Sometimes illumination occurs spontaneously or, as Ram Dass experienced, in a heart-wrenching moment of opening. More commonly, it happens when we polish the mirror of the heart with daily practice—and see beyond the illusion of our transient thoughts and emotions to the vast and luminous landscape of our true nature.
For five decades, Ram Dass has explored the depths of consciousness and love and brought them to life as service to others. With Polishing the Mirror, he gathers together his essential teachings for living in the eternal present, here and now.
Readers will find within these pages a rich combination of perennial wisdom, humor, teaching stories, and detailed guidance on Ram Dass' own spiritual practices, including:
• Bhakti Yoga—opening our hearts to unconditional love
• Practices for living, aging, dying, and embracing the natural flow of life
• Karma Yoga—how selfless service can profoundly transform us
• Working with fear and suffering as a path to grace and freedom
• Step-by-step guidance in devotional chant, meditation and mantra practice, and much more
For those new to Ram Dass' teachings, and for those to whom they are old friends, here is this vanguard spiritual explorer's complete guide to discovering who we are and why we are here, and how to become beacons of unconditional love.
This collection of teachings by Ram Dass (Be Here Now), one of the United States' most famous spiritual seekers, is surprisingly fresh and accessible more than 40 years after the psychedelic psychologist first wrote about consciousness expansion through LSD. The anecdote-packed chapters cover many of the practices Ram Dass has used devotional bhakti yoga, worldly karma yoga, daily practices like meditation and chanting in his quest to become a more loving, compassionate being. He discusses serious issues with a frankness that opens up difficult topics, such as how he coped with a stroke that drastically changed his understanding of his role in the world. No longer did he feel special, "under the protective umbrella of my guru," he writes. Instead, he realized he was subject to the same, sometimes painful, process of aging and dying that everybody faces. His willingness to admit his own mistakes and turn them into lessons for personal growth is refreshing, and allows readers to see themselves in his story. The collection successfully straddles a fine line, providing both a broad overview for those new to Ram Dass's writings and an engaging recap for readers who have enjoyed his previous books.