In this dharma talk Ram Dass discusses Shiva’s dance of life, reflecting on methods for centering ourselves, serving others, and tending to the part of us that isolates ourselves from the world.”
The Dance of Daily Life
Ram Dass expounds on how we can reconcile our spiritual practices with our daily lives and social responsibilities. In a world where we are being pulled in every direction with work, children, and finances, how can we possibly get away? Ram Dass explains these are not things we can escape from because they are in our own head, so if we want to change our environment, we have to change our own head.
“Either you do it like it’s a big weight on you, or you do it as part of the dance. When you understand the thought is the thought of the thoughtless, your singing and dancing is no other than the voice of the dharma. Singing and dancing-insurance, savings accounts, jobs, responsibilities- Shiva’s dance of life. Do you do from ‘unk’ or do it like ‘ah?’ Do you surf through it all, or do you carry it around like its a load?” – Ram Dass
How May I Serve You? (18:10)
The only way we can truly serve each other is through our beings, shares Ram Dass. Our “be-ing” is the only service we really have to offer. It’s nothing that we can “do” because everything else is just more “stuff,” and when we are in “The One” who is really giving what to whom?
“I can do nothing for you, but work on myself. You can do nothing for me, but work on yourself.” – Ram Dass
Methods of Centering (34:34)
Diving into how we can cultivate a cool and calm center in our everyday lives, Ram Dass explores methods of yoga and examples of what a truly centered being is like. He closes by sharing a mantra practice which can help bring us out of that which keeps us separate. The mantra is “Aditiya Hridyam Punyam Sarv Shatru Bena Shenaam” which translates to “All evil vanishes in life for he who keeps the sun in his heart.
“What you’ve got to create in yourself is an absolutely calm center, a perfectly calm center that is always right here and now, that is just a light, that is just is-ness…You center, find that place inside yourself, and whatever your dance is, you’re doing it from that place. Always right in here, in your hridyam.” – Ram Dass