The Only Dance There Is by Ram Dass – Workshop

A few Summary Notes from the first two chapters of our “gutsy” workshop text “The Only Dance There Is” by Baba Ram Dass. Join us this weekend Sunday 29th of March 2015, 2-4pm, Melbourne Yoga and Meditation Centre – Workshop Sign Up >>

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Ch. One

Work on Self, Breaking identification, Self confrontation,

Four component ashram –

  1. Solitude in Hermitage – contingent stimuli withdrawal,
  2. Communal ashram – three stages (refuges in Wisdom/Law/Community), Part of it all, Appetite – God pouring God into God,
  3. City community – Here and Now is always ‘First Time’, Pull of service – Full Up with Knowledge
  4. Other ways of achieving consciousness – “the only thing you have to offer another human being, ever, is your own state of being”, Doing your own being – the only dance there is.

Mantra – Om Mani Padme Hum – stages – hear it, think it, sound it, feel it [stages move from ‘ears’ to ‘mind’ to ‘throat’ to ‘heart’]

Mandala – Tonka

Faith healer – what a Faith healer does is use his own vibrational rate to bring you to another vibrational rate.

Pranayama – breath of Yogi gets very gentle, delicate and faint – breath is the environment in which consciousness is living all the time, very intimate.

Food, Love, Mantra – “Don’t eat any food that isn’t cooked with Love and with Mantra, because it will poison you. The vibrations of a person cooking food enter into the food when it is cooked over fire.

America and LSD – “LSD is like a Christ coming to America in the Kali-Yuga

EXERCISE: look at the point between the eyebrows (slightly above), and chant the Mantra Om Mani Padme Hum inwardly.

Truth is an absolute prerequisite in the Dance.

Guts ballgame: “anything you can think, feel, desire, fear, anything you can bring to your mind about any of these, that you have difficulty with, are embarrassed by, are made uncomfortable by sharing with me – share it with me

Therapist rule: “Work on yourself, because your ‘patients’ will be as free as you are.


  1. first = survival of the individual as a separate being – survival of the fittest;
  2. second = sensual gratification and sexual desires and reproduction
  3. third = power, with mastery, with ego control – ‘my’ way not the ‘High’ way.
  4. fourth = unity [really, ‘non-duality’] of nature and compassion where that compassion is the compassion that what is happening to you is happening to me, because in that place you and I are a unitive[non-dual] being
  5. fifth = turning back inward, deeper within, subtler forms of energy [sound as a formative agent – shabda brahman]
  6. sixth = first thought forms of which all the rest is manifestation. The realm of pure ideas. No longer identified with body or personality.
  7. seventh = merging back into the oceanic[dalai], into the one [not-two]. The water in the raindrop is the same in the ocean as in the mist as in the cloud as in the river. Behind all the laws and ideas, [is the ocean of infinite absolute sentient power – pure Shiva Shakti].

Chakra Work = take energy from a lower centre and move it into a higher centre[and vice versa for manifestation]. The final place you end up coming to is where you complete the cycle and you come back into every plane and you live consciously at every plane, because every plane is another truth – the Saint’s and Bodhisattvas role living in this world of illusion at the same time that you are not in the world of illusion, because you are fully conscious of the seventh chakra also. That is, you are conscious right across the planes simultaneously.

Freud (belly), Jung (chest), Adler (head)

Evolution of man’s vehicle of consciousness is inevitable – nothing he can do about it, no choice, wake at your own rate.

Three bodies – gross (physical body), subtle (personality, emotions, thinking mind), causal (Plato’s pure ideas) – pyramid with causal/subtle/gross (top to bottom). Behind the causal is a homogeneous field – fourth.

Hindu system – Brahman becomes three: Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, – creator, preserver, destroyer or changer

Vishnu has a number of incarnations – Krishna, Ram, Buddha – Ram is Karma yoga

The only option is to work on yourself – up levelling; Growth of Consciousness – how quickly you can give up on a past model so you can ‘be here now’. Breaking identification with self-imposed limit, up-level self-predicament,

Christ – “lay not up your treasures where moth and rust doth corrupt”.

Everything passes, so ‘break identification’. (second most beautiful girl in the world is inevitable)

You have to give up being the ‘experimenter’ to have the experience of the ‘transcendence of experimenter–ness’

You can only know you know after you’ve been it … And in order to be it you’ve got to give up knowing you know.

To know the transcendent, give up the rational mind – transcend the knower who knows something (and become the reflexive knower).

No need to give up Western training, just give up the “attachment” to Western training. “Give up a western predisposition in order to experience another system at the being-level, in order to bring it back. – Richard Wilhelm”

Jnana Yoga – yoga of the rational mind beating itself – which is part of the Zen koan – demand exquisite discipline of the rational mind

Truth is everywhere, right where you are, when you can see it, when you can open to it.


Ch. Two (responses to questions)

“You have to risk it all, to have it all” – you’ve got to give it all up to have it all. [Christ – “give up all you’ve got and follow me”]

“Embrace your 10,000 horrible demons and your 10,000 beautiful demons” – Tibetan. You’ve just got to take it all and keep going. All your fears have to be embraced, entertained, honoured, and you go on with them. [the man who wins through carries on with a defective engine]

Christ love = the state of being where one “is” love. [Compared to, “having” love] as long as you are under the illusion that what you are loving is “out there,” you will always experience that separateness. It is only when you begin to understand that if you and I are truly in love, if I go to the place in me that is love and you to the place in you that is love, we are “together” in Love.

The game of enlightenment starts from exactly where you are at this moment; with your contracts (social–sexual–emotional). You can’t walk away from anything, any part of your life. You’ve got to bring it all into harmony at every new level.

The I Ching is a very high statement of how it all is, and it can be used very cautiously and consciously to ‘wake you up’ to ‘other perspectives’ of “where you are at in the here and now” – a statement of where you are here and now at this moment in your consciousness when you are asking the question. Rule: Ask the right question in the first place.

There is no being at any state of consciousness that one cannot make contact with if one is free of attachment to any specific plane of consciousness. Rule: breaking identification with current limit is pre-requisite.

As therapist: identify with Intelligence at Centre, and talk to that.

Western education: phoney hype, and has nothing to do with anything. There are other ways of relating to the universe.

The place you are going to is the transcendence of the experience of separateness so that you are power … “Had ye but faith ye could move mountains”. [identify with the mountain, and move]

Don’t use your powers, let them go. Upsetting balances in the universe is very destructive if there is no understanding of it All.

Despair [de pair, desperation – ‘opening you up to the whole’, actual transcendence] is a necessary prerequisite for the next degree of consciousness

“Not mine, but Thy will be done” – perfect Karma yoga – universal.

Nada Yoga – listening to the sounds in the nadis – sound vibrations manifesting as form and colour.

“The highest response I can get from an audience now is where they see that what I have been talking about is inside themselves, and that I was just a vehicle for them to hear.”

A relationship is as high as the highest consciousness in the relationship.

Develop “one pointedness” of mind and will and consciousness – this is the purpose of the dharma(duty) of discipline, whatever the discipline is, the discipline is with this purpose.

True Education – where the student is never under the impression that he is being taught anything from outside, because he is being taught from inside himself. Working from inside the student’s framework, the student evolves. Example: hanging out with a child and saying “okay, now what?” The child already knows everything and my job on myself is to thin the veils that keep me from knowing it all, and to not contribute to increasing the veils that keep him(student) from knowing it all. So we sit, and say “let us start from exactly where we are at. All truth is in everything. There is no pre-programmed model in my head that is that vital including any books, any subjects, because I am now awed by an interesting phenomenon that I’ve begun to see.” Surround the students with as high a consciousness as possible, and invite development(unfolding) of the universe within them. The educator educates himself and then he hangs out with the child and the child gets free of the things that are keeping him from educating himself because, in effect, we only do it(education) to ourselves. We don’t do it to each other, we only do it to ourselves. All you can do is provide an environment where the kid can do it to himself. The classroom is as high as the highest being in the room. And sometimes that’s not the teacher. It could be a kid. Everybody is a Buddha. We need to train for wisdom, not knowledge (knowledge is measurable). Knowledge is not convertible, necessarily, into human happiness or well-being. Wisdom is, because wisdom is learning how to live with the Tao, to live in harmony with the world at the moment it is. Wisdom is a totally adaptive thing, but knowledge isn’t. Wisdom deals with what is. You teach methods of absorbing knowledge. You don’t teach knowledge per se. Present models of consciousness, not models of external achievement. Ontogeny(individual) recapitulates Phylogeny(type/species/race/tribe), so each person’s journey into consciousness recapitulates all of man’s journey into consciousness. Man has to re-find the need to absorb music and art and history and literature. You can’t lay it on him because you know it’s important. He’s got to be ready to hear it. Namaste, “I honour the Atman within you, I honour the light that is within you”, meaning, I look into you for that place where we are, behind all of our individual differences.


Continued at Workshop on Sunday

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