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on September 1, 1998
Journey of Awakening: A Meditatior's Guidebood by Ram Dass was a complete surprise to me. I had been looking all over for a book that gave you meditation techniques rather than places to go and pay to learn meditation. This was the first such book I found. Since I found it in the New Age section of the bookstore I expected to be weeding through a lot of mumbo jumbo and new age nonsense. Instead I found it to be a very practical guide to meditation techniques.
I was also pleased to discover that it taught how to use meditation within several religious practices including Muslim, Christian and Judism as well as Eastern traditions. This makes this book appealing to persons of any faith.
At the end of the book there is a listing of places around the country where you can go if you want more instruction or group meditation. But it is not neccessary as the book is a complete guide to meditation.
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on September 29, 2002
True story...
One day I was walking in San Francisco on my way to the Carl Jung Institute, when I had an overwhelming urge for a cup of cappucino. I mean, completely overwhelming. I turned and headed down a street (Van Ness) that I knew (at the time) did not have any cafes or coffee shops, yet I could not seem to help myself. I was being pulled.
After walking a few blocks, I noticed a sign for a bookstore below street level, and for some reason I went in. It was a weird little place filled with crystals and Hopi dream catchers, and I knew immediately it was probably not my kind of bookstore. Nonetheless, I decided to stay and browse a bit. I was turning one of those turning bookstands, when my eyes hit upon this book among a bunch of extreme New Age titles. I looked through it, and got tremendously excited as I realized that I had found something I had been barely aware I was looking for. So I bought it, read it about a dozen times, and it provided me with absolutely the right information I needed to make some decisions about meditation techniques, teachers, etc. In that sense, you could say it changed my life.
Based on my own experiences, I would recommend this book unconditionally to anyone who feels themselves drawn in that direction but needs a bit more information first. As always, Ram Dass does a first-class job of presenting somewhat arcane information in a very accessible manner.
Going back to that particular day, the funny thing was that as I walked out of the bookstore with the book, that overwhelming urge for a cup of cappucino had completely disappeared. And when I went back a few months later to find the bookstore again, I couldn't find it. I've always wondered what Carl Jung would have thought of the whole episode.
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on September 2, 2006
Ram Dass has definitely written a winner with this masterpiece. He, like myself mentions his search for enlightenment through LSD, other drugs, and the endless external serach outside of ourselves. I was involved in this false journey for many years , however finally tapped into what is genuine and began my true search for enlightement and liberation through meditation. This book provides direction and guidance in meditation of all kinds and provides some of the best quotes concerning the subject of enlightenment. Highly recommended. I would like to share a passage from the book to give you an examply what this book provides as well as offer some food for thought in your daily journey.

If I Had My Life to Live Over

I'd like to make more mistakes next time.

I'd relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice craem and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I'd have my moments, and if I had it to do overagain, I'd have more of them. In fact I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instaed of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had to live my life over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that waylater in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry go rounds. I would pick more daisies.

--Nadine Stair, 85 years old, Louisville , Kentucky.

I hope you can enjoy your journey according to this passage. If you can you will discover the bliss of LIFE.

Author, Your Daily Walk with the Great Minds
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on September 4, 2000
A friendly invitation and beginner's guide to meditation--of various forms, from various traditions, Eastern and Western--with suggestions for picking a form suited to you, and helpful advice for the times when you get lost or stuck. Sprinkled with quotes from all sorts of wise people and cute little drawings of a meditator. Includes an extensive directory of groups offering meditation instruction, plus a good list of suggestions for further reading.

Ram Dass, born Richard Alpert, left his position as a psychology professor at Harvard in the 1960s to explore mind-expansion through psychedelic drugs and then through the guidance of an Indian guru. His bestselling 1971 book "Be Here Now" includes a chronicle of this journey and, like "Journey of Awakening," invites the reader to spiritual practice, but it focuses more on Hinduism and is written, illustrated, and typeset in a very hippie, psychedelic style, so you might prefer or definitely not prefer that book.

Welcome to spiritual practice!
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on June 11, 1999
All the reviews here are right on target. This book states some HUGE truths in a very simple, elegant manner. The talk about the ego and the mind chatter echos A Course in Miracles, Hiduism, and probably many other spiritual paths. His understanding of the human mind in general and meditation in particular drips from the page. I especially like that he doesn't "sell" one particular style of meditation but gives a fair introduction to all. Many roads, same destination. A must read for both the interested and the experienced.
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on October 20, 2003
What can I say it's Ramm Dass. Many times when I read what he writes it is as though he knows my questions before I know them myself. He'll address an issue that i'm just becoming aware of and then he provides guidence as what to do and expect next. He has a great deal of experience in this area and that really pays off when human beings are so similar at the core. Which is what it is all really about, getting to know yourself at your core. Also, by experience I mean that he has done a lot of deep thinking himself and has many years of experience with talking to various people around the world about this same thing. In this book he also demonstrates various kinds of practices which you can do. I think the main point of this book and any book on this subject matter is to follow your heart. The problem then is how do you clear your mind enough to be able to hear your heart. This book is the next best thing to having guru, atleast that is my two cents about it.
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on July 7, 2003
This book, so well and kindly written, is a very easy read, and thereby seduces the reader into practicing what many find to be daunting or intimidating. This book introduces you to the many ways of meditation. It is rigorously non-sectarian -- or perhaps one should say that it demonstrates the universality of meditation and spiritual quests in general among all religious cultures. It offers a broad variety of methods, and introduces ancient quotes from the world over providing very human insights into the benefits, difficulties, and pitfalls of meditation. This is an enjoyable read for beginner and expert alike.
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on July 20, 1999
When you don't happen to have a teacher on hand this book will answer most questions that come up on the path through the jungle of the mind. It helped me get in touch with much that I had forgotten. Anyone who meditates or has the intention to meditate will love this book.
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on October 15, 1998
I read this book as a form of meditation. The pace, the language, even the mandalas and other drawings can be used as tools to launch onesself into the deeper life. Best read or listened to during the morning commute to set a good tone for the rest of a hectic day.
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on September 29, 2006
If you are a point in your life where you've had more than a fleeting thought regarding "there being something more", this book is certainly a fantastic place for beginning your journey to self-discovery (and/or awakening).

I have never been inspired enough to write a review about a book but this book deserves my most profound endorsement.

Best of luck in your journey.
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