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Excerpted from Journey of Awakening by Ram Dass. Copyright 1978 by Ram Dass. Excerpted by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 


"These moments bring a sense of rightness, of total perfection, of being at-one-ment, of clarity, of feeling intimately involved with everything around you, of being free of the tension self-conscious thought brings."

Ram Dass, Journey of Awakening, Part 3

For surfers it is the moment when they come into equilibrium with the incredible force of the wave. For skiers it is when the balance is perfect. When our skills fit the demand perfectly, then there is no anxiety. Then we have proved ourselves. There is nothing left to do. In that moment our awareness expands.

These moments bring a sense of rightness, of total perfection, of being at-one-ment, of clarity, of feeling intimately involved with everything around you, of being free of the tension self-conscious thought brings. But you mistakenly identify the moment with the vehicle. You cling to these situations; you keep going back to them to recreate those moments. But you needn't cling to the situations that have triggered them in the past. These moments of flow can happen anywhere, anytime. Throughout life, each of us has had many of these moments. They are ephemeral. But such moments are the essence of meditation.

What concerns us in this book are the practices that increase these meditative moments in your life, until ultimately your entire life is meditation-in-action. Then all of your acts are part of the flow of the universe. Why meditate? To live in the moment. To dwell in the harmony of things. To awaken.

 

IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER

I'd like to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but Id have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, Im one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, Ive had my moments, and if I had it to do over again, Id have more of them. In fact, Id try to have nothing else. lust moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.

-Nadine Stair,
85 years old,
Louisville, Kentucky

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