" Be Here Now " ... " Still Here " ... " Journey of awakening " ... " The only dance there is " ... " How can I help? " ... " Paths to god " ... " Compassion in Action " ... " Grist for the mill " ..." One-Liners " ... " Dark Mysteries " ... " Love, Service, Devotion, and the Ultimate Surrender: Ram Dass on the Bhagavad Gita " ... " Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Soul " ... " Be Love Now: The Path of the Heart " ... " Remarkable Encounters with Ram Dass " ... " Miracle of Love: Stories About Neem Karoli Baba "
Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert, April 6, 1931) is an American contemporary spiritual teacher and the author of the seminal 1971 book 'Be Here Now'. He is 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.
His father, George Alpert, was a lawyer in Boston, president of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, one of the founders of Brandeis University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as well as a major fundraiser for Jewish causes.
He considered himself an atheist and did not profess any religion during his early life, describing himself as “ inured to religion. I didn’t have one whiff of God until I took psychedelics. ”
Alpert attended the Williston Northampton School, graduating in 1948 as a part of the Cum Laude Association. He then went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University, a master's degree from Wesleyan University, and a doctorate (in psychology) from Stanford University.
In 1967 Alpert traveled to India, where he traveled with the American spiritual seeker Bhagavan Das, and ultimately met the man who would become his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, whom Alpert called " Maharaj-ji ". It was Maharaj-ji who gave him the name " Ram Dass ", which means " servant of God ", referring to the incarnation of God as Ram or Lord Rama. Alpert also corresponded with the Indian spiritual teacher Meher Baba and mentioned Baba in several of his books.
At 60 years of age, Ram Dass began exploring Judaism seriously for the first time. " My belief is that I wasn't born into Judaism by accident, and so I needed to find ways to honor that, " he says. " From a Hindu perspective, you are born as what you need to deal with, and if you just try and push it away, whatever it is, it's got you. "
In February 1997, Ram Dass had a stroke that left him with expressive aphasia, which he interprets as an act of grace. He no longer travels, but continues to teach through live webcasts and at retreats in Hawaii. When asked if he could sum up his life's message, he replied, " I help people as a way to work on myself, and I work on myself to help people ... to me, that's what the emerging game is all about. " Ram Dass was awarded the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award in August 1991.
The Love Serve Remember Foundation was organized to preserve and continue the teachings of Neem Karoli Baba and Ram Dass, and to work with Ram Dass on his writings and other future plans. The Hanuman Foundation is a nonprofit educational and service organization founded by Ram Dass in 1974, focused on the spiritual well-being of society through education, media and community service programs.
The Seva Foundation is an international health organization founded by Ram Dass in 1978 along with public health leader Larry Brilliant and humanitarian activist Wavy Gravy. Ram Dass also serves on the faculty of the Metta Institute where he provides training on mindful and compassionate care of the dying. He works with the Social Venture Network, an organization of businesses seeking to bring social consciousness to business practices. He continues to teach about the nature of consciousness, and about service as a spiritual path.