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Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying [Paperback]

Ram Dass
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 17 2002

More than thirty years ago, an entire generation sought a new way of life, looking for fulfillment and meaning in a way no one had before. Leaving his teaching job at Harvard, Ram Dass embodied the role of spiritual seeker, showing others how to find peace within themselves in one of the greatest spiritual classics of the twentieth century, the two-million-copy bestseller Be Here Now. As many of that generation enter the autumn of their years, the big questions of peace and of purpose have returned demanding answers. And once again, Ram Dass blazes a new trail, inviting all to join him on the next stage of the journey.

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Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing, and Dying + Be Here Now + Be Love Now: The Path of the Heart
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From Amazon

After being introduced for a lecture, Ram Dass eschewed the stairs and, from his front row seat, leapt up on to the stage--or tried to, anyway, but age and gravity brought him crashing back to earth. Like other baby boomers, Ram Dass has learned the hard way that aging is unkind to the body. But he has also learned that it can be an opportunity for growth. While others begin to devalue you, you can reconnect with the spiritual, grow into wisdom, and create value for yourself. In Still Here, Ram Dass offers a philosophy for aging that teaches us how to diminish our suffering despite the aches, pains, and limitations of age. This becomes possible when we step away from the ego-self and into the soul-self, where we can witness our thoughts and emotions and evaluate their effects on us. If aging has brought challenges to Ram Dass, it has also brought him wisdom, which, through his personal anecdotes and stories of others in the struggle against aging, he shares with great generosity. --Brian Bruya --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In 1971, Ram Dass became an icon for a generation of spiritual seekers with the publication of Be here Now, a hip, heartfelt chronicle of a search for truth that began when he got kicked out of Harvard along with Timothy Leary for tripping on psilocybin mushrooms and launching a psychedelic movement. The author, who was born Richard Alpert, discovered the magic of reality itself in India, when he met his guru, Maharaji, who gave him a name that means "Servant of God." In the decades since, Ram Dass has produced a stream of books about how heart-and mind-expanding service can be. His writing (and his globe-trotting lectures) were suffused with the ebullient humor and insight of a born storyteller. Then, one evening in 1997, as he lay in bed wondering how to finish this work on the wisdom potential of aging, Ram Dass was hit with a massive stroke that left him wheelchair-bound, partially paralyzed, requiring round-the-clock care. This book was revised and edited by Ram Dass as he struggled to say what he wanted to say without the words that had poured out of him before. What has emerged from the suffering is a humble masterpiece of being. "The stroke has given me a new perspective to share about aging, a perspective that says, 'Don't be a wise elder, be an incarnation of wisdom,'" writes Ram Dass in the introduction. The energy of this new state of awareness resonates under the words of this work. Ram Dass delves in to the aspects of aging that terrify most of us-loss of roll and independence, the threat of senility-and affirms there is an awareness in each of us that transcends all the attributes that necessarily diminish with age. Ram Dass shows readers of all ages that it is possible to stay present in the midst of suffering, to be still and know that God is here now. (June).
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Ram Dass explores the profundities and challenges of human frailty in a very personal way in Still Here: Emracing Aging, Changing and Dying. Written in part after Ram Dass's stroke in 1997, Still Here touches the core of weakness and all the bogeymen that come with it. Loneliness, embarrassment, powerlessness, loss of role/meaning, and depression are explored in the early part of the book--and that's all before Ram Dass gets to the good stuff. As in Journey of Awakening and Be Here Now, the author does a wonderful job of clearly explaining the cause of human suffering and its remedy.
I bought this book because I wanted to better understand my grandmother's world and what my parents are beginning to face, but I ended up experiencing its apt relevance to 36-year-old me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, uplifting June 20 2001
Indeed Ram Dass is still here in this moment after a crippling stroke to guide us toward an understanding of our place among our fellows in the world as we grow old. Once he was Richard Alpert, Harvard professor, and then, after turning on and dropping out in the sixties, became Ram Dass, author of the best-selling Be Here Now (1971), the axiom of the title from the ancients of the East thereby becoming a mantra for a generation of flower children.
In this inspiring and eminently readable book, Ram Dass celebrates aging as a time of self-discovery and of selfless service to others. What could be more appropriate for a man who has lived so passionately, who has traveled so widely and learned so much than to share his experience and wisdom with others? And Ram Dass does it well, without sanctimonious posturing or self-serving claptrap, in a prose style that is familiar, warm and sharing, and at times brilliant. Especially beautiful are the passages on pages 141-144 in which he recalls his Jewish home and then a visit to India in 1970. Of course he does remind us of the many friends and note worthies he has met along the way; and, true, he is not adverse to indulging himself a little with reflections about how HE has been of service to the aged, the infirm, and the dying. But this is only right. There is, as we are freed from many of the constraints of society and its shallow proprieties, no place for a false modesty, and if one has done well, one should be pleased with oneself, and like Walt Whitman, celebrate oneself. As a young man, Ram Dass went against the shared "wisdom" of the society that had so well nurtured him and sought his own way, and he found it. He is to be admired and listened to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars still listening June 12 2000
By triplex
Ram Dass has done it again; he's focused into the moment and brought forth the intimacy and superb subtleness of his life's experience for fellow travelers to explore and ponder. The advance guide and Uncle, as he calls himself, has a profound ability to articulate and impart the spiritual wisdom brought on by the advance of the years. A cerebral stroke has made this all the more amazing, for Ram Dass brings us to the threshhold of Death where he confirms that the Light of the Immortal Soul shines forth. This is a message that will remain with you and lighten your heart in these times of trouble. With grace, good humor and an understanding heart, Ram Dass again shares his wisdom for the benefit of those who will but stop and reflect upon the silence within of which he speaks. "In My house, there are many mansions" There we are! I recommend this book for all who would know the truth from a fellow seeker.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ram Dass Rules Oct. 12 2000
When I was embarking on middle age, Ram Dass' Be Here Now, helped make it an easier transiton.
Now, that I've become a "geezer", again it's Ram Dass to the rescue.
In my late 60's, it was getting so confusing - that I finally took some courses in Gerontology at nearby American River College.
Ultimately, I became a gerontologist; I was a perfect student - my interest was keen...and personal.
Then, Ram Dass wrote Still Here - it is, I think, the definitive text-book on what it's like to be a wonderfully wise and validated Elder.
If you could only read one book on the subject of aging - this is it !
God bless you Richard...
And, me too...
Dave Robinson
...Make the price right and I'll order ten.
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By Grady Harp TOP 500 REVIEWER
Ram Dass has once again established his role as mentor for those who seek solace at times of despair. The world situation at present set aside, this book dares to raise a mirror to our mortal fear of aging and dying. But that mirror doesn't reflect sagging skin, bruised egos, and loneliness of marching toward demise. Quite the opposite. Ram Dass re-cycles his always potent understanding of Eastern philosophy and focuses those tennants on our preoccupation with remaining youthful. His patient reiteration of the diferences among Ego, Soul, and Awareness leads him into a very warm, personal, sensitive aura of learning to embrace aging and dying as processes within the framework of the cosmos. The fact that he has had a debilitating stroke makes his words of nurturing and care all the more credible. This man knows how to write/think/share in a way that makes the reader feel as though this book is a private session with the guru. His personal experiences are good humored, delicate, and poignant. Here is a book we all need to read, to share, and to join in the obligation to enlighten our fellowmen about the entire cycle of being. It is food for contemplation, for immediate advice on how to help ouselves and our friends deal with "tragedy", and for sharing. Please read it.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Ram Dass At His Best ... Guiding Us Again.
Another epoch in our lives (us Baby Boomers) and Ram Dass is right there to point the way once more. Read more
Published on May 1 2004 by Larry Nones
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry I didn't think the reader fit the book
This review only refers to the audio version. I must say that the book "Still Here" is WONDERFUL and has inspiring information on the personal journey of Ram Dass before... Read more
Published on Sept. 28 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars wry wisdom for budding geezers
ram dass presents us with another good book of counter culture wisdom and insight. while not up to the standard of some of his previous works, it yet contains much wisdom both... Read more
Published on June 4 2002 by Orva Schrock
5.0 out of 5 stars Make this book a gift to yourself
I first met Ram Dass when he spoke at Drake University in Des Moines many years ago. Such wit, charm, humor-and light! Read more
Published on Aug. 15 2000 by Design Fan!
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the same old, same old
If you are not familiar with Ram Dass, then my guess is that it will take more than a brief review to explain. Read more
Published on July 26 2000 by Arnold Kling
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching Ram Dass
We're fans of Ram Dass at his most ebullient -- i.e., Be Here Now, when he was like a teenager in love with his newfound guru. Read more
Published on July 5 2000 by Staff
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding the Great Paradox
As Ram Dass so astutely observes, one of the benefits of aging is wisdom. A big part of that wisdom is coming to understand paradox. Read more
Published on June 27 2000 by Michael E. Tymn
5.0 out of 5 stars not unlike Signals by Joel Rothschild an important book
Well worth the read. It's a book like Signals that will changeyour life forever.
Published on June 18 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Still Here' a dear friend on a dark sojourn made light
I purchased "Still Here" at the Pittsburg airport enroute to my brother's funeral. Throughout the weekend as I prepared to lay my brother to rest, Ram Dass' exploration... Read more
Published on June 14 2000 by wm. anthony connolly
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