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  • Writer's pictureColleen M. Doumeng

Ram Dass

Today one of my most beloved teachers and heroes transitioned. Ram Dass. I have been a student of Ram Dass for decades. He introduced me to meditation. To the “witness.” To “be here now.” “I AM loving awareness.”

That there are many paths to God.

I hold dear to my heart his courage and ability to keep his heart open in the face of his physical challenges. He inspires me daily to learn to use suffering as grist for the mill of my awakening and to see suffering as grace. He teaches me everyday all about aging with grace.

Throughout my day because of Ram Dass I often repeat I AM loving awareness. I AM loving awareness. I use this mantra to help me drop back to just surrendering and witnessing the present moment ~ to simply be here now. With all of it. The joy and the suffering “arriving at a balance in life where you are open to the mystery of it all.”

From Ram Dass ~

“The art of life is to stay wide open and be vulnerable, yet at the same time to sit with the mystery and the awe and with the unbearable pain — to just be with it all. I’ve been growing into that wonderful catchphrase, “be here now,” for the last forty years. Here and now has within it a great richness that is just enough.

If somebody asks me, “Ram Dass, are you happy?” I stop and look inside. “Yes, I’m happy.” “Ram Dass, are you sad?” “Yes, I’m sad.” Answering those questions, I realize that all of those feelings are present. Imagine the richness of a moment in which everything is present: the pain of a broken heart, the joy of a new mother holding her baby, the exquisiteness of a rose in bloom, the grief of losing a loved one. This moment has all of that. It is just living truth.

The saving grace is being able to witness suffering from the perspective of the soul. Another way to say it is that the saving grace is having faith. Living in the fullness of the moment with joy and suffering, witnessing it in all its perfection, our hearts still go out to those who are suffering.”

Thank you Ram Dass for moments today of awakening. My heart is cracked wide open and I have been graced to be your student.

I love you

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