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Be Here For Him, Now

Wayne Dyer talks about spiritual teacher and friend Ram Dass


One of the truly great men of our time needs our help. I write these words to encourage your generosity and support. Back in the 1960’s a Harvard professor named Richard Alpert left behind the hectic world of academia and traveled to India—there he was to meet his spiritual teacher who gave him a new purpose to fulfill along with a new name. He of course is Ram Dass.

His guru told him love everyone, feed people and see God everywhere. Ram Dass became a person who lived out this mandate—he did what so many of us could only dream. He connected to his spirit and devoted his life to serving others.

In 1969 he wrote and published the signature book on spirituality and applied higher awareness, Be Here Now. In keeping with his commitment to love everyone and feed people, he donated all of the royalties and profits to foundations that did just that. With millions of dollars at stake, Ram Dass simply chose to live his life as a man of service to God.

After years spent in India in pursuit of a higher more enlightened consciousness for himself and for our troubled world, he returned to the United States to lecture throughout the country. He spoke to packed venues wherever he went, and as always he donated the proceeds to such causes as would keep him in harmony with his mandate to serve. He co-founded the Seva Foundation and his writing and lecture fees were primary sources for this compassionate and inspired work.

To me Ram Dass was and is the finest speaker I have ever heard, period! He was my role model on stage; always gentle and kind, always speaking without notes from his heart, sharing his inspiring stories and always with great humor. I tell you this from my own heart; I could listen to his lectures for hours and always felt saddened when they would end. He was the voice for Applied Spirituality—his life was the model. When he was threatened by having his own private sexual preference exposed, in a time when a closet was the only place that was even mildly safe, Ram Dass called a press conference and proudly announced his preference to the world. He paved the way for tolerance and love when no one else would dare to do so.

Most of us could only dream of defying the conventional life and living out our inner callings to promote a cause that was bigger than our own lives—to leave the security of a guaranteed career—to leave a country where comfort was ensured; all to live in a foreign land with few conveniences, traveling and meditating for a more peaceful world. It is what St. Francis did in the 13th century and what Ram Dass did in our lifetime.

When Ram Dass’ own father, who had largely criticized his son’s unconventional lifestyle, was close to death, Ram Dass devoted himself to 100% service in those final years. He fed his father, he bathed his father, he placed him on and off the toilet until the day he died. Why? Because he felt this was his mandate. He wanted to experience true service on a 24/7 basis and know firsthand the joy that comes from giving one’s own life away in the service of others. Always, for over 30 years, Ram Dass was in the service of others.

In 1997 Ram Dass was struck by a semi-paralyzing stroke and became wheelchair bound. Still he wrote of his adventure in a powerful book titled, Still Here. He continued to travel, though he could no longer walk and continued to speak to audiences, though he spoke from a slowed down body, but still he did it to serve others.

Now it is our turn…Ram Dass’ body can no longer endure the rigors of travel. He has come to Maui, where I live and write. I speak with him frequently and I am often humbled by the tears in his beautiful 73-year-old eyes as he apologizes for not having prepared for his own elderly health care—for what he now perceives as burdensome to others. He still intends to write and teach; however without the travel—we can now come to him. Maui is healing—Maui is where Ram Dass wishes to stay for now!

He is currently living in a home on Maui, which he doesn’t own and is currently in jeopardy of losing. I am asking all of you to help purchase this home and to set up a financial foundation to take care of this man who has raised so much money to ensure the futures of so many others. To live out what Ram Dass has practiced with his actions. Please be generous and prompt—no one is more deserving of our love and financial support. In the end these donations will help ensure that Ram Dass and his work will reach another generation or remind a current generation that it is in giving that we receive.

If there has ever been a great spirit who lived in our lifetime, literally devoting his life to the highest principles of spirit, it has been Ram Dass. I love this man; he has been my inspiration and the inspiration for millions of us. It is now time to show him how we feel by doing what he has taught all of us to do—Just , BE HERE for him, NOW.

Reprinted with permission

To make a donation, please send via mail to the address provided:

Ram Dass Charitable Fund
c/o Hay House
P.O. Box 5100
Carlsbad, CA 92018