation within this kind of terrain. Jungle or forest it evokes a sense of exploration that I love. Another example of a simple pleasure that nature supplies.

As I wandered amongst the trees, going barefoot, which only goes to enhance the experience, a nice connection to Mother Earth (sounds totally poncy but it is so true – try it!) I came across different layers of undergrowth and found different people dotted around and also walking. There was a definite smell in the air, the culmination of many people at different points enjoying smoking hash and making the most of the beautiful surroundings in their own way.

I slowly ascended not really knowing where I was headed, but I came across a couple that reminded me of the Baba under the Banyan tree that Rohan had told me about. I’d forgotten but he either lives or comes from Slough?! A world away from the tranquil surroundings of the forest. A Baba from Slough… That’s got to be up there on the list of bizarre finds.

So I found the spot and wow the Banyan tree was stunning.. The branches all intertwined and vast. Underneath was a small gathering of people in a circle with the Baba being a focal point. Not much happening other than more smoking, in fact that was all that was happening. That and people taking photos and also eating some fruit that was being handed out (that was the sum total of my participation!).

So I just hung out for a bit but not really much happening, I suspect a lot of people may have been going in the hope of some sage words but it was simply a quiet spot. Maybe the good stuff happens after sundown… After a while Rohan arrived and we chatted, he explained some interesting facts about the tree (that I’ve forgotten..) and some more pearls of wisdom. He reminded me of the mud bath he told me about and asked if I’d seen it, which I hadn’t so he kindly showed me the way. So basically it was a clay like substance that you add water to and create a paste and then simply add to your skin. I tested an arm and feet but Rohan thought it was a good idea for me to try my face. So after thinking hmmmm I don’t really want to… I did. Then to sit and let it dry.. After a while some American voices appeared in the distance. Rohan had mentioned about some funny American women he had met and it was them who were looking for him, so he could show them the very same thing. This is when the day turned into a combination of laughter, full on sarcasm and bouncing off each other. There was also a woman from the UK who had a fantastic dry humour. It was one of those spontaneous moments that for just hit the spot. In a continuing theme one of the American woman, had given Rohan the nickname ‘Balls’ which related to a previous experience related to strawberries! After some mud drying and rinsing in the stream it was decided it was cocktail hour and to the beach we proceeded. The hilarity continued over drinks and lots of great discussions. I left as the party was really starting in anticipation of an early start in the morning but it was all good because I had a great time and the walk back to the trailer park taking in the roar of the night time sea and watching the rest of Arambol just getting started.

Today the third course has started and there’s certainly a few more people. It’s a nice feeling having a good basis of understanding to be able to crack on with postures whilst there is an explanation for new students. It means I’m relying on my own instinct and learning rather than relying on the teachers demonstration, which helps to build more confidence and a solid foundation for when I’m solo.

Another pranic healing massage, which wasn’t as painful as the last one. I like the combination of localised work and also when my body is stretched into stretches I can’t yet achieve on my own. A nice reminder that maybe one day I will…or not.. Either way is ok (that’s what I tell myself).

On for some lunch at my favourite spot Lamuella for a gorgeous salad. It’s a busy spot so more often then not you share a table. Today I met Francois from Canadian who has organised his own Satsung. When he came Arambol he wanted to find a Satsung to attend but he couldn’t find one so he started his own. How great is that? Total problem solving and making the most of what could have been a opportunity to be annoyed or disappointed. That’s on Sunday night and because I enjoyed the conversation I’ll give it a go. All part of the squeezing the last little drop out of India.. There’s a loose plan to paragliding this afternoon (Mum It’s ok there’s a pilot). I’ve seen many people doing this and it looks gorgeous, only a short journey but enough to get a taste of freedom in the sky. If not I might go for another mud bath… It certainly made my face feel very soft, ten years younger you say?

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