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April 19, 2023

#81 Raghu Markus - Ram Das, Karma, and Soul

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 Chatting with Candice
 Raghu Markus
 Episode Run Time: 55:46

Raghu Markus is a film producer and music producer from Ojai, California. He is the Executive Director of the Love Serve Remember Foundation, co-founder of the Be Here Now Network, where he hosts the Ram Dass Here & Now podcast, as well as his own Mindrolling podcast. He is the producer of Becoming Nobody, a Ram Dass documentary feature film that was released in 2019. In this episode, we talk about awareness, consciousness, the roles we play, and finding the best guru to guide you in life.

00:00 00:14 “Who Am I?”
 05:07 The Roles We Play
 08:51 The Phineas Gage Incident and Physical and Biological Trauma
 14:09 Definition of Karma
 18:34 Relationship to People in Power and Losing Your Soul
 22:16 Treating Everyone Like God in Drag
 29:51 The Role of Shame, Sin, and Punishment in Religion
 34:06 The Best Way to Find a Teacher or Guru
 43:42 The Element of Giving and Contributing
 47:02 Being Disconnected
 51:52 Reincarnations and Past Lives
 53:22 Where to Find Raghu

Ram Dass and Who We Are

Raghu’s documentary feature of Ram Dass in “Becoming Nobody” shows the the arc of what Ram Dass represented as a teacher over many decades. His ideologies center around how we identify with our roles, the community, the family we came from, and the teachers that taught us everything we know; these influences forming us as a “somebody”. When Raghu went to India with Ram Dass, he got the nickname “Raghu”, a re-identification of the soul and the essence behind the personality, identities, and roles he played.

When it comes to answering the question of who we are, Raghu traces his answer to Ramana Maharshi, a great saint in India who when he was 16 couldn’t take the suffering and laid down in his bed refusing to get up until he found out who he was. He had the benefit of six billion incarnations going through to get to that moment where he realized the true essence of himself. The central part of his teaching had always been “Who Am I?”. For Raghu’s own experience, it’s how do we use all of these wonderful teachings to enhance our day-to-day lives and get ourselves more in balance. It’s not a matter of “I’ll find out who I am and I’ll be enlightened”. It’s about how do we become a little bit more kind, generous, and loving in an unconditional way.

Links and Resources

Join the course at: https://www.ramdass.org/

Listen to Raghu’s Podcast “Mindrolling” at https://beherenownetwork.com/category/raghu-markus/


Film producer and co-founder of the Be Here Network Raghu Markus shares his experience with Ram Dass and how this changed his life and his perspective on culture, consciousness, and realization.

Support the show


0 (0s): Really the only difference in, in the essence of who you are as a mother and the essence of you who you are interacting with me right now is wherever you are caught in any way. 2 (19s): Hello everybody. You are listening to Chatting with Candace. I'm your host, Candice Horbacz. Before we get into this week's episode, we are gonna do some shoutouts. So I wanna say thank you to Roger Keith Chase two times, and Doug B thank you for all of those cups of coffee. As you notice, we have been getting more and more in person guests, and that is because of the support of all of you. So thank you very much. If you wanna support the podcast, you can go to buy me a coffee.com. You could also go to Chatting with candace.com and sign up for my Patreon or my locals pretty much everywhere. So wherever you want to donate, and it is all appreciated. A free way to support the podcast is by leaving a five-star review. If you haven't done it in a while, I highly encourage you. 2 (1m 0s): It helps me to chart, to be visible to maybe people that haven't discovered the podcast yet, and to get bigger guests. So if you haven't left a five star review or it's been a while, please do so and I would really greatly appreciate it. Last bit of housekeeping is I do have a couple of affiliates at the bottom of the page in the show notes, and I'm very meticulous as to who I have in his affiliate or a sponsor. So these are brands that I either really like and have used or people that I'm really getting behind and really like their programs. So if you wanna support them and the podcast, you can check out those affiliates or sponsors. So without further ado, let's get to the good stuff. This week we have Raghu Markus Raghu is the host of the Mindrolling podcast. 2 (1m 43s): He's also the founder of the Be Here Now Network that has thought leaders, spiritual leaders. They get into really cool deep conversations. It's Pick Your Player. There are so many beautiful, wonderful people on his network. So check that out, and I will link everything below to follow him and support him in all of his projects as well. Please help me welcome the amazing Raghu Markus. Raghu, thank you so much for joining the podcast this week. I feel like the timing of this was really perfect. As I started getting into your work and I finished Becoming Nobody, one of my homework assigns from one of my teachers recently was that question that I think a lot of us are either asked or have been asked, which is like, who are you? 2 (2m 30s): And I just can't wait to get your perspective of how to even begin to answer that question. 0 (2m 37s): Who Am I. 2 (2m 38s): Yeah, I gave a bunch of answers and Carlos just kind of like, just laughed and shook his head and he is like, go do the exercise. And he is like, not again, but go do the exercise. And that film that you helped produce was incredible. Like I feel like I got a lot out of it. Oh, great. Becoming Nobody. 0 (2m 57s): Yeah. Yeah. Well, it really is the arc of what Ram Das has represented as a teacher over many decades. And yeah, I mean, the whole front part of it is really around, okay, we identify with our roles, you know, we identify with the community and the family that we came from, the teachers, all of those influences, you know, formed us as a somebody here, in my case, as a, well, Raghu, actually, the good thing about going to India, I went back to India. I went to India the first time, rather with Ram Das who had gone back a second time and after telling people about his experience. 0 (3m 42s): So a bunch of us like, okay, we, we want to have that experience, so we wanna go. So I did go back and then got this name, which right, Raghu is kind of a nickname because my whole, the whole name is unpronounceable to even Indians. As soon as I got the name I got on a train, they said, well, what is your good name, sir? And it's Vera Das, which means same as Ram Das servant of the of Ram. And in the form of as, as someone who held together the family and the nation, that, that aspect of the deity who came to earth to a, as a king. 0 (4m 23s): And so I got on the train and these people asked me this, and I said the name, and they went, huh. And I thought, oh shit, I'm screwed. No, they can't know, you know, they can't pronounce it. How is anybody in America? So it became Raghu and that, you know, it was a re identification of the Soul, of the essence behind the personality, the identities, the roles and all of that. So it was fortunate because it gave, you know, it turned around the way in which, and most of us that were there, almost all of us that were there got a name, and it did turn around the way we perceived ourselves. 0 (5m 4s): And it, it gave a little bit of a leg up in that sense. And yeah, so who Who Am? I, of course. That's the, the, the big, big question. There was a great saint in India named Ram Maharshi, who when he was 16, and let's see, he died in the fifties, so, you know, he was in the earlier part of last century when he was 16, he, he couldn't take the suffering and what is this about? And, and he said, I'm, I'm gonna lie down on my bed and I'm not gonna get up till I find out who I am. So he kept going, Who, Am, I Who, Am I. 0 (5m 45s): Now, of course, he probably had the benefit of 6 billion incarnations, you know, going through to get to that moment where he did realize who the true essence of himself, I mean, and it took many years after that for it to manifest in a way that he became this extraordinary transmitter of this particular teaching. And in fact, many Westerners came over to India to meet him, and he was known as a great advita or non-dual teacher. And that was the central part of the teaching was Who, Am I. 0 (6m 25s): So yeah, it is the, the, the big question. But in my own experience, I think it, it's much more useful to get, and you know, that's what Mindrolling my podcast is all about, is how do we use all of this wonderful, these wonderful teachings to enhance our day to day lives and get ourselves more in balance. It's not a matter of looking for, I'll find out who I am and I'll be enlightened. I mean, this is bs, it's how do you just become a little bit more kind? How do you become more generous? You know, how do you become more loving in an unconditional way, not in a transactional way. 0 (7m 7s): These are are the things that really can make a difference in our lives and in other people's lives. 2 (7m 13s): Yeah. So when it comes down to the difference between these kind of archetypes that we play are our roles, and then that beingness or that essence of ourself, like there's obviously there's some kind of constant that's there from kind of the day that we're born. Like there's that constant that follows us until we die. But then there's also the evolution of self that coincides with that. And the way that I kind of, where I'm at, at least with my practice is where, like, depending on the role that I'm playing, it is a, a bit of a different person. So to answer that question, who are you? It feels like I'm always trying to like, catch something that's not there. 2 (7m 53s): Like it, it's trying to like, describe something that was there. Does that make sense? 0 (7m 58s): Not getting you Actually, say it again. So 2 (8m 1s): Like, if I'm, let's say I'm in my mothering role and I'm, and that's the place that I'm at, then that might be like the first, like the initial descriptive that I use for myself is like, I am a mom. Cuz in that moment I'm mothering. And then that version of Candace is very different than the one that's maybe showing up right now for, you know, to talk to someone like you about spirituality. So if I'm trying to describe like who I am, there is, there's a constant, right? Like there's still Candace, but there is like an overlay that is different depending on like what role you're playing. 0 (8m 33s): Yeah. The, the reality is, you as a mother and you here right now talking about consciousness with me, really the only difference in, in the essence of who you are as a mother and the essence of you who you are interacting with me right now is wherever you are caught in any way. I mean, attachment, clinging, clinging is the, you know, it's the, the big, the big, I don't wanna say negative because it's all positive in terms of unless you get, you know, unless you can see the clinging, you can't transform it or it cannot transform. 0 (9m 17s): But when you're mothering, you're child and you're identifying as a mother, that's not the only thing that's going on. I mean, you know, you may, if the child acts up, you might feel a little bit of anger coming up and you know, resentment, look what I do for you. You know, the, the usual thing that parents go through. But you know, you realize it and you have, hopefully mindfulness is a great thing and you just see it and you allow it to be, and it transforms without you holding onto it. So that's the clinging part that you let go. And you're sitting here with me right now, and you know, I'm saying stuff, you're reacting to it. 0 (10m 1s): Some of it you go, wait, I I don't really get that. And, and you may clinging to whatever the idea was that you had was about that particular subject. So whatever it is, once that clinging is identified and then it, it dissipates, you are the essence, you are the essence as a mother, you are the essence, as, as in this case interviewer. You are the essence in terms of your day-to-day running your business and your day-to-day of, of running your household. It's just a matter of, of the mindfulness to see where we are caught, to see where we are still clinging, to see all of the, the wonderful manipulations and motivations that are self-interested. 0 (10m 48s): And that is the, the beauty of our ability as humans to transform and become who we are more of the time. 2 (10m 57s): So one example that when I spoke to someone about this, and this person like doesn't believe in necessarily a Soul or God or anything like that, like that's kind of his, his perspective. The example that he gave was that a gauge. So if there is a Soul or if there is this essence, and how can something from like either like a Biological Sta standpoint or from like a physical injury cause such a shift to where everyone is like, that's a different person post that traumatic event. Hmm. Are you familiar with that story? 0 (11m 34s): No. 2 (11m 35s): Okay. So Phineas Gage was a railroad worker, and he was said to be like a very like charming, charismatic, kind person, very g like easygoing. He, there was a terrible accident while he was working, and one of the pipes actually went right through his skull and it didn't kill him. He was able to survive the injury. But ever since the brain trauma, he turned into like this really nasty, mean, unrecognizable person and it never kind of went back. So a lot of people in psychology really study this event because they're like, well, what is this? Right? Like, there's obviously the physical brain injury, but from more of a spiritual perspective, it's like, what happened to that essence? 2 (12m 19s): Is it still there? And how does that, what's the relation to like a physical trauma or a Biological trauma? 0 (12m 25s): Yeah. Well then you're getting into a little bit of neuroscience also on, on something like that and would take people who are more well versed to, to speak to it. But the many people have not, that that's kind of really beyond the, beyond trauma. I mean, that's extraordinary. But I'll tell you, here's another one that's kind of like that, a some, I just did a podcast with this person. His name is Dan Siegel. He's an amazing scientist, psychiatrist, and teaches at ucla, I think. Anyhow, he told me a story. It's in, in this book that he just did. He went, he was on his way to South America as a young man, 20 years old. 0 (13m 10s): He was on his way to try and meet up with a ero, a woman actually who was like the mushroom queen is what he referred to. And they had to get on horses and go into the jungle and so on. And they did. And they were riding along and I guess the cinch wasn't tied correctly on his horse's belly. And it came loose and he started to fall off while the horse and the horse spooked and, and started running, you know, galloping probably. And his, one of his feet got caught in the stirrup. He was for a hundred yards till they could stop it. 0 (13m 51s): Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom on his head, okay? That he was alive. They, they thought he would be dead. And he face smashed in teeth. I mean, it was really a, a, a bad scene. They took him to a clinic in the local city and he had for a day he could not, there was no more eye, he couldn't remember who he was. And he kept going and talk about Who, Am, I. He kept going, Who, Am, I. Not in, not in any, you know, anything but the sense of he didn't know. And in no history, no nothing. But the weird thing was he felt so free and harmoniously engaged with the interconnectivity of all kind of like a psychedelic trip. 0 (14m 41s): And for one day he, he would, they would tell him, well, you're dance eagle, blah, blah, blah. And he, he didn't have any effect, you know? Then just 10 minutes later, who Who Am I? Can you tell me? And but he didn't get into despair about that. He was in joy and he had this extraordinary experience that remained with him through the rest of his life. His, our mutual friend Jack Cornfield, who's a great teacher, when he told Jack this story, Jack said, Jesus Christ, people meditate for 4,000 years trying to get to that place of total unity or take a psychedelic look what you, this happened to you, you know, you should be happy. 0 (15m 27s): So how things happen for one person and not another, and this, there's some parallel here. He should have been dead, so should have been this other guy, right? So how things come out there is Karma and reincarnation are real. And Karma dictated that whatever Dan got to in that moment, that was perfect for him and what Phineas what happened to him. And, and it turned south, shall we say. There's no way to understand that stuff unless, you know, you get neuroscientists want to go through and, you know, measure the brain waves and see if there's any way they can figure out why he went south when he was such a beautiful, generous man. 2 (16m 13s): No, that's really interesting. When it comes to Karma, what is, what's your Definition of Karma? 0 (16m 20s): Oh God, yeah. No, there's nothing I could, everyone thinks Karma I slap you. You're gonna, you're gonna slap me back. It's, you know, and to a degree, obviously an action get begets a reaction that is real. But to get into, I'll, I'll give you and your listeners the, the best interpretation that can reach you on a, on a more gut level rather than head level is there's a, a man named Dr. Robert Kubota, s v o b o d a, who wrote this trilogy of books around a agora in India. 0 (17m 1s): These are the tantrics that very def difficult to find one that isn't doing dark arts as, as a purpose kind of a thing. I mean, they do really wild kinds of meditating on corpses, you know, that kind of thing. Anyhow, he did meet one in, in the seventies around the time we met Corba Ram, Das guru ar guru, and his name was Vima Ananda. So he wrote three books around their unbelievable and so informative and you get such a connectivity to who this being was. But the last one is called the Law of Karma. 0 (17m 44s): Get it? Because it really, it goes be, it is just, there's no way that you can rationally talk about Karma. You know, I can say all of these, the things I just said. Well, Dan had the, you know, karmic propensity for that experience to not kill him, number one. And number two, not freak him out, that he, he, he went into a place of unity, not a place of polarization and fear and, you know, trying to figure that out is impossible. But there, but, you know, Karma is real, you know, it is real. And, and just in terms of the day-to-day stuff, we certainly, I mean, even if you have a thought, like you get cut off, you know, you're in a car and you get a cut off and you start railing against that person and screaming obscenities at them, I, I've done it more than once. 0 (18m 43s): It causes repercussions in, in, you know, in relation to yourself and your moment to moment openness, you've closed down immediately and you're sending this vibe, which is real, whether or not they could hear you cuz you're in your car and the windows are closed. It's all real. And when you read this book and, and the subtleties of, of what we do on a day-to-day basis, you go, oh shit, you know? 2 (19m 13s): Oh man, 0 (19m 14s): Yeah, 2 (19m 15s): Yeah. I'm a little nervous to read it, but I, I can't wait to dig into it because it, it sounds like, and I don't know if you can correct me if you have a different interpretation, but like I've always seen Karma as something that's also probably internal as well. So it's not necessarily like, like you said, you're, you slap someone, they're gonna slap you back. Like I also see there could be like an internal turmoil that can happen as a consequence of maybe certain things. So sometimes when you see something that looks like they've got it made, there's also like a lot of suffering that can be within that person. I'd 0 (19m 47s): Say the least. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. No, I mean, yeah, we have no idea, basically. No idea at all. I mean, and, and you know, listen, people who extremely wealthy people, it, it isn't all, you know, roses in their lives. The huge attachment to that, to the wherewithal and the power that, that's, that's some really intense Karma. It really is as intense as somebody who's very poor and is suffering for all sorts of reasons out of poverty. So yes, it, you know, we in, we definitely are internalizing external stuff, which has a, an effect to unfortunately continue that cycle. 2 (20m 38s): Hey everyone, this is new. So we are taking a quick break for a couple of sponsors. How exciting is that, that we have a couple sponsors for the podcast? So this is new, please don't skip it, just listen, it's cool stuff, I promise. So my first one is a small company called Ragnar's Rocks, and I'll make sure I have the link below. As you know, I love crystals and I get made fun of for it all of the time, but I'm, I'm not gonna change my ways and I'm gonna stand by it. I truly believe in them and I think that they're beautiful, so sue me. But he sent me, I mean, how incredible is that? He sent me this beautiful amethyst, I've got this really cute rose quartz skull. 2 (21m 20s): All of this is on my table, you can't see, but when I start doing two cameras, you'll be able to see my little setup and this cute little crystal Buddha, how adorable is he? I these bracelets are from there. I mean I was really stoked to have him as a sponsor because this is right up my alley. So if you're into any crystals or you just wanna check out the website, it's ragnar's rocks.com and I'll link that below. And the last affiliate, last sponsor, please don't skip, this one's a good one. So we all know the benefits of fasting. Well, my husband and I have used this company ProLon actually a couple of times. So I was really excited that they wanted to be an affiliate of the podcast. 2 (22m 2s): So if you wanna try ProLon, it's a fasting mimicking diet, so you get all the benefits of a water fast and it's a lot easier cuz you get this delicious food instead of having to completely eat nothing. So you can try ProLon for $150 with the code. Candace, some of the claims for, and I mean I say claims, but I'm going off of a script guys, 60% of people that completed the fast had better energy, mental clarity and focus. You'll definitely shed some lbs. I felt a ton lighter after doing it. It's cool to do difficult stuff and obviously fasting is not easy, so it's kind of cool to see how you can kind of push it and get through something that you thought you might not be able to do. 2 (22m 44s): It's a lot easier than just doing a water cleanse. And again, like you, I think the average here, yeah, people lose an average of 5.7 pounds and 1.6 inches off of their waistline. So soon as I'm done breastfeeding, I'm doing one of these, and Eric's supposed to be starting anytime now, so we'll see when he decides to start. So I'll link that below. Again, if you wanna try ProLon, you can try it for 150 bucks. Use code Candace, and let's return to the episode. So when it comes to the relationship to people in power, and you can see some certain atrocities, it's almost like with unlimited power, you do see like, almost like the pure dark capability of darkness within some people. 2 (23m 28s): And then I've heard a lot of spiritual, you know, thought leaders and mystics and gurus that don't believe necessarily in duality. So they, they'll never say someone is evil or that a Soul is evil. When you see certain things you're like, well, how is it possible that maybe they're operating without one? That whole adage like you, we sold their our Soul to the devil. Like, is it possible to lose it along the way or have it fragmented or fractured? Or can some people maybe be born without one or if you have a human body, it's in there somewhere. 0 (24m 0s): No, there everyone, I mean the, the people that you know said, well, we don't believe in God, you know, that you were referring to or souls. Well the Buddhists don't believe in God are souls, but do you think they're any different than those of us that do? I mean, believe in a deity of some sort? I, I have close friends that are Buddhist and Ram Das and I, we used to do these retreats and, and we always had incredible Buddhist teachers and he, when as soon as he'd say Soul in reference of any sort, he'd look over at Jack and, sorry, that's a talk about souls, but you know, Jack would laugh because the reality is it's justno. 0 (24m 46s): I mean Buddha mind instead of Soul, okay, it doesn't have anything to do with the reality. And we encountered that when we met Neem Caroli Baba who first just looked at us and went in Hindi sub there's only one, there is only one thing going on. We have different names for it and different ways of approaching it, but there's only one thing going on. So to say, yes, everybody has that one thing, whatever you wanna call it, in the deepest part of themselves. And the idea is to connect as, as we go along in life more with that part of ourselves than the selfish part of ourselves. 0 (25m 29s): Just to say it as simply as possible. And Ram Das, as far as people that are abusing power, of which there's quite a, quite a plethora of them around in this world right now. Oh, there always has been. He would say like, we have this great animation that we haven't put out yet, but it's around how Ram Das talks about people like that. And he had, well the most recent example is Trump. And he would have, he would have Trump on his altar with all of his gurus and saints and everything, and he'd be, hello, good morning, Jesus, good morning, Buddha, good morning, you know, this beautiful loving way. 0 (26m 13s): And then, hello Donald. And it was a funny, it's a funny bit. And what he would say is, what I'm trying to do is reach that essence of that person knowing that that essence is not who he is. He is acting out in this incarnation of he Ram Das would say he's got a pretty shitty incarnation, but I'm not going to relate with him on that level that just allows it to continue. I wanna relate with him where it, you know, that essence is behind that everybody has it in this particular case with this human, it's, it's very, very covered up. 2 (26m 54s): Yeah, it's interesting. I like that one quote in the movie and it was, I wrote it down so I'm probably not gonna get it exactly, but it was to treat everyone as if they were God in Drag. That's it. And, and I loved that so much. I'm like, how, how much would our, our reality change if that is how we interface with everyone? 0 (27m 14s): Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. Which is, that to me is the goalless goal. How do we do that? How do we be, how can we become kinder, more compassionate, more unconditional? How can we really pay attention, you know, to people. We have a, we're putting a course together with Ram Das and, and others of our Buddhist friends, and it's called the Yoga of Heartfulness because Ram Das really represented that in his life, especially after the stroke. He give people real attention and time, you know, I mean, I have one funny, funny actually, but he was doing a talk and I, I was, after the talk ended, I knew he was tired, so I started wheeling him out of the auditorium and like pushing really, oh, I'm gonna get you outta here. 0 (28m 6s): You know, like I'm projecting that you're tired and you know, so people were just, oh, can I just have a word? You know, just, they just wanted to interact with them. And I, well, sorry, you know, it's late, but you know, I did that thing that you see people do that's just awful protecting whoever. And he just, he put, he had put his hand, he put the hand break on so I couldn't move the thing. And he looked at me and he went, just relax. And he gave that person complete total attention, absolute in the moment. So how do we do that? How do we get there? How do we, you know, send out more loving kindness in this world? 0 (28m 50s): And those are the things that are important. Not so much looking into, well, if I meditate my ass off, I'll, you know, I'm gonna get enlightened. You know, like, what is this another accumulation of some other power that you want to get? You know? So that's why Ram Das is, is really trusted. So we we're doing this heartfulness course in which we go through all of what do we need to do to stop being, closing ourselves down and how can we, you know, really be, talk about good citizens of this earth, you know, how we relate with people and how we can really contribute rather than detract by virtue of our own selfishness. 2 (29m 39s): No, I, I think it's huge. And when I was watching some of your interviews and then also the film, there's this thing that I loved so much with which a, is how often like Ram Das and yourself, like, just laugh and jest and like, your relationship with Duncan Trussel I think is so beautiful. I love it so much. I just like feel like it's, I am watching Brothers play and I think you mentioned having friends that have different belief systems. It's not identifying with your beliefs or your thoughts so that you're able to have that beautiful relationship and not have those, those differences, you know, interfere and get in the way of something that could flourish. 0 (30m 20s): Yeah, exactly. Exactly, exactly. And that all is, as, again, I go back to and give credit for our experience in India where there, you know, it wasn't a matter we knew right, right away we were, I thought in the beginning, well you got a Hindu guru, great, you know, and you ask for a mantra and off we go, do a little yoga, we'll be good. And it wasn't anything like that whatsoever. I mean, my best example is I, I asked, we called him Maharaji, just an honorific, how should I meditate? He said, meditate Like Christ. When he was nailed to the cross, he felt he did not feel pain, he was lost in love with every sesh being, that was like way over my head to say the very least. 0 (31m 13s): I, you know, I wanted just, oh, give me one of those Hindu mantras like you're getting with TM or something. Transcendental meditation. So, so it all comes from that source of a, he had fun with us. I mean, you know, we were kids at the time and, and it was all about humor and, and love and kind, you know, it was about the love serve, remember, which is the name of the foundation that we have representing all of this is very much about the simplest ways that we can connect with our essence rather than, like Ram Das wanted when he was there, he wanted esoteric teachings that his Buddhist friends were getting, you know, intense mantras or practices. 0 (32m 2s): And so he said, can he asked name Carli Baba for that? Can you give me that secret teaches? And you know what he said? He said, feed people. And Ram, Das was like pissed. What do you mean feed people? I, that's, that seems like my friends are getting beautiful mantras. And so, and he, he said, well how can I raise kundalini? And he said, she said, love everyone. And then Ram Das, it took a while for him to understand the love serve, remember love everyone, serve the divine through people and remember God through practice. 0 (32m 48s): That's it. You know, it's more simplistic. Yet that is what we came out of, you know, obviously there was a lot more to it that we came along, Buddhist meditation, you know, ways in which we could use practices to get to a place where we were really connected with our essence and, and not so lost. 2 (33m 10s): Yeah. And that's another thing that I really appreciate about a lot of this work and a lot of this content is that there is like the, this light, this lightness to it. It doesn't have to be so serious and there aren't, 0 (33m 22s): Yeah, 2 (33m 22s): Exactly. It's not led with fear like maybe some other religions. And that's never sat well with me or like rung true. Like I'm like, I don't know, like I believe that there's a God and I, that's not my interpretation of it. And you'll see sometimes online where there are certain maybe talking heads that will speak for God and like, well this is what God would say and God hates this. Like they, I literally got into a debate with someone about this and they were like, oh yeah, well God hates Sin and God hates anyone that is committing this Sin. And I was like, well first of all, I would never speak for God like that. Just, I am not qualified to do that. Secondly, I can only from like the most granular perspective understand what like true unconditional love. 2 (34m 10s): And that to me, like that's usually the lens of a parent or you know, for my husband, which is there is nothing that my child could do that I would see as unredeemable. Like there truly isn't, like the love is just absolute. So imagine that the love that a creator would have for you or God would have for you. So I just don't see hate as a possibility. So what's your perspective on like, I guess The Role of Shame or Sin or like, like Punishment when it comes to spirituality or Religion? 0 (34m 41s): That's everything I tried to get out of when I was brought up in that bullshit, honestly. You know, I, I, I'm Jewish and I was brought up that way and yeah, all of that polarization stuff was going on, you know, and maybe it wasn't all the way to fundamentalists, if you don't do this you'll you'll, you know, go to hell. I mean, but it's all bs. I mean it really is. But inside obviously Judeo-Christian context within it and Muslim, there are mystic traditions that that absolutely go beyond duality, go beyond polarization, go beyond that kind of jargon that is just alienating. 0 (35m 29s): And it alienated all of us back then and that, you know, which was good cuz it helped drive us to be open to other traditions. And that's when, you know, late sixties, early seventies is when people like, well Rom Dawson, Alan Watts, the original OGs, I mean, you know, there was other, there were other people who came to the west in the earlier part of the century. Krishna Morty is one of them and Swami Cananda and, and so on. There were, but in terms of the popularization of it through, through the culture at the time, it really was Alan Watson, Ram Das and you know, be here now, just became a Bible. 0 (36m 10s): I mean this still is, it's crazy. Somebody, I wanted to hire a dog sitter cuz I have to go away and I lost my last dog sitter. So somebody came over to apply and we met and everything and, and I said, I have to go, I run retreats as part of my job and oh yeah, who is that? You know, what do you do? And I said, you know, Ram Das, oh yeah, I just got B here now this is maybe, you know, young twenties kind of person. And I know that it came, it got, it found me. She had the wisdom to understand how this was something that was gonna help propel her, her inner life, you know, to, to some degree. 0 (36m 55s): So yeah, these thank God that I did because I was really lost when I was a teenager. I was really not happy and thank, I loved music and music was the only thing that saved me back then. I have a famous story of my first experience, quote unquote spiritual experience was at a John Coltrane who was a great tenor saxophonist, jazz guy. He is like incredible. If you actually, if you've never heard of him, you should John Coltrane. And I had an out-of-body experience. 0 (37m 36s): This says they got me into a club when I was 16, 17 years old in Montreal. And those things saved me in that moment. But it was the east that opened up the door, you know, and those practices and those perspectives really, really went a long way to completely turning around my life from the, the kind of Religion that we were brought up with at that time. Which was just, to me it was absurd. You know, all that stuff about if you're not good, you're going to hell. 0 (38m 19s): You know, all of that. It's, I never cop to it ever. It just, I rejected it right away. But in that rejection, I didn't have anything, you know, for a while to really land on to find the Buddha mind or the Soul or whatever, you know, whatever. I knew there was something else, especially after that John Coltrane thing. I knew there was something else, but I, it didn't coalesce for me un until a few years later. 2 (38m 45s): So when it comes to trying to, I guess develop the spiritual side and like of someone who doesn't feel like Religion is right for them, but does feel a calling that there's something bigger and they wanna learn more about mysticism or Esso, terrorism, spirituality in general. I feel like it's probably a lot more difficult for someone to try to find a guru or a, like an authentic teacher because we have social media now and it's like you can use very tricky ways of getting a ton of attention and likes and we often conflate that with them being an honest actor or like a valid, someone who's like worthy of that position and maybe they didn't actually do the learn like the real work the right way. 2 (39m 32s): So what is a good way to find a teacher or a guru and not be swept up with maybe someone who's a counterfeit version of 0 (39m 42s): That? Yeah, it's not easy, huh? In our world today. Well it wasn't easy before either. I mean, first of all, guru, let's start there. Okay. Everybody's a guru. Now there's, you know, my, you know, there's the guru of dry cleaners. They're the best, they're the guru. I mean, it doesn't mean very much that word. Of course we have a lot of words that don't mean a hell of a lot because they're just become just bastardized by virtue of, you know, how they're taken advantage of to have an advantage over people in many different ways. 0 (40m 26s): You know? So teacher though, yeah, I mean all of us encounter people who are pointing away, pointing to a path that can give us, that we can engage in self-inquiry. So to find out a little bit more of who we really are rather than the story we tell ourselves. And so it's a matter of developing trust in your intuitive process. And that's what happened to me with Ram Das when I first met him, actually physically met him. 0 (41m 7s): He was just, there was no Richard Alper, there was no Ram Das. There was just this pool of what can I do for you? You know, it was all about that. And it was, I felt safe. I felt like, okay, I'm, this is, I can just relax now for the first time in my life. And that was in my early twenties or something. And that created a trust thing. I mean, and it was very unconditional. And the only time I can remember I thinking back is, you know, when I was a child with my mother perhaps in moments, the feeling of that unconditionality. 0 (41m 47s): So it hadn't happened for a long, long time. And that created this trust and that connected me to knowing what deep inside I, okay, I need to do this thing, I need to go to India, I need to follow in these footsteps. And I was a hundred percent, I had a really great job. I was a program director when I was 23 of a major rock and roll station in Montreal, like 50,000 watts. We had a lot of power and you know, getting paid a lot of money and the whole thing, I just dropped it and went to India cuz I intuitively knew this is something I needed to do in my life. 0 (42m 30s): And I had that trust. Why people still gravitate to towards Ram Das in particular, even though he's not here physically, is there's a trust because of how honest he was with himself, how much humor he, he translated for people to stop being so self serious and have all the western goal-oriented kind of stuff, you know, spiritual bypass. So you take your ego and you put it into a, a spiritual container and you're just doing the same damn things. Just, you know, with different nomenclature basically. And so, you know, p people trust rom Das. 0 (43m 11s): I mean we put, fortunately of course we have this gigantic catalog cuz he recorded everything or people around him did all those years. So I'm not saying it has to be ramdass by any means. There's lots of great teachers. I lean more to the Buddhist side and, but they have people that are charlatans too. You know, it's not, it's not just in in in any, nobody has, you know, purview over charlatans in any mystic tradition let's say. But you know, I you, you find somebody that you feel you can have a real, a trust with that. And you don't put upon them the guru thing no matter what, what, you know, because the real guru is somebody like a neem caroli baba that is no longer trapped in polarity. 0 (44m 2s): There's no me and there's no, you, we knew that when we, when you met this being you, it, it was an extraordinary experience, very much like a psychedelic trip where you, you stop having that polarization and you enter into the interconnective place. So that is a rare thing. We were very fortunate. And there, there still are great beings like that. Some of them aren't, you know, as visible. They're not on the internet, you know, they're not in social media, but I, I have met others of, of that ilk. But it's a matter of somebody who, a teacher that can point the way for you to become more connected to, to the goodness that's inside every one of us. 0 (44m 50s): For the, to the motivation of, of wanting to help people, wanting to be kind, wanting to be unconditional want. I mean, just, just tell, just take your own life. When you're with people and the, you know, somebody really wants to talk to you for instance, and you're talking to them and you're doing this, you know, you look, you know, or, or while you, you manage to keep the focus, but your mind is thinking about, well how long am I gonna have to be here with this person? You know, or whatever. How many times can you count? Every one of us count where we are not fully present cuz we are thinking about ourselves. Which is why in Becoming, Nobody, there's that one part that I love where Ramdass said, when is what we want enough? 0 (45m 38s): When isn't it much more interesting to serve people? You know? It's just that reality that we, we are so self-involved. I'm working on something actually with Duncan Trussel called, called, and it's just a series of of talks. We did audio talks from the movie of me to the movie of We Okay. And it's all about exactly this and how we get that me from the minute that we get a name, our parents give us a name. Oh, suddenly we're separate individual. We were fully in the unified for you have children, so you know that when they come out there's nothing but the unified field. 0 (46m 21s): They're coming, they're representing that unified field in that moment. Then they get a name. Then you get into two year olds that are like, no, no, no, no. So yeah, that is trust and use your intuition to find, and not expect them to be miracle workers or anything like that. But if they can point the way to a great meditation practice, maybe it's a great yoga practice. Maybe it's a, a chanting, you know, which is very much part of our tradition. I don't know if you know who Krish Naas is, but he's an exemplar. Oh really? 2 (47m 0s): Okay. I, I know of him, but not, not very well. 0 (47m 3s): Well check him out because yeah, he's really, in terms of a trusted teacher, I would, you know, certainly, well he's, you know, really good friend. But I highly recommend in in any, you know, he does online things every Thursday, you know, and people ask questions and so on. So it's like this, you're listening, whoever's out there listening to the, to this particular podcast, you get a, a feeling and I say something like that or go join rom Das dot org and get offerings like this, you know, yoga of Heartfulness course and something clicks and you go, oh yeah, maybe I'll do that. Oh, Krishnas maybe, you know, I mean things that are in my legacy tradition and they re you know, they resonate or they don't. 0 (47m 50s): But somewhere along the line, if your intention is real that you want to transform yourself, the universe, the guru, then you don't need to necessarily have a physical meeting with that guru. But everybody has that guide one way or the other will manifest itself to you. Trust that is real. Absolutely. 2 (48m 13s): Yeah. It's, I feel like 0 (48m 15s): I sound like a fundamentalist saying that though. That's so weird. 2 (48m 21s): No, I think that element of giving and contribution is, is huge because you can do the same thing with two different energies. You can go into it with a real giving or you can be doing the same thing that maybe from a surface level looks like you're giving, but it's really taking, it's like, I'm doing this for significance or for recognition or for praise. And it's very self-interested. Like if I noticed your glass of water was empty and I just refilled it, didn't say anything and I just, I wanted to make you more comfortable. That's one thing if I did it, I'm like, I got you a glass of water. I saw, you know, this whole spectacle out of it. They're two very different things. 0 (48m 57s): Yeah, yeah. And that's why mindfulness practice, everybody out there absolutely look into what mindfulness practice is. And there's ano, here's another tip on a book from, to me, one of the great mindfulness teachers in this country, his name is Joseph Goldstein and he has a book called Mindfulness. It's a huge tone, but you don't have to read it all at once. You definitely though will get extraordinary teachings from this being through that book because that mindfulness allows us to really see what you just described. 0 (49m 39s): See that motivation, see the bullshit about you. You're doing this because you know you wanna be noticed. You're doing it because you think you should be good. You're not just doing it. Somebody needs something. It's like you are walking across the street and somebody trips and falls. You don't think about it. You, you just go to help them. You know, that's in all of us, except for people who are, you know, tripping into this spiritual BS and go, whoops, Karma, sorry about that. You know, I mean it's the initial knee jerk reaction to help people and you identify with that ultimately not as somebody who's doing something for a result that would benefit themselves. 0 (50m 28s): And so mindfulness really allows you to see in every moment these kinds of motivations that we all have that are self-inflicted, I would say. And the Tibetans have the, the best nomenclature about that. It's called self cherishing. Me, me, me, me, you know, I'm gonna, that's, that's what's important. And we are, you know, we, we have all of the habitual patterns that support that neurotic tendencies and all. And it's, it's how do we practice to cut through and, and make real change by virtue of practice. 0 (51m 9s): So mindfulness practice, meditation, practice reading, spiritual biographies of people, of, of men and women that have gone beyond and have transformed. These are the things, you know, that are available to us. And along the way there will be whatever it is that, that you would need will come. It will be provided. I have seen it a billion times. Absolutely. 2 (51m 40s): Do you tend to see like a commonality when it comes to Being Disconnected from either your like intuition or your gut or your heart? Like is there, and I know this is like a really big ask or a generalization, but is there something that you kind of see repeated in people that have the disconnect in one of those areas, whether it be like a trauma or a diet, maybe like they're, what they're consuming from like digital media, like just some kind of commonality throughout. 0 (52m 12s): Yeah, I only have to look at myself though. I don't have to look outside anywhere else. I mean, I've got habitual patterns that would be what you call commonalities. Absolutely. And I feel fortunate that, you know, I've been able to do practices over many, many decades and I'm just not buying into it the way that I used to buy into the story that I tell myself or the thoughts that I have that I would believe in. And there's, there's much more of a spacious container inside myself to make it a lot more fun to be alive Rather than caught constantly in reacting and emotionally. 0 (53m 0s): I mean, I still, you know, I still have that, I have a bugaboo with technology. Like if they're asking me for credentials, I can't remember my credentials and then I, you know, I'll mouth off and then laugh. You know, you gotta be able to laugh at yourself. That's a, in that movie, right? Becoming Nobody where the director Jamie says to Ram Das, okay, what, what's the, what's the essential advice that you would give to people? And he said, love and humor and that start there, you know, I mean, just being able to smile at the crazy shit that we do, smile at ourselves rather than beat ourselves up. 0 (53m 43s): Right. And which we do every day. Right. I always tell people, but if you talk to anybody else, the way you talk to yourself, you'd be ostracized from society. I mean it's, it is pretty wild. 2 (53m 59s): It is. We are the cruelest to, to ourselves. 0 (54m 1s): Yeah, 2 (54m 2s): Yeah. We really are. 0 (54m 3s): Yeah, yeah. No, it's absolutely true. And but then you go, okay, you know, cuz we are human. My friend Jack Cornfield, you know, he has a wonderful little thing that he does. It's okay, we're human, you see what's going, you have, look at this thing, we have this mouth, this hole that we stuff shit into, you know, and you know, all of these other senses and organs and he said, watch yourself make love. That's pretty weird too. You know, he has a great thing. But it's okay. We are human. We are gonna make mistakes and it's okay. 0 (54m 43s): And we, we need to have that kind of self-reflection so that we're not absolutely killing ourselves and judging all of the time. Cuz we do it to ourselves, we do it to everybody else. 2 (54m 55s): Yeah, I think that was a lot of the old paradigms as well, was to make us feel like we had to be perfect otherwise we weren't lovable. Whether it was lovable to our parents or to God and not worthy of, of heaven. And it's, it's amazing how much of that kind of sticks and then being able to reframe those like mishaps or mistakes without judgment and then applying humor to it. It's like every time you do that, you're training your brain that this is how I wanna respond and not the other way. And it's probably gonna take, if you're, you know, 30 years old, a lot like a lot of time to do that's 30 years of reprogramming unless maybe you do some other intensive work that maybe can speed up the process. Like whether it be like plant medicine or something 0 (55m 36s): Like that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely. And you know, even with that, it's, it really is Karma steps in there, you know, in terms of there is a continuity, we don't know what it is at all lifetime to lifetime. And it's not like, okay, Raghu is gonna end up as Raghu next. You know, there's nothing like that. It's not something we can conceptualize, but it is real. I mean, I experienced it in India, not just with Neli Baba, but with other, shall we say more evolved beings that remembered their past life, you know, all of that. I mean, it's all real, you know, I just have, I don't really care. 0 (56m 17s): I'm trying to just work on my moment to moment consciousness in terms of everything we've discussed here about transforming really that wild me that we are so attached to. 2 (56m 31s): If you have a minute, I have one more question. Yeah. I guess regarding the, like Reincarnations and Past Lives. So what is your opinion on people that spend a lot of time or investment in trying to figure out all of their previous incarnations and almost getting lost or romanticizing previous lives? Because for me, I, I have a lot of people in my circle that like, that's where they spend most of their energy. I'm like, but you're here right now. And for me, I feel like maybe there's a reason that you don't remember if you weren't given that memory, I don't know. 0 (57m 3s): Yeah, you'd be really screwed up if you could remember all that shit. Can you imagine about people like that? All I can say is, I don't know, is it better than watching TV and Netflix? Maybe not, maybe so, who knows? But it is entertainment and just trying to entertain yourself and distract yourself from intention for transformation to do something of worthwhile for people in this world. 2 (57m 36s): Yeah, I would agree. 0 (57m 37s): So it's not a, you know, I don't, and I don't mean to judge anybody and, and it is like, you know, maybe something would happen that would lead to something else that allows you to see more clearly that this, this may not be the most, the best use of one's time in terms of inner exploration. So yeah, it, it's, it's all good. It's 2 (58m 1s): All good. Well, before I let you go, do you wanna tell the listeners where they can follow you, how they can support you and any projects that you might be working on? 0 (58m 10s): Well, I guess I keep, I have two hats. One is the Director of Love Server Member Foundation, which represents Ramdass and some of the teachers that I've just mentioned. And this course I think is gonna be a, around heartfulness and what that really means and give people an opportunity to, to really look at and, and help them on a day-to-day to transform the, the individual selfishness that we, we are all involved with. And you go to Ram Das dot org and put your email in there and you'll get this course starts. I don't know when the podcast is going to, but the course doesn't start till May. So there plenty of time to do that. And then you'll get an email with a link to be able to join the course. 0 (58m 51s): So that in, given everything we've been talking about today, that would be an excellent way and especially about what do I do to take the next steps? This, this certainly would be one thing to do. Otherwise I have a podcast called Mindrolling on the Be Here Now podcast Network. Go to be here now, network.com, go to Mindrolling and I talk to extraordinary people. One of them is this guy Dan Siegel or my friend there, and an extraordinary book he did called Intra Connection, really about how we are really connected to each other and the idea that we are in isolation and separation. 0 (59m 33s): I is one of, he calls it one of the, the biggest, there's p there's the pandemic of Covid 19, there's the pandemic of what's going on with the environment. You know, there's a bunch of pandemics how he puts it, but the biggest one is how we believe we're separate. That is the biggest one. So it's, you know, this so that, that podcast is worth listening to and, and many others of many amazing people over the years. I think I have, I'm going on to 500 podcast Candace. 2 (1h 0m 2s): Congratulations. That's massive. 0 (1h 0m 4s): It's insane. I don't know how I've done it because my day-to-day is running, you know, this organization and podcast network. But I, but I have managed and here we are. 2 (1h 0m 14s): Yeah, I'll make sure that I link everything below. This was fantastic. It was lovely meeting you and I hope that I get the, the privilege to talk to you again. 0 (1h 0m 23s): Absolutely. Thank you. Thank you. 2 (1h 0m 25s): And that's it for this week's episode of Chatting with Candace. Before you leave, before you leave, hang in there. If you could leave that five star review, hit like, and subscribe. Both of those things help me out a ton and I'll see you next week. Bye everybody.