Official Ram Dass Starter Kit

A beginner’s manual for conscious explorers and transformation enthusiasts.

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"Realizing that there is an awakening possibility we start the journey that we have been on for lifetimes. What else is there to do than work to wake up and become free."
- Ram Dass

THE STARTER KIT is designed for...

  • Those who have experienced a glimpse of pure presence through reading a spiritual book, being in nature, chanting, direct teachings, or psychedelics – and feels the pull to dive deeper into themselves.

  • Anyone who has wondered, “Gee, I wonder if these neuroses and dark thoughts will ruin my life forever!” Not to fear, fellow traveler, in the OFFICIAL RAM DASS STARTER KIT, you’ll learn to change channels from “the movie of me” to “the movie of we.”

  • YOU! All you need in addition to your OFFICIAL RAM DASS STARTER KIT is an open mind, a sense of cosmic humor and the notion that there is a potential to shift your perspective towards the path of love, service and compassion.

A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE for your inner journey

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Step 1:

Build a Foundation

In this clip, Ram Dass gives us a basic framework for the different planes we exist on simultaneously, using TV channels as a metaphor for the layers of our identities.

Normal waking consciousness, dream states, emotional states, and other states of awareness are different realities, somewhat like channels of the TV receiver.

As you walk down the street you can tune your “receiver” into the world on any number of channels. Each way of tuning creates a very different street, but the street doesn’t actually change; you do.

You see what you look for. If you are primarily preoccupied or tuned to the physical body, as you look at people you see them as man or woman, fat or thin, tall or short, attractive or unattractive. When you are busy looking at personalities you might see them as introverted or extroverted, hysterical or paranoid, happy or sad. If you were tuned to the astral identities you’d see a Leo or a Taurus, an angel or a demon. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder.

Meditative awareness is a vantage point from which you can focus on any event from various channels of consciousness.

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Step 2:

Step Onto The Path

The spiritual journey is a different path than what you thought you were on. It’s very hard to make the transition to that path because we tend to take the power from the spiritual work we do to make our lives “nice” – but that’s not what the path offers. The path offers freedom, but freedom demands complete surrender to your true nature. 

In our culture, the dialogue between the mind and the heart has been thrown out of balance. The heart is seen as a threat while the mind wants to play it safe and create more separateness. The intellect is the power tool of our separateness, while the intuitive compassionate heart is the doorway to our unity. 

When we finally see how much of our behavior is a defense mechanism to alleviate the pain of separateness, we begin to realize the importance of healthy intuitive and compassionate hearts.

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Step 3:

Learn to Read the Map

How can you cultivate a conscious, loving heart in the important and not-so-important moments of your life?

Within this harsh world we live in, what are some simple steps you can take to cultivate more equanimity, spaciousness and awareness in your own community and at home?

Once you have started to awaken, you can’t turn back, but don’t worry, no matter what you do, you can’t lose the progress you’ve already made. What’s important is to separate out the spiritual materialism from the real stuff - the real transformations in you are very profound, deep, slow, and inevitable.

When you jump in too quickly and push away worldly things prematurely, you become phony holy, which isn’t helpful to anyone. When that stuff is ready to fall away, it goes naturally, it becomes irrelevant to your life and there is very little effort involved.

You don’t have to manipulate your own life, it will change automatically as you cultivate the witness and intuition within yourself. There are also some spiritual techniques that can help you quiet down your mind and get unstuck from your thoughts.

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Step 4:

Practice Sitting Still (Meditation)

Meditation is a basic spiritual practice for quieting the mind and getting in touch with your true self. It provides a deeper appreciation of the interrelatedness of all things and the part each person plays.

The simple rule of this game is to be honest with yourself about where you are in your life. Meditation is a way of listening more deeply from a more profound place. Meditation enhances your insight, reveals your true nature, and brings you inner balance.

A meditation practice is extremely useful in clearing away negative thoughts, and allows you to see how your mind keeps creating your universe. The ego will keep you occupied with its endless story line of thought forms. Just keep witnessing them until they dissolve.

Regularly practicing meditation will help you see how your thoughts impose limits and color your existence.

It's beneficial to practice from the place of really remembering why you’re doing it, with joy, appreciation and curiosity.

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Step 5:

Practice Presence (Mantra)

A mantra is a repeated prayer, words, a holy name, or a sacred sound. It’s like an audio loop going on inside that reminds you of who you are. It’s like a niche in the wall where the candle flame never flickers. It always brings you right back into your heart, into the eternal present.

A mantra can be a name or names of God, in Sanskrit or English or Spanish or whatever language you know. It is usually recited silently in the mind, though at times you may want to say it aloud or sub-vocally, still keeping it internalized and without intruding on other people’s psychic space.

Some mantras are more conceptual. All mantra works by repetition. Practiced consistently, mantra has the ability to steady the mind and transform consciousness. Mantra should be repeated frequently. It can be repeated any time, any place – when you’re walking, taking a shower, washing the dishes, or waiting in line for the movies.

In Buddhism, the word “mantra” means “mind protecting.” A mantra protects the mind by preventing it from going into its usual mechanical habits, which often are not our optimal conscious perspective. Mantra is a powerful spiritual practice for centering and for letting go of strong emotions, such as fear, anxiety, and anger. The more you practice mantra, the more it becomes a part of you. Mantra is a daily reminder of the presence of the Divine within ourselves and in the universe.

My guru, Neem Karoli Baba, used ‘Ram’, and he often could be seen mouthing, “Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram.” Ram in the Ramayana is a being of great light, love, compassion, wisdom, and power, who lives in perfect harmony with the dharma. Ram is the essence of who you are when you realize your true Self.

Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai, Jai, Ram (“Beloved Ram, I honor you”) is the essential mantra given to Ram Dass by his teacher on his first trip to India in 1967 - practice this mantra with Ram Dass below.

ALTERNATIVE ROUTES for your inner journey

2 thoughts on “Official Ram Dass Starter Kit”

  1. Thank you! Been practicing meditation and yoga for …25 years .. a n d I JUST NOW got Ram Dassed!!!! 🙏🎄💜💙💖💝

    Reply

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