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Dr. Peter Russell, Remembering Ram Dass

As many of you may know, Ram Dass passed away on Dec 22. So sad to see such a light go. And so grateful for all he gave the world. He first gained fame, or perhaps one should say infame, in 1963 when as Richard Albert he was expelled from Harvard along with Timothy Leary and Ralph Metzner (both sadly no longer with us) for conducting psychedelic sessions with students.

Like many of that era, his experiences led him to delve into Eastern spiritual teachings. In India he met his teacher Neem Karoli Baba who gave him the name Ram Dass. Neem Karoli Baba told Ram Dass to love everyone and tell the truth. An instruction he took to heart and practiced for the rest of his life. And it worked. In his later years, he was a beacon of love. If ever there is an inspiration for continuing with a lifelong spiritual practice it is Ram Dass.

I had the good fortune to spend time with him on a number of occasions, and whatever his state of health, which in recent years was variable, he always had a chuckle and a twinkle in his eye. Never ceasing to love whoever passed his way—waving and smiling at complete strangers on the beach.

As his health slowly faded, the light in his eyes seemed to shine ever brightly. I said to myself he is going to pass in a blaze of light. I’m sure he did.

Long live Ram Dass.

Loving Love (A short piece I wrote the following day inspired by some of Ram Dass’s words).

We love love. It’s one of our most basic needs, and one we’ll go great lengths to meet.

But love is not something we find. It is our natural state of being. We need only remove the blocks to our awareness of its presence.

That block is the ego-mind, which sees the world through the lens of fear, scarcity, control, and judgment—veiling our true nature.

When we meet someone who helps us feel safe and secure, allowing the ego-mind to let go, the love reappears.

We think we’ve fallen in love with them. More accurately, with them we fall back into love..

We don’t need to wait for another to provide this opportunity (wonderful as that may be). When we sit quietly and let the thinking mind relax, we reconnect with our own Being and with the essence of love—that simple allowing things to be as they are.

There, we can love love itself.

This article is published with the permission of Dr. Peter Russell

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