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Be Here Now summary

Ram Dass

Find Peace in the Now

4.1 (30 ratings)
16 mins

Brief summary

Be Here Now by Ram Dass is a spiritual guide that explores the journey of self-discovery and mindfulness. It offers transformative teachings and practices to help readers live in the present moment and find inner peace.

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    Be Here Now
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    Becoming Ram Dass

    Ram Dass’s spiritual journey began in the 1960s, when he was a Harvard psychologist called Richard Alpert. His name was later changed by his guru in India. So, to keep things simple, we’ll use that name. It’s the one he’s best known by – Ram Dass.

    In 1961, Dass had everything – on the surface at least. He was a Harvard professor at the height of his academic career. He owned a nice apartment, a car, a motorcycle … and even a small plane.

    And yet, despite his success, Dass grappled with a profound sense of dissatisfaction – a nagging feeling that there had to be more to life.

    His quest for understanding led him to the world of psychedelic drugs. And for the first time, he encountered the infinite expanse of human consciousness. Substances like psilocybin and LSD opened up a universe of perception and insight that he had never imagined possible. 

    However, to his dismay, Dass soon realized that the euphoria and expanded awareness that these substances brought were fleeting. Every experience was followed by an inevitable come-down. 

    Dass was left longing for a more enduring connection to the spiritual world. And for a while, he sank into despair.

    As a result of his involvement in psychedelics, Dass lost his job at Harvard. But then came a new opportunity – to travel to India, a country rich in spiritual history and wisdom. 

    It was here that a chance meeting with a young, surprisingly enlightened American traveler changed everything. 

    This new friend, who lived a life of remarkable simplicity, taught Dass the power of being fully present in each moment. And together, they embarked on a journey that led them to a guru.

    Dass was initially skeptical. But his encounter with the guru – Neem Karoli Baba, or “Maharaji” to his followers – became a pivotal moment of awakening. 

    One day, Maharaji said to Dass, “Last night you were thinking about your mother.”

    “Yes”, said Dass, surprised that he knew this.

    Then Maharaji said something that he couldn’t possibly have known – that Dass’s mother had died the previous year, and that the cause was her stomach. More precisely, her spleen.

    Dass was stunned. There was no rational explanation for what had just happened. Clearly, there was a level of consciousness at work that went beyond the individual. 

    This encounter, both mystifying and illuminating, opened Dass’s heart to Maharaji’s teachings.

    Then, with the guidance of another spiritual mentor – called Baba Hari Dass – Ram Dass began to explore the teachings of Raja Yoga. 

    In addition to practices like yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation, Dass learned spiritual teachings through simple lessons – phrases like “Snakes know heart”, and “Yogis in jungle need not fear”.

    These were lessons about energy and vibrations. In other words, if you’re spiritually pure, there’s nothing to fear.

    For Dass, this phase of deep learning and growth instilled a profound awareness of the connection between the divine, the self, and the universe.

    When he returned to the West, Dass still considered himself a novice on the spiritual path. But he was keen to share his lessons and insights with others on the same journey. 

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    What is Be Here Now about?

    Be Here Now (1971) is the story of one man’s spiritual awakening in India. In addition to his learnings and insights, it contains practical guidance for anyone embarking on their own spiritual journey.

    Be Here Now Review

    Be Here Now (1971) is a spiritual journey that invites readers to explore the depths of consciousness and embrace the present moment. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its profound teachings and spiritual wisdom, it offers a transformative perspective on life, love, and spirituality.
    • Through vibrant illustrations, captivating stories, and practical exercises, it guides readers on a path of self-discovery and inner peace.
    • By challenging conventional notions of reality and encouraging radical self-acceptance, it opens up new possibilities and reminds us of the beauty in every moment.

    Who should read Be Here Now?

    • Truth-seekers
    • People who want to deepen their happiness and fulfillment
    • Anyone interested in Eastern spirituality

    About the Author

    Ram Dass was an American spiritual teacher, psychologist, and author, who helped to increase the West’s interest in Eastern spirituality. His other works include Still Here and Be Love Now.

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    Be Here Now FAQs 

    What is the main message of Be Here Now?

    The main message of Be Here Now is to live in the present moment and find spiritual enlightenment.

    How long does it take to read Be Here Now?

    The reading time for Be Here Now varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Be Here Now a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Be Here Now is a must-read for anyone seeking spiritual growth. It offers profound insights and practical guidance for living a meaningful life.

    Who is the author of Be Here Now?

    Ram Dass is the author of Be Here Now.

    What to read after Be Here Now?

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