Mon, 30 January 2017
In this talk from 1976, Ram Dass talks about what we are beyond this lifetime and asks, "Who are you?"
Time after time we have experienced a cycle of birth and death. Each time we are born into a new identity and cling to that incarnation as if it was all we had, until the moment we get a glimpse of something more. Ram Dass explores our journey of awakening and returning to the one.
Tue, 10 January 2017
Ram Dass and Raghu have a conversation around social action and keeping our quietness and love in 2017.
Ram Dass talks about balancing ourselves, social responsibility, why he puts President Trump on his puja table, and finding love for everyone no matter their beliefs. Ram Dass leaves us with perspective and insight on keeping our quietness and love in the coming year.
Direct download: Ep_105_-_Keeping_our_Quietness_and_Love_in_2017.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:38pm EDT
Wed, 28 December 2016
Ram Dass is joined by a young Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield for a meaningful talk about mindfulness and food.
This discussion is part of the Naropa University Bhagavad Gita Sessions of 1974. We are shown a new perception of what it is that we are eating. Ram Dass, Joseph, and Jack help us to understand that there is a connection between what sustains us and who we are.
Tue, 13 December 2016
In this lecture from 1974 at Naropa University, Ram Dass talks about our unhealthy preoccupation with our individual differences.
We grow up with the identity of a separate self, building an entire character around that separate self. From this, we begin identifying others based around our character development. In this episode, Ram Dass gives insight on how our practice helps us move beyond our patterns and perception of individual differences.
Wed, 9 November 2016
On this episode of Here and Now, Ram Dass has a Sunday hangout session with Raghu Markus. The two chat about the concept of the 'soul-complex', how Ram Dass manages his suffering, as well as duality and devotion.
Ram Dass and Raghu discuss the 'soul-complex' and the transition process between lives. They also consider the similarities between duel and non-duel systems. Explaining how the limitations of one are complimented by the other, and how the two have different means to the same end.
"In life, the 'soul-complex' is never for two consecutive moments the same, but is, like the body, in constant change. There is thus a series of successive, and, in one sense, different states, which are in themselves but momentary. There is still a unifying bond in that each momentary state is a present representative of all those which are past, as it will be the generation of all future transformations potentially involved in it. This process is not interrupted by death."
Wed, 19 October 2016
How would you answer the question of, "Who do you think YOU are?" You probably believe that you are somebody, but that somebody is the ego.
On this episode of Here and Now, Ram Dass talks about our separation from the One, getting back to God, and what we must do to make it happen.
"We can be righteous, but we cannot be righteous and be one with God." -Ram Dass
Direct download: Ram20Dass20Here20and20Now20-20Episode2010120-20Getting20Back20To20God.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:51am EDT
Wed, 28 September 2016
On this special 100th episode of Here and Now, Ram Dass and Raghu Markus talk about imagination, faith, and gratitude. Ram Dass teaches us to see through our own delusions that mislead us and weigh us down with fear.
Ram Dass brings insight to several important questions. How can we learn to trust our intuition without fooling ourselves? Where does gratitude come from? Explore these questions and more on this episode of Here and Now.
Mon, 12 September 2016
Raghu introduces a new outstanding essential teachings course from Ram Dass entitled – Being Here Now: An Odyssey into the Essential Teachings of Ram Dass. After a deep dive into the Ram Dass audio archives, Raghu gives us a preview of the never before published Ram Dass content.
Being Here Now is an eight-week audio course with a companion guide written by Rameshwar Das. The course also features a big bonus current video of Ram Dass. Raghu gives us a taste of each week, and shares wisdom on some of the topics featured in the course. This course is brought to you in partnership with Tami Simon and Sounds True.
Being Here Now: An Odyssey into the Essential Teachings of Ram Dass
Identifying with Our True Self
From the moment we incarnate as a human being we are identified with our body, feelings and thoughts. Yet, beyond our thinking mind and sensory perceptions, there is a vast realm of the soul which is pure consciousness, love, joy and peace. Our individual soul is part of that unitary consciousness, whether we call it God, Buddhahood, or the One. It is our origin and where we shall return. Sometimes just a subtle shift in perspective or point of view can remind us of this true nature of our being.
Witness and Awareness
The gateway to our true Self is our own awareness. Becoming an impartial observer of each instant of our incarnation allows us to be present in the moment and at the same time to extricate from our desires, thoughts, attachments and the time-binding of regrets about the past and worry about the future. Awareness and love, loving ourselves with full awareness of each thought and feeling, even of negative emotions, begins to dissolve our identification with the ego and allows us to live in our soul.
Methods and Purifying the Mind
Meditation means going within to bring the mind to one point in order to quiet the cacophony of thoughts, emotions, and desires. Patanjali, the sage who wrote the Yoga Sutra, starts with, “Citta vritti nirodha,” or, consciousness arises when thoughts dissolve. Our guru, Maharaj-ji, said, “Bring your mind to one point and wait for Grace.” There are many methods of meditation. Find one that works for you and develop a regular practice.
Suffering and Disturbing Emotions
Physical, emotional, and mental suffering is a reality of life. Thoughts, emotions, and sensations come up constantly to disturb the essential peace of the heart and mind. While we cannot avoid the difficult challenges of life, how we deal with and experience them can magnify or reduce their impact. We can find a spaciousness in our encounters with suffering- we can actually make friends with our suffering.
Cultivating Love and Compassion
Love is the emotion of merging, or becoming one. Compassion is being with another’s suffering, experiencing our inter-relatedness in the most direct way by opening our hearts to one another. The Buddhist practice of metta or the Hindu devotional practices of Bhakti yoga can help with that heart opening. Ram Dass teaches Loving Awareness meditation that brings together love and awareness. We have to start from where we are. Only when we truly love ourselves can we become beacons of love to others.
Relationships and the Spiritual Path
Transforming the karma of relationships into grist for the mill of the spiritual path is a challenge. Discriminating between love and attachment, personal desire and unconditional love, is part of everyone’s spiritual evolution.
Transforming everyday work and activity into spiritual practice is karma yoga, often expressed through seva, or selfless service. The Bhagavad Gita is one of the great wisdom sources for karma yoga. As it says, ultimately we bring our lives into harmony by surrendering the fruits of our actions to God.
Love and Death
Our ego fears annihilation because of the identification with our body. Living in faith that we are truly a soul helps transform fear. The grief of losing a loved one yields to the certainty that though bodies pass away, love does not die. If we live fully in the present moment, death is just another moment.
Thu, 25 August 2016
When it comes to Spiritual Practices, Ram Dass poses the question, “why do we practice?” Raghu reads a passage from The Wisdom Teachings and Good Wishes of the Adi-Buddha Samanta-Bhadra which poses that the reality which is “the foundation of all is uncreated, uncompounded, independent beyond mental concept and verbal definition.” Not knowing this we humans get overwhelmed by the darkness of unconsciousness, from which comes ignorance and error, of course what arises is us and them, together, or I and others. Which spawns an unbroken current of samsaric (illusion) evolution, so the root source of error among sentient beings is thus unconscious ignorance
Raghu suggests this is pretty good motivation for spiritual practice. Ram Dass gives another motivation, which is, change generates fear. Fear generates contraction, contraction then generates prejudice and bigotry, and ultimately violence.
What’s the antidote for this? It’s consciousness that does not respond to change with fear. So how do we get that consciousness? It takes spiritual practice. Once you start to practice, the journey to awakening starts to dominate the terrain. “Everything in your life becomes grist for the mill of awakening. You learn to trust the deepest inner message you can hear.” Ram Dass also says: “if you’re thinking you should meditate, don’t bother, go out and lust some more. You need an honest approach to the path, you can’t be phony holy.” Raghu talks about his own experience on sitting on a regular basis, even if he’s tired or cranky. The beauty of a true spiritual journey is that it keeps unfolding from inside yourself.
Thu, 28 July 2016
Ram Dass talks about disturbing emotions that may arise is potential wisdom the moment you relax into your natural mind. Look directly into it, don’t deliberately reject it, regard it as a fault, or indulge in it concretely or, regard it as a virtue. Ram Dass talks about experiencing his life as a dance of balance of cultivating the qualities of spaciousness, of equanimity, of peace, of happiness, we fear the passions of life because they take us away from that balance. We have to find a balance between intuitive heart and thinking mind. Because the tendency in the spiritual journey is to denigrate the thinking mind into it and we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. In this talk, Ram Dass speaks on making human relationships our yoga. Let us help each other awaken.
Ram Dass tells us an exquisite story about Ramana Maharashi that exemplifies the possibility
Miracles remind you that what you think is reality is not truth. That frees you to think about what is true reality. When you wonder how it is, you’re hooked.