The Guru Way: Becoming Nobody

July 31, 2019 / no comments

Everyone’s busy being somebody. – Ram Dass

We are proud to support the Love Serve Remember (Ram Dass’) Foundation (LSRF) and the Be Here Now Network. Not only through our Founder and CEO Gagan (Jared Levy)’s guidance as a member of the foundation’s Board of Directors, but because of the foundation’s mission to preserve and continue the loving teachings of Neem Karoli Baba and Ram Dass through online courses, blog content, films, podcasts, vast social network channels and collaborative projects with conscious artists and musicians.

Guru’s most recent opportunity to show our love for the Love Serve Remember Foundation—this time, in partnership with Google Empathy Labs—has been through the marketing and promotion of the soon-to-be-released documentary, Becoming Nobody, directed by Jamie Catto, produced by Raghu Markus and starring none other than Ram Dass (with Jamie Catto).

The intent behind the film is to introduce people to Ram Dass’ life and his teachings, and in particular Dass’ philosophy on, “…what I call ‘somebody training,'” Dass says in the opening voiceover of the trailer.

The Becoming Nobody website goes on to explain, “We come to understand how our old roles and disguises become increasingly burdensome. The film captures a loving man full of joy, wit, honesty and wisdom, at ease in conversation while sharing his considerable pains and pleasures. The life experiences that have freed him from the attachments of his ‘somebody-ness’ have transformed him into the radiant soul who now inspires a new generation.”

With this inspiration in our hearts, the Guru Crew set out to develop the marketing and promotional strategy, as well as the art direction for promotional materials that would not only spark interest in the film, but catapult viewers’ interest and involvement in the Love Serve Remember Foundation to continue their learnings from Ram Dass.

In addition to its online courses, blog content, films, podcasts, vast social network channels and collaborative projects with conscious artists and musicians, the Love Serve Remember Foundation sponsors retreats led by Ram Dass and featuring other esteemed spiritual teachers on the island of Maui (where Dass lives).

“Ram Dass is one of the greatest wisdom teachers of our time and this film is an artistic homage to his impact, teachings and legacy,” said Gagan, who led the creative team behind this work. He continued, “The core theme is about rethinking our conditioned paths or our grasping to become ‘somebody’ and seeing the potential deeper happiness and contentment in ‘becoming nobody.’ We wanted to bring this theme to life with artistic funk and reintroduce the world to Ram Dass’ face, teachings and love. And the inspiration to include the trees came from the following insightful quote, which certainly plays out in the film!”

“When you go into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees… and some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens and some of them are – whatever. And you look at the tree, and you just – allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is, you sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way, and you don’t get all emotional about it, you just allow it. You appreciate the tree.

 

The minute you get near humans, you lose all that, and you’re constantly saying, “You’re too this,” or “I’m too this,” or – that judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees, which means appreciating them just the way they are.” – Ram Dass

As Dass ages, he remains the most important spiritual teacher in the West. This film will pull viewers into the humor and lightheartedness of the real Ram Dass as he clowns around with his unique, no-big-deal approach to life.

In an age of spiritual bypass and fleeting spiritual truisms, we believe that Becoming Nobody will allow others to discover and ground themselves in the “basics” of the timeless wisdom of Ram Dass.

Spirituality isn’t about identity. ‘Become nobody’ and recommit to an authentic spiritual practice through the West’s greatest example—and the OG—of a life dedicated to awakening.

Guru Art Director Baha Fenerci

Becoming Nobody opens on September 6, 2019. Click here to find the location nearest you.

 

 

From Dark to Light, a Happy New Year to You

January 2, 2019 / no comments

Happy New Year, everyone!

I am starting the year off with a tone of gratitude harmonized with deep appreciation for all of the work that the Guru Crew (staff) and our clients and partners accomplished in 2018. I am also energized for the exciting collaborations we embark upon beginning today!

With the spaciousness of rest just before the new year, I was reflecting back on the inspiring achievements of the year and forward toward our North Star in the years to come.

In so doing, one must ask the self-reflecting questions: “Who are we?” and “What does the world need from us?” What kept coming up for me harkens back to the original reason I named the agency, “Guru.”

Guru means “sage” or “teacher” as a noun, and “from dark to light” as a verb. A guru does not necessarily hold the answers, but acts as a powerful mirror to facilitate the answers from within the student. We fully embrace this inclusive collective nature of the guru with the domain and handle “WeAreGuru” to showcase our business partners’ roles in their own and the world’s solutions.

We believe that business has an important role – perhaps the most important role at present – in increasing joy and reducing suffering on this planet. Moving businesses “from dark to light” and helping the impactful, conscious businesses we collaborate with to thrive will have a reverberating impact for generations to come.

So, that is who we are. And to further punctuate what the world needs from us, I reflect on one final aspect of “Guru,” which is that of holding the higher vision. Here at Guru, we hold the higher vision of increasing joy and reducing suffering for ourselves, our clients, our partners and our world. We see the potential and will relentlessly push to realize it.

I am excited to be on this journey with each of you!

Gagan (Jared Levy)
Founder and CEO

A Sacred Theory of Change with Sister Jenna and Gagan Levy

November 26, 2018 / no comments

“I feel so blessed that I have found this Satsang, this family, in this lifetime. Raghu and the rest have really taken me under their wing and brought me over to more of a bhakti path – a happy blissful path.” – Gagan (Jared Levy)

This week on The Mindrolling Podcast, Raghu sits down with Sister Jenna and Gagan Levy to talk about bringing a sense of sacredness and compassion to social action. This fascinating episode covers:

  • The Capacity of Consciousness
  • A Sacred Theory of Change
  • Simply Cynicism
  • Breaking Cycles of Suffering with Joy and Compassion

Mindrolling – Ep. 265 – A Sacred Theory of Change with Sister Jenna and Gagan Levy

Enjoy!

The Sound of Business

November 2, 2016 / no comments

You’d be surprised at how few businesses think about sound.

This is mostly due to our physiology: we can close our eyes, but not our ears. Of our fives senses, sound is the most overlooked despite its importance. Because we’re always surrounded by audio input, we tend to ignore unpleasant noises, and this capacity to filter out what we don’t want to hear is why our relationship with sound is so nuanced on a subconscious level. For instance: as you read these words, what is the sound of the world around you?

Try closing your eyes for a moment and notice the multiple layers of sound in your surroundings. All of sudden, a symphony comes to life, right? All that was required is a shift of attention.

soundscape

If this comes as a surprise, that’s because we are rarely taught to listen. Listening is hearing with attention. Schools test reading, writing, and a bit of speaking, but not listening. This has consequences on our health, our relationships, and our brands.

Fortunately, there is room for improvement. Brands that consciously use sound engage their customers in a more holistic manner: after all, we experience the world through our whole bodies, including the five senses. An influential brand offers an experiential journey that goes far beyond the utility of product/service. Think: sonic logos, music in commercials, and the sounds in your favorite cafe. Think of the default iPhone ring tone and the noise your computer makes when you turn it on.

Now, not every brand needs to devise clever multi-sensory marketing campaigns. However every campaign can consider its audio components. Conscious use of sound gets us out of heads and into our bodies, and how we feel will determine how we act.

While some brands miss out on opportunities to engage their customers through sound, other brands shoot themselves in the foot by inadvertently making or introducing sound into their brand experience without realizing it, without understanding it or without thinking it through.

Consider the example of a restaurant so loud you have to yell in order to ask for the salt. Or the supermarket that plays pop music through cheap, crackling loudspeakers overlaid with the frenzied rumble of freezers, cash register beeps, and squeaky shopping cart wheels. It’s a lose-lose situation. Customers don’t enjoy it—consciously or unconsciously—and ultimately the business loses in sales.

Members of a state police brass band per

As both quantum physicists and ancient sages confirm, all matter vibrates and thus, makes sound. The world is comprised of sound, we only hear a small portion of it.

As individuals, we can learn to listen to the world outside and the world inside ourselves.

In our work spaces, we can create diverse sonic environments that respect both the need for quiet, as well the need for energizing buzz and ambient sound.

For businesses, thinking about and planning for intentional sound provides an empathic way to understand their brand, their customers and their role in the world.

Listening is both an action of the ear and an action of the heart.