Awakening Through Your Difficult Emotions by Ram Dass
Discover how to free yourself from any attachment to pain and suffering and treat your difficult emotions as portals to greater peace, wisdom, and healing.
Expand your consciousness and dissolve fear and anger through the profound teachings of one of america’s most revered spiritual teachers.
Have you experienced the extraordinary joy of opening to higher states of awareness – a divine loving presence – and then come crashing back to earth with day-to-day frustrations, pain, and even anger?
That’s true for almost everyone on a path of awakening and transformation, so much so that we can begin to see the so-called “negative” emotions of life as a kind of enemy on our spiritual path.
The challenge is that this feeling of opposition and resistance can actually keep you stuck in these lower states instead of residing in a higher octave of unconditional love and joy.
It is actually not helpful to reject the parts of you that are filled with shame, frustration, or pain as when they are rejected, they tend to fester and become even more problematic.
By learning to love ALL of yourself, you open the pathway to a more lasting kind of spiritual awakening, one in which you achieve a new baseline of joyful presence. Then all of the challenges of life become grist for the mill of your awakening.
That’s the promise of Awakening Through Your Difficult Emotions, a journey in overcoming the difficult emotions of life from the beloved Ram Dass, author of the landmark book, Be Here Now, which continues to nourish spiritual seekers worldwide since its publication 47 years ago.
Through videos and audio teachings not available to the general public — including rare recordings from as far back as the 1970s — Ram Dass will give you the wisdom you need to free yourself from the bondage of attachment and transform your relationship to difficult emotions.
He offers a simple, direct, powerful set of practices and insights that can shift the ground of your being to a higher octave… and stay there!
Ram Dass has come to this wisdom through intense personal experiences. He was forced to confront suffering head on when a 1997 stroke left him with partial paralysis, aphasia, and a host of physical challenges, including chronic pain, which persist to this day.
Yet he now considers the stroke an act of “fierce grace” that propelled him to another level of spiritual awakening and realization.
Despite continuing to face a wide array of bodily challenges, Ram Dass nonetheless now resides in a place of real joy in what he calls “soul-land” where a profound loving awareness permeates all of his days
Ram Dass’ courageous example and profound teachings show us the truth that difficult emotions relax their hold on you when you can look beyond the pain of the moment and think, There is value in this.
In this way we learn to both transcend AND befriend the emotional challenges that are simply part of life’s journey.
In these profound, soul-expanding classes with one of America’s most beloved consciousness leaders, you’ll understand why turning away in fear from places of pain, upset, or challenge only makes them more formidable, swallowing up more of your emotional energy with each passing day.
As Ram Dass himself experienced, the moment you embrace your vulnerabilities and befriend your suffering, you widen your vision and expand your awareness of the entire spectrum of life.
As Ram Dass will eloquently explain in Awakening Through Your Difficult Emotions, the key is to shift your identity to a higher level and then re-engage the difficult emotions with a spirit of loving awareness. Then fear, insecurity, and anger will naturally give way to faith, trust, and hope.
An Illuminating Mentor Awaits
If you’re ready to transform the difficulties in your life into your most significant opportunities for spiritual growth, it helps to have a wise teacher. And we can assure you there is no better teacher to learn from than Ram Dass, one of the world’s most respected spiritual leaders.
Over the years, his dedication to the spiritual path led him to become an iconic spiritual teacher who then evolved into a focus on true sacred service through work with the Seva Foundation. In the journey, he became a revered wise elder for an entire generation.
When he suffered a debilitating stroke, though, he faced a whole new set of challenges that he had never face before. He could have allowed himself to be consumed by fear and hopelessness. He could have viewed this as a terrible — and terribly unfair — tragedy. He could have focused on what he had lost.
Yet, his spiritual journey had instilled in him the knowledge that if you shrink away from negative emotions, they become your master. He knew that giving his power away to fear and anger about his situation would have left him sullen and miserable.
Instead, he applied the words of his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, who had taught that the love in your heart is a universal force that melts all forms of fear and connects you to divine love. So Ram Dass chose love… and peace gathered him tenderly in its arms.
In the crucible of his physical ailments, he demonstrated that in the peace and beauty of unconditional love, emotional and physical challenges can become a gateway to transcendence and transformation.
Ram Dass now lives with an effervescent grace, radiance, and beauty… even in a body that has been severely impaired. By aligning himself more with his spiritual essence than his body-bound ego, he’s become freer, more authentic, and, yes, more whole and complete.
Over the years, through his books, talks, and teachings, Ram Dass ushered in a new era of understanding on subjects ranging from Eastern wisdom to higher consciousness to social change. And now, through his examples, he’s inviting us to reframe our burdens and challenges as blessings.
There are two kinds of suffering: the suffering that leads to more suffering and the suffering that leads to the end of suffering. If you are not willing to face the second kind of suffering, you will surely continue to experience the first.
— Ajahn Chah
A Journey Into Freedom
In the 4-module Awakening Through Your Difficult Emotions program, Ram Dass will light the way to transforming your wounds into wisdom, helping you establish a baseline of expanded lightness of being and joy.
Ram Dass’ team carefully spent three months sifting through hundreds of his videos and audios in their archival library, looking for the best and most important of his teachings to ensure that you’ll receive the essential teachings and practices you’ll need to make your own shift.
In addition to this carefully curated selection of the best of Ram Dass’ teachings, each class session includes a special video of Ram Dass conducting a guided meditation up to 18 minutes long. These videos were all filmed in the last seven years.
Ram Dass’ goal in offering this program is to help you flourish emotionally and spiritually, and to shine with the illuminating light of your true essence.
Not only is he offering his own teachings and perspectives, on a subtler level he is transmitting the blessing, beauty, and love of Neem Karoli Baba, his remarkable spiritual teacher.
During these four sessions, you’ll receive many profound seeds of wisdom for you to harvest and plant in the garden of your own life — seeds that promise to blossom into peace, equanimity, and wisdom as you come to understand and effectively deal with difficult emotions and challenging times that are intrinsic to the human condition.
When you join us for this soul-expanding journey, you’ll not only have the chance to directly receive insights and blessings from this remarkable spiritual teacher, you’ll also have the chance to ask questions of some of his most cherished allies and soul friends, who will participate in the program and answer your questions based on their decades of experience with Ram Dass.
Over the course of 4 modules with renowned spiritual teacher Ram Dass, you’ll explore:
- Why suffering is in not getting what you want and in getting what you want
- The most effective ways to deal with overwhelming emotions
- The Buddha’s Four Noble Truths
- The problem with reacting to instead of responding to suffering
- The futility of dealing with suffering through spiritual upleveling
- Why trying to eliminate suffering is a Sisyphean task
- The illusion of vulnerability
- The keys to aligning yourself with witness consciousness
- The art of moving from feeling emotions to noticing them
- Why fighting your emotions gives them more power over you
- The struggle between being human and being holy
- Why accepting yourself is just as important as loving yourself
- Why the path to the Divine does not require the denial of your humanity
- The relationship between your psychological makeup and your spiritual path
- And much, much more!
What You’ll Discover in These 4 Modules
In this 4-m module intensive, Ram Dass will guide you through the fundamental spiritual skills and competencies you’ll need to befriend and transform your relationship to suffering.
Each contemplation and training session will build harmoniously upon the previous ones so you’ll develop a complete holistic understanding of the practices, tools, and principles you’ll need to transform your relationship with difficult emotions and open to a truly awake, loving way of being.
The course modules will consist of more than 60 minutes of video and audio teachings from Ram Dass, most of which were recorded before his stroke, plus a recent video of Ram Dass conducting a guided meditation.
A 30-minute Q&A session directly following the meditation will be hosted by a different guest faculty who is one of Ram Dass’ beloved guru brothers and sisters.
Module 1: The Illusion of Separateness Leads to Suffering
The Circular Relationship Between Difficult Emotions & Suffering
The more you identify with your ego instead of your spirit, the more you will view the world based on your own experiences, biases, and judgments, and see yourself as alone and vulnerable in an unfriendly world. From this vantage point, suffering is a negative, unavoidable, and intrinsic part of life.
Thinking of yourself as separate from everyone and everything else inevitably leads to suffering. Why? At the root of this psychological illusion is not only a feeling of separateness, but qualities of that separateness: smallness, unworthiness, and inadequacy, which give rise to fear, anger, and other self-destructive emotions. Ultimately then, separation leads to upsetting emotions, which lead to suffering, which leads to more upsetting emotions and a greater sense of separateness.
In this module, you’ll explore:
- How the concept of Original Sin is related to separateness
- Our tendency to protect and justify our separateness
- The 3 cultural strategies for dealing with the forces of the universe
- How viewing yourself as a separate being blocks your path to the Divine
- The conflict between righteousness and truth
- The unity that lies behind the diversity
- Why separation is a learned belief
- Why everything within time and space functions lawfully
Q&A With Rameshwar Das Lytton
Rameshwar Das (James) Lytton met Ram Dass in 1967, soon after his return from India, and spent time with Neem Karoli Baba in India from 1970 to 1972. His principal vocation has been photography, working primarily on a freelance basis, including for the New York Times. He’s taught photography and photojournalism, and has also worked as an environmentalist and writer. Over the years, Ramesh has collaborated on several projects with Ram Dass, including the original collection of manuscripts that became Be Here Now and the Love Serve Remember box set of recordings. He is the co-author of Ram Dass’ newer books, Be Love Now and Polishing the Mirror. He lives with his wife and children on Long Island in New York.
Module 2: Working Through Difficult Emotions
Dissolving Fear & Anger in the Crucible of the Heart
You can only escape from the prison of separateness — and the negative emotions it generates — through the doorway of your heart. Beyond that door lies the unitive nature of the universe and freedom from the heavy, confining chains of the ego. Only then can you experience the preciousness, the grace, the sweetness, the interconnectedness of life.
To the extent that you free yourself from attachments, you will be freed of your disturbing emotions. Enlightened detachment flows out of heightened awareness and the conviction that life is unfolding as it should. You are fully engaged in life while humbly acknowledging that a greater wisdom than your own is at work.
In this module, you’ll explore:
- How the process of purification frees you from illusion
- The power of allowing yourself to be beautiful
- How to relinquish your belief in your separateness
- Why more is never enough
- The journey from total illusion to total oneness
- Why as long as you have desires, you’ll suffer
- Why happiness must embrace sadness, and love must embrace hate
- Why fear is the frightened child, and love is the flame of holy remembering
Q&A With Lama Surya Das
Lama Surya Das is one of the foremost Western Buddhist meditation teachers and scholars. The Dalai Lama affectionately calls him “the American Lama.” He has spent over 40 years studying Zen, Vipassana, Yoga, and Tibetan Buddhism with many of the great old masters of Asia, among them some of the Dalai Lama’s own teachers as well as Neem Karoli Baba. He is an authorized lama in the Tibetan Buddhist order, a leading spokesperson for Buddhism and contemporary spirituality, a translator, poet, meditation master, chant master, and spiritual activist. He is the author of the bestseller Awakening the Buddha Within and 12 other books.
Module 3: Healing & Transformation
Transcending Difficult Emotions With Witness Consciousness
Becoming aware of your awareness and identifying with your spiritual essence instead of your body-bound ego enables you to “step out from behind your eyes” and serve as a conscious, impartial witness to your own life. The instant you unplug from reacting out of pure emotion and begin objectively observing a situation, your fears and anxieties loosen their steely grip and you start to regain your mental clarity. Power and focus are then transferred from your all-consuming emotions to the witness aspect of your being.
Just as you don’t need to forgive nature for a rainstorm, you don’t need to forgive yourself for your disruptive emotions, which are a part of being human. Instead, by elevating your consciousness and observing your emotions from the balcony of detachment, they lose their power over you, and you are free.
In this module, you’ll explore:
- The importance of cultivating the heart-mind
- Two strategies for healing the emotional body
- The futility of trying to change your personality at the same level of consciousness in which you experience unpleasant emotions
- Why shifting your perspective is a key to emotional freedom
- Why forgiveness is a bridge between the separate self and the awakened soul
- The cost of holding onto resentment and anger
- The wisdom that opens up to you when you free yourself from the drama of your emotions
- Why the level of your freedom is inversely proportional to the level of your investment in your personality
Q&A With Mirabai Bush
Mirabai Bush is co-author, with Ram Dass, of Compassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service, and the forthcoming book, Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Loving and Dying. She is a devotee of Neem Karoli Baba and spent time with him in India from 1971 to 1972. She is also Senior Fellow and founder of the Center on Contemplative Mind in Society, which encourages contemplative practice and perspective in American life in order to create a more just, compassionate, and reflective society. Mirabai has also worked with Google on a workplace course called Search Inside Yourself and with the U.S. Army on a program for chaplains and medics. She formerly directed the Seva Foundation Guatemala Project, which supports sustainable agriculture and integrated community development. She is editor of Contemplation Nation, co-author of Contemplative Practices in Higher Education, and author of the audio, Working With Mindfulness. She lives with her partner in Western Massachusetts.
Module 4: Embrace Your Humanity
Moving Beyond Love and Hate to Allowing & Appreciating Your Humanity
When you realize that you are here, on this planet, at this time, in this body because you wanted this learning experience, you can begin the next leg of your journey toward oneness with the Divine. Only when you accept the distortions and imperfections in your life can you rise above them.
When you come to embrace and befriend your suffering instead of running from it, you will understand the alchemy of how suffering is transformed into wisdom. Suffering then becomes a springboard for growth and self-discovery that ultimately enriches your life. View suffering as an enemy and you distance yourself from the richer, more fulfilling life that waits patiently on the other side of pain.
In this module, you’ll explore:
- The necessity of embracing the dark as well as the light
- The distinction between detachment and dissociation
- The wisdom of seeing people as you see trees
- How to appreciate the horrible beauty of the universe
- How therapy and spiritual practice can both be used to address psychological issues
- How a personal issue can be simultaneously relevant and irrelevant to you
- Why you have to become somebody before you can become nobody
- Why we often push against freedom when we approach it
Q&A With Raghu Markus
Raghu Markus currently is the Director of Ram Dass’ Love Serve Remember Foundation and the host of the Mindrolling Podcast on the Be Here Now Network. Raghu spent two years in India with Neem Karoli Baba and Ram Dass. He’s been involved in music and transformational media since the early 1970s when he was program director of CKGM-FM in Montreal. In 1974, he collaborated with Ram Dass on the box set, Love Serve Remember. In 1990, he launched Triloka Records and Karuna Music in Los Angeles, California. Triloka established itself as a critical leader in the development of world music, and for 17 years was home to artists such as Krishna Das, Hugh Masekela, Walela, Jai Uttal, and transformational media projects featuring Ram Dass, Deepak Chopra, and Les Nubians. He owns Yatra Media and lives with his wife in Asheville, North Carolina.
Self Help – Self Help online course
More information about Self Help:
Self-help or self-improvement is a self-guided improvement—economically, intellectually, or emotionally—often with a substantial psychological basis.
Many different self-help group programs exist, each with its own focus, techniques, associated beliefs, proponents and in some cases, leaders.
Concepts and terms originating in self-help culture and Twelve-Step culture, such as recovery, dysfunctional families, and codependency have become firmly integrated in mainstream language.
Self-help often utilizes publicly available information or support groups, on the Internet as well as in person, where people in similar situations join together.
From early examples in self-driven legal practice and home-spun advice, the connotations of the word have spread and often apply particularly to education, business,
psychology and psychotherapy, commonly distributed through the popular genre of self-help books.
According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, potential benefits of self-help groups that professionals may not be able to provide include friendship,
emotional support, experiential knowledge, identity, meaningful roles, and a sense of belonging.