From his beginnings as Harvard Professor Richard Alpert, he became Ram Dass in India and is now at the age of eighty-eight. Here, for the New Year, are some of his quotes.
“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.”
“Treat everyone you meet like God in drag.”
“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.”
“How do we know who we are? We might be one breath away from enlightenment or death or who knows? The uncertainty is great. It keeps it wide open.”
“Give up the anger. Working it through is making it something. Just give it up.”
“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 judgement mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”
“The game is to be where you are. Be it honestly and as consciously as you know how.”
And from me – wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.