Be Here Now
Beloved guru Ram Dass tells the story of his spiritual awakening and gives you the tools to take control of your life in this “counterculture bible” (The New York Times) featuring powerful guidance on yoga, meditation, and finding your true self.
When Be Here Now was first published in 1971,…
Why read it?
7 authors picked Be Here Now as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
This is one of the two books that defined the entire era of hippies and flower children in the sixties and seventies. (The other is The Whole Earth Catalog by Stewart Brand.)
The first part of the book is a highly readable first-person account of how Richard Alpert, Harvard psychologist, went to India, met his guru, and became Ram Dass. The next section has hundreds of cryptic sayings in artistic depictions on brown paper.
These are drawn from Eastern traditions and challenge your notions of what is ‘real’. The third and final section is a series of essays on topics…
I was 28 years old and living in Seattle in 1971 when this "counterculture bible" was first published. Reading about meditation, dropping acid, and searching for my "true self," I decided it was time to take my spiritual journey seriously. Discovering Eastern philosophy, the power of breath, ancient yoga techniques, and "being here now" resonated strongly. A psychologist told me of a near-death experience that he, Ram Dass, and four others experienced with a small plane's engine failure while flying to an island off the Washington State coast. The psychologist and others knew fear. Ram Dass began laughing long and…
I recall spending a few days with Ram Dass in Aspen, Colorado, several decades back and enjoying his fascinating stories and spiritual perspectives. Back in the sixties, Ram Dass traveled to India and found his trained intellect humbled when confronted with the powerful truths his teacher revealed. He found himself shifting from a mind-based orientation to a heart-based approach.
I love this book because Ram Dass distills what he learned and shares it from his heart while breaking all the typical rules of what a book should look like. You’ll see it in every aspect: from the cover design to…
I have always been drawn to two things that are huge themes in this book, meditation and counter-culture. Ram Dass is a fascinating figure, and in many ways, his journey feels like it mirrors my own. We were both stuck in a place we did not want to be anymore. Both of us were successful but wanted something else from life. Then a spiritual awakening helped each of us expand our minds and feel less alone. What’s brilliant is that reading about Ram Dass’ awakening helped inspire mine!
When I first held this definitive item of the late sixties counterculture in my hands, I was delighted by the unconventional design of the whole thing, from the front cover through to the way the text is laid out... sometimes coming at you in spirals, carrying the whimsy and free spirit of its era. There was nothing else like it and there never has been. Technically published in 1971, it relays the atmosphere of change that was engendered by the events spanning the Vietnam era, including the general spiritual awakening which followed.
In a highly readable and artistic fashion, he…
An older book that was born out of the first meditation movement in the 60s in western culture. A great overall primer on what it means to become awakened through meditative practice.
For better and for worse, I read this book when it came out in 1971. It set me on a long and winding path through psychedelics, Eastern religion, and psychology, from which I never returned.
Our community of 9,000+ authors has personally recommended 100 books like Be Here Now.