Ram Dass – Here and Now – Ep. 249 – Balance and Tension

In this exploration of suffering, death, and love, Ram Dass talks about resting in change and handling the balance and tension of inhabiting multiple planes of reality simultaneously.

“That part of you that is separate, that part of you that is your senses and your thinking mind, is all part of what changes. There is, however, a plane of reality in which you recognize or you are what isn’t changing. It’s not you, it’s just what isn’t changing; it’s the base from which change all occurs. Resting in that and resting in change, dealing with that balance and tension, that’s the art form. That’s what all the spiritual things lead you to, ultimately.” – Ram Dass

This episode of Here and Now is a continuation of the talk started in Here and Now Ep. 248 – Patterns of Interdependency. This recording is from a 1992 lecture in Edgartown, MA.

  • Exploring his work with death and people who are dying, Ram Dass talks about how he’s learning to live simultaneously on multiple planes of reality and consciousness. To him, the art form of being human is the ability to open our hearts to suffering and acknowledge that it hurts like hell, while also appreciating the awesome nature of the mystery, which includes suffering and death.
  • Ram Dass addresses aging and the nature of change. He talks about resting in change and handling the balance and tension of inhabiting multiple planes of consciousness simultaneously.
  • Ram Dass opens up about the trouble that he has keeping his heart open to certain people. He talks about the collaborative nature of creating environments where people won’t get trapped in their roles.
  • Ram Dass ends the talk with some reflections about love and not living out of a deprivation model. He shares his classic story about the state trooper who just might have been Krishna in drag as an example of living on more than one level at one time.

“When you are able to simultaneously live on those planes of consciousness and handle that tension and that balance, then your every act towards other human beings brings to bear with it equanimity, spaciousness, and joy.” – Ram Dass

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