Ram Dass

cameo_dass Ram Dass first went to India in 1967. He was still Dr. Richard Alpert, an already eminent Harvard psychologist and psychedelic pioneer in collaboration with Dr. Timothy Leary, Aldous Huxley and Allen Ginsberg among others. He had continued his psychedelic research until that fateful Eastern trip in 1967, when in India, he met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, affectionately known as Maharaji, who gave Ram Dass his name, which means “servant of God.” Everything changed then — his intense dharmic life started, and he became a pivotal influence on a culture that has reverberated with his words — and the title of his best-selling book — “Be Here Now” ever since.

Since 1968, he has pursued a panoramic array of spiritual methods and practices from potent ancient wisdom traditions, including bhakti or devotional yoga focused on the Hindu deity Hanuman; Buddhist meditation in the Theravadin, Mahayana Tibetan and Zen Buddhist schools, and Sufi and Jewish mystical studies. Ram Dass’s spirit has been a guiding light for members of three generations, helping free them from their bonds as he has worked his way through his own. His compassionate practice of karma yoga or spiritual service has opened up millions of souls to their own deep spiritual practice and path.

He was one of the founders of the Seva Foundation, which for the past 28 years has served people around the world who are struggling for health, cultural survival and sustainable communities. In February 1997, Ram Dass experienced a stroke. The result was paralysis and expressive aphasia, caused by damage to anterior regions of the brain. This has effectively stopped his ability to travel and lecture, but it has in no way atrophied his ability to teach and inspire. Ram Dass currently lives in Hawaii (Maui), where he conducts most of his teachings.


“Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story instead of the actor in it.”

“We’re sitting under the tree of our thinking minds, wondering why we’re not getting any sunshine!”

“Information is bits of data. Knowledge is putting them together. Wisdom is transcending them.”

“I see my life as an unfolding set of opportunities to awaken.”

“We’re not a wisdom society — we’re a knowledge society; knowledge becomes outdated very quickly, and therefore old people become obsolete.”

“You can’t buy into one-half of a polarity without getting the other half. You want good? You’ve got evil. You want pleasure? You’ve got pain. That’s just the way it is.”

“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.”

“When we’re trapped in the thinking mind, we’re always one thought away from where the action is.”

“If you keep examining your mind, you’ll come to see that thoughts of who you are and how it all is are creating the reality you’re experiencing.”

“Our culture has tried to train us to dismiss any experience that falls outside our rational, conceptual framework.”

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

“Religions are founded by what mystics say when they come back, but what the mystics say is not the same as what really happened to them.”

“Treat everyone you meet like God in drag.”

“Do what you can on this plane to relieve suffering by constantly working on yourself to be an instrument for the cessation of suffering. To me, that’s what the emerging game is all about.”

“We are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we are so deeply interconnected with one another.”

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

“The quieter you become the more you can hear.”

“The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering.”

“There’s much more in any given moment than we usually perceive, and we ourselves are much more than we usually perceive. When you know that, part of you can stand outside the drama of your life.”

“When someone you love has died, sit down, light a candle and talk to them. Say ‘You’ve made it through. You’re OK. Relax.'”

“When someone we love dies, we get so busy mourning what died that we ignore what didn’t.”


The official Ram Dass website: http://www.ramdass.org