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Journey of Awakening: A Meditator's Guidebook

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,016 ratings  ·  61 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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 ·  1,016 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Jun 18, 2014 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 ...more
William Knox
Mar 30, 2010 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
Brad  Schonour
Dec 31, 2015 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
Beale Stainton
Sep 08, 2012 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 ...more
Anastasia Beaverhausen
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Changed my life for the better.
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent guidebook for people who are starting to practice meditation. The book is very eloquent and encouraging. Thank you Ram Dass!
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
As a casual meditator who is taking his daily sitting much more seriously, Ram Dass' Journey of Awakening has proved to be a wonderful guide to the process. As someone who has made his way through the beginning phase of his journey years prior to writing this book, he's surprisingly down to earth in most of what he talks about. He's always ready to relate a humble anecdote of how he's always tested by the same stuff everyone is tested by: his ego and the lure of desire and comfort. I took a ...more
Patrick Meehan
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Deep thinkers
Recommended to Patrick by: Nobody
For those who are comfortable with the idea of the ultimate goal of existence to become a non-self, this book is fine. It has the usual boilerplate solutions and suggestions and mantras, etc., about how to achieve such. I found the section with specific hang-ups on the path to non-self interesting but not as practical as I'd hoped they would be. Many of Mr. Dass's solutions winnow down to "just do it" without providing much more guidance than that. It reminds me of recovery stories that say "and ...more
Manuel Ernesto Peña Sánchez
I love this book so much. It's a refreshing journey that every person has to take. We fight we our demons day by day, but life has incredible ways to teach us for good o for bad. Ram Dass is great, this book is all that you expect to read for your soul and mind and much more. One of my favorite books definitely!
Michael Whitcombe
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was the first book I had picked by Ram Dass/Richard Alpert after reading the Harvard Psychedelic Club and it changed my ability meditation by helpong me find what worked for me. after reading many books on the practice this one was the only one that helped would recomend this to anyone looking at how to get start meditating
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A large portion of the book is a directory for meditation and yoga centers across North America (well, the States mostly). But the book is amazing and full of wonderful descriptions and stories and ideas.
Angela Rodgers
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a decent read for true beginners to meditation. For those who have researched the practice a bit (even via google), this will largely be a refresher. The resources section of the book is amazing, though!
Ken Cao
Ram Dass is elucidating, humorous, and digestible. His writing radiates compassion and understanding.

I read it fairly quickly but the book holds so much wisdom that it will serve as a perennial reference in my spiritual practice.
Bruce Geils
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Ram Dass. 🙏 ...more
Ariadne Deborah Fassel
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is not a book to gallop through. It should be read thoughtfully and, well, meditatively, and more than once. Extra points for clarity of style.
Briana Johnson
Mar 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: real-books
60% a good read, 40% phone numbers from retreat facilities.
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A perfect accompaniment to any meditation practice.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
top-notch pick-up-and-go reading. Packed full o' nuggets of sage advice and self-reflective meditative exercises from Zen/Hindu/Buddhist/Christian traditions. I guess you could say it's a journey.
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mary Metias
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
Very simple and informative.
Tamara Gantt
Jun 06, 2012 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,
Jose Araguz
Sep 12, 2012 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: ...more
Dan Tasse
Jan 17, 2011 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 ...more
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
I suspect my first pass at Ram Dass Journey of Awakening was like my first pass at meditationfidgety, 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 meditators guidebook. Its sense of humor adds ...more
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."
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I do believe anyone who wants to learn more about meditation, or would simply like to understand the process better should pick this book up. When I struggled with meditating years ago (think 2008) this book was my guide into the "perfecting" the acceptance of the depths of my meditation practice. It was and is a valuable resource for those seeking knowledge on meditating... and how there really is no "wrong" way to meditate.
Steffi De la montagne
Apr 25, 2013 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.
May 05, 2010 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. Robin Whitley
Aug 08, 2012 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 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.
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Ram Dass (Richard Alpert), was one of America's most beloved spiritual figures, making 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.

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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.” 10 likes
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