It's easy to dismiss Be Here Now as the relic of a whacked-out '60s acid tripper. Paging through the center section of the book, with its inch-high print and psychedelic drawings, you come across lines like:
For madmen only
price of admission
Then you turn to the first page of the book, and you are suddenly sucked into the story of a Harvard psychiatrist who has reached the pinnacle of success, discovers the mind-expanding powers of acid, and ends up trooping through India with a 23-year-old holy man from Laguna Beach, California. In the story, you see all the trappings of your own life and begin to wonder if India might hold the answers after all. Before booking your ticket, turn to the last section of the Be Here Now, "Cookbook for a Sacred Life." Ram Dass saves you the trouble by proffering a sober introduction to the basics of Hindu religion. Although he still can't resist CAPITAL LETTERS, he has done his homework, presenting a whole range of concepts and practices having to do with yoga postures, meditation, renunciation, dying, and sexual energy. So, for the most part, Be Here Now stands the test of time, and if you can entertain the center section in a retro kind of a spirit, it might be just what you're looking for: "The opposite of craving is saying, baby, this is the way it is, yeah, OK, here and now, this is it. I ACCEPT THE HERE & NOW FULLY." --Brian Bruya
From the Inside Flap
A Lama Foundation Book. Describes one man's transformation upon his acceptance of the principles of Yoga and gives a modern restatement of the importance of the spiritual side of man's nature. Illustrated.
About the Author
Ram Dass has served on the faculty at Stanford and Harvard Universities. In the 1960s, he traveled to India, where he met his guru. Since then, he has pursued a variety of spiritual practices, including guru kripa, devotional yoga, karma yoga, many forms of meditation, and Sufi and Jewish studies. Many of his books, including Be Here Now, are international bestsellers and classics of their kind.
In March 1961, Professor Richard Alpert – later renamed Ram Dass – held appointments in four departments at Harvard University. He published books, drove a Mercedes and regularly vacationed in the Caribbean. By most societal standards, he had achieved great success... And yet he couldn’t escape the feeling that something was missing.
Psilocybin and LSD changed that. During a period of experimentation, Alpert peeled away each layer of his identity, disassociating from himself as a professor, a social cosmopolite, and lastly, as a physical being. Fear turned into exaltation upon the realization that at his truest, he was just his inner-self: a luminous being that he could trust indefinitely and love infinitely.
And thus, a spiritual journey commenced. Alpert headed to India where his guru renamed him Baba Ram Dass – “servant of God.” He was introduced to mindful breathing exercises, hatha yoga, and Eastern philosophy. If he found himself reminiscing or planning, he was reminded to “Be Here Now.” He started upon the path of enlightenment, and has been journeying along it ever since.
Be Here Now is a vehicle for sharing the true message, and a guide to self-determination.
With over 150 pages of metaphysical illustrations, practical advice on how to implement a yogic regiment, and a chapter dedicated to quotes and book recommendations, Be Here Now is sure to enrich your emotional, physical, and spiritual life.