In the Q&A session from the 1990s, Ram Dass takes on questions about eating animals and inner work, psychedelics, burnout in service, and dealing with the death of a child.
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The Question of Eating Animals
To begin, Ram Dass takes a question about eating animals and inner work. He talks about how that’s a question that everybody must answer by listening intuitively to their heart. Someone follows up with a question about dealing with ecological concerns. Ram Dass answers that whenever we feel trapped, it’s an opportunity to work on ourselves.
“Because as long as I stay mired in the drama of it, all I’m doing is digging everybody’s hole deeper along with me. And so I see it as a place to work on myself. It’s not bad, it’s not good; of course, we’re going to get stuck, that’s why we took human incarnation. If you weren’t ever going to get stuck, you wouldn’t have taken birth here. That’s your work.” – Ram Dass
Konda Mason and Tara Brach explore compassion towards non-human animals in Brown Rice Hour Ep. 18
The Guru and LSD (32:57)
Ram Dass fulfills a request to tell the story of what happened when he gave his guru LSD on two separate occasions, and also gives his thoughts on young people using these chemicals. He then answers questions about how he reconciles the Hindu concept of the One and Buddhist concept of no-self, dealing with burnout in service, and working with AIDS patients.
“As far as young people using chemicals, my reflections about it are, as I’ve looked over the last 30 years, that it’s important that you become somebody before you become nobody. And that people that try to become nobody too soon lose their ground. That is, they forget their zip code.” – Ram Dass
Madison Margolin and Govind Das talk about blending practice and psychedelics in Set and Setting Ep. 21
A Love Invulnerable to the Winds of Change (45:42)
In the final question of the evening, Ram Dass responds to a man who is having trouble dealing with the death of his son. Ram Dass talks about how the loss of a child is the greatest illusion to see through, and that grief needs to run its course. He reads a letter that he wrote to another man who had suffered greatly after the death of his son.
“There’s a part of the love that (exists) that is invulnerable to the winds of change, of coming and going. And it’s very hard when you’re missing the form so much to hear that other reality that exists between the two of you. And yet, that’s there.” – Ram Dass