Katy Koontz: How are you feeling
Ram Dass: Specify the “you.” My body is 86,
and feeling aches and pains; but me, I’m in
here and I’m … infinite!
KK: I love the story you tell about a train
conductor asking if you wanted the senior
discount and how you then reflected on the
senior discount mindset. Can you elaborate
RD: This happened about the time I turned
60. The conductor asked if I wanted a senior
citizen ticket, and I was shocked that he
would even know I was a senior citizen. I
was still adjusting to aging, and that wasn’t
who I thought I was. That was a time when I
was identified with my body. I was balancing
aging and youth.
I’m just now content with my aging
body. I’m free; I’m happy. I’m in love
with everyone and everything. I see the
beauty of the universe, including my aging
body. I’m content with however it is. I’m
getting peaceful, and I identify with that
peacefulness within me.
KK: It can’t get better than that!
RD: After the stroke I became a new person.
Before the stroke, I played my cello, played
golf, flew my plane, and drove my fancy car. I
was all a good bachelor could be. The stroke
left my right side pretty much useless, and it
cut those things out of my life. Afterward, in
the hospital, my relatives, friends, the doctors,
nurses, and attendants were all in my room,
and there were lots of long faces. “He had a
stroke! Oh, my God!” It was all that mind
thing—they were projecting.
Before the stroke I felt grace from my
guru. Here I was in the hospital room, and
somebody put up a picture of Maharaji, my
guru [Neem Karoli Baba, who was no longer
alive], and I said to Maharaji, “What were
you doing while I was having a stroke?
Eating lunch? This is certainly not grace!”