In this talk from 1995, Ram Dass looks at how we can fully inhabit our roles with joy and emptiness instead of taking ourselves so seriously.
Resources from this episode: Hanuman Gardens | Ram Dass Fellowship Meetup Finder | Nourishing Life Yatra
Methods for Moving Away from Madness (Opening) – We begin with a reflection on all of the methods available to each of us which, if used properly, allow us to move away from suffering and towards liberation. He explores how these methods can allow us to embody our roles in life more fully and without becoming trapped by them.
“The flip that occurs, what we are really working with, is to figure out how to enjoy the unfolding storyline of your life without being trapped by it, how to delight in life. To enjoy the play of the uniqueness of each form and how it works and how you interplay and interact – without being trapped in the narrowness of it.” – Ram Dass
Holding Tightly, Letting Go (21:50) – Ram Dass talks about the roles involved in his relationship with his guru Maharaj-ji, a relationship based in joy and love rather than austerity and indifference. He explores how we can step into any role without identifying with it, which allows us to operate with joy and freedom.
“It is interesting to learn in this lifetime how to inhabit roles lightly, how to inhabit them with joy and with passion and with emptiness. How to delight in the lila, in the play, and begin to see your life experiences as grace, as a set of opportunities through which you can become free. These opportunities were handed to you and it is bizarre to get to the realization that there are no errors in the game, the ones that have been handed to you have been tailor-made for you.” – Ram Dass
Krishna Das explores questions of identity, roles and ego in Ep. 63 of the Pilgrim Heart Podcast
Being Together, Alone (34:40) – What does it mean to be with others and also, on another level, be alone at the same time? Ram Dass shares an important lesson he received from Maharaj-ji about how we can be together with one another and yet still be grounded inward. He looks at our roles within a spiritual community and the responsibility that we have towards helping each other get free.
“How many of you take the feeling of aloneness and feel it as pathology? Have you ever thought of flipping that around?” – Ram Dass
Our Roles in the Marketplace (49:00) – When we quiet ourselves and look beyond the ego we can see the part we play in each area of life, including the marketplace. Ram Dass closes with a reflection on how we can fully manifest within the business world in a way that is not with attraction or aversion – only playing our part.