All methods are traps. In my relation to my guru, at first my love was so strong, all I wanted to do was rub his feet and look at his form and just be around him. Then, as time went on, not that the love grew less, the love grew different, until I was very fulfilled just being at a distance in relation to him. It kept growing deeper and deeper until I really didn’t care whether I was with his form anymore. I started to relate to him in a way where it wasn’t that man in India anymore, it was the essence of love, and I began to experience it in myself in relation to him. The whole quality of the dynamics of the situation was changing as I was growing in wisdom and as my heart was opening and my surrender was greater.

When I have kidded about it I said, I worshipped his form until I realized that that was just the doorpost and I was just rubbing the doorpost- I had to look through the keyhole and each surrender led me in and in and in. It was a method that took me right back to myself and to beyond form. In the presence of love a lot of the qualities of renunciation or intellectual discriminations that are really difficult when you are trying to do them in a rajasic, “I can do it!” way, are indescribably easy in the presence of that unconditional love.

Those of you who have had a really powerful love relationship will recognize what it is like to care more about your beloved than about yourself. Your favorite food comes on the table and your main concern is that the other person has enough of it, not that you get enough of it. You are fulfilled that they should eat it. When you have a child, that’s the kind of experience you have. People say, “aren’t you self-effacing, aren’t you sacrificing your child,” but it isn’t sacrifice, it’s joy. All austerities with a dry heart are heavy, but with love they become, “Oh, I’ll do this for my beloved. I’ll give this up, it will get me closer!” When you really want to get close to your beloved, you can’t give things up fast enough.


Ram Dass, 1973