America's Guru

Ram Dass at 82Andréa R. Vaucher

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The road to Ram Dass’s home on the north shore of Maui winds from the Hana Highway toward the roiling Pacific. The sage green split-level sits on a lushly landscaped rise overlooking the ocean; waves crash against the rugged shore below, and trade winds whip the palms and Norfolk pines.

This is the Hawaii of surfers’ dreams and National Geographic photo spreads, the Hawaii of poetry and the imagination. It’s a rare day when a tropical afternoon shower does not produce a spectacular rainbow, one end of which often pierces the ocean like a blade.

I am here for a five-day private retreat with Ram Dass. My friend Liz and I will stay in the guesthouse on his estate and spend private time with him each day. I have no idea what to expect.

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