It turns out that the optimum strategy that you can use to fulfill the Bodhisattva vow of relieving the suffering of all sentient beings is to work on yourself.

See? There is reality. It turns out there’s nothing else to do, right? The working on yourself may involve sitting with other people and talking. In other words, this is my yoga at the moment. Right? It isn’t like I sit in my room in the morning and I do yoga so I can come out and do the day. The day is the yoga. This day’s experience becomes the vehicle. In this sense, being here with you is my exercise.

Many different people have come to me with questions and I noticed that the same response kept coming out, no matter how varied the situations were. Somebody would say, “How do I deal with my employer?” and someone else would say, “How do I deal with my child?” and on and on. And I thought, well, either I’m very naïve because I’m just not noticing individual differences or I am touching something that is behind all those things, right? Because I kept saying, “Work on yourself. Work on yourself. Work on yourself.”

Like for example, “How do I deal with my child?” It seemed like what I say saying was, “If you will work on yourself, you will be as centered and quiet and present and open and compassionate and loving as you can capably be, which is the optimum environment for the child to grow itself. You will create a space in which the child can manifest.”

…You can get very holy by going off to a cave. You can get amazingly holy. But it’s what I call a cheap high. It doesn’t last very long, and then you come down. Alright?


Ram Dass, December 12, 1974