Tag Archive: Ram Dass


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“Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story  rather than the actor in it…”

 – Ram Dass

A poignant quote by spiritual leader Ram Dass. What does this mindful thought really mean? Of course, I am not here to necessarily paraphrase a quote from a great thinker; instead I am here to simply analyze this quote with my own devices on how such meaning would fit into a Responsive Universe. There may be a slight difference…

It is quite simple really; especially when we get back to the basics of meditation. I have always mentioned how there is a misconception about meditation. It is not about controlling the thoughts in our head – it is about being an observer of the thoughts in our head. That is a tough principle to reconcile especially for people new to meditation. There is this passive or underlying stress or urge to try to quiet the mind when the goal of meditation is to simply be an observer of the thoughts that continually float in and out of our heads. The goal of meditation is to not attach ourselves to the dramas of the mind. Do not judge the thoughts and do not be overly positive or especially negative to your thoughts – just be the observer – just be… nothing more…

Once we master meditation and let that skill set transcend into our daily life practice, our ability to not be so sensitive to ego and false self is actualized. We are able to establish a balance or baseline of energy that remains positive to neutral in our thoughts, emotions, actions and reactions; even during negative life situations. The objective is to suffer less. Just like in meditation, the goal is not to be the thought or let a thought drive our meditative focus – the goal is to simply be an observer. In doing so, we are more of a witness and less of an actor. In life, we have the same choice; particularly in times of conflict and challenge: With minfulness, we can leave our ego facilities out of such dramas and simply be a witness to the story instead of being embroiled in the drama as an actor. Such changes in how we think and react to conflict and challenge will net completely different results. Now, the goal is not to be a by stander and live with no interaction. We all have to face challenges and conflict on a daily basis  – the goal is to not let challenges or conflict be the driving energy to our reactions to such events. Be an observer and  be mindful of how our egos and false-self want to take such dramas into a negative space. By being an observer, we also create space between the sitation and our immediate action or reaction; all in an effort to avoid negative blind responses. When you detach from a situation of conflict or challenge and face difficult situations with mindfulness and true nature you will find the most proactive solution. Be the witness and not the actor. Let mindfulness, space and clarity be your source of intent.

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

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The quieter you become, the more you can hear…

– Ram Dass

It’s a simple enough quote right? But what does it really mean?  Of course there is the literal meaning: When you are quiet you can hear others talk; like when my beautiful wife tells me to shut up so she can get a word in edgewise (just kidding  …. not really).

But is there a deeper meaning? What was meditation and Buddhist guru Ram Dass really implying?

The general goal of mindfulness and self-discovery is to quiet the endless parade of thoughts that march through our minds almost incessantly. Have you ever just stopped what you are doing and focused on the mind and its endless procession of thoughts? Try it sometime, there is a lot going on up there! This is how the mind works, but there is a drawback to this natural process. Most of our errant thoughts are rooted in the past and future – thoughts of fear, fantasy, frustration, envy and regret. Rarely are we completely rooted in the present moment. As Eckhart Tolle says – “The Power of Now”.

During mindfulness and meditation, when we are capable of slowing our thoughts down to more of a trickle instead of a river of chaos; there is something unique and special found within the gaps of thoughts. That’s right, within the gaps of thoughts. Pay close, special attention to your thoughts. Focus on the start of one thought and look for the gap when one thought ends and drifts off and another materializes. At first it is almost instantaneous with little or no gap. With the right mindfulness and concentration there is a distinguishable gap between thoughts.

What is the big deal? Well, that is where the magic lies. There in the quiet little reprises between our ego driven thought processes sits the answers to life’s biggest quandaries.  It is there in the silence between thoughts that our True Nature wells. There within the gaps of thoughts sits silence – a level of acute clarity, awareness and responsiveness. As Eckhart Tolle has famously said – “Stillness Speaks”, and it is there in the silence between thoughts that your true heart wish emanates. It is there in the silence that wisdom and energy arises – healing, intuitive and blissful.

So, the more quiet you become, the more you can hear. It is there in the gaps of thoughts that we find our true-self; sans of ego and the pressures and control patterns of societal immersion. It is there in the silence that we find this beautiful connection to the Responsive Universe.

What if we could stretch those gaps within thoughts? What if we could live within them? There lies the goal of Self-Discovery. The quieter you become, the more you can hear…

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

About the Book: www.responsiveuniverse.com

Now Available: Amazon    Barnes & Noble

The Responsive Universe on Facebook

John C. Bader on Twitter

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