How Then Shall We Live?


A PBS television series of essential teachings for personal awakening on social action, impermanence and living life fully present. 


How can you let things be as they are without closing your heart when there is pain and suffering around you? How do you stay open to other people’s pain without increasing their suffering or yours?  

How can you use the conditions of the world in such a way that you can become part of a loop that is healing the situation, that passes through each individual human heart? 

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Explore this series and download below...

"Just bought it, it’s great, profound, heartful, accessible. Love Ram Dass and Stephen, thanks for putting this together." - Michael C.

  •  How do you use the moment-to-moment experiences of your life as a vehicle for awakening? 
  •  How do you partake in social action without creating divisiveness and negativity around the situation? 
  •  How do you get over your denial of death and embrace the impermanence of your life? 

Produced and directed originally as a PBS television series by Joseph Tieger and Johanna Luther, "How Then Shall We Live?" presents the issue of death and loss on both personal and global levels. And yet it deals more with life than death. It has been designed to help you to begin or continue the process of becoming aware of your thoughts and feelings and being present while entering fully into the moment-to-moment experiences of your life. The series also asks you to begin to make the connections between your personal life and the broader global community in which we all live. 

More relevant now than ever in this newly re-released four part program from 1986-1988, Ram Dass and Stephen Levine investigate the process of cultivating higher consciousness within the context of daily life. This series still stands as the only extended television presentation of Ram Dass & Stephen Levine’s most profound teachings. 

Ram Dass takes you through truthful relationships as a path for understanding the connective nature of your life within the universe; as a way of shifting consciousness so that you can see that we are all one in the form of many. 

Stephen Levine points to the stages of dying as a metaphor for the states of mind that occur during the process of letting go. It has everything to do with ego death, the death of those things that block the heart. 

Your denial of death is an unwillingness to live with full awareness of the impermanence of all things in life. Dealing with pain is a powerful way to cultivate a transition from identification with your body, your “self” to your soul. 

Through awareness and Ram Dass' meditation you can cultivate a true acceptance of the nature of change and the possibilities for personal awakening. 

Is this Series right for Me?

Here are a few important questions that will be addressed in this series:

  •  Am I aware of ways in which I use denial? What does it get me? What does it cost me?
  •  Can I open to the experience that death is not my enemy?
  •  Do I essentially see myself as very different and separate from others or connected with others?
  •  How do I cultivate generosity and the resources to sustain the well of compassion for myself in order to help others?

Series Overview

Session 1 

(52 minutes)

Awakening to Life Through Truthful Relationships

Featuring Ram Dass 

"One dies as one lives...Once that starts to fall into place, then the question is how you use the moment-to-moment experiences of your life as a vehicle for awakening."

We don't necessarily need to drastically change our lives to cultivate a higher consciousness. It can be developed within the context of everyday life. Personal relationships can provide one such vehicle. Through the process of Ram Dass' meditation, healing meditation and relationship yoga we can get to the point where we simultaneously experience the reality that we are separate beings and the reality that we are one. We are locked into separateness when we see others in terms of our own needs and desires. When we see our own divinity, we can see the divinity in others and then can experience union through our relationships.  


 Session 2 

(48 minutes)

Opening to Grief: The Threshold Task

Featuring Stephen Levine

"What we've come together to do, all of us, is to confront death so profoundly that we take it within us, and therefore can go beyond it. As long as we're postponing death, we're postponing life."

We all want to avoid pain -- but sometimes pain won't go away and then we must learn how to face it. By suppressing the pain of our own unexamined and unacknowledged "negative" impulses and desires, we do not make it go away. It inevitably finds expression in our actions, causing pain to ourselves and others. 

Most of us live in a fantasy world free of death, as if magically protected from loss, from change. But impermanence is the very nature of existence. Death inevitably intrudes upon this fantasy. Grief does not banish death, it enables us to live within the reality of impermanence. Grief ultimately arises from clinging to seeming permanence in an impermanent universe. Opening to our grief frees us to appreciate life moment-to-moment, without clinging and without dread of that loss which is inevitable. 


Session 3 

(53 minutes)

Finding A Path To An Open Heart

Featuring Ram Dass

"There is a way of shifting consciousness so that you see that...we are all one in the form of many...You see that a starving person or a dying person or a frightened person is you. Then the whole trip of 'What's good for me? What do I want? What do I need?' just becomes less interesting. And that's where the power is that changes the universe."

Cultivating awareness can be a daily life-practice. Consciousness-expanding practices can be integrated into the most conventional life: healing meditation, mantra and song, the reading of books of wisdom, devotional practices which take you out of your everyday ego-centered consciousness, and exercises through which you become aware of your attachments as they arise in the midst of everyday activities. 


Session 4 

(40 minutes)

From Tragedy To Grace

Featuring Stephen Levine

"The stages of dying are really just states of mind that occur during the process of letting go, of acknowledging loss... It has a lot to do with ego death, the death of those things that block the heart."

Loss is an inevitable part of life and it arises when attachment to pleasure and aversion to pain meet the processes of an impermanent universe -- loss of youth, loss of relationships, loss of possessions, loss of our own life. 

When we see that there is no way out and that we must overcome our denial of impermanence, we see that we must start to look within ourselves and explore how we relate to loss. With awareness we can identify with the whole of which we are a part -- and in this reality we can see ourselves as part of creation in the constant process of becoming. With this awareness comes true acceptance and within this acceptance we get off the wheel of ego-centric mindstates, we convert our experience of loss -- or of dying -- from one of tragedy to one of grace. 


Session 5 (BONUS SESSION) 

(52 minutes)

Social Action and the Compassionate Heart

Featuring Ram Dass

"We don't need to wait until we are enlightened before we act in the world, and we don't need to withdraw from the world to become enlightened. Conscious social action can be our own work on ourselves that becomes the vehicle for our awakening." 


What do the bundles include?

"How Then Shall We Live?" Audio Download Bundle - $18

With the Audio Download Bundle you'll receive downloadable .mp3 audio files of all 4 hour long sessions plus Ram Dass' one hour long bonus session (5 hours total). You can play them on any listening device as you walk the dog, drive the car, work or however else you prefer to listen to content. 

Normally $7.99 per talk. With the bundle we are offering all 5 talks for only $18.


"How Then Shall We Live?" Video Download Bundle - $27

You receive downloadable .mp4 video files of all 5 sessions (4 regular sessions plus one bonus video). This is perfect for you if you like to see the faces of the teachers and watch with friends. 

Our video talks usually sell for $9.99. This video bundle is only $27.


"How Then Shall We Live?" Complete Download Bundle - $36

If you want it all plus some added bonuses this is the option for you. This bundle includes all 5 sessions in both audio .mp3 and video .mp4 format. PLUS you'll receive full PDF transcriptions of all 4 primary sessions in case you want to read along or revisit your favorite moments over and over again.

Buying both the audio and video bundle separately would cost $45. You get the complete bundle plus the complete PDF transcriptions of all 4 primary talks for only $36.


To learn more about Ram Dass and Stephen Levine, please visit

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