Mindrolling – Raghu Markus – Ep. 363 – Ram Dass’ Cannonball into the Abyss with Pete Holmes


Comedian, actor and writer Pete Holmes rejoins Raghu to reflect on his experiences with Ram Dass, sharing rare and hilarious stories of his own spiritual transformation.

This special episode of Mindrolling is part of a series of conversations for an upcoming book project on remarkable experiences with Ram Dass. Recorded just months after his Dec 22, 2019 passing on Maui, Raghu invites Pete to share about his personal spiritual journey with Baba Ram Dass. Diving into the cascading catalysts which led him to read Be Here Now, his travels alongside Duncan Trussell to the Love Serve Remember retreats, and his deeply loving and humorous relationship with Ram Dass on Maui, Pete elucidates the unique lilas (divine plays), in his life, which brought him to Ram Dass, Hanuman, and Maharajji.

Honesty, Psychedelics, & Courage

Elucidating his life’s spiritual story-arc of re-imbibing and reimagining his relationship to God, sparked fiercely through his discovery of Ram Dass’ Experiments in Truth lectures after partaking in a psilocybin trip, Pete shares with Raghu about the immense quality of honesty that Ram Dass’ life was so steeped within. Depicting their stunning similarities and dissimilarities, Pete speaks to his relationship with psychedelics comparatively, highlighting the remarkable courage of Ram Dass for jumping the high-dive into the unknown.

“Sometimes when I’m taking psychedelics, I’ll say to myself, ‘You’re afraid to do this, but you’ll one day have to jump off the high-dive of death. How little do you trust God, the Universe, yourself, that you can’t even do a 6-8 hour alteration of reality, when we all have to do the cannonball into the abyss?'” – Pete Holmes

For another podcast in this series, Dr. Robert Thurman shares his wild psychedelic beginnings, and his experiences with Ram Dass, on Ep. 354 of Mindrolling
Duncan Trussell, Maui Retreats, & The Honey Avalanche (19:49)

Pete describes to Raghu his first time hearing a Ram Dass tape and the ensuing honey avalanche of inspired love and wisdom that he felt cascading from that moment. After noticing a photo of Ram Dass’ Guru, Maharajji, at, friend and fellow comedian, Duncan Trussell’s house while recording a podcast, Pete followed the kaleidoscopic trail of synchronistic breadcrumbs all the way to Maui to meet Ram Dass at a Love Serve Remember retreat, an experience detailed in his book, Comedy Sex God, to exemplify Ram Dass’ capacity for getting behind our roles to a place of unconditional love.

“In a beautiful way it didn’t matter what shiny compliment I saved for him…He could smell my specialness addiction a mile away…He just loved me for absolutely no rational reason. He loved me because he was looking through this meat-puppet, seeing the inner-light, and going, ‘Where have you been my whole life?'” – Pete Holmes

Join Raghu, Duncan, and Pete for a wise & hilarious talk recorded on Maui from one of Ram Dass’ Open Your Heart in Paradise retreats, on Ep. 222 of Mindrolling
‘Just This…’ & The Ice Cream Sandwich (40:54)

Taking an eclectic and visceral tour through his catalog of wildly transformative, consciousness-expanding, love-inducing experiences visiting Ram Dass at his home on Maui, Pete explores the deeper meanings behind these personally catered lessons from the universe, demonstrating the nuanced lilas (divine plays) that would occur in the presence of Ram Dass, inviting one back to the ever-loving resplendence of the boundless present moment.

“You realize that it really is as simple as being love, and working on the quality of your spacious, open, consciousness; and experiencing infinity right now. ‘Just this, just this,’ is such a profound message…Ram Dass says the next message is whatever is in the moment. This is the message.” – Pete Holmes

Explore the nature of compassion with Ram Dass, as he highlights how to move beyond our roles, and into the womb of emptiness, on Ep. 163 of Here & Now