I’m not really sure how one can adequately put into words the power and utterly intense compassion in which one meets Ram Dass, whether through his inspiring works, or in person. He’s only been in my life now for about two years, but in the past two years he has become one of my greatest teachers and one of my soul’s most beloved friends.
I first found Be Here Now when I was seventeen, through a friend who had stumbled across it at a book store. At this point in my life, I had just gone through a near-death experience. I was angry at the world and full of cynicism. In a nutshell, I was empty, longing for something that I could not obtain, but ached for in the deepest core of my being. Shunning religion and my previous belief system, I turned more to an Albert Camus “Absurdist” philosophy.
Weeks turned to months, months turned into almost over a year, and the emptiness turned into an abyss. It was around this time that I was introduced to psychedelic hallucinogens like LSD and ketamine. I experimented with these substances with close friends, expanding my mind and slowly regaining my faith in something greater than myself.
Enter Be Here Now. The first time I read through Be Here Now, I was overcome with intensive emotions of unconditional love, and fulfillment—a feeling I had not felt in what seemed like forever. I read it, and I reread it, and the more I practiced the teachings in Be Here Now, the less I felt of the abyss that had so long been suffocating the life out of me. As the months progressed, I felt my Self, my true Self, emerging from the depths of my heart. Hallucinogens fell to the wayside of meditation, and to the love I began to see in every sentient being throughout the universe. I began delving into the works of Aldous Huxley and Hermann Hesse, but never did I forget the catalyst which in some ways, saved my life. My love for Ram Dass continued to exponentially grow, as did my relationships with my family and friends.
It was in the summer of this year (2011) that I actually got the amazing opportunity to sit down with Ram Dass himself, and meet Ramesh and Ram Dass’ assistant, Dassima. Walking up to the front door of his house with my father, and my best friend, I remember feeling so nervous, so full of anxiety. I had spent all week preparing questions to ask him, unsure of how to actually interact with someone that I felt I owed so much to. Sitting on his couch I began to sense the apprehension eroding away. Suddenly, all of the questions I had, all of the things I had planned to say, just … vanished. All of a sudden, I was just listening to this wonderful man just talk. I looked over and saw my Dad staring back at me, overflowing with love towards me. The interchange between Ram Dass and the three of us continued for a little over an hour, and all the time my heart was exploding with love. Leaving, I felt a small sliver of my ego die.
My relationship with Ram Dass holds a special place within me, and every passing day my love for him, his followers, and everyone that surrounds me strengthens into an unbreakable rope weaving the fibers of my life into an interconnected blanket of loving awareness. I only hope that I can pass on what Ram Dass has given me to everyone who is now in my life, and to all those who will enter throughout my future.
Thank you, to all of you, you have all made such a difference in my life.