Open Letter: Loving Ram Dass, a Heart of Loving Awareness

January 2, 2020
As announced on his Instagram,
“With tender hearts we share that Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert)
died peacefully at home in Maui on December 22, 2019 surrounded by loved ones.
He was a guide for thousands seeking to discover or reclaim their spiritual identity beyond or within institutional religion.
…if anyone would like to share their reflections on Ram Dass, please email, or post with the hashtag
I’m sharing my #lovingramdass reflection as an open letter,
hoping it helps others as Richard Alpert, the man, and Ram Dass,the Guru, has helped mine…
I can still imagine him on the North Shore of Maui leading retreats on death and dying, laughing and slapping his knee, beaming from ear to ear, saying things like this:
“Dying is like a Bingo game… when you die and are finished with the Sturm und Drang of the incarnation, you realize that the incarnation was like the five you needed to get Bingo.”
And, in talking about the “dying hotline” he started with Stephen Levine:
“All you can do is love,” he adds. “Be a loving rock they can push against. You shift when they shift.”
… “Their karma is their dharma,” he says*. “We go from here, ego,” he says, tapping his head, “to here.” He pats his heart. “What I call the soul, the spiritual heart. That’s the path. Then you can view your life with a sense of detachment.” He closes his eyes and places his hand on his heart. “I am loving awareness,” he whispers.
(quoted from Andréa R. Vaucher’s “America’s Guru”)
As they say, the longest journey we’ll ever take is from our head to our heart.
And I consider myself lucky to have the teaching of peaceful, joyous persons.
So, Thank you Richard Alpert, for bringing us your path, through Harvard and LSD, to India and Maharaj Ji and back again, to us here in America.
Thank you Ram Dass, for the teachings and the humor, the levity and the peace, the joy.
I know your spirit lives on !