In this moving and humorous talk about using the stuff of life to get free, Ram Dass shares how we can celebrate spirit through service by merging our divinity with our humanity.
This episode of Here and Now is a continuation of the talk started in Episode 216 – From Psychedelics to Service
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“So you end up understanding that you serve in order to work on yourself, and you work on yourself in order to be a better instrument of service. And you can feel the circle work, you can just feel that circle work.” – Ram Dass
In this episode, Ram Dass talks about:
- Moving home to care for his elderly father and how that became a method for him
- Getting called away from a meditation retreat to help out his cancer-stricken stepmother
- Larry Brilliant and the founding of the Seva Foundation
- How the Seva Foundation put service into action on a very large scale
- The difference between the Sanskrit words Dharma and Seva
- The paradox of suffering
Want to be part of the discussion about this episode of Here and Now? Join the Ram Dass Fellowship virtual meetup, sign up for the General Fellowship group here to receive more information.
About Ram Dass:
Ram Dass first went to India in 1967. He was still Dr. Richard Alpert, a prominent Harvard psychologist and psychedelic pioneer with Dr. Timothy Leary. He continued his psychedelic research until that fateful Eastern trip in 1967, when he traveled to India.
In India, he met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, affectionately known as Maharaj-ji, who gave Ram Dass his name, which means “servant of God.” Everything changed then – his intense dharmic life started, and he became a pivotal influence on a culture that has reverberated with the words “Be Here Now” ever since. Ram Dass’ spirit has been a guiding light for three generations, carrying along millions on the journey. Ram Dass teaches that through the Bhakti practice of unconditional love we can all connect with our true nature. Through these teachings, Ram Dass has shared a little piece of Maharaj-ji with all who have listened to him.
Be Here Now, Ram Dass’ monumentally influential and seminal work, still stands as the highly readable centerpiece of Western articulation of Eastern philosophy, and how to live with joy and love a hundred percent of the time in the present, luminous or mundane. Be Here Now continues to be the instruction manual of choice for generations of spiritual seekers. Forty years later, it’s still part of the timeless present.
Ram Dass passed away at his home on Maui on December 22, 2019. Leading up to his passing, he continued to teach at his semi-annual retreats with other esteemed Bhakti and Buddhist thought leaders.
Photo via Mohan Baum