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First and foremost, Rama was an Enlightened Buddhist and Siddha master whose life, and whose ability to help his students, transcended the limits of his earthly incarnation. Rama was born Frederick Lenz III on February 9, 1950 in San Diego, California, USA. Rama had had many high past lives as an Enlightened master in Tibet, India, Europe, and dating all the way back to Atlantis. This was his first incarnation in the modern Western world-Rama has said that he needed to incarnate in the West this time because the Chinese invasion of Tibet made it impossible to do so in the East this time.

Rama was raised in an ordinary American family, primarily on the East Coast where his family moved (from San Diego) when he was about two years old. He was very close to his mother-whom he was later to say was one of the primary influences on his life-but she died tragically when Rama was fourteen years old. From that point onward, he was raised by his uncle and father, both police officers in the Stamford, Connecticut police department. Rama's family was partly Irish, and he was later to observe that at point in time, the police force was one of the few career options to Irish-Americans. (His father would later go on to become mayor of Stamford.) Another option was the priesthood, and so the possibility of a spiritual life-albeit in a much different form than what eventually transpired-was imprinted early into Rama's mind.

At the same time as Rama went through the usual rites of passage of a growing young man, however, his Enlightenment from past lives began to reassert itself. Rama indicated that it was pretty much inevitable, given that he had been Enlightened in so many past lives, that he would become Enlightened again in this life. He began to experience Samadhi-a high state of consciousness marked by the absence, at least temporarily, of thought-at an early age. To put some structure on his experiences, he began to seek out Eastern spiritual teachers. By the age of twenty, Rama was himself beginning to teach meditation to others, and was studying formally with a teacher based on Long Island.

Rama enrolled in the University of Connecticut, and performed sufficiently well to be awarded the top graduate fellowship available in the entire State University of New York system. He earned his Ph.D. in English from the SUNY campus at Stony Brook in 1978, writing his dissertation on the work of American poet Theodore Roethke. At the same time, Rama also wrote a book entitled Lifetimes: True Accounts of Reincarnation. Rama was thus on a path to become a teacher on two different tracks: as a traditional university professor, and as a teacher of Enlightenment and mysticism through his books and his direct experience of Samadhi.

Rama taught for a little while at the New School in New York, but as he approached his Saturn return, his past life Enlightenment began to kick in much more powerfully, and the focus became ever stronger on the esoteric aspects of his teachings. In 1979, Rama moved, along with a number of his closer meditation students, back to San Diego. By this point, Rama was known as 'Atmananda'-he was no longer referred to primarily by his birth name, but had not yet taken the name of Rama. It was in San Diego that Atmananda/Rama's Enlightenment really began to kick in. Atmananda and several of his closer students rented a house in San Diego, and they also began to teach to others living in the areas. Those who studied with Atmananda at the time recall sitting up with him often most of the night, watching his body dissolve into Eternity and dissolving with him. Atmananda was letting go of the structures that had led him to that point in the incarnation, and his Enlightenment was taking over. Rama subsequently observed that this was not necessarily an easy part of his life, because he had no one really to guide him through the experience.

Atmananda also began leading students on desert excursions in the surrounding deserts near San Diego. Atmananda indicated that by meditating in the desert one can find some of the highest energy to be found in the USA, and one can make major transitions in one's life. It was on one such trip that Atmananda saw that the Universe wanted him to become known as Rama, and this was the name he used-sometimes in the longer form 'Zen Master Rama'-for the rest of his incarnation. Rama indicated that this did not mean that he was the incarnation of the historical Rama from the Ramayana, but rather both he and the historical Rama were manifestations of the warrior aspect of Enlightenment.

In the early 1980's, Rama moved his teachings primarily to Los Angeles-he also had a center in San Francisco for awhile-and he began to teach, through an organization called Lakshmi Seminars, to a larger number of students. Most came because of the pure magic that Rama was able to impart-both the "Light shows" in the seminars and on the desert excursions, but even more importantly through the magical ways that they were able to make changes in their own lives. Rama rented a home owned by Goldie Hawn for a time, and taught to over a thousand active, formal students including movie stars and people from all walks of life. Through his public lectures, Rama probably taught introductory meditation to hundreds of thousands of people during this period-he kept up a schedule of public meditations that was quite grueling. During this time, Rama also put out his second major book-The Last Incarnation-about his students' experiences studying with him--as well as a number of other, shorter, books.

Rama was demanding on himself, and he was also, by his own admission, demanding on his students. By this time period he began to notice that a lot of his students were not strong in the "first attention" or the "tonal"-that is, they were focused on trying to achieve Enlightenment at the expense of their material success. Rama saw that a student's ability to achieve Enlightenment depended, in part, on their ability to have their physical life together. (It doesn't necessarily work the other way: someone who is rich isn't necessarily going to be especially spiritual. But someone who is homeless doesn't have an environment in which they can meditate effectively). Rama saw, therefore, that he was going to have to be a bit more selective about whom he would admit as students. He demanded more of his students, and he conducted what were affectionately called "purges" where he asked large numbers of students to leave the program. Needless to say, those who were "purged" were first given an empowerment to help them with their lives outside the program.

Rama moved his "intermediate" students to Palo Alto in the fall of 1987, and at that point he began a new cycle in his teaching. For the next few years, he pretty much eliminated his public lectures and focused on intensively teaching a smaller number of students. He was, by most accounts, pretty tough with these students, really expecting them to get their lives and especially their careers in shape. Rama was criticized at the time for rising tuitions-his seminars, which at one point had been offered for free or at nominal cost, were definitely becoming more costly. Yet he also got results, as his students were making amazing progress in their careers, moving from minimum wage jobs to high paying positions as consultants or corporate leaders. During the late 1980's, Rama moved this group of students around a fair bit as business conditions changed, settling in Washington DC, Boston, and finally New York. Not every student necessarily made every move that Rama recommended, but most of them did end up in New York by the early 1990's.

By this point, Rama saw two things: one, that the energies of the world were changing with the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union, and two, that his students had reached a point where they were ready to begin teaching themselves. Indeed, he felt that sometimes the only way you learn something is by teaching it yourself, and he thought that his students had better start teaching themselves if they were ever to really learn anything. So in late 1991, Rama sent his students out to teach meditation to new students in six cities throughout the USA-New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. His older students, who had been with Rama for years, were dubbed "ST1s"-"Star Trek Ones". The new students, who were mentored by the ST1s and had to be 29 or under, were called "ST2s". At this point, the focus changed back somewhat to the direct study of Enlightenment and meditation-during the late 1980's career had very much been the dominant theme. Magic was definitely back in style around Rama-he conducted new desert excursions, and the ST1s helped the ST2s to make the same transitions in their personal and spiritual lives that they themselves had made over the years. The group moved once again, in 1993, with the ST1s moving to Chicago and the ST2s moving to New York. During this period, Rama also wrote two new books: Snowboarding to Nirvana and Surfing the Himalayas which were aimed especially at the ST2s. Rama also had a number of very high vibe rave parties at upscale locations in Manhattan. These parties were not simply parties-they were opportunities for people to permanently shift their assemblage points and make significant changes in their lives.

At this point, Rama decided that he wanted to start a number of software companies with his students, to work more closely with them and to help everyone to move forward in the growing software industry. He founded a number of software companies in 1994 and began to put more and more of his energies into the software industry.

On a somewhat different track, for most of this whole time period, Rama had worked closely with a band called Zazen, composed of three of his students. Rama worked very closely with Zazen to help them create music that his students could meditate to and go into higher states of consciousness. It was often said that the members of Zazen were Rama's closest students. Meditation to music is not strictly necessary, but it can go a long way, especially for a beginning student, to blocking out negative energies of the world and assisting in meditation. Some of the albums produced during this period included Enlightenment, Canyons of Light, Samadhi, Samurai, Retrograde Planet, Cayman Blue and Zen Master. All were impeccable-Rama used to say that the two ways to find him were either in his music or in the desert.

Shortly after founding his software companies, however, Rama's health began to fail. It is said that an Enlightened teacher only has so long to teach before their cell structures begin to break down-they do not really belong in the physical anymore, so can retain their physical form for only so long. Rama worked very hard on his companies-in fact, probably he worked harder than on anything else he'd ever worked, and this likely contributed to his physical decline-and he achieved some significant successes, as well as the inevitable setbacks any entrepreneur faces. By early 1997, Rama realized that his time in the physical was ending-the death of his favorite Scottie dog Vayu had been a setback for him too. He continued to push himself very hard on his work, but he also called his students together for a number of farewell parties in the Caribbean, culminating in the Kalachakra empowerment in late 1997, to which all of his former students were invited. Rama passed away around April 12, 1998, and he has said that he will not be incarnating again on this earth.

Rama's teachings are continued to this day through the efforts of his students. Each of Rama's students represents their own unique strand of Rama's luminosity, so while they each teach in a unique manner, together they keep Enlightenment alive on the Earth. Many of his students are themselves going into Samadhi and reaching the earlier stages of Enlightenment at this point, and they are empowering growing numbers of people to do the same.


Date Activity

1950 Birth - February 9th

1952 Moves East

1965 Mother passes away

1968 Graduates from high school

1968/69 Stint in a work camp for possession of marijuana

1970 Starts teaching meditation

Early 70's Starts studying with Sri Chinmoy

Early 70's Marriage and divorce to Pam

1973 Graduates from college

1978 Awarded Ph.D. and 'Lifetimes' is published

1979 Moves west to San Diego

1981 Lakshmi formed--teaching intensifies in LA and SD

June 1981 Publishes the first 'Self Discovery' publication

1981 Attains full enlightenment

Fall 1982 Adopts the name 'Rama'

1983 First major purge

1984 Publishes the first 'Pathway to Enlightenment' brochure

1985 Move to Boston

1985-1987 Zen Seminars--under the name 'Zen Master Rama'

1987 Move to Palo Alto, another major purge, Lakshmi shut down, ASI formed

1988 Move to Washington DC

1989 Move to New York

Dec 1991 Mentors sent out to six cities to teach ST2s

Jun 1992 Second group of mentors sent out to SF Bay Area

Dec 1992 Applications accepted from ST2s to formally join the program

Dec 1992 Hawaii trip with ST1s and ST2s

Dec 1992 First ST2 desert trip

Jan 1993 Campbell Hall program begins for ST2s in Marin County

Mar 1993 Begins to wind down mentor program

Apr 1993 First ST2 initiation at Tappan Hill in NY

Apr 1993 Announces ST2 program to be focused on Marin and Westchester

Apr 1993 Announces ST2 program to be focused on Westchester only

Apr 1993 Begins computer classes for ST2s: C and Oracle

May 1993 Begins to wind down Campbell Hall program

Jun 1993 ST2s begin moving to New York; ST1s to Chicago

Jun 1993 Second ST2 desert trip

Sep 1993 Final formal dinner in SF

Oct 1993 Begins teaching in Amsterdam and Toronto

Late 1993/Early 1994 C and Oracle classes continue in Westchester

Dec 1993 Third and final ST2 desert trip; some Dutch students attend

Dec 1993 Second and final ST2 initiation at Tappan Hill in NY

Feb 1994 Announces formation of TeamAlliance/TeamSource

Feb 1994 Apparently is also teaching in London but won't discuss it at NY seminar

Mar-Jun 1994 Classes on Visual Basic and Powerbuilder

May 1994 First rave party at Studio 54 in NYC

Jul 1994 Announces end of formal meditation program

Aug 1994 Ends formal meditation program; Dutch students attend again

Aug 1994 Forms four startup companies to teach ST2s the software industry

Oct 1994 Writes will; health apparently begins to fail at this point

Nov 1994 Buys out fifty percent of 11 student software companies focused on, among other things, trading and forecasting

Dec 1994 Four more raves at Guggenheim, NY Public Library, Rainbow Room, Puck in the Village

Jan 1995 Winds down Xticket systems and intensifies work on Information Harvesting

Sep 1995 Second rave at Puck in the Village

Sep 1995 Ends Information Harvesting work and starts CS/10,000 sales program

Sep 1995 Power trip to Tesuque, New Mexico

Fall 1995 Surfing the Himalayas published, book tour

Early 1996 Vayu passes away

Aug 1996 Dateline, a major disappointment to Rama

Oct 1996 Ends CS/10,000 sales program; all ST2s must re-apply for new program

Jan 1997 Rama is quite ill

Feb 1997 Begins Shakespeare classes--Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Richard III

Mar 1997 Snowboarding to Nirvana published, no book tour to speak of this time

Mar 1997 Uncle passes away

Mar 1997 St. Croix trip

Jun 1997 Nevis trip

Jul-Nov 1997 Java classes

Sep 1997 Barbados trip and teaching empowerment

Oct 1997 Bahamas trip--Rama is very ill by this point and only attends through the sheer force of will to continue teaching

Dec 1997 Kalachakra empowerment; announces project management classes

Dec 1997 Final rave at World Financial Center

Dec 1998 New Years eve - final formal dinner

Jan-Feb 1998 project management classes

Feb 1998 Career empowerment; Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze groups formed

Apr 1998 Mahasamadhi

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