Ram Dass

“Equals any transcendent moment you’re likely to find in a fiction film, a novel, or a ‘manual for conscious being.’” — Michael Almereyda, The New York Times

“Funny and subtle…Ram Dass has learned to receive as much wisdom as he imparts.” —Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times

“Heartbreaking and inspiring! Counterculture mavens will doubtlessly flip…but even mainstream audiences may find themselves nourished by this generous reflection on a life well lived.” — Stephen Garrett, Time Out New York

“A generous and inspiring film that unfolds with grace and humor and gradually becomes a testament to faith.” — Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle

“Engaging and Unpretentious.” — Dennis Harvey, Variety

“I was not prepared to be as moved as I was by Mickey Lemle’s RAM DASS  FIERCE GRACE.” – Andrew Sarris, NY Observer

“RAM DASS  FIERCE GRACE is artful…and it illustrates one of (Ram Dass’s) conclusions: Healing is not getting back to the way things were, but about learning to live with how they are.” – Noel Murray, The Onion


RAM DASS FIERCE GRACE is a feature-length documentary that shows the wisdom of Ram Dass (aka Richard Alpert), the man who’s been at the forefront of studies in consciousness for over 55 years, as he uses his own practices to deal with the effects of a massive stroke he suffered in 1997.

While at Harvard, Alpert’s explorations of human consciousness led him, in collaboration with Timothy Leary, Ralph, Metzner, Aldous Huxley, Allen Ginsberg, and others, to pursue intensive research with LSD and other psychedelics. Out of this research he co-authored two well-known books: The Psychedelic Experiences and LSD, but because of the controversial nature of the research, Alpert was dismissed from Harvard in 1963 and forced to continue his research under the auspices of a private foundation. He did this until 1967 when he traveled to India and met his Guru Neem Karoli Baba, affectionately called Maharaj ji, who gave him the name Ram Dass, which means “Servant of God”. From that point on, his exploration of consciousness transformed and grew with a spiritual practice of yoga and meditation.

Ram Dass has written many transformational books over the past 5 decades including: Be Here Now, Journey to Awakening, Compassion in Action: Setting Out on the Path of Service, Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing and Dying, Grist for the Mill, How Can I Help, and The Only Dance There Is. He is the co-founder of the SEVA Foundation, consults with the Social Venture Network which seeks to bring social consciousness to business practices, and he continues to teach about the nature of consciousness and service as a spiritual path.

RAM DASS FIERCE GRACE focuses on how Ram Dass deals with the effects of his own stroke, suffering, and alleviation of suffering. Named by Newsweek as one of the five best non-fiction films of 2002. It received the Audience Choice Award at The Hamptons International Film Festival and a Special Jury Prize at The Nashville Independent Film Festival. It showed theatrically in over 60 cities nationwide and was broadcast nationally on PBS. Theatrical distribution by Zeitgeist Films.