Beez in India – Chapter Seven – "Espresso Guru, Sex Guru, Wahoo!"

When we last checked in with Beez and CC they had just returned from traveling all over the southern nub of marvelous Indja. They didn’t stay put in their little house by the sea in Pondicherry for long…

Our Trip to Hampi to Find the Mysterious Espresso Guru

Before leaving Canada, Corrina’s friend told us if we go to the ancient Indian ruins in Hampi, we have to find some guy called "the Italian Espresso Guru. Here were the instructions:

"He lives in a cave in one of the hills in Hampi. You gotta check him out".

Yup, that’s all of the instructions. Needless to say, I considered this an impossible mission. The Smugglers have been given similar instructions. Things like "turn right at the old creek, go up the hill, right again at Bob’s doghouse". Needless to say, it never works out. (when Beez is navigating – ed).

So Corrina and I went on a 24 hour journey across India to visit the very old town of Hampi, famous for its hundreds of acres of ancient ruins from 600 AD. It is much like Pompeii (a city near Rome which was buried by a volcano hundreds of years ago) except much, much larger.

On our first day out we decided to go for a quick walk. Before we left on the walk, Corrina asked "Do you want to put on some sunscreen?" I replied, in what had to be one of my most stunningly stupid moments of the trip, "no". What was I thinking?

We wandered aimlessly from ruined temple to ruined fort, with the sun beating down mercilessly. In the distance, on top of a mountain, we could see the Hanuman temple, gleaming about 500 feet above us. At this point it was 2PM and I’d been in the 40 degree sun without sunscreen for 3 hours, but we decided to go for it and climb up there. A small child (perhaps about 10 years old?) approached us and told us that if we wanted to go to the temple, we needed to cross the river. He had a small circular disk, perhaps 3 feet in circumference called a "coracle", and he would float us across the river for 10 rupees (30 cents). He said it would save us 60 minutes, and given my growing sunburn, it sounded like a bargain to me.

As he approached his coracle, he scooped the water out of the bottom of the boat. Immediately I start to think "is this thing safe? Can I swim back to shore if this piece of shit sinks?" Not to mention my constant fear companion: "will all of my ID, travelers cheques and cash get lost if this piece of shit sinks?" But man, the sun was killing me so we told the kid "let’s make it happen".

When we safely got to the other side without incident, we noticed a long stretch of about 100 pairs of pillars coming out of the ground stretching all the way from one side of the valley to the other. When you get high enough (on a hill, not on drugs), you notice that these pillars would have supported an ancient roadway. We just sat for a few minutes imagining people arriving to meet the royal family, sitting in their chariots pulled by oxen 1400 years ago, clunkety-clunkety across this raised roadway. It was really mind blowing.

Of course, the sun contributed to my "mind blowing up". The landscape was strewn with massive boulders, so I found one to sit under to get some shade. I told Corrina "I… can’t… go any… further, I will be burned to death and will end up looking like some freak show ‘leather face man’ instead of George Hamilton!" She said "fine" and wandered off to explore that area.

I sat slumped in a sun stroked daze for about 30 minutes and started to wonder what happened to Corrina. There were signs everywhere that you shouldn’t wander alone through the ruins, because there have been reports of tourists getting mugged. I got up, ready to brave the still searing heat and heard some mysterious music coming from a temple built high into the side of a cliff. I looked up, way up, and there was CC waving down at me.

After I laboriously ascended the cliff and finally entered the bizarre cliff temple/home, I asked Corrina how she ended up there. She said she was wandering around, and this old man started waving at her to come up to the cave/temple/ home with the blasting music. She wandered up the hill and asked the old man "are you the Espresso Guru?" Right at that moment, a young, shirtless, Italian super-hunk came around the corner with a tray and said, "Did someone say espresso?" and handed Corrina a coffee. Just as she was finishing it, she saw me stumbling around the ruins below, looking for her. Corrina is convinced that her story would make a very good porno movie! (Or should I say Euro-erotic ART film!)

The place we stayed at in Hampi was a total dump, definitely the worst of all of the hotels we have stayed in. The walls were made of a thin cardboard, it was like sleeping in a dorm but the other people didn’t know you were there. We were treated to the most intimate of sounds, all night, and then to top it off, singing in the morning. Not to mention there were no private bathrooms and 15 people were sharing the common one. The family who ran the place all sat around a table, basically directly outside the door of the shitter. Given that it was an eastern style toilet, each time we used the bathroom we emerged looking a little disheveled, stepping immediately into the family’s stare.


We went out for dinner in Hampi and a Belgian man approached us and asked if we wished to attend his seminar on the "28 day moon calendar". As usual, our answer was YES. When we arrived for the seminar the next day, the young Belgian man (24-26?) named Walter was handing out "Xeroxes". No these weren’t photocopies, they were ancient "Photostats". There were 4 Israelis, 1 German and Corrina and I.

In the seminar, we learned that the ancient Mayans (yes, from Mexico, this had nothing to do with India!), had created an amazingly accurate calendar 5000 years ago. It is based on the lunar cycle (13 months per year each with 28 days which equals 364 days). The extra day each year, July 25th, is considered a "day out of time". Every other day in the Mayan calendar is considered part of one of their months or one of their 7 days in a week.

Here is a quote from the internet about this peculiar day:

"The Day Out-of-Time is the day to celebrate peace, cooperation and forgiveness: It is the day for the arts and music. The artist has tremendous power to change the world. This is the day for artists to speak to the world through their voice, music, and art. It is now that the artists can let the world know how art can unify, heal, bring people together, and transcend boundaries, language, and all of the barriers that our minds have set up through history".

Now many of you might say, like I did, "what about the leap year?" (uh… no… - ed)The answer was that leap year is not needed; it is an illusion! I am not so willing to agree with this, but I can say that within a standard lifetime (80 years), one would hardly notice the 20 lost days. I mean summer starts early, summer starts late. (do you still have sun-stroke at this point?- ed)

There is a man, Dr. Arguelles from Portland, who is an expert in Mayan time. He is convinced that the confusing Roman calendar is a major factor for the messed up state of human affairs. I mean, can you tell me, off the top off your head, what day August 11th will be this year? No you can’t. (Wednesday – ed) Humans are working against the natural order of life. By re-establishing our connection to the lunar cycles, we would begin to change our way of thinking about the world. Not to mention that there is not one universal calendar standard. In India, there are two different numbers for each day as they use both the Roman and Indian calendar.

In Dr. Argüelles book, "Time and the Technosphere", he claims that the Mayans predicted the end of their calendar would occur on July 25, 2012. In order to save the planet from destruction, we must, as a first step, switch to the Mayan lunar calendar. He believes that the world must switch to the lunar calendar by July 25, 2004 or we won’t have time to save humanity. (it is recommended to use an SPF no less than 30 in tropical countries – ed)

It is becoming clearer everyday, that each technological solution to our problems usually leads to further problems for future generations and that the natural law of the universe needs to be more respected. I must admit, just by learning about the 28 day calendar, I have started to pay attention to the placement of the moon. Each night, at our Vipassana mediation retreat, we would leave the mediation hall at 7pm for a 10 minute break. This allowed me to see the moon’s progression, at the exact same time each day. I had never noticed how it worked. One of the most amazing things for me to notice, 4 months after first arriving, was that when there is a quarter moon, it looks like a happy face. All of the light is on the bottom part of the moon. If Steven Spielberg lived in India, the logo for DreamWorks would have been a canoe, instead of a boy fishing from the point. The Smugglers have traveled all over the world, yet we have never noticed that the moon looked different anywhere else!

India has no lions but lots of cougars.

Although we did not spot any lions during our trip to India, we did meet a cougar. We met a woman in her mid-forties who was willing to suspend her disbelief when she heard this classic line from a young Indian: "I’ve never had sex before, can you teach me?" She certainly seemed to be enjoying herself while sampling the regional varieties of Indian men, and I’m certain that these young men were no worse off, except a deepening of their distorted understanding of western women and maybe a few broken hearts.

Cougars also love the "Osho Commune International" in Pune, India. According to the book "From Here To Nirvana: A Spiritual Guide to India’, it’s the "world's largest spiritual single's club. Founded nearly 25 years ago by Osho, the controversial guru formerly known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh -- is not your typical Indian Ashram. A New Age Xanadu that attracts thousands of visitors every day, the commune is a self-contained personal growth conglomerate, offering an astonishing variety of classes and workshops in everything from organizational development to tantric sex. And if the courses don't interest you, you can spend your days romping in the swimming pool, sauna, "Zennis" courts, and bistro of the commune's ‘Club Meditation’".

The now dead Guru Osho (who some may remember as the guru with a fleet of Rolls Royce) (uh…no… -ed) was dubbed the "Sex Guru" by the media because of his open minded attitude towards sex. Nowadays, this Ashram is as beautiful as a 5 star hotel, has saunas, meditation and yoga classes. To stay at this Ashram, there is a compulsory AIDS test. According to one male traveler we talked to, you unfortunately don’t just check in and a fuck-fest breaks out, though liberal sexual attitudes are encouraged through the Guru’s teaching. Hey, if God didn’t want people to have sex, why did he make it so much fun?

"Osho insisted that he did not advocate sex as an end in itself. Rather, he wanted his followers to liberate their raw, creative life-force energy and use it as a tool for transformation -- ultimately dropping sex altogether, without repression. "Sex can be just animalistic ...but it need not be.... It can become love, it can become prayer," he wrote. ''That is the vision of Tantra: sex can become samadhi, through sex the ultimate ecstasy can enter in you."

Our friend, who visited there 10 years ago, indicated that there was no more sex happening at this ashram than any other hotel. I have done some minor reading about this Guru’s work and the only quote I found about sex was "no one has ever reached enlightenment through sex" so I assumed that this "sex ashram" was just media hype. Not so, according to one of our female traveler friends. She said " I went to a café near the Osho ashram, I was shocked to overhear two women, in their 30’s, giggling about who they had sex with the previous night. I mean, they have a compulsory AIDS test. It’s a gross sex hotel". Needless to say, she did not check in.

Because of these conflicting reports, it appears that further investigation is required. Any volunteers to give us a first hand write up? Perhaps one of my favourite websites, Vancouver’s can sponsor a lucky lady? (what about CC? – ed)

In chapter eight, Beez and CC enter a cone of silence in a grueling multi-day exercise in meditation, patience, discipline, pain, and enlightenment. And that was just on the cab ride over!

chapter eight- you gotsta have it!