Sunday, February 16, 2020

Ram Dass – Here and Now – Ep. 158 – A Pledge to Social Responsibility

In this dharma talk from 1978, Ram Dass looks to the example set by The Shakertown Pledge as a model for committing ourselves to inner and outer social action.

Links From This Episode: Becoming Nobody | Maui Retreat | Ojai Retreat
Tuning Into the Small Voice Within
What does quieting our mind have to do with social action? Ram Dass reflects on the traditions and teachings of the Quakers, the 17th-century protestant movement also known as the Friends Church, looking at how we can use their pledge to live in balance with the world as a guide for our own life’s journey.
” I declare myself a world citizen. I commit myself to lead an ecologically sound life. I commit myself to lead a life of creative simplicity and to share my personal wealth with the world’s poor. I commit myself to join with others in the reshaping of institutions in order to bring about a more just global society in which all people have full access to the needed resources for their physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth.
I commit myself to occupational accountability, and so doing I will seek to avoid the creation of products which cause harm to others. I affirm the gift of my body and commit myself to its proper nourishment and physical wellbeing. I commit myself to examine continually my relations with others and to attempt to relate honestly, morally, and lovingly to those around me. I commit myself to personal renewal through prayer, meditation, and study. I commit myself to responsible participation in a community of faith.” – The Shakertown Pledge
Our Relationship with Truth (28:45)
How can we work with the double-edged sword of truth? Ram Dass speaks about the importance and difficulty of holding ourselves the standard of untarnished honesty. He asks us to examine whether our motivations for spiritual practice and inner work come from the place of truth or our ego.
“Truth is a funny thing, the truth gets you free. The truth gets you high and it gets you free. Its risky business, but it changes the whole name of the game.” – Ram Dass  
What is the importance of inner social action? Explore this question with Ram Dass and friends on Ep.137 of the Here and Now Podcast
Make the jump here to listen

Joseph Goldstein – Insight Hour – Ep. 83 – The Nuances of Right Effort

On this episode of Insight Hour, Joseph Goldstein examines the many nuances of Right Effort, and how that effort can help us build real momentum in our spiritual practice.

The Nuances of Right Effort
Joseph begins this dharma talk with an exploration of why effort is so important in breaking the habitual patterns of our conditioning. He covers the nuances of Right Effort, including engaging with our breath, awareness of how much effort we’re exerting, and paying attention to our attitude about what is being experienced.
“It’s only if we arouse the energy to play at the edge, and have interest in discovering what can be learned there, that’s what’s going to take us out, basically, of the dream of our lives. We’re just living the dream of our thought, emotional, physical patterns. We’re just going on with the momentum of that. So to awaken from that and to see other possibilities, it takes some effort, it takes some energy.” – Joseph Goldstein
Joseph Goldstein explores more about effort and energy on Insight Hour Ep. 68
Steadiness of Mind, Fullness of Attention (28:00)
Joseph talks about setting the dial of intentionality in order to steady the mind and help it settle into a fuller awareness. He explores dropping into the continuity and immediacy of experience, and how all these nuances of effort build momentum in our practice.
“You turn the dial of intentionality just a little bit. This is the art; it doesn’t take much, it takes the slightest turning up of that intention. And it’s been amazing to me how responsive the mind can be to the setting of that intention.” – Joseph Goldstein
Building From Below, Swooping From Above (51:00)
Joseph examines two ways of applying effort to overcoming the obstacles of hindrances in the mind. He talks about different methods of approaching practice and effort – building from above, and swooping from below – using Greek mythology to illustrate their strengths and weaknesses.
“Building from below really connects us with the reality of our present experience. We’re not denying it, we’re not trying to cover it, we’re not bypassing it, we’re really there and we’re looking carefully at the nature of the suffering.” – Joseph Goldstein

Via Daily Dharma: Letting Go of Emotional Patterns

All mental and emotional patterns eventually fall apart and dissolve in the light of awareness.

—Hanuman Goleman, “Checking My Inner World

Via Ram Dass - Love Serve Remember Foundation / Words of Wisdom - February 16, 2020 šŸ’Œ

If you think you're free, there's no escape possible.

- Ram Dass -