6.11.2011

Ram Dass, Kali & Fierce Grace

Kali, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry): sterling silver tree of life, owl, and body, soul, spirit charms
I recently watched the documentary Ram Dass: Fierce Grace, which chronicles the spiritual guru Ram Dass' recovery after a stroke and explores the completion of his book on consciousness aging called Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying.

Kali, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry): sterling silver tree of life, owl, and body, soul, spirit charms
I decided to take Still Here out of the library to read more about Ram Dass' meditations on aging and end of life issues.

Ram Dass' teachings aren't new, but what's most interesting is how he takes fundamental wisdom and applies it to concrete issues that aging people may face: holding onto power, retirement anxiety, dependency, disease, sexuality, and preparing for death.


Kali, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry): sterling silver tree of life, owl, and body, soul, spirit charms
Here's an excerpt from a section of Still Here called "Moving Toward Fear:"

Our curriculum of conscious aging requires that we get as close as possible to Kali [a Hindu goddess referred to as "She who destroys"], and the thing that's scaring us, in order to reveal our attachments, and to experience the serenity that comes with letting go of them.

Facing dread of the future is an excellent vehicle for entering into the spiritual dimension. We must be willing to open to all that the moment contains, including that which seems most threatening. But how do we do this? By cultivating fearlessness and familiarizing ourselves with our demons.


Kali, Beth Hemmila (Hint Jewelry)
We seem to be a society that has difficulty even naming our fears let alone moving towards them. From what I've seen in myself I am more likely to create multitude of distractions or seek out my favorite self-soothing addiction rather than just sit with my fear over a cup of tea and say, "Hello, what's up? Why are you here? What do you want to teach me? Hey, I think I'm ready to learn."

I'm guessing it's not something we are most naturally going to do, but it seems to be a necessary step in becoming more conscious about life. Just sitting with fear, listening, and not doing anything about it moves us to a place of acceptance. The best part about the message Ram Dass delivered above is that this fear is our invitation to cultivate a spiritual relationship, a blessing that we may over look.

The next time fear sits down with me over lunch, I'm going to try to say "hello," and remember that I've just begun a spiritual conversation that's leading me to the undiscovered dimensions within myself.

4 comments:

  1. Wow, Beth, I love the way you have made the necklace stand out. Nice signature piece.

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  2. Yes! Fierce Grace - powerful powerful film. Sounds like we're on a similar path - getting on speaking terms with our fears. For me it's right there with breaking through my layers of resistance. A work in progress for sure.

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  3. Thank you so much for appreciating this piece!

    Kathy, I hear you when it comes to resistance. That's a daily process with me :)

    Kathyd, what fun to find another Ram Dass fan!

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