“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.

Continue reading

Part 2: Vulnerability, Intimacy, & Spiritual Awakening

We each live with uncertainty and the fear of rejection and loss, and we each are conditioned to avoid feeling or expressing that vulnerability. Yet intimacy with this unlived life is the gateway to connecting authentically with others, full aliveness and spiritual realization. These talks explore the ways that we defend ourselves, and the pathway to gently, wisely and intelligently disarming and freeing our hearts. (a special talk from the archives)

Listen to the first part: Part 1: Vulnerability, Intimacy, & Spiritual Awakening

An honorable human relationship — that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love” — is a process, delicate, violent, often terrifying to both persons involved, a process of deepening the truths they can tell each other. It is important to do this because it breaks down human self-delusion and isolation. – Adrienne Rich

At our pace, without speed or aggression, we move down and down and down.  With us move millions of others, our companions in awakening from fear. At the bottom, we discover water, the healing water of bodhichitta. Right down there in the thick of things, we discover the love that will not die.

Pema Chodron
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Continue reading

Is It Time to Stop Believing in Magic?

A culture can be judged by where it spends its money. One glance at the great French cathedrals speaks of the vast sums spent on building them, which if translated into current dollars would probably dwarf modern American funding of the Apollo program to land on the moon or the Hubble telescope. Medieval churchmen allocated money for God; we allocate money for science. To us, the way we spend is rational; the way they spent wasn’t.

Money follows history, and history follows money. The medieval world saw reality in terms of God, angles, souls, etc., which to a modern skeptic is magical thinking. Having pushed that worldview into a small corner of modern Western society, we prefer hard realities, and therefore a pittance goes to religion and philosophy while mountains of money go to science and technology. There’s no room for magical thinking anymore, and it’s no surprise that in rising economies like India and China, up to 80% of college graduates, among the men, are engineers.

Continue reading

How can you bring a contemplative quality into academics and the environment?

It requires inner work for you to cultivate a perspective within yourself that sees your intellect as a servant, not as your identity.

To the extent you are capable of doing that, you can then play the game of academia, do the work that only can be done in that analytic fashion without being trapped in it, and have your interaction with other people through the game.

It’s like Monopoly in which you’re the top hat and I’m the thimble, but behind it you’re here, I’m here, and you’ve gotta be there. The predicament in academia is many people identify with their thoughts so much that they think they are an academic, instead of being a being who’s doing academics.

Continue reading

Part 1: Vulnerability, Intimacy, & Spiritual Awakening

We each live with uncertainty and the fear of rejection and loss, and we each are conditioned to avoid feeling or expressing that vulnerability. Yet intimacy with this unlived life is the gateway to connecting authentically with others, full aliveness and spiritual realization. These talks explore the ways that we defend ourselves, and the pathway to gently, wisely and intelligently disarming and freeing our hearts (a favorite from the archives).



Tara Brach, Eckhart Tolle, Van Jones and more in this 10 day Free online Event. 



If I’m not free to fail, I’m not free to take risks, and everything in life that’s worth doing involves a willingness to take a risk. – Madeleine L’Engle

Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love. – Rainer Maria Rilke

Continue reading

I am surrounded by death but experience LOVE!

Death… it is the one journey we will ALL walk. 7.2 billion people on this planet will experience death, whether it’s the death of a loved one, a friend, a pet, or ultimately their own. It is an absolute!

As a Psychic Medium I am surrounded by death on a daily basis, whether it is through clients that come to see me for help to connect with their deceased loved ones, through the volunteer work I do with Find Me (a non-profit group that works with police and search and rescue teams to solve missing person’s cases and bring closure to families that have felt tragic, extreme loss) or in my own personal life through close family and friends that have died in heartbreaking ways.

Continue reading

Dealing With Suffering and Seeing it as Grace

Question: What are some of the ways that I can deal with suffering and then start taking it to a place of Grace?

Ram Dass: For most people, when you say that suffering is Grace it seems off the wall to them. And we’ve got to deal now with our own suffering and other people’s suffering. That is certainly a distinction that is very real, because even if we understand the way in which suffering is Grace – and the way in which it can be a vehicle for our awakening, it’s quite different to look at somebody else’s suffering and say it’s Grace. And Grace is something that an individual can see about their own suffering and then use it to their advantage. It is not something that can be a rationalization for allowing another human being to suffer. And you have to listen to the level at which another person is suffering. And when somebody is hungry you give them food. As my guru said, God comes to the hungry person in the form of food. You give them food and then when they’ve had their belly filled then they may be interested in questions about God. Even though you know from, say, Buddhist training, or whatever spiritual training you have had, that the root cause of suffering is ignorance about the nature of dharma. To give somebody a dharma lecture when they are hungry is just inappropriate methodology in terms of ending suffering.

Continue reading

Waking Up From The Matrix with Dr. Bruce Lipton

Summer is winding down and the Evolution is heating-up. Confrontation, strife and violence are becoming daily events. On the surface we see the fire, but beneath in the darkness and quiet, the seeds of a new world are beginning to germinate.

In the face of dysfunctional leadership, a planetary Grassroots Movement by-the-people and for-the-people is arising. The character of this upheaval is that it represents a bottom-up, nonhierarchical community of “ordinary” people taking back control of their personal lives and changing the collective world we inhabit. As the science continuously emphasizes, this is a participatory evolution.

The movie the Matrix is generally perceived as a work of science fiction. In truth, it is a documentary … for the first seven years of life, the mind of every human has been “programmed.” Unfortunately, most people are totally unaware of their own subconscious programming. “Unfortunate” because the vast majority of the invisible programming we acquired create behaviors that are disempowering, limiting and self-sabotaging. AND, they are responsible for shaping 95% of our lives!

Continue reading

This Sound is My Meditation Magic..

Imagine sitting inside a sound bath of vibrating crystal bowls, resounding with a never-ending harmony that causes every molecule in your body to buzz and sing with delight. This is meditation on steroids. The result is nothing less than magical.

At this year’s OraclePalooza® we had our special guest sound healer Mark David on stage beside me with some of his extraordinary crystal bowls ringing throughout the room. I’ve sampled many different sound healers and can admit to once having a library of over 100 specific CDs by artists who use crystal singing bowls as a means to stimulate a deeper more profound meditation experience. Mark David is my favorite.

I love to introduce amazing interesting people, and new ways to meditate and work with oracle cards to my audience and so this week I thought I’d talk about this form of crystal bowl meditation and a bit about Mark.

Continue reading

What Is Christ Consciousness?

Christ Consciousness is both too complex and too simple to define. So the only choice I see is to write around it, stimulate thought rather than limiting it.


For my purposes here, let’s leave out the historical Jesus. Jesus is important because he embodied Love, true Godly love, in his life and teachings. He is revered as God and Man as One.


And let’s leave out the various religious denominations, all of them, to consider Jesus as Christ.


Christ means Anointed, or the Anointed One. (It’s from Greek, Χριστός, Christos.) A stopping place for many Christians is that there are more paths to Heaven than one. (For more on this, see Joseph Campbell’s cornerstone book, The Hero of a Thousand Faces.)


“When he said son of God, he meant the infinite Christ consciousness with which he'd obtained oneness.” ---Goswami Kriyananda

Continue reading

How can we reconcile our spirituality and our religion?

There was a great moment when I asked Trungpa Rinpoche for some meditation instruction.

He was sitting there with this saki bottle and he said, “What you should be doing now is this form of yoga called Ati yoga.” And he says, “You just will expand out, let’s do it.” So we sat there looking at each other and started to meditate.

Then after about 20 seconds he says, “Ram Dass?” I said, “Yes?” He said, “Are you trying?” I said, “Yes I’m trying!” He said, “No Ram Dass, don’t try, just do it.” I realized that in my zeal towards enlightenment, I’d turned it into another Jewish middle-class achievement task.

Continue reading

Awaken Higher Awareness Through Self-Observation

I'm sure that we can all agree that no intelligent, conscious man or woman would ever intentionally hurt him or herself. It is important that we are in agreement about this precept. No one would choose to ache. Yet the fact remains that all of us do hurt ourselves every day with bursts of anger or fits of depression or anxiety. Even at the simplest level there can be no doubt: fear and worry take an immeasurable toll on our health and well-being.

However, there is real intelligence. An inwardly awake person would never intentionally hurt himself. Self-observation is the key to developing this higher order of awareness; it is how we learn to become inwardly vigilant to our own thoughts and feelings, even as they pass through us. When we can observe ourselves in this new way our higher nature naturally prevails over any troubling thoughts or feelings that want to drag us down into their lower world.

Continue reading

Ram Dass Reminisces about his Neuroses

Now, what happened in the late ’60s was that there was a bifurcation of people into political-social activists and spiritual seekers. In those days, they were the two different groups.

Both of them had had an experience of what was possible, and one group said, “For all of it to happen, you’ve got to change the way things are,” and the other group said, “I’ve gotta change me first, and in order to do that, I have to push everything else away.” That’s what’s known as the renunciate path, which says the world of desire, the world of politics, the world of drama is so thick and seductive that what I must do is draw my awareness back from that. I must renounce the forms in order to cultivate a space where I can hear the deeper truths, and quiet flutes of deeper truths amidst the screaming trumpets of my desire system.

Continue reading

Finding Home

It seems that we are always getting ready for something. Always preparing for the next step, even though the next step will come whether we prepare for it or not. We think we have control of our lives but we don’t. We pack and unpack our memories, accumulating more and more—until death arrives to show us how memories fall away as does the illusion of control. To move from one place to another is to experience a death of sorts and a loosening of control. Every ending is an opening to something greater.

Continue reading

Sharpening Your Awareness Skills: No. 2 Holding Focus

The complex issue of consciousness may seem abstract, but in daily life the the simple rule is, the more aware you are, the better. Awareness comes naturally, yet some people are more skilled at using their awareness than others. They have acquired certain skills, which in fact anyone can learn--and should.

This is the second in a series of articles about skills in awareness--the first was on how to remain centered. Being centered. Being centered brings you into the present moment. Having mastered this skill, you are not easily distracted, flustered, or thrown off balance. The next skill has to do with focus, sometimes called one-pointed awareness.

Whenever you really want something, keeping focused on it comes naturally. But does awareness have its own power to bring about results? In other words, leaving aside the work needed to create an accomplishment, can you find a quicker, easier path by being more conscious? To find out, you must use a special kind of focus, known as “clear intention.”

Continue reading

Saying “Yes” – Meeting Your Edge and Softening

Our habitual ways of avoiding unpleasant experience keep us from intimacy with our inner life and with each other. This talk helps us recognize these often unconscious patterns that keep us identified with a separate, threatened self, and offers guidance in saying “yes” to the life we encounter. As we release resistance, we discover the creativity, wisdom and love that express our unbound, true, nature.

Listen to the accompanying meditation: Saying “Yes” to Life.

Continue reading

What happens when we make assumptions about spiritual methods?

Good evening, my name is Ram Dass, which means, “Servant of God.” However, I also use it as an acronym for “Rent-A-Mouth,” because sitting up here implies something that I don’t really cop to.

It’s hard not to get into a model of who I am and who you are because of the way we’re sitting. And as far as I can see, you know what I know. It’s what Aldous Huxley calls the “perennial philosophy”. I know you know it because when I say the deepest thing I figured out, you’re out there going like, “yes, yes.” But we need to gather in these kind of ritualistic processes to say it to ourselves again. It’s like Satsang, or Sangha – to come and experiment in truth.

See, I don’t even have any idea who to be tonight because I’ve spent so many years becoming nobody that now I could be whatever somebody is appropriate, and since the lights are set up I can’t see you, so I’m basically talking to myself. That’s interesting. It changes the whole nature of the lecture, by the way, because the lights are up, I can see some people sitting there like someone else brought them and they’re having to be here.

Continue reading

The Answer Was Easy

I arrived home with suit cases to unpack and responsibilities waiting for me. Occasionally after traveling, there is a slight lag in my enthusiasm for house hold chores. Other times, I love opening windows, lighting candles and getting to work. It just depends on how I’m feeling.

 
That day, I had to do something to stir up the energy, not just in my mind, but my body. It felt like low energy was filling up the space around me. I needed a little something to make me feel awake, alive and inspired. I put the challenge out to my family, what activity were they up for? We all love being outside, but I needed something out of my comfort level. I knew that if I did something with a little fear factor, it would wake me up. 

 
The answer was easy... Zip lining. I have always declined zip lining on family vacations. I don’t like the height, or the lack of control. Perfect; two things for me to work on, letting go of control and letting go of my fear of height. 

 
Reservations made! I unpacked my suit case and began to look forward to a new adventure. As soon as the commitment was made, I felt better. My body and mind responded to the idea of an adventure. I felt lighter. A heaviness disappeared and things began to flow. 
Continue reading

Name Dropping

So many unexpected events and experiences have arisen in the process of moving from Massachusetts to Florida, everything from the sale of the house where we rented there to finding a condo here that far exceeds anything we could have imagined. Probably the most surprising pop-up occurrence was finding out that I had to have my name legally changed in order to obtain a Florida driver’s license. What?! Well, you see, my mother named me “Peggy,” but she used “Margaret” on my birth certificate because the former was traditionally considered a nickname for the latter and not the real name. Of course, today no one cares much about that tradition, and you can name your child “Redwood” if you so choose.

Continue reading

Do we “get” diseases or create them?

I know this can be a very controversial topic… I’ll share my thoughts on it below and I would love to hear your thoughts as well on this statement:

If there is no source of illness, why are there so many sick people? It is because they have found lots of excuses to hold themselves in vibrational discord with wellness. They are not letting it in. And when they don’t let it in, the absence of it looks like sickness. And when enough of them do it you say, “Oh, there must be a source of sickness. In fact, let’s give it a label. Let’s call it cancer. Let’s call it AIDS. Let’s call it all kinds of terrible things, and let’s imply that it jumps into people’s experience.” And we say it never jumps into anybody’s experience. It’s just that people learn through trial and error, and — through banging around with each other — patterns of thought that don’t let it in.
—Abraham


So, they way I see it, and I remember when I first heard this concept, it seemed too far off, not true and I had a lot of resistance to it. However, over the past 20 years I have come to learn, through experience, that it is VERY true. I see it everyday, not only in my own life experience but in that of my clients and students. To simplify it, I would say this…

Continue reading

30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

Join Soulspring for conscious insights...

...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality...

 PLUS! Get your FREE Guide: 12 Mindfulness Practices to a Peaceful Mind