“The next message you need is always right where you are.”
— Ram Dass
It has been a year since I moved out of the Kaloko Cloud Forest to the small town of Holualoa where I am now. I’ve shared stories of day trips and places I’ve been but neglectful to show you the place where I rest and my own backyard. My inspirations root. Where I spend my days. It’s just a pictorial illusion but you can be here now.
“Be Here Now” is a 1971 book on spirituality, yoga and meditation by the Western born yogi and spiritual teacher Ram Dass. Forty years ago the book was the third-ranked best seller in the English language and became a unique manifesto for a generation of baby-boomers, hippies, psychedelic devotees and spiritual seekers. Somewhere at the Lower Farm there is an old and worn copy sitting on a bookshelf in memorium. I have been keeping the teachings of Ram Dass in mind lately and have included a number of his quotes for this post while I show you the neighborhood.
View of Kailua-Kona, HI From My Back Lanai. The path that led me to here was not straight or well trodden and not always clear. It was not paved or well planned but I have done my best to stay on the path that I started walking so many years ago. I am grateful to be here now.
“Early in this journey you wonder how long the journey will take and whether you will make it in this lifetime. Later you will see that where you are going is HERE and you will arrive NOW…so stop asking.” – Ram Dass.
Right Down There. Five days a week I work at a resort as the chief maintenance engineer. In a straight line from the ship to shore you can detect some green and red metal roofs. That is where I am during the day, across the street from the ocean. Right down there.
“I can do nothing for you but work on myself…you can do nothing for me but work on yourself.” – Ram Dass
The Road In. There are only a half dozen families here. The way I like it, separated. I prefer to live in the country close to nature and have been lucky to do that most of my life. The place I’m living in now is part of a long sweeping history of homes on country lanes.To recharge and rejuvenate, to keep my balance I need a retreat that is surrounded by the natural world. Kailua town and work is only 6 miles down the hill so this place is darn near perfect.
“The question we need to ask ourselves is whether there is any place we can stand in ourselves where we can look at all that’s happening around us without freaking out, where we can be quiet enough to hear our predicament, and where we can begin to find ways of acting that are at least not contributing to further destabilization.” — Ram Dass
Mi Casa. The rental house is near the dead end of a narrow country road. Trimmed hedges and tropical flora line the way. There are three apartments set back on a rise. No neighbor in view. Quiet. Tranquil.
“I would say that the thrust of my life has been initially about getting free, and then realizing that my freedom is not independent of everybody else. Then I am arriving at that circle where one works on oneself as a gift to other people so that one doesn’t create more suffering. I help people as I work on myself and I work on myself to help people.” — Ram Dass
The house is a duplex downstairs although up on the roof is a woman who lives in a yurt. My apartment has lots of air and light and glass but only two rooms. I’ve downsized to adjust and found that I have all I need. I take my pleasure from the view which faces west, over the wide Pacific Ocean.
“I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion–and where it isn’t, that’s where my work lies.” — Ram Dass
The owner keeps a green garden and also has lemons, oranges, tangerines, bananas and avocado to share. Seldom are the neighbors home. Quiet, solitude. The birds sing throughout the day. The climate is sublime.
“We’re all just walking each other home.” — Ram Dass
Porch View. This is the view from my backyard lanai. I am blessed and remind myself several times a day – be here now. People pay a million dollars to have a home with a view like this. Others go on expensive vacations to experience what I have everyday outside my window. The beauty of the Earth is priceless – and it’s also free. It costs nothing to use your senses and be aware. On this island looking out across the vast Pacific I no longer feel isolation but somehow more connected to the world and other people that are out there just beyond the far horizon. We all share clouds, the air, the moon and stars. I am blessed and say my prayers to the four directions, the setting sun, the breeze that whispers in the leaves.
“Everything in your life is there as a vehicle for your transformation.
Use it!” — Ram Dass
To be nothing is to be part of everything.
“When we’re identified with Awareness, we’re no longer living in a world of polarities. Everything is present at the same time.” — Ram Dass
Glorious Sunsets. A time to stop, sit quietly and offer ancient prayers. Empty the days accumulated nonsense. Breath. Be at one. Be here now.
“Our whole spiritual transformation brings us to the point where we realize that in our own being, we are enough.” — Ram Dass
In The Shade. I might be sitting at the computer writing as you read this or down the hill at work. I could be on the back lanai watching the world and the beauty of the Earth. Either way you know where I am, the door is usually open. Aloha, glad you stopped by.
“We are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we are so deeply interconnected with one another.” — Ram Dass
I Might Be Here Now, this minute, as it should be.