Writings: Notes for traveling companions, with Ram Dass

Ram Dass
Ram Dass

The great fun of traveling is to see things differently, ’round the edges of our path, and sometimes to bring those differences into our own lives. Those changes may be welcomed by our companions, or questioned, or downright rejected. This leads to a new set of challenges, which offer a chance to see it all, even more clearly, but not necessarily without pain or even grief. Here’s more from one of my favourite teachers, Ram Dass (here’s the original posting):

Your understanding of what the universe is all about changes as you proceed further along the path towards enlightenment. As your vantage point or perspective changes, you begin to understand more and more of “how it is.” With this greater understanding comes greater compassion… an acceptance of “how it is”… an ability to see the divine plan in everything, even in your failings and failings of others.

In the course of your journey it is most likely that your day-to-day companions or friends may change. Some may fall away as your interest in the Spirit pulls you from the worldly interest which brought or kept you together, but new friends who share your current interests will appear.

Of course, some of your existing relationships will move easily into this new domain and the relationship will become deeper and calmer… coming to exist in the eternal present.

This transition as traveling companions is a delicate and troubling matter. To find that someone whom you assumed shared all your values and interests over many years has no interest whatsoever in enlightenment or in becoming more conscious or coming into the Spirit is a shock. You want to share this “trip” with them in the same way as you shared others in the past.

That desire to proselytize, to turn him on, to show him, to bring him to the light… is a reflection of your lack of wisdom. For only some people can hear. Only some can awaken in this lifetime. It’s a little like seeing a friend drowning and being unable to catch his hand. You want so badly to do something. But in truth you can only BE… be as straight and as open and as HERE as you can be… and if your friend can hear, he will hear.

And if he cannot hear, he will turn away from you. No blame.

What is important is that you get your house in order at each stage of the journey so that you can proceed. “If some day it be given to you to pass into the inner temple, you must leave no enemies behind.” – de Lubicz

This getting straight not only applies to people but to things as well, such as favorite music, disliked foods, special treats, avoided places, all your toys, etc. Everything must be rerun through your compassion machine. You must revisit, at least in meditation, all your old attachments and re-see them in the light of the Spirit.

As you do, they fall away…unless, of course, the attachment to them is so strong that you are not able yet to re-see them with pure compassion. To stumble in that way on the path merely indicates the work yet to be done. Thus it gives direction to your sadhana, which is to work on those desires that cause you to stumble, by bringing them into the light of mantra or the witness until they fall away on their own.

– Excerpt from Be Here Now by Ram Dass

Posted: http://www.ramdass.org/getting-straight-on-your-path/

Need a hand?
Need a hand?

Intuitives & teachings: Ram Dass, on dying consciously

Screen shot 2013-11-05 at 9.48.34 PMBaba Ram Dass keeps weaving in & out of my life, ever since I found Be Here Now when I was at university, at a lecture/teaching in Eugene, Oregon in the years just before his stroke,  and lately, as I’ve been around folks who are facing death & dying. His approach offers a place to build what’s needed to face the end which we all can count on.

Here are thoughts from his blog:

My view has evolved to seeing death — the moment of death — as a ceremony. If people are sitting with you to help as you are going through this dying ceremony, help them to see you as the soul you truly are, not as your ego. If they identify you as your ego, during the last part of this ceremony they will cling to you and pull you back instead of facilitating your transformation.

Ram Dass
Ram Dass

Sadhana, either a specific practice or your overall spiritual transformation, begins with you as an ego and evolves into your being a soul, who you really are. The ego is identified with the incarnation, which stops at the moment of death.

The soul, on the other hand, has experienced many deaths. If you’ve done your sadhana fully, there will be no fear of death, and dying is just another moment.

If you are to die consciously, there’s no time like the present to prepare. Here is a brief checklist of some of the ways to approach your own death:

• Live your life consciously and fully. Learn to identify with and be present in your soul, not your ego.

• Fill your heart with love. Turn your mind toward God, guru, Truth.

• Continue with all of your spiritual practices: meditation, mantra, kirtan, all forms of devotion.

• Be there for the death of your parents, loved ones, or beloved animals. Know that the presence of your loved ones will remain when you are quiet and bring them into your consciousness.

• Read about the deaths of great saints, lamas, and yogis like Ramana Maharshi.

• If there is pain at the time of death, try to remain as conscious as possible. Medication for pain offers some solace but dulls your awareness.

• To be peaceful at the time of your death, seek peace inside today.

Death is another moment. If you’re not peaceful today, you probably won’t be peaceful tomorrow. Sudden death is, in many ways, more difficult to work with spiritually than a gradual passing.

If we are aware that death can happen at any moment, we start to work on ourselves more constantly, paying attention to the moment-to-moment content of our minds. If you practice being here now, being fully in the moment during your life, if you are living in that space, then the moment of death is just another moment.

Ram Dass, excerpt from Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from your Spiritual Heart.