Sharon sits down with Ram Dass and Raghu Markus for a conversation about Ram Dass’s relationship with his Guru, Neem Karoli Baba, and how that relationship transformed his ability to love himself and others in his life. Recorded live in December 2016 at the Open Your Heart in Paradise Retreat in Maui, HI.
The Real Love Podcast Series is a special series on the Metta Hour featuring a variety of conversations with some of the world’s finest thinkers and teachers exploring Sharon’s forthcoming book “Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection“. Real Love a field guide for anyone seeking awakened living in the 21st century – regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity or status. The book explores love is three different arena in life: love of oneself, love of an other, and love for all of life. Real Love is now available for pre-order and hits stores on June 6th, 2017.
Finding the Beloved (Opening) – Host, Raghu Markus introduces the theme of the conversation, finding the beloved and touching the compassionate heart. Sharon shares what finding the beloved means to her.
Heart of Compassion (8:30) – Ram Dass relates Sharon’s connection to the beloved to his experiences with Neem Karoli Baba, who practiced all-encompassing acceptance and saw each person as a soul. He discusses his duty to bring back the essence of Maharaj-Ji to the West and share his path of Dharma.
“Maharaj-Ji had very few words, ‘Ram Dass, love everybody,’ that’s all.” – Ram Dass
Perfect (15:10) – Meeting Maharaj-Ji for the first time was a true life changing moment for Ram Dass. He describes his guarded skeptical attitude and how Maharaj-Ji shattered Ram Dass’ ego and understanding of real love and service.
“I had a Volkswagen bus that I thought could be used as an ambulance to aid in the nearby Tsunami relief. I told Maharaj-Ji this plan, and from the perception of the One he said, ‘This is perfect.’ Perfect meant they, as souls, went on to their trip in the universe.” – Ram Dass
Real Love (26:45) – In her book “Real Love” Sharon writes about seeing Real Love as the most fundamental of our innate capacities. It can never be destroyed or extinguished, no matter what we might have gone through or might go through in the future. It may be buried, hard to find and trust, but it is still there.
Sharon discusses the concept of soul in the Buddhist tradition; in terms of it being our capacity or potential. She talks about the belief that no matter what we may go through as a human being, this capacity is never destroyed.
Unconditioned Love (39:00) – When Ram Dass was with Maharaj-Ji, his mind was blown by the unconditional love he received. He talks about being seen for his true self and loved fully, regardless of it all.
“There he was, Maharaj-Ji, the mind reader. I looked up at him, and he loved me, fully. My good points, my bad points and all the things I’m not lovable for. When I came to the West, he transferred his heart to my heart so that I can give that experience to many people. Everyone starts with themselves, just like social action; you come from the heart.” – Ram Dass
Photo via Sharon Salzberg