Ram Dass Here And Now

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.

Direct download: Here_and_Now_-_Ep._98_-_Spiritual_Practices.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:10pm EDT

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
Of a being who is not trapped, but are always living in that spacious awareness-- of compassion or emptiness.

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.

Direct download: Ep._97_-_Being_Free_Together.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:28pm EDT

Raghu and Ram Dass do a live hang out on Skype.

Raghu reminds Ram Dass of the first moment they met in Montreal 
and how that moment defined a trust for him that led to meeting the Guru. 
Ram Dass talks about his first encounters with trust through the sacred mushroom and Tim Leary.
For the first time Ram Dass tells the real story of how he came to coin Be Here Now while searching for the Guru in India.
Ram Dass talks about intuition and imagination as a method to connect with the Guru- and Raghu quotes from Ram Dass' book Journey of Awakening in relation to meeting the Guru- " When needed the Guru appears. It's a benign conspiracy".
Finally Ram Dass talks about contentment and the fact that he has been living in a "stroked" body has not deterred him from being in the moment and being content.
Direct download: Ep._96_-_Trust_Contentment_and_the_Guru_-_Final_cut.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:46am EDT

Ram Dass talks about the value and limits of psychedelics – when they can enhance the spiritual path and when there can be risks.

From ancient times there has been the idea of an elixir sometimes called Soma and the use of natural herbs to effect spiritual transformation.

The experience that humans have is the ability to see the universe from a different vantage point- now we could experience the deeper part of our beings that lie behind the thinking mind. Our monitoring system gets turned off so we can have a completely fresh view.

When the boundries break down we begin to see the inter-relatedness of everything. We see the way in which it’s all connected- the mystery that lies behind the apparent phenomena.

These psychedelics give us an inner validity to our intuitive voice.

Ram Dass talks about the original playbook laid out in the early days on set and setting when taking ethneogens.

“When I broke through, what I saw was the reality I thought was real was only relatively real- not absolutely real. What happened to my mind was a shift in consciousness.”

Direct download: Here_and_Now_-_Ep._95_-_Plumbing_the_Depths_of_the_Mystery.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:55am EDT

In tracing our spiritual journey, we have gone from a psychological, economic and political universe into a spiritual universe. And in the course of that transition, we have rejected the psychological, economic and political aspects of our lives.

We have to finally honor our incarnations, god manifests through form and we have to love the form that we were incarnated into, and give that form space to be what it has to be.

We need to stop taking a stance to protect ourselves from the supposed contamination of the world on our so-called ‘spiritual purity’.

What we are should be able to play in all of the fields of our lives. As long as we have the desire to be ‘special’ we are pushing life away out of fear. Afraid of dying into the universe for fear it will contaminate us.

Direct download: Here_and_Now_-_Ep._94_-_Tracing_Our_Spiritual_Journey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:21pm EDT

Ram Dass illuminates the trap that many of us fall into as we grow up - which is the idea that we are our thoughts.

The more accurate view would be, "I am and I think.”

Thinking is a power that we have - “Intellect is a great servant but a lousy master.”

Most of us live almost entirely within the projections of our thinking mind.

Intellect is only one way of knowing the world, but the intuitive mind and heart is a more profound way of "knowing" the universe than the analytic intellectual linear mind.

The more you think inwardly and self reflect, the more you become an object to yourself until the whole universe is made up of objects.

We need to change the relative power positions of "intellect" and “intuition" so that we develop greater balance and freedom to grow on the spiritual path.

Direct download: Here_and_Now_-_Ep._93_-_The_Thinking_Mind.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:50pm EDT

Ram Dass brings up a meeting he had with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche during which Rinpoche said to him, "We have to accept responsibility,” to which Ram Dass replied, "God has all the responsibility,” and Rinpoche replied, "Ram Dass, you are copping out.”

Ram Dass explores the way in which we experience everything as a free choice but in some way it's part of a determined law:

You have a choice of identifying with your incarnate creation (your body, personality, social entity) or You as the creator (God that resides within each one of us) of that creation.

The creative spark - that's what is responsible. We accept that we are part of the One, and that we are in fact creating our universe.

Direct download: Here_and_Now_-_Ep._92_-_Creating_Our_Universe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:26pm EDT

Ram Dass tells the story of Maharaji arranging the reunion of a barber and his son by appearing in two places at one time and says, "More profound than miracles is the quality of His presence - His unconditional love was so intense that it cut through cynicism, doubt and separation. Imagine a place where someone is living in that presence of unconditional love all the time with everyone - and everyone you see is their Beloved. A fully conscious and realized being is that - there are no conditions and no attachments.”

On the other hand we all live within limits which prevent us from loving freely - we are conditional lovers.

How do we transform? Not by destroying our bodies, thoughts or emotions but by getting beyond the attachments that prevent us from being free and unconditional lovers.

Direct download: Here_and_Now_-_Ep._91_-_More_Profound_Than_Miracles.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:02pm EDT

The Bhagavad Gita says, “The greatest birth is in a family of Yogis.”

That would reflect people who are not caught so much in the illusion of separateness. Small children, when in the presence of parents who are spacious and aware, allow the child to develop a “somebody-ness” but not at the level that it entraps them. Rather, it becomes a functional “somebody-ness” not an entrapping “somebody-ness”.

As parents, we should cultivate with our children as quickly as possible the notion that we are fellow travelers, that I am in a role of caretaker and you as child, and slowly we are going to emerge as two friends. Then you become a Dharmic parent.

Direct download: Here_and_Now_-_Ep._90_-_Conscious_Parenting.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:13pm EDT

Ram Dass talks about being socialized out of any recognition of who we were. Everyone wants to believe they are who they think they are.

Through the use of psychedelics we recognized we'd been had.
Where your mind is in relation to the game is what creates or relieves suffering-your's and everyone else.
Ram Dass also leads a short three breath mindfulness meditation for practice anytime during the day.
Direct download: Here_and_Now_-_Ep._89_-_Edge_of_the_Mystery.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43am EDT