Love in the Time of Chaos:
Full Heart, Open Mind
May 18-19-20, 2018 in Portland
Mirabai Bush ~ Ram Dass by Skype ~ Rameshwar Das
An all-star night of kirtan with Jai Uttal & Friends
. . . and a special Sunday Brunch Benefit for Ram Dass!
Friday, 7:00 pm: Our evening gathering will give a taste of the full program to come.
- Morning: 8:30-9:00 am Meditation for early risers (doors open at 8:15).
- 9:30 am Full Session: The morning will include dharma talks and discussion of Buddhist and bhakti philosophy as well as meditations, interactive exercises, and Q & A.
- Lunch 12:30–1:30 pm: We’ll enjoy a catered vegetarian lunch from Carioca Bowls.
- Ram Dass will join us by Skype for an hour of dialogue and teachings. Practices, discussion, and reflection will inspire compassionate awareness. The goal is to cultivate a full-hearted, vibrant understanding that can infuse our actions and our daily lives.
- Evening: 7:30 pm Jai Uttal, with Daniel Paul and Benjy & Heather Wertheimer, will cap the workshop with a fantastic evening of kirtan and ecstatic chant.
Sunday, 9:30 am A special benefit brunch with our presenters is being offered by separate registration to support Ram Dass. This is an opportunity to gather informally with presenters and friends across from Portland’s Waterfront Park to wrap up an amazing weekend, and honor our beloved friend and teacher, Ram Dass.
Ram Dass is an American cultural icon and spiritual pioneer whose journey through academia, psychedelia, and spiritual exploration has influenced western culture for more than 50 years.
In the early 1960s, Harvard psychology professor Dr. Richard Alpert was engaged in the study of consciousness through use of psychedelic substances. After being fired from Harvard with his fellow culture-jammer Timothy Leary, Dr. Alpert traveled to India, where he studied yoga, Hindu devotional practices, and Buddhism.
In 1967 he met the Indian saint Neem Karoli Baba and was given the name Ram Dass. Ram Dass’s 1971 book “Be Here Now” electrified the boomer generation, and since that time has sold more than 2 million copies. Ram Dass has authored a dozen books on meditation and contemplative practice, and continues to teach and offer retreats where he lives now on Maui.
Mirabai Bush is co-author, with Ram Dass, of Compassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service, and has written, edited, and contributed to a number of other books. Founder and Senior Fellow at the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, in Boston, Mirabai spent 1970-72 in India with Neem Karoli Baba. Her spiritual training included extensive meditation training with Shri S. N. Goenka and Anagarika Munindra in Bodh Gaya, as well as studies with Sufi saint Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, Tibetan lamas Kalu Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Kyabje Gehlek Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and others.
As a founding board member and chair of Seva Foundation in the 1980s, Mirabai directed the Seva Guatemala Project, which supports sustainable agriculture and integrated community development. Also at Seva, she co-developed Sustaining Compassion, Sustaining the Earth, a series of retreats and events for grassroots environmental activists on the interconnection of spirit and action.
Rameshwar Das (with Ram Dass in photo above) is a founding director of Love Serve Remember Foundation and also the Anna Mirabai Lytton Foundation, supporting yoga and wellness programs in schools in New York; he also serves on the board of the Neem Karoli Baba Ashram and Hanuman Temple in Taos, New Mexico. Ramesh collaborated in the development of Ram Dass’s seminal book, Be Here Now, published in 1971, and is coauthor with Ram Dass of Polishing the Mirror and Be Love Now.
Ramesh studied vipassana with S. N. Goenka while in India for a two-year period of devotional practice with Neem Karoli Baba. A freelance photographer for the New York Times and other publications, Ramesh has also taught photojournalism and is engaged in environmental programs in New York.
Jai Uttal, a Grammy-nominated singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, will offer a roof-raising kirtan Evening of Ecstatic Chant on Saturday night, joined by tabla artist Daniel Paul and Benjy and Heather Wertheimer of Portland’s stellar kirtan ensemble, Shantala!
Jai Uttal teaches and performs internationally and also takes the transformative magic of his kirtans into prisons. Steeped in a diverse range of musical traditions, Jai also spent time in India with Neem Karoli Baba, and studied Indian classical music extensively with Ali Akbar Khan and other influential teachers whose musical styles circle the world from Mumbai to New York to Brazil and beyond.
Our program cosponsors include Love Serve Remember Foundation, Seva Foundation, and the First Unitarian Church of Portland.