Heart to heart, face to face
All are welcome, no charge.
The link above opens a few minutes before each session (see schedule below).
Open Door Dharma gatherings offer simple refuge, time to rest and breathe in community.
Chanting, sitting, and reflecting together cultivates stability, clarity, compassion, and community. The format is inclusive and fluid, responsive to the group.
Living Earth has offered residential retreats and weekly dharma gatherings since 2006. We’re at home with Ram Dass and embrace the wisdom of many teachers whose roots connect in a range of traditions and lineages. (Scroll down to see “What is this path?”)
APRIL 2021 Schedule*:
Sunday Afternoons 4:30–5:45 pm
Tuesday & Thursday Mornings 8:00–9:00 am, West Coast time
*On hiatus April 18-25. Contact us for updates or to be in touch during that time.
Chanting, meditations, and dialogue. Our eclectic tradition weaves together devotional practices, Buddhist teachings, Hinduism, the Abrahamic traditions, and earth-centered wisdom. Practices and insights from all these traditions open the door to our true nature.
We open with simple chanting (mics are muted), then sit in stillness. After meditation, conversations touch on our lives or our world, anchored in wisdom and perspectives flowing through the world’s timeless spiritual traditions. We orient toward bhakti/devotion, Buddhist teachings, and non-dual perspectives, but honor the metaphors and views from all paths.
NOTE: During conversation, when speaking it’s helpful if your camera is on; seeing and hearing each other feels a bit more like actually being together. If you prefer to keep your camera off, an avatar or photo of you or something you love would be welcome.
Sundays include a little more time to check in and connect in community, supporting resilience and a sense of belonging. Regular practice in community – whether called sangha, fellowship, satsang, congregation, or circle – nurtures our stability and capacity to be present with whatever arises in our world.
Open Door schedule reminders. To ask for text or email with schedule reminders. (This is not an interactive list, and 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 connected to 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 the world even while we remember who we really are, deep beneath the social identities we’ve been assigned and the roles we’ve adopted.
So in Open Door dharma gatherings, our eclectic tapestry of devotion and service includes Buddhist wisdom, Hindu devotional practices, chanting and meditation, woven together with accents and strands from a rich mix of the world’s spiritual traditions.
All backgrounds, experience, and curiosity are welcome here. Sweet voices and creaking pipes all chant together, and well-steeped, longtime practitioners join friends just setting out on their spiritual exploration. Together we’re learning how the rich Western dharma that has grown from the roots of ancient Eastern teachings of love and service can flourish and be fruitful in our time and our world, 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 wisdom throughout his life and went on writing and teaching until his death in December 2019. An ever-evolving trove of Ram Dass’s life’s work can be found in traditional and new forms at ramdass.org. His books are also available online and in bookstores and libraries everywhere.