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“Be Here Now” by Ram Dass encourages you to live in the present moment and find spiritual insight. It’s a transformative read that can help you develop mindfulness and discover a deeper connection to the world around you. Reading it can be a step toward a more fulfilling and present life.
- Genre: Spirituality, Self-Help, Eastern Philosophy
- Themes: Mindfulness, Spiritual Awakening, Meditation, Consciousness, Presence
What is this book about?
“Be Here Now” by Ram Dass is a timeless and transformative spiritual book exploring mindfulness, presence, and spiritual awakening. This book falls within the genre of spirituality and Eastern philosophy. It is known for its profound influence on readers seeking deeper meaning in life.
The book opens with the author’s journey from being Dr. Richard Alpert, a Harvard psychology professor, to becoming Ram Dass, a spiritual teacher and practitioner of Eastern spirituality. Ram Dass shares his experiences of seeking higher consciousness through psychedelic substances and his subsequent spiritual awakening in India.
A central theme of “Be Here Now” is the importance of living in the present moment. Ram Dass introduces readers to mindfulness and being fully present in every aspect of life. He emphasizes that true spiritual awakening is found in the here and now, not in the past or future.
The book is known for its unique format, featuring a combination of text, illustrations, and hand-lettered messages. It is designed to be an experiential journey, encouraging readers to engage with the material on a profoundly personal level. Ram Dass invites readers to explore their spiritual path and discover their inner truth.
“Be Here Now” delves into the teachings of various spiritual traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sufism. Ram Dass shares insights from his encounters with spiritual gurus in India. He offers guidance on meditation practices and inner exploration.
Throughout the narrative, the author encourages readers to question their beliefs and societal conditioning, urging them to seek a deeper understanding of their true selves. He discusses the limitations of the ego and the liberation that comes from transcending the egoic mind.
The book also addresses the challenges and obstacles on the spiritual path, including doubts and setbacks. Ram Dass provides guidance on how to navigate these challenges and continue on the journey toward spiritual awakening.
“Be Here Now” is structured as a guidebook for the spiritual seeker, offering practical advice on meditation, self-inquiry, and living a more conscious and authentic life. It invites readers to embrace a path of self-discovery and inner transformation.
- The present moment is the only moment that exists. The past is gone, and the future has not yet arrived. All we have is the present moment.
- To be present means to observe our thoughts, feelings, and surroundings without judgment. Accepting the now without wanting it to change.
- Being present is the key to happiness and fulfillment. We are more likely to experience joy, peace, and love when present. We are also more likely to make wise choices and live our lives to the fullest.
Lessons and tips
- Pay attention to your breath. Your breath is a powerful anchor that can help you to stay present. When you feel your mind wandering, bring your attention back to your breath.
- Focus on your senses. Notice your surroundings’ sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures. This will help you to become more aware of the present moment.
- Be mindful of your thoughts and feelings. Notice what thoughts and feelings are coming up for you without judgment. Simply accept them as they are and let them go.
- Live in the present moment. When you are doing something, be fully present with it. Don’t let your mind wander to the past or the future.
- Let go of attachments. Attachments to things, people, and outcomes can lead to suffering. Let go of your attachments and experience the present moment as it is.
“Be Here Now” is best for individuals on a spiritual journey or seeking deeper meaning in life. It’s ideal for those interested in mindfulness, meditation, and Eastern philosophy. Whether you’re a beginner exploring spirituality or an experienced practitioner looking for new insights, this book offers a profound and experiential approach to self-discovery. It’s particularly well-suited for readers who appreciate a visually engaging and interactive format that encourages personal reflection and inner exploration. Ram Dass’s book is a timeless guide to living a more mindful and spiritually awakened life, inviting readers to be fully present in the here and now.
Best-recommended books besides “Be Here Now”
“Be Here Now” is a spiritual classic on awareness, consciousness, and inner calm. Some alternative books:
“The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle
“The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle is a transformative guide to experiencing the present moment and finding spiritual enlightenment. Tolle explores the concept of mindfulness and teaches readers how to free themselves from the grip of their egoic minds. The book offers practical exercises and insights for a more awakened and fulfilling life.
Why we love it:
- Learn how to live in the present moment and find inner peace.
- Gain a deeper understanding of mindfulness and spiritual awakening.
- Discover practical exercises for transcending the egoic mind.
“Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse
Hermann Hesse’s “Siddhartha” follows a young man’s spiritual quest for enlightenment. Siddhartha, the protagonist, seeks meaning in life through spiritual teachers and experiences. The novel explores self-discovery, wisdom, and inner truth.
Why we love it:
- Explore a beautifully written novel that delves into the quest for spiritual enlightenment.
- Follow Siddhartha’s journey of self-discovery and personal growth.
- Reflect on timeless philosophical and spiritual themes.
“The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh
“The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh introduces readers to mindfulness meditation practice. Thich Nhat Hanh, a renowned Zen master, provides practical guidance on cultivating mindfulness daily. The book offers techniques for reducing stress, enhancing concentration, and finding inner peace.
Why we love it:
- Learn the art of mindfulness meditation from a respected Zen master.
- Discover practical techniques for bringing mindfulness into daily activities.
- Gain insights into reducing stress and finding peace in the present moment.
“Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda
The spiritual memoir “Autobiography of a Yogi” by Paramahansa Yogananda recounts his life and teachings. Yogananda discusses Kriya Yoga and self-realization from his own experience. Many readers’ spiritual journeys have been inspired by the book.
Why we love it:
- Explore the life and teachings of a renowned yogi and spiritual teacher.
- Gain insights into the practice of Kriya Yoga and self-realization.
- Find inspiration for your own spiritual journey.
“The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer
“The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer explores the nature of consciousness and the self. Singer invites readers to transcend the limitations of the ego and discover inner freedom. The book explores mindfulness, meditation, and releasing negative thoughts and emotions for ultimate liberation.
Why we love it:
- Gain a deeper understanding of consciousness and the nature of the self.
- Learn practical techniques for achieving inner freedom and emotional release.
- Explore mindfulness and meditation as tools for self-realization.
“A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle
“A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle expands on the concepts introduced in “The Power of Now” and offers profound insights into personal and collective transformation. Tolle explores the ego’s role in human suffering and provides guidance on transcending it. The book emphasizes the importance of living in alignment with one’s true purpose and awakening to a new level of consciousness.
Why we love it:
- Deepen your understanding of Eckhart Tolle’s teachings on consciousness and ego.
- Learn about personal and collective transformation on a spiritual level.
- Discover how to align with your life’s purpose and experience greater fulfillment.
“Mysticism” by Evelyn Underhill
“Mysticism” by Evelyn Underhill is a classic exploration of the mystical experience across different religious traditions. Underhill delves into the nature of spiritual consciousness, the stages of mystical development, and the practices that lead to union with the divine. The book offers a comprehensive and scholarly examination of mysticism’s profound aspects.
Why we love it:
- Explore the study of mysticism and the nature of spiritual consciousness.
- Gain insights into the universal principles underlying mystical experiences.
- Discover the rich history and practices of mysticism in various traditions.