Heart to heart, face to face
All are welcome, no charge. See schedule below.
The link above opens a few minutes before each session.
Open Door Dharma gatherings offer simple refuge, time to rest, connect, and breathe in a small community of practice.
Chanting, meditating, and reflecting together are practices that cultivate stability, clarity, compassion, and community. The format is lightly fluid, responsive to the group.
Living Earth has offered residential retreats, meditations, and workshops since 2005. Deeply grateful to Ram Dass, we embrace the wisdom of many teachers whose roots interconnect in a range of traditions and lineages. (See below, “What is this path?”)
May 20 – July 30 2021:
- Sundays 8:30–10:00 am
- Tuesdays / Thursdays 8:00–9:00 am
- West Coast time
Small live gatherings may happen intermittently in Southeast Portland this summer. Contact us for updates or for more information.
Our eclectic tradition weaves together devotional practices and Buddhist teachings, Hinduism and Abrahamic traditions, and Earth-centered wisdom. Practices and insights from all these paths open the door to our true nature.
Our gatherings open with simple chanting (mics are muted on Zoom), followed by silent or lightly guided meditation. After meditation, conversations touching on our lives are anchored in perspectives from the world’s timeless spiritual traditions.
NOTE: On Zoom, seeing and hearing each other enables us to feel connected even over physical distances. If you prefer to keep your camera off, a photo of yourself or something you love would be welcome instead.
Open Door Dharma practices cultivate resilience and an easy sense of belonging. Regular practice in community – whether you call it sangha, fellowship, satsang, congregation, or circle – nurtures stability and balance, whatever arises in our world. Despite physical distance and the turmoil of this time, together we begin to experience that we truly are all One, all the body of Buddha, the heart of the Beloved, expressions of Pure Awareness.
Click here to add your address to receive occasional texts or emails with schedule reminders. (This is not an interactive list; contact info is never shared.)
What is this path?
More than fifty years ago, Neem Karoli Baba (affectionately called Maharajji) drew Ram Dass, along with countless Western seekers, to the Himalayan foothills, where they were immersed in the timeless, simple path of devotion, wisdom, and service.
Maharajji offers a path of deep love and engaged spirituality, a way to be active in our roles without forgetting who we really are. We don’t need to “add” anything, only to soften the grip of the layered, encultured identities we’ve been assigned or adopted.
In Open Door dharma gatherings, our tapestry of spiritual practice and service includes Buddhist wisdom, Hindu devotional practices, chanting and meditation, woven together with a rich mix of the world’s enduring spiritual traditions.
All backgrounds, experience, and curiosity are welcome. Sweet voices and creaking pipes all chant together, and longtime practitioners and devotees join friends just beginning their spiritual exploration.
Together we’re learning how the rich Western dharma growing from the roots of ancient Eastern traditions can flourish and be fruitful in our time and our lives, here and now.
In the late 1960s, a one-time professor at Harvard named Dr. Richard Alpert was among the first Westerners who somehow found themselves sitting at Maharajji’s feet in the Kumaon foothills of northern India. From their first encounter, his life was forever changed – the rest is history, as they say.
The acclaimed professor was given the Hindu name Ram Dass, meaning servant of God, and he carried Maharajji’s teachings back to the US, where countless students and scholars, housewives and hippies, activists and artists from all backgrounds were ripe to listen. The counterculture generation of that era was deeply influenced by Ram Dass’s workshops, retreats, lectures, interviews, and books, where his intellectual clarity blended with humor, devotion, and compassion, honoring his guru by his commitment, or surrender, to love and being of service in the world.
Spiraling forward from that time, what Ram Dass shared continues to echo and open hearts around the globe. He continued deepening his spiritual immersion in Maharajji’s love and wisdom throughout his life, even after enduring a massive, near-fatal stroke in 1996. Ram Dass continued writing, teaching, and serving until his death on December 22, 2019.
An ever-evolving trove of Ram Dass’s life’s work can be found in traditional and electronic forms at ramdass.org. His books are also available online and in bookstores and libraries everywhere.