Quotes from Ram Dass

ram dass
Ram Dass (April 6, 1931 – December 22, 2019)

Last Monday, a man who dedicated nearly his entire life to spreading love and peace to our world died at the age of 88.

This man is Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert), a former Harvard professor, clinical psychologist, psychedelic research pioneer, best-selling author and spiritual teacher.

Here are some of his most profound and heart-expanding quotes:

“Treat everyone you meet like God in drag.”

“We’re fascinated by the words — but where we meet is in the silence behind them.”

“When you are causing suffering to others, you are causing suffering to yourself.”

“Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not ‘I love you’ for this or that reason, not ‘I love you if you love me.’ It’s love for no reason, love without an object.”

“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 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 are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”

“When you take off your mask, it’s easier for everyone else to do it. Our culture is so mask-driven. Imagine an office with no mask.”

“Let’s trade in all our judging for appreciating. Let’s lay down our righteousness and just be together.”

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”

“The heart surrenders everything to the moment. The mind judges and holds back.”

“The spiritual trip in this moment is not necessarily a cave in the Himalayas, but it’s in relation to the technology that’s existing, it’s in relation to where we’re at, it’s relation to issues like pollution, political interest and activism. It’s all part of one package now.”

“You walk down the street and you’re somebody; you dress like somebody; your face looks like somebody. Everybody is reinforcing their structure of the universe over and over again and you meet [each other] like two huge things meeting. We enter into these conspiracies. You say, I’ll make believe you are who you think you are if you make believe I am who I think I am.

“Anytime you push something away it’s still there.”

“I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion — and where it isn’t, that’s where my work lies.”

“Life on this plane is like being in the 4th grade. You took birth here because you have certain work to do that involves the suffering you do, the kinds of situations you find yourself in. This is your curriculum. It’s not an error. Where you are now with all your neurosis and your problems; you’re sitting in just the right place. Imagine that.”

“When you know how to listen everybody is the guru.”

“Suffering is part of our training program for becoming wise.”

“Everybody is playing with their stories; who they think they are. It’s more fun to just witness it all. To be in the environment in which it’s all happening.”

“The most important aspect of love is not in giving or the receiving: it’s in the being. When I need love from others, or need to give love to others, I’m caught in an unstable situation. Being in love, rather than giving or taking love, is the only thing that provides stability. Being in love means seeing the Beloved all around me.”

“Wherever you are, be all there.”

“In our Western culture, although death has come out of the closet, it is still not openly experienced or discussed. Allowing dying to be so intensely present enriches both the preciousness of each moment and our detachment from it.”

“I’m not interested in being a ‘lover’. I’m interested in only being love.”

“We are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we are so deeply interconnected with one another.”

“As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be you can’t see how it is.”

“A rule of the spiritual practice game is learning to trust one’s own intuitive heart; learning to trust another way of knowing outside of the rational, analytical process. That you start to respond to something in you that knows even though who you think you are doesn’t know it knows. It turns out intuition is perhaps where salvation lies and where thinking is where our destruction lies. We thought our way into this peculiar situation where we’re alienated from the Earth and from each other. And caught in greed which is a product of the mind.”

“Start from where you are–not where you wish you were. The work you’re doing becomes your path.”

“The next message you need is always right where you are.”

“In our culture we’ve been trained to make individual differences to stand out. You look at each person and think, ‘Brighter, dumber, older, younger, richer, poorer’ and we make all these dimensional distinctions, put them in categories and treat people that way. And we only see others as separate from ourselves. One of the dramatic characteristics of the psychedelic experience is being with another person and suddenly seeing the ways in which they are like you – not different from you.”

“Our whole spiritual transformation brings us to the point where we realize that in our own being, we are enough.”

“We’re all just walking each other home.”

“The greatest thing you can do for another being is to provide the unconditional love that comes from making contact with that place in them that is beyond conditions, which is just pure consciousness, pure essence. That is, once we acknowledge each other as existing, just being, then each of us is free to change optimally. If I can just love you because here we are, then you are free to grow as you need to grow.”

“Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it.”

“The most exquisite paradox…as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can’t have it. The minute you don’t want power, you’ll have more than you ever dreamed possible.”

“What you meet in another being is the projection of your own level of evolution.”

“This love is actually part of you; it is always flowing through you. It’s like the subatomic texture of the universe, the dark matter that connects everything. When you tune in to that flow, you will feel it in your own heart—not your physical heart or your emotional heart, but your spiritual heart, the place you point to in your chest when you say, ‘I am’.”

“The game is to be where you are. Be it honestly and as consciously as you know how.”

“The universe is an example of love. Like a tree. Like the ocean. Like my body. Like my wheelchair. I see the love.”

“As you dissolve into love, your ego fades. You’re not thinking about loving: you’re just being love, radiating like the sun.”

“Together we are all on a journey called life. We are a little broken and a little shattered inside. Each one of us is aspiring to make it to the end. None is deprived of pain here and we have all suffered in our own ways. I think our journey is all about healing ourselves and healing each other in our own special ways. Let’s just help each other put all those pieces back together and make it to the end more beautifully. Let us help each other survive.”

“Death doesn’t need to be treated as an enemy to delight in life…I encourage to make peace with death. To see it as a culminating adventure of this adventure of life. It is not an error, it is not a failure. It is taking off a tight shoe that you’ve worn well.”

“We’re here to awaken from the illusion of separateness.”


3 thoughts on “Quotes from Ram Dass”

  1. I’ve loved this man’s podcast and facebook page – was so sad to hear of his passing but what a gift he has left the world! And wonderful for him that he is free of his physical limitations. Thank you for all these quotes x

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