Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters


Teachers and Talks: Ram Dass

posted by Dr. Arnie Kozak
Thumbnail image for Be Love Now.jpg

Ram Dass, aka, Richard Alpert, a nice Jewish boy from Brookline Massacusetts becomes the voice of a generation. There are few who have done more to introduce the East to the West. Author of the million copy selling, Be Here Now and many other books, including the recently published Be Love Now. Ram Dass teaches us how to love with gentleness. 

As Richard Alpert, he is infamous for being fired from the Harvard psychology, along with Timothy Leary, for liberal experimentation with LSD in the early 1960s. His mind opened by experimentation with psychedelic drugs, he eventually wound up in India studying with the guru Neem Karoli Baba and then returning to America to become a guru himself, donning white robes, beads, and a scraggly grey beard. 
Ram Dass has always been fresh and honest in his talking and writing. I remember one talk where he confessed to being just as neurotic now thirty years after he started meditating. However, he’d changed his relationship to that neurosis. He invoked the visitation metaphor that now when his demons come to visit he invites them in for tea instead of being overwhelmed by them and pushed around. 
Some years ago he “suffered” a stroke that left him paralyzed and speech impaired. It described the experience as being “stroked” by god, finding grace in the experience. 
In this brief video he says, “I”m living in my perception, you’re living in your perception, and we’re both living in god’s perception” pointing to the interconnectedness of everything. 


  • Colleen

    As usual, I find Ram Dass’ teachings to be confusing and contradictory. He states that “there is, in the soul, something eternal, but the soul is not eternal. The soul goes through its karma as it uses up incarnations, then that’s the end of soul”. Then he states that “eternal awareness” is part of the soul. How can it be used up and come to an end, if it contains eternal awareness?
    I agree with him that we are all living our own perception, and don’t agree that there are only 3 levels of perception. My exploration with an out of body/near death experience tells me that there are many, many levels of perception. Trying to explain or define all levels, with the knowledge we have as humans, is difficult:>)

  • ganobadate

    a

  • ganoba

    The inner experience is beyond words. It cannot be expressed in any language. There is no way i or anyone else can communicate the personal experience to anyone else.
    You are your own Guru. It is futile to follow any one else.
    Ganoba

  • Colleen

    I agree Ganoba, that ultimately, we are our own guru. It is beneficial to explore thoughts, feelings, theories, ideas, perceptions of others with an open heart and mind, and when we do this enough, we get to know ourselves well enough to be our own guides. To follow another’s teachings blindly, without question, is usually not as beneficial. By evaluating all information, we remember our own truth:>)

  • http://www.benefitarts.org Jasmine Sunshine

    Thank you for posting about Ram Dass…he is my hero!
    I LOVE the organization that he founded called SEVA. They work with indigenous populations on health projects. They are best known for their work in preventable blindness, and have helped nearly 3 million blind people suffering from cataracts to see again in poor countries around the world. Check them out at [url]http://www.seva.org[/url]
    I particularly love their GIFTS OF SERVICE catalog. You can restore eyesight to a blind person in someone’s name as a gift. A wonderful alternative gift! Check out the catalog [url]http://www.seva.org/gifts[/url]
    Thanks Ram Dass!!!!

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