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Lions Roar : January 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN jANUAry 2011 34 Eastern influence on our Western ways. our legacy is not big, but it stands in the hearts of the people. It stands in our music. It’s great music! Also, it stands in the movements that are creeping in—the envi- ronmental movement, the women’s movement, the sexual free- dom movement. And it stands in how many of us have gone to the East and have brought the East here. Some people of my generation—Generation X—criticize Western- ers who practice eastern religions. They think it’s silly to look to eastern philosophy, or to eastern teachers, as being a font of wis- dom that is superior to what we have here in the West. What do you think about that? Eastern philosophy teaches us to go inward. In the West there’s a god with a beard. In the East there’s the god within, and the East meditates. Eastern cultures have always welcomed holy people, and we haven’t in the West. You can go to a village in India, and they’ll find you the holiest person they know. In our culture, it’s all about the wealthiest person you know, the best-looking per- son. It’s a different culture. Recently here in the West, yoga, or rather the asana practice of hatha yoga, has become extremely popular. What are your thoughts about that? I think that they miss the point of what yoga is about. They make it into body beautiful, and they make it worldly. Really, an asana is a conversation with god. What are your thoughts about today’s young people? They are texting and multi-tasking. Now and then I meet a high school or a college student. Their hearts are okay. Do you have a message for the younger generations? Trust your intuition. Thank you. Thank you very much for having this talk with me. ♦ pHoToBYRAMESHWARDAS Ram Dass meditating in a cabin at his family farm, Franklin, New Hampshire, c. 1968.