Ram Dass: Pioneer of Mindfulness… and LSD

Ram Dass AKA Richard Alpert 1931-2019 Image via NPR Richard Alpert was given the named Ram Dass (meaning ‘servant of God’) by  a Hindu mystic and played a critical role in laying out information in regards to meditation, mindfulness, and overall mind health to mainstream Americans. Originally born in Massachusetts to a Jewish family, Ram was inspired by a Hindu guru and created his practice around principals of consciousness, devotion, karma, yoga and Zen Buddhism. He earned a degree in Psychology and was a well-respected professor in his field. He explored Hinduism in India and psychedelics at Harvard which help …

Non-Fiction

Ram Dass AKA Richard Alpert 1931-2019

Image via NPR

Richard Alpert was given the named Ram Dass (meaning ‘servant of God’) by  a Hindu mystic and played a critical role in laying out information in regards to meditation, mindfulness, and overall mind health to mainstream Americans. Originally born in Massachusetts to a Jewish family, Ram was inspired by a Hindu guru and created his practice around principals of consciousness, devotion, karma, yoga and Zen Buddhism. He earned a degree in Psychology and was a well-respected professor in his field. He explored Hinduism in India and psychedelics at Harvard which help him craft his version of spirituality. He paved the way for what we know today as mindfulness. Mindfulness is the radical notion of being present, aware and conscious in the moment.

 

 

His most notable written work was published in 1971, Be Here Now  and addresses much of his middle class, white man life and then leads into his experimentation with psychedelic drugs, more specifically LSD. Bill Gates is among the millions that have read and cited this book as inspirational. Ram Dass was behind a myriad projects, and accomplishments, but most notably helped create The Living/Dying Project that supported folks to die consciously. After receiving some cult like feedback, he ditched the beads,  robes and beard for his more typical Boston look. Through podcasts, youtube videos, talks and his writing, he was able to promote meditation, mental health awareness and mindfulness.

What Americans need in a time of antidepressants and overall misery. Read Be Here Now.

School districts are redesigning themselves to bring mindfulness into classrooms and in some instances are focusing on trauma informed care as a way of packaging academics in a more digestible way. Because ultimately students are too anxious to learn and adult are too depressed to teach. We are starting to recognize how important our mental health is and how affected we are becoming from neglecting that truth. Social media may be a big factor in both recognizes this and being more depressed but either way folks are getting into understanding their own happiness and mental state.

 

 

Featured image VIA Mindbodygreen.com


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