Sunday, November 7, 2010

Be Love Now

India is the perfect setting for a spiritual journey or an inner exploration, a glorious land of yogis, ashrams, flavorful foods, festivals, and temples. In 1967, when Ram Dass first ventured to India, he was still Dr. Richard Alpert, a distinguished Harvard psychologist and psychedelic pioneer with Dr. Timothy Leary. While in India, he met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, known as Maharaj-ji, who gave Ram Dass his new name, which means “servant of God.”

To a large extent, this book is about gurus, or teachers, and Ram Dass himself is a spiritual guru to many of the Boomer generation. Published in 2010, his new book, Be Love Now: The Path of the Heart, written with Rameshwar Das, is the third in a trilogy that includes Be Here Now (1971) and Still Here (2000). Be Love Now is dedicated to Ram Dass' guru, Maharaj-ji. Interestingly, Ram Dass says that he abhorred the idea of gurus initially. He was nearly panic-stricken during his first meeting with his guru-to-be, worried about someone stealing the car he had driven through the mountains of India, a Land Rover, and felt even more uncomfortable when Maharaj-ji asked him if he could have the car. Soon, though, Ram Dass had a keen awakening. He felt more love and understanding from Maharaj-ji than he had ever felt before from anyone. What was even more astonishing was that he also experienced a love for others beyond anything that he had ever before experienced. This presence of love affected him in a profound way, and was the start of his belief in gurus, in Maharaj-ji, and in a new kind of love as a state of being that radiates outward from within.

Pardon the vernacular but this is a mind-blowing book. I read--and reread several parts of--this book, but I still feel as if I have just scratched the surface, and won't claim to have completely understood all of it. Although this book is about 300 pages, it is pithy, full of profundity and insight. There is so much in Be Love Now to comprehend and to contemplate. I'd selected several wonderful paragraphs to quote, but I'm not supposed to quote from my copy of the book, which is an uncorrected proof. However, I did find this relevant quote, on Goodreads:
"The heart surrenders everything to the moment. The mind judges and holds back."
~Ram Dass
The author's writing is personal, engaging, and sometimes humorous, but his quest and his ideas are universal. The best way to read this book is to wrap yourself in a plaid blanket (or Snuggie), brew some chai tea, and open up your heart-mind to the limitless possibilities of love.

Special thanks to Trish from TLC for sending me this book. For more reviews, please visit TLC's book tour for Be Love Now.

16 comments:

  1. Sounds like an amazing work, and I quite like a good mind-blowing book! Great review -- and I'll make sure to bear your recommendations in mind and wrap myself in my fleece blanket with my hot cocoa! :)

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  2. sounds like a great book-by coincidence I will be today I hope posting on a book set in India, The Blue Notebook-a look at a very different side of Indian culture by an American Doctor who has worked in the poorest parts of India

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  3. Wow, being in India I have not even heard of Baba Ramdass. I am so sorry, I actually don't really belive in Gurus and all but now I am thinking I should read this trilogy and give this idea a try :)

    But that will take sometime. love that quote!

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  4. I'm glad you enjoyed this so much. It sounds like a fascinating journey for the author.

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  5. I admit that this isn't a book that I'd normally read but you make it sound so interesting that I'm going to have to see if I can get hold of a copy. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  6. Wow - you make me want to rush out and buy this book this very second. I love books like this . Thanks Suko

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  7. This does sound like a really deep and introspective book, and though I do have a little bit of a hard time believing in the power or gurus, it sounds like this book could be helpful in a lot of capacities. When you say that you just scratched the surface with this book, I can totally believe it, as it seems that reading this book to impart life lessons would probably be very challenging for one who is not used to the subject matter being dealt with in this manner. Great review, Suko. I am going to have to check it out!

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  8. Thanks for all the comments! More welcomed.

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  9. This sounds amazing Suko. I added it to my wishlist already.
    Great review!!
    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

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  10. sounds like a wonderful book.. Loved the quote..adding to my TBR.

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  11. Sounds like a book that really gets you thinking. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  12. Great review. However, as great as your review was, I don't think it is something I would read. I like light and fluffy.. hee, hee.

    Thanks for your many visits to my blog and the wonderful comments you always leave. They are very much appreciated.

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  13. Thanks for the review Susan! I read Ram Dass book on meditation wayyy back when :) -- in the era when meditation and yoga were also affiliated with drugs and out of body experiences :)

    Will look this one up!

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  14. Hi Suko,

    I love your review of Be Love Now. You've really captured the essence of the book in such a beautiful way. I agree - there is so much insight, wisdom, and guidance in the book that it deserves sell reads over time.

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  15. The name sounds so familiar ... and it sounds like an interesting journey that he underwent. Sounds like he went into it a bit of skeptic so I'd be curious about his journey.

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  16. Wow, mind-blowing? I LOVE when I find a book like that! I'm so happy that you enjoyed it - thanks for being a part of this tour.

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