Be Here Now by Ram Dass
  • Title: Be Here Now
  • Subtitle: None
  • Author(s): Ram Dass
  • Publisher: Harmony
  • Year: 2010
  • ISBN-10: 0517543052
  • ISBN-13: 9780517543054


Be Here Now” by Ram Dass is a spiritual guidebook that takes readers on a transformative journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. Originally published in 1971, this timeless classic offers an unconventional approach to exploring spirituality and consciousness. The book recounts Ram Dass’s own spiritual awakening and his journey from Harvard professor to becoming a spiritual teacher and yogi.

In “Be Here Now,” Ram Dass presents a holistic blend of personal anecdotes, Eastern philosophy, and practical guidance. Through engaging storytelling and vivid illustrations, he encourages readers to live in the present moment and embrace the potential for profound spiritual growth. At its core, the book invites readers to let go of societal expectations and find their inner truth, paving the way for a more fulfilling and meaningful existence. With its thought-provoking insights and unique blend of Western and Eastern wisdom, “Be Here Now” has become a beloved spiritual classic, inspiring countless individuals to embark on their own spiritual journeys.

Book Review

Be Here Now - A Profound Journey towards Spiritual Awakening

Ram Dass’s “Be Here Now” is a groundbreaking work that defies traditional categorizations. Originally published in 1971, this perennial bestseller has gained a devoted following, attracting seekers of spiritual enlightenment from all walks of life. With its fusion of personal narratives, Eastern philosophy, and practical guidance, the book encourages readers to delve into their inner selves and embark on a transformative journey.

The book begins with Ram Dass, formerly known as Richard Alpert, a Harvard professor and psychologist, sharing his own spiritual awakening. Disillusioned by the confines of Western academia and materialistic pursuits, Alpert sets out on a transformative journey through India and encounters various spiritual figures who become his mentors. This powerful opening sets the tone for the rest of the book, establishing Ram Dass as a credible and relatable guide on the path to self-discovery.

What makes “Be Here Now” truly unique is its format. Rather than following a linear narrative, the book is a multimedia collage that incorporates illustrations, photographs, and handwritten text. It is divided into three parts: the first is a collection of philosophical teachings and stories, the second focuses on practical guidance for meditation and self-exploration, and the third explores Ram Dass’s own experiences on the spiritual path. This distinctive format serves as a reflection of the book’s central message: embracing the present moment and breaking free from conventional modes of thinking.

One of the book’s most prominent themes is the importance of living fully in the present moment. Ram Dass stresses that true happiness and spiritual growth can only be found by shedding the burdens of the past and the worries of the future, and fully immersing oneself in the present. This powerful message is conveyed through captivating anecdotes and illustrations that depict the beauty and significance of each passing moment.

Ram Dass’s blend of Western and Eastern wisdom offers readers a holistic perspective on spirituality. Drawing from his experiences with esteemed spiritual teachers such as Maharaj-ji, Neem Karoli Baba, Ram Dass weaves together elements of Hinduism, Buddhism, and mystical traditions. He presents key concepts like mindfulness, meditation, and ego transcendence, with clarity and with practical suggestions for incorporating them into everyday life.

The book also addresses the notion of identity and self-discovery. Ram Dass challenges the idea that our identities are fixed and separate from the collective whole. Through personal stories, he invites readers to question their own notions of self, helping them realize the interconnectedness of everything. The core message of “Be Here Now” lies in embracing our true essence and releasing the limitations of the ego.

What sets “Be Here Now” apart is its ability to resonate with readers across generations. Although it was first published nearly 50 years ago, the book’s teachings remain as relevant and impactful as ever. The themes explored in “Be Here Now” transcend time and speak to the universal human quest for meaning, purpose, and enlightenment.

While the book’s unconventional format may be overwhelming for some readers, it serves as a visual representation of the spiritual journey itself. The scattered pages, vibrant illustrations, and handwritten text challenge readers to break free from linear thinking and embrace a more intuitive approach to understanding and transforming their lives.

In conclusion, “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass is a profound and inspiring guide for those seeking spiritual growth and self-discovery. Through captivating storytelling, practical guidance, and a fusion of Western and Eastern wisdom, Ram Dass invites readers to immerse themselves in the present moment, shed limiting beliefs, and embark on a transformative journey towards awakening. This timeless classic continues to be an essential read for anyone yearning to live a more meaningful and enlightened life.

Word Count: 648

Key Ideas

Here are the key ideas from the book “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass:

  1. Mindfulness and Presence “Be Here Now” emphasizes the importance of living in the present moment and being fully present in each experience. Ram Dass encourages readers to let go of worries about the past and future, and instead, focus on the here and now.

  2. Spiritual Transformation The book shares Ram Dass’s own spiritual journey, from his life as a Harvard psychology professor to his transformation into a seeker of spiritual truth. It highlights the idea that personal growth and spiritual awakening are ongoing processes.

  3. Inner Exploration Ram Dass advocates for self-exploration and inner discovery as a means to understand one’s true nature and purpose. He encourages readers to question their beliefs and identities to uncover a deeper sense of self.

  4. The Illusion of Ego The book challenges the notion of the ego as a separate and fixed identity. Ram Dass suggests that identifying with the ego leads to suffering, and he offers insights on how to transcend this limited sense of self.

  5. Surrender and Letting Go “Be Here Now” discusses the concept of surrendering to the flow of life and relinquishing attachments. Ram Dass shares how letting go of attachments can lead to a sense of liberation and inner peace.

  6. Love and Compassion Ram Dass emphasizes the transformative power of love and compassion. He explores the idea that genuine love arises when one recognizes the interconnectedness of all beings and transcends ego-driven desires.

  7. Exploration of Consciousness The book delves into altered states of consciousness, including meditation and psychedelic experiences. Ram Dass describes how these experiences can provide glimpses of higher states of awareness and expanded consciousness.

  8. Cultivating Awareness Ram Dass introduces meditation and mindfulness practices as tools to cultivate awareness and presence. He provides practical guidance on how to develop a regular meditation practice to deepen one’s spiritual journey.

  9. Unity and Oneness “Be Here Now” emphasizes the interconnectedness of all life forms and the idea that separation is an illusion. Ram Dass discusses how recognizing this oneness can lead to a sense of unity with the universe.

  10. Practical Wisdom Throughout the book, Ram Dass shares practical insights and teachings from various spiritual traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity. He offers readers a blend of Eastern and Western perspectives on spirituality.

Be Here Now” invites readers to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery, spiritual growth, and mindfulness. Through personal anecdotes, teachings, and illustrations, Ram Dass provides a guide for individuals seeking to break free from limiting beliefs and embrace a more conscious and awakened way of life. The book encourages readers to explore their inner landscapes, embrace the present moment, and discover the profound wisdom that arises from being fully present and open to the beauty of life.

Target Audience

The book “Be Here Now” by Ram Dass is targeted at a diverse audience interested in spirituality, personal growth, and mindfulness. It is recommended reading for the following audiences:

  • Seekers of Spiritual Enlightenment “Be Here Now” offers profound insights and practical guidance for individuals on a spiritual journey. It explores various spiritual traditions and encourages readers to question their beliefs, embrace mindfulness, and find their inner truth.

  • Those Interested in Mindfulness and Meditation The book provides valuable teachings and techniques for cultivating mindfulness and deepening one’s meditation practice. Ram Dass shares personal experiences and offers practical suggestions that can be applied to daily life, helping individuals develop a greater sense of self-awareness and presence.

  • Individuals Seeking Inner Peace and Happiness With its emphasis on living in the present moment and letting go of attachments, “Be Here Now” is recommended for those looking for tools to cultivate inner peace and find lasting happiness. It encourages readers to create a shift in their perspectives and approach life with gratitude and acceptance.

  • Psychology and Philosophy Enthusiasts Ram Dass, being a former psychologist himself, weaves in psychological insights and philosophical concepts throughout the book. Readers with an interest in psychology, philosophy, and the intersection of Western and Eastern thought will find “Be Here Now” intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking.

  • Readers Exploring Alternative Approaches to Life This book is ideal for those seeking alternative approaches to traditional societal norms and looking to embrace a more spiritual and conscious way of being. Ram Dass challenges conventional ideas about success, identity, and happiness, encouraging readers to explore new perspectives and find their own authentic path.

In conclusion, “Be Here Now” is recommended as essential reading for individuals interested in spirituality, mindfulness, personal growth, and the exploration of alternative approaches to life. It offers practical tools, profound wisdom, and a transformative perspective that can benefit a wide range of readers seeking deeper meaning, inner peace, and spiritual enlightenment.