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Polishing the Mirror: How to Live From Your Spiritual Heart Hardcover – August 1, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.

Review

"Ram Dass has been polishing the mirror of his heart for decades.  Now 82 years old, he has the process down pat.  For those negotiating this process, Polishing the Mirror offers an eclectic tool kit..  His message, as clear as it has always been and delivered with his inimitable humor, does not deviate much from the original words of wisdom he received from his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, many years ago: 'Love everyone and tell the truth.'"

-Tricycle Magazine

 

"Considering his long-standing advice to 'be here now,' the spiritual author and teacher Ram Dass has always been ahead of his time . . . .  Polishing the Mirror brings a light tone to recapping the lessons learned, wisdom gained, love realized, and new challenges awaiting as the end of this life nears."
-Spirituality & Health Magazine



"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."
-Publishers Weekly, August 2013


"Considering his long-standing advice to "be here now," the spiritual author and teacher Ram Dass has always been ahead of his time...Polishing the Mirror brings a light tone to recapping the lessons learned, wisdom gained, love realized, and new challenges awaiting as the end of this life nears."
-Rick Chatenever, Spirituality & Health



"Ram Dass has been the most influential person in my own spiritual development. I treasure his wisdom as well as his spirit. Let his words in this book enter your soul-for my friend Ram Dass is divine love personified."
-Wayne Dyer, Author of The Power of Intention

"This book is a blessing! Simply reading it will open your heart and bring you to mysterious, spacious, loving freedom. Ram Dass is one of the great sages of our time who can make us laugh, cry, and awaken!"  
--Jack Kornfield, Author of A Path with Heart

 

"Ram Dass reminds us of the truths that are easiest to forget and most central to our lives.  Loving awareness is our true nature. In Polishing the Mirror, we are guided back home to this realization through a delightful weave of vintage stories, wisdom teachings, and the felt transmission of Ram Dass's own radiant heart."
--Tara Brach, Author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

 

"Ram Dass is a wise man in our time-- spiritual pioneer, teacher, and luminary of planetary consciousness. Illumining the path for all of us, RD is the headlight at the forefront of the Dharma movement in the West. This gentle giant has been polishing the mirror of his heart and soul for a very long time, bringing forth the sweet fruits of his labors of love and selfless service for our benefit today and tomorrow. His new book clearly calls us to join together and awaken, to make the infinite journey from the head to the heart, and to adventure to co-create a better world by being loving awareness right now. I simply cannot put down this lovely book."  
--Lama Surya Das, Author of Awakening the Buddha Within


"This book by our precious friend Ram Dass is a beautiful guide to love and awakening."
--Joan Halifax, Abbot of Upaya Zen Center


"Ram Dass is a superb writer. His example of gentleness and loving compassion is infused with profound wisdom of the heart and mind, a welcome sense of humor and a savvy effectiveness in the real world."
-The San Francisco Chronicle 

"Ram Dass continues to share his ongoing journey with us, to our great benefit."
-Jon Kabat-Zinn, Author of Mindfulness for Beginners

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Sounds True; 1 edition (August 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604079673
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604079678
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,503 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

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By John E. Welshons on July 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
In Polishing the Mirror, our beloved spiritual elder brother, Ram Dass, offers a rich stew of teachings that span the entirety of his nearly fifty years of teaching. The text is beautiful and accessible, transporting the reader into the same delicious heart-space he so often created in thousands of lectures over the years. The timeless guidance to "Be Here Now" flows through every word and chapter, and every bit of the material feels fresh, alive, and vibrant . . . as if we're hearing it for the very first time. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this beautiful book of loving wisdom, and invaluable spiritual guidance.
- John E. Welshons, author, One Soul, One Love, One Heart and Awakening From Grief
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful By David Crumm on August 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Baby Boomers know Ram Dass as an American celebrity from the 1960s who came back from India in 1971 to publish a strange square-shaped book: Be Here Now. Some call that book "the Baby Boomers' Bible"--and there is a good argument behind such a claim. It wasn't until the era of Be Here Now that millions of Americans could immerse themselves in full-scale Asian spirituality and the rest of the world's spiritual diversity.

Since its debut, Be Here Now has racked up a stunning total of 2 million copies sold--and counting. Ram Dass has built on his original message in 11 additional books, a series of audio recordings, documentary films and short videos. Ram Dass also is famous for his 1978 establishment of the Seva Foundation, a highly respected charity that primarily focuses on curing illnesses of the eye in Asia, Africa and Native American communities.

Then, in 1997, Ram Dass made headlines once again for suffering a devastating stroke. As Baby Boomers, we were confronting our own looming mortality as we watched this perennially smiling genie of the `60s utterly humbled by his own body. As Ram Dass puts it himself: "I went from driving my sports car wherever I wanted to go--to being a passenger."

Now, flash forward 16 years to 2013 and in the opening pages of his newest book, Ram Dass briefly retells the dramatic story that many Baby Boomers know so well: As a rising star in the Harvard faculty, 30-something psychologist Dr. Richard Alpert teamed up with psychologist Dr. Timothy Leary. Ram Dass understates their titanic collision: "Meeting Tim was a major turning point in my life." No kidding!
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By jellymoon on August 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Polishing the Mirror could've been called Polishing the Paradox, it's so wholeheartedly devoted to cherishing the impossible possibilities of life while fearlessly inviting the inscrutable potential of death, which to Ram Dass is simply "another moment." I think Ram Dass's platform - that of spiritually intrepid westerner transformed into eastern spiritual exemplar - remains, if no longer unique, then uniquely compelling. The authenticity of his personal transformation, his forty-odd years of devotion to loving everybody, serving everybody and remembering God, (the dharma bestowed upon him by his guru), his disarmingly ambitionless ambition, charming anecdotal humor, approachable scholarship and engaging, open-hearted personality, are to be beheld afresh in this elegant spiritual summary and approachable guidebook. I'm comforted and perplexed by his adventurous faith and spiritual courage, by the manner in which, like a child, he abides in and anticipates wonder, finding it - the unremote grace of it - in the pleasure perhaps of a big breakfast, a day at the beach and equally, in the incalculable mystery of suffering or in the "presence of Truth" he enjoys through his work with the dying. The book is invitingly wise, patient and compassionate, adeptly constructed upon Ram Dass's three-legged yogic foot stool of choice - a careful blending of the Bhakti, Jhana and Karma schools. It allays the suffering of our condition while never diminishing its imperative for self work.Read more ›
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Geraldine Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Ram Dass chronicles a heartwarming, spiritual guide as the golden key to happiness in our everyday lives. This uplifting book motivates the reader on how to follow divine teachings that are filled with wisdom, compassion, and encouragement. My daughter and I, search for specific books that are created with inspiration, and this one will indeed become one of our favorites, because it is very fulfilling in the spiritual sense. The author through years of experience, teaches how to live with a spiritual life that will reflect not only on ourselves, but on others as well. Ram Dass discusses in this practice-based guide our true identity, and our purpose in life. In addition, he includes stories that are touching to the heart and soul, which are filled with passion, and a hint of humor. The author also describes the true definition of fear and suffering, and how people react in different ways. The more you read this book, the more comforting it becomes. Delightful,enjoyable, and beautifully written. Highly recommended!

Special Note: I was provided with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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