Summary and book reviews of Still Here by Ram Dass

Still Here

Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying

By Ram Dass

Still Here
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  • Hardcover: May 2000,
    208 pages.
    Paperback: Jun 2001,
    208 pages.

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Book Summary

More than thirty years ago, an entire generation sought a new way of life and looked for fulfillment and meaning in a way that no one had thought to look for these things before. This was the Woodstock generation and they were led on their quest by the man who was there before all of us: Ram Dass. He left his teaching post at Harvard to embody the role of spiritual seeker, he showed us all in one of the greatest spiritual classics of this century how to begin to find peace within ourselves in his 2 million-copy bestseller, Be Here Now. Ram Dass went on to lecture around the world, to build foundations, and to dedicate himself to the service of others. A few of his readers followed him, but most went into business, had children, built houses, and set the larger questions of meaning and fulfillment aside.

Now, we find we need Ram Dass again. As we enter the later stages of life, the big questions of peace and of purpose have reappeared, this time demanding answers. Our old friend Ram Dass has returned, inviting us to join him on the next stage of the journey. With him we explore the joy, pain, and opportunities of the ripening seasons of our lives. Writing with his trademark humor and wisdom, sharing stories from his own life and meditation exercises to integrate the teachings, Ram Dass once again provides a new perspective on the territory that lies ahead.

Preface

Be Here Now was first published in 1971. It recorded the two major experiences I had had during the Sixties: one of them was psilocyben mushrooms, and the other was my guru, Maharajji. Both of them - mushrooms and Maharajji - did many things for me, one of which was to give me a familiarity with other planes of consciousness. They showed me that there's much more in any given moment than we usually perceive, and that we ourselves are much more than we usually perceive. When you know that, part of you can stand outside the drama of your life.

There were a number of transformations in Richard Alpert (my name at birth), which were inspired by mushrooms and Maharajji, and the best, I think, is the one that opened my heart and gave me a chance to serve. For me, the way the compassion seemed to express itself was through showing people what I had done, how I had approached my experiences, and so opening avenues for them where their own spirit could emerge. I felt incredibly ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
San Francisco Chronicle

[Ram Dass] is a superb writer. His example of gentleness and loving compassion is infused with profound wisdom of the heart and mind, a welcome sense of humor, and a savvy effectiveness in the real world.

Publishers Weekly

In 1971, Ram Dass became an icon for a generation of spiritual seekers with the publication of Be here Now, a hip, heartfelt chronicle of a search for truth that began when he got kicked out of Harvard along with Timothy Leary for tripping on psilocybin mushrooms and launching a psychedelic movement...Ram Dass delves in to the aspects of aging that terrify most of us-loss of roll and independence, the threat of senility-and affirms there is an awareness in each of us that transcends all the attributes that necessarily diminish with age. Ram Dass shows readers of all ages that it is possible to stay present in the midst of suffering, to be still and know that God is here now.

Library Journal - A Madeleine Nash

Dass's personal honesty and sense of hope make this a worthwhile purchase for public libraries that serve many baby boomers. For a more Western treatment of Dass's themes, see James Hillman's The Force of Character and the Lasting Life.

Author Blurb Jack Kornfield. Author of A Path With Heart
Ram Dass has given us yet another blessing. With consummate skill and humor he guides us through the later phases of life. When you finish this book you ar ewiser, freer, more awake, more in touch with your heart. What more could you ask?

Author Blurb Sam Keen. Author of Fire in the Belly
Back then, when we were young and easy, Ram Dass taught us to be fully present to our lives. Here and now we're not as young and it's not so easy and he's still teaching us how to age with courage and compassion.

Author Blurb Sharon Salzberg. Author of Lovingkindness and A Heart as Wide as the World
This book is an astonishing gift of love and clarity. Ram Dass guides us through many dimensions of aging with courage, humor, and profound wisdom.

Author Blurb Gary Zukav. Author of The Dancing Wu Li Masters
If you are growing older - no matter what your age - I suggest you read Still Here.

Author Blurb Rachel Remen, M.D. Author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather's Blessings
There are many things one could say after reading a book as wonderful and profound as this one but they all add up to the same thing Thank you, Ram Dass, Thanks a lot.

Author Blurb Jon Kabat-Zinn Author of Wherever You Go, There You Are and Full Catastrophe Living
Ram Dass continues to share his on-going journey with us to our great benefit, as usual. He is wiser here, more sober, more humble, and funnier than ever. There is so much to laugh about and cry about, to learn from, and to celebrate together.

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