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Be Here Now (book)

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Be Here Now


Ram Dass


Spirituality, Yoga


Lama Foundation, San Cristobal, New Mexico

Publication date




OCLC Number


Be Here Now (or Remember, Be Here Now) is a seminal[1][2] 1971 book on spirituality, yoga and meditation by the Western-born yogi and spiritual teacher Ram Dass. The title comes from a statement his guide, Bhagavan Das, made during Ram Dass's journeys in India. The cover features a mandala incorporating the title, a chair, radial lines, and the word "remember".

1 Summary of the book

o o o o

1.1 First section 1.2 Second section 1.3 Third section 1.4 Fourth section

2 Publishing history 3 Cultural influence 4 Sequels 5 References 6 External links

Summary of the book[edit source | editbeta]

The book is divided into four sections:

"Journey: The Transformation: Dr. Richard Alpert, PhD. into Baba Ram Dass"

"From Bindu to Ojas: The Core Book" "Cookbook for a Sacred Life: A Manual for Conscious Being" "Painted Cakes (Do Not Satisfy Hunger): Books"

First section[edit source | editbeta]

The first section is a short biography of his life, describing his successes as a psychologist, his research with Timothy Leary into psychedelics at Harvard, and his subsequent anxiety when this research does not resolve his spiritual questions. He then describes his first journey to India and his initiation into a Guru-chela relationship with Neem Karoli Baba, and spiritual renaming as Baba Ram Dass, or "servant of god". Ram Dass closes the first section of the book with this passage: 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--[3]

Second section[edit source | editbeta]

The second section, the largest, is a free-form collection of metaphysical, spiritual and religious aphorisms accompanied by illustrations.

Third section[edit source | editbeta]

The third section is a manual for starting on a yogic or spiritual path, and includes various techniques for yoga, pranayama, and meditation, as well as quotations from respected teachers of many religions and spiritual traditions.

Fourth section[edit source | editbeta]

The last section, also titled "Painted Cakes Do Not Satisfy Hunger" (a Zen commentary on liturgy) contains a list of recommended books on religion, spirituality, consciousness. 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[edit source | editbeta]

The book has remained in print since its initial publication, and has sold over two million copies. [4] The work was originally distributed in pamphlet form by Lama Foundation. In 1977, the Lama Foundation gave the copyright and half the proceeds from the book to the Hanuman Foundation in support of its spiritual and humanitarian projects.[2] The book is currently published by Three Rivers Press, an imprint of Random House.[5]

Cultural influence[edit source | editbeta]

Be Here Now is one of the first guides for those not born as Hindus to becoming a yogi, by a person himself not born a Hindu. For its influence on the Hippie movement and subsequent spiritual movements,[6] it has been described as a "countercultural bible".[7] In addition to introducing its title phrase into common use, the book has influenced numerous other writers and yoga practitioners, including Steve Jobs,[8] Wayne Dyer,[9] and Michael Crichton.[10] The first section of the book inspired the lyrics to George Harrison's song "Be Here Now", written in 1971 but released on his 1973 album Living in the Material World.[11] The book was referred to in a study on daydreaming by Matthew Killingsworth, a doctoral candidate in psychology at Harvard

University, which suggested that "[people] thinking about something other than what theyre doing [...] doesnt take them to a happy place".[12]

Sequels[edit source | editbeta]

Ram Dass has written two sequels to Be Here Now. The first is Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying (2000), and the second is Be Love Now: The Path of the Heart(2011).

References[edit source | editbeta]

1. ^ Harvey, Andrew; Erickson, Karuna (2010). Heart Yoga: The Sacred Marriage of Yoga and Mysticism. North Atlantic Books. ISBN 978-1-58394-291-8. 2. ^
a b

Tempo staff (July 19, 2010). "'Be Here Now' turns 40". The

Taos News. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 3. ^ Ram Dass (1971). Be Here Now. San Cristobal, New Mexico: Lama Foundation. ISBN 0-517-54305-2. 4. ^ "Hanuman Foundation: A Brief Organizational History". Retrieved October 8, 2012. 5. ^ 6. ^ Davidson, Sara (May 21, 2000). "The Dass Effect". The New York Times Magazine. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 7. ^ Garner, Dwight (January 8, 2010). "Tune In, Turn On, Turn Page". The New York Times. 8. ^ Burke, Daniel (November 2, 2011). "Steve Jobs' private spirituality now an open book". USA Today News. 9. ^ Dyer, Wayne. "BE HERE for him, NOW: Wayne Dyer talks about spiritual teacher and friend Ram Dass". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2011. 10. ^ Solomon, Deborah (November 6, 2005). "The Beat Goes On". The New York Times. 11. ^ Harrison, George (2002). I Me Mine. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. p. 252.

12. ^ Lopato, Elizabeth (November 11, 2010). "Spacing Out Half the Day Makes People Unhappy in Harvard Study". Bloomberg. Retrieved October 31, 2012.

External links[edit source | editbeta]

Categories: Official website

1971 books American memoirs Books about spirituality Hippie movement Self-help books Yoga texts and documentation

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