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Montrose Voice, No. 331, February 27, 1987
File 006
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Montrose Voice, No. 331, February 27, 1987 - File 006. 1987-02-27. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 24, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2313/show/2285.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1987-02-27). Montrose Voice, No. 331, February 27, 1987 - File 006. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2313/show/2285

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Montrose Voice, No. 331, February 27, 1987 - File 006, 1987-02-27, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 24, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/2313/show/2285.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Montrose Voice, No. 331, February 27, 1987
Contributor
  • McClurg, Henry
  • Wyche, Linda
Publisher Community Publishing Company
Date February 27, 1987
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 22329406
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 006
Transcript Ram Dass: Now AIDS By Sheri Cohen Darbonne Montrose Voice Ram Dass, a former Harvard University psychology professor who gained notoriety in the 1960's for experimenting with psychedelic chemicals including LSD and psylocibin, says now he has reached a true connection with consciousness in his current commitment to human service. One of the more recent outgrowths of this commitment is working with victims of AIDS, and the volunteers and "buddies" who provide services to them, Dass reported Sunday, Feb. 22. Dass, who along with Timothy Leary was one of the first professors to be fired by Harvard in the 20th century, is scheduled to lecture at the University of Houston, University Park student center at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 1. The lecture, sponsored by and held for the benefit of the Seva Foundation, will focus on the topic "Cultivating the heart of compassion." Dass said his involvement with AIDS grew partly out of his previous work with people who are dying and partly out of more personal experiences, including the loss of friends. His approach to dealing with the disease's progression is different than the attitude encountered by AIDS victims in a hospital or hospice environment because of how the person is perceived, Dass claims. "It's really a contextual matter ofthe way one sees another person," Dass explained. "In a hospital or medical environment, what is seen is the body, whereas in a hospice, the focus in on the personality. The attitude there is 'It's too bad you're dying.' What I am more interested in is the spiritual," he said. Through involvement with the spirit, a person can reach an acceptance of dying and consciously approach the situation, Dass suggested. He said his program encourages spiritual advancement through meditative practices. Meditation can be learned by anyone with a desire to do so, Dass asserted, noting that the practice takes many forms in application to different lifestyles. Hatha Yoga and even jogging can be considered meditative experiences, he said. 60s Drug Guru Worker Ram Dass, now involved in AIDS work Dass' living-dying project developed from awareness of a philosophy found in many religions that one cannot be born without first dying, and the fact that man's deepest fear is that of physical death. "I wanted to create a space for people who are dying, and for other people who want to be around", he said. Health Care Firm Buys City Block in Montrose Healthcare Associates Inc., a firm which previously did marketing and public relations for local health care professionals, has purchased an entire city block in Montrose, where it plans to operate a residential rehabilitation center for adolescents and young adults. "Live Oaks Treatment Center," for young people with drug, alcohol or emotional problems, will be the company's first treatment facility, according to Stan Riley, the center's chief executive officer. The company entered into a limited partnership with 40 private investors, mostly health care professionals, to purchase the property. The block, bounded by Yoakum, Mt. Vernon, Bissonnet and Berthea Streets, was purchased from Psychiatric Associates of Houston Inc. for $1,000,007, Riley said. Five buildings on the site previously housed professional offices, many of which will remain at the same location; an art gallery and a vacant apartment complex. Riley said $700,000 in renovations to the existing buildings is planned before the facility's scheduled opening in July. The Berthea Gardens Apartments will be converted into the patient residence, he said. No new construction is planned. Live Oaks will probably employ 20-30 full-time staff persons or the equivalent in full and part-time positions, Riley noted. The project began with a telephone line. The "dying centers" were established in Santa Fe, N.M., and Marin County, Calif. Dass began working with AIDS patients and volunteers last year, and says he hopes to open a house for AIDS patients next year. Dass, who is bisexual, said his own experience heightened his interest in the disease. Awareness of AIDS has changed his sexual practices and has made him more sympathetic to the pain of others, he said. The loss of people involved in his project draws mixed feelings, Dass said. "My human heart hurts like hell," he admitted. But another, intuitive part of him understands the balance in the workings of the universe, he added. And, although Dass claims he has not used drugs intravenously and that his sexual practices were not those considered to have the highest risk, he is "open to the possibility" he could be stricken with AIDS himself. "It's hard, hypothetically, to know how you would react," Dass responded when asked how he would accept the news. However, he said, "I feel prepared." Facing death would be "another challenge," he added. Born Richard Alpert in 1931, Dass received an M.A. from Wesleyan University and a Ph.D from Stanford, and served on the psychology faculties at Stanford and the University of California. From 1958-1963 he taught and researched in the department of social relations and graduate school of education at Stanford. FEBRUARY 27, 1987 / MONTROSE VOICE 5 Dass describes the sequence that led him from psychology through chemical experiments in the company of Leary, Aldous Huxley and others to study of Indian spiritual practices and, eventually, to his work with the Seva Founda tion and other service projects as a quest for an "attachment of mind." "I was teaching from the outside in," he said of his earlier work in the universities. "I felt I wasn't being touched inside, and kept wondering, why can't I find happiness, and peace?" Dass said his first experience of being connected with his own mind was when he tried the drug psylocibin during his research at Harvard. "When you experience something like that, you have a tendency to keep trying," he explained. After trying to stabilize the experience for over five years, Dass said he realized the chemicals alone would not do that. Testimony in books of similar experiences led him to India, where he met his "guru" (spiritual teacher), Neem Karoli Baba, under whom he studied Ashtanga Yoga, meditation and a variety of eastern spiritual practices. During this time he received his name, which means "servant of God." Dass said he interprets his "servant to master" devotion to deity through service to mankind. In 1974, Dass created the Hanurnan Foundation, which developed the living-dying project and the "Prison-Ash ram Project," designed to help prison inmates grow spiritually and consciously during their incarceration. Dass is presently chairman of the Seva Foundation, a non-profit organization which provides health and ecological services in developing countries. Seva's primary current activity is support of the Nepal Blindness Program and Avarind Eye Hospital in Madurai. India. Another 1/j/tU s^uxtqi Enterprise... 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