Be Here Now by Ram Dass

Be Here Now by Ram Dass

Author: Ram Dass
View book: Be Here Now

Beloved spiritual teacher Ram Dass shares the captivating tale of his enlightenment and empowers you with the tools to take charge of your life in this remarkable “counterculture scripture” (as acclaimed by The New York Times). It overflows with profound wisdom on the practices of yoga, meditation, and uncovering your authentic self.

Published in 1971, Be Here Now not only fulfilled a profound void in the spiritual realm but also ignited an enduring revolution of mindfulness. It solidified Ram Dass as one of the foremost seekers of the 20th century. A mere decade earlier, he was renowned as Professor Richard Alpert, holding esteemed positions across four departments at Harvard University. His life seemed impeccable by societal standards—he authored books, drove a luxurious Mercedes, and frequented Caribbean getaways. Yet, an inexplicable sense of hollowness consumed him.

Enter psilocybin and LSD—agents that irrevocably transformed Alpert’s existence. Through a period of exploration, he gradually shed each layer of identity, detaching from the roles of professor, social cosmopolitan, and ultimately, physical being. Fear converted to euphoria when he grasped that his truest essence lay within—a radiant being he could rely on eternally and love boundlessly. Thus, his spiritual voyage commenced.

Intrigued, Alpert found himself in India, where his guru bestowed upon him the name Baba Ram Dass, meaning “servant of God.” There, he delved into mindful breathing techniques, hatha yoga, and Eastern philosophy, constantly reminded to embrace the present through the phrase “Be Here Now.” This marked his initiation onto the path of awakening, which he continues to traverse.

Be Here Now is not just a conduit for disseminating profound teachings; it is a sacred compass guiding individuals toward self-empowerment and self-discovery.

Be Here Now: Ram Dass’s Journey to Enlightenment

What if the societal values we’ve been taught to embrace or discard are actually misguided? Can drugs lead to higher levels of consciousness? Can we find true happiness without material possessions? These are the questions explored in “Be Here Now” by Ram Das. In this article, we will delve into the transformative journey of a Harvard professor turned yogi, the practical wisdom shared in the book, and its impact on spiritual seekers.

The Journey of Ram Das

In the renowned book, Ram Das recounts his personal transformation from a successful Harvard professor to a dedicated yogi. He recounts his initial pursuit of material success – the fancy car, the big house, the lavish vacations – only to realize that something crucial was missing in his life. Despite his expertise in psychology, he found himself no closer to fulfillment than anyone else.

This dissatisfaction led Ram Das to explore new paths. Along the way, he encountered Tim, a radical thinker, and together, they embarked on a journey experimenting with various psychedelics in search of enlightenment. Their experiences with these substances opened them up to profound spiritual revelations, but they soon realized that true enlightenment was not as straightforward as they had hoped.

Feeling disillusioned, Ram Das took his quest for answers to India. Here, he met Bhagwan Das, an extraordinary individual who seemed to possess profound wisdom. With Bhagwan Das as his guide, Ram Das immersed himself in the yogic tradition, learning the importance of being present in the moment and letting go of attachments. Through intense practices of pranayama, hatha yoga, and meditation, he discovered a profound intimacy with himself and others.

The Spiritual Cookbook

Aside from his personal journey, “Be Here Now” also serves as a spiritual cookbook, providing practical guidance for those embarking on their own spiritual paths. Ram Das addresses common questions and doubts that arise during the early stages of spiritual practice, offering insights that can be applied in daily life.

The book includes a wide range of content, blending storytelling with practical guidance. Ram Das draws inspiration from spiritual leaders like Buddha, Gandhi, and Jesus, weaving their teachings into his own narrative. By providing both a captivating story and a manual for spiritual growth, “Be Here Now” caters to a diverse audience and offers something for everyone.

The Positives and Negatives

Now, let’s examine the strengths and weaknesses of “Be Here Now.” One major positive is its ability to inspire and resonate with spiritual seekers. Ram Das shares his own experiences, offering hope to readers who may have felt a similar sense of emptiness in their own lives. The book also provides practical tools and guidance, bridging the gap between inspiration and action.

Another positive aspect is the book’s intriguing ideas and exploration of common spiritual questions. Ram Das delves into topics that challenge conventional beliefs, such as the potential for miracles and the use of drugs in the spiritual journey. While these concepts may be difficult to accept for some, they encourage readers to question their assumptions and expand their perspectives.

However, it’s important to acknowledge the potential drawbacks of “Be Here Now.” The book’s far-reaching concepts may be challenging for some readers to grasp, and certain ideas may appear unconventional or unfamiliar. Additionally, the writing style may not suit everyone’s preferences, requiring a level of openness and patience to fully absorb the teachings.

“Be Here Now” by Ram Das offers a unique blend of personal transformation and spiritual guidance. Through the author’s own journey, readers are invited to question societal norms, explore higher levels of consciousness, and find true happiness. While some concepts may be difficult to accept, the book presents an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. Whether you are seeking inspiration, practical guidance, or a thought-provoking read, “Be Here Now” has something to offer.

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