In this dharma talk from the late 1960’s Ram Dass, just coming back from recent psychedelic explorations, shares his insights on embracing it all, non-attachment, and his namesake of service, Hanuman.
Turn Off Your Mind, Float Downstream
During an overnight psychedelic inner-exploration in the Taos, NM desert in which his energy channels were staunchly blocked, solace only came when Ram Dass was finally able to say, “Yes, and this too. I will embrace this. I will become one with the stars.” It was this acceptance that opened him to greater planes, and helped him through to the morning light. It was in this light, that Ram Dass was able to embrace his own family tradition of Judaism. He could now see it as part of a heritage, and something that he was inexorably involved with.
“Turn off your mind, float downstream. Embrace the ten-thousand horrible visions and the ten-thousand beautiful visions. Embrace life. Go through it. Embrace it all. Be one with it all.” – Ram Dass
The Misunderstanding of Non-Attachment (29:46)
Ram Dass touches on the concept of getting free of attachment to life, and how the common misunderstanding is interpreting it somehow as a way of avoiding life. It is in fact the opposite; though, as the journey is one of totally embracing life, but doing it with complete non-attachment.
“Everything you’re doing in life is part of an extraordinarily beautiful divine dance. And in a way, its only by embracing the ten-thousand horrible visions and the ten-thousand beautiful visions, that you go through the doorway of nature to go beyond nature while at the same time being fully in it.” – Ram Dass
The Sect of Servants (32:10)
Ram Dass explains his namesake. “Dass” means “servant,” and “Ram” is an incarnation of God, so he was given the name Servant of God, represented as the deity Hanuman in the Hindu tradition. Hanuman is known from the Indian epic, the Ramayana, as a monkey who wants nothing more than to purely serve God. Touching on insights from the Ramayana, Ram Dass shares that Hanuman was so close to Ram, that he became the breath of Ram.
“The relation of my Guru (Maharajji) to Ram is of perfect service. He is the servant of Ram. My Guru is a reincarnation of Hanuman, and as a perfect servant of Ram, he is totally selfless.” – Ram Dass