In this dharma talk from 1978, Ram Dass looks to the example set by The Shakertown Pledge as a model for committing ourselves to inner and outer social action.
Tuning Into the Small Voice Within
What does quieting our mind have to do with social action? Ram Dass reflects on the traditions and teachings of the Quakers, the 17th-century protestant movement also known as the Friends Church, looking at how we can use their pledge to live in balance with the world as a guide for our own life’s journey.
“I declare myself a world citizen. I commit myself to lead an ecologically sound life. I commit myself to lead a life of creative simplicity and to share my personal wealth with the world’s poor. I commit myself to join with others in the reshaping of institutions in order to bring about a more just global society in which all people have full access to the needed resources for their physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth.
I commit myself to occupational accountability, and so doing I will seek to avoid the creation of products which cause harm to others. I affirm the gift of my body and commit myself to its proper nourishment and physical wellbeing. I commit myself to examine continually my relations with others and to attempt to relate honestly, morally, and lovingly to those around me. I commit myself to personal renewal through prayer, meditation, and study. I commit myself to responsible participation in a community of faith.” – The Shakertown Pledge
Our Relationship with Truth (28:45)
How can we work with the double-edged sword of truth? Ram Dass speaks about the importance and difficulty of holding ourselves the standard of untarnished honesty. He asks us to examine whether our motivations for spiritual practice and inner work come from the place of truth or our ego.
“Truth is a funny thing, the truth gets you free. The truth gets you high and it gets you free. Its risky business, but it changes the whole name of the game.” – Ram Dass