Ram Das Batchelder Transcript

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Ram Das Batchelder Interview

Rick Archer: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer, and my guest today is Ram Das Batchelder. And rom Das is this is the first interview I will have conducted with somebody in India. He is in Tiruvannamalai, which is famed, of course, is the place where Ramana Maharshi, hung out for many, many years. Ram Das came to my attention about a year ago when he sent me a copy of his book, which is entitled rising in love my wild and crazy ride to here and now. So I read it. And I really enjoyed it and ended up feeling inspired to write the introduction to it. Or maybe he asked me to write the introduction, I don’t know. So we went back and forth quite a bit, and I ended up writing the introduction. So we’re going to be talking about his book, which is basically about his life, and primarily about his life with ARMA. The hugging saint, as she’s sometimes called, her official name is Mata Amritanandamayi Devi and you see a picture of her behind my right shoulder and you also see a picture of her behind rajas his right shoulder. He lives in her ashram in India, and I’ve never visited there, but I’ve been my wife and I have been seeing Rama since 1999 here in the States, and have really benefited tremendously from from that experience. So, here’s a little bit about Ram Das, first of all, he was born in Pennsylvania in 1961, had a spiritual awakening in his early 20s and has spent most of the last 25 years in India as a devotee of Obama. He has written four children’s books which have been translated into several European languages, and also a novel and rhyming verse full three, three full length plays and 40 original songs. In 2012. He and his wife taurine, ma wrote and CO taught a university course on Hinduism in Venezuela. She’s from his wife is from Venezuela, he has given numerous talks and workshops about various aspects of spirituality and many locations around the world. He and his wife are currently offering Five Star Tours of the sacred cities of India to both Spanish and English speaking groups. His book rising love tells the story of his Well, I probably just this is a long introduction about the book I think will just let you talk about the book rather than me reading this whole thing. It goes from a powerful medical marijuana fueled spiritual awakening in America, which included meeting an angel, two years struggle with delusion and addiction, subsequent renunciation of drugs and eventual discovery of Alma and covers about 27 amazing years in your life during which you’ve been seeking Enlightenment, as long as devotee, most of that time in India. So we’re just like to start, it’s about a year since I’ve read the book. And I started reading it again last night and immediately got drawn into it again, it’s very interesting story and you’re a good writer. But you know, we have a hour and a half, two hours here to give people a sense of what the book is about what you’re about and what Om is about. So where would you like to start? To hear all that around us. Well, okay. Just pausing for thought. Incidentally, Ram Das is somewhat deaf from having had his ears blown out at a rock concert. Why that didn’t happen to me. I don’t know. But he’s hearing me. Okay.

Ram Das Batchelder: I’m hearing pretty good so far. Yeah. Well, I mean, I guess the best place to start is just a few words about our mom, because she’s definitely the main focus of the book. Those who don’t know mama, she’s known as the hugging Saint because she travels all over the world giving programs of free hugs. And these programs go on for 1214 1618 hours, two times more. And other often she doesn’t ask Greg during that entire time.

Rick Archer: Yeah, your voice broke up a little bit. But you said she doesn’t take a bathroom break during that entire time? Yes. Generally does

Ram Das Batchelder: when she gives Devi Baba programs in the West she gives a special program so she’ll give hugs all day long. And then a special program and during the night this this program was started about an 11am The next morning when she’s hugging what approximately what 20,000 people or something. And during those programs all night long programs, which could be 18 hours she does not take a bathroom break. Yeah. So there’s something rather huge a human I think about about what she’s doing. There’s no doubt about that.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, and even if she did take bathroom breaks, I mean, I’ve witnessed this whole thing many times she she kind of moderates her liquid intake so as to not need to Many bathroom breaks. But still, even if she took them, there’s something remarkable about what you feel like you’re witnessing some kind of miracle. Because, you know, you picture yourself being in that situation sitting on a couch, without without really going anywhere for that many hours, hugging, you know, 1000s of sweaty crying people. And you think I would have run out of steam so long ago, and she’s still reacts to each new person as if they were there her long lost, you know, friend that she’s so happy to see.

Ram Das Batchelder: Totally. And it’s, you know, it’s, in my experience, it’s definitely not just a hug. It’s direct contact with the divine. Yeah, I know, not everybody, not everybody will see it in the same way I do. And there’s nobody insisting that anybody see on me in one way or another. That’s one thing I like about the organization is that you can come and meet our man and have any opinion you want your experiences, your experience, and nobody’s insisting that you see on one way, but in my experience, she’s a divine incarnation. And there’s a there’s a certainty that she’s knowing my every thought, and that even if she’s on the other side of the globe, she’s hearing my every thought, and she’s hearing this conversation now, even though her body’s 1000 miles away. So that’s my experience of Alma for many, many years in Naples and extraordinary level of communication, where I know if I have a question, she can answer me from inside my own mind. Immediately. Of course, she sometimes makes me wait a little bit, but that’s another matter. But there’s a sense that I’m that I’m really dealing with an all pervading, omniscient being of infinite love. Not a human being.

Rick Archer: Well, you’ve had a lot more exposure to it than I have, let’s Let’s, first of all deal with this point you just made, which is it’s not just some HUD, which when I first heard about it sounded sort of nice and touchy feely. And you know, boy, it’s like, there used to be this guy named Leo, somebody rather in the US whose trademark? Yeah, right miscalculate, who used to hug a lot of people and I kind of put it in that category. But then when we actually went to see her, you know, I mean, most people listening to this will be familiar with the word Darshan. When actually went, we actually went to sere and you know, had this experience. It was so far beyond the physicality of getting a nice warm hug for a few seconds. I mean, something really profound happens in the kind of inner dimensions of one’s life.

Ram Das Batchelder: Totally. Yeah. So it’s for me, it’s direct communion with with God. And, you know, an embrace from the omniscience and omnipresence of the Divine. Oh, it’s not an ordinary hug by any means. Yeah, no, no. The other aspect of Arma, which is undeniable is that she’s one of the world’s greatest humanitarians, so that even if somebody isn’t ready to see that she’s a saint, or the world wants to have be told that she’s a divine incarnation, we can certainly look at her charitable mission and realize that she’s doing incredible work for the poor. And this includes 45,000 houses that the ashram has built for the victims of the tsunami and the earthquake in Gujarat, and then recently have built 5000 more houses up in north India where the flood was last year. And it includes 50k through 12 schools, and a one of the best hospitals in India, which gives a lot of free surgeries for the poor. And something like 10,000 10 million free meals a year in India. pensions for 100,000 widows, which keeps these women from falling into the sex trade or from starvation. That’s just the beginning. They have many, many programs which reach out into into the Indian countryside to uplift women who are in rural areas and give them vocational training. Or they have programs to prevent farmer suicides, the huge fund that she’s created to support the children of farmers and help them go to school. And I’m sure I’m missing about 20 different projects, because she’s her outreach, is this huge?

Rick Archer: Are you missing more, you’re missing more than 20 because if you actually read a list of all the projects, it would probably take you 15 minutes just to read the list. I mean, there’s so many things that she does and or that are done in her name. And you know, and they’re not just token things where some announcement is made and then nothing happens but you know, stuff is stuff actually happens. Lots of stuff. It’s an

Ram Das Batchelder: actual it’s an actual charitable organization. Yeah, they have like special un status as being a very effective charitable service so people are requested to donate there and one of the good things about it is that all the all the work is done by volunteers. So there’s no salary bleed, you know, in some of the some of the charitable organizations, the people running it get a million dollar salary, so your donation is going down. Whereas with Dama, I would think 99.9% of it is going directly to the service of the poor. So it’s quite impressive what they do.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Let’s talk a little bit more about the actual Darshan, experience this hug soda, so, so to speak. And our subjective experience of it, because my subjective experience is it’s as if, I mean, first of all, initially, this experience of kind of like sinking into the vastness, like it was this kind of vast ocean of consciousness. And that, you know, and we all are essentially, but it’s usually occluded to some extent, but when I’m having Darshan, it becomes much more clear there’s a kind of a mind meld, so to speak, you know, and entrainment and one one carves, one becomes much more consciously vast oneself. But secondly, I really feel like I’m a kind of, like you said, knows your thoughts knows your your innermost core, and kind of like it’s sitting at the master switchboard in such a way that when when you have that interaction with her, she pushes a few buttons on that master switchboard and, and literally changes the course of your life in very significant ways adds a very powerful evolutionary engine to your train.

Ram Das Batchelder: Oh, I fully agree that there’s a sense that there’s each each each of these darshans is, is a karmic cleansing, which is, enables me to move forward and reach a whole new level, which, you know, which was not available even the day before, there’s a definitely an acceleration with each each bit of contact I have with her each time I see her there’s a, there’s a blessing.

Rick Archer: I have to admit that I don’t totally have the same faith you do in terms of her auditions at all times like that she’s actually listening to this conversation or knows what I had for breakfast this morning or anything like that. I sort of feel like she’s more like a search light, which can shine at any particular thing that needs illuminating, but it’s not sort of illuminating everything. 360 degrees all the time, I’m not sure that that would be either practical for her or for us or, or anything, but maybe you could comment on that we can bounce that back and forth a few minutes.

Ram Das Batchelder: Yeah, I mean, I think first of all, everybody’s everybody has their own perspective on who it is and their own experience of what she is. And it’s perfectly okay. Everybody has their own their own way of understanding. Um, and that’s, that’s perfectly okay. It shouldn’t be that way. I can tell you my own. It’s like my experience of vomit is that she’s literally it’s like a Goddess in disguise. And so there’s the outer disguise of a woman who’s just very sweet and compassionate and loving. And maybe she’s just a very sweet lady. And she may pretend not to know what you’re, you know, not to know who you are, or not to know the person who’s next to you or something, or you ask her a question, and you may get an answer, which makes it seem like she didn’t really know what you’re talking about or something. But what I’ve come to experience something for many, many years is that, you know, if I asked her a question, she might eventually give an answer, which seems to not even have to do is the question or maybe she didn’t really understand the question and then 10 seconds later, I’ll realize oh, my god, she just showed me that she knew absolutely everything about the whole situation. It’s difficult to explain but my my conception is just that right behind that human form is literally the goddess of the universe. So we know they some people talk about her as being Kali incarnated colleague meaning the supreme power, the mother of the entire universal play. And so this is this is my direct experience is that really beneath that disguise is the supreme reality that is the author, producer and director of the entire cosmic movie and not a leaf and the entire universe has moved except by her will, by the will of Kali by the will of Tara Shakti. And this is this is to me what is embodied in Alma. She is part of Shakti in the fullness and she is also Brahman, she’s a supreme reality, of just pure awareness. So she’s absolutely for me, she’s all levels of the Divine, embodied in the human disguise and the disguise is very thick. Because after all, she’s hugging millions of people from all walks of life, including alcoholics and murderers and prostitutes and whoever shows up so she she can’t you know, she says at one point, she was talking about Debbie Baba, which is this program where she puts on the crown of baby and the costume of the goddess and gives Darshan in that form. And she was saying, if Amma showed herself as she truly is, no one would be able to come near. So what she’s doing in Debbie Baba is just removing one or two veils of the Many veils that are covering her to being so that she she shines a little more light. But if she were to take off all her veils, I mean, we’d be holding the blazing goddess in front of us and who among us would be able to come and give her a hug? It’s just too powerful, but she is. Yeah, that’s my experience. That’s my conception of Om NF, my experience of Om is that we’re really talking about the Supreme Reality on all levels in the human disguise.

Rick Archer: Yeah, and. And I’ve experienced that with Devi Baba to that it’s like, you know, the whole time you’ve been with Hokhmah for a few days, it’s like you’re sitting around a nice, warm oven or something, and then all sudden, at the end, it turns into a blast furnace. And it’s like this, whoa, you know, who is this? But um, you know, and I think people listening to the show will be familiar with the concept of avatars. And it said that they’re, you know, different avatars are different degrees of fullness of the divine in their, in their manifestation or in their embodiment. So for instance, ROM and his and his brother were said to be avatars, maybe there were four brothers weren’t there. But you know, the second brother Lakshman, I think was half of the avatar that rom wasn’t and the other two brothers were each a quarter. And that ROM was more full. And then Krishna was supposed to be way fuller than ROM. And so according to this mythology, according to this tradition. And so if we believe in the concept of avatars, and then we can conceive of different avatars having different degrees of expression of the divine. You want to comment on that?

Ram Das Batchelder: Well, sure, I mean, I can’t say I take all of that too seriously. But at the same time, if if I had to say is I’m a porn avatar, a full incarnation, I would say absolutely. That this is, in my opinion, in my experience, this is a full incarnation of the Divine Mother. The Divine Mother, you know, in Hinduism is not it’s different than in Christianity, where the Divine Mother is kind of an intermediary. She’s not quite god, she’s, you know, an intermediary between man and God. That’s the Mother Mary. But in Hinduism, the Divine Mother is the source of the entire cosmic movie. And she’s also a form of Brahman, the supreme reality. So she’s, you know, they call it para brahma. So Rupani is the Divine Mother that is the form of Brahman. So this is what I see in Om is that she is Tara Shakti incarnate in a very in a very full way. It’s interesting, one little story I tell in the book is when I first came to Amazon, I had heard somebody say that, Oh, maybe Yama was the reincarnation of Shri Ramakrishna, who was also considered to be an avatar. And I was reading the the names of the 108 names of armor that one devotee had written and there were several which seem to refer to armor, as if she has the qualities of Sri Ramakrishna and reminds us of Sharda Devi. And I was like, you know, the, in the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, there’s a little story where it’s a woman of impure character, touches his feet, and he leaps up as if he was stung by a bee and cries out. And, you know, Om is hugging, as I said, before prostitutes and murderers and alcoholics and you know, all kinds of people have so called impure character and for her, it’s all the same. So So I was really hard for me to say, oh, yeah, this is the Sri Ramakrishna reincarnated. I really didn’t believe it. And I asked one of the Swamis, just just, you know, is Ahmed the reincarnation of Sri Ramakrishna? And he simply said, No. And I was like, Oh, that’s good. At least I don’t know what he meant by that. But what I understood was that no amaze is the divine mother herself. I mean, Ramakrishna was a devotee of the mother calling. And the only way I could think of Om as being a reincarnation of Ramakrishna would be if, when Ramakrishna left the body he merged completely in Kali was quite likely. And then it is that Kali as Ramakrishna, Ramakrishna as Kali who was taking birth as Dama. Because to me, it is very clear, Ahmed is nothing less than the goddess of the universe, in the human form. I could not I cannot limit her greatness in any way.

Rick Archer: One time, at a program, I was standing by on this couch and some reporter was interviewing her and, you know, their their reporter was asking her how she manages to go on like this, you know, so many hours doing this. And she said, Well, you know, if, if you work in a factory, you can only work so many hours and you get tired, you want to go home, said but if you’re the owner of the factory, you could stay there any amount of time because it’s your factories especially this is my factory. Meaning meaning the whole, the whole humanity is you know, my, I own it. I engulf encompasses It’s within me. And so

Ram Das Batchelder: she gives many little clues. That that actually she’s an embodiment of God. But at the same time, she’s very subtle about it. And she really prefers not to make any kind of declaration, she does not get up and say I am an avatar or I am God, she never does that. She’s if she says anything, it’s I’m a servant of everybody. You know, she calls everyone my children. And there was, I think, one interview where, where someone who was comparing her with Ramana, Maharshi. And she said, you know, Ramana, Maharshi, lived in a cave for most of his life and worked closely with maybe 300 people during his lifetime. Arma is working with literally millions of people of all walks of life. So if you want to compare Arma with anyone, compare Arma with Lord Krishna.

Rick Archer: She said that, yeah. Now, I can hear the question forming in the minds of viewers right now. They’re saying, Yeah, but, you know, Mark Ramana, Maharshi is sort of famous for having actually caused the wave of Enlightenment where a lot of his followers and their followers are actually waking up and Enlightenment or, and I’m wondering how, and so, but almost sort of seeing millions of people, is there any sort of loss of quality, it’s due to the quantity, you know, where she’s uplifting millions of people a little bit, but not necessarily bringing people to a state of Enlightenment and actually asked her, her assistant Swami, so many Krishna Artha, about this one time, and you know, it, why Ahmed doesn’t talk a whole lot about people getting enlightened. And she said, Well, you know, not that many people do. It’s a very rare thing. And you know, maybe upon your, your death, you’ll you’ll actually awaken. And I, you know, haven’t quite reconciled that because I talk to people all the time, who I don’t think are, I wouldn’t use the word enlightened, because I think that’s a very, has a very superlative, ultimate connotation, but who are experiencing profound degrees of awakening which are abiding, which are stable, you know, which don’t come and go. So how would you? How would you address that?

Ram Das Batchelder: Well, first of all, I have the utmost love and respect for Ramana Maharshi. And his disciples, I love him very much. He’s been a very important Pollstar through through my life. And he’s

Rick Archer: a case in point, by the way, because obviously, we could use other examples. Yeah,

Ram Das Batchelder: sure. And I mean, I love his teachings. In fact, that’s really the focus of my own meditation. So I certainly mean, no disrespect there. I love Ramana. But I think the the main point is, what I would say is, you know, if you looked at if you talked about Romanus, if you talk to him while he was alive, there wouldn’t you wouldn’t have seen many enlightenments. Right. So I think you would have to give him a 50 years, right? You look after phenomena leaves the body 50 years after you might find 500 People who have attained Enlightenment through her teachings of grace. I think that’s quite possible. I, you know, I personally feel but by her grace, I am moving very rapidly towards Enlightenment, for what it was. So I don’t think there’s any limit on what tamas grades can do. I’m also I know, hold Ramana, in very high esteem. I also, you know, put a bit of a question mark around some of the so called enlightenments that we see now, among so many people giving Satsang. And quite a number of them. Don’t look to me, like they’re really enlightened at all. But I mean, you know, I don’t know, I don’t need to judge. But I say, well, let’s give them a time. I mean, while she’s she’s still in the body, she might have another 20 years in the body or more. So let’s see, I think there probably there will definitely be some enlightened disciples. I don’t know how many but I it’s not just a superficial, huggy baggy. organization that’s just about being nice to people and doing charitable work there. She’s definitely is focused on God realization.

Rick Archer: Yeah, actually, just Yes, I’m sorry. Go ahead. Well, we’re gonna say,

Ram Das Batchelder: I’m definitely planning on attaining it if it’s at all possible, okay. I really feel very, very confident and very, very happy with the grace that’s going in that direction.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I’ll hold you to that. Just yesterday, actually happened to be watching a little bit of a interview with Papaji that David Godman Did you know Papaji and he was, he’s one of most Romanus most famous disciples, even though he didn’t spend a lot of time with him. But he was saying that all these people that you know, awaken, quote, unquote, in His presence and then go back to the west are really kind of just getting started and he was a little bit upset about how much hubris some of them show in, in proclaiming their their awakening and their Enlightenment and so on. He’s really he said he’s really sending them out as spokespeople not really as full blown representatives of what’s possible.

Ram Das Batchelder: Right. But the problem with that I mean, I love poppers he also spent four months with him and had a powerful experience with him. But the problem with with with with some of that is that almost like the word Enlightenment gets watered down. So it doesn’t really mean anything anymore. And you have people claiming Enlightenment and giving Satsang and putting on a whole guru show, and they’re not enlightened at all, and they don’t embody any of the divine qualities. So I would rather have a guru who, who will, will will not encourage a false declaration of Enlightenment, and not send out people. Yes, you’re enlightened, go tell everyone and start giving Satsang and then have these little disasters happening all over the place, and everybody giving up on Enlightenment, just because it starts to get a bad a bad odor, the whole concept, you know. So I would rather have a fully God realized master who insists that there’s not going to be any display of false ego or no false gurus. I mean, one thing I’ve prayed for is to never let me be a false guru. I’d much rather be a sincere disciple than a false guru.

Rick Archer: Beautiful. Yeah. And what we’ve been talking about last couple minutes, I think, brings up a very important point about Shama, and about the whole Enlightenment scene, which is that Ahmed is very strong on really culturing personalities, you know, not not just sort of like, eliciting some profound inner experience and you could still be a jerk, and you’re in terms of your comportment, but, but actually refining and culturing and, and working out all the all the quirks that you know, that we’re all inflicted by and, and so that you ultimately will come out, as, you know, really a saintly person, a shining example of, of, of full possibility of what it means to be human, rather than just someone who might still have a lot of ego and be and have had some kind of Inner Awakening and go and hop up on the Satsang. Dyess.

Ram Das Batchelder: Yeah, I agree, she’s working very hard to weed out all the little weeds in all the characters that are around her. And any, you know, any flaws, she’s going to find a way to point it out and remove it and challenge the ego in all of its aspects until there’s nothing left. And this is a long process. And you know, I don’t imagine it’s an easy process. But I’m grateful for it. There’s something really cool about being in that ashram because I’m surrounded by people who are in many ways superior to me in one aspect or another. And so there’s a kind of a, I’m always inspired to do better to become better.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Which actually leads to my next question, which is, what is it like in the ashram? I mean, you know, I know and sometimes in spiritual groups, it’s kind of crazy. Everybody’s purifying, like crazy and unstressed thing we used to call it and the TM movement, and there’s all kinds of like, strange frictions and obsessive idiosyncratic behaviors, and it’s kind of like a nuthouse, you know. So, is it kind of like that, or maybe part of its like that, but there are a lot of much more mature spiritual aspirants. And so there’s really a kind of a holy atmosphere all the above or what?

Ram Das Batchelder: Well, I think it’s probably all of the above, and each person coming to the ashram is going to have their own experience. And I mean, my experience of the ashram, first of all, I really love it there. It’s really a home for me it is I feel like I have a beautiful family, beautiful friends there. And when Arma is there, it’s like I haven’t room for me. Every day, you know, I go up and sit next to one of my even if it’s only for two minutes, and I pass her, the candies that she’s giving to the devotees, and there’s a beautiful two minutes of extraordinary communion. It may be very deep silence, no mind space of just be a oneness with her. But this is extremely sweet. I mean, it’s the Nectar of Devotion. It’s like Radha and Krishna for even if it’s only for two minutes, and then I also sit on stage with her and that usually, it’s supposed to be a half an hour, but usually I try to sneak back and get another half an hour. And, and this is I mean, to sit on stage with her, this is the heaven realm for me. And the just the, the extraordinary bliss of you know, the closer you get to her physically, I mean, this is sometimes my experience. It’s like she’s a giant son of love and bliss and peace and the closer you get, and she’s radiating that into you and filling your entire being with this love and His bliss. And I mean, the whole body gets filled with this divine energy. And also, you know, I’m having in the last couple of years, I’ve been having fairly consistent Samadhi experiences in my meditation and so these days, it’s like three times a day, I’m going into meditation and I’m just really blossoming within like 10 minutes into Samadhi. So this is incredible. I mean, what a grace that is to have that kind of bliss and peace, at will is incredible because I, you know, I have been trying for 25 years. And I met I’m actually 27 years ago and I have watched this steady progression of trying trying one form of meditation after another after another and all the sufferings and struggling and you know, big problems with lust and big problems with all kinds of stuff going on in Australian politics, a lot of headaches and, and, you know, come to a place now where there is this, this Samadhi is happening. It’s like, Oh, my God, this is incredible. I’m so happy with Om was Grace. It hasn’t been something that was given instantly, it felt like she gave me a pill. I’ve seen the 27 years of evolution. But it’s incredible. I’m so grateful.

Rick Archer: So when you say somebody’s are happening, what’s actually happening? And how long do you sit there and what actually is going on?

Ram Das Batchelder: Well, it’s a little bit hard to explain it, of course, but I’m getting into a space, which is an entering this space, which is prior to the mind. I had an very, very cool epiphany, a couple of years ago. Which was, I think I was on Facebook that I saw some posts about how the, the atom, a physical atom is like 99.999999999% space, it’s almost nothing there. But space, right?

Rick Archer: It’s like a pee in the middle of a baseball stadium. And the electrons are running around the edges of the stadium like that.

Ram Das Batchelder: Exactly, exactly. So it’s, and I thought to myself, I bet the I thought is the same thing. It’s completely empty. And the the, you know, the the illusion or the I thought as being something solid as being the root of I’m the thinker of this person, is nothing but an illusion. And it just occurred to me that what the eye thought is full of is actually Brahman, it’s pure silence is pure awareness, untouched by the phone, if that’s the innermost essence of the phone, I. And this was in amaz presents, when this kind of dawned on me, and I had to kind of hope have been, you know, a bright moment of 1000s of light bulbs going off in my head and discovering Oh, my God, right inside me all the time is the supreme reality, hiding within the iPhone. And of course, it’s not limited by the iPhone, it’s subtler, it’s infinite. It’s always here. And it’s always the supreme reality, oh, my god, that is what I am. So I’ve been able now to, you know, I have been working with a contemplation for many, many years, that gradually takes me into into a state into the state of abiding in that pure silence, and it’s just become much more simple. Now, it’s become radically simpler, where I’m able to enter into that space, into the innermost essence of the thought I, and whilst the I thought fall away, because in that, in that pure awareness, there is no I thought it exists prior to the I thought, it’s what it’s what’s prior to the thought. And therefore, in that space of pure awareness, there is no one to perceive anything at all perception hangs on the eye that perceives. And so without that perceiver, the whole realm of perception falls away. The whole realm of thought, and imagination falls away, because there’s no one to think and no one to imagine, falls away, there’s no one to do anything. There’s no one to make any efforts, all effort and all doing falls away and nothing remains but pure being. And then, you know, there’s an energetic component to this that manifests as if it’s as if the mind is like, a closed Lotus. And as I open up into that silence, the mind opens up like this, and a tremendous amount of energy starts filling my body and it comes out it’s like radiating in all directions, up and down. And inside and back. And it’s like I’m being fully opened up in this like, nobody there and it is so sweet. And the energy just it’s like it’s, it’s the energy, like the mind blocks the energy. And when when the mind is is opened up like this, the energy flows without any obstacle and it’s extraordinary. It’s just amazing. And I feel like Oh, my God, my body’s radiating this, this bliss in all directions, and it’s a very, very sweet piece. Very sweet.

Rick Archer: Nice. I heard a quote from the Delta Ching the other day, which said something like make all things orderly before they arise. And, and then there’s a quote from the from the Gita that goes establish yoga perform action? So do you find that having had this Samadhi experience several times a day, that it’s totally lost when you get into activity? Or is there a newfound orderliness and coherence to the, to your activity, which maybe hadn’t been there before you were experiencing this Samadhi thing?

Ram Das Batchelder: Well, it’s been, you know, it’s been a gradual, gradual progression. So on the one hand, I think that definitely, definitely the meditation over the years, that’s totally given me a lot more mental clarity, and certain skill with certain things. That’s kind of extraordinary. But I cannot claim wish I could, but I cannot claim that I’m 24/7 established in the state of pure awareness. And that’s not yet where I’m at. Well, I’m certainly not claiming that but But definitely, there is an increasing level of peace in my life, there’s an increasing level where something may happen that would have previously caused me agitation, and now it’s, it’s almost like nothing. Yeah. So that’s a very sweet feeling. But I can’t claim yet that, that I don’t have my moments of agitation. Maybe, maybe it’s not necessary to claim that but but I’m not claiming Enlightenment I service like,

Rick Archer: I know you’re not. I’m just wondering about the impact of it on your on your active life, you know,

Ram Das Batchelder: I think it’s the piece that I’m discovering very, very fully in meditation is definitely soaking in, and does permeate. But it says this, you can’t claim it’s 100%. Now, eventually, this whole, this whole damn structure is going to crumble, and there’s nothing going to be nothing left. But that piece, because that’s the reality.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Yeah, you know, you probably see this in India. But traditionally how they dyed cloth, would they dip it in the color and then bleach it in the sun, then dip it in the color and bleach in the sun, keep doing that repeatedly. And it would every time it sat in the sun, it would get less and less bleached until the point where it became it retained its color as much as in the sun as it as it was in the dye. So, you know, there’s a culturing process that has to take place, right?

Ram Das Batchelder: Yeah, definitely. There’s I you know, I don’t know what the best metaphor for it is, I have to tell you when I actually attained Enlightenment, but I think is I feel like someone’s like, any structure of ego that remains just finally collapses, and nothing remains, but the Supreme Being, which is just pure awareness piece itself. And then God is speaking through your form. And there’s no I left to claim ownership of anything other than that Supreme Being listening. Speaking of Ramana, Maharshi, I mean, it my understanding of his state is that there was nobody left there. And anybody interacting with him was actually it was the divine mother speaking through him and he was gone, he was Brahman, there was nothing there for him that you know, the, the all the karma was finished and all the mind was finished, and he was established as Brahman itself. changeless pure awareness, which knows no subject and no object. But the Divine Mother was interacting through his form to serve the devotees. But there was no either left.

Rick Archer: Yeah, some people say that there’s got to be some remnant. In fact, I read an article by Omna Alma, which says that you sort of take on the semblance of an ego in order to function in the world. And then the Sanskrit term is lesh. avidya. Faint remains of ignorance, but you need some kind of semblance of ego in order to do anything. But it’s not it’s no longer running the show.

Ram Das Batchelder: Right? That’s fine.

Rick Archer: Yeah. And Ramana you know, he likes to read the newspaper, and he sort of listen to the radio and keep up with current events. I mean, he had personal interests still as a human being, which made

Ram Das Batchelder: I mean, that, on the one hand, even though he was doing all those things, you know, it’s like Nisargadatta says, Well, you somebody said to him, yeah, but I see you smoking. He said, Well, that’s what you see, but that you have no idea what I experience.

Rick Archer: Right. Yeah. Yeah,

Ram Das Batchelder: no, I don’t know. We could argue on that one. But it’s kind of esoteric. But anyway, whatever

Rick Archer: It is, but it’s practical in a way, because a lot of teachers keep hammering on, you know, completely eradicating the ego. And if the ego is something that actually never does get completely eradicated, but just gets put in its proper place, then, you know, maybe people have a more realistic evaluation of where they’re at, you know, and what and where they should be at.

Ram Das Batchelder: why I’m reluctant to accept it, but because I want the complete eradication of the ego. I want nothing left here. But the Supreme Reality I want to merge fully in Brahman now not after death. Thank you. I want eradication, you know,

Rick Archer: yeah. It’s just a question of whether you could actually function as a human being if it were completely eradicated, and maybe it’s kind of nitpicking. But I’m just suggesting that the ego is a faculty which has kind of usurped it. It’s, it’s the, it’s sort of like a kind of a servant sort of sitting up on the king’s throne where he doesn’t belong and saying I am the king. So in most cases, the ego has sort of is running the show, but doesn’t deserve to be, but it still has its function, it’s just has a much more subsidiary function than it actually ends up having in most people’s lives.

Ram Das Batchelder: Yeah, okay.

Rick Archer: Yeah, that kind of thing. And getting back to something you were saying a little bit earlier about how glorious it is to sit on the stage with Alma and bask in her radiance and all. You know if that that might sound a little poetic, or it might sound like like the ravings of a, you know, lovesick devotee or something like that. But if anyone listening to this has never had that kind of experience of sitting in close proximity to a genuine saint and experiencing the, the energy in that atmosphere, the Darshan, as it’s called, you know, I highly recommend seeking that out and having that experience, because it really is profound and significant. And an evolutionary, I mean, I know, people that have undergone profound awakenings, you know, just sitting like that in that atmosphere. And, and, you know, it’s kind of commonly understood that some there’s this sort of transmission thing that can happen around enlightened beings. And, but it’s definitely a real phenomena. I just want to say that it’s not just some kind of romantic mood that you’ve gotten yourself in here.

Ram Das Batchelder: No, definitely. It’s a real phenomenon. And anybody can experience it to some extent, when you come to see Alma Yeah, everyone can have will have their own individual experience, and who knows what they’ll, what they’ll see what they’ll experience, but it’s certainly as a very, very, very palpable. I think nobody can come up and receive a hug from them and not be affected in some profound way, even if they don’t know it.

Rick Archer: Yeah. And as I say, I’ve never been to the ashram but people say that the whole ashram kind of has that atmosphere to a profound degree.

Ram Das Batchelder: Yeah, it’s a beautiful place. I mean, it’s the place of her birth, it’s the place where she, she cried buckets of tears for God when she was a girl, you know, and so there’s something there’s something in the soil there that is just extraordinary. The there’s a purity there, and definitely a protection. Love the place.

Rick Archer: Yeah, it’s kind of interesting. I’m here, this, this little girl grew up in a poor fishing village and and, you know, on the coast of Kerala, and ended up having to leave school after the fourth grade to help with family chores and stuff. And, you know, just kind of blossomed into this world figure. And, you know, this huge following all over the world and this huge ashram kind of springing up in that spot, you got to figure there’s definitely something behind that it’s, it’s not something that’s going to happen to the average kid who grows up in an Indian fishing village,

Ram Das Batchelder: right, I mean, this is a very low caste in India, the fishing, the fishing caste, and a little girl, you know, in India, women are expected to be out of sight for the most part unless you happen to be born in the Gandhi family. or marry into it. But, but the fact that a little girl with a fourth grade education, from a very low caste in India has become a global celebrity and a source of a huge charitable mission. It’s amazing. And she speaks at the UN, she’s given speeches all over the world. So it’s quite something it can’t, it can’t just be a matter of some personal charisma or something. It’s much bigger than that.

Rick Archer: So we’ve been talking about Enlightenment. And, and you know, people in the ashram and you mentioned earlier that you feel like a lot of them are a lot more advanced than you or something. And I know, given the culture around Dama, no one’s going to be broadcasting their Enlightenment, if it’s happened, or their realization, or their awakenings or anything else, people are probably all kind of discreet about it. But do you feel Do you have the sense that there are people there who really have undergone profound abiding awakenings, you know, whether or not we want to call them Enlightenment, but who really shifted into profoundly higher states of consciousness in a stable way. As a result of their whole,

Ram Das Batchelder: there was definitely yeah, I would say at least one Swami definitely comes to mind. I won’t say his name, but he the look on his face is extraordinary is that the guy who

Rick Archer: plays the flute and has the thing pulled up over? I know I totally like he’s amazing.

Ram Das Batchelder: So he looks definitely like an enlivenment. That’s already happened, but that’s as being kept under wraps.

Rick Archer: He really does. I’d like to interview that and I feel it feel agreed to it. Yeah,

Ram Das Batchelder: I think we’ll see a number, I think we really will see a number of Enlightenment stuff.

Rick Archer: Yeah. You wonder, I mean, in terms of tamas mission, do you feel like her mission is? Maybe it’s just multi pronged, you know, project but on the one hand, there’s the alleviation of suffering, you know, the, the widows and the orphans and the prostitutes and those suicide farmers and all the stuff she tries to do to, you know, tsunami victims to just to alleviate basic human suffering. And then there’s this whole theme that we’re talking about of higher consciousness and Enlightenment and so on. Do you feel like she that she has a priority one way or the other? Or is she just multitasking and covering both of these bases? With one with one effort? Do you feel like the actual alleviation of suffering is just a tool she is is to help her devotees? In other words, give them something, some sort of selfless service to do so as to attenuate their egos and further their evolution? are, you know where I’m going with this question? Or is it sort of like killing two birds with one stone? And both things are equally legitimate, and one serves the other?

Ram Das Batchelder: No, I think it’s a good question. But I think for sure that both of them are equally legitimate, and they do serve each other naturally. But I’m, as I’m as concerned for the suffering of the people in the world is very real, and very sincere and very intense. Yeah, she sees them all as her own self. And she knows Oh, my God has God in suffering in this human form, and doing everything she can to alleviate that suffering, it seems to me that this is one of the most beautiful and full expressions of Advaita that the world has ever seen. And at the same time, she’s given an opportunity to serve to 1000s and 1000s of devotees from around the world. And you know, as as time goes on, it’s like her mission reaches out to more and more and more people. And the way they do that is by by the service projects, because if you talk about God, and you talk about Advaita, you’re gonna get point oh, 1% understanding what that’s about in the world. And you talk about our divine incarnation and people go, Oh, God, that’s that sounds weird. I don’t want to hear about that. No, don’t tell me that. But if you tell tell people about beautiful charitable projects, which are serving the poor, which they can verify as being legitimate, then they go, Oh, I can I can help that I can come and teach in the university or I can come and work with tribal women and help them and so this brings in more and more people and as you enter the service of Dama, and the service of humanity, this, this enables you to receive armas, grace, and so enables more and more people to come in and become involved and give whatever talent they have, and whatever level of, of knowledge they have. And whatever spiritual level, they may be out, it doesn’t matter. They’re all welcome in to come in and serve. And so and you know, so this is benefiting hundreds of 1000s of people who are doing service and volunteering in some level. And I think it’s also genuinely benefiting millions of people who are suffering in the world. So and I don’t think that Dama sees a difference between her disciples and the people suffering in the world. They’re all her children. And it’s, she’s doing whatever she can to alleviate our suffering. And she knows, of course, that the the ultimate way to alleviate suffering is to teach is to bring us to Enlightenment. That’s the only real that’s the end of suffering, and everything else is relative degrees of suffering. But she’s she’s reaching out to whoever and whoever she can reach with the best methods you can to alleviate their suffering at whatever level it’s manifesting. I think he’s just amazing. That’s a

Rick Archer: good answer. Yeah, well, while you were saying that I was thinking, Yeah, well, you know, suffering is not it. There’s a continuum, you know, from having had your house washed away by a tsunami and you know, shivering in the cold, that’s one level of suffering or being a sex slave in Mumbai or something to, you know, being a highly evolved person, but still being kind of caught up in, in ignorance. And, you know, there’s still a degree of suffering there. And so I guess I was just sort of dealing with people at whatever level of that and kind of hopefully, hopefully moving them along the scale toward ultimate elimination of suffering. Sure, yeah.

Ram Das Batchelder: And as I said, it’s an expression of Advaita it’s like, I mean, I think Ramana is that once one side of the scale, maybe, I know I’m not sure that I want to say that but it’s like Ramana sat in a cave and he was in silence and he did very little on the physical plane to alleviate suffering and some, you know, some are, you know, establishing look, you know, I see no one there is no one but the supreme reality I see no one suffering Ramana said, Well, you know, if you see someone hungry in your dream, then yes, go ahead and feed them but when you wake up from the dream, then you see there’s no one suffering it was just a dream. So there’s no need to do anything you You are the only reality Brahman alone is real and not never offers. So that’s one one side of the scale, Ahmed takes that full realization of Brahman and says yes, this is all my children all is Brahman and every bit of suffering is, is the suffering of God. Let me let me go serve. So I you know, both are beautiful, both are full. And yet I must say, This is amazing what I was doing. And I rather prefer the vision that says, you know, yeah, sure, let me have the bliss of Brahman and also let me go out there and serve the poorest of the poor with all my energy and all my love and with full courage because I know I am Brahman, I am therefore fearless in my service of, of humanity, and I can manifest huge compassion and when I love that, it’s it’s, it’s courageous to walk with great compassion among them the suffering and take their suffering upon yourself. I love that.

Rick Archer: Yeah, and I guess we with regard to Rama or anybody else, different saints have different roles to play. You know, they’re they’re just wired differently, have different dharmas. But one thing one thought that’s been coming to mind last few minutes is that for Ahmed, this is not some kind of merely altruistic effort that, you know, she conceives of intellectually as being important or some such thing. I mean, she really feels the suffering of people. I’ve seen so many cases, I’m sure you have also people coming to her whose husband just died or who whose husband had been beating them or you know, some something that’s really causing so and I’m as tears are streaming down her face, she she commiserate with them in a very personal way. And you know, a minute later, somebody else can be coming and cracking a joke and she’ll be laughing uproariously. So she doesn’t get stuck in any one state. But she’s she’s definitely, her heart is so involved, and each person that interacts with her Yeah.

Ram Das Batchelder: I you know, one of the books I wrote for children is called the awakening of Wendy the wave. And basically, it’s conveying the image that the, our true self is like the ocean of consciousness. And the so called separate souls are like waves that float on the surface of the ocean. And the waves don’t don’t even know that there is an ocean most of them. But they think they’re separate. And they think they are Mr. And Mrs. Wave and but a wave like Arma has realized that, in fact, she is the ocean, she has emerged in the ocean discovered her true being to be the ocean. And that ocean is fully present within every wave. So that when we come up to her, it’s not like she’s meeting a stranger, she’s meeting herself and she fully fully knows every detail of our personal life, knows all of our suffering knows all of our pleasure and all of our pain. And she is so fully with us in our life. So that’s, it’s like, there’s no there’s no distance between Arma and wherever we might be in our life. She’s fully with us already. She’s already always within us always hearing our thoughts. So this is why when somebody comes up before her, you know, the tears flow because she’s in that person, there’s no separation. This is one one concept.

Rick Archer: I think you’re right, um, that’s my experience, whether that she she really tunes in and you know, knows you very intimately knows things about you that you don’t you yourself, don’t know, or that you haven’t told anybody or whatever, and just responds in those few moments that you’re with her in such a way as to help to move you along to, to remedy the situation or to protect you from some harm you might be doing to yourself are about to do all kinds of situations, everyone is different. But it’s really

Ram Das Batchelder: taking her taking your suffering under herself in those moments. Also, you know, when you see her with tears streaming down the face, it’s she’s taking your suffering in those tears that she’s setting on your behalf and she may be taking years of pain from you. So yeah,

Rick Archer: I mean, that’s an interesting point in itself. I mean, if she is taking your suffering, then obviously the ocean can absorb a lot of dirt you know, before it gets muddy. Whereas a glass of water can’t absorb very much before it gets muddy. And I’m uh, herself and on a personal level experiences a lot of suffering. I mean, physically, she’s in severe pain from this repetitive motion injury of hugging 30 something million people. You know, she has diabetes, she has, you know, various physical difficulties and problems with their lungs and so on. So she’s not like the epitome of physical health and yet she continues to do this thing with and shows very little evidence of you know, of what she’s going through. I mean, I think if any of us were to actually experience what she’s experiencing physically without being her without having her level of consciousness, we’d be like in bed flat.

Ram Das Batchelder: was calling for the doctor. Instantly dead. Call Emma she’s carrying, but she’s never canceled the Darshan program, even though she may be bearing tremendous pain, she just never shows it. I mean, maybe at the end of a Darshan, she will get up and go, Oh my god, she can barely walk for a few steps. But then four or five steps later, she’s just, again, radiant, you know, after one hour of sleep, she’ll do the same thing again the next day. So there’s something superhuman going on. Now,

Rick Archer: there is, I mean, I’ve said, I’ve seen her have to interrupt the program to go and vomit, you know, because she was physically sick, and then come right back and keep smiling and doing it for quite a few more hours. The rest of us would have said, you know, it’s all for that. I heard Dama say, recently, an interesting quote, recently, in, I think it was her Christmas message this year, New Year’s message, she said, she said, you know, once I’m like, give something, she can never take it back. So that she’s given her life to the world. And she is just not going to, you know, be an Indian giver, so to speak, pun intended, and take it back, once it’s given. So she’s just going to carry on like this, regardless of her physical experience, or whatever, it was actually, in the context of something where she had to be put in the hospital for a few days, because she was having such a hard time of it. And, and, anyway, that’s the point. I, my wife, Irene just passed me a note, she just wanted me to mention that she she herself has, has had many experiences of almost kind of all knowing nature, auditions. You know. I have I have had, and obviously, this is an interview in which we’re just kind of a couple of Dama devotees talking to each other saying all this stuff. Yeah. But anyway, there are probably thought there are 1000s and 1000s of people who could say what I, you know what I just said that it’s it’s kind of remarkable phenomenon. Let’s talk about you a little bit more. I mean, your book is really interesting. And you have kind of a wild and crazy and interesting background of all the stuff you’ve been through over the years. If you feel that that wouldn’t detract from the conversation we’ve been having it might put it more and more into a context. You know, the subtitle of your book, my wild and crazy ride to here and now there is there is a sort of divine madness, I think that many people go through on the spiritual path where, you know, you know, what, you no longer have the stable moorings of, you know, conventional life in the world, that and you kind of cast those moorings free and begin to float on on a unknown ocean to mix metaphors in the same metaphor, more or less. And, you know, you can go through years and years and years of pretty crazy stuff as your life gets rearrange on the inside and your outer life might appear to be rather dysfunctional, you know, rather than rather nutty, rather unconventional, and you don’t care because you’re so fixated, so focused on the inner metamorphosis that that you’re trying to go through. So that in a way, is that the theme of your book, I would say, isn’t it?

Ram Das Batchelder: Well, yeah, I mean, yeah. I had a very, very intense spiritual awakening. When I was young, when from when I was about 21. Tell us I went from from basically from cynical atheists to deluded profit within about six months. So, you know, I was studying theater in computer conservatory, colleges, State University of New York purchase. And I was really a cynical atheist, I had decided when I was in my mid teens, that this whole religion thing was just baloney. I was raised in, in a Protestant family, we went to church, and we did not believe any of it. I mean, it was like, what they wanted us to become very good. It was about morality. But we were very clearly told, we don’t really believe this stuff about the miracles of Jesus, that system mess that was made up science is the truth. And so I rather rather fully embrace atheism. By the time I was 1617, I was absolutely not buying any of this stuff. And when I was in college, I was trying to become an actor and I was very unhappy and so I was in psychotherapy, trying to get to the root of my misery and try to find the root of some new talent which could turn me into a new Marlon Brando and and in theater classes, doing all this emotional expression and and all this physical work to free the voice and all these emotions, things coming up and I was looking at my childhood and all the things that had happened and and at some point, I started smoking Marijuana. And I think it was these three things, the psychotherapy and the theater and the marijuana that began to culminate in these epiphanies where suddenly I began to see the whole world in a new light, and a new understanding what dawned on me. And this might last for two or three days, and then it would fade. And then maybe a couple of weeks later, I’d have another one. And it was pretty extraordinary. And this culminated in one night, the whole, the whole mind kind of collapsing. And suddenly God was speaking to me. And God, who I hadn’t even believed existed just a week before is speaking to me in great clarity and showing me tremendous truths that I just had no clue existed. Numerology yin and yang, there was a there was a discovery in me somehow, I don’t know from from my past life, or what, but yin and yang came into me like a seed and showed me a vision of the supreme reality which encompassed all and transcend it all. And suddenly, the supreme reality was speaking to me. And so it was it put me in a whole new territory that no one in my life knew anything about this stuff. No one who I knew really even believed in God, really, maybe there were people who were religious, but there wasn’t any sense of anybody actually, in direct contact with God, no, no one knew about it. And I was in direct contact with God. And it was so real and so powerful, and so incredibly exciting, that it was like, a complete non sequitur to everything in my life. At that time, there was no one I could turn to for advice, because no one knew about it, that we sent it as far as I knew. And with the ignorant childhood, you know, that I had, I had little, I did not know there was a spiritual path. I didn’t know anything about saints, I didn’t know there was Enlightenment, I didn’t even know about the Catholic saints. This was my upbringing. We didn’t know anything we knew Jesus was the only Divine Being who would ever come to the planet. And then there were 2000 years of spiritual drought. And suddenly me, I had been chosen in contact with God. And I had a very powerful experience of meeting an angel. That’s quite a story. It’s in the book. And

Rick Archer: then you feel like telling it or you want to like leave that as a teaser for the book, rather, rather

Ram Das Batchelder: rather too subtle to be told very quickly. But I was taken to a mental hospital afterwards by the campus security, because I had gone out to meet the angel in the middle of winter barefoot and wearing my my biblical bathrobe. And I met the angel by God. And the angel’s name was serenity. And it was a very, very profound moment of discovery of that, which is the time it was the first meeting with a guru, you know, I don’t know what it was really. But it was an extraordinary divine experience. And then I was taken to a mental hospital and rapidly talked my way out of the place. I think I spent an hour in the lobby, and that was it. But for for quite a while I thought, Well, I must be the Messiah. Because God has chosen me and I just met an angel and God is speaking to me and I have this incredible communion happening with the Divine is speaking to me through all these signs. And unlike fully I must be what explanation could there be other. And this is, I guess, there’s a problem of growing up in a culture that had that was completely ignorant as far as the divine reality. But so this was this was my awakening. And it was very dramatic. And I was quite diluted for about six months, and I was smoking a lot of marijuana, marijuana was kind of key to to my experience of God at the time. And I wanted to just when I say that I want to point out I have I quit smoking marijuana and doing any kind of drugs 30 years ago. So this is not part of my path anymore at all. But in the beginning, it was very key. And when I would smoke a joint in those days, I would glow with the visible light so that people who did not see auras would suddenly see an aura around me and it was kind of exciting. I mean, people would treat me as if I was the Messiah, people would talk to me as if Oh my god, you’re him, aren’t you come and even when one was clean shaven and had painted my face, with a hideous design, I was at my brother’s University visiting him and they were having a party or somehow Vietnam. War themed party, I painted my face in red and black and told everybody I was the ghost of all the dead Vietnamese. But when I smoked a joint and got my usual glow happening, one of the one of the fraternity brothers looked at me for a few minutes. They said, it’s crossed time, isn’t it? Yeah, you have good eyes, man. So there were many, many experiences of this kind. And it wasn’t just light, it was also energy that would fill the whole room. So it was was really weird. It was it was a really weird kind of Awakening was somehow I don’t know, from what past life I, you know, got this weird awakening. But it took me in. And I did six months of that and then fell into a suicidal depression where I began to see myself as someone who had gone crazy and I’ve lost all my friends and I thought I was why I thought I was why I thought I was the Messiah. I must be a complete nutcase. Complete failure, suicide is the best option here. Bomb maybe, you know, but so I suffered very much. And then I came back out of that into another six month Messiah trip and had all kinds of amazing experiences. And then fell back again into another depression. And then it was at the end of the second depression that I came out of that and discovered meditation. And I discovered the book of Yogananda Autobiography of a Yogi. And this was the beginning of the end of my insanity. So my delusion fell away completely, very quickly. I quit smoking weed altogether, and quit smoking cigarettes very quickly. And meditation proved to be you know, okay, this is clean. It gives me what I need spiritually, it gives me a glow, maybe not quite so visibly as marijuana, but boy, it was it was very sweet. And so it was like, Okay, this is the beginning of the end of my craziness. And now I’m on the spiritual path. Let me see if I can find my guru and I, you know, then discovered the books of ROM das about Neem Karoli Baba, and had many subtle experiences with nicaro Alibaba. So I knew I mean, I’m being guided by God realize being I don’t know who my guru is, but I trusted in Crawley Baba was going to guide me to my Guru. And, and then I met a beautiful girlfriend who wanted to practice tantric sex. And so we did some of that. And that was very healing. And I studied the Course in Miracles for a couple of years. And that was very empowering. And healing wasn’t fully my path. But it was it was it was beneficial. And then after this, I met Amma. And it’s funny because I was trusting Neem Karoli Baba to lead me to my Guru. And the night that I realized that Amma was my guru, Ram Das, the American, the famous American teacher came to see Amma in Boston, and when he was lying in his lap, receiving her embrace, and she put flower petals over his head, and there was suddenly a little epiphany, oh, I’m at Neem Karoli Baba are one being. And we were in a church that night, and there was a banner of the Holy Spirit. And oh Amma embodies the Holy Spirit. And then the cross is their armor embodies Christ. And suddenly it was like the whole universe was saying, yes, she embodies all the forms of God. All the Masters you’ve ever read of she is your guru, and this is why you’ve come to the earth. And so I’m having this huge divine revelation. Oh, my God, oh, my God, I want so much to be called by her. Yes, she’s my guru, but shouldn’t she tell me so? So I went up into Darshan queue, burning with a desire to be called by her. And when she gave me the hug, she whispered in my ear, join us. And, you know, joining is an essential concept in the Course in Miracles, join with your brother to discover that there’s really only Christ in both of you. And hearing her say join us it was like, it wasn’t even in Indian English. It was an accent plus English. It was like, there was no doubt God was speaking directly through her and she was God. And it was an explosion. That was like the end of the old life, beginning of the new life, I was ready to make a new name, I was ready to leave everything. And my god, I found God incarnate. And it was the beginning of huge love. And it puts the whole Messiah trip I had been through and all the suffering I had been through in a whole new perspective. And I fell completely in love with Dama. And I guess that love has continued ever since and only gotten deeper and deeper and deeper and my experience of who and what she is has only gotten deeper and deeper and deeper, more and more full. The revelation that she’s actually got any human disguise has just become more and more so So that’s, that’s, that’s the summary of it. And it’s a very funny story how you know how I overcame my Messiah delusion and all the little experiences I had along the way and it’s a fun book it’s just hold up the book cover Sure, rising in love my wild and crazy right here and now with Amma the hugging saint.

Rick Archer: It’s a lot of fun. Yeah, you’re a good writer. It’s a fun book. And there’s, there’s all kinds of interesting little stories and, you know, just different cosmic little events, you know, that, that helped to, I think, convince people that there is more to life that than meets the eye and that someone like Alma Could, could exist to can know things and do things that you know, ordinarily people don’t know, or do, you know, this little insightful connection kind of things that I thought was very beautifully depicted.

Ram Das Batchelder: It’s a fun book. And people are, I’m getting a lot of really positive feedback. People who I don’t know on Twitter are writing me and saying, Oh, my God, I laughed hysterically and cried throughout your whole book. Yeah. And somebody was saying, my chakras were opening. My mind is racing, I’m having an awakening just from reading your book. And it’s been like five or six people saying I received downloads Darshan through your book. Cool. So that’s pretty damn amazing. Yeah. You know, what happened recently, which was really fun is that Russell Brand, came to the ashram and New Years. And I happened to be giving Prasad sitting next to on the passenger, the candies, when he came up and received a Mantra for Mama, and Russell Brand, getting a Mantra, that’s pretty cool. And some little light bulb went in my head. Oh, I bet he would really like my book. So I better not miss this opportunity. He might be here only one more day. And so I went and wrapped up the book and put a letter in it. And the next day, I happened to find him it just the right moment, and gave him a big beautiful hug. And we had a very nice couple of minutes together. And then I gave him the book and said, I’m gonna check this out. And a couple of days later, he posted a photo of himself reading the book, on Twitter and Facebook, to a combined audience of 11 point 7 million people. So this is suddenly got this global publicity going. It’s fantastic publicity.

Rick Archer: Yeah. Did you notice a big spike in book quarters at that point?

Ram Das Batchelder: No, I haven’t I honestly haven’t been checking. I haven’t following the book quarter so closely.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I’m hoping that Russell read the my introduction to your book, so that so that somehow rather it’ll enabled me to do an interview with him, I’d love to do that. He’s a lot of fun. A lot of a lot of your book, not a lot. But you know, a fair amount of your book has to do with your various struggles with relationships, you know, your attempt to be celibate, and then various relationships you went through, and then your marriage and, and, you know, some of the difficulties you face in your marriage. You want to talk about that kind of thing a little bit. Because a lot of people, you know, yeah, everybody has this in their life and it and a lot of people and people appreciate hearing somebody else’s take on how to how to deal with it all.

Ram Das Batchelder: Well, yeah, there was when I, when I met him, when I first met him, I was actually in a relationship with a woman. This is a woman that we were practicing some tantric sex. And that was very beautiful. And I liked her. And she liked me. And we were thinking, well, maybe we should get married. But after I had been with her for about a year, I was feeling actually very full that if you know, I’m really not that interested in sex anymore. It’s like it’s okay. But it’s like, when you haven’t had it, there was a huge hunger for it, you know, and that but once I’d had it been like, had a very fulfilling sex life with with practicing Tantra together and I was like, wow, then suddenly, I didn’t really care that much about it. And I was like, what I really wanted was to find out what these Yogi’s in Autobiography of a Yogi had found, I wanted to become a monk and live in India. So so when I then you know, told him that I wanted to become a monk. We’re at our basically our, our, our first meeting, she she laughed hysterically. And she laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed, and she’s holding somebody on her on her lap and given them a tremendous ride while she laughs and laughs like I’ve never seen anybody laugh before as if this is the funniest thing. I’ve never seen anybody with so much sexual desire, saying they want to become a monk. You know, I think that was probably the root of it. Right? I think she was also seeing my entire Messiah trip and having a great laugh about all of that. Oh, Also, but she’s basically. I mean, I can tell that story. I suppose we have time for that. Yeah. She said, There’s a name for the kind of sanyas. And you would be sending awesome is is monk and I had said, I want to become insanely awesome. So she said, this was being translated out loud in those in those days, the questions were translated and for everybody. So everybody here heard the question. And the answer is that there’s a name for the kind of vinyasa and you would be when a newly married husband has his first quarrel with his wife. Sometimes they’ll say, I’m leaving you and renouncing the world and you’ll put on an orange robe and go out into the town. And within a few days of the winking at all the women and making all kinds of mischief, that’s the kind of vinyasa you would be. And then she said, you have a mind like a cat, no matter how much you feed it, it will always be stealing something. And actually, this was sort of reflecting something that, you know, in some of my earlier years, I had actually done a little bit of mild shoplifting when I was working as a waiter, and my anger and my frustration, and everybody, I would steal a pair of salt and pepper shakers, and feel like I mean, I bought I mean, it was probably about $50 altogether worth of stuff I had stolen, it wasn’t a lot of stuff. But nonetheless, it was a pretty nasty little sin. And there was something about her saying, it will always be stealing something I said, I wonder if she knows about that, you know, there was there was, of course, a moment earlier where I had decided I had to renounce all of those kinds of rolling actions, I woke up a little bit spirituality and realized I had been really on the wrong path. But anyway, so I decided, I said, Okay, after this Darshan, where she had laughed at me, and you know, so basically, you’re not moving material, buddy, you know, I said, Wait a minute, that’s the goal of my life, I want this so much, I have to have this, oh, I got I’m not giving up so easily give me a sign. So as I was driving back home, I said, Give me a sign God. And I was driving through all these little towns in Massachusetts, and I kept seeing every single town, Maple Street, every town and I saw it’s five or six of them. And I was like, Wait a second, is that the sign? And I understood may poll. If you really want to become a monk, you made poll for that goal. And I’m a little healthier. So I got this very clear message. So I decided then in there, yes, I’m going to do it. I’m going to pull for that. Whether I succeed, I don’t know. But I’m going to try. And so within a couple of months, my girlfriend and I had broken up, it just naturally kind of happened. And I moved in with some friends who are doing a spiritual community and sort of decided, let me increase my meditation time from two hours to four hours a day, and let me try to become a sanyasi. And then fairly quickly, I had a rather powerful miracle. From Shama. I don’t want to tell the whole story, but at a time when I was stuck in a snowdrift

Rick Archer: Oh, that was amazing. Yeah, I read that. Quite a powerful story. She

Ram Das Batchelder: She literally manifested a Jack in the trunk of my car, which had a piece of candy wedged into it.

Rick Archer: Yeah, I mean, just I just read that last night. And it’s like, you were trying to get your thing out of the snowdrift, your car, and you you already had one jack, and you’ve been working and working, and you needed two jacks to really get it out. And you had been getting sand from a bag in the trunk. And, you know, you couldn’t get it out. So you open up the trunk again, and they’re on top of the bag of sand, which had been getting sand out of all this time, was a new jack that hadn’t been there, then it had a piece of candy wedged in it. So that was kind of amazing.

Ram Das Batchelder: It was amazing. And I knew in that moment, this is a miracle. This is like a biblical miracle. Like Absolutely, and I took that piece of candy and ate it and you know, had a moment of ecstasy and then put the second jack in there and room we got out with it without any more struggle. So this was definitely a sign that there’s a very powerful Grace here. But to get back to the relationship question, so then I was I was determined to become a monk. And so there were you know, some some ladies in the in the town where I was living there in Massachusetts, who were winking at me and sort of, Hey, would you like to have dinner with me? Are you sure you know? And I was like, I’m so sorry. But I’m going to become a semi awesome so I put that away and ended up going to Hamas ashram. And as a Brahmacharya with the determination, I’m going to become a seosten. I wanted so much to be a Brahmin ceremony. And for a couple of years, it was I you know, is just very engulfed in the awesome life. I was doing my best to meditate all day and do savor and be fully absorbed in Messina and I didn’t have much difficulty with sexual desire. It was kind of a bit of graceful mama And then I went through a period of suddenly very, very intense lust and struggling with it very intensely. And there was one woman in the ashram and I think she wanted to have a kid and I felt like oh my god, I’m so in love with this woman, and she’s so in love with me. And I’m going absolutely crazy. I was trying to push it away. No, I don’t want that. And yet all night long at the Oh, my God have suffered very much. And it’s so you know, funny chapter in the book where I really wanted to get married and, and surrendering all that to him and praying to him or for her help and her guidance, and you know, given her a series of notes, where I said, I’m gonna take this away, I don’t want any of that I want to become I want only God realization, and then we later I will marry anyone you say, you know, so rapidly crumbling discrimination and renunciation there. And then finally, you know, I’m I’m a gave us the final answer to the question, which was don’t change your path. It was just in code saying, Stay celibate. Keep on truckin. Yeah, keep on trucking. And so

Rick Archer: not the opposite thing. Which rhymes with trucking? Right?

Ram Das Batchelder: That’s right, absolutely. Ready for that moment? Anyway, she didn’t give that guidance. So quite a puddle of tears. And then, you know, fairly quickly accepted that this was God’s guidance on the matter and let the relationship idea go. And you know, that busy writing a new play for him, I was writing plays for her in those days, which we were performing on the US tour. You know,

Rick Archer: let’s just have you interject. And let me just interject a question. Have you elaborate on this? There are people who say, you know, this whole thing about being celibate, and being a monk, and all that stuff, has nothing to do with realization, it was just some kind of cultural, you know, male dominated society issue that crept into spirituality, and that it’s really irrelevant. And, you know, just do what you like in that in that department. And it won’t make any difference, as far as the realization was, so how would you address that? And, you know, how would you justify the determination with which you tried to maintain, you know, celibate lifestyle?

Ram Das Batchelder: Well, I should probably before I do that, I should probably just tell you a little bit of the rest of my story around this question is that at one point, I actually left amaz organization, as guided by Him on the inner plane, I left and I went to several other gurus I spent actually seven years outside of the ashram, I would come to see on my every few months, but I was not in the organization anymore. And towards the end of that time, I was bought together with a young woman, another guru brought us together. And we decided to get engaged. And we ended up coming back to Amazon ashram, and Americas. So we’ve been living together at Amazon for the last 13 years. We haven’t been celibate. In fact, we went through her and at one point I said, I’ma you know, maybe would like to become celibate. Now, we can be brother and sister living together. And my wife was like, I don’t want that. Come on. I want I want a full sex life. And I’m told, No, you should not be celibate. You’re married and you have to fulfill this for your wife and accept. So it was like we were very specifically guided to to not be celibate and to live a normal married life. And I tell you that my spiritual life has only gotten better since then. And were

Rick Archer: you able to do that without any kind of hang up or conflict? I mean, since you had browbeaten yourself so severely for so many years over the celibacy thing, were you able to just sort of relax on it and put it behind you and just live a normal sex life? Or were you still kind of little inhibited or hung up?

Ram Das Batchelder: That was I think there was a transition there. But it wasn’t, it wasn’t it wasn’t a long transition. I like sex. I mean, I’ve always been very, very sexual in my thinking, I grew up as a normal American kid. And, you know, I mean, when I was in high school, I think sex was probably 90% of the contents of my mind.

Rick Archer: So as kids,

Ram Das Batchelder: yeah, in celibacy is very foreign to my nature, really, so. So to come back into having a very fulfilling sex life, and then just just sweet and natural, really, it’s been very nice in your

Rick Archer: training or anything like that. Oh,

Ram Das Batchelder: I don’t know. I mean, considering that, you know, now I’m having these wonderful meditation Samadhi experiences, I have to agree with these people who say, it really doesn’t matter. But at the same time, I’m very glad that I spent the early years with Shama as a Brahma Chari and struggled and struggled because basically you’re it’s a it’s a form of prayer, which is I want God more than anything in this world. And it is a powerful channeling of all your energies. And I think you know, if, if there are many times when you know, a young man will They will spend most of his energy seeking sex seeking seeking a new partner. And then, you know, they break off and he gets all engrossed in the emotional drama of that and then eventually finds another partner, and then there’s no time for God. And when you’re being, like, you know, when you’re having a lot of sexual pleasure, you don’t necessarily have much energy left to seek God. So I think there’s a value in both ways. I’m glad I’ve spent years struggling with it, and years as a celibate seeking, seeking, seeking. But now to have the fulfillment of the marriage and also to have beautiful Samadhi experiences like this is great. I mean, I have the best of both worlds, and I’m very content with with God’s gift. I mean, you know, can’t be unhappy with with this lifetime. It’s been fantastic. Right. Yeah.

Rick Archer: And in your notes that you sent me, you said something about difficulties you faced in your marriage? Is that what you were just alluding to? Or is there something else?

Ram Das Batchelder: Yeah, that’s well, we we’ve we’ve been through tough times, it hasn’t been the easiest of marriages, I think this is also comes along with the package you should know that I’m against. You have a challenging marriage, which would make me really work to develop compassion and forgiveness and patience. And, you know, my wife has had her difficulties with faith at times. So there was a period where she really sort of fell out of love with Alma for a while and lost her faith in Alma. And that was very difficult for us to walk through together. And I’m a really, really helped help us to walk through that time, and kept us together. And at one point, we thought maybe we should divorce I thought we were going to divorce and I finally went up to armor and received a hug and gave her a note saying, Should my wife and I divorce? And I said, No. And you know, I’m so grateful that she doesn’t always say no, by the way, no, I’m so she doesn’t. But in this case, it was very beneficial that she that she kept us together. And you know, I ended up going to Venezuela to be with my wife there for some time. And learning Spanish and teaching in Spanish. And it enabled a whole new level for my life. And it was fulfilling because an English teaching thing wasn’t likely to happen in in Venezuela, suddenly, naturally, I was teaching in Spanish. So we were giving Satsang and I ended up you know, giving this full university course in Spanish, which I wrote myself with a little help from my wife, and a translator. So this was opened up a whole new level of of my life. So and then you know, my wife again, your face. Nice. And, yeah, so it’s been very, very sweet. Yeah. It’s a beautiful story, if you don’t mind, I’ll just share a quick story about how how my wife was called by Alma, that she was in India when her whole family was in India in another ashram. And her parents were the devotees of another saint. And her father is a writer, and he, he was just finishing up his writing work for the day, and he was feeling really tired. He said, literally just meditate lying down before go to sleep. And he starts filling his very deep, unusually deep level of peace. And suddenly he, he feels like there’s another being in the room, and he opens his eyes, and he sees Alma standing in the room in a living form. And she says to him, give me your baby. He said, Mother, I have no babies. My daughters are all grown women. And she says, give me your baby, tearing him up. And then she vanishes from the room. And 20 miles, my wife’s name, right? So and he comes out of his room and sees her and says daughter, go to Kerala at once. The Divine Mother is calling me. This gives me this gives us a nice story, because it gives a clue as to Mama’s not just a nice lady given hugs, you know, she’s more in the realm of Jesus Christ.

Rick Archer: Yeah, and there are a number of stories like that to me, if you start reading the books about our Mother series called awakened, awakened children. And they’re all kinds of stories like that, where she’ll show up and say something to somebody, and then they’ll, they’ll come to the ashram and she knows all about it. And it was all kind of like, perfect, and it’s pretty far out actually.

Ram Das Batchelder: It’s pretty far. And it seems to be even more for the fact that she pretends to be just an ordinary lady.

Rick Archer: So why did you come back to the ashram after seven years of bopping around India visiting other gurus?

Ram Das Batchelder: Well, I guess he would have to say it was God’s will the whole thing really. She pulled me back. It was just it was time to come back. You know, she did it through my wife. I was with another guru. I had stayed with many different gurus and the current at that time I was living outside the ashram Have this guru. And, you know, I said, well, the divine mothers put me here. And when Teresa basically fell in love with Alma, she came down to meet Om and fell in love with her. I said, Well, okay, that’s fine. But I’ll go down to almost ashram and visit visits or any mother and I’ll also have almost Darshan, I totally still loved him, and I knew I was gone. But somehow God had put me out and put, you know, put me in another situation, and I didn’t see any need to change it. But but then I was going to, I would go to, to, to to have a normal life for a while, then I would go down to see Arma and see tournament down there. And then I’m gonna go back to this other ashram where I was living. And I did this two or three times. And then Alma sent a note to our rooms, and someone to our room to tell us that she saw she said, was 630 mas focusing on Alma, then she should stay here. But since you’re focusing on this other guru, then it’s not good for your spiritual life to becoming here and seeing Om I will only distract you. So you shouldn’t come here anymore. If you want to come, it could only be for two days at a time. But at the same time, if you want to get married, then you can get some blessing. So we were left with this perplexing message, oh, you can get married if you want to. But you can’t state you can’t be together because she’s going to be hearing they’re going to be there. So we were left with this rather confusing message. I thought this has to be a Lila. I don’t know what this can be. But it doesn’t make much sense. See what happened. So we went back together to see this other guru where I was living. And every day when he came out for his Darshan, I suddenly began hearing very clearly from him. It’s now time to return to Alma and lay your life at her feet. I heard the same message seven days in a row. And I was like, Okay, I get it.

Rick Archer: He wasn’t saying that. You were just sort of feeling that right.

Ram Das Batchelder: Well, it was, you know, my relationship with him was something where I would hear his voice in the same way that I hear I was voice I heard his voice very clearly. And I had no doubt that he was, I mean, he had been confirmed hundreds of times I was less I was receiving direct communication from him on the inner plane. So this was one of 1000s of these communications where yes, he was telling me very clearly on the inner plane, it’s now time to return to our my later life. So then, it was very clear, that’s what was meant to happen. And we went back to Rama, and I explained to her, this is what I have received. I’m going to be coming back here now. And she very quickly accepted me back in the ashram fully. And so it was fairly easily accomplished the move.

Rick Archer: Nice. Okay, well, there are tons of things in your books in your book, which we could use as springboards for discussion. And, but we’ve been going on for a while here now. So maybe we should wrap it up. But I want to just make sure that there isn’t something that’s important to you that you feel we haven’t covered. I always like to ask that towards the end of an interview. Is there anything you’d like to talk about that I haven’t thought to ask?

Ram Das Batchelder: Well, one thing I would I would like to mention is that all the royalties from the sale of rising in love will be going to this orphanage. I’m actually three orphanages this, this money will all be going to her orphanage in India.

Rick Archer: And that’s, and it’s nice, because I know you don’t have a lot of money. Like I asked you, if you’re coming to the States this summer that we might do this interview in person and you sit down, we don’t really have the money to come there. So it’s, it’s nice of you that you’re doing that you’re doing it that way.

Ram Das Batchelder: Yeah, I’m happy to do that. In this is my whole life story in the book, and I’m really happy to just lay it all out on the street. You know, I want her to take all the karma. I don’t want any karma. I’m very happy to give all the money to the orphans. Yeah.

Rick Archer: How do you generate money? How do you support yourself? Just these tours, the organizers have

Ram Das Batchelder: a couple of years, the tours, the tours is one main way. And these are really fun tours. So I would like to invite anybody who’s interested in coming to India, to do tours with us, we do really Five Star Tours, we have beautiful, my wife selects very, very good hotels and very good transportation, and we go to the holy cities. And we go to actually meet some of the living saints in India. And I give classes during the retreats about various aspects of Hinduism, and I tried to convey the essence of Hinduism. So it’s not just a tour of locations, it’s it’s we’re trying to give the essence. So people are really enjoying the tours.

Rick Archer: And so on my on your page on batgap.com. I’ll link to whatever website presents these tours. You have some website that talks about him.

Ram Das Batchelder: Well, yeah, if you come in, I’ll just hold up the website here. It’s getting that

Rick Archer: oh, the rising website. Yeah,

Ram Das Batchelder: WW go. Well, you’re rising in love.org, rising dash in love.org. And I’ll be linking to that. Okay, right. So rising dash in love.org. There, if you go to the first page at the bottom of the page, my email address is there. Okay? So we’re still putting together our English website. Previously, we were working with the Spanish website. So we do both Spanish and English. But if you come into that rising dash in love.org site, you can find my email address and contact me and I’ll send you the latest about the tours we’re giving. And if you have a group, we can organize the tour especially for you according to your own itinerary.

Rick Archer: And you go all over the place North and South India, the whole thing,

Ram Das Batchelder: we do everything

Rick Archer: cool. Do you like go way up to go tree or anything like that.

Ram Das Batchelder: We haven’t done that yet. But we want to. We’re looking at even even going into Tibet and Nepal.

Rick Archer: Cool. Fun life you’re living.

Ram Das Batchelder: We have a good life. We have so much fun.

Rick Archer: Yeah. It’s great. All righty. Well, I think this has given people a nice taste of what tamas is all about through, you know, to people’s perspective, primarily yours. But maybe it will interest people to go and see her. She is really she she tours all over the world. So she’ll be touring Singapore, Australia, Japan, pretty soon, I think. And then she comes to the states and, and goes all over the place.org is the website where you can find turiya information. And then in the fall, she goes to Europe, and then she comes back to the States. And then she tours all over India. And so she gets around. And chances are she’ll be fine.

Ram Das Batchelder: As she sure does get around.

Rick Archer: Yeah, she does. And I don’t know how many more years she’ll be able to do this. You always wonder whether this might be the last year or something because it’s very arduous. But she keeps on doing it. So yeah, make hay while the sun shines.

Ram Das Batchelder: Yeah. I mean, sometimes I wish he would stay in one place only so we could have easier access to it. Because following after her around the world is just too difficult for me.

Rick Archer: Yeah, but it’s also too difficult.

Ram Das Batchelder: Luckily, that’s you can come come to people sometimes it comes to Seattle at the end of May, and ends up on the east coast by what does it end of July

Rick Archer: into July. And in the meanwhile it goes to Seattle Bay Area, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Dallas, Chicago, you know, and then up the East Coast and she may end up coming to Atlanta one of these days soon that she said she went Oh, it’s all next summer’s tours all sort of tentative and unannounced so far. Yeah. And Toronto, she also goes to Toronto. Okay, great. Well, let’s wrap it up. So I’ve been speaking with rom das back shoulder, who has written this book rising in love my wild and crazy ride to hear now, I’ll be linking to his website into the book on his page on batgap.com, as well as putting up a bio of him. And you can get in touch with him, Get the book if you want. And take it from there. This show that you’re watching is part of an ongoing series. They’re about 270 Something of them now. And you can find them all@batgap.com Bat gap. You’ll find their past interviews menu and under that they’re categorized all the past interviews are categorized in various ways. There’s a future interviews menu showing what’s coming up. There’s a Donate button, which I that’s how I support being able to do this. I don’t give tours. There is a place to be notified of upcoming of new interviews as they’re posted. email signup thing, and a bunch of other things. Explore the menus and you’ll you’ll see what’s there. So So Thanks for having us. It’s been a lot of fun.

Ram Das Batchelder: It’s been really nice to talk with you, Rick. Really a pleasure.

Rick Archer: Good. And hopefully meet you in person one of these days.

Ram Das Batchelder: Yeah, definitely this summer hopefully.

Rick Archer: Yeah, that’d be great. All right. Thanks. Talk to you later.

Ram Das Batchelder: Beautiful. Thank you very much. Om Namah Shivaya.

Rick Archer: Om Namah Shivaya.