On this episode of the Here and Now Podcast, Ram Dass examines our perception of identity and asks us to look beyond the veil of illusion between our true selves and who we think we are.
Click here to read the transcription of this podcast.
A Waking Dream (Opening) – Raghu, Ram Dass and other devotees travel to Kausani and rent a house overlooking the majestic Himalayas to do a Vipassana meditation retreat. We hear how Ram Dass grew from a fellow student to a teacher whom Maharaj-Ji began sending westerners to learn from.
“It was in this sacred space that I started to have real meditative experiences for the first time. All the while, in the evenings, Ram Dass would sit with us and relate stories of his journey through Psychedelics and consciousness.” – Raghu Markus
Through the Veil (5:25) – In India, all marriages are planned by the local astrologer because they know the information has nothing to do with our long-range compatibility. From this premise, Ram Dass reflects the nature of identity and the veil of illusion between our true selves and who we think we are.
“By cutting through the veil of illusion, one realizes they are not the body or the mind. In fact, we are seduced into the appearances of reality. The game is to get free from attachments to the senses by using the witness.” – Ram Dass
Jack Kornfield explores our relationship with identity on Ep. 7 of the Heart Wisdom Podcast.
In the Cave with the Witness (12:30) – The process of remembering our true selves is the process of developing the witness. Ram Dass looks at this cornerstone of mindfulness practice and teaches methods of practice for cultivating our inner witness.
“The process of self-remembering is the process of developing the witness.” – Ram Dass
One Point (25:35) – Ram Dass teaches systematic methods for calming the mind, entering the witness and focusing the mind on a single point. Through this practice, we can override the veil of ignorance which has convinced us for so long that our body, mind and consciousness were one in the same.
Photo via Static Flicker