Tag Archive: RAM DASS


Fear is what excites the adrenaline. Just look at the daily news. Look at what’s on it. Look at what’s there. Love doesn’t sell, no matter how hard you try. It doesn’t sell. People can’t slow down enough to taste it. Folks go out and see the stars and it slows you down but how many times do you even do that? How many times do you go in and turn on the lights and you turn on the television or turn on something instead?

You turn on, and you tune in, and you drop out, but what you drop out of is the deeper truth and drop into a linear storyline.

Now if you see the nature of this metaphysics that we’re talking about, about ego and the different levels of self.. Ego, and soul, and awareness, or god, or whatever… If you see those then you begin to see what the nature of your curriculum as a soul is, that having taken birth on earth, the work is to awaken out of the karmic illusions that you keep creating, and you draw your awareness back through whatever practices you use to do that.

You do this and then you look around. At first you’re satisfied to do a practice now and then, but I’ll tell you what happens is once the hook is planted it is inevitable and irrevocable. You can try to go back to sleep but you can’t quite fully do it once you’re started to awaken. Finally, what happens is it becomes your life’s work.

Somebody will come up to me and they’ll say, “I’m not doing well with my partner. We are thinking of divorce – my partner isn’t growing the way I’m growing, and I want to go on with my way- I want satsang – I want somebody that is growing with me.” I can see from where they’re saying it that at a certain stage of their spiritual practice they could hear the answer that it doesn’t matter, because they are doing work on themselves. Working with somebody who wasn’t awakening, they end up doing a different kind of work than they would working with somebody that was helping them awaken. In other words, you have a partner who, every time you say, “I’m doing spiritual practice,” they say, “Oh, come on. Cut the crap. Let’s go to the movies.” That’s interesting work in terms of a fire of purification for your inner truth. It’s just as useful as when you say, “Oh, the spiritual world is so great,” and they say, “Come on, don’t talk like that. Really get in here,” It’s a different level of work.

What I’m suggesting is that after a while everything in your life becomes grist for the mill for awakening, and your priorities change. Instead of, “Am I awakening through my work? Am I awakening through this relationship? Am I awakening through this drive? Am I awakening through how I take care of my body?…..” The journey of awakening begins to to dominate the terrain. There is clearly an inner shift of priority, and then you start to use your life that way.

Source: Ram Dass

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When you walk down the street you see other beings who are doing things… who are thinking things, who are wearing things, who are older or younger, who have personal lives. You see all the individual differences, but you also see them as packaging which holds that being.

This is a 1931 body and it’s decaying at a certain rate. It’s inevitable. I mean, I may prolong it or slow it down, but it’s inevitable. The personality of this being has a lot of residual little neuroses hanging around in it. It’s also charming, it’s delightful, it’s warm, it’s intelligent, it’s a personality, and those are my vehicles for being here on Earth.

It’s like a space suit, when you see those guys on the moon, and they’re encased in these suits. Those suits allow them to be in that particular element, and so we are in an element which requires that we be sheathed in a body and a personality.

Notice what I’m doing. I’m suggesting that we are not an identity with our personalities or our bodies, we are something more than that, and the predicament we face in recognizing this part of ourselves is that it isn’t ‘see-able’ with our eyes, isn’t ‘tasteable’ with our tongues… isn’t recognizable by any of our external senses.

So do we take this whole part of ourselves and assume it isn’t real?

All those times when you are not caught in your personality, or not caught in your role, or not caught in identifying with your body, do you assume at those moments, whatever you’re experiencing, is illegitimate? Do you say, “Oh, I thought I was crazy. I was out of my mind,” whatever I was thinking is irrelevant?

You don’t know what to do with that information that doesn’t relate to you as an object because the nature of your being is such that you can just be it.

You can’t know it, but you can be it.

At this moment there’s a body sitting here, there’s a personality, there’s speaking happening, and behind it all, inside, I’m sitting here. How could I describe myself? I would say that “I am.” The minute that I ascribe any adjective to it, I immediately reduce it to less than what it is, because finally what it is, is “I am.”

In meditation we call it “awareness”. It’s subject, it’s not object, you can’t think about it, because the thinking mind objectifies, and most of us are busy being who we think we are, and in that process, we make ourselves into objects. We think about ourselves, and first we are alienated from other people, and then we finally get alienated from ourselves. The Christians call this awareness, this being, the ‘soul.’

Now, we all project certain identities by our bodies and by our personalities, you can see who a person is by looking at them. You can see who they think they are. You can see it in the lines on their faces and the smile and the quality. You can see when somebody is feeling ugly, when they feel they’re unlovable, when they’re frightened.

And you can also see when people feel connected to beauty and connected to something deeper than themselves.
Source: Ram Dass

There’s a great line from a wonderful teacher who died some years ago named Kalu Rinpoche, a lovely Tibetan monk. He said, “We live in illusion, the appearance of things, but there is a reality and we are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That’s all there is.”

What happens to most of us, and I say most of us, is that when you and I were born, we were born into a social-psychological world, a world with feelings and thoughts, that was inhabited by people who were very identified with their separateness. They were somebody. They were mummy or daddy. They were also this and this and this and this, and they were all the different identities they had, and they trained you about those realities, because those are the realities that were real to them.

Let’s say you started out with completely undifferentiated awareness, and then in the process of socialization, you cultivated your cognitive capacities of this versus that and all your conceptual models that are called your ego and ego structure, and then you got caught in them. You got lost in them, so you thought they were real. You got caught in your own creation, because everything around you supported you becoming somebody. You went into somebody training when you took birth, and you ended up somebody. I bet you think you’re real. I really think you think you’ve got a personal history; you think you’re going somewhere; you think you’ve got problems and neuroses and hopes and relationships; it all sounds real doesn’t it? …Boy were you taken for a ride.

Now, it’s not unreal; it’s just relatively real. The predicament is, you bought into the planes of reality that are all in time. That’s a problem because there’s at least another plane where you’re One with it all, and no one is going anywhere. There’s no time – it’s behind time. So there’s a part of you that is not in time, even though the rest of you is in time, and you bought into the part of you that’s in time, so you think time is passing.

When you get caught in your somebodyness, you as a separate entity, relative to the game of form, are pretty tiny. There are galaxies, and you are pretty tiny, you know, and it’s kind of frightening to have your awareness in something so small when everything around you is big and so unpredictable, and you can’t control it. So to the extent you identify with your somebodyness, there is fear. There is fear of what changes, it turns out, because you can’t control it when it changes. There’s fascination with it, but there’s fear in it. There’s fear of death. That colors almost everything everybody does in a subtle way, all the time. Wanting to leave something behind, wanting to get as much out of the moment as you can because you are fleeting; feeling you’re running out of time because there is too much to do.

– Ram Dass

Try this exercise to develop mindfulness by meditating on one’s thoughts…

Perhaps at some time you have sat quietly by the side of an ocean or river. At first there is one big rush of sound. Listening quietly, you begin to hear a multitude of subtle sounds: the waves hitting the shore, the rushing current of the river.

In that peacefulness and silence of mind you experience precisely what is happening. It is the same when you listen to yourself. At first all you can hear is one “self” or “I,” but slowly this self is revealed as a mass of changing elements, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and images, all illuminated simply by listening, by paying attention.

You remain alert, not allowing yourself to become forgetful. When you develop mindfulness and concentration together, you achieve a balance of mind. As this penetrating awareness develops it reveals many aspects of the world and of who you are. You see with a clear and direct vision that everything, including yourself, is flowing, in flux, in transformation. There is not a single element of your mind or body that is stable. This wisdom comes not from any particular state, but from close observation of your own mind.

Joseph Goldstein
gives the following instructions for developing mindfulness by meditating on one’s thoughts:

Meditation on the Mind

To meditate upon thoughts is simply to be aware, as thoughts arise, that the mind is thinking, without getting involved in the content: not going off on a train of association, not analyzing the thought and why it came, but merely to be aware that at the particular moment “thinking” is happening. It is helpful to make a mental note of “thinking, thinking” every time a thought arises; observe the thought without judgement, without reaction to the content, without identifying with it, without taking the thought to be I, or self, or mine. The thought is the thinker. There is no one behind it. The thought is thinking itself. It comes uninvited. You will see that when there is a strong detachment from the thought process, thoughts don’t last long. As soon as you are mindful of a thought, it disappears. Some people may find it helpful to label the thinking process in a more precise way, to note different kinds of thoughts, whether “planning” or “imagining” or “remembering.” This sharpens the focus of attention. Otherwise, the simple note of “thinking, thinking” will serve the purpose. Try to be aware of the thought as soon as it arises, rather than some minutes afterward. When they are noticed with precision and balance they have no power to disturb the mind.

Suzuki Roshi in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind writes: “When you are practicing Zazen meditation do not try to stop your thinking. Let it stop by itself. If something comes into your mind, let it come in and let it go out. It will not stay long. When you try to stop your thinking, it means you are bothered by it. Do not be bothered by anything. It appears that the something comes from outside your mind, but actually it is only the waves of your mind and if you are not bothered by the waves, gradually they will become calmer and calmer… Many sensations come, many thoughts or images arise but they are just waves from your own mind. Nothing comes from outside your mind… If you leave your mind as it is, it will become calm. This mind is called “big mind.”

Just let things happen as they do. Let all images and thoughts and sensations arise and pass away without being bothered, without reacting, without judging, without clinging, without identifying with them. Become one with the big mind, observing carefully, microscopically, all the waves coming and going. This attitude will quickly bring about a state of balance and calm. Don’t let the mind get out of focus. Keep the mind sharply aware, moment to moment, of what is happening, whether the in-out breath, sensations, or thoughts. In each instant be focused on the object with a balanced and relaxed mind.
Source: Spirituality Health

At any moment, you are consciousness involved in a nature package… The nature package includes your heredity, your environment, all of your personality characteristics, all of the opportunities that exist at this moment, all of your attitudes, all of your predispositions, it’s the whole package. That package is functioning under the laws of karma or the laws of the universe. That package is unfolding; it’s just lawfully working itself out.

As you get more conscious, every act you perform increases the amount of the consciousness in the universe, because the act itself conveys the consciousness.

It’s quite apparent that as you work on yourself, on your consciousness, you continue to do whatever dance you’re doing, the dance evolves. You begin to see how the acts you perform can become more and more optimum to the conditions. For instance, when you’re about to change a law in a country you stand back, and you begin to understand the way the whole system works, and you see what the optimum act you can do is, and you perform it totally, without emotional attachment to that act, and instead an awareness of how that act works in the whole system.

In other words, it’s the ability to sometimes have delay of gratification, the ability to stand back to do what is the more optimum response.

The general rule applies that, “I will work on myself, since the work on myself is gonna be the highest thing I can do for it all, since I understand that as man up-levels his own consciousness, he sees more creative solutions to the problems that he’s confronting.” It always feeds back to the same place, where working on myself is social action, and I cannot be concerned with whether you understand this, because it’s also done totally without attachment.
Source: Ram Dass


How do you find balance with so much suffering in the world?

In these 9 hour-long sessions, join Ram Dass, Roshi Joan Halifax and Krishna Das for an exploration on how to discover joy in our lives while still acknowledging the truth of suffering.

Ram Dass: We Are Awareness


Shot at his home in Maui in 2005 (8 years after a stroke left him with a number of health issues), Ram Dass talks about how we first see ourselves as separate from each other but eventually we realize we’re not separate. In fact, we’re all the same awareness.


Published on Feb 16, 2016

You are already the fully enlightened being, you just don’t know it. You sense that potential, the capacity to be free of time and space, to let go of attachment to form, and to open yourself to Love with no boundaries.


Published on Nov 3, 2015

Ram Dass describes the ways that we can use relationships on the spiritual path, with an an emphasis on the value of Truth within any dynamic. (11/18/1982 – Maui, HI)

“The interesting secret in the game of relationship is that if there’s something you don’t like, work on yourself. As long as you’re only identified with your separateness and your needfulness you are going to suffer, and the relationship is just going to be one continuous drama after another”

Please click the following link for additional teachings on Relationships:

https://www.ramdass.org/relationships…

Published on Jun 6, 2015

The goal is not to realize God and forget humanity, but to fully embrace both by coming to the understanding that form and formlessness are two different faces of God

“If you want perfection in your spiritual journey you must honor your incarnation and become totally free of it”

Published on Sep 15, 2014

http://bhaktifest.com/

Ram Dass first went to India in 1967 when he was still Dr. Richard Alpert, an already eminent Harvard psychologist and psychedelic pioneer with Dr. Timothy Leary. In India, he met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, who gave Ram Dass his name, which means “servant of God.” Everything changed then – his intense dharmic life started, and he became a pivotal influence on a culture that has reverberated with the words “Be Here Now” ever since. Ram Dass’s spirit has been a guiding light for three generations.

Through the auspices of Center for Spiritual Studies, Director Sridhar Silberfein brought Ram Dass over to Maui in 2004 to host a retreat. When recognizing a notable difference in Ram Dass’ well-being, it was decided he would stay on the island to maintain good health. After securing a home, assistants, doctors, therapist, and making sure Ram Dass was well taken care of financially, the Love, Serve Remember Foundation was created to replace Center for Spiritual Studies in 2009. Simultaneously Bhakti Fest was created and founded by Sridhar—from a vision he had on the stage at the Woodstock Festival standing along side Swami Satchidananda. Looking out at the field of humanity of 500,000 wild Americans, Sridhar said to Swamiji, “wouldn’t it be wonderful to be casting our eyes on the same amount of people chanting the Hari-nam (the names of the Divine)?” Forty years later, the stage was set and this envisioning came to fruition through the workings of Bhakti Fest.

Today, you can find one-of-a-kind reunions of these two longtime friends at the special screening of Ram Dass interviews in the Workshop hall of all Bhakti Festivals. Listen in as they discuss current events, life experiences, and all things devotional.

Published on Apr 7, 2015

Ram Dass reading The Great Way from the 3rd Chinese Patriarch – Taken from the Love Serve Remember Record


Published on Feb 16, 2015
There’s no doubt that we all have adversity, and these days it’s even more obvious in our very difficult world. In this new film, Compassion, Truth and Adversity, Ram Dass and Sharon Salzberg pinpoint the ways in which we can transform our adversity, by being honest with ourselves, and compassionate and truthful with others.

This film and all other offerings on RamDass.org are only possible with the support of friends like you. Please consider a donation of any amount before, during or after the event, which will allow Ram Dass’ Love Serve Foundation to continue to present more projects like this and to help him share these transformational teachings with current and future generations. Donate Here: http://goo.gl/d3a8JT

Published on Feb 13, 2015
Part of our agenda as people of any age is to find some way of being with the idea of death. Whether confronting our own passing` or grieving the death of someone we love, we’re trapped in our pain – until we look beyond the form. Then we see that everyone we’ve ever loved is part of the very fabric of our being. Ram Dass tells of the transformations experienced by individuals as they open through their dying process. He assures us, “grief gets transformed into a living love space, a spiritual transcendence of the pain”

(5/2/1992 – NY, NY)

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