After bailing out of the Guru experience I come back into the village centre completely exhausted and promise myself that I need to chill out! I bump into the American photographer and his friend again and we have a little laugh about the ridiculousness of the situation I was in. I need to stop giving myself to the river of life for a moment and focus back onto myself again. Everything is moving so much faster than I can comprehend. I say goodbye and jump on a small boat to the other side of the river to find a café called The Laughing Buddha. A rough looking man tries to sell me bracelets on the winding dirt road entrance.
He opens with his generic sales pitch and I place my hand into his hand, look directly into his eyes and say to him, “I think you are an incredible person who has great value only that today is not the day that i’m interested in buying anything.”
He understands my frequency instantly and appears grateful for hearing a tourist speak from the depths of the soul.
I melt into the low sunk foam seats, enjoy the chill out music, soak up the pure magic the thousand year old temples provide and let out a big sigh of relief “Aaaahhh”.
This is exactly where I need to be.
I order a fresh mango milkshake and a rice based tali, which has a number of small dishes including dal, vegetables, roti, curd, small amounts of chutney, and a sweet dish on the side.
As I sip on the milkshake contemplating just how quickly my world transformed by giving trust over the past few days a tall, strong man wearing white, loose & well considered clothing walks in with another tall man with multiple sclerosis. They sit down just in front of me and I can see in the way they interact that there is deep respect for one another. The man with multiple sclerosis is stumbling on his words but the other man is patient, calm and connected with the flow of conversation being different to the norm. Something draws me in about these two. I already promised myself not to communicate with anyone for the rest of the day but there is something telling me I should find out more.
Even though the cafe is practically empty with plenty of spare seats I get up and ask “Excuse me, is there room for one more here?”
They glance up together, take a moment and reply “sure, no problem”
I sit down and discover they are brothers originally from Austria. Peter, moved here 13 years ago to create a sanctuary of stillness that’s completely unlisted publicly and only for people who know of it. Gunter, his brother still lives in Austria with the rest of his family and visits Peter for the Austrian winters. I listen to both with equal and honest respect. I ask Peter “why did you come here to India in the first place?
He says “I was searching for a more honest and authentic way of living. I found the culture I grew up in was saturated in artificial messages, goals and desires that had drifted away from the essential knowledge of life that I feel exists here in the everyday cultural fabric of Hampi. For my life to be more honest and connected to the Earth and my role as a human I knew that I had to move into a culture more aligned with an interdependent way of life.”
It feels like magic forming in this moment as I tell him “I am also searching for deeper connection to the truth about what it really means to be a human. I’m here to see if people here are able to provide knowledge about a more interdependent, humanistic way of life. I’m gaining insight to share in a book by selflessly giving myself to others.”
In this moment we both realise we’ve stumbled across something much greater than ourselves, it almost feels as if we’re both speaking from the depths of our souls and feeling a direct connection. I question further to learn that he is a shaman who has searched, explored and learned much about universal synergies. How could this be? How could this man, also with the same name as mine, enter the same restaurant at this time of day, allow me to talk and also feel guided by the same fundamental questions in life? I’m deeply intrigued by this profound synchronicity and ask if there is a way I can learn more about his journey. He thinks about it for a while and says he will find a place and that I need not worry about money.
This is all sounding too good to be true but I have a bus to catch later tonight and I know that Ananda is waiting for me on the other side of the river to take me to the bus station. I tell Peter “i’d very much like to meet you and Gunter again.”
We swap details and I leave the cafe feeling as if this meeting has far greater significance than anything I can comprehend. How could I tell Ananda?