Lately, I’ve been reaching for books and articles about the power behind meditation and mindfulness. Whether you have a demanding job, responsibilities at home or both, we live in a hectic and distracting world. That’s why it is important to learn how to slow down and come back into yourself.
A few years ago, my two close friends went to travel for six months in South East Asia. At the time they had mentioned a book to me, Be Here Now, written by Dr. Richard Alpert, PH.D, who is more commonly known today as, Ram Dass. I remember seeing the book then and thinking I needed to get myself a copy, but of course, things got in the way and I never bought the book. But like all good things, they come back around when the timing is right to gently remind you of what you need.
I was watching a documentary about Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert and their research administering LSD and Psilocybin in academic research settings, as well as on themselves. About halfway in, they talk about the different perspectives that evolved over time with this experimentation and research. Leary continued down the rabbit hole, so to speak, while Alpert searched for something more. You see, despite all the high-level, spiritual, eye-opening, ground breaking research sessions that went on with the drug, it always ended. And when a good thing comes to an end, you crave more, so you do more. However for Alpert, more was not cutting it, so he travelled East in search of a different perspective.
Here’s an excerpt from, Be Here Now, when Alpert arrives in Nepal and is a bit depressed because he can’t figure out how to socialize with the people he was meeting about new states of consciousness. He says:
We didn’t know enough and I couldn’t figure out how to socialize this thing about the new states of consciousness. And I didn’t know what to do next. It wasn’t like I didn’t have LSD I had plenty of LSD, but why take it? I knew what it was going to do, what it was going to tell me. It was going to show me that garden again and then I was going to be cast out and that was it. And I never could quite stay. I was addicted to the experience at first, and then I even got tired of that. And the despair was extremely intense at that point…I had given LSD to a number of pundits around India and some reasonably pure men. An old Buddhist Lama said, “It gave me a headache.” Somebody else said, “It’s good, but not as good as meditation.”
If you are curious to know what happened next, I encourage you to get your own copy of Be Here Now and see how Dr. Robert Alpert PH.D, transformed himself into Baba Ram Dass.
I ask you reader to distance yourself from the conversation of drugs, and instead insert whatever distraction and escape applies to your life. What is it that you seek out when you want to escape from this life and world? Does it bring you sustainable fulfillment, or temporary pleasure? Are you personally growing and evolving, or staying still and stagnant like the murky water in a pond? Remember, change doesn’t happen overnight, but you can encourage the evolution within by choosing wisely. Just like the snake sheds its skin, you can too.
Here’s an illustration from Be Here Now:
Here’s a quote relating to this subject that I came across in a song:
“I heard you say once that a lie is sweet in the beginning and bitter in the end, and truth is bitter in the beginning and sweet in the end. I have been meditating but I don’t have the experiences people report from the drug, Ecstasy. Is the drug like the lie, and meditation the truth? Or am I missing something that could really help me?”
Here’s a link to a deep house set that this quote was extracted from. Start the set at the 13 minute mark and listen closely: