In this 1993 talk from the Omega Institute, Ram Dass explores methods of embracing the mystery of life through selflessness and service.
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Beyond the Safe Space (Opening) – Ram Dass addresses the culture of victimization that has grown in the West. He relates teachings from the Buddha and Anandamayi Ma around perspective and identification which remind us not to identify with what happens to us.
“What we have formed are many groups around shared victimization. I think they are very helpful at a certain stage, but, there is a need to graduate from it.”
Path of Service (18:10) – Hanuman represents the path to freedom that lies through service. Ram Dass talks about following that path through the practice of Karma Yoga and the ways in which it pulls us out of ourselves and connects us with something larger.
“I invite you, when you are caught in your stuff and your heart is closed, to reach out to find someone else who is suffering – to be there with them for a moment. What I find when my heart is closed is that the purity of their heart pulls me out of myself very quickly. For those of you who have gotten caught in individualism and separation – the act of serving another human being is a doorway back into your connection to the universe. Their real need pulls you out of yourself.”
Embracing the Mystery (25:05) Ram Dass invites us to embrace the mystery of our incarnation, instead of trying to solve it. By embracing the mystery we open ourselves to a deeper compassion within ourselves.
“The place in which you and I have played with planes of consciousness, and we have been privy to through the edge of our eyes to sense the incredible awesome nature of the way phenomena are at play, leads us to just sit with the mystery with awe. That is the route of real compassion, living with the mystery.”
Body of Awareness (33:30) –We close by sharing a meditation with Ram Dass which encourages us to drop our walls of identification with the self and merge into the greater body of awareness.