What contact with Ram Dass engendered was an increased commitment to our own inner work, a heightened sense of our wish and our feeling of a need to awaken, to become more inwardly alive and conscious, inclusive of the heart, head, and body. Contact with a semi-realized being, one who has not shirked from the challenges of the inner path, who has traversed the Way with dignity and an unshakable commitment, helps us by demonstrating and exemplifying what is possible for us.
What was notable about our experience of Ram Dass was that his radiating presence so clearly derived from his personal evolution and his efforts towards awakening. The powerful presence of Ram Dass seemed to stem from an inner integration—an inward attention held in the body and heart—that served to open him to finer or higher influences. His message to the world was and is so important, so essential to our collective well-being and the health of the planet. “Go inside. The outside is seductive. Inside, you’ll find loving awareness.”
Of course this is easier said than done. What does it mean to “go inside?” Despite his paralysis, Ram Dass was gracefully centered in his physical body and available to the wisdom of the heart. Attention and sensation in the subtle body as well as the wisdom of the heart are integral to the Dharma traditions. Many of us attempt to treat the body with respect and to acknowledge its deep role in inward work. We might engage in yoga, meditate to clear the mind, engage in fitness and wellness regimes, strive towards a mindful state to become calm and peaceful—but what does it mean to inhabit the body with inward attention?
Inhabiting the body brings a greater sense of presence, unmistakable in one’s experience of self and inwardly recognizable in others. Professor and author Jacob Needleman reflects upon the quality of hope we feel in the presence of a man or woman who may inspire this deepening connection to ourselves. He speaks of men and women who “glow with the light of metaphysical health,” who can open our minds and inspire our feelings: “There is no greater mystery than authentic human presence.…It is when we meet the mysterious being of a developed man or woman that we see something of what consciousness and selfhood really are.
which opening is most wise?
inquiry for today~ may you open to the wise hope of living in between light and dark…..
I want to be cured of
a craving of something
I cannot find
and the shame of
never finding it.