A personal blog by a graying (mostly Anglo with light African-American roots) gay leftist leaning liberal progressive fit married college-educated former Baha'i NPR-listening Professor Emeritus now following the Dharma from California to Minas Gerais, Brasil.
moves in circles, goes through cycles, regenerates, starts over. Every
24 hours the sky goes dark and night comes and we sleep and the next
morning sunshine pours in and we are given another chance to begin anew.
If you're a spiritual explorer of any age, chances are good that you've heard of Ram Dass.
Born Richard Alpert, Ram Dass is known to millions as the stellar young 1960s Harvard-psychologist-turned-hippie
who tripped with Timothy Leary, befriended beat poets and Tibetan
lamas, found his guru Neem Karoli Baba in India, and penned the
perennial classic Be Here Now.
All of that is true . . . but for those of us who've leaned into
his teachings, you know that he was also an extraordinary and beloved
soul who sparked transformation throughout generations.
His teacher, Neem Karoli Baba, revealed the way for him: "Ram Dass, love other people and serve them. That is all."
Brilliant, irreverent, wise, and most of all, unconditionally
loving, Ram Dass lived his life as "an experiment in truth." He helped
the dying, the blind, and the imprisoned, and considered service as
essential as meditation or prayer.
We are all manifestations of the same greater Self, we are meant to
enjoy our roles here on Earth, and our dying is simply a point of
transit. And along our way, as he so often reassured us:
"We're all just walking each other home."
Thank you, Ram Dass, for all that you have shared with us.
In celebration of Ram Dass, we would like to share this free gift with you:
Please share your reflections on Ram Dass, via email: email@example.com or post with the hashtag #LovingRamDass
more than 50 years, Ram Dass was a key influence on American spiritual
culture. His monumentally influential and seminal work BE HERE NOW–part
graphic novel, part introduction to yoga and inner transformation–is an
enduring classic that has sold over two million copies. BE HERE NOW
still stands as a centerpiece of Western articulation of Eastern
philosophy. In the 1970s it was the hippies’ bible; today it continues
to be the instruction manual of choice for generations of spiritual
a psychologist, Richard Alpert–along with his cohort, Timothy
Leary–played a pivotal role in the psychedelic movement of the 1960s,
lecturing on the healing effects of psychedelics at college campuses
across the country. At the time, Alpert and Leary influenced a
generation to “turn on, tune in, and drop out” with psychedelics,
providing the inner fuel during a turbulent era of social change, sexual
liberation, and political unrest.
1967-68, Alpert journeyed to India, where he met the famed Indian
saint, Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaj-ji), whose central teaching is to love
everyone, serve everyone, and remember God. After learning yoga and
meditating in the Himalayas for six months, he returned to the West as
Ram Dass, meaning “Servant of God.” For decades, Ram Dass crisscrossed
America, lecturing on an eclectic spiritual path. He was a guide for
thousands seeking to discover or reclaim their spiritual identity beyond
or within institutional religion.
early 1997, Ram Dass had a hemorrhagic stroke that left him with
paralysis and expressive aphasia. He recovered his speech and went on to
continue his teachings online, at retreats in Maui, and through film,
and music, inspiring the next generation of seekers.
The Love Serve Remember Foundation is planning a worldwide BE HERE NOW moment in celebration of Ram Dass’s extraordinary life.
Additional details on this event forthcoming shortly.
In the meantime, if anyone would like to share their reflections on Ram Dass, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or post on social media using the hashtag #lovingramdass.
We want to offer gratitude to the outpouring of love that has been
shared over the last day. It’s a true testament to the volume of hearts
Ram Dass was able to connect with.
the end, it’s not so important who gives and who receives. What matters
is cultivating the openhandedness that takes us beyond clinging to our
separation and into an awareness that all is given and received.
—Hai An (Sister Ocean), “The Dance of Reciprocity”