Chapter

Ram Dass

Arthur J. Magida

in Opening the Doors of Wonder

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780520245457
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520941717 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520245457.003.0014
Ram Dass

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This chapter discusses the experience of Ram Dass at his bar mitzvah. Ram Dass or Richard Alpert is the epicenter of America's spiritual searchings, a teacher, eloquent guide, and agile translator of Eastern thought into American practice. Since the 1960s, he has helped shape Americans' attitudes toward consciousness, faith, drugs, religion, and mysticism, giving them perspective and a distinctly Western relevance. Richard was destined for great things: earning a Ph.D. from Stanford, he became the youngest person to secure tenure at Harvard, where he taught in two departments before he was thirty. In 1967 he traveled to India, met his spiritual teacher, and became Baba Ram Dass. Returning to the United States, Richard wrote Be Here Now, a spiritual guide full of perky aphorisms promising that God was only a yoga posture away: “Here we are. Here and now.”

Keywords: Ram Dass; bar mitzvah; Richard Alpert; Be Here Now; America's spiritual searchings

Chapter.  3017 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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