Set against a backdrop of nine decades of sweeping cultural change, Being Ram Dass shares this modern day luminary’s journey from psychologist to renegade Harvard psychedelics researcher to beloved spiritual icon.
Perhaps no other teacher has sparked the fires of as many spiritual seekers in the West as Ram Dass. If you’ve ever embraced the phrase be here now, practiced meditation or yoga, tried psychedelics, or supported anyone in a hospice, prison, or homeless center–then the story of Ram Dass is also part of your story.From his birth in 1931 to his luminous later years, Ram Dass saw his life as just one incarnation of many. This memoir puts us in the passenger seat with the one time Harvard psychologist and lifelong risk-taker Richard Alpert, who loved to take friends on wild rides on his Harley and test nearly every boundary–inner or outer–that came his way.Here, Ram Dass shares his life’s odyssey in intimate detail: how he struggled with issues of self-identity and sexuality in his youth, pioneered psychedelic research, and opened the doorways to Eastern spiritual practices. In 1967 he trekked to India and met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba. He returned as a yogi and psychologist whose perspective changed millions.Populated by a cast of luminaries ranging from Timothy Leary to Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Allen Ginsberg to Sharon Salzberg, Aldous Huxley to Alan Watts–this intimate memoir chronicles Ram Dass’s experience of the cultural and spiritual transformations that resonate with us to this day, a journey from the mind to the heart, from the ego to the soul.Before, after, and along these waypoints, readers will encounter many other adventures and revelations–each ringing with the potential to awaken the universal, loving divine that links this beloved teacher to all of us.