In this vintage 1969 dharma talk, a ‘fresh from India’ Ram Dass relays how to live our ‘karmic trip’ in the Tao – the Way of Harmony – before sharing stories of the spiritual scene at his father’s farm.
In this dharma talk from October 18th, 1969 at Yale University, Ram Dass, freshly returned from his metamorphic first trip to India, outlines his spiritual transformation and answers audience questions digging into reconciling the natural negative forces of the universe. Inviting us to perceive our ‘karmic trip’ through the lens of the Tao, Ram Dass welcomes us to live in the Way of Harmony, sharing rare stories of the hippie/spiritual satsang that gathered on his father’s small farm in New Hampshire.
The Way of Harmony: Natural Forces & The Tao
Opening the session answering a question asking how to reconcile the dark, albeit natural forces in the world—from epidemics, to natural disasters, to war, to Hitler—Ram Dass, through sharing a potent metaphor of the journey of consciousness from Mount Analogue, elucidates the layers of individual and collective karma within eternal time and space. From the perspective that ‘there’s no way to do nothing,’ Ram Dass illustrates the ‘Way of Harmony,’ living in the Tao, in flow with ‘the way of things’ in the universe.
“You end up living by the Tao; that is, you end up being in harmony with the universe. The Way of Harmony is: the more conscious you become, the less you are capable of creating conditions which increase the illusion for you or your fellow man.” – Ram Dass
The Karmic Trip: Desire & The Universe (28:24)
Exploring our unique karmic trips—how we are incarnated into human bodies through our desires systems and habitual relationship to the universe—Ram Dass offers perspectives on how to move past the dualistic ‘us vs them,‘ and into the oneness of ‘here we all are‘ behind it all. Recounting a personal story of instantly falling into spacious love with someone at the gas pump, Ram Dass shares how we can make our ‘Om-Home’ anywhere in the universe, because it’s all right here.
“I began to realize that every moment was that same moment, that everybody was family. Every home was Om-Home. The home was the place you were at the moment. I have no home now. I just go. I just flow. Wherever I am is the only place I needed to be, ever. It was all for this moment that I am here.” – Ram Dass
The New Hampshire Farm: Community & The Spirit (39:45)
Recalling the fresh memories of the (now infamous) time spent on his father’s New Hampshire farm after returning home from his first trip to India, Ram Dass shares about the growing satsang (spiritual community) that came to stay and learn meditation, Bhakti Yoga, and Eastern wisdom teachings. Touching on the Franklin, NH community dynamic surrounding his ‘psychedelic persona’ at the time, Ram Dass exemplifies the living truth in the connected unity of ‘us-ness.’
“I see that the Westerner is really interested in that which is the spirit, not in the structure of the religion per se, but only the rituals that will bring one into the spirit.” – Ram Dass