Ram Dass & Paul Gorman: “Helping Prison”

The following is a series of excerpts from “Helping Prison,” Chapter 5 of How Can I Help? Stories and Reflections on Service, by Ram Dass and Paul Gorman (New York, N.Y.: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985). The last excerpt, in italics, is one of many illustrative first-person narratives the authors include throughout the book.

So many times each day we support each other informally without ever becoming “helper” or “helped.” Perhaps we’re…holding a coat for someone at

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Golden bees

From Ram Dass, Still Here Now: Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying (122-23):

Contrary to the way the Ego interprets…losses…the Soul sees a larger dance in motion.

Looking back at…painful episodes from this consciousness, we may see what appeared to be losses in fact led us to happier outcomes. Each of the Ego’s “failures” has contributed to making us who we are now.

Without meaning to sound saccharine: each step we take in our learning is, from the Soul’s

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“Teacher’s-petitude”

I was hesitant to start a blog of the sort in which one promotes one’s own ideas, opinions and knowledge so nakedly.

This venue of blogging ups the ante on the temptation one sometimes experiences in meeting for worship: to voice the clever things one has thought of, instead of waiting upon a true call to vocal ministry. Instead of holding the thought in one’s own quietness, unless and until it becomes viscerally clear that one cannot not speak it

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