As many of you heard, Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert) died yesterday at the age of 88. He was a beacon of light and love for thousands of people seeking to discover or reclaim their spiritual identify beyond or within institutional religion. He wrote and taught about love in a deeply connected way. Here is some excepts from Be Love Now by Ram Dass (in italics)to simmer in on Christmas Day. May you feel the truth of it in deep in your bones.
You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don’t have to do anything to earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success— none of that matters. No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here.
Isn’t this wonderful!? You are lovable with all of your “shortcomings.” They mean nothing when we talk about love. Because love is your birthright. It exists, not just in you, but in everything. It is the thread that connects everything and everyone in the universe.
Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion as a state of being. It’s not “I love you” for this or that reason, not “I love you if you love me.” It’s love for no reason, love without an object. It’s just sitting in love, a love that incorporates the chair and the room and permeates everything around. The thinking mind is extinguished in love.
From Patanjali’s yoga sutras we learn that “yoga is the cessation of the fluctuation of the mind.” That is what Ram Dass is referring to when he says the “thinking mind is extinguished in love.” When we let go of discursive thinking, all that’s left is love. I feel it most distinctly when I go to that sweet, still place in yoga practice.
If I go into the place in myself that is love and you go into the place in yourself that is love, we are together in love. Then you and I are truly in love, the state of being love. That’s the entrance to Oneness.
In the end, love is the lightbulb we can connect to whenever we want. May you learn to turn on the light and keep it on. May love prevail in your life on this day and the year to come. Many blessings to you all!