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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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Your Compassionate Heart

You have one. We all do. It just gets covered over with a protective shell of fear about your own survival. Or it is buried and forgotten in a busy and sometimes frantic daily life. We get lost in our own worries and concerns and forget about the others we share the world with. We lose sight of the fact that everyone else around us is living lives very similar to our own at the most basic level, beginning with birth and ending with death. Yet isn’t life about more than that really? Aren’t we greater than the events of our lives? Isn’t there a thread that ties us together, in spite of our differences?

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The Wisdom of Lao Tzu - The "Old Master"

To a mind that is still the whole universe surrenders.” Lao Tzu

One of the three main sources of ancient Chinese wisdom is Lao Tzu, from the 6th Century B.C.E. (The others are Confucius and Buddha.)


His work is foundational to the understanding and practice of Taoism (“The Way”) which today still has over 20 million followers.

The Legend of Lao Tzu


Lao Tzu’s origin and early years are unknown. He first comes to us as a record keeper in the Zhou Dynasty. In time he became repelled by the widespread moral corruption, and rode a water buffalo to China’s Western border. He was disguised as a farmer, but the border official recognized him and importuned him to write down his Wisdom.


Why he was recognized is unknown – had he been a teacher? How it was known he had wisdom to impart is unknown. Had he publicly expressed what we find in the Tao Te Ching, his short but infinitely powerful work?


At any rate, having written all he wanted to say, he disappeared into history.

Is It True?

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Common Questions and Answers about the Afterlife!

Over the years I have been asked thousands of questions about the Afterlife: What happens when you die? How does it happen? What do our loved ones have to say? So, after a while I started writing them down. Then, once I finished writing my book, The Love Never Ends, I put a little book together called Answers-About-the-Afterlife. These are some of the top questions and answers from that book. I hope they bring you some insight… and maybe even answer some of your own questions. ~ SDJ♥

1).  Is there a life review after we have passed on? 

Yes, there is a life review. It is like as they go through their life review, they are witnessing everything that ever happened in their life… every feeling, every emotion, every experience. It is as if it is played out on a movie screen. I’ve been told that it’s like you have a remote and you can fast forward and rewind through different parts of it afterwards. You can also see the way things might have turned out had you gone down a different road, or made a different choice. It is my understanding that one road isn’t better than another. They generally all wind up going to the same place. It is really just more about the experience and the expansion of the person. As you go through this life review, there is no judge and jury. There is no one to condemn you. It is an opportunity to study the life you lived, and learn and grow from it with a new and different perspective. Because you are now in Spirit, you can see from a higher vibration and can see what each experience was truly about.

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Jack Kornfield and Ram Dass on Learning to Trust and Love

Jack Kornfield: I’ve found myself attracted to spiritual practice from very early, going off to be a monk, because I needed it desperately for one reason or another, for my own pain and suffering. Some connection with the life of renunciation and detachment. I loved it. Then when I came back from the first period of five years in Asia, of practice and study, once I became involved back in the world, in graduate school and relationships and so forth, I discovered that I could love a lot of people in my meditation, but it was a whole lot harder to love the person I was living with.

Or if I was in a somewhat protected environment of the monastery, where our relationships were governed formally by the vows and so forth, that helped me, and there was a great sense of emptiness. It was very, very still. So I found, just for my own life, I found myself working my way down the chakras. Some people kind of try to work themselves up, but for me it was from my mind first, then down.

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You Are Perfect Now

Perfection is not something beyond you. Something out there, to reach for and aspire to. It’s right here, right now. This is a small gem of wisdom that I sometimes forget. Small but it is at the core of all that is. There are no flaws in God’s universe (or in you within that universe). Everything is part of a seamless, intricately interwoven tapestry of divine creation. When I fully embrace this truth, I can let go of striving, comparing, and dissatisfaction. I can live with appreciation and gratitude in every moment for the perfection everywhere. I may not know the “why,” but I can trust in the reasonless reason for all Being.

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“Ram Dass, you have only three things to do in this lifetime…”

I think that every institution has a difficult time staying as the edge of truth for a very long time, because of the pressure of survival. There has got to be enough structure for the game to work, and the structures often find this kind of mentality too high risk for its stability.

It’s too chaotic, and the question of how an institution is able to leave some degree of that free creativity is the secret of whether or not it has a long life, or it just turns into a nice big institution.

What I’ve noticed in most of the institutions I’ve been part of is that for the first few years it’s very exciting, and everybody feels challenged and at that living edge. Then everybody figures out how to socialize the game, how to appear to be changing and not actually changing, and everybody, because they have children and families now, have to get insurance policies… They’ve got to make the thing stable, and that sort of tempers their way of playing with that chaotic edge, and recognizing what is interesting.

You can make that edge your object of study, and it can draw you in altogether in a new way.

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