BHNN Guest Podcast – Ep. 106 – Ram Dass Fellowship: Wisdom, Compassion, Strength & Courage with Spring Washam

This time on the BHNN Guest Podcast, we commune with Spring Washam in a discussion of wisdom, compassion, strength, and courage. This recording is from the 2022 live-streamed Ram Dass Fellowship. 

Spring Washam is a healer, writer, facilitator, spiritual activist, and dharma teacher. Spring has studied indigenous healing practices and works with students individually from around the world. She is currently based in California but she teaches workshops, large groups, compassion meditation and loving-kindness retreats throughout the country. Her work includes earth-based practices, awakening in the body, movement, dance, and yoga. Spring is a founding member and core teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center and has practiced and studied under meditation masters in both the Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism. She is on the teacher’s council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and is considered a pioneer in bringing mindfulness-based healing practices to diverse communities.

A Living Lineage

After an introduction from Raghu Markus, Spring Washam opens a discussion on lineage. She shares her gratitude for Ram Dass and for being a part of his line of practice. She looks to Ram Dass as a great ancestor for us all. Lineage is an important thing to meditate on. Those in our ancestral line influence who we are. We are never really alone; we can gain strength and courage from our ancestors. Paying attention to our own actions and the ancestral influence we will create for future generations is also important. Spring calls this a living lineage. How can you have a positive impact with your living lineage and what wisdom will you pass on?

“We’ve got to be willing to take the blinders off and see that we are much more interconnected. We are not lone individuals, we are born into a community.” – Spring Washam

Hope and Healing (30:40)

Even if we have a lot of pain in our family trees, we still have hope. Spring tells us that we have the power to do the spiritual work required for generations of healing. For example, if you were raised by parents who were not kind and compassionate, you can begin to heal that for yourself and future generations through practicing kindness. Do not minimize the impact of your heart. Showing compassion to yourselves and others through a practice of kindness can change so much for everyone. A small action rooted in compassion can alter the course of our days and our lives.

Relating to Karma (51:07)

In the Buddhist perspective, it can take lifetimes to see the result of an action. In relationship to Karma, Spring says that it can be beneficial to think of our actions as a seed. We are planting seeds all of the time with our actions, speech, and mind, that eventually will grow. It is integral to be mindful of what we put into the ground; we want to plant good seeds. If you feel like you are hanging onto bad karma from ancestors or things you have done, you still have the ability to mold good karma. Spring says do not get hung up on who did what wrong and when, instead focus on what you can do now. Are you responding well now and being loving, or are you stuck on hatred and pain?

“Karma is not static. It can be purified. What you do now affects your past and your future simultaneously.”  – Spring Washam

Photo via Spring Washam