On this episode of Here and Now, Ram Dass continues his discussion on how our spiritual practice affects our sense of change and how we respond to an impermanent reality.

Be sure to check out Part 1 of A Sense of Change here.

Show Notes

Winds of Change (Opening) – Ram Dass looks at the sweeping change that took place during the 1960’s. He talks about the consequences what turned out to be a naïve approach taken by the hippie movement in the way they tried to change the world’s social institutions overnight.

“We were very naïve in the 60’s. We thought that because we had tasted of relationships that were rooted in love rather than fear, because most of the social institutions we were dealing under were fear-driven, we thought that since we saw it all so clearly because of our love for each other that the whole thing would change just like that. The emphasis on the individual human heart as the basic social institution, instead of these large structures, raised the specter of anarchy and chaos in the society. It, in fact, mobilized the conservative part of the population and gave them incredible juice, and the pendulum swung the other way.”

Another Approach (15:25) – We look at how new generations can affect the kind of change the hippie movement once attempted. Ram Dass talks about the inner work that can prepare us to meet the challenge, and the suffering, that come along the way.

“That concept of pushing away somebody, of pushing away suffering, does something to your human heart that cuts you off from living spirit in life. But do you and I have what it takes to look with an unblinking gaze at what is and not be fried by it, to not go under by it?

Discover More: Danny Goldberg and Paul Krassner talk about the success and failures of the hippie movement in this episode of Rock & Roles.

Shifting Perspective (24:25) – Ram Dass discusses the change of perspective that comes with contemplative practice.

“Can you see this flip of perspectives? We are insignificant; we are very significant. It is about to end; it is only starting. This is all emptiness; this is all a creation of my mind. Can you keep all those planes going all at once?”

Discover More: Sharon Salzberg examines how our perspective shifts with contemplative practice in this episode of Metta Hour

Standing Nowhere, Being Everywhere (35:30) There is an ongoing war between our open heart that wants to reach out to the world and closed mind that wants to protect us. Ram Dass examines how inner work can allow us to overcome the fear of the mind and contribute to the betterment of society.

“All of the work that people did on their inner beings, now is the time when that work is valuable to the common good. If you can stand nowhere, if you even know of that potential, you can smooth out the rough edges that are going to happen.”