Love in the Time of Chaos: Full Heart, Open Mind
May 18–20 in Portland
Wisdom teachings and compassion practices
from Buddhism and the Bhakti path.
Mirabai Bush ~ Skype with Ram Dass ~ Rameshwar Das
. . . and a knockout night of kirtan with Jai Uttal and Friends!
Nurture your heart and cultivate skills for navigating the world as it is, here and now.
We live in a wild time. Stability and common ground seem outdated, divisions run deep, and the frenetic pace of life pulls us out of balance. In this weekend workshop, we’ll explore the enduring wisdom of the Buddhist and bhakti traditions with teachers who have been immersed in these practices and in social justice and environmental activism for decades. Using a range of tools, we’ll cultivate skillful means for keeping our hearts rooted in love as we respond to the challenges of this time. [View Program Details]
Ram Dass is an American cultural 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 his guru, the Indian saint Neem Karoli Baba, who gave him the name Ram Dass. Ram Dass’s 1971 book, “Be Here Now,” had a transformative impact on the boomer generation, and has sold more than 2 million copies. Ram Dass has authored a dozen books, and continues to teach and offer retreats where he lives now on Maui.
Mirabai Bush is founder and Senior Fellow at the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society, in Boston, Massachussetts. 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 Pir Vilayat Khan, Tibetan Buddhist lamas Kalu Rinpoche, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Kyabje Gehlek Rinpoche, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, and others.
As a founding board member 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 in India, where he also spent two years in 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 issues in New York.
Jai Uttal is a Grammy-nominated kirtan artist and multi-instrumentalist who performs internationally, bringing eastern and western musical elements into his music. An American composer steeped in jazz and a range of world musical traditions, Jai studied Indian classical music with Ali Akbar Khan and other influential teachers whose musical expressions span the globe from Mumbai to New York to Rio de Janeiro and beyond.
Jai will offer a roof-raising Evening of Ecstatic Chant on Saturday night, joined by tabla artist Daniel Paul, along with Benjy and Heather Wertheimer of Portland’s stellar kirtan ensemble, Shantala.
Opening and program introduction, 7:00–9:00 pm, at First Unitarian Church Eliot Sanctuary, on SW 12th Avenue at Salmon Street in downtown Portland.
At the Eliot Center’s Buchan Reception Hall, on SW Salmon between 12th and 13th Aves. Morning meditation, 8:30–9:00 am. Doors will open for meditation at 8:10. (Late sleepers can arrive at 9:00 am for the workshop.)
9:30 am–5:00 pm. Doors will open at 9:00 for registration; program will begin at 9:30, and includes a catered vegetarian lunch and Skype with beloved spiritual icon Ram Dass.
An Evening of Ecstatic Chant with kirtan wallah Jai Uttal. 7:30 pm at the Unitarian Church Main Street Sanctuary. Doors will open at 6:45 pm, at the corner of SW 12th and Main St in Portland.
Sunday Morning, 9:30 am:
Special Benefit Brunch for Ram Dass (optional for those registered for full program.) Details will be confirmed after registration.