On episode 187 of the Here and Now podcast, Ram Dass helps us better understand the mechanics of the mind.
Recorded in the summer of 1989, Ram Dass offers us some very useful methods for recognizing and avoiding the entrapments of our minds.
The Mechanics of Mind
Ram Dass answers a question about diagnosing the root cause of a negative behavioral pattern. He talks about historical versus ahistorical techniques of behavior change, honing in on the kind of meditation practices that can help us understand the mechanics of the mind. Ram Dass explores how therapy can be helpful when we’re ripe for the experience.
“When we follow the breath in meditation, we are focusing on the mechanics of mind, not the content of mind.” – Ram Dass
Structures of the Mind (24:55)
Ram Dass answers a question about how to avoid substituting an old pattern for a new one, and whether the search for enlightenment is a cover for our fear. He talks about how the issue isn’t that we have structures of the mind, like trying to get enlightened, but that we get attached to them. We have to have a light appreciation for the trap of expectations.
“So, in a way, understanding that all practices are traps of the mind, and you use a trap to get rid of another trap, but the way in which you take on the second trap is with intentionality and consciousness. And you see it as a trap I am using, while the first one you had learned so deeply it seemed almost real.” – Ram Dass
Starting to Awaken (39:00)
Ram Dass explores the process of awakening from the entrapment of our mind, and how being with satsang and reading books from sacred beings can help give us a new perspective. He talks about how we do need structures of mind to function, but we have to hold on to them very lightly. We need to play our roles so that we can meet behind our roles.
“Ultimately, the art is you need models to function in the universe, models of mind, you need structures, but you hold them so lightly. You hold them so lightly.” – Ram Dass