The Wisdom of Ram Dass


A page from Be Here Now by Ram Dass (1971)

Ram Dass, a great spiritual teacher of our time, has just found the exit door from this life. To celebrate the life of this kind and wise being who so deeply impacted my spiritual journey, I made a collection of quotes (see below) from his vast trove of spiritual wisdom. May these quotes, and his memory, be a blessing!



“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”

“We’re fascinated by the words–but where we meet is in the silence behind them.”

“I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion–and where it isn’t, that’s where my work lies.”

“In most of our human relationships, we spend much of our time reassuring one another that our costumes of identity are on straight.”

“As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be, you can’t see how it is.”

“Suffering is part of our training program for becoming wise.”

“It’s only when caterpillarness is done that one becomes a butterfly. That again is part of this paradox. You cannot rip away caterpillarness. The whole trip occurs in an unfolding process of which we have no control.”

“Information is just bits of data. Knowledge is putting them together. Wisdom is transcending them.”

“The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering.”

“When we see the Beloved in each person, it’s like walking through a garden, watching flowers bloom all around us.”

“Everything in your life is there as a vehicle for your transformation. Use it!”

“Healing does not mean going back to the way things were before, but rather allowing what is now to move us closer to God.”

“Spiritual practices help us move from identifying with the ego to identifying with the soul. Old age does that for you too. It spiritualizes people naturally.”

“Just because you are seeing divine light, experiencing waves of bliss, or conversing with Gods and Goddesses is no reason to not know your zip code.”

“Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is the supreme creative act.”

“Emotions are like waves. Watch them disappear in the distance on the vast calm ocean.”

“Our journey is about being more deeply involved in Life and yet less attached to it.”

“The freer I get, the higher I go.
The higher I go, the more I see.
The more I see, the less I know.
The less I know, the more I’m free.”

“The art of listening comes from a quiet mind and an open heart.”

“In a non-traditional culture such as ours, dominated by technology, we value information far more than we do wisdom. But there is a difference between the two. Information involves the acquisition, organization, and dissemination of facts; a storing-up of physical data. But wisdom involves another equally crucial function: the emptying and quieting of the mind, the application of the heart, and the alchemy of reason and feeling.”

“The spiritual journey is not about acquiring something outside yourself. Rather, you are penetrating the layers and veils to return to the deepest truth of your own being.”

“If you listen to your own inner voice, it will tell you where you are now, and which method will work best for you in your evolution towards the light.”

“In India when we meet and part we often say, “Namasté,” which means: I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides; I honor the place in you of love, of light, of truth, of peace. I honor the place within you where, if you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us. Namasté”

“Spiritual bypassing is a term I coined to describe a process I saw happening in the Buddhist community I was in, and also in myself. Although most of us were sincerely trying to work on ourselves, I noticed a widespread tendency to use spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep or avoid facing unresolved emotional issues, psychological wounds, and unfinished developmental tasks.”

“We each have our path. There are many routes up the mountain, but they all end at the peak.”

“Satsang is a community of truth seekers. It is a group of people with the shared awareness that there is a spiritual dimension to the universe.”

“Prolong not the past.
Invite not the future.
Do not alter your innate wakefulness.
Fear not appearances.
There in nothing more than this.”

“Inspiration is God making contact with itself.”


The above quotes were selected from the page of
Ram Dass quotes at



Paths to God: Living the Bhagavad Gita
Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart
Miracle of Love: Stories about Neem Karoli Baba
Grist for the Mill: Awakening to Oneness
 Be Here Now
Journey of Awakening: A Meditator’s Guidebook
Be Love Now: The Path of the Heart
One-Liners: A Mini-Manual for a Spiritual Life
Compassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service  (with Mirabai Bush)
Experiments in Truth
How Can I Help?  (with Paul Gorman)
Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying