A Complete Guide to the Practice o Meditation

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What are the stages of the journey towards the Living Spirit?

Welcome! It’s so graceful to share the journey. We’ve been on the journey a long time together. We’ve gone through a lot of stages.

And just as in any journey, some people have dropped along the way, have had enough for this round. Others have been waiting for us to catch up. The journey passes through the seven valleys, the seven kingdoms, the chakras, the planes of consciousness, the degrees of faith. Often we only know we’ve been in a certain place when we pass beyond it, because when we’re in it, we don’t have the perspective to know, because we’re only being. But as the journey progresses, less and less do you need to know. When the faith is strong enough, it is sufficient just to be.

It’s a journey towards simplicity, towards quietness, towards a kind of joy that is not in time. It’s a journey out of time, leaving behind every model we have had of who we think we are.


It involves a transformation of our beings so that our thinking mind becomes our servant rather than our master. It’s a journey that has taken us from primary identification with our body, through identification with our psyche, on to an identification with our souls, then to an identification with God, and ultimately beyond identification.

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Part 1 – Healing Anxiety – How Meditation Frees Us

Anxiety and the fear of failure is a pervasive suffering around the world. It is also increasing—along with the pace of life, over-consuming, addiction, noise, polarization and fears for our planet. How do we calm ourselves in a way that brings inner freedom and serves the healing of our larger world? These two talks explore the power of awareness in evolving ourselves beyond the anxiety that grips and confines our lives.

“Be empty of worrying.
Think of who created thought!
Why do you stay in prison
when the door is so wide open?
Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.
Flow down and down in always
widening rings of being.”

Excerpt From: Coleman Barks. “The Essential Rumi – reissue.”

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What are the qualities of a true Guru?

All beings are involved in an evolutionary journey. In the course of history, and far into pre-recorded history, beings have been getting lost in the illusion, and awakening out of it.

Some beings have finished their work and have awakened out of illusion, the illusion that is involved in birth after birth, not only on the physical plane, but on every other plane as well. When these free beings finally emerge from the illusion through grace, through the help of other beings who have escaped, they are faced with a choice. That choice is whether to merge back into God, or to resist that merging and remain in form on one plane or another; either to take birth again on the physical plane or to make their substance condense on a lower astral plane in order to do ‘work’ for the relief of suffering of other beings.

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How does embodying our own truth facilitate freedom for all?

The question is about the balance between inner work (work on yourself) and outer work. I’ll tell you, each person has got to intuitively trust themselves about where they are and what they can handle. If you look at a lot of social activism, you will find many people who are deeply entrapped in righteousness and anger.

And they will guilt trip you continually for not doing more. And if you say, “I’m going to go home and meditate,” they look at you like you’re killing little children. You’ve got to have incredible strength, and you feel like some kind of a viper for saying, “I’m going to take the afternoon off to go swimming.” I was in New York working with the homeless. And I’m so good. I am so good. Seva is good and I’m good. And we do good things. And it’s all wonderful.

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Where Is God in This?

When things aren’t going well, or the situation seems dire or extremely painful, we can call ourselves back from the cliff edge of despair with the simple inner question: “How is God present in this?” There are no coincidences, and our lives play out with our soul’s wisdom and God’s overview. Everything was chosen for our greater soul evolution before we even came into this lifetime. God is the midwife and helpmate in each situation. Actually, we are God, in the deepest part of our being. Everything that happens is meant to bring us to greater awareness and move us further along on our soul path. If we didn’t experience the poignancy of life, we wouldn’t be able to recognize and relish the joy. They are both part of the miracle of being alive on this Earth in the middle of a whirling mysterious cosmos, which at its heart is God as well.

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How to Celebrate with Peace

My son and I touched down in Anchorage at 3:30 in the morning. I was relieved to see the streets clear of snow; it was an easy drive home. I was looking forward to the feeling of being settled. At home, I lit some candles, exhaled and experienced peace.  

The last few days I had noticed some feelings of stress. The holiday season had arrived. Thanksgiving was just a few days away. I could also feel the pressure of every day matters. I had emails, appointments and family obligations that had piled up over the last week. 

This historically has been a personal struggle of mine. Is it possible to stay connected to peace during the holiday season? This is the time of year that is often depicted as magical. It can be amazingly wonderful; but it can also difficult to stay connected to the most important aspect; love and peace.

The next morning before I started my meditation I recognized how much I enjoy our home. It is filled with good feelings. The energy from our prayers and meditations fill my favorite rooms. The mountains are visible thru the windows. The trees behind me share the energy of protection. I easily slipped into a deep meditation.

My awareness shifted. I was greeted by love, a version of each of us.  The veil evaporated. Everything fell away except the feelings of love, peace and protection. I was home again. There are no limitations of time, size, or quantity.  It is simply recognizing heart and soul. This is where our true self is. 

I say simply... because it is with the gentle shift of awareness that we all fall into peace.

My morning meditation reminded me of my personal need to bring the holiday season back to my heart, my center. It is here that I am able to bring love into my actions that create each day. 


To experience the holidays with joy; I keep my energy focused on my heart. I keep it simple. When I begin to feel scattered or spread too thin, I bring my awareness back to my heart. This is where I need to be, to pull the magic into my holiday experience.  

Write a New Holiday Story..and Still Honor Your Memories

Dearest you,

Hope you’ve been having a week of balanced self-care after the dunk and immersion in the holiday frenzy. (for my friends in the USA I’m referring to your Thanksgiving Holiday – for the rest of us – we feel ya!)


For many people, it all begins now and it’s like being on a racing freight train fueled with escapism and angst and sugar, yep there is that. For those of you who suffer empathy overload and end up either fatigued and foggy or also confused because extra weight shows up on you overnight from all the stress, try and find ways to detach, go get grounded by walking in nature, and take lots of Himalayan salt baths, and breathe.

Here’s my go-to advice for the whole season.

You can also say NO and say it a lot to manage it all, but there’s a new normal, (or abnormal is the new normal) and we need all the help we can get to remain positive and certain within while the uncertainty on the outside prevails.

While we can tune out temporarily, we can’t ignore what’s happening in the world. I believe humanity is experiencing this for a reason. It’s all a precursor to a more cohesive peaceful world. And the sky is always darkest before dawn.

Call me a hippie-dippie granola grinder Pollyanna but I believe in the soul of humanity and I believe Love is the only answer. And we have a long way to go.

And, It’s also true the world is getting increasingly difficult for sensitives. Who knew watching the news could make you swollen and exhausted? Now the holidays? Oy Vey!

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What does it mean to ‘Be Here Now’?

I kept hoping to get esoteric teachings from Maharaji, but when I asked, “How can I become enlightened?” he said things like, “Love everybody, serve everybody, and remember God,” or “Feed people.”

When I asked, “How can I know God?” Maharaji said, “The best form to worship God is in all forms. God is in everything.” These simple teachings, to love, serve, and remember, became the guideposts for my life.



Maharaji read people’s thoughts, but beyond that, he knew their hearts. That blew my mind. In my own case, he opened my heart because I saw that he knew everything there was to know about me, even my darkest and most shameful faults, and he still loved me unconditionally. From that moment, all I wanted was to share that love.

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The Jewel in the Lotus: Cultivating Compassion

The compassion that arises from mindful awareness can heal our inner wounds, interpersonal conflict and the suffering in our world. These two talks focus on cultivating self-compassion and compassion for others. They look at the blocks to compassion and accessible powerful practices that awaken the full wisdom and tenderness of our hearts.

The Power of Affirmation

Affirmations are our way of opening ourselves up to the best that we are, and to the best that the Universe and our loving Creator wants for us. Repeating empowering intentional affirmations gets us out of our own way, and removes the blocks, fears, and negative patterns set up by the ego. Through affirmations, we say, “Yes” to the goodness of both our authentic selves and the fullest potential of life.

It has been suggested that there is nothing that influences one more than the power of one’s own voice, and I have witnessed that to be true over and over again in my own life. We carry a magic wand in our words, whether we want to or not. It is hard for our limited ego to believe or accept that what we say has any power at all, and yet we can immediately recognize the correlation between what we claim with our own words and the experiences we have.

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The Gift of a New Beginning

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt


Guess what Tuesday is?

Yep, it’s Election Day. But it’s also my birthday! Yippee!

Every year as my birthday approaches, I like to take stock of my life. I like to drill down and assess where I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going.


I ask myself, “Am I in connection with those I love? Am I spending time with them? Do they feel supported by me? Do they feel my love?”

I also take stock of my work. I ask, “Do I feel like it’s bringing me meaning? Do I want to get up every day and dive into it? Does it satisfy my curiosity? Am I learning and growing? Do I feel like I have a mission larger than myself and that I am giving my all to achieving it?”

Then I ask, “Am I in connection with God?” Truthfully, I find myself relying a lot on this relationship, especially as life moves forward.

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How can we uplevel our life by reframing desire?

In the course of my own journey, I have seen a clear sequence relating to my desires. This sequence has run for over 30 years…

If nothing else, I’ve learned patience and to stop counting how soon I’d get enlightened. I used to expect it would be any day. Then I thought it would be any lifetime. Now I no longer know whether I’m enlightened or not, and I don’t care because the process goes on inevitably and irrevocably. But the sequence is clear.

At first when I tasted of the possibility that the universe was not as I thought it was, that I was not who I thought I was, I craved to enter into the realms of consciousness where there was a broader terrain. And I was drawn very powerfully to paths that had a renunciation base. These paths were based on the understanding that the pulls of the world were so strong that it was necessary to extricate oneself from these pulls by pushing away. The seduction of the gratification of desires was so powerful that one couldn’t do one’s work in the presence of these desires.

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Ram Dass on the Power of Silence

Just play with the silence for a moment.

Instead of using it as expectancy, waiting for something to happen, flip it just slightly and just be in it. Are you really here or are you just waiting for the next thing? It’s interesting to see where we are in relation to times; whether we’re always just between what just happened and what happened next, or whether we can just be here now.

So, let’s just find our way here to be together. If you’re feeling agitated, just notice the agitation. If you’re warm, be warm. If you’re cold, be cold. If you’re overly full, be overly full. Be it, whatever it is, but put it all in the context of a quiet space, because there’s a secret in that, and it’s worth playing with it.

That there’s a place that we can be inside of ourselves, inside of the universe, in which and from which we can appreciate the delight in life. Where we can still have equanimity, and quality of presence, and the quietness of peace.


It’s something I’ve been cultivating for 45 years now. Just imagine a mandala or a flower and think about the center of the flower and then all the petals that come out from the center and think of the center of the flower as absolutely still, and think of all of the petals as moving, and energy, and change, but the center is still.

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Part 1: Rewiring for Happiness and Freedom

The Buddha said, “I would not be teaching this (a path of awakening) if genuine happiness and freedom were not possible.” While this is our potential, we each have deep conditioning to get stuck in feelings of fear, deficiency and separation from others. These talks explore the two interdependent pathways of undoing the conditioning that blocks our potential. In Part I we will look at how we can intentionally arouse states of wellbeing, and with practice, develop them into ongoing traits that bring presence and joy to our lives. In Part II, we will investigate how to cultivate an unconditional presence, and the radical acceptance and love, that are the grounds of true happiness and inner freedom.

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Forty Ways to Determine Your Level of Inner Freedom

Want to know how free you really are? Good! You're about to be presented with a unique opportunity to learn all about your individual level of inner liberty. 

As you review each of the inner liberties on the list, just note mentally whether or not that particular freedom belongs to you. Our intention is simply to learn what's true about ourselves, not to prove anything about ourselves. Allow these forty freedoms to awaken and stir that secret part of you that knows living in any kind of bondage is a lie. Then follow your own natural sensing all the way to the free life.

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Do You Need Divine Guidance?

Many people believe that the Spirit World is part of our world. As a practicing medium, it’s my belief that in reality, we are and always will be part of their world. The Spirit World is our real home. We all came from that divine place, as it’s made up of God, The Divine Source, Angels, Spirit Helpers, Guides, our loved ones, as well as our friends. They are made of the same energy as you, and that beautiful spiritual force that binds the Universe and heavens is also part of you. It’s the power of love that constantly keeps us connected to one another.

One of my favorite sayings that you will often hear me repeat during my demonstrations is: “Those in the Spirit World want to talk to you—as much as you want to talk to them!” They want to help us, gently guide us, and inspire us to be all that we can be here in the physical world. Sometimes we simply just have to ask.

Those in the Spirit World cannot interfere with the karmic lessons you’re meant to experience in this lifetime, as these are the specific lessons you must learn on your own for the evolution of your soul. But the spirits can definitely assist you in various areas of your life through guidance, inspiration, divination, synchronicity, dreams, and the power of grace. That is why I created, the Spirit Messages Oracle Deck, so you have a tool to connect with your loved ones & guide. Just remember that the spirits love you and want to help in any way they can!


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Using the Personality as a Vehicle for Beauty and Growth

Question: I have noticed that, as I’ve progressed on this pathway, I’ve picked up a lot of rules and regulations. And in picking up the rules and regulations of should and shouldn’t, my personality has taken the brunt of it. And this personality, for me, has become like a whipping post, my inner tyrant. And so what I wanted to ask you was, how can this personality, being that this is an aspect of self, be a vehicle for beauty, something to be endeared and worked with, rather than the experience of constant obstacle?

Ram Dass: As you begin to acknowledge a plane of consciousness in which the personality is real, you begin to develop a perspective which allows you the space to appreciate the beauty of the personality and to delight in it. At this point the personality becomes just like a flower or a tree. I mean, it’s something so preciously beautiful because it’s a form of nature. It’s a form that is coming out of all kinds of socialization processes; it’s coming out of experiences, it’s a quality of the way in which emotion and intellect and body and all these things come together.

It’s the dance of the interrelationship of forms with each other, all the relationship stuff that is involved with personality. It all turns extremely beautiful when you have a perspective about it.

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Healing Our Nation Starts From Within

“If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.” — Chinese 

I’ve been thinking so much lately about what can bring us together and what can bridge our deep divide. All kinds of ideas have come to mind.

Some are so very basic, like “vote! vote! vote!” It’s a gift and it’s our civic duty, so let’s exercise that right on November 6 (which just happens to be my birthday).

I’ve also thought about the importance of seeking out our neighbors. It’s such a simple idea, and yet, it’s an important step in building community, connection and common ground.

So are Sunday dinners. I’ve talked about the power of them before and it’s an idea that I’m really hoping will catch on. Invite people from all different walks of life — people from different races, people who hold different political views, people who have different life experiences than yours. After all, if we want to bring people together, then starting in our own homes is a powerful place to start.

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The Sacred Pause

When we are lost in the trance of doing, our lives are on automatic, and contracted by sense that something’s wrong or missing. This talk explores the challenges of learning to pause, and the blessings that arise when step out of our incessant mental and physical activity and reconnect with the being-qualities of presence, wisdom and love (a favorite from the archives).

“The deepest expression of love is this non-doing presence because that’s when we are inhabiting who we really are.”

“The Fire” by Judy Brown

“… A fire

grows
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.”


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The challenge of aging in an anti-aging culture…

When I went to India five years ago, somebody came up to me and said, “Ram Dass, you’re looking so much older!” Now try that on in this culture. You’d think, “Oh my God, I didn’t get enough sun. I’d better do something – lift, tuck, push, smile more, look healthier, get radiant, take vitamins, get exercise.” I mean, you’re mind just runs the gamut of these things when somebody would say a horrible thing like that, but then I heard the tone with which he was saying it, and he was saying it with respect.

Like, “Wow, you’ve made it! Like, you’re an elder and somebody that can be listened to. You’re somebody that can be respected.”

Now, if you think aging is bad, try dying. There’s this culture’s obsession with issues of death, with capital punishment, with abortion, with inner city violence, with guns, with war, and I think there is a kind of moral crisis.

When I came back from India, I came back armed, if you will, with the fact that there were many more people who held different views of the process of dying. Now I have to for a moment go back to what had happened to me in 1961. I had gone from being a Western social scientist over the edge into another way of understanding reality, experientially, not intellectually, and without getting into all the politics of this issue and all the moral aspects of the issue, this was the result of me taking psilocybin mushrooms.

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