Ram Dass biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Ram Dass.

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Ram Dass
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Ram Dass

Ram Dass: Raa-m Daa-s

Ram Dass Biography

Ram Dass was born Richard Alpert in Newton, Massachusetts on April 6, 1931. He studied psychology, specializing in human motivation and personality development, receiving an M.A. from Wesleyan and a Ph.D. from Stanford. He then served on the psychology faculties at Stanford and the University of California, and from 1958 to 1963 taught and researched in the Department of Social Relations and the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University.

In 1961, while at Harvard, Ram Dass' explorations of human consciousness led him, in collaboration with Timothy Leary, Ralph Metzner, Aldous Huxley, Allen Ginsberg, and others, to pursue intensive research with psilocybin, LSD-25, and other psychedelic chemicals. Out of this research came two books: The Psychedelic Experience (co-authored by Leary and Metzner, and based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead); and LSD (with Sidney Cohen and Lawrence Schiller).

Ram Dass continued his research under the auspices of a private foundation until 1967. In that year he traveled to India, where he met his Guru (spiritual teacher), Neem Karoli Baba. Ram Dass studied yoga and meditation, and received the name Ram Dass, which means "servant of God." Since 1968, he has pursued a variety of spiritual practices, including guru kripa; devotional yoga focused on the Hindu spiritual figure Hanuman; meditation in the Theravadin, Mahayana Tibetan, and Zen Buddhist schools; karma yoga; and Sufi and Jewish studies.

In 1974, Ram Dass created the Hanuman Foundation, which developed the Prison Ashram Project, designed to help prison inmates grow spiritually during their incarceration, and the Dying Project, conceived as a spiritual support structure for conscious and dying. These projects are now directed under independent auspices.

Ram Dass' interests include the support of psychedelic research, international development, environmental awareness and political action. He has written a number of spiritual books.

Partially paralyzed from a stroke in 1997, Dass now lives on Maui and continues to teach.

Link to Ram's website

This biography was last updated on 10/17/2013.

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Books by this Author

Books by Ram Dass at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

Still Here
Still Here

by Ram Dass

The man who blazed the spiritual trail for his generation brings his wisdom and humor to the path that takes us to the end of life and beyond.
Read More

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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Ram Dass but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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    If you enjoyed:
    Still Here

    Try:
    Tuesdays With Morrie
    by Mitch Albom

  • Diana Athill

    Diana Athill

    Diana Athill was born in 1917. She helped Andre Deutsch establish the publishing company that bore his name and worked as an editor for Deutsch for four decades. Athill's distinguished career as an editor is the subject of ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Still Here

    Try:
    Somewhere Towards the End
    by Diana Athill

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