As one of the most respected spiritual explorers of recent times, Ram Dass has been a beacon for spiritual seekers worldwide, challenging us to find new sources of meaning and purpose in our everyday lives. Be Love Now is a blend of autobiography and spiritual insight in which he uses the stages of his own spiritual awakening and life experiences to help manifest your realization of unconditional love, present moment awareness and the path of the heart. Find the place where the higher mind, pure awareness, the subtler emotions, and your soul identity all come together and you connect to the universe, where presence and love are. Share in his spiritual practice, learn of his travels, his guru and the other beings that opened his spiritual heart, and let your consciousness evolve.
336pp, 135mm x 216mm, sortback, illus in b&w, 2011
Imagine feeling more love from someone than you have ever known. You’re being loved even more than your mother loved you when you were an infant, more than you were ever loved by your father, your child, or your most intimate lover – anyone. This lover doesn’t need anything from you, isn’t looking for personal gratification, and only wants your complete fulfillment.
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.
Imagine that being in this love is like relaxing endlessly into a warm bath that surrounds and supports your every movement, so that every thought and feeling is permeated by it. You feel as though you are dissolving into love.
This love is actually part of you; it is always flowing through you. It’s like the subatomic texture of the universe, the dark matter that connects everything. When you tune in to that flow, you will feel it in your own heart – not your physical heart or your emotional heart, but your spiritual heart, the place you point to in your chest when you say, ‘I am.’
This is your deeper heart, your intuitive heart. It is the place where the higher mind, pure awareness, the subtler emotions, and your soul identity all come together and you connect to the universe, where presence and love are.
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 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.
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. That’s the space I entered when I met my guru.
A different state of being
Years ago in India I was sitting in the courtyard of the little temple in the Himalayan foothills. Thirty or forty of us were there around my guru, Maharaj-ji. This old man wrapped in a plaid blanket was sitting on a plank bed, and for a brief uncommon interval everyone had fallen silent. It was a meditative quiet, like an open field on a windless day or a deep clear lake without a ripple. I felt waves of love radiating toward me, washing over me like a gently surf on a tropical shore, immersing me, rocking me, caressing my soul, infinitely accepting and open.
I was nearly overcome, on the verge of tears, so grateful and so full of joy it was hard to believe it was happening. I opened my eyes and looked around, and I could feel that everyone else around me was experiencing the same thing. I looked over at my guru. He was just sitting there, looking around, not doing anything. I was just his being, shining like the sun equally on everyone. It wasn’t directed at anyone in particular, For him it was nothing special, just his own nature.
This love is like sunshine, a natural force, a completion of what is, a bliss that permeates every particle of existence. In Sanskrit it’s called sat-cit-ananda, ‘truth-consciousness-bliss,’ the bliss of consciousness of existence.
That vibrational field of ananda love permeates everything; everything in that vibration is love. It’s a different state of being beyond the mind. We were transported by Maharaj-ji’s love from one vibrational level to another, from the ego to the soul level. When Maharaj-ji brought me to my soul through that love, my mind just stopped working. Perhaps that’s why unconditional love is so hard to describe, and why the best descriptions come from mystic poets. Most of our descriptions are from the point of view of conditional love, from an interpersonal standpoint that just dissolves in that unconditional place.
When Maharaj-ji was near me, I was bathed in that love.
Welcome to the path of the heart! Believe it or not, this can be your reality, to be loved unconditionally and to begin to become that love. This path of love doesn’t go anywhere. I just brings you more here, into the present moment, into the reality of who you already are. This path takes you out of your mind and into your heart.
Love is a natural human inclination. Each of us has our own key to unlock the reality of our heart.
Falling into love
The first time you experience unconditional love as an adult, it may be a gentle melting of a glacier. Or it may be more of a cataclysm, like a giant earthquake that shakes you to your inner core. You are falling in love, but the act of receiving love that intense and all-encompassing changes your conception of yourself. You can’t swim is such a vast ocean and remain entirely in the small pond of your limited self. Even if that opening is only for an instant, even if it goes away and is apparently forgotten, that moment of realization, of the heart opening, colours the rest of a lifetime. There’s no going back.
From Be Love Now , ©2011 by Ram Dass and Rameshwar Das, published by Rider.