Ram Dass and the Lady with the Fruit Hat

Ram Dass and the Lady with the Fruit Hat

I was on a radio show recently, a wonderful two hour stint on Sacred Space out of Canada, and the host, George Rideout, shared the true story of an occurrence at a Ram Dass lecture.

For those of you who may not be familiar, Ram Dass was a Harvard psychologist and psychedelic explorer who became a spiritual teacher after his foray into the paranormal through LSD experiences with Dr. Timothy Leary led him to seek a different life perspective.

In the late 1960s, he went to India and the drug high was replaced by a spiritual one.

He has written several books, the most famous being Be Here Now. He now lives a quiet life no longer traveling the world to teach, but remains a highly respected influence among many spiritual journeymen.

As the story goes, Ram was giving a lecture to a large group several years ago and explaining his early LSD trips and how absolutely otherworldly they were in their capacity to move him into an extraordinary space of a reality beyond words, not to mention often a state of intense bliss.

His description was quite vivid and moving and went on to include his magnificent nirvanic experiences in India post drugs, as well.

Throughout the lecture, an elderly woman near the front of the audience sat nodding in complete agreement and understanding of Ram’s intimate share. She wore a hat topped with plastic fruits and appeared as someone’s beloved granny who undoubtedly had not been of the age to experience the 60s as a free spirited hippie.

Interestingly, in a room full of hundreds, Dass could not help but notice this woman in the fruit hat and shawl so spell-bound by his descriptions of drug-induced and shamanic-induced bliss trips.

After the lecture, he reportedly felt almost perplexed at her powerful presence and immediately sought out this most enchanting woman in the plastic fruit hat.

Upon finding her, Ram asked her why she nodded in agreement and grinned from ear-to-ear throughout his entire talk. He asked her if she had ever experimented with mind-altering drugs or travelled to India to study in ashrams under the tutelage of a guru.

She smiled widely and said that indeed she had not.

Then without further ado, the woman in the fruit hat simply stated with a sparkle in her eyes, “I crochet.”

Ram Dass remained quiet for a moment and then it was his turn to form a huge, ever-expanding smile on his lips.

This dear and quite elderly woman who had probably never even heard of most if not any of the metaphysical teachings that Ram Dass shared in his vibrant lecture, offered one of the great universal spiritual truths that crosses all boundaries—there are an infinite number of streams to the glorious sea and there are millions of paths up the mountaintop—follow the ones that are unique to you.

Seek your own JOY!

Feel your own way through the streams.

The ecstasy that so many spiritual masters speak of is available to each and every one of us when we come to know our own soul.

This story made my eyes glisten.

Are we allowing ourselves and one another this level of individuality that ironically leads to a natural, ecstatic feeling of oneness?

Are we encouraging our children to be fully themselves rather than succumb to the pressures and sameness of the status quo?

What lights you UP?

Let the simple answer of I CROCHET be your guiding example to live true. Your soul knows…



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  • Wow, love this story. It could be I cook, I garden, I golf or I do crosswords, right? Life is so full of avenues to the Divine!

  • Oops, I forgot to write mine -- I make chakra tattoos :-).

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