When I first had the honor of interviewing Ram Dass, what struck me about him was his extraordinary ability to persevere even when up against immense struggles. And he did it all with a positivity that spread to others.
When I heard of his passing I couldn’t help but feel that the world had lost someone special.
His teachings inspired us to foster kindness and ultimately learn to find happiness in the present. He was a true original.
And even after he suffered from a stroke, he continued to share his message of love to those who would gather to hear. He lived a life of helping others, and even when it was his own health that held uncertainties, he led us into a deeper understanding of aging, dying, and processing the unknown.
He leaves behind a legacy of mindfulness teachings and the countless students who have benefited from them.
That’s why I was moved to share this short video with you – in it Ram Dass shares his philosophy on loving awareness.
Ram Dass: First of all, I don’t wish anybody a stroke, that’s my path. But if you start with your ego, which is who we think we are, go down into the heart and then into the soul, that’s who we really are. To get from there to there, if you start from here – I am a Bhakti yogi, that means I’m love-oriented. So if you can repeat this, starting from the ego, first of all you take your finger to the middle of your chest – it’s there – and there is awareness and love. Say, “I am loving awareness, I am loving awareness, I am loving awareness, I am loving awareness,” and when you’re done, you will be loving awareness. Now the problem is, if you meet somebody on the street and they say, “Who are you?,” you don’t say, “loving awareness,” you give your name. This is an identity within you, it’s a secret identity. “I am loving awareness,” and then you can become loving awareness, you will be aware of the universe. My guru said to me, “Ram Dass, love everybody.” And I said, speaking from my ego, “I can’t do that, Maharaji, I just can’t do that. I’m judging up here.” Well, he came up to me, nose to nose: “Ram Dass, love everybody.” This is when I came to the soul, and I have seen that I am loving everybody. I love everybody in our audience, and I love them unconditionally. Wow, I love them. And I don’t love them for what they do as practitioners, I love them behind that.
Ram Dass reminded us that we should stay present and open ourselves to spiritual mindfulness.
For more of his lessons, you can check out another blog with Ram Dass, “Responding to Challenge with Grace”.
He is also featured in our How to Apply Mindfulness to Your Clinical Work series.
How has spiritual mindfulness helped you or your clients in a difficult time? Please share your experience below. I look forward to reading them.