Be Here Now

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Be Here Now is a 1971 book on spirituality by the spiritual teacher Ram Dass. The title comes from what his guide in India, Bhagavan Das, used to tell him.

Summary of the book[change | change source]

The book has four sections:

  • "Journey: The Transformation: Dr. Richard Alpert, PhD. into Baba Ram Dass"
  • "From Bindu to Ojas: The Core Book" (Bindu is a Sanskrit word meaning "small dot". Ojas means "strength", or "life".)
  • "Cookbook for a Sacred Life: A Manual for Conscious Being"
  • "Painted Cakes: Books"

The first section is about his life, his work as a psychologist, his research with Timothy Leary into Psychedelics at Harvard, and his anxiety when this research does not help him with his spiritual questions. He then writes about his first journey to India and his meeting with his Guru, or spiritual teacher, Neem Karoli Baba, and spiritual renaming as Baba Ram Dass, or "servant of god".

The second section, the largest, is a collection of metaphysical, spiritual and religious sayings, with pictures.

The third section is a guide for starting on a yogic or spiritual path, and tells how to practice yoga and meditation. It has a lot of quotes from teachers of many different religions.

The last section, also titled "Painted Cakes Do Not Satisfy Hunger" contains a list of books on religion and spirituality. The book lists are divided into "Books to hang out with", "Books to visit with now & then", and "Books it's useful to have met".

Publishing history[change | change source]

The book has been in print since it was first published, and has sold over one million copies. The work was published as a pamphlet by the Lama Foundation. In 1977, the Lama Foundation decided that the Hanuman Foundation would get half of the money made by the book, so it could do more work to help people.[1]

Cultural influence[change | change source]

Be Here Now is one of the first guides, for those not born as Hindus, to becoming a yogi. For its influence on the Hippie movement and other movements[2], it has been described as a "countercultural bible".[3] The book was the first place the phrase "be here now" was used. Other people have said they like the book, including Wayne Dyer.[4][5] Musician George Harrison used the book's title as the title of one of his songs from his 1973 album Living In The Material World. He wrote about this in his book I Me Mine.

Excerpt[change | change source]

Ram Dass wrote this in the book:

Now, though I am a beginner on the path, I have returned to the West for a time to work out karma or unfulfilled commitment. Part of this commitment is to share what I have learned with those of you who are on a similar journey. One can share a message through telling 'our-story' as I have just done, or through the teaching methods of yoga, or singing, or making love. Each of us finds his unique vehicle for sharing with others his bit of wisdom. For me, this story is but a vehicle for sharing with you the true message... the living faith in what is possible. --OM--[6]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]