I love Fierce Grace and Going Home, two documentaries about and with Ram Dass. He shows how we can use life challenges to humanize ourselves, to become more deeply human, to embrace who we are as humans more fully with flaws and everything else, and realize it’s really all about love. Any desire for awakening, healing, maturing, humanizing, freedom from suffering, or whatever it may be, is really about love.
When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.
The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying “You’re too this, or I’m too this.” That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.
– Ram Dass
As usual, this practice also serves to highlight any resistance to it or anything in us not aligned with it. And that’s something we can take to inquiry to see what’s really there. Or we can invite a change in our relationship to it through, for instance, ho’oponopono or tonglen.
You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don’t have to do anything to earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success – none of that matters. No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here.
– Ram Dass
In liberation, nobody awakens — the seeker simply falls away.
– Ram Dass
I rarely write or say these things, because it can be quite misleading. On the one hand, a thought may say there is a shift called liberation, and that it is relatively stable. And yet, that too is a story. It may make it appear more as an object or thing than it is, and more stable than it necessarily is.
As Byron Katie says, somewhat paraphrased, there is liberation, or not, from the thought that’s here and it cannot be predicted in advance. Another way to say it, maybe more accurately, is that the thought that’s here is liberated, or not, from being taken as true, and it cannot be predicted in advance.
And one of the most basic thoughts that can be liberated, or not, from being taken as true, is the thought of an I (observer, doer) and a me (this being, soul, human self). It’s the idea of a seeker that is seen as just an idea, an image. It may happen through identification releasing out of it temporarily. Or it may happen by it being examined and seen through to the point that mind cannot so easily identify with it.
It’s not the I or me that awakens. It’s reality or life that awakens out of the trance of identifying with the image of an I or me.