|Be Love Now: The Path of the Heart
By Ram Dass and Rameshwar Das
Review: I loved this book. In fact, I couldn’t put it down and am now reading it a second time.
For those of you who know Ram Dass–either through his spoken teachings or his books, you know that he is a spiritual treasure to Westerners seeking spiritual guidance.
He is best known as one of the earliest/first Westerners to return from India with a clear mission to teach what he was learning from his guru, Neem Karoly Baba.
This book is mostly memoir–Ram Dass’ encounters with Maharaj-ji (his guru) and his most current thinking about the meaning of his guru’s teachings.
Sure, Ram Dass is a wonderful teacher and the incredible detail that he presents in the book makes for wonderful spiritual stories. But what I liked more than the stories were his reflections on their meaning. 30 years ago, he focused on his guru’s ability to read minds and be in control of his consciousness.
Today, he is able to see that his guru’s mind wasn’t the most powerful aspect of his being. Instead, it was his guru’s love that transformed all of the Western and Eastern devotees who flocked around him.
He points out that as we witness our ego stuff, we can offer it into the fire of love in the heart with the mantra, “I am loving awareness.” Ram Dass also silently chants Ram, the name of God, while fingering his beads when he is out in the world. He discusses the value of music and satsang, hanging out with others on the spiritual path.
This book also contains stories of other Indian saints, both living and deceased. In many ways, it is knowledge that has traveled around the yoga, kirtan and meditation circuits but has rarely been captured in a thorough manner. In this way, the book provides plenty of inspiration for seekers in search of a teacher–perhaps one of the stories will resonate and will take root in your heart.
What I loved most about this book was the focus on love. We hear about meditation as the path, prayer as the path, chanting as the path–but underneath it all, is our ability to give and receive love without any conditions. This book is a reminder that the real spiritual work occurs in the heart.