TEDxSinCity – Ram Dass – Cultivating Our Spiritual Heart


Translator: Rhonda Jacobs
Reviewer: Denise RQ [Ram Dass was not able to appear
in person because of a stroke in 1997] [which prevents him from travel,
and also affects his speech] [Ram Dass] [Cultivating Our Spiritual Heart] Namaste. My name is Ram Dass. I’m sorry I can’t be with you. I guess we will communicate in this way. I’d like to speak to you
about the spiritual heart. The spiritual heart is not in time, nor is it in space. It’s just being, and it’s being present in this moment. The spiritual heart is being here now. The evolution of the spiritual heart is not a journey through time and space. It is flowering of presence. There are fully conscious beings in history who have identified with that kind of presence, like Christ, like Buddha, and Mohammad, or Krishna. They don’t appear in time. They’re always present. In our new book, called, “Be Love Now,” we use examples of Indian Saints from the last century. And they represent the human potential. They show us what our potential is as human beings. They also show the oneness of humanity, and they show the way that love brings us all together. The presence of a realized being shifts our awareness from ego
– who we think we are – to soul – to who we really are. Because the awareness in the heart, your awareness and mine, are one. My own perception of world changed in 1966, when I first met my guru in India. Before meeting him, I was Richard Alpert, a social psychologist, a psychedelic explorer. I had interviewed with him. And afterwards, I was Ram Dass. He changed my ego-centered
to soul-centered. The way he did it, first, he showed me he knew what I’m thinking, now and previously,
which blew my mind. He unconditionally loved me. And that changed me. It was not his powers that changed me, it was his love. And his love – he was love. He didn’t love me, he was love, a being of love. When I was first in India in the 60s, Maharajji said, “I’m blessing you for your book.” And I had no book. So I said,
“What book are you talking about?” And he didn’t respond. The book I then wrote, “Be Here Now,” has sold probably over a million copies. And so many people say that that book changed them from ego to soul. One blessing. It was his book. So, now I’m 80 years old, 40 years after “Be Here Now,” and we have a new book, “Be Love Now,” in which I reconsider my relation to Maharajji, and the love became central now. Reading my mind was the beginning of the ritual. After that, I said to myself, “If he’s reading my mind, he knows much more than anybody knows about me,” and I was embarrassed. And I sat in front of him, and I was sitting on the grass, and I looked down at the grass and I thought of all the things that I wouldn’t want anybody
to know about me, because if they knew those things,
they wouldn’t love me. And when I finished that list, I looked up and he was looking at me with unconditional love. Unconditional love. And I had never in my life, in my life! experienced that. One time, the second time I was in India, he motioned me over and he said,
“Do you know Gandhi?” I said, “I don’t know him,
I know of him.” And he said,
“I want you to be like Gandhi.” And I went to the bazaar and I got those little glasses,
the Gandhi glasses, but that didn’t do the trick. I just didn’t feel like Gandhi. Gandhi said, “My life is my message.” Maybe that was what Maharajji meant. My life must be my message. And all of the great saints could say, “My life is my message.” Maharajji gave me instructions: “Ram Dass, tell the truth, and love everybody.” “Everybody, Maharajji? I can’t do that.” He said, nose to nose, “Ram Dass, I want you to tell the truth, and love everybody.” Most people want to get free of their suffering, and most people want that in their heart of love. St. John of the Cross said, “I saw the river. Each soul must pass in the name of that river – the river of suffering. And I saw the boat,
which carries the soul across that river. And the name of the boat was Love. The evolution of the spiritual heart is not a journey through time and space, it is a flowering of presence. God, guru, and self are in your and my heart. They are in everybody’s heart. So then you don’t have
to go to a distant land, you can go to the guru in your heart. That’s what the human potential is:
the heart. And what these saints represent are just that. They represent our potential. I want to invite you to move your identity from ego to soul. For what each of us carries in the spiritual heart is loving awareness. Loving awareness. Awareness of everything. Loving awareness. And that’s what our spiritual heart is. Get your awareness, get your identity down to the heart, the middle of the heart space, just say, “I am loving awareness.” I am loving awareness. I am loving awareness. (whispering) I am loving awareness. I am loving awareness. (whispering) I am loving awareness. Namaste.

Comments

  1. Wonderful man. With 'loving awareness' though which he says we all have: if we all have it why isn't the world more loving than it is? How can wars start even, if we had it? And, if we have it but it is so clouded over, then what things hinder its expression? Why not an economics of love, a politics of love, families of love, friendships, shops, activities, etc? In short, shouldn't we diagnosis the problem(s) before we offer the solution? He says 'ego' but our neoliberal economics is all ego.

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