As a medical student, I became aware of a Harvard University academic, Richard Alpert who later chose a different path in life after going to India. He is better known as Ram Das and the author of a highly acknowledged book, “Be Here Now”.

He died peacefully at 88 on December 22, 2019. His was a lifetime of mastering awareness.   In the 1970’s at Harvard University, alongside Timothy Leary he did psychedelic research a subject which is now of intense medical interest

The book, Be Here Now, has sold over 2 million copies and was one of the first books to bring mindfulness and meditation to the West.

In a very recent interview, he told  The New York Times Magazine he wasn’t afraid to die. He was asked when he came to that conclusion, to which he replied, “When I arrived at my soul. The soul doesn’t have a fear of dying. Ego has a very pronounced fear of dying. The ego, this incarnation, is life and dying. The soul is infinite.”

I found on the website mindbodygreen.com, 10  of  Ram Das’ quotes

1  “Be here, now.”

2  “It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.”

3  “The next message you need is always right where you are.”

4  “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.”

5  “Compassion refers to the arising in the heart of the desire to relieve the suffering of all beings.”

6  “I hang out with my guru in my heart. And I love everything in the universe. That’s all I do all day.”

7  “The universe is an example of love. Like a tree. Like the ocean. Like my body. Like my wheelchair. I see the love.”

8  “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.'”

9  “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”

10  “We’re fascinated by the words—but where we meet is in the silence behind them.”

I have added some other quotes

11  Without remaining open to change, we cannot remain open to life

12  The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering.

13  Everything in your life is there as a vehicle for your transformation. Use it!

14  Ask yourself: Where am I? Answer: Here.
Ask yourself: What time is it? Answer: Now.
Say it until you can hear it.

 

His life’s work and his book is a reminder that there are times when we might want to look beyond ourselves for sources of inspiration.