Hi everyone, I’m Ruthie from Magalia, CA (Greetings from the Ridge, Wayne. Glad to see someone local). I just found this course and I’m thrilled to be here. I first obtained Be Here Now over 40 years ago and Ram Dass’ teachings have been a tremendous support for me, especially when going through the dark times. I am, in the more formal sense, a Buddhist, but no matter. It’s all wonderful. I am hoping with this course to dig deep and find balance. I’ve always been very eclectic in my practice and have only been successful in my becoming a vegetarian and sticking with it. I’m seeking more consistency in my meditation practice. For many years, I’ve been engaged in Mindfulness in Thich Nhat Hahn’s tradition, but I’ve always felt Ram Dass tugging at me by my side.
Glad to be here with you Ruth, and everyone else in the satsang! I can very much relate to being eclectic and Thich’s teachings are so wonderful! And also can totally resonate with the idea of Ram Dass’ work helping me through troubled waters. The last few years have been very rocky, very uncertain, and at times very very dark. Ram Dass was one of the things that made me get out of bed each morning and try again and see maybe today will be better. After all, theres always a new RD lecture to listen to or one of his books to read. His work is a beacon of light. I couldnt have made it through without him. I never made it to a retreat to tell him that in person, but I think he knows. He’s probably giggling playfully with Maharajji, and happy we are all in satsang here online! Ram Dass and Thich are like friends I never met in person, but you can feel just the aliveness of what they were speaking about and just how profound their impact has been. It has made me happy to see the people who have known and studied the teachings for decades and the folks just joining now, at just the right time too, being here now, together!
“I can very much relate to being eclectic” - me too Zac and Ruth! I have thoroughly enjoyed this course and hearing more from Ram Dass who has been in the background of my Sufi practices all along, with Thich Nhat Hahn, Tara Brach, Dalai Lama, Christ Spirit, Mohammed, and many others. My favorite practice is being in community - 1 - singing and dancing and chanting, 2 - meditating, 3 - cooking and eating : Sing, Dance and Pray together - there’s a song to that (I think it might have been simply a local dance created for bringing children into the circle of a Dance of Universal Peace. I cannot find the words or video for it. Or quite remember the tune, but we formed an arch - hands held with folks across from us allowing children (or children at heart) to run through as we sang, Come join the circle children, Hmmmm, Hmmmm, sing, dance and pray together, Hmmmmm, Hmmmmm, Come join the circle children. Anyway. I miss dancing and though we have some on Zoom, it’s not the same. I am very, very appreciative of everything that is now available on Zoom.
I think I will continue practicing, practicing, practicing before I sleep and when I wake up and when in community, another kind of practice - a practice of being kind and/or smiling without words. Thanks again!