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11 Life Changing Lessons From Ram Dass

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11 Life Changing Lessons From Ram Dass

Dr. Richard Alpert, better known as Ram Dass, didn’t actually begin his journey of spirituality until taking a variety of psychedelics. While he grew up Jewish and even had a bar mitzvah, he didn’t “have one whiff of God until [he] took psychedelics.” Ram Dass taught psychology at Harvard University, and heavily researched psychedelics with Dr. Timothy Leary. His whole life changed when he took a trip to India in 1967, where he met his guru Neem Karoli Baba, who took him down the path of true spirituality. After this trip, Richard Alpert changed his name and began to share what he had learned with others.

His most famous book, Be Here Now, brought Eastern wisdom and ancient knowledge into the Western world in an easily understandable and highly engaging format.

Ram Dass continues to share his knowledge of spirituality today, and the following are some of the most important lessons we can learn from him.

11 Life Changing Lessons From Ram Dass

Related article: 11 Life Changing Lessons To Learn From Aristotle

1. Love isn’t found in another person; it’s found within you – it’s a state of being.

Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’ It’s love for no reason, love without an object.

You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don’t have to do anything to earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success – none of that matters. No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here.

If I go into the place in myself that is love, and you go into the place in yourself that is love, we are together in love. Then you and I are truly in love, the state of being love. That’s the entrance to Oneness. That’s the space I entered when I met my guru.

The universe is an example of love. Like a tree. Like the ocean. Like my body. Like my wheelchair. I see the love.

2. Take no experience for granted.

It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.

Our plans never turn out as tasty as reality.

You can be still and still moving. Content even in your discontent.

From a Hindu perspective, you are born as what you need to deal with, and if you just try and push it away, whatever it is, it’s got you.

I have always said that often the religion you were born with becomes more important to you as you see the universality of truth.

3. Don’t allow your mind to rule your life.

From a Hindu perspective, you are born as what you need to deal with, and if you just try and push it away, whatever it is, it’s got you.

Pain is the mind. It’s the thoughts of the mind. Then I get rid of the thoughts, and I get in my witness, which is down in my spiritual heart. The witness that witnesses being. Then those particular thoughts that are painful – love them. I love them to death!

4. Cherish your relationships, but don’t allow them to define you.

Pain is the mind. It’s the thoughts of the mind. Then I get rid of the thoughts, and I get in my witness, which is down in my spiritual heart. The witness that witnesses being. Then those particular thoughts that are painful – love them. I love them to death!

When I look at relationships, my own and others, I see a wide range of reasons for people to be together and ways in which they are together. I see ways in which a relationship – which means something that exists between two or more people – for the most part reinforces people’s separateness as individual entities.

5. Death is not the end.

I sit with people who are dying. I’m one of those unusual types that enjoys being with someone when they’re dying because I know I am going to be in the presence of Truth.

In working with those who are dying, I offer another human being a spacious environment with my mind in which they can die as they need to die. I have no right to define how another person should die. I’m just there to help them transition, however they need to do it.

Working with the dying is like being a midwife for this great rite of passage of death. Just as a midwife helps a being take their first breath, you help a being take their last breath.

The stroke has given me another way to serve people. It lets me feel more deeply the pain of others; to help them know by example that ultimately, whatever happens, no harm can come. ‘Death is perfectly safe,’ I like to say.

We’re all just walking each other home.

6. Don’t take yourself for granted.

Your problem is you’re… too busy holding onto your unworthiness.

Only that in you which is me can hear what I’m saying.

I can do nothing for you but work on myself…you can do nothing for me but work on yourself!

7. Allow silence into your life.

The quieter you become, the more you can hear.

If you listen to your own inner voice, it will tell you where you are now, and which method will work best for you in your evolution towards the light.

We’re fascinated by the words–but where we meet is in the silence behind them.

8. Be here now.

Early in the journey you wonder how long the journey will take and whether you will make it in this lifetime. Later you will see that where you are going is HERE and you will arrive NOW…so you stop asking.

9. Don’t allow your emotions to control you.

Emotions are like waves. Watch them disappear in the distance on the vast calm ocean.

10. Don’t try too hard.

The most exquisite paradox… as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can’t have it. The minute you don’t want power, you’ll have more than you ever dreamed possible.

11. Self-development never truly ends.

I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion–and where it isn’t, that’s where my work lies.

Related article: 25 Mind Blowing Psychology Quotes From Carl Jung

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