Ram Dass is a spiritual thought leader who is known worldwide for his teachings on consciousness and best-selling books like Be Here Now. His foundation, The Love Serve Remember Foundation, is dedicated to preserving and continuing the teachings of Neem Karoli Baba and Ram Dass and has been a partner of Propeller since the beginning.
We've been working with LSRF to support this mission and launched an experience enabling a winner and a friend to Escape To Maui With Ram Dass. This experience was part of Ram Dass's bi-annual retreat, which included meditations, Dharma talks, yoga, and other teachers such as Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Krishna Das and several others.
We sat down with winner Ashley Beck of Hermosa Beach, CA to get all the behind the scenes details on what the experience was like. Check it out below.
Propeller: Tell us about your experience on Propeller. What did you do to win?
Ashley: Let me first say what an amazing website Propeller is!! I love donating to causes that help the earth spread love and teach peace.
I discovered Propeller by chance one day. I am a HUGE fan of Jack Johnson and when I found out about the Jack Johnson experience, I immediately clicked and ended up finding Propeller.
Propeller allows me to donate to my favorite causes, receive points for it, and use those points to enter into incredible experiences. I began donating to several causes such as The Sierra Club, The Love Serve Remember Foundation, Heal the Bay, and many others. It was incredible to know that by donating $10 I was gifting a solar light to a family in Haiti!
I actually saw where my donations went, how they helped, and found so many great causes on one website. I also shared these causes on social media and was able to easily spread the word about the ones that were close to my heart. Needless to say, I've been recommending Propeller to my friends left and right.
Ultimately when I saw the trip to Maui with the beloved Ram Dass, I used all the points I had earned as entries in hopes I would win. I was ecstatic when I won. My friend and I are both healers and were elated about spending time at this retreat.
We spent several days and nights on the beach in Maui, swimming with sea turtles, eating delicious Hawaiian food, and being surrounded by like-minded people. I was filled with nature experiences, loving connections, and deeply sacred meditations and talks.
Propeller: Did you meet Ram Dass? What was he like? Any words of wisdom you'd like to share?
Ashley: I got the opportunity to meet Ram Dass over the course of the retreat. While he wasn't able to speak much, he was radiating with love and kindness. I felt his deep sincerity and love for humanity. I feel grateful to have had the pleasure to share a few moments with him.
Propeller: What were the daily Dharma talks and nightly chants like?
Ashley: The Dharma talks and chant evenings were amazing! It's so difficult to put into words the experiences that I felt. The discussions on Dharma by Jack Kornfield and Judy Goodman were both touching and revealing. The relationship and love between them was evident and a beautiful example of embodiment.
My absolute favorite moment was a discussion around vow making. It created a sacred and precious moment with my heart and everyone in the room. Sharon Salzberg's work on love and creating happiness seemed honest, illuminating, and filled with light-hearted wisdom.
Propeller: What were the meals like? Favorite dish?
Ashley: The meals were delicious! There was a variety of healthy and delicious food that felt homemade. The quality and abundance of dishes were very satisfying. The fresh Hawaiian pineapple and papaya were available every morning and were my favorite first bites of the day. Being gluten-free, I really appreciated the accommodations for every type of food preference. Oh and the special Hawaiian syrup was quite a treat!
Propeller: What was your favorite part of the experience overall?
Ashley: I loved creating a vow for myself. During a morning talk we had the opportunity to create our owns vows. A piece of blessed string was handed to every person in the room. As I sat in silence in a room full of different souls, I rested my heart and asked it what it craved.
The answer I got was both touching and sacred. I aimed to separate vows for my life. My first vow was to honor myself in everything I do. My second vow was deeply rooted in embodiment. I vowed to be the embodiment of love with myself and everyone I encounter; to shine love brightly and purposefully.
Another favorite experience was the closing ceremony at the beach. We each received a sacred leaf to carry with us as we go home. We dipped the leaf in the ocean and blessed and purified ourselves with it. After that we all dove into the ocean and had a wonderful swim! The energy of Maui has such a softness to it that amplified my overall experience at the retreat.
Propeller: Why was this cause in particular important to you?
Ashley: I believe that love is who we are.
As a parenting coach and owner at The Whole Hearted Parent, I teach families and parents how to better embody the love that they already are; I teach them how to create boundaries from love and give them clarity on any blocks they have surrounding their heart.
The teachings of Ram Dass and Be Here Now is all about presence, embodiment and coming form love. His cause is directly in alignment with my work in the world, my life, and how I choose to show up in it.
Propeller: Was there anything we could have done to make your experience better?
Ashley: You guys were amazing. You provided me with ease and simplicity by being helpful and informative. Thank you Propeller for providing me with such a lovely, sweet, and deep experience!
(Note: You can snag this 'Be Here Now' shirt on Propeller.)
Propeller: Anything else you'd like to add?
Ashley: The daily Qi Gong and Yoga were special treats that I was able to participate in. Every morning I either went to do yoga, meditate, or participate in QiGong, which was ocean front! Delightful!
Enter this years LSRF experience - 'Join Ram Dass, Krishna Das & Friends for a Retreat on Maui'. Learn more about the Love Serve Remember Foundation by visiting their profile on Propeller.