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Journey of Awakening: A Meditator's Guidebook

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  750 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Ram Dass is an American psychologist and spiritual teacher who has studied and practiced meditation for many years.  Here he shares his understanding and explores the many paths of meditation--from mantra, prayer, singing, visualizations, and "just sitting" to movement meditations such as tai chi--and suggests how you can find methods suitable for you.  He illuminates the ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published July 1st 1990 by Bantam (first published 1978)
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Jun 18, 2014 Denise rated it really liked it
I love Ram Dass. Great guide to familiarize the beginner with methods from which to choose. Great guidance on the myriad of possibilities one might expect on the journey. I was most interested in this part. Although I've been at it awhile I've never had a friend who has gone before me talk to me about things like not becoming entrapped in methods and how from our practices life and perspective naturally change. No need to push! When I read or listen to Ram Dass I feel as though an older, wiser a ...more
William Knox
Mar 30, 2010 William Knox rated it really liked it
Shelves: being
This really is an ideal book for many who are looking for some form of spiritual practice to give some more depth to their lives. Amongst its outstanding points are that it gives a brief overview of several methods, but does not stop there and looks at some of the pitfalls and misconceptions about meditation. Above all I would recommend this book for the enquirer because of the author's detached attitude where he repeatedly suggests that there is no one way to the liberation that he talks about. ...more
Beale Stainton
Sep 08, 2012 Beale Stainton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: meditation
I have been reading this book on and off for a little over a month now. I read a lot and usually have multiple books on the go. A book like this is good to have to slow your mind down. I don't meditate in the conventional sense, but I do run long distances and this is a method of concentration and focus I enjoy for both mental and physical reasons. Reading this book is not the same as a normal read. There is no story to it. It should be read one verse at a time like any book of wisdom. It is ful ...more
Anastasia Beaverhausen
Feb 10, 2013 Anastasia Beaverhausen rated it it was amazing
Changed my life for the better.
Warren Keppler
Oct 14, 2016 Warren Keppler rated it really liked it
Informative reading for those who meditate.
Brad  Schonour
Dec 31, 2015 Brad Schonour rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ram Dass is THE guy for so called "normies" who are just beginning to get into meditation and spiritual practices. Ram Dass writes with a kind heart and easy to follow language, something that can be difficult to find when it comes to the topic of meditation. He guides you slowly into the waters from the riverbank and teaches you how to swim through your mind like an expert and reach the other side of enlightenment. This is much easier said than done and I am still amazed at how he does it with ...more
Tamara Gantt
Jun 06, 2012 Tamara Gantt rated it liked it
Good tool for understanding and practicing meditation. Here's a good sample:

"To meditate upon thoughts is simply to be aware, as thoughts arise, that the mind is thinking, without getting involved in the content: not going off on a train of association, not analyzing the thought and why it came, but merely to be aware that at the particular moment "thinking" is happening. It is helpful to make a note of "thinking, thinking" every time a thought arises; observe the thought without judgment, witho
Jose Araguz
Sep 12, 2012 Jose Araguz rated it really liked it
A refreshing book that opened me up a bit more to meditation. I'm not a total skeptic. I have been believing and working on chakras since I was nineteen. It's the getting into things that is hard. What Ram Dass does right is present ideas alongside his actual experience. It's a little dated, but I plan on keeping my copy around and rereading for encouragement. It's got funky cool quotes too from a variety of different places - Christian, Hindu, Sufi, etc. That's the other thing he does right: me ...more
Mar 30, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it
I suspect my first pass at Ram Dass’ Journey of Awakening was like my first pass at meditation—fidgety, distracted, determined. Learning new things does not come easily for me, most especially things requiring me to sit still, but I found Dass’ book to be interesting, encouraging, and supportive of my efforts to learn how to meditate. While some of the writing and anecdotes are a little dated, overall I thought this was an easy-to-read, easy-to-digest “meditator’s guidebook.” Its sense of humor ...more
Jan 27, 2013 Ani rated it liked it
This is a pretty good book for moderate beginners in meditation. I think it might frighten away people who are just beginning. I nearly didn't finish it because he gets into a chapter where he discusses the notion that meditation will remove all passion, all romance from your life. But I think he was just waxing melodramatic and having a bad day during that chapter. He seems to have given up that idea in later books.

I don't know. It is an interesting book, but I doubt I'd recommend it to anyone
Dan Tasse
Jan 17, 2011 Dan Tasse rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
A pretty good guide to all kinds of meditation. For example, Sufi walking meditation. I hadn't heard of that before. You might know Ram Dass as "that LSD guy" and he addresses psychedelic drugs too, from an older point of view, and slightly discourages them, because people get hung up on trying to recreate that particular experience. I was a little frustrated after reading this, but I think that's because most paths are fine and I should spend less time reading about meditating and more time med ...more
Steffi De la montagne
Apr 25, 2013 Steffi De la montagne rated it it was ok
I would've gone with 2,5 stars. A lot of quotes, which can be nice and inspiring, but sometimes it's a bit annoying when you are trying to read and it feels like you're being interrupted by them. My version was about 1/3 made up of addresses for meditation groups in the US (probably outdated since it's an old book) Some of the info in there was actually good, informative and reassuring for those who are starting meditation or have started and might run into problems.
It's a fairly basic text on meditation, good as an introduction or refresher. He talks about himself a lot, and probably half the material is quotes from other sources. The quotes themselves are a mixed bag, mostly interesting, but the way they are scattered into the text makes the book feel fragmented and unfocused.

One of those cases where I wish half-stars were available so I could go to 2 1/2 stars. It's a little better than "it was OK" but not quite up to "liked it."
Jun 25, 2016 Chani rated it liked it
This book was probably good back when it was first written, but now there are a lot of other really amazing meditation books out there. If this is your first experience with meditation, you'll probably enjoy it, but if you are familiar with basic meditation concepts, then you probably won't learn anything new from this guide.
May 05, 2010 Brionna rated it it was amazing
Another very uplifting book!!! I read a few sections a night and always went to bed feeling positive and full of life! It's very inspirational; a great book to lift your spirits and put life in to perspective. I've only attempted meditation on occasion, but just reading this brought me some clarity...
J. Whitley
Aug 08, 2012 J. Whitley rated it really liked it
I used this as part of my morning meditation time and found it invaluable. It has improved my understanding of the concept of detachment. My favorite part was his conformation of the struggle of meditation which I've rarely read in the other books on the topic. While many books are focused on theory, this one is focused on practice.
Matt Beath
Dec 04, 2015 Matt Beath rated it it was amazing
i have read alot of spiritual based books and this one is at the top of the list in the way it provides you with short chapters of wisdom which if applied to your own life can give you a push in the right direction to enjoy the wonderful place you live in no matter what your circumstances are. Thankyou ram dass.
Brad Johnson
Mar 27, 2015 Brad Johnson rated it really liked it
I have read this book several times now in drastically different parts of my life, and I always find reminders to re-center myself. it can take a chapter or two to get into the good stuff, but its highly recommended.
Mar 25, 2012 closed rated it really liked it
A good basic and easy to read book.
Goes through all the basics of meditation from your mind, body, food, where to meditate, what types of meditations, ... and even getting stuck.

I especially enjoyed quotes throughout the book.
Hanuman Dass
Jan 18, 2013 Hanuman Dass rated it it was amazing
An excellent study of the various Hindu and Buddhist practises which can be utilized. Mainly directed at westerners, and explains concepts such as Murti Puja, Japa, Karma Yoga, jnana Yoga, and spiritual life in general.
David Teachout
Feb 04, 2013 David Teachout rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, spiritual
With an eye towards an appreciation of the depths of the human phenomenological experience and our need to create meaning, Das provides a wonderful overview of many meditative practices in a voice sure to inspire.
Garrett Dunnington
Nov 23, 2010 Garrett Dunnington rated it really liked it
I am not sure Buddhism is my way, but Ram Dass was very skeptical when he first went to India. Written with a Buddhist bias, it certainly does explain how to live in the moment. Though all the time? You don't have to. Just pick your path as Ram Dass did for himself and you will be alright.
Nov 25, 2007 Christopher rated it really liked it
i got this book for only fifty cents at a used book sale. it contains a lot of good information about different meditation techniques. it has really re-ignited my love for meditation. it is filled with wisdom from the different world traditions regarding a variety of subjects.
Jun 17, 2013 Lance rated it it was amazing
Great book. He made it understandable to a common reader. The book really makes you think about eliminating/rethinking poor personal traits we all deal with such as an ego. Also a good introduction to meditation if one was looking to start meditating.
Jan 10, 2015 Jean rated it it was amazing
A light hearted, yet information filled look at meditation, different methods, how they make you feel, and reasons to learn to do it. The second part of the book is a list by US states and other countries, of places you can go on meditation or yoga retreats. It was a fun read and I learned a lot.
Jun 11, 2016 Rick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good guide, especially for those new to meditation, like me.
Oct 18, 2015 John rated it liked it
Among other things, I learned that attempting to develop a better intuition for life, through meditation, did not help me with calculus.
May 25, 2016 Cherie rated it really liked it
Not as much of a formal guidebook for meditation as much as chock full of lessons on life, how to think, how to reach yourself, all through spirituality and meditation.
Title in German:
Reise des Erwachens. Handbuch zur Meditation
Nov 12, 2008 Charlie rated it really liked it
Shelves: spirituality
Young (hippied out) Ram Dass, but worth it for the hundreds of quotes from the mystical classics.
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Ram Dass (Richard Alpert), 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 mak ...more
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“What Einstein demonstrated in physics is equally true of all other aspects of the cosmos: all reality is relative. Each reality is true only within given limits. It is only one possible version of the way things are. There are always multiple versions of reality. To awaken from any single reality is to recognize its relative nature. Meditation is a device to do just that.” 7 likes
“The epitome of the human realm is to be stuck in a huge traffic jam of discursive thought. —Chogyam Trungpa” 3 likes
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