On this episode of Here and Now, Ram Dass reflects on the fundamentals of spiritual practice and being mindful.
Mantra: Why We Chant (Opening) – Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram; Ram over all. Ram Dass talks about why we chant mantra and the names of God.
“Mantras are usually the names of God, the name of the One. They bring your mind to the One; to the all-encompassing; to the oneness behind the universe. The names are different colorings of God. Ram is love and chanting his name takes you from your soul to the One.” – Ram Dass
Foundation of the Spiritual Path (11:30) – Ram Dass talks about self-inquiry and building a foundation for our spiritual path.
“I spent many hours trying to plumb the depths of my self-knowledge. I studied with Nisargadatta Maharaj and Papaji who were of the Advaita path. They used a different path of yoga, the yoga of the mind, to go from the ego plane to the One.” – Ram Dass
Mindful of the Breath (21:30) – We hear about Ram Dass’ time studying Theravādan Buddhism in Burma learning one-pointed concentration through breath control.
“A lot of things are within us that we find through self-examination. The soul has the witness, love, compassion, wisdom, joy and peace which are all inside of us. When you identify with yourself as a soul you, you radiate love.” – Ram Dass
In the Heart of Loving-Awareness (43:30) – When we get close to love, fear can cause us to run away. Ram Dass advises on how to break through that fear and allow love to take a foothold.
“These thoughts of fear are thoughts of the ego and will not help you on the spiritual path, they weigh you down. When you journey to the place of the witness, you see that these thoughts are not helping and then you embrace them with love, because the witness is in the soul and the soul is loving awareness.” – Ram Dass
Once you have the tools to begin the journey, it is useful to understand the terrain. Check out this episode of Here and Now where Ram Dass reports on the geography of the journey of awakening.
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