A Sure Sign Of Spiritual Progress

Ram Dass

Ram Dass

Richard Alpert went to India as a Westerner, an ex-professor from the prestigious Harvard University. Having met a transformative Guru, he came back as Ram Dass, a God smitten yogi. Here’s his account of his journey back:

On the way back from India I had gotten to the Los Angeles airport where I was waiting between planes. I had come from this thing in the temple and then I’d been in Kyoto in Japan in a temple, and from there I’d come directly to Los Angeles where I was waiting for a plane to my cabin. And I was sitting in the lotus position on a bench in the American airlines terminal. And three soldiers came by on their way back from Vietnam and they were talking about whether they wanted to meet some women or get a bottle first. That was their discussion.

One of them took a look at me and said, “What are you some kind of a yogurt?”

It’s hard to imagine the space my head was in in those days. First I had been silent for 7 months, working on a slate board even in Japan. I was used to living in a very quiet space. So this was all very much. Their words were floating around and I could feel all the vibrations and everything the being was, was saying and so on. And I just felt this incredible wave of love and I looked at him and I said, “Well as a matter of fact I am a yogi and I’ve been in the Himalayas studying” and I looked right at him you know, like “Right. You know. Right on.”

Well all I can tell you is that within about probably a minute and a half he was sitting next to me telling me about how he watched his best friend being shot to death in the tent they were living in in Vietnam, and what he felt like facing death and so on. And 30 minutes later when their plane was called they could barely part. It was the shaking hands and “It’s been SUCH a thing to meet you”.

Well that blew my mind, because that had nothing to do with me obviously. I mean clearly that would never have happened with me. But whatever it was that I had picked up in India was like some kind of bug in the digestive system. It was doing something to me so that these people were seeing something or other. I felt very much like a middle man in the whole operation.


What is the sign of spiritual progress? How do you know that you are on the right path? It is possible that you may be making a lot of money and gaining fame, but are you on the right path spiritually? How does one find out? The answer is that as you make spiritual progress, the ego diminishes. Rather than seeing your actions as done by the ego, you now begin to see yourself merely an agent of an Higher power. This is how Ram Dass describes his actions in the account above, and this is a sure sign of spiritual progress. There is love in your every breath and every action is from a deep sense of humility.

Great things may happen when your surrender to the Divine is complete. All Ram Dass wanted to do on his return was to stay alone and meditate in the same manner he had done in India. But a chance encounter with a bunch of hippies changed everything. He soon had a following, and then the following grew and he was giving talks, and the notes on his talks became a book, and the book struck a chord and sold millions of copies, and Ram Dass became world famous. Funny are the ways the Divine works.

Related: A Story Of A Westerner’s Contact With A True Saint In India

Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah. This is based on the account found here.

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Look Up!

In a world where we are increasingly electronically connected, are we really connecting at the human level? In this wonderful video Gary Turk asks us not to sacrifice the human connection for the mirage of an electronic one.

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The Road Not Taken

Two Paths


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

- Robert Frost (1874–1963)

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Glucose Versus Fructose Five Things To Know

Glucose Versus Fructose

1. Glucose and fructose metabolize differently

Glucose and Fructose are two very different things. Chemically they are different, and both have very different impact on our bodies. Glucose is metabolized by our cells. Fructose is metabolized by our liver. When we have too much of it, Fructose damages our liver. This starts the chain of events that leads to “Metabolic Syndrome”.

While consumption of fructose is extremely damaging, the consumption of glucose is relatively benign.

2. Both present in sugar

Sugar consists of one molecule of Glucose and one molecule of Fructose joined together. When we eat sugar the digestive process breaks up the sugar molecule to its constituent molecules: Glucose and Fructose. The damage that comes from sugar consumption is due to the Fructose molecule in sugar.

3. Starch is not sugar

Many experts on nutrition incorrectly equate starch with sugar. This is because starch is nothing but a chain of glucose molecules. But it helps to remind ourselves that within sugar it is fructose that is harmful, not glucose. This means consumption of starch present in grains and other foods should not be of concern.

4. Sugar is sugar.

Is there a difference between “natural sugar” and “refined sugar”? There is no doubt that refined sugar is quite damaging and should be avoided, but it does not help to merely substitute it with “natural sugar” or unrefined brown sugar. Concentrated forms of natural sugars such as found in honey, maple, molasses, or Agave are equally damaging. The same goes for sugar in fruit juices and even fruits that have high sugar content like mangoes and grapes. Remember that the sugar molecule, no matter what its source, puts a load on our liver because it contains fructose.

5. Sugar is everywhere

Our liver is quite capable of safely metabolizing sugar if we eat it rarely or occasionally. But sadly this has become increasingly difficult to do. Even if we do not have any desserts or juices or sodas, it is still possible to overdose on sugar. Sugar is everywhere. It’s in our bread, in potato chips, fries, pasta, pizza, sauces, ketchups, dressings, soups, etc. If we eat processed meals or we eat at restaurants it is more than likely that this contributes to a significant dose of our daily sugar intake, even when we have avoided consuming a dessert or soda.

You may not want to get more than 20 to 30 grams of sugar per day. Ideally this should come from fruits and vegetables, because you get fibers, vitamins, anti-oxidants, and other beneficial ingredients from them. This means your goal should be to be at or near zero sugar from any food where sugar has been added separately. If you are already suffering from either high cholesterol or high blood sugar then you may want to cut your total sugar intake to less than 15 grams of sugar, none of it in the form of added sugar.

Related:
Is Sugar Toxic?
Eleven Things To Know About Sugar
Is There A Save Level For Sugar?

Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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Empathy Vs. Sympathy

What is empathy and how is it different from sympathy? This short video shows us that it is important to be empathic rather than sympathetic. Please watch and share.

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