A Complete Guide to the Practice o Meditation

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Ram Dass made his mark on the world by teaching the path of the heart and promoting service in the areas of social consciousness and care for the dying. When Ram Dass first went to India in 1967, he was still Dr. Richard Alpert, an eminent Harvard psychologist and psychedelic pioneer with Dr.Timothy Leary. In India, he met his guru, Neem Karoli Ba...ba, affectionately known as Maharajji, who gave Ram Dass his name, which means "servant of God." On his return from India Ram Dass became a pivotal influence in our culture with the publication of “Be Here Now”. In fact those words have become a catch phrase in people’s lives for the last 40 years. With the publication in 2011 of “Be Love Now” Ram Dass completed his trilogy that began with “Be Here Now” in 1970 and continued with “Still Here” in 2004. His newest book is “Polishing The Mirror: How to Live From Your Spiritual Heart.” Ram Dass now makes his home in Maui and teaches world wide through his website RamDass.org and continues the work of Neem Karoli Baba through the Love Serve Remember Foundation. More

How do you use boredom as a vehicle for awakening?

How do you use boredom as a vehicle for awakening?

The beauty of a true spiritual journey is that it keeps unfolding from inside yourself, and if you just wait a little longer you’ll see how hungry you are for integrity inside yourself, for a certain quietness, for a certain clarity.

The tendency in our society is when there’s dis-ease, to grab another experience in order to reduce it.

I remember when I got into my cell in Burma. I spent the day in my cell, the first day of my two months, meditating righteously and getting my sleeping bag right and my food containers, and studying the spider at the window, and all the things you do. Then I realized I had months yet to go, and I was bored. I was really bored. Boredom became my object of meditation. I looked at boredom. Instead of the identification, “I’m bored,” I thought, “What is boredom? What does it feel like? What is it like? What does it mean to be bored?” Instead of, “Oh I’m bored.”

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How do we find balance between embracing our humanity and letting go of our attachments?

How do we find balance between embracing our humanity and letting go of our attachments?

I remember being in India as a renunciate and thinking, “Well, the thing that has obsessed me for the last 25 or 30 years is sex.” I mean, since puberty until I was sitting there, I thought, “My god, think of the amount of time I have spent thinking about sex… Will I get enough? Who is it? Will you? Won’t you? Can I? Can’t I? …Do I really wanna spend the rest of my life doing that?”

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What’s the importance of a ‘maintenance’ practice?

What’s the importance of a ‘maintenance’ practice?

It’s very easy when you have touched great depths of love and beauty and presence and emptiness and clarity and wisdom – it’s easy to assume you’re always going to stay in that, because when you’re in it, it is so totally who you are. So, you’ve got to realize we are living in incredibly seductive times, in a seductive universe. I mean, advertising is only the beginning of the game, which is constantly saying, “Desire me. Desire me. You want me. Get into your desires. You are your desires. You are your attachments. Look at me. Want me. Enjoy me. Fear me. Hope for me. Collect me. Experience me.”

 

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How do we move past feelings of inadequacy when it comes to loving ourselves and others?

 loving ourselves and others

The term “love” is used by many people. Most of the time when they use the term love, they are talking about romantic love. They are talking about love that is fused with need, and if you look at the process of falling in love, it’s an interesting process.


You have a heart that is love, but it’s closed to you by your own mind. So you’re like a hungry ghost, looking all the time.


Then you meet somebody, and they have a key that fits in a lock that opens you to your own heart, and you think, “I am in love.”

 

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How do we break the chain of reactivity with those around us?

How do we break the chain of reactivity with those around us?

As one cultivates more and more of the levels of the strudel, then one sees the whole level of interpersonal relationships as just one level. When I first started to awaken, I would come home to visit my family and my father would say to me, “Do you have a job?” He didn’t ask me if I was the Buddha, or if I was enlightened, and I would get very angry at him because he had caught me in a place where he made the plane real, and I said, “I cannot stay around my family, they bring me down.” Later when I would come home more strong in my faith and inner connections, my father would ask me the same questions, and I would, in the quietness of my being, appreciate his concern and the worldview that he held without becoming reactive, and so my response would not be reactive, and it responded instead to the deeper connection that we had, and it would open the dialogue in a new way.

It is up to the most conscious person in the situation to break the chain of reactivity.

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Exploring the Power of Intuition

Exploring the Power of Intuition

I experience quietness as an incredible condition. Within the quietness of mind you hear a kind of deeper process, a deeper wisdom.

I remember at Harvard the rational mind was so highly valued and when somebody said, “I intuitively know it,” it was treated as a kind of weakness. I mean it was so sexist, it was absurd, you know? “Men think, women intuit,” as if it were such a horrible thing to intuit. In the course of these years I’ve seen that change, so that intuition is starting to be trusted more. The fact that you could have an understanding of things from a way of being in the universe that is more subjective than objective, that you’re not knowing it as material, you’re being it, and the action is coming out of it.

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“R.D. says we are not our bodies. Amen.”

“R.D. says we are not our bodies. Amen.”

For some years in California, a young man came to my lectures in a bed, brought in a bed. He was a quadriplegic. He could not speak. He was about twenty-eight years old. He was like this (laying back on a slant). His attendant could hold his hand over an alphabet board and there was just enough capacity to point at letters. That was the way he spoke. Each time he came, I went over to him and hugged him, and then I would wait while he spelled out some words. I felt in myself how reactive I was to the immensity of his deprivation state.

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How to Navigate Power on the Spiritual Path

How to Navigate Power on the Spiritual Path

The game of powers is always very simple: Don’t use them. The minute you get a power and say, “I’ve got this power, I will use it,” then you’re stuck again. A new attachment, a new ego trip. Don’t use them, rather let them be used through you.

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The First Shift Into Truth

Photo by Peter Simon

This may be redundant to some of you that have read my biography, but after I took psilocybin I had a lot to protect. I had my empire that I had built, and my tenure, and all of my ‘games,’ my antiques, my airplane, and all this stuff.

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A Conscious Perspective on Relationships

A Conscious Perspective on Relationships

I tend to be a hard liner, and say that your reactions are your mind’s predicament.

That’s a hard line, but for you to be in a relationship where you say, “I can only be happy if you’re different,” seems to be doing an interesting thing. It’s probably perpetuating your suffering and everybody else’s suffering in life.

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Exploring the Mechanics of Thought

Exploring the Mechanics of Thought

You’re talking about getting out of the darkness and coming into light, and the fear that you won’t succeed in doing it… so why try?

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Transforming Suffering Into Grace

Transforming Suffering Into Grace

When you look back at your own life, you see that with the suffering you went through, you would have avoided it each time if you possibly could, yet when you look at the depths of your character now, and the fact that you’re sitting here doing this work, you see it’s all a product of those experiences.

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How do We Work with Power?

How do We Work with Power?

When I was in India, this very powerful Shiva swami took me at four in the morning and lead me down the street.

He took me up to a little temple at the top of the street, and he whispered a mantra into my ear. He did puja (prayer) over me for two hours, and I went out of my consciousness, I went out somewhere, I don’t know where I went, and later they came and whispered in my ear and brought me back. I couldn’t stop doing this mantra, and I said to him, “What’s that mantra Baba-ji?” He said, “It will give you vast wealth and vast power.” So I said, “But I don’t want that wealth and vast power unless you will promise me an equal amount of love and compassion.” It’s a nice thing to have said, and he said to me… “Just do the mantra.”

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Methods for Strengthening Our Faith

Methods for Strengthening Our Faith

At certain stages of the journey your faith is strong, but then sometimes it quivers a little bit, so you have to find ways to explore your doubts.

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Different Ways to Work With the Universe

Different Ways to Work With the Universe

When your body is out of whack, you figure out how to get it straight. You try to sit down and meditate, but you can’t get your knees quiet – they hurt too much. You sit down to meditate and your back hurts. You can’t leave your body for 40 minutes without freaking out, so you may decide, “I gotta work on my body.” Maybe you’ll go into Hatha Yoga Asanas.

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Trusting Your Intuition vs. Your Analytical Mind

Trusting Your Intuition

You are creating a structure to be able to support the fullness of our humanity. And different people have different unique opportunities to play in that. The art is to listen for the part you play. When one person writes a book of poetry, is that book of poetry any less of a contribution to the wellbeing of humanity than somebody who’s out on the line fighting the fire?

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Ram Dass on Discovering Your True Work Path (Part 1)

Discovering-Your-True-Work-Path

Many, many years ago, many incarnations back when I was a professor at Harvard, I used to run a course called “Career Decision Making.” It was interesting, because the students at Harvard all had these models of doctor, lawyer, business, graduate school of business, or something like that. We’d start the course by having people fill out a questionnaire and talk about what turned them on the most. It would be interesting that somebody would say, “Well, what I really like is being out in the woods by myself for long periods of time.” Then they would think about their career and they’d think, “Well, now should I be a doctor or a lawyer?”

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Finding a Way to Live in Our Truth

Finding a Way to Live in Our Truth

Knowing you’re God and being God are two different things.

I mean intellectually, we all know we’re God – most of us understand that. But the direct experience of merging into it is another matter. What seems to happen as you evolve spiritually is that the impurities or the things that veil you from being your deepest truth, become more unbearable.

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Ram Dass on the Importance of Inner Social Action

Ram Dass on the Importance of Inner Social Action

There have been many dark ages throughout history.

As we now enter into a seismic shift within our government, and within our collective consciousness, we can’t help but empathize with the feelings of fear, division and anger that now personally affect so many within our society. It’s sometimes difficult to remember to consider the “long view” in the scheme of things; and to remember that there has always been light to balance out the darkness.

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Ram Dass on Personal Roles and Money in the Workplace

Ram Dass on Personal Roles and Money in the Workplace

It takes facing a lot of truth within yourself to hear the kind of work you can do when you are in your own development. It’s hard to acknowledge that you really want money or the things money can buy, but by making believe you don’t want them you end up deceiving yourself, and picking up something that is deep. Something that is not true to your being and you end up angry and frustrated because you picked wrong. So there is a process of being very honest with yourself about what you need at any point.

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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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