"To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves..."
- M.K. Gandhi
A BRIEF ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY
Hanuman Foundation, established as a U.S federally recognized 501 (c) (3) non-profit education and service charitable organization, was created in 1974 in order to promulgate and support humanitarian service, and spiritual well-being among members of society(s) and diverse cultures through:
· Education and Media: including public events, trainings, and publications; community service initiatives which inspire and support practical applications of compassionate spiritual knowledge
· Study, Practice, and Application(s) of diverse wisdom, devotion and contemplative traditions, in combination with science-based and practical knowledge, in the areas of: health, education, cultural preservation, climate, water and land sustainability, social justice, the arts and sciences.
The organization was founded upon the essential life teachings and principles of the East-Indian mystic-saint Neem Karoli Baba, which include to always, "Love and serve everyone..." and "Love and feed people" (see Miracle of Love: Stories about Neem Karoli Baba, for further information). The name Hanuman itself has its direct origins from the ancient archetypal monkey-warrior deity found in the Sanskrit-Hindu and Tibetan traditions, which represents the embodiment of pure service and devotion through the path of one's actions, thoughts, deeds, devotions and overall character in order to help alleviate suffering, on earth (see, Hanuman Chaleesa CD liner notes for further information).
From 1974-1997 the foundation served as a primary vehicle for administering and producing educational media, workshops, retreats, community gatherings and programs initiated by Ram Dass (a.k.a., Richard Alpert, Ph.D., see www.ramdass.org ), the internationally renowned author, scholar, "new age" pioneer and humanitarian. Additionally, the foundation served as a foremost and supportive vehicle for a host of other prominent spiritual teachers, scholars and social activists and elders representing a wide-diversity of Eastern and Western spiritual and contemplative traditions and practices, including: Vajrayana, Therevada and Mahayana Buddhism; Hinduism; meditation and various forms of yoga; various Native American traditions; cognitive and behavioral sciences; and shamanic traditions. Throughout this period the foundation was responsible for producing more than 1200 public events in the U.S., Canada, South and Central America, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India, and Nepal. Hanuman Foundation has also served as publisher of Be Here Now (Crown Publishers, 1971), the timeless and epic spiritual-guide by Ram Dass, which has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide.
In 1974, Hanuman Foundation helped to establish the Prison-Ashram Project (later known as Human-Kindness Foundation) which provided groundbreaking educational and training programs, including yoga, meditation training study groups and life-counseling services for individuals incarcerated at minimum thru maximum level correctional facilities throughout North America and worldwide. Through the pioneering work of Bo and Sita Lozoff (project founders), the project produced the acclaimed instructional book, Inside-Out: A Spiritual Guide for Prison Living, which has been at the root of numerous programs for assisting prisoners that have followed in its wake.
In 1976 Hanuman Foundation established the Living-Dying Project, under the shared auspices of Stephen and Ondrea Levine, and Dale Borglum, to provide compassionate support services and training for individuals and families in various stages of life-threatening illness. In 1982 the foundation established a private hospice center for individuals in final-life stages, and their caregivers and families in Santa Fe, NM. This included a nationwide 24-hour assistance-line facilitated by the Levines, (acclaimed instructors and co-authors of Who Dies and A Year to Live, see www.levinetalks.com for further info.).
From 1974-2001, the Foundation managed the Hanuman Foundation Tape Library which produced and published an extensive range of spiritual education and training multi-media, including meditation, yoga, psychology, social sciences, social activism and community support programs produced and recorded at events led by Ram Dass, and a host of other widely acclaimed spiritual teachers, elders, scholars, musicians, artists and field professionals.
In 1979, Ram Dass, along with other members of Hanuman Foundation, helped to establish the Seva Foundation, an international public health organization working in India, Nepal, Tibet, Mexico, Guatemala, North America and Native American Indian communities. Continuing throughout the 1980s and 1990s Hanuman Foundation served as a primary fundraising, organizing, training, p.r. and support vehicle for Seva and its established public and community health, social justice, sustainable development, service programs and international relief efforts. Annual support, educational and fundraising events produced by Hanuman to support Seva Foundation programs included: worldwide lectures, workshops, retreats, symposia and event tours; concerts and performing arts; community organizing and educational campaigns.
In 1988 Hanuman Foundation assisted in collaborating to produce a series of community-based events focused on a growing national homelessness epidemic which culminated in organizing of community service, action and education groups throughout U.S. and Canadian urban communities, and subsequent benefit concert and events series "Home-Aid," in partnership with St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City.
In 1993-4 Hanuman Foundation served as production partner in creating a three month workshop series designed to provide technical training, support and assistance for mental health and community service professionals, volunteers and agency organizers. The events culminated in the nationally aired PBS series, A Change of Heart (1994), which was hosted by Ram Dass.
From 1995-97, the foundation produced a nationally syndicated talk-radio show and series, "Here and Now," to investigate, inspire and promulgate the practical role and application of compassionate values and contemplative practices in service, commerce, volunteer and philanthropic activities for mainstream society.
In 2005, the Foundation collaborated in establishing the NM Water Initiative in order to address water sustainability, fragile ecosystems, critical climate and conservation issues facing New Mexico, the Colorado Basin, and Southwest U.S. region. In 2013 the New Mexico Water Initiative collaborated with Island Press to provide major underwriting support for publishing of two seminal books: The World's Water Volume 8, by Peter Gleick et al, and Chasing Water: A Guide for Moving from Scarcity to Sustainability, by Brian Richter.
Since opening its doors in 1974 the foundation has continued to administer small-scale publishing operations as a vehicle for producing, authoring, distributing, promoting and dissemination of printed books, recordings, digital-media, periodicals and other multi-media focusing in the areas: applied and engaged spiritual perspectives and practices; mindfulness; meditation; yoga; sacred-wisdom teachings and traditions; non-violence; water, sustainability, renewable energy, and environment; and other practices which promote and strengthen acts of compassionate service, and well-being of individuals, families, communities, daily life and planet. Hanuman Foundation continues to serve as the publisher of: Miracle of Love: Stories about Neem Karoli Baba, compiled by Ram Dass; By His Grace: A Devotee's Story, by Dada Mukherjee; The Near and the Dear, by Dada Mukherjee; Be Here Now by Ram Dass (Co-Publisher); and Hanuman Chaleesa: Songs in Praise of Hanuman (various artists).
In addition, the foundation has also assisted in producing and underwriting the following publications: Journey of Awakening: A Meditator's Guidebook (Dass, Bonner, Goleman, Borglum, Bantam Publ., 1977) and Inside-Out (Bo & Sita Lozoff, 1974). It also assists with the books Grist for the Mill (Dass & Levine, Unity Press, 1976); How Can I Help (Dass & Gorman, Knopf, 1985), Compassion In Action (Dass & Bush, Belltower, 1991), and Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing & Dying (by Ram Dass, Riverhead Books, 2000)
While continuing with publications and media activities through Hanuman Foundation Book Publishing, the foundation remains primarily focused on supporting and developing programs which address critical issues of climate change, water, sustainability, cultural preservation, social justice, Indigenous rights, mindfulness and spiritual training(s), the arts and sciences, health, and education.
IN MEMORIAM : RAM DASS (1931 -2019)
May the light, love, wisdom, and beauty you shared with so many continue to guide and grace your steps home. May you journey strong and in peace beloved elder, brother ,and friend, in Maharaj-ji’s blessings always ... Om Jaya Jagadeesh Hare.
For more information on the life and passing of Ram Dass, see: NY Times, CNN, and NBC.
For further info visit ramdass.org