Welcome to the First Meeting of the Here and Now Podcast with Ram Dass!
Never heard of Ram Dass? Picked up a copy of Be Here Now and want to explore deeper practices for cultivating love, non-attachment and awareness? This episode will introduce you to Ram Dass and his work. Ram Dass takes you through his early days as a psychologist to his life-changing psilocybin trip with psychedelic pioneer and colleague, Timothy Leary.
Click here for the transcription of this episode.
Here and Now (Opening) – Raghu Markus of the Love Serve Remember Foundation introduces Ram Dass and his transformation from a Harvard scientist looking for a deeper truth to the spiritual teacher whose teachings have affected the lives of countless individuals. Raghu briefly shares how he met Ram Dass and introduces one of the first talks given by Ram Dass after returning from India with some incredible stories to tell.
“What I would like to do is to present a model to you – that specific model being my life experience. That is really all I have to offer you are my own experiences.” – Ram Dass
Circumventing our Circumstance (3:40) – As true today as it was then, Ram Dass discusses the predicament we have found ourselves in the Western world – the cultural and ethical disarray and disconnection from a deeper and more meaningful experience. He discusses the lessons learned since leaving Harvard about how psychedelics and spiritual practice might offer a remedy to the situation.
“As a result of all these circumstances, many people in the West appreciate the possibility of states of consciousness other than our normal waking state of consciousness. We are presented with a possibility that filters through to us from one source or another that there is a very ancient tradition of people who have realized other states of consciousness; who have sent messages back and made maps. The problem we have as Westerners is that we can’t understand the maps.” – Ram Dass
Attachment and Surrender (8:15) – Ram Dass reflects on the importance of surrender along every step of the spiritual path. This starts by surrendering the attachments that we have developed around our cultural perspectives about what is and what isn’t and what might be possible. Ram Dass shares his own story of surrendering these attachments and the journey of awakening that it set him on.
“We are all on a journey and what we can do is help each other along. We can be the Satsang or the Sangha, the spiritual community and support for one another. Giving each other the confidence to keep perusing this possibility and we give each other our service to help in that. That is what I would like to do today, to present a model because maybe there will be some clues in it that will be of some use to you in your own spiritual journey.” – Ram Dass
A Long Strange Trip (21:10) – We meet Timothy Leary, whose own experiences with psilocybin mushrooms inspired Ram Dass to first experiment with psychedelics. Ram Dass describes that first trip and the process of shedding the identity of Richard Alpert, Ph.D. for just a moment and becoming pure awareness instead.
Meeting Maharajji was a life-changing moment for Ram Dass. Listen to Raghu Markus and Krishna Das describe how meeting Maharaji changed their own lives.