Baba Ram Dass book: Be Here Now
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I really enjoyed it. The easter path is not really where I am at, but found it inspiring nevertheless. I really enjoyed the initial autobiographic part. The journey of transformation of Richard Alpert into Ram Dass, the psychedelic experiences, the frienship with Timothy Leary and the encounter with the guru had me spellbound. A classic. Much ageless wisdom in here.
Introduction to Places Your Mind Needs to Go
I picked up this book about 8 years ago for the first time and as I was reading it I felt as if my mind was being [pulled] in the pages. I have bought it 3 separate times but always feel compelled to give it away to someone who I feel could benefit from the wisdom inside.
This book comes in 3 parts...the first part is an account of the author's pre "Ram Dass" life as a PhD and scholar....then to make a long story short, he did some psychedelic drugs, and discovered that he actually liked what was inside his mind and wanted to try to find a way to live in "the now" without the drug experience attached. His journey took him to finding a guru..interesting stuff but then to my favorite part of the book:
the middle....this is a brown paper rambling section full of rich artwork, roughly drawn cartoons, biblical and buddhist references, and what I found to be great truths....all about what it means to "be here now."
While some of it is overly simplistic, and some of it is gratuitous reference to organized religion, most of it is just an alternative way of thinking about yourself, your problems, lifestyle, and family issues. What I took away from this book was a renewed sense of self awareness and it even made me realize that different is not bad, its just different. I guess I was at the point in time in my life where I needed that insight into my own behaviors and thought processing capabilities. In any event, it OPENED MY EYES!!! It made me look at everything differently, and almost instantaneously changed my perception of the world and others in it.
The third part, which is called something like "cookbook for a sacred life" really gets into the practice of buddhism and meditation, which was not the route I chose to go with my life...but in any case, a great and interesting read for anyone interestied in gaining valuable insight into the mystery of their life and life in general.