Be Here Now Book Summary - Be Here Now Book explained in key points

Be Here Now summary

Ram Dass

Brief summary

Be Here Now by Ram Dass is a spiritual guide that encourages readers to live in the present moment. Through personal anecdotes and teachings, it offers insights on mindfulness and finding meaning in life.

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Table of Contents

    Be Here Now
    Summary of key ideas

    Unraveling the Ego

    In Be Here Now, Ram Dass gives a deep insight into his life-changing journey in pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. He narrates his transition from being Richard Alpert, an ambitious psychologist and professor at Harvard to Ram Dass, a dedicated spiritual seeker. The disillusionment with academic pursuits and psychedelic research, nudges him away from Western philosophies and towards Eastern spirituality for self-discovery.

    The journey begins with Dass trying out psychoactive substances as a tool for mind-opening. By embracing the teachings of his Indian guru Neem Karoli Baba, known as Maharaji, Dass starts to unlearn his Held beliefs and unravels his own ego.

    Embracing Spiritual Realities

    Ram Dass then speaks about the transformation of his world-view under Maharajji’s tutelage. Shedding the scientific skepticism, the concept of divinity, miracles and unconditional love began to manifest as tangible realities. His Eastern exploits lead him to the realization that spiritual enlightenment lies not in the intellectual grasp but in the transcendence of the ego itself. This lesson became a guiding light for his subsequent teachings in the West.

    Ushering a profound change within him, these teachings emphasize the pursuit of truth by living in the present, thus the title Be Here Now. Instead of being caught up in the past or the future, he encourages to dwell in the 'now', which he recognizes as the only reality.

    Manual for Conscious Living

    In the middle section of the book, designed as a manual for conscious living, Ram Dass provides practical advice on meditation, yoga, diet, and other spiritual practices. He stresses that the use of these methods is not to escape from worldly experiences, but as aids to live them consciously. Dass also suggests that material wealth, fame, indulgences are mere distractions, pointing out how a life dictated by wants only feeds the ego and obstructs the path to liberation.

    The central theme of Be Here Now revolving around consciousness and living in the present moment was revolutionary during its time of publication. It brought Eastern spirituality into the mainstream Western consciousness. Dass’s vividly explained meditative exercises and simple mantras, aimed to make the Eastern spiritual techniques accessible to the Western audience.

    Drive Towards Unconditional Love

    In his concluding thoughts, Ram Dass speaks about the repercussions of living in the ego-driven 'somebody-ness' that fuels a sense of separateness. Making a shift from 'somebody-ness' to 'nobody-ness' leads to a unity with the divine and all conscious beings. He then details about the true and lasting happiness stemming from this unity and unconditional love.

    Be Here Now concludes with Ram Dass guiding us towards developing an open-heart, revealing unconditional love as the key to spiritual liberation. The compelling narrative combined with illustrative pages, makes this book a timeless guide for anyone on the path of spiritual awakening.

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    What is Be Here Now about?

    Be Here Now is a spiritual guide written by Ram Dass. It takes you on a journey of self-discovery and inner transformation. The book encourages readers to live in the present moment and embrace the power of mindfulness. Through personal anecdotes and spiritual teachings, Ram Dass provides insights on how to find meaning, peace, and joy in everyday life.

    Who should read Be Here Now?

    • Individuals seeking spiritual growth and enlightenment
    • Those interested in exploring alternative perspectives on life and reality
    • People open to embracing mindfulness and living in the present moment

    About the Author

    Ram Dass, born Richard Alpert, is a spiritual teacher and author known for his groundbreaking book, 'Be Here Now’. After exploring Eastern philosophy and psychedelics in the 1960s, Dass traveled to India, where he met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba. Inspired by this encounter, he wrote 'Be Here Now', a guide to spiritual awakening and mindfulness. Dass went on to author several other books, including 'Journey of Awakening' and 'The Only Dance There Is'.

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