Ram Dass is joined by Noah and Raghu Markus for a conversation about meeting injustice with compassion and the importance of inner social action.
Links from this episode: Ram Dass on the Importance of Inner Social Action | Rethinking Social Action with Ram Dass and Roshi Joan Halifax
All Thoughts Towards God (Opening)
How do we create a balance between social action and self-work? Ram Dass reflects on how the practice of karma yoga allows us to practice both inner and outer social action. By turning all intentions towards God.
“The key is karma yoga. In karma yoga you take what is in front of you as a step towards God.” – Ram Dass
Protesting from the Heart (22:05)
What is the best approach to protesting injustice? Without anger or attachment? We examine how the ego transforms fear into anger. And how it obscures our wisdom.
“Social action is not exactly when you are doing something to somebody. But it is when you and the person you are fighting are one. You see the person who you are fighting. As a soul manifesting their karma. You should relate to that person as a soul. And not to their karma.” – Ram Dass
Service and Surrender (35:35)
How has Ram Dass’s perspective on service and social action changed over the years? Ram Dass speaks about being forced from the role of helper. To now being the one who needs assistance. By the grace of his stroke and how that transition has reshaped his view of service.
“In the old days, I went out to go to bedsides. And do speeches and to do social action. Now I don’t leave Maui. My island paradise. Now people come to me on retreat. And work with me over Skype. I transmit my soul to them. I transmit peace and love. Until the mirror effect causes them to look at and identify with their soul.” – Ram Dass
Selfless Action (48:40)
We close with a reflection on the way that selfless social action allows us to disengage our identification with our thoughts and habituations.