There are stages of this recognition. Not that you’re doing good anymore—the next level is: you are good. Not that you are milking for your self-image how good you are. You’re doing it because, if your hand is sitting in the fire, your other hand will pull it out! And this hand doesn’t say to this one, “Thank you.” Because they’re both part of the same thing.

from Beyond Success (1987)

Portrait of Ram Dass

Ram Dass

Spiritual Teacher
April 6, 1931 – December 22, 2019

Ram Dass, born Richard Alpert, was an American spiritual teacher and the author of the seminal 1971 book Be Here Now. He was known for his personal and professional associations with Timothy Leary at Harvard University in the early 1960s, for his travels to India and his relationship with the Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba, and for founding the charitable organizations Seva Foundation and Hanuman Foundation. He continued to teach via his website until his death.

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Cover image for Be Here Now

Be Here Now

This book is a classic text on Hindu spirituality that bloomed open like a lotus flower in the wake of the hippie movement. The seed for this book was planted in the mind of Harvard psychiatrist turned Indian mystic, Ram Dass, and was written—with the blessings of his guru Neem Karoli Baba—for a Western audience who were, for the most part, materially rich but spiritually poor. Be Here Now offers its readers and followers a drug-free alternative for attaining higher states of consciousness, while its simple message to live in the present encourages the pursuit and cultivation of inner peace.

Beyond Success

Ram Dass investigates the effect of success upon our individual consciousnesses and how one may see beyond mere egocentric opportunism.

Embracing the Mystery

Cover image for Prague Gnosis (Part 2)

Prague Gnosis

Part 2

Shot on location in Prague, Czechoslovakia, during the International Transpersonal Conference in June 1992, this two-part series features Terence McKenna in dialogue with some of the foremost thinkers of the Global Consciousness movement of the time: Ram Dass, Angeles Arrien, Kenneth Ring, Rupert Sheldrake, Jill Purce, David Whyte and Alexander Shulgin.

Promises and Pitfalls of the Spiritual Path

Seeing Through The Illusion

Ram Dass reveals how our senses and thoughts dupe us about the essence of reality. By liberating our consciousness from clinging to the body and mind, we can plunge into the primal energy coursing through all form. This raw perception exposes our supposed detached self as a fantasy.

The Advanced Course

Got wisdom? Let Ram Dass be your guide to enlightenment. He takes us on a trip through changing myths, social action, peaceful protests, corporate responsibility, and more. It’s all part of life’s fascinating dance. Suffering arises when we cling to the intellect. But we find freedom when we open our hearts, embrace oneness and see the perfection in now. So tune in, turn on and wake up! Peace, love and understanding await.

Who Are You

Ram Dass discusses the illusion of identity and attachment. He examines different levels of consciousness, from the egoic thinking mind to universal oneness. Dass encourages living fully while cultivating spacious awareness, embracing all of life’s experiences as opportunities for awakening. He emphasizes being present, listening deeply, and recognizing the perfection underlying apparent imperfection.

Mentioned in 6 documents

Terence McKenna

A Weekend with Terence McKenna

“Healing the inner elf through trance, dance, and diet”—the session for true McKenna enthusiasts: twelve hours with the bard himself, in which he touches upon practically all of his trademark topics.

Terence McKenna

Appreciating Imagination

Join Terence McKenna in this weekend workshop as he takes us on an imaginative journey into the depths of human creativity. Through eloquent exploration of psychedelics, virtual worlds, and shamanic states of consciousness, McKenna reveals how embracing our imagination allows us to envision and manifest alternate realities beyond cultural conditioning. By cultivating our creative faculties with mathematical reasoning, intuition, and immersion in nature, he guides us toward transcending ideological limits into an enlightened future of compassion. Ultimately, breaking boundaries through the power of imagination will inspire us to reach new heights of understanding and connectivity.

Alan Watts

The Psychedelic Experience

Alan says psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin can provide religious insight, but should be used with spiritual discipline to integrate the mystical experience into everyday life. He critiques psychiatry’s lack of metaphysical grounding and calls for medical and religious professionals to work together on psychedelics. Watts emphasizes psychedelics’ potential as a bridge between mystical and ordinary consciousness, while warning against spiritual inflation or romanticizing substances. Overall he presents a balanced perspective, exploring psychedelics as tools for self-knowledge that require wisdom in application.

Terence McKenna

Understanding the Chaos at History's End

Delivered at the end of McKenna’s first month as scholar-in-residence at Esalen, when he began a new phase in his public speaking career. This weekend workshop provides an early glimpse at Terence’s description of the looming “transcendental object at the end of time,” and the psychedelic insights which led him to become an oracle.

Alan Watts

Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown

Over the course of nineteen essays, Alan Watts ruminates on the philosophy of nature, ecology, aesthetics, religion, and metaphysics. Assembled in the form of a mountain journal, written during a retreat in the foothills of Mount Tamalpais in California, Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown is Watts’ meditation on the art of feeling out and following the watercourse way of nature, known in Chinese as the Tao. Embracing a form of contemplative meditation that allows us to stop analyzing our experiences and start living into them, the book explores themes such as the natural world, established religion, race relations, karma and reincarnation, astrology and tantric yoga, the nature of ecstasy, and much more.

Alan Watts

The Joyous Cosmology

The Joyous Cosmology is Alan Watts’ exploration of the insight that the consciousness-changing drugs LSD, mescaline and psilocybin can facilitate when accompanied with sustained philosophical reflection by a person who is in search, not of kicks, but of understanding. More than an artifact, it is both a riveting memoir of Alan’s personal experiments and a profound meditation on our perennial questions about the nature of existence and the existence of the sacred.