I will tell you one short story. I was invited to swim with dolphins. There were two of them, Joe and Rosy, and they were in a large, large tank. John and Tony Lily were working with them. So the day I came to swim with the dolphins and a friend, it was cold and grey, and I was sorry I had agreed to do it. But everyone wants to swim with dolphins, so I assumed I did too.
I got into the water and it was incredibly cold so I started to tread water. The dolphins then started coming towards me and they were bigger than I thought they were going to be, so I started feeling really insecure. Rosy came up next to me and people were outside the tank watching me with the dolphin – they assumed Ram Dass was very high, and so they also assumed it would be very beautiful display. It’s often very interesting when you’re a ‘holy man’, and go into a house and dogs bark and children cry. It’s like they bust your cover.
So, I thought, “What am I supposed to do with this dolphin?” I wanted to touch it, but I assumed it would be offended. It had a tail, so I thought it was a fish, and in the past when I tried to touch a fish, it would swim away. I reached out anyway and I touched Rosy. She didn’t move and so I touched her again, and stroked her a little bit. Her skin was amazingly soft – softer than silk. I was thrilled and the experience was intensely sensual.
My paranoia dissolved into a deeper feeling of love and after a few minutes she swam around and came up under my arm. I wanted to swim with her so I took hold of her dorsal, her back fin. She swam down and my hand slipped off, but then she came back and swam back in under my arm. This happened several times, and I didn’t want to hurt her, but I finally stuck my hand around her stomach and held her back fin. She started to move very fast and I thought I was disturbing her so I let go. She immediately came back to me and I realized that she was training me, so I took hold and we began swimming wildly through the tank. At one point I needed air and so she surfaced and then we went again, swimming for a while until I was again out of breath.
The next time, Rosy dove down, and I thought, “This is the moment of truth,” but within ten seconds she came back to the surface. She knew my heart. After about 20 or 30 minutes I was very cold and shaking, so then she pulled away and got Joe, and they forced me out of the tank.
Meeting Rosy was like meeting Maharaj-ji. It was a place that words were left far behind. My mind got in the way, but our hearts knew one another. To me, that’s a model of what human relationships can be.
– Ram Dass
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