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The Only Dance There Is (Doubleday Anchor Original) Paperback – March 5, 1974


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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This book is based on talks by Ram Dass at the Menninger Foundation in 1970 and at the Spring Grove Hospital in Maryland in 1972. The text grew out of the interaction between Ram Dass and the spiritual seekers in attendance at these talks. The result of this unique exchange is a useful guide for understanding the nature of consciousness--useful both to other spiritual seekers and to formally trained psychologists. It is also a celebration of the Dance of Life--which, in the words of Ram Dass, is the "only dance there is."

From the Inside Flap

This book is based on talks by Ram Dass at the Menninger Foundation in 1970 and at the Spring Grove Hospital in Maryland in 1972. The text grew out of the interaction between Ram Dass and the spiritual seekers in attendance at these talks. The result of this unique exchange is a useful guide for understanding the nature of consciousness--useful both to other spiritual seekers and to formally trained psychologists. It is also a celebration of the Dance of Life--which, in the words of Ram Dass, is the "only dance there is."
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Product Details

  • Series: Doubleday Anchor Original
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; 1 edition (March 5, 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780385084130
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385084130
  • ASIN: 0385084137
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ram Dass, one of America's most beloved spiritual figures, has made his mark on the world giving teachings and promoting loving service, harmonious business practices, and conscious care for the dying. His spirit has been a guiding light for four generations, carrying millions along on the journey, helping free them from their bonds as he has worked his way through his own. He makes his home in Maui.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 26 customer reviews
I use many of his stories when writing my own books.
Alan Gettis
I'm not going to tell you to go out of your way and buy this book, because if you have read this far you will no doubt be able to make that decision for yourself.
Michael Cunningham
This is the Only Dance there is...God dancing with Itself in everything, as everything... I believe in a dancing God.
John P. Morgan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 118 people found the following review helpful By John P. Morgan VINE VOICE on October 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
"I can only believe in a God that dances..."

-Friedrich Nietzsche

I love Ram Dass. For those of you who are in the "dark" about him, he is formerly known as Richard Alpert...no relation to Herb. He and fellow psychoanalyst, Timothy Leary (anyone ever hear of him) promoted LSD as the way to change EVERYTHING in your life. From curing alcoholism to feeling as though there is a deeper side to everything that we see, LSD was the "wonder drug" that made it all possible. Instead of going fullbore into the trip that made Leary so famous, Alpert went to India seeking Spirituality and came back as Ram Dass. You see, when the consciousness changes, the name changes, as well. Our name must reflect our inner nature. In some circles I am known as Mi Che Lob...which simply means, I like Michelob beer...

This book is a written account of Dass' visits to various institutions. He was trying to get "prisoners" to see that there is way out of the game they were currently in. Whether we're in a brick and iron facility or in a prison of our own making makes little difference to Ram Dass, we can be free from those prisons when we begin to identify ourselves not with a body, but with the Spirit of all Creation...with God...y'see, Christianity does not own God. They would like to think that they do, but God does not promote only one type of religion, God does not only allow "certain" people to experience bliss and peace, God does not vote Republican. God is the Impersonal made personal; a Love that knows no bounds that is within and around each being. Everything is God and God is everything.

This is the book that got me to start chanting OM MANI PADME AUM every morning and every evening and got me strange looks from my dad.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Loren E. Clive on March 19, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hesitated to accept this book from a friend since I thought it would be too way out, but once I started reading it, I relished the insightful observations and openness of Dass. He is a genius and obviously very in touch with himself. The day I started reading this, I was in a terrible mood, but afterwards I was unbelievably optimistic. I went out immediately and bought it for my brother and have been recommending it to all of my friends. Everyone should have a copy!! I've been looking all over Berkeley for another copy for myself to no avail since my friend wanted hers back. Now, thanks to Amazon, I can get my own. Seriously, though, this book emphasizes the importance of living in the moment, taking risks in life, the value of altered states of consciousness, and accepting and embracing your innate humanity. Dass engrosses the reader with amazing stories and relates abstract religious concepts well to real life.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By SpiritSite.com Staff on March 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
An excellent, underrated spiritual book. Ram Dass is brilliant, spontaneous, and loving -- his messages are clear as a bell.
For reference, the book is a sort of "transcript" of talks given at the menninger Foundation in 1970 and at Spring Grove hospital in 1972.
Here is a classic quote from the book: "I used to hang out with the Mellon Family. The Mellon family is very rich. Each of the parents has 700 million dollars. That's rich in my book. The kids were poor. They each had only 20 million. I hung out with one of these kids who had 20 million dollars and he felt like a bum... That's far out from my point of view."
Ram Dass skillfully uses stories like this to illustrate the spiritual truths that craving objects leads to suffering, that peace of mind lies within, and so on.
Excellent book. Thanks Ram!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amit Pande on April 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Ram Dass has the remarkable ability to deal with profound topics - the planes of existence, chakras, the nature of Being in his unique, effervescent, frank, and lucid style.
The backdrop of Ram Dass - an acid researching, Harvard psychologist, who went to India for answers to his questions on existence, mysticism, and spirituality, is needless to say, unconventional. I frankly didn't know what to expect from the book. And I was not only surprised beyond my expectations, but also intrigued to a point where I rediscovered many of my latent questions about life.
If you are coming from a path where you've read some of these:
Lobsang Rampa, Aldous Huxley, Blake, Sri Aurobindo, Gurdjeff, or others who try to explain eastern philosophy/mysticism/what lies beyond/Karma/astral travel/the meaning of life, in a manner that we can understand, this is definitely a great book for you.
Good look, I hope the book gives you some "answers" on your quest
!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Tom White on December 17, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a great book. I highly suggest this book for anyone interested in western culture connected to eastern religion. Ram talks of everything from chakras to love. but mainly its about consciousness and the nature of it. The dance of life or in Ram's words "the only dance there is"
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alan Gettis VINE VOICE on April 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
A wonderful thing happened on April 6, 1931. Richard Alpert was born. Years later, he was essentially reborn as Ram Dass, and, as they say, the rest is history. His wonderful talks in the early 1970's at the Menninger Foundation and Spring Grove Hospital are the heart of this book. His transformation from a Harvard psychologist to the first American Guru have been well documented. Ram Dass is the real McCoy, the genuine article. He was a pioneer of 20th century spirituality and the major voice for new age wisdom.

"The Only Dance There Is" is a favorite of mine. I still have my original marked up 1974 copy that I can't imagine that I'll ever part with. It is a treasure. Ram Dass is the master storyteller of this lifetime, and most of his books contain very quotable stories that will have an impact on you. I use many of his stories when writing my own books. Ram Dass has been a mentor of mine and he has enriched my life with his books, including this one.
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