Ram Dass is joined live on stage by Krishna Das and Raghu Markus for a conversation that explores generosity as a path of practice and the value of being part of a community that supports each other on their spiritual paths.
Links from this episode: Blessing of Mortality | 5th Annual “Spring on Maui” Retreat | 5th Ram Dass Legacy Immersion Retreat – Ojai
The Movie of Me (Opening) – The group looks at the narratives we construct about ourselves and the world around us. They discuss the way in which spiritual practice allows us to slow the ceaseless stream of projections, fears and judgments that arise in our scattered mind.
The Path of Generosity (14:20) – Ram Dass reflects on a path of spiritual practice that focuses on our own generosity. This path of generosity is not forged by our actions though, we walk the path of generosity by embodying pure love and joy that we share with every being that we encounter. Ram Dass shares how we can learn to love each other as souls, without judgment or condition.
“Manifest love, compassion, wisdom, peace and joy – that is in each of us. All you do is just be, just be your soul. You don’t do anything. You radiate love, thats it. ” – Ram Dass
Saving Each Other’s Asses (25:10) – The group reflects on what it means to cultivate a generous heart and what is possible when we share our practice with others. Ram Dass discusses the importance of a spiritual community as we seek truth and work through our karma.
“We are Satsang, Satsang means we are a group seeking truth. We here, as Krishna Das said, we save each other’s ass.” – Ram Dass
Knowing Real Kindness (43:50) – We close with a reading of the poem Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye and a 5-minute loving-awareness meditation with Ram Dass.
“Before you know what kindness really is you must lose things, feel the future dissolve in a moment like salt in a weakened broth. What you held in your hand, what you counted and carefully saved, all this must go so you know how desolate the landscape can be between the regions of kindness. How you ride and ride thinking the bus will never stop, the passengers eating maize and chicken will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho lies dead by the side of the road. You must see how this could be you, how he too was someone who journeyed through the night with plans and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing. You must wake up with sorrow. You must speak to it till your voice catches the thread of all sorrows and you see the size of the cloth. Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore, only kindness that ties your shoes and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread, only kindness that raises its head from the crowd of the world to say It is I you have been looking for, and then goes with you everywhere like a shadow or a friend.” – Naomi Shihab Nye