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Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing and Dying
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Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing and Dying

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  761 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
More than thirty years ago, an entire generation sought a new way of life, looking for fulfillment and meaning in a way no one had before. Leaving his teaching job at Harvard, Ram Dass embodied the role of spiritual seeker, showing others how to find peace within themselves in one of the greatest spiritual classics of the twentieth century, the two-million-copy bestseller ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Riverhead Books (first published April 27th 2000)
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Kathryn Bumbaugh If being a Christian is living the teachings of Jesus Christ, then "yes".
Kathryn Bumbaugh He is, in fact, very alive and a movie is about to release the book Still Here, was written before and after his stroke.…moreHe is, in fact, very alive and a movie is about to release the book Still Here, was written before and after his stroke. He continues to Be Here Now. (less)

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Martha Love
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Ram Dass is such an engaging writer and this book is a must for anyone dealing with debilitating illness and aging or for seniors who are beginning to feel or become curious about the onset of aging. And of course any age person can gain from his profound wisdom. As in "Be Here Now", he directs our consciousness in "Still Here" to the present moment and guides us through a conscious approach to aging (and dying) and as you read it you notice that it just really makes you feel better about yourse ...more
Ram Dass has been in the consciousness-raising business since the 1960s, and he uses his self-awareness in the wake of a stroke to meditate on the topics (as flagged in the subtitle) of aging, changing and dying.

He turns ideas about disability, frailty, decay, pain, dependence, and other "bad" consequences associated with aging and turns them over and over and over in the rock-tumbler of his mind, producing beautiful objects for our consideration. His book testifies to the power that our attitu
Feb 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I laughed aloud and then lapsed into a contemplative silence when I recently encountered a church sign which read, "Ten out of ten people die. Are you ready?"

After reading Ram Dass' Still Here, I'm ready.

With gentleness and compassion, spiritual pioneer and stroke survivor Ram Dass guides readers in an exploration of two much maligned - yet inevitable - human undertakings, aging and dying. The wisdom he shares is simple and profound: Yes, we are our bodies, but we are also infinitely more.

As we
Jude Arnold
Oct 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book. I had seen him in person give a talk in Hawaii 20 years ago now when he was talking about service. At that time in his life he was taking care of his aging parents. In Still Here he has a stroke and has to learn about the importance of letting others serve you when you need it. I was there when I had a broken back. It is very challenging to receive help graciously when you desperately need it. This should be required reading for anyone in the business of serving others.
Apr 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Recovering from foot reconstruction has made me rather sedentary to say the least. It has also made me very reflective on life and aging. This book helped me put things in perspective. Dass comments to himself when he is faced with another aging issue: "Ah, this too," or words to that effect. He encourages a mindful acceptance of the changes that come with age. Not that you don't take care of yourself and try to be as well as you can, but you stop resisting the changes which are inevitable. Afte ...more
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Ram Dass is an American spiritual teacher well-known for his bestselling 1971 book Be Here Now, as well as his personal and professional relationships with Timothy Leary at Harvard University in the 1960s, his travels to India and relationship with his guru Neem Karoli Baba, and for founding the charitable organizations Seva Foundation and Hanuman Foundation. He wrote the book Still Here: Embraced Aging, Changing, and Dying after experiencing a stroke in 1997.

The book covers many topics (mostly
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Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Such a spiritual journey from Ram Dass to share with us. His idea is very Indian religion. I think it comforts many people who wishes to have afterlife. (i actually accept the possibility that there is no afterlife, I am ok to not have a continuation)
With getting old, having stroke, he actually experienced mental roller coaster. He tried to guide us to transform ourselves to get ready for the fact that we need to die.
I think this book will be perfect for me 5 years ago, but now I have different
Camille Cusumano
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spiritual
Sit down, I have something to tell you: You are going to die. Everyone and everything you know and love is going to die. Death is a given. What's that? You say you already knew that? Then why are we all acting as if death is not a reality? Why are you not living life to the fullest? Why are you not seizing this very moment? And what does it mean to seize the moment? What does it really mean to be happy? Ram Dass is not the first to give us the unvarnished truth about our mortal bodies and the ma ...more
Yvonne Flint
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This wise man is still lighting the way with an open heart and generosity of spirit. Having looked my mortality in the eye, adjusting to a changed and changing body, this book affirms my journey and inspires me to service.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Good to know that Ram Dass is still Here, Now, at the age of 86 and having suffered a debilitating stroke. He describes himself as one who scouted the road ahead for the Baby Boomers, and he's still at it. We've been fortunate to have him going out ahead and reporting back.
William Berry
Dec 04, 2015 rated it liked it
I purchased this book because of the title. I had read “Be Here Now” (see the review here: and, though it was a bit bizarre, I recommended it. I also said in that recommendation, I should probably read some more of his current work. So this title fit the bill.

It took me about 9 months to read the book. I read many in between starting and finishing it, and generally felt it just didn’t grab me the way the others did (two Zen books, a Buddhist book, a text
Pot Mama
Soul perspective is helping me tremendously. Excellent read.
Steve Woods
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buddhism
Ram Dass has written here an amazing book. He has had an amazing life; a searcher from the days of his expulsion from Harvard for his experimentation with psychedelics to his becoming one of the most important spiritual teachers of Eastern practice in the West. His influence has been great, but in this book his direct honesty in describing an approach to aging and his own personal experience "where the rubber meets the road" is startling. This book is a must read for anyone approaching, as I am ...more
Mar 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: insightful readers
the first time I wrote this review, I put it in the wrong place on the the comments section, instead of the my review place.................

I love this book. I've never read Ram Dass prior to this book. But I'm going to go back and reads some others he's written. The book is about health aging on your own terms, cultural norms, wisdom and keeping that joy and spirit one's had during their 'young' life. It's for anyone to read. The younger readers will gain quite a bit of knowledge i
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Not knowing a great deal about Ram Dass or his background and what he stands for I had at least heard of him and decided to see what he had to say in this book. Getting on in years now and having suffered a stroke he imparts upon us his parting wisdom so to speak on how he and most of us will have to come top grips with our eventual decline and departure from this worldly existence. Any ones guess as to where it will take us, Ram Dass does not get into particulars here but does offer some food f ...more
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended by a Baha'i friend who has practiced meditation for years. I suffered a serious back injury in February 2014, required surgery and weeks of rehab.
Ram Dass is right on with current problems associated with aging, life-changing events, and the authentic awareness of spiritual healing.

I read the book in support of a term paper I wrote for the Wilmette Institute course on Buddhism. Dass brings the historical Hindu and Buddhist practices into the 21st Century practices associated with soc
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Ever since my brother's death I've had the urge to learn about various theories and myths on the process of death. This is a book on aging. A good deal is stories, advice, and commentary on getting older, all of which I think would be helpful for most people and not just the aged. I appreciate the author's openness and humility in these. There's some embarrassing and unflattering stories of himself and he maintains a cheerful air in telling them and in drawing lessons from them. Towards the end ...more
Aug 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I didn't expect to like this book and dreaded reading it. Aging and dying are horrible topics as far as I'm concerned. None the less it is part of our physical existence and once I started I found Ram Dass had a lot to say that I suspected as well as resonated. There's also a lot I'll just have to wait and see about. This is the kind of stuff our elders once modeled and shared. They still do in India for example. Too bad we don't value elder wisdom anymore. Not sure there is much left around her ...more
Jul 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I read this book several years ago and recently read it again. Ram Dass, formerly Richard Alpert, a psychologist/author and friend of Timothy Leary, similarly turfed from Harvard due to LSD experiments in the 1960's, is a lifelong spiritual thinker and healer. His serious stroke in 1999 caused him to come to terms with personal suffering and the reality of dependence onpon others in day to day life due to his incapacity. And yet, he is mostly happy. This is an excellent read that addressed the i ...more
Apr 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing

The Harvard Ph.D. who dropped acid, dropped out and went to India in search of enlightenment. Your mother's nightmare. Your mother would be glad to know that Ram Dass hung in there, bringing comfort and light to people for the last 40 years. He has attained something worth attaining. I'm told by a friend that Ram Dass was at his most impressive last year, leading a seminar after a stroke that left him barely able to speak. He credited that stroke with teach
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A book that is particularly relevant to me at my stage of life. I am no longer young, my life is radically changing, and I needed to hear that 'being' is more important than doing. It is also important to slow down and connect with my soul-self. When discussing being a peaceful presence for the dying I was drawn back to sitting with my mother as she transitioned. She was so frightened and I wish I had known then that I could be a presence that helped her into peace. I highly recommend this book!
Robert Blakesley
Nov 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: changed-my-life
Ram Dass recounts his personal experience of suddenly losing his robust physical vigor to a debilitating cerebral stroke. Forced to give up his active life he became totally dependent on others for virtually every aspect of his physical existence. Yet in this book he affirms the stroke as the greatest gift he could have been given. As hard as it is to imagine anyone feeling that way, he explains convincingly. His example is an uplifting life-affirming reminder when I am anxious about aging, illn ...more
Charles Shapiro
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was never able to truly able to enjoy ice cream after reading Be Here Now. The box did open my eyes to an eastern perspective. I have included the phrase, Be There Then ever since. What has struck me about all the books Baba Ram Dass has written is that Richard Halpern ( Is that his given name? I too am getting old.) has never gone away. He is still trying to transcend the same traits that led him on his path.
Still, his message to our generation is valid: accept our decline, even embrace it,
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I will be sixty this year and spirituality is knocking on my door more and more as the years go so quickly by. I remember Ram Dass from years ago and thought I would check out what he had been writing lately. I enjoyed reading this book and it made me realize I need to do a lot of inner work. It is so easy to get caught up in this crazy world and immerse myself in all the technology and not enjoy the wonderful nature around us. Ram Dass reminds us of all these things. I am glad that I read it.
May 05, 2013 rated it liked it
When admitting I'd never read anything by Ram Dass, folks would say, "what?" So I read this one. And I think I probably liked it more than i would his earlier ones. It's written post stroke, from a perspective of age and facing inabilities formerly taken for granted. With a touch of wisdom and humor. This man likes to share his life - wide open. I found it interesting... and thought provoking
Dave Dunniway
Jan 12, 2009 rated it it was ok
This is a beginner spiritual book for older people who are insecure about their age. I figured that since it was authored by Ram Dass that I would enjoy it for some more of his light-hearted and down to earth spiritual insights that he's famous for, and it does have that but the book never really penetrates into the deeper wisdom that Ram Dass is able to enlighten with as well. Kinda boring stuff if you've covered his earlier works already.
Cher Johnson
Jul 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I've owned this book probably since it came out and tried to read a few times. This time I got about halfway through. Certainly aging and dealing with the challenge of aging is important, and there were some gems of understanding in this book. But it seemed very wordy for the payoff, and I had to keep forcing myself to read. Perhaps I've already encountered the ideas elsewhere, so it didn't seem fresh to me? I guess the bottom line for me is that it could have used a lot of editing.
TW Yeung
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
a man of profound depth of wisdom, Richard Alpert succinctly put into words our vulnerability in facing our own imminent destination. through his words, i find inspirations that i didn't expect to cope with life's unexpected. in order to let go of my pain and anguish, i gotta feel it through first. the book once again appeared at the right time to alleviate the sorrows inside of me and shine light on a path ahead. thank you Ram Dass T.T
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing

I highly recommend this follow up to Be Here Now by Ram Dass. Being a person struggling with illness, perhaps that was the reason I resonated so much with this book but the truth is we will all age and/or grow sick...
Ram Dass brilliantly describes his own experiences and the ways he has found God through his experiences. Eloquent as ever, this book helped me in my own process of discovery around the experience of living in a body that no longer conforms to expectations.
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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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“In a non-traditional culture such as ours, dominated by technology, we value information far more than we do wisdom. But there is a difference between the two. Information involves the acquisition, organization, and dissemination of facts; a storing-up of physical data. But wisdom involves another equally crucial function: the emptying and quieting of the mind, the application of the heart, and the alchemy of reason and feeling.” 6 likes
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