For Episode 114 of the Metta Hour Podcast, Sharon sits down with Mirabai Bush and Raghu Markus in remembrance of the life and teachings of Ram Dass, who passed away on December 22, 2019.
In this intimate conversation, these three longtime friends speak candidly about their personal loss in Ram Dass’ death and the loss the larger community is experiencing. They share old stories about knowing Ram Dass since the 1970s, and how his friendship has shaped each of their lives. They also discuss the book that Mirabai co-wrote with Ram Dass, “Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Loving and Dying” which was released in 2018.
Mirabai and Raghu share how they first met Ram Dass. Reflecting on their first impression of Ram Dass and how they have been impacted over the years by all he had to offer.
“When Ram Dass encounters you with his eyes, it is like there is no one else in the universe – just you. He is completely embracing and giving full attention to you. That to me was a shining example of ‘becoming nobody’. He did that from the first second that I met him and he did it to the last second.” – Raghu Markus
Explore Ram Dass Stories from the early days with Ram Dass’ guru brother RamDev on Ep.42 of the Healing at the Edge Podcast
Walking Each Other Home (9:05)
Mirabai looks back with loving remembrance of her time writing “Walking Each Other Home” with Ram Dass. She and the group talk about how Ram Dass’ understanding and loving embrace of death has been a core part of his guiding message from the beginning. They reflect on the process of mourning the loss of a loved one and how grief can put us in touch with different levels of the self.
“I went back to ‘Be Here Now’ when I was writing ‘Walking Each Other Home’ with Ram Dass. I read what he had said there on dying – it was amazing, it was all there. The words were all there from the beginning.” – Mirabai Bush
We Will Meet Again (18:45)
The group talks about how they and countless others have been pulled toward one another across the generations through Ram Dass’ guru Neem Karoli Baba, whose teachings and light Ram Dass dedicated his life to sharing.
“Raghu, you said something about Ram Dass, that he was serving people to his last breath. He was thinking of other people to his last breath. I thought to myself, ‘Ok, that is my map (to find meaning).” – Sharon Salzberg
Ram Dass’ Legacy of Love (36:30)
Now that Ram Dass has left his body, what is next for his friends, devotees, and all of the spiritual seekers looking for the sort of guidance that Ram Dass’ teachings have offered for decades?