When I was a young child I used to hide in my room for hours and hours playing video games. I would find so much pleasure in disconnecting from the rest of the world just so I could hide in that beautiful digital fantasy. Completing one level after another only to complete the game and then start another.
In and of itself video games are fun and actually quite healthy. But as I grew older I realized that the way in which I played video games was really a symptom of not being comfortable in the moment. I would play games to avoid doing my homework and to be alone. I had so much fun even while I let my responsibilities crumble around me. Anything to get me out of the here and now. There’s the old saying “wherever you go, there you are.” That’s true unless you keep your world is made fantasy where you’re a wizard or a little Italian guy with a big mustache.
As I grew up I continued to have problems in the here and now, in just being. All sorts of manifestations of that came up, some of which I’ve touched on in previous posts. The tough part about trying to escape from yourself is that you never can, you just keep running and running. Right? Why? Because “wherever you go…”. The only thing you can do is to stop and bear witness and surrender to the now. Nothing is anybody’s fault, there’s no one to blame and nowhere to run, everything that’s ever happened has led us to now. And it’s perfect.
For the last 40 years Ram Dass has given us simple yet profound instruction on finding bliss in each moment, by simply being “here now” we have the potential to make each moment into an experience of enlightenment. Each moment is a gorgeous gift of Gods and can be perfect no matter the circumstances. Even as faith lingers, Gods love does not. Now it seems that Ram Dass has taken it even a step further, the little rascal. “Be Love Now!” It’s no wonder that Hanuman is the patron saint of this practice, Ram Dass (and by all accounts Maharaji-ji) is such a little prankster monkey. So sweet, kind, full of devotion yet always challenging us with little pranks that are fun to toy with.
“Be Love Now”. Really? All the time? Try saying that in the middle of L.A. traffic! It’s a prank – just being here here here, right now – loving now now now. Just love, all the time.
I have yet to read the new book but I can tell that it’s Ram Dass at his best. RD and Ramesshwar Das have embarked on a journey that will no doubt share wisdom and love that will inspire us all.
We’re almost finished with our 108 pages of Be Here Now. Almost. “Nobody is going anywhere” (pg 81). That’s the best part. “We’re always going to be here” doing our dance. Living our Rasa Lila. Which reminds me – I’d love someone to write about living their Rasa Lila in the Kali Yuga, how much fun is that?
Anyway, as I continue to dance my divine dance I have a new goal this week. It’s to see everyone as a divine dance partner. Even when I’m furiously impatient in line at Starbucks or at those opposing Proposition 19, I want to dance with them. And I’ve started to realize that I can even have fun with it! I can make life into a love filled video game. Wonderful. “Going back into the world” (pg 82) is a good step indeed.
But maybe I should play a few games of “Angry Birds” on the iPad too.