R.I.P. Baba Ram Dass. Thank you for showing us the way to move towards the heart and the expansiveness of each holy moment. I sit now looking at a candle wrapped with a mala given to us by Ram Dass, strung on the thread of the famous plaid blanket worn by Neem Karoli Baba in the photos.
I grew up hearing the story of being blessed in utero by Ram Dass here in Oregon at the Breitenbush Hot Springs’ first workshop ever. It was Halloween of 1981. My 9-month pregnant mother wrapped herself in an orange sheet, a Great Pumpkin. Seventeen years later we returned to the retreat center for a two-week immersion with Krishna Das and Ram Dass on the music and teachings of Bhakti Yoga, the path of the Heart. This inspired me as a young songwriter and planted seeds on my path.
After his stroke, my parents and I returned to his presence one final time. I had officially entered adulthood, in my mind, because I had just graduated from high school. There he was, sitting in a gazebo in the old growth forest. He looked at us and smiled. He stuttered out the words slowly. Look at the trees. So much silence. Infinitely complex. More complex than the Grateful Dead. Then he paused, looking at the two generations of women.
You are not a mother, you are not a pumpkin. You are a soul. I knew he was talking to me, the daughter, as well.
May your soul continue to shine and inspire transformation, Baba. May your boundless spirit share its wisdom from the cosmos. May I be an open channel to receive it. May this channel strengthen in your death. And may we always Love, Serve, & Remember.