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A discussion of Ram Dass's perceptions of the new-age scene today, and of sex--its place in spiritual life, its pitfalls, its glories, and much more.
Richard Alpert, Ph.D. (1931-2019) was a prominent Harvard psychologist and psychedelic pioneer with Dr. Timothy Leary. He continued his psychedelic research until he first went to India in 1967. There he met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, affectionately known as Maharajji, who gave Ram Dass his name, which means “servant of God.” He then became a pivotal influence on a culture that has reverberated with the words “Be Here Now” ever since. Ram Dass’ spirit has been a guiding light for three generations, carrying along millions on the journey. He has pursued a panoramic array of spiritual methods and practices from potent ancient wisdom traditions, including bhakti or devotional yoga focused on the Hindu deity Hanuman; Buddhist meditation in the Theravadin, Mahayana Tibetan, and Zen Buddhist schools, and Sufi and Jewish mystical studies. Perhaps most significantly, his practice of karma yoga or spiritual service has been his path.
In 1974, Ram Dass created the Hanuman Foundation, a non-profit foundation meant to embody the spirit of service inspired by his Guru. The Hanuman Foundation developed the Prison-Ashram Project, directed by Bo and Sita Lozoff, which helped prison inmates grow spiritually during their incarceration and the Dying Project, conceived with Stephen Levine, which helped many bring awareness and compassion to the encounter with death. The Prison-Ashram Project, now called the Human Kindness Foundation, continues under Sita Lozoff in North Carolina and the Living/Dying Project, now a separate non-profit headed by Dale Borglum in the Bay Area, provides support for transforming the encounter with life-threatening illness into an opportunity for spiritual awakening.
Ram Dass suffered a stroke in 1997 that once again changed his life. It curtailed his travel but he continued to teach through his website, podcasts, and annual retreats on Maui.
Ram Dass is the author of many books including:
To learn more about the work of Ram Dass go to www.ramdass.org.
Host: Will Noffke Interview Date: 3/19/1978 Program Number: 1237
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