In this talk from 1991, Ram Dass discusses encountering fear and working through difficult moments along the journey of awakening.
Honoring Our Fear (Opening) – There is a fear that begins to set in at a certain point along the journey of awakening and our reaction is to do away with that fear as soon as possible. Ram Dass talks about how that fear can be a tool to further ourselves on the path and is something to be honored and reflected upon.
“That fear is to be honored, it’s not something that you are trying to override. It is telling you something about the nature of your Dharma at the moment. In the journey of awakening there are periods where the pull to immerse one’s self into the ocean of unity gets so strong that one is pulled very strongly away from one’s responsibilities and existing efforts to work in the world.”
Fully Realized (21:50) – Ram Dass reflects on living beings who have completed the journey of awakening and examines the nature of their character and actions. These beings exemplify how it is possible to be effective in the world and without any attachment or fear. He explores the stages of awakening and how certain practices become more effective as we progress.
Know Your Role (33:00) – We explore paradoxes of awakening and ask the question of “Who am I?” Ram Dass shares a story about getting caught up in the game of identity and roles. He reflects on the inevitability of roles and how to be in a role without identifying with it.
“It is important to realize that anywhere you are standing is short of what the game is. You are not free as long as you think you are somebody standing somewhere.”
Jack Kornfield looks at how the practice of loving-awareness allows for a profound shift of identity in Ep. 67 of the Heart Wisdom Podcast.
Burning Our Baggage (49:45) – Ram Dass talks about the distorted perceptions we develop about ourselves and how we tend to play into the projections others have about us. He talks about the lessons that we learn when we try to drop our attachments, no matter how successful we are in doing so.