Cultivating Loving Awareness Film with Ram Dass, Sharon Salzberg, Krishna Das and Mirabai Bush

[ music, no words ] I look up at him I looked at his eyes and he was, he was looking at me with unconditional love now that was the first time i was ever looked at with unconditional love I mean, your parents want you to be a good boy, your parent, your professors want you to work well your friends want you to love them, but he didn’t want anything, it just, just, unconditional, unconditional he was loving all that stuff and he loved me just as I was he loved me just as i was inside, not outside the reading of my mind was just to soften me up and then he could love me and it was after that I said, I’m home. I’m home. and I meant home here. Home here. So, I…I pray for Maharaji’s grace to be that love, to be it fully. Maybe my ego will never know. Maybe I’ll just be it. And all I can radiate is love. You can do the same too. We have tobenot do. We have tobelove. Be love. Be love. I really tried to unconditionally love everything. I love everything equally, this is a plane of consciousness. It’s not the ego, and the judge: “I love them more than him or her, the rug doesn’t deserve my love.” In this plane of consciousness, this whole plane of consciousness, everything is love. I am the Atman, I am love. I am love. You are love, this is all love. This is all love. It’s all an ocean of love. But I can’t convince anybody. Because convincing has..yick. I think it’s more about how do we get here from here. Yeah, so maybe all I can do, like Maharaji does, like Maharaji is. He is love. He is love. He doesn’t do anything, he is not doing anything. I love you, but he is love. With Maharaji there was a point where someone asked him how to meditate. He said: ‘Meditate the way Christ meditated.’ And that took a while to sink in. And when asked about how Christ meditated, he said: ‘He lost Himself in love.’ So, I had been there not more than three days. So I thought, I’m all the way over here, got my Guru. I should get a mantra. So I said: ‘Maharaji, can you show me how to meditate?’ Figuring he’d just give me, ’cause we knew he was doing Ram Ram Ram. I figured ‘It’ll be easy, he’ll give me Ram Ram, I’ll go home.’ I thought we were only gonna be there for a few days anyhow, that’s what I wanted. So he looked at me and said ‘Meditate like Christ.’ ‘When He was crucified, He felt love, not pain.’ That’s what he said, so I was completely in shock. It was just Krishna Das and I , and Ramesh and a couple of other people. Ram Dass wasn’t there, and the next day Ram Dass showed up. And I told him: ‘I asked him how to meditate, he said “Meditate like Christ, when He was nailed to the Cross, he felt love, no pain.” Maybe you could talk to him. Do you have a little bit more of a conversational thing with him going than I do?’ ‘You ask him how did Christ meditate.’ So he said, OK. So we went back the next day, literally Ram Dass, me, Krishna Das, Ramesh who’s here And two other people. And Ram Dass said: ‘You told us to meditate like Christ. How did Christ meditate?’ So suddenly he sat back, and he closed his eyes. We were just waiting for what he was going to say, and then suddenly tears came from his eyes. He started crying. So we were pretty stunned. And then he, over and over and over, he kept saying ‘He never died. You don’t understand, He never died.’ He said ‘He was lost in love with every sentient being. He never died, He never died.’ I remember he kept saying that over and over. We were overwhelmed in that moment with Christ. I mean, it became, it was darshan of Christ in that moment. And yeah, he just kept saying “He was lost in love.” That’s the game. That’s the game. But you don’t do it. It just happens. With grace. ‘Know that when you learn to lose yourself, you will reach the Beloved.’ ‘There is no other secret to be learned and more than this is not known to me.’ That was a Sufi saint from Afghanistan called Ansari of Herat. So, how do you lose yourself? It goes: ego, individual soul, Atman. And the individual soul to the Atman is a step that needs grace. I actually think of meditation as being a kind of skills training in Love or loving kindness or compassion. So that we discover both capacities within and the nature of the loving heart in ways that might not be the way that we actually just assumed. We might assume quite a bit of limitation or we might assume a lot of conventional mediums of exchange. Even the word love is so confusing for us, generally speaking. Whatdowe mean when we use the word love? Sometimes, people do frankly mean in a medium of exchange “I will love you as long as you love me in return, as long as the following fifteen conditions are met I once used that example teaching, and someone in the room called out: ‘Only fifteen condtions?’ So ‘I will love you as long as…however many conditions are met.’ I will love myself as long as I never make a mistake. So what does that mean, really? In terms of stability, in terms of support, in terms of nurturance or nourishment. It’s not gonna last very long: ‘I will love myself as long as I never make a mistake.’ So we’re really talking about something very different in terms of connection, and understanding and presence, and care, that can be sustained through all kinds of different circumstances and changes. That’s the skills training of it. And I think it’s very funny, because we don’t tend to think of that as a skill we think of it as a gift, that some people have it, other people don’t and if you don’t you’re out of luck. But here we are, cupping our hands. Doing something a little different Sometimes taking some risks with our attention, with our awareness, so that we can see more clearly what we’re really capable of or even the love that’s there. People seem to associate having a loving heart with being maybe a little stupid, or weak or foolish, and a little gooey. You know, like ‘I’ll let myself be hurt or abused, I’ll just kinda smile or I’ll let other people be treated unjustly and just kind of smile. It’s a little too saccharine. But of course, in reality, love, loving kindness and compassion are like a tremendous force which can transform this world, but we don’t live in a time where generally speaking, it’s seen as such. It’s sort of a degradation of our understanding of the power of love You know, look at Ram Dass all these years later talking about that first encounter. And what it means to receive that kind of unconditional love And just as we can open to receiving it, of course we can generate it, at least from the Buddhist point of view we have that capacity to actually generate and be a source of of that enormous quality of love and acceptance, which is a strength. It’s a force. And then, maybe the last thing I’ll say before we sit, is just as something like love is seen as a strength, so is happiness. That instead of our own happiness being seen as kinda selfish or weird, or ‘I’m gonna have a good time in Hawaii and then just savour that and forget everybody else.’ When it’s the right kind of happiness, and not just endlessly seeking pleasure It’s a tremendous source of generosity, and caring, and compassion because how else do we have resilience and resourcefulness and how else do we go on without being depleted and overcome and just feeling it’s like all too much. It’s because we can tap into what I call this sense of inner abundance where we can find that place within us which has that capacity and we can bring it forth, we can really help it come out and when we can be in touch with that then our giving is different, our presence is different, our sharing is different, our service is different. Because it’s not forced and it’s not gonna shatter, it’s not gonna fray when we don’t get what we want and someone doesn’t improve by tomorrow and all of those things maybe don’t always go our way. So our own happiness is a radical thing. it’s an extraordinary thing. I speak often about the Dalai Lama and this time he came to New York City and spoke in Central Park. He’s done it a few times, but this was the first time he’d done it I don’t know, maybe some of you were there actually. Alright, a New Yorker! And a friend of mine actually organised the event in Central Park and her desire was that all kinds of people would come and that it would just be really big, cause it was free, and there was no registration, and there was also no knowing how many people might come. So, the day before he was gonna speak, it poured rain, so that was a little disconcerting, but the day he actually was gonna speak, it was clear. So, I got up that morning, and I went to the Park, and I couldn’t see anything at first, but I could hear the sound of Tibetan chanting in the distance. So I just sorta followed the sound. And turned a corner, and came upon the meadow where he was gonna speak and there were an estimated 250,000 people there. It was the most amazing gathering, it’s like everywhere the eye could land you’d just see people. We sat together in a very rare kind of silence as we waited for him to begin to speak. And when he did begin he started with a statement I found rather extraordinary. He said: ‘You know, from a certain point of view I haven’t had such an easy life. He said: ‘I had to assume power, temporal power when I was 16. I had to flee into exile in my early twenties. I’ve had to live in exile, trying to keep this community intact all these years. I’ve had to hear daily about the terrible suffering going on inside of Tibet. It hasn’t been such an easy life.’ And then he said: ‘But I’m pretty happy!’ And of course, that’s what one sees in him. He seems pretty happy. And he went on to say: ‘The reason that I’m pretty happy even though it hasn’t been such an easy life is because of the force of compassion. Compassion makes me feel at one with everyone. That’s why I’m pretty happy.’ Think about that, or another statement of his where he said: ‘I’ve never met anyone I consider a stranger.’ And just the lack of defensiveness, and anxiety and self-preoccupation. ‘Cause, how do we generally meet people? Sometimes we hardly notice them. It’s all about me, right? ‘What do they think of me?’ ‘Do they like me?’ ‘How much do they like me?’ ‘Do they like me more than they’ve ever liked anyone ever before?’ ‘Oh no, I said something stupid. They hate me! Can I change this? Maybe not, let me go meet someone else!’ You know, it’s like we hardly even see them. And contrast that to: ‘I’ve never met anyone I consider a stranger.’ Or ‘Compassion makes me feel at one with everyone.’ And just the openness of that. That’s a pretty happy state, right? So he said: ‘It’s the force of compassion that makes me pretty happy even though it hasn’t been such an easy life.’ And it was such an extraordinary statement because there we were, let’s say 250,000 people and I bet a lot of us could have said ‘It hasn’t been such an easy life,’ and not all that many of us might have added ‘But I’m pretty happy.’ So there we are, that’s our potential. That’s the possibility we have as human beings. And for me, certainly, just given how my path has been, meditation practice has been a core element of that. Let’s see what we’re capable of. Let’s see what happens when we’re more present. Let’s see what happens when we change our relationship to everything that comes up in our experience. So that is our practice. Give up your roles, embrace your soul ‘Give up your roles, embrace your soul.’ Give up your role, and embrace your soul. It’s so easy, so easy. Easy for you to say. As we have that moment of awakening out of our role that begins to be the it’s like another state of consciousness, of seeing. Yes. It goes from one state to another state. A state of consciousness. The attachments to roles, like a mother is a role. ‘Oh, my baby! Oh!’ That’s an attachment. You’ve got to see those attachments and you’ve got to love those attachments. And love the whole business. This is because attachments to roles, clinging like that is, not mother particularly, but roles clinging to roles is a result of the anxiety is anxiety and you’ve got to get rid of the anxiety by love. A negative thought and you’re ‘Wow.’ ‘Was that a negative thought?’ ‘Wow. I love you.’ I love you. Now, you think that’s impossible But you’d be surprised how quickly the negative thought stays. Just love them out of existence. Doesn’t sound…love them, then they cease to exist. So, but pushing away your if you don’t like your role, that’s just clinging more? If you don’t like your role it doesn’t get you out of it. You’ve gotta love it to slowly edge it away. He is love. He doesn’t love people. In that plane of consciousness, he just melds. Larry Brilliant, one of our guru-brothers is a doctor and he came up to visit Maharaji at his wife’s beckoning. He was sitting there in front of Maharaji and he said: ‘I could understand Maharaji loving everybody, he’s a saint.’ But he said ‘When I was sitting in front of him I loved everybody.’ He just, the radiation from the love got into Larry. The radiation from the love. And that’s what, from the Atman This soul to soul to soul to soul that’s what Gurukripais. The Guru’s grace. It’s a form ofbhakti yoga.You sit in front of a Guru but no, you sit in with your Guru inside. And your Guru inside floods your world with love. Heart to heart. That’s why people say ‘I’m looking for a Guru.’ All they gotta do is look inside. Look inside, because you have an Atman the Atman has within it your Self, God and Guru. Inside you You remember what Ram Dass said that when he wroteThe Miracle of LoveHe was still fascinated and fixated by the miracle aspect of what happened around Maharaji, because it was miracles 24/7. Of one kind or another, and he felt that when he wroteBe Here Nowalso. So he felt that he had missed the point to some degree and that over the years he had recognised that in fact the love was really the essence of it all. And of course, when he always told us that story back in the old days when we first met him in ’68 and ’69. We were of course also very impressed by the miracles but we got the same hit that he got from Maharaji when Maharaji said ‘Spleen’ about his mother being big here and dying of spleen. And at that point he fell apart. It didn’t have anything to do with what Maharaji said, the content of what he said, but at that moment, the stars were right, and his heart opened. And not an emotional heart, but kind of the shell around the true nature was cracked and he experienced being home in a way that he had never experienced before. And that’s what we experienced when he would tell that story and we were with him. So I said to him: ‘You’re wrong.’ ‘You said that, but it’s not true.’ But then, this morning I woke up in the middle of the night thinking ‘Wait a minute, he wasn’t wrong but he also wasn’t completely right.’ ‘And I wasn’t wrong either.’ So I came up to him after he talked this morning and I said: What he said this morning of course was how it had been a process of recognising that even though his so called ego was fascinated with the miracles and that’s what he was experiencing, what was coming through him was that love in Maharaji’s presence. So both were happening at the same time. He always talks about the two levels existing at the same time. And I remembered that this last year when I did the CDHeart as Wide as the Worldthere was a bunch of English on there. And this was the first time I had really started writing some stuff in English. And it wasn’t easy, because English is my native language. And what I discovered is, just like Ram Dass didn’t experience the love as he was, as it was coming through him so to speak, when I chant it goes, it doesn’t, in some ways it kind of circumvents my native wiring. You know, my who I think I am, my conventional Western sense of ‘me-ness’ It kind of goes around that, and it goes through it, and up and down, it’s OK. But when I tried to write something in English I would discover that I didn’t have the wiring to express that love unconditional love, in English for myself, or for others, or for…because it made me too vulnerable. I didn’t have the wiring to do it. And you know, a couple of years ago I was in India with Siddhi Ma, who’s Maharaji’s great devotee, and we were talking. I said ‘Ma, what is it with Westerners?’ ‘What is it with us? We can’t accept love, it’s just…what’s going on with us?’ So, she said a few things, and one of the main things she said at that time she said was: ‘When you were a child, love was used, and affection was used to control you. To get you to do what your parents wanted you to do.’ And you knew that you had to show them what they wanted to see in order to get the stuff that kept you alive, and the affection that you needed.’ So I thought: ‘That’s interesting, yeah.” And then, about a week later. Ah, you know I’ve talked often about Mr. and Mrs. Tewari, and their family and how close I was. So the oldest grandson of Mr. Tewari was being married, and all the grandchildren, all the cousins came from all over for the wedding. And they came up to the temple, to get the blessings of the temple, and to see Ma. And all these young people were in the back of the temple, and I was there with them, and they were all sitting around and Ma was talking to them all. And they’d known her their whole lives. And there was so much sweetness there between them. Between the cousins, so much sweetness. I was looking at this family, and I was starting to cry. It was so beautiful and so sweet. And she just turned to me, and she said: ‘You see- this is what you missed by being born in America.’ And I thought: ‘Right on.’ I don’t know about you, but I had a good family, not a bad family, but that kind of sweetness. We didn’t have that! We didn’t have that… And that sense of trusting the love, Like Tewari and I, we used to argue. He would pick fights with me on purpose. He would just look for the buttons, then push ’em. And I would explode and he would love it. He’d go: ‘Ah! You will fire upon me now?’ He wanted a party, and the thing was, we could get angry, and fight, and look in each other’s eyes and go ‘This is allowed?’ Wow, you can yell at somebody, you can really express yourself, and not worry? You see, in their family, they yelled, they screamed, they did everything. And nobody was at all afraid that anybody really would ever throw them out of their heart. They might be angry, but the love was just completely understood. Not only understood, it was recognised, and it was appreciated, and it was expressed. But that didn’t prevent them from screaming and yelling. In fact, it allowed it to happen. Nobody screamed in my house. ‘Don’t talk to me like that.’ ‘Don’t look at me like that.’ You know… It was, and so, so, this has been a process. Ram Dass and I were talking about Maharaji’s grace and how, how this path for us we experience it as a ripening process. A ripening process, and we’re developing slowly. You know, another thing Tewari once said. ‘This, this path’ he said ‘is like loading explosives.’ ‘You have to do it very carefully, one thing of dynamite at a time, otherwise the whole thing goes up.’ Everybody, we think we want it all right away. Forget about it. The word actually in Pali, the language of the original Buddhist texts that is usually translated as ‘meditation’ isbhavana,andbhavanaliterally means ‘cultivation’ So there we have the Buddha in a very agrarian society using that kind of imagery, like cultivating the ground so that wondrous things can emerge, desired things can emerge, beautiful things can emerge. So, our work is to cultivate the ground. Rather than seeing our work as somehow acquiring and getting, and having, and preserving, like desperately: ‘OK, I’ve got ’til Monday morning when I have to get on the shuttle to really love myself completely’, or to forgive everybody, or something like that. Rather than having that kind of energy, we more see it as ‘cultivating the ground’, that’s what we’re doing. Sobhavanameans cultivation. We’re creating the conditions out of which, through the force of Nature, other things can emerge. And there’s another meaning of the wordbhavanaor there’s another way it’s used which I like a lot which actually comes from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition more, although they also use ‘cultivation’. They have this phrase that they substitute for the word ‘meditation’, and the phrase is: ‘getting used to it’, getting familiar with it, getting used to it. And I think the meaning of that is a sense that pretty well, we have had moments of extraordinary connection and clarity, and powerful insight, understanding, compassion, but we don’t tend to be awfully used to them. It’s like, we have a moment, and we think ‘What was that?’ or we think ‘I don’t think I’ll tell anyone about that’, or we think ‘I gotta get that back, I don’t know how to get that back, how do I get it?’ But we don’t tend to abide or dwell or live in our deepest understanding. and our most profound experiences, so the practice of meditation is one of ‘getting used to it’. And that, I think also changes the energy so you don’t have such a feeling of desperation like ‘I’ve got nothing, and I’m so deficient and defective and someday maybe I’ll have a moment. of clarity, of connection, of love’ It’s not like that. It’s almost like we’re starting from the assumption that we’ve had that, but it’s all too fleeting and so our work is to learn to dwell, to abide, in something we already know. And that’s a real different sense of things. So that’s a lot of how I see the meditation process, especially around the meditations on loving kindness and compassion and so on. It’s like we’re getting used to qualities that we actually do know, we know deeply and we know their nature. The Vietnamese Zen teacher Thich Nhat Han has this exercise where he will do something like hold up a string bean and he’ll say ‘Now see the world’, because you can. So that’s really my deepest sense of loving kindness, it’s just the kind of knowing that our lives all have something to do with one another, that it’s not really the same at all as being sentimental or certainly nothing to do with being false or affected about things but because of that knowing, we just relate differently. Instead of thinking: ‘Oh, you’re like nothing, you don’t count, why should I care about you, you’re over the line into the other category’ We realise that those are just kind of constructs, that sense of self and other and us and them, it’s something we make up that isn’t so very true when we look. So that’s why I find loving kindness a very powerful thing, because it’s so much based on how things actually are. That’s what gives it its strength, its power unlike the way so many people think of it as being kind of saccharine or too sweet, too placid, makes you weak, makes you kind of foolish. Really, it’s so powerful, it’s so strong, it really is like a force. He was sitting on the bed, and I was sitting on the floor, and this Indian guy, Mr Bharmun was there and I was just sitting there with my eyes closed for a long time, and all of a sudden he sits up and he looks at me and he says: ‘Courage is a really big thing.’ And I go: ‘What’s gonna happen?’ You know: ‘I don’t think I’ll be able to deal with it,’ so then Bharmun says to him: ‘Oh, but Baba, God takes care of his devotees.’ Maharaji shot him a look like that, and he looked back and said: ‘Courage is a really big thing’, then he went back to sleep. and just left me sitting there like that. And you know, I had no idea of what it meant, absolutely no idea, not a clue. I was in India for the duration at that point, I had no intention of ever doing anything, except staying in India, so, but there have been times in my life, a few times where all I had to save me was just the memory of him saying that, there was no possibility of courage, no possibility of action, I was completely lost completely drowning, but I just had the barest memory of him saying that. And it was enough to keep me at least up to here, you know. And… So how would you interpret, if you want to use that word, courage? What is it in that moment, what is encompassed in that moment in the word courage? I mean, you talk about fear, is it an antidote to it in some way? You know, a lot of times people, I talk with people and they say: ‘Well, you know, is there choice, is there free will?’, and I say: ‘If you think you have a choice to make, make it.’ and sometimes it takes a tremendous amount of courage to listen to our hearts, and really do what we, our hearts tell us, we have to do, what’s right for us. And sometimes it means changing lives around and doing things that going in a direction you never imagined before. But it takes a tremendous amount of courage to listen to that inner place, because the whole world is telling you, y’know: ‘Here, come here, take some of this, buy some of this, go to this movie, take this, eat this, buy this”, you know, it’s alll pulling us out of ourselves, and to have the courage to listen and then to act on that inner longing, is something that’s really very important. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna he should have courage in the fight at Kurukshetra, and Arjuna realises that on the other side are his teachers, and his family, and he says just: ‘How can I do this?’ and Krishna says: ‘Stay close to Me’ The word courage, of course it’s not, in Sanskrit and Hindi it’s not the same, but our word courage, is from the French for ‘heart’, ‘coeur’, it means take heart, follow your heart, listen to your deepest motivation, and follow that. You can’t even do this work, you can’t make thosesattvicor pure efforts, to bring yourself into harmony with that kind of love if you don’t have grace functioning in your life already. So, that’s what I always say: if you think there’s something to do, if you think you have a choice to make, make it. Don’t sit around upleveling yourself and smoking dope, all the time. Just one example, or watching TV all the time. If you think there’s something to do, you have to do it, you have to follow that, you have to have the courage to follow that inner heart, of what it’s telling you, and not just Maharaji used to say: ‘A person should wear themselves out. and not rust away.’ And he’d always say: ‘Serve people, feed people.’ We always wanted him to tell us to sit cross-legged and do this mantra, or concentrate on this, and he never would tell us that, he would say: ‘Serve people, feed people.’ That was in response to asking him how to raisekundalini.Yeah, we said: ‘How do you find God?’ He said, ‘Serve people’, OK, OK, well how do you raisekundalini, you know.He said: ‘Feed people’ Feed people? How does feeding people raisekundalini?He said: ‘It does’. And one time we were eating on one side of the courtyard, and he was sitting on the other, and he said to Dada: ‘Dada, I am eating through all those mouths.’ Anything that overcomes our, begins to overcome our feeling of being separate, and something that begins to break down our armour, and our fears, raiseskundalini.If you feed people, it means you care, you’re giving, you’re offering. And that breaks down the walls of separateness. Loving Awareness I think this meditation of loving awareness, the awareness of the mountains, I’m loving the mountains, I’m loving you, And the love is melding things. So that the it’s all one, it’s all one. People and the trees, and grass, and all of you, and it’s all one. You’re being it, you’re being it by just looking with those kinds of eyes. That’s the way Wow. Yeah. It’s just too much to talk about, because it isn’t speakable about. It’s just being, and this plane of consciousness is the spiritual plane, it brings you and all closer and closer, and closer. It’s like a sea of love. It’s just like you’re dealing in a sea of love. Wow. When it first happened, I was trying to not upset it, because it was beautiful, beautiful. And then I realised, it was going to be there, because, because it was a quality of being, and it was sneaking up in me. That being swelled and swelled and swelled until everybody was loving and just ah….yum yum yum yum. Would I describe love as the glue in this interconnected universe? I probably would describe it slightly differently, more as the recognition of this interconnected universe, that it just is, and the responsiveness that is so natural, the idea that what happens to someone else is like happening to our arm would mean that we respond, rather than thinking: ‘Hey, you’re far away, or you’re the other kind.’ You know. I don’t care about you, I don’t have to pay attention to you. There’s just such a natural responsiveness to seeing the truth of that, that movement of the heart, the recognition, the ways we speak to one another, care for one another, make sure to include one another, rather than just say: ‘You don’t count.’ When we see a connection, I think, of any kind, between ourselves and others and the sameness, the sense of sameness comes from seeing both that we all want to be happy, and that we are in truth all so vulnerable to change, that life can just change on a dime, and it’s different, and who knows? And so we live as though we’re so sure of what’s gonna happen tonight or tomorrow, or in the next hour, and we don’t know. And to realise, ‘Oh look at that, we share that’ that even though in any given moment someone might be up, and someone else might be down, and there’s the particular ways we know each other, the truth is that it’s like molten, and we start filling it with fear and anxiety and self-preoccupation, and bitterness and jealousy, and competitiveness and all those things, just like layer after layer after layer, it’s like a mess, and it’s very full. There’s not much space, but if we can sort of start releasing that, or at least an amount of that if not everything, then woo, there’s so much more space. And I think that is, it’s a lot more fun. And it is a kind of lightness of being, which was always so confusing to me when I was first in India and studying with Buddhist teachers, because they all seemed so happy and mostly what they talked about was suffering, and I’d think: ‘Ah! Disconnect.’ That’s very odd, ’cause the happiness seemed very genuine it didn’t seem feigned, or phony in some way, just like such brightness, and having a good time, basically. Really. Surrender People don’t realise, you know, when we talk about Maharaji, we talk about the things that happened, but most of the time we were just sitting around hanging out with him, and bathing in that love, and that was enough. We didn’t want anything else. And, ’cause that was the whole thing, to be in that love, it was so powerful. To be allowed to be who you are, and allowed to forget all your self-loathing, and your self-judgement, your criticism, with yourself, and forget about who you wanted to be and might wanna be, just to be in the moment, y’know, and be in the presence. Thepresentand the Presence. Anything you do to try to get there with your will is just gonna create big waves that push you back later. You need to have just enough will to get yourself in the right place, and then relax. You can’t, you know, Maharaji said that meditation is a state that develops naturally over time. You can’t will yourself into it. When you surrender, the mind stops. You stop being who you are, who you thought you were, it’s not, that’s full surrender. There’s a lot of little surrenders, but the quality of surrender is that you stop worrying. You can’t say you’re surrendered and then be worrying. I mean, who’s worrying? You’re still here, you’re still busy. So, when you finally, when you leave it all to Him, or to Her, or to the Universe, the mind’s let go at that point. So to get to that point, you have to really mean it, you have to reach a point where you’re, where the only choice is surrender, where the only way you’re gonna survive is surrender. It goes little by little, you know, everybody wants the big bang, you know, sudden enlightenment takes billions of births to develop, to prepare for. And we come here, and we get a hit, and then that hit has to integrate itself through our system, you know, through our consciousness, through our awareness, through our whole physical, mental, emotional, robotic thing, you know. It has to work itself through there, all our reactions. It has to work through all the stuff we do habitually, and soften it up. It’s just little, you can only take a little at a time, really. ‘Cause you don’t wanna get stuck anywhere. You don’t wanna get stuck in madness, you don’t wanna get stuck in, you wanna keep moving. And because Westerners have so much self hatred, we keep imagining that “it” will be someplace where we are not, because we don’t have a sense of wellbeing, we’ve lost our connection with our own wellbeing, so we’re trying to get off all the time. When you’re wide and open, everything can come and go. Highs, lows, ins, outs, no hurry, you’re not going anywhere. I never felt any tension around Maharaji, he was completely at ease. Well, he said, you know, One of the Westerners asked him something, and his response was: ‘I’ve done everything, I only leave the mind to you.’ [laughs] But if you think about it, he’s just giving us the guarantee, I’ve done everything, now you just clean up your thoughts. Stop thinking you’re stupid, and everything will be alright. Maharaji has affected me, by loving me. And therefore, I love you. It’s just a therefore. So, this is a meditation, you attend to a point in the heart space, in the middle of the chest, and you’ll say: ‘I am loving awareness’ You were ‘I am ego’, and you’re going to become the reality of your the true Self, the capital S. So you’re gonna start thinking about: ‘I think this is crap’, ‘I can do without this’, or, that’s the ego. Because, see what I did when Maharaji said ‘I want you to love everybody’, I said ‘I can’t do it’, which meant my ego can’t do it, and he just ignored it. ‘Cause he wanted to dance with my soul, dance with my soul, The soul we’re going to make loving awareness. So, think of yourself, think of your ‘I’, me, ‘I’. Start with this, and go down to this. Start with ‘I am loving awareness’, I am loving awareness, Remember to point at the middle of the chest. ‘I am loving awareness’. ‘I am loving awareness’ In the future, you will know yourself as loving awareness. It’s, if you, if somebody asks you say you’re Jack, you don’t say ‘I am Loving Awareness’, because, because. But you yourself will say, when you walk down the street, when you go into the marketplace, ‘I am loving awareness.’ ‘I am loving awareness’, now take on that identity, instead of the identity you had before. You shift your identity ‘I am loving awareness’, ‘I am loving awareness’, the awareness is your Self, it hasn’t, it’s not a thing, it’s no thing, it’s no objective thing, you can’t point to awareness, you’re aware of your eyes seeing, you’re aware of your ears hearing, you’re aware of your thoughts, as they come out of your mind. So, I, ‘This’ll never work’. That’s a thought. Just label it as a thought, label thoughts, label thoughts, This loving awareness is the witness of your incarnation, Ram Dass’ talking to us, the theme of our time together is loving awareness, we are all loving awareness. But we all know that we forget that we’re loving awareness, and we forget because there are various obstacles and obscurations, we think that we’re something else, we have negative emotions arising, and we’re all caught up in those. For many reasons we, it’s not that we can cultivate awareness, awareness is. It’s there. But we can come into loving awareness if we allow ourselves to let go of the things that are getting in the way. And one of the ways to do that is to do various kinds of practices. And we know that different practices work for different people and different practices work for you at different times in your life. One of the most important, and most effective ways, of allowing you to just let go of what’s in the way is inspiration. We need to be continually reassured that ‘Yeah, this is true we are loving awareness’, and there are some of us, and all of us at times, who are in that space, but we need to be continually reminded, so being here and listening to Ram Dass and just being in the presence. You know, when we were in the presence of Maharaji, when we came home, people asked us: ‘What did he say?’ ‘What did he teach you, what happened?’ As you’ve probably heard, at some level, not much happened at all, he didn’t really say much, and he didn’t tell us to do practices, although we found that we were dong them. But sometimes we would say to each other when we were there: ‘I feel like all my cells are being rearranged.’ You could just feel yourself changing from inside. It was not like anything I’d ever experienced. This exactly is a practice of mindfulness of the breath. And this is important, because we’re really gonna focus on love this week. In order to be there, to really be present, to be loving, to be loving awareness, you need to allow your mind-body-heart, to come into calmness, clarity stability, this gives you the real stability to be able to then open your heart. Because you know, if you get into that space in the heart and you don’t have any grounding, you can float away. You need this integration of the two. I invite you to now either close your eyes or have a soft gaze, not looking at anything. If you’re in a chair, and you want to sit on the floor, please do. So, begin by taking three deep breaths, just filling your whole body with breath, breath of life, breath of awareness, filling your whole body deeply feeling the breath move in and move out, three deep breaths where you can really feel your breath, yoga-breath. Just noticing the sensations in your body as you’re sitting here. You are being aware of your body from within your body. Noticing any sensations: heat, coolness, pain, simply noticing what’s going on in your body. And now bringing that attention to your breath, as it moves in and out of your nostrils, or at the rising and falling of your belly, just resting your attention on your breath. Noticing the breaths coming in, then leaving the body, and noticing anything about it that you can. Meditation is inquiry, it’s looking into the nature of things. So notice everything about your breath, be curious, and when your mind wanders off into a thought or an emotion, or a body sensation, notice that and return to your breath without judgement. Just beginning again and again. That’s the whole practice. Having no judgement, no judgement about the value of your thoughts your emotions, no judgement about how difficult it is for you to stay focused on your breath. Just noticing and returning, and beginning again. In the last few minutes of this practice, see if you can stay fully aware of one full breath, from the moment it enters your body, as it fills your body, until the moment it leaves your body. See if you can stay attentive of that breath from beginning to end, just one breath.MusicHolding me in your arms, vast embrace, Only love shining in endless space All I want is to be with you All my prayers have been heard All I need is to rest inside Your heart as wide as the world I looked away Your beauty too much to bear Where could I run? Your eyes, I found them everywhere All I want is to sing to you The song that no one has heard All my life has led me to A heart as wide as the world Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram, Jai Ram Jaya Ram Jai Jai Rama Sri Ram Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Rama Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Rama Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jaya Ram Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Rama Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Rama Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jaya Ram Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Rama Sri Ram, Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Rama Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Rama Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram, Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Rama Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Rama Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram Sri Ram Jai Ram


  1. Bodhi Dioscuri Author

    I absolutely love the song they play and it actually reminds me of a salvia experience where I was in between the worlds and I'm sure either this song was playing or something similar and the place felt familiar as if I had been there before and i was slowly waking from a dream. Its Beautiful! Love to you all

  2. Pavel Peev Author

    Meditation is a State that develops Naturally over Time , You cant Will your self into it . When you surender You stop being who you are. When you leave it all ( surender) the Mind let go. There is no more trying to be, you are just Being ….

  3. Vinny Diesel Author

    The real truth is so far passed what any words can describe. My best imagery I can give is this take every good,and loveing feeling you have ever had and ever will experience and put it on a sence of scale, then Imagine everything ever created in all of time and you simultaneously experience all their love with your own. Your body can only look into this and if you look completely at this with all of you than there you are.

  4. Peter Kimble Author

    This was filmed where? Was it in a Hawaiian place? Not Harlem I think. Maybe all the Afro-Caribbean are all enlightened and the rich white middle class are seeking that which is free. I am reminded of a vicar nearly fifty years ago. Canon Jenkins said to the congregation on our then church, Christ church Luton. "You think you are all holy people, but let me put you straight, this place is a club for sinners." Yes. I the artist known as Peter G Kimble know I am separated from God, but I will destroy the false self called Egor, or ego and be one with all. Till then brothers and sisters, know that you are loved. Blessings love and peace upon you and with you will, through you.

  5. Ecstatic Consciousness Author

    If you are advanced enough you will know that you need not do anything to cultivate the love, it comes naturally. If you are stuck and cannot feel in look into your body and regognize the entities which block this flow of eternal love. 🙂

  6. Sumit Chakrabarty Author

    It is really nice to hear such inspiring true events of Neem karoli baba ji, also grateful to all the speakers for sharing their insights, Its true….. love & surrender is all one has to give rest is taken care of by guru abides in the self, god abides in the self. All are one. Thanks for sharing such jewels of wisdom

  7. Bill Findlater Author

    blah blah blah . ideas assumed to be truths based on nothing other than tradition / ancient wisdom are usually the result of human imagination. zzzz,,

  8. Andrzej Sati Author

    Ram Dass said (23.00): "Love your negative thoughts and they cease to exist " this is how "love thy enemies " can be taken into practice. Really powerful meditation, because step by step all your fears, anxieties, anger will be transformed into love.

  9. Sridhar Kaushik Author

    I see many in the West hopping on the bandwagon of spirituality in search of God. I returned to India after 22 years in USA and am sad to find Indians (most of them at least) steeped in material pursuits.

  10. Sridhar Kaushik Author

    People need to understand that Ram Das suffered a stroke in 1998 and since then talks slow deliberately (or may be that is the only way he can talk) and with some effort.

  11. Legion of Skanks fan Skank Author

    I love these humans being so much…they help me love myself in the same way, as well as understanding the complete truth that is always complete unconditional love all around us at all times.

    If you love this video, you have to check out Raghu Markus's Podcast "Mindrolling" , its absolutely brilliant. You wont regret it.
    Love Serve Remember.

    Thank you

  12. Allan Gleicher Author

    Beautiful sharing of the amazing upgrading via connecting with the grace of a true master like Maharaji and his devotees too! Thanks for posting this beautiful testimony of divine love via Guru Kripa (Guru's grace) Love-Serve-Surrender is the pathless path that stretches beyond time and space and all concepts! <3

  13. briganti Author

    honestly this guy helped me to stop being a cynical edgelord all the time and to focus on compassion, i lapse back into my old habits sometimes but remembering to keep love and compassion always in mind has helped me greatly

  14. rich soar Author

    We do live in a time 13:32 when lightening communication is abused by our commander in chief for the benefit of his own self glory and not (yet?) for the glory of the love we NOW KNOW that we world wide (nearly) dream of living. Why don't we rise from suppression…? I venture to say, the minds of our spiritual gurus are conditioned to live a light of hope rather than actuality.

  15. Master Short Cut Author

    "The first time you are looked at with unconditional love…He didn't want anything… He loved me just as I was…I am home…we must be not do…Be Love, Be love…I love everything equally. This is a plane of consciousness…its not the ego or the judge..I am Love, you are love, this is all love. its all an ocean of love. He is Love, not doing anything…He lost himself in love!" Very Beautiful:)

  16. Lois Campo Author


  17. Yogesh Shukla Author

    राम राम राम सीता राम राम राम
    जय बाबा नीब करौरी महाराज

  18. Neda Fringe Author

    I experience such love while watching and hearing Ram Dass. Brings tears to my eyes -not sure where they come from. A big part is it just is, just being now. Part of it is sadness that I may never meet him in the flesh and that he will leave this place. LOVE

  19. Trinity Author

    I can feel myself growing and growing. As I go back into these 'practices' of thought and devotion that are personally tuned, rather than outwardly tuned. (I just mean the concept is more understandable to me as I write it, trying to convey it to another) I just start feeling love for everything, then my hears focus back on Ram Dass "I love everything equally".

    I'll just leave the rest of my meaning to the heart haha.

  20. jb318 Author

    I doubt that was the first one time he was looked at with unconditional love you dnt think his parents looked at him with unconditional love? I look at my son with unconditional love

  21. Kamal Patel Author

    क्या बाबा आप एप्पल व फेसबुक के मालिक जैसे बड़े लोगों की ही सुनते हैं मुझ जैसे कि नहीं सुनोगे मेरी उम्मीद को मत तोड़ो हें नीम करोरी बाबा मेरी पुकार सुन लीजिए जय श्री नीब करोरी बाबा मेरी मनोकामनाएं पूर्ण करदो जय श्री राम जय हनुमान जय नीब करोरी बाबा

  22. जादूगर कमल पटेल Author

    मेरा विश्वास टूटा है अगर विश्वास करोगे तो धोखा खाओगे

  23. rn ugra Author

    I am one of the lucky persons who has seen him from close quarters. I have driven him and suddenly told to drop him by the road side and go home. Once a highly British university qualified lady who who made her father – in – law to shift out to a rented accommodation from her husband owned house gate crashed when he was at our house She asked Baba to tell my father that he should be performing pujas to earn 'punyas' and pray at temples to better his life hereafter. Baba who had never met or heard of her replied " He need not do any one of those things since he is performing the ultimate Puja of 'doing his father's 'seva' " He never met that lady again. It was her first and last meeting though she tried several times.

  24. Siobhan Ní Loinsigh Author

    I wonder do non western people find they must speak in another language in order to circumvent their “nativness” like what Krishna Das mentions at 32:00?

  25. Sissi Author

    Watched this video again. At around 35.30, the way he explains how his experience with Indian families changed his perception of love. They were allowed to scream and yell and express themselves, but they were still loved. I'm sure not all families in India are like that, but I'm glad he had that experience. It should be like that everywhere. If one has psychopathic parents, the only thing allowed is saying YES. Anything else will be punished. Sigh. Maybe next life I get good enough parents. Thank you for this video. So beautiful, so comforting.

  26. jaguarfocus Author

    Ram dass has changed my life forever. As has sam Harris too. I am profoundly moved by these talks and feel a debt of gratitude . I'm trying to pay it forward.thank you.

  27. smita chhetri Author

    I felt blessed even to hear that Ramdass met a guru who looked at him with unconditional love.. I may not be so blessed .. but I pray to be able & open to receive & give unconditional love!!!

  28. Guru Mac Author

    Love is all the parts of you, whether sad, happy, walking in the rain or sat on a plane looking at the world below.
    There is no higher frequency than love. X

  29. TasteMyStinkhole Author

    Yeah, I'll waste my precious time on "cultivating loving awareness" bullsheet in the infinite time I have between lives.
    Got more important shyt to do in human form, and if gawd can't understand that, it can fhuk off


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