Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Loving and Dying

Rate this book
We all sit on the edge of a mystery. We have only known this life, so dying scares us—and we are all dying. But what if dying were perfectly safe? What would it look like if you could approach dying with curiosity and love, in service of other beings? What if dying were the ultimate spiritual practice?

Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush began their friendship more than four decades ago at the foot of their guru, Neem Karoli Baba, also known as Maharaj-ji. He transmitted to them a simple philosophy: love everyone, tell the truth, and give up attachment to material things. After impacting millions of people through the years with these teachings, they have reunited once more with Walking Each Other Home to enlighten and engage readers on the spiritual opportunities within the dying process. They generously share intimate personal experiences and timeless practices, told with courage, humor, and heart, gently exploring every aspect of this journey. And, at 86 years old, Ram Dass reminds us, "This time we have a real deadline."

In Walking Each Other Home, readers will learn about: guidelines for being a "loving rock" for the dying, how to grieve fully and authentically, how to transform a fear of death, leaving a spiritual legacy, creating a sacred space for dying, and much more.

"Everybody you have ever loved is a part of the fabric of your being now," says Ram Dass. The body may die, but the soul remains. Death is an invitation to a new kind of relationship, in the place where we are all One. Join these two lifelong friends and spiritual luminaries as they explore what it means to live and die consciously, remember who we really are, and illuminate the path we walk together.

212 pages, Hardcover

Published September 4, 2018

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Ram Dass

122 books1,755 followers
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.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
460 (60%)
4 stars
202 (26%)
3 stars
84 (11%)
2 stars
13 (1%)
1 star
4 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 80 reviews
Profile Image for Stephanie Barko.
184 reviews126 followers
January 26, 2022
This is the January 2022 selection of South Austin Spiritual Book Group.

This book is a conversation between Mirabai Bush and Ram Dass from Ram Dass' home in Hawaii. The idea for the book came about by a verbal invitation from Ram Dass in 2015 to his old friend Mirabai.

I read Ram Dass' seminal book Be Here Now in 1970 and was curious how his life had evolved after his stroke and move to Hawaii in 2004. I would say that the stroke only deepened Ram Dass' devotion to being love and peace, and perhaps sparked his remarkable work with the dying. He had a knack for easing people across the veil through just being with them, which is tactile enough to absorb from the page.

The hardcover is beautifully illustrated by Sarah J. Coleman. Part of the book's appeal for me was undoubtedly its interior design by Beth Skelley and Jennifer Miles.

My favorite passages include the dedication
"Love is more powerful than death", which is attributed to Ram Dass' guru, Neem Karoli Baba.

And a full page illustration on page 67:
"The secret of dying is the secret of living..."

Can you guess what the secret is?

Recommended, especially if you're thinking of sitting alongside someone near the end.
1,721 reviews53 followers
January 3, 2019
I received this book, for free, in exchange for an honest review.

This book didn't resonate with me as much as some of my favorite Ram Dass books (Polishing the Mirror and Be Here Now). That being said, it is one of his better books and a book most people familiar with him will be sure to love. My main complaints about this book are that it repeats some stories from earlier media and is a bit less dense than it could be. I think most people will not mind these problems as the love and wisdom that come through this dialog is likely to overshadow these flaws.
Profile Image for Literary Redhead.
1,587 reviews484 followers
July 17, 2019
“Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Loving and Dying” by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush is a wise guide for end-of-life living, loving and grieving. The authors, well-known spiritual gurus and friends, share in the most personal fashion about how best to support the dying, how to leave a spiritual legacy, and how to walk this final path together. This poignant and illuminating book explores how to live and how to die consciously, treating this final stage as perhaps one’s most important spiritual work. Highly recommended!

Pub Date 04 Sep 2018

Thanks to Sounds True Publishing and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are fully mine.

#WalkingEachOtherHome #NetGalley
700 reviews26 followers
September 9, 2018
This is a wonderful book, with ambitious goals: To help readers get rid of their fear of death; to help those living with grief and loss; to help those sitting with the dying; and to help those who are dying. To my mind, it is a very successful effort, but then, I may not be entirely unbiased.

I first heard of Ram Dass when my older brother brought home a copy of "Be Here Now," back when the book came out (I was in my teens). I was fascinated, but life went on and I didn't read another book by Ram Dass until "Polishing the Mirror," in 2015. By that time, I'd had the great pleasure of working with Mirabai Bush on a book, "Contemplative Practices in Higher Education," and knew that any project she was involved in was going to be powerful. And this book does not disappoint: I found it both powerful and beautiful. And very helpful in addressing those ambitious goals I noted above.

In her introduction, Mirabai writes: "Ram Dass is a theist. He believes in God....I am more of an agnostic these days: I believe in the possibility of God, but I am more comfortable living with what I have experienced directly-the interconnection of all life, the love that connects us, awe in the presence of this. I wondered if that difference would get in the way of us talking about death." Later in the introduction she writes, "...since our views were very different, a series of conversations would be a good form for us to talk about what we knew so far and the questions that remained." As she put it, "This will be a good book to write. We'll be exploring the edge of what we know." My experience was that this worked very well, and the book just got better and better as it went on. To my mind, the conversations were a pleasure to read, despite the subject matter. And after the conversations, the book includes a section of "Practices for Conscious Living, Being with the Dying, and Your Own Death," and a special treat for nerds like me, a list of Recommended Resources. All in all, I highly recommend this book to anyone, period, but especially to anyone close to the dying process, their own or that of anyone else.
Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 6 books1,204 followers
December 29, 2019
Dealing with grief any time is awful, but there's a special kind of awful when it happens this time of year. This book has been tremendously helpful and insightful and affirmed a lot of things I saw and experienced at my grandmother's bedside as she passed this week, a day after Dass himself died.
Profile Image for Kari Yergin.
562 reviews13 followers
March 26, 2019
Book: walking each other home. Ram Das

There are a lot of good questions, some real nuggets of answers. The structure felt so randomly conversations, though, which they admit right in the title. Had it been less informally structured and therefore less repetitive, it would have seemed better to me

If I’m going to die the best way for me to prepare is to quiet my mind and open my heart. If I’m going to live, the best way for me to prepare is to quiet my mind and open my heart.

Getting close to what you fear takes courage. As long as you think you’re vulnerable, you’re going to be afraid. When you’re afraid, come up as close to it as possible. Get as close to it as you can, noticing the resistance. Resistance intensifies fear. Just be with it, don’t grab or push it away. Notice. Be close to suffering, let go of judgments and control. Be done with superiority and western pity.
The root of fear is separateness. All things everywhere since the beginning of time are connected and one. That’s why psychedelics help. The antidote to fear is love.

Once when she thought she was going to die because of some drug she had taken, she panicked saying no no no no no no until finally she remembered she could Just bring her attention to your natural breath and let everything slow up. She said goodbye to her husband, to her sister, to her friends, her home, the stars. But when her son came up she couldn’t. She had more mothering to do, more living to do. There’s a time when death comes knocking and it’s wrong as well as useless to resist. But now was not that time. Anais Nin “ we postpone death by living, by suffering by error by risking by giving by losing.” She postponed it by watching her breath.

When there’s openness, no boundary between me and others, When it turns out that I am literally others and others are me, then love and connection is easy and natural. We can intentionally transform our separateness and invite connectedness by practicing compassion and love. The more we live in the soul, the more we see love everywhere we look.

Patience is the antidote to anger.

Love is viral, it’s contagious, it’s a public health issue. We grow into love by the familiar practices: be here now, learn to let go of attachments, cultivate compassion and loving kindness, and dive into loving awareness over and over again. Read into and out of your spiritual heart thinking I am loving awareness as a mantra. Being love is the best preparation for death, nowhere to go, Nothing to fear, just loving awareness unchanging as everything around me changes moment to moment.

I am ... loving awareness. (Mantra)

Death is a moment and how you spend your Life each moment is a rehearsal for your death. It’s called be here now

I’m changing my to do list from the tasks I faithfully work through every week to tell friends what I love about them, die without regrets.

You can’t take away death but you can be there in love and comfort.

Finally I was able to cry, Not at the sadness of the loss, but at the presence of pure and perfect love that Maharaji had awakened in us which I felt in this gathering of hearts. Love everyone, he had said, and at that moment, I did.

The most fascinating experience in life: dying. You’ve got to approach your dying the way you live your life with curiosity, with hope,with fascination, with courage, and with the help of your friends. I am determined to give death a better name or die trying You’ve got to take charge of it, plan it, talk to your friends about it.

How I can tell you is… As good as this is that it’s going to be better and I will be with you wherever you go. That’s what he told his dad before he went into surgery as an 80 year old. As he got older he said to let go of his need for power and to control him and he was very old he let go more and more until he was just a silent, smiling Buddha, an angel. Held hands, watch the sunset, massaged him.

There came a moment when she gave up surrendered and it was like watching an egg breaking open. And seeing a radiantly beautiful being emerge. She was clear and present and joyful. Always at some level she had known herself to be this being but she had been too busy all her adult life to recognize it. Now she opened to this beautiful being in her core and she basked in the radiance.She was no longer busy dying, she was just being and dying was happening.

When everything seems like just too much for a dying friend, he said that’s because you’re trying to pour so much into it such a small container. What do you say we try to expand together? So they held hands Closed their eyes and he said do you hear my voice? Let it be inside you. Do you hear the children playing outside? Let them be inside you. Do you hear the clock ticking? Let it be inside you. And they kept expanding and expanding. Now you know what I know. Have a good death. And she did a couple hours later.

Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is sit by the bedside and meditate. Be in rocklike silence. That make space for Truth to enter the room.

When the mind is still then Truth gets her chance to be heard in the purity of the silence. Death is but a changing of our robes to wait in wedding garments at the eternal’s gate.

What looks like falling can largely be experienced as falling upward and onward into a broader and deeper world where the soul has found its fullness and has finally connected to the whole.

Learning to be a loving presence for the dying is a practice. Even without training, you can be a comforting presence. Be natural and relaxed. Learn to feel comfortable with silence. Sit close to the person – They will feel your presence. Lots of thoughts and emotions will come up just like during meditation. The practice is to notice what you were thinking and feeling and without judging yourself to bring your attention back to the person who’s dying. The intimacy of the connection becomes a soul to soul lifeline. The quiet appreciation of the total situation and possibilities steadily move things forward. The challenge is to remain in a state of compassion, reverence for life, and acceptance of death. Letting the dying person know that you know they are dying and resting in loving awareness with them. Smile often. Gentle light touch. Radiate love. Maybe climb into bed if close enough. The most important thing is to hold the person in your heart with love.

Be yourself. Be compassionately present. Be humble. Be with each moment. Have confidence in the dying process, trust in the unfolding. Don’t lose your sense of humor. Expect nothing and be ready for anything. Let go of your own fears. Follow the lead of a dying person. Practice sacred listening. Don’t talk about the afterlife unless you’re asked. Most of all be love, send love.

Listen to their beliefs sadness fears questions about meaning and purpose and all of that. Listen. They are working this out. It’s important to say goodbye , To reassure the dying person that that was left behind will miss them but that they will be all right. It’s OK to let go. You’re not alone. Releasing the dying person from concern is a great gift at this time.

Identify with being rather than doing if you are just starting to feel helpless. The doctors are doing. You are being. Be love. A loving rock. Loving awareness.

It’s interesting to notice as loved ones change how much we often hold onto who they used to be. As they approach their death, they’re changing very rapidly. Imagine you’re meeting a dying friend or loved one for the first time each time you see them, giving up expectations and judgments of the past. Every day is different, new. It’s a precious opportunity to learn about death but only if you can let go of fear and anxiety. Remember that you are sore. Return to the dying with loving awareness.

Don’t ruminate about the past.
Don’t anticipate the future.
Don’t cogitate about the present.
Leave just as is this very instant, aware, Relaxed. Beyond this there’s not a damn thing.

You’re serving each other by helping each other let go of fear.

About four hours and 55 minutes to about five hours two minutes. and there’s a great discussion to a father who lost his son to suicide. So powerful about our personalities and our souls and this being a job the soul needed to do and it being the sons souls gift to the fathers soul. Greece is one of our greatest teachers. It cracks open and lets the light in. It demands that we look at our relationship with life and our fear of death. It reveals the great healing power of love. Grieve! My God, grieve! Allow the human pain. Don’t hide it, just keep going through it.
Loss wounds the heart causing it to fall open. Love rushes into and out of the opening. It was probably there all along but you were busy with so many other things that you probably couldn’t feel it. Love rushes into the absence left by loss. That love brings inspired action if we move toward it instead of away, Our wounded hearts become full.

Imagine love, love watching over you like the waves on the shore.

Rumi: on the day I die, when I’m being carried to the grave, don’t weep. Don’t say, he’s gone, he’s gone. Death has nothing to do with going away. The sun sets and the moon sets but they are not gone. Death is it coming together. The tomb looks like a prison, but it’s really release into union. The human seed goes down in the ground like a Bucket into the well where Joseph is. It grows and comes up full of some unimagined beauty. Your mouth closes here and immediately opens with a shout of joy there.

Preparing the environment: calming music is good, but not to distract. Harper is perfect or something that they want in particular. Old favorites might make it difficult for them to let go, though.
Managing pain and consciousness so that you can be in loving awareness hopefully.
Pain captures your awareness. Become a where of your. Thought.Awareness is in your soul. Try to identify with the awareness, not the pain which is in your mind. It’s not easy to rest in awareness during pain. Try to love the pain by dying in the witness, the awareness, the soul, The soul loves everything so everything belongs. It’s all lovable.
Spend time each day contemplating death.

His Living Will called five wishes.
Spiritual and emotional desires, what he wants his loved ones to know etc.
I wish to die at home if that is possible
I wish to be cared for with kindness and cheerfulness
I wish to have pictures of my loved ones near my bed
I wish my family and friends to know that I love them
I wish for my family and friends to know that I did not fear death itself.
I wish people could think of me before it became seriously ill
I was for my friends to respect my wishes even if they don’t agree with me
I wish for my family and friends to think of my dying at a Time for growth for everyone including me.
I wish my friends and family would be around me at the time that I’m dying but at the very end I’d like to be alone with my husband.

Giving up attachment. Monks used to be required to spend the night with the decaying body in the cemetery so they could loosen there attachment to the body and see it’s a femoral or changing nature. Let go to the attachment of life being in the body so that during the dying process the amounts will be attentive to The transformational moments.

The Greatway is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When not attached to love and hate all is clear and undisguised. Separate by the smallest amount, however, and you are as far from it as heaven is from earth.

a practice for preparing yourself for letting go is months before you think you’ll die making a list of all the foods that you eat and one by one giving them up forever. By the time you’re just drinking water, letting go is probably pretty easy. Throw pinecones into the fire, representing what you are attached to and want to give up. Besides giving up attachment to certain people and things, there is also the attachment to life it self. The desire to keep on living.

you want to prepare to be like a Bird sitting on a rock, ready to fly with nothing holding you back. Best way to prepare? Meditate to learn to be in the moment. Being in nature is helpful, watching the things rotting and growing
Live in the soul then you’ll be ready for the moment of death.
Why should we meditate? To prepare for death. Death is a rite of passage. We start out identified with the body and the ego. Then as we begin to let go of the physical plane, and begin to identify with the soul, We could be held by having people with us for a loving, Who have faith in the process, and who know it is absolutely safe. They are there wishing us well and being love, talking about all the wonderful things that we have done in our life to keep us positive.
The soul has experienced many deaths, so The more gracefully and fully you can identify with soul, The less you will fear.
The art is to let go before you die so that when you die, there is no letting go required. One who sees the way in the morning can gladly die in the evening. Die before you die so that when you die, you need not die. What is phone now, is found them. If you find nothing now, you’ll simply end up with an apartment in the city of death. But if you make love with the divine now then in the next life you’ll have the face of satisfied desire.

Journey into our true home. I wanted to go there for a while now. Sometimes I have to work to stay here. I know our home in this world is not our real home, That it’s a temporary shelter and that as much as we like it, we have to give it up. Our real home is in the soul. Awareness of death is a way To awaken to this truth and to lead a happier life

Feeling of heaviness when the earth element leaves.
Experience of dryness when the water element leaves
The experience of coldness when the heat element leaves
The feeling that the outbreath is longer than the inbreath as the air element leaves

Practices for conscious living, being with a dying, and your own death: read, meditate (become fully conscious each moment. Expect nothing and be ready for anything. Persist even through feelings of boredom. Become and don’t make too much of any experience, just stick with it. Sit quietly and just be with what is: if you’re hot you’re hot. If something hurts so be it. Bring your awareness to your breath, the texture, temperature, duration as it comes in and out of your nostrils. When your mind wanders, simply bring it back to your breath. Imagine a sky before you with clouds coming and going. Imagine the sky is mirrored within you. Every bit of you is clouds coming and going. Keep focusing on the vast sky that is not changing anyway by the clouds. Now imagine an immense ocean waves rising up

Begin by generating a feeling of kindness toward yourself. Say or think several times, May I be free from inner and outer harm and danger. May I be safe and protected. May i be free of mental suffering and distress. May I be happy. May I be free of physical pain and suffering. May i be healthy and strong. May I be able to live in this world happily, Peacefully, joyfully, with ease. Next director attention to a person who invites feelings of pure unconditional love and kindness in you. 10 focus your attention on a person you regard as a dear friend and repeat the phrases again. Then move onto a neutral person, someone you feel neither strong like nor dislike. Then focus on a difficult person. Then meditate on all beings. May all beings be safe etc.

Just like me compassion meditation. Begin by becoming aware there’s another person in front of you, just like you. While looking at your partner in the eye repeat the following phrase:
This person has a body and mind just like me
This person has feelings, emotions, and thoughts just like me
This person has experience physical and emotional suffering just like me
This person has at sometime bit sad, disappointed, angry, or hurt just like me
This person has felt unworthy or inadequate just like me
This person worries or is frightened sometimes just like
This person will die just like me
This person have longed for friendship just like me
This person is learning about life just like me
This person wants to be caring and kind to others just like me
This person wants to be content with what life has given them just like me
This person wishes to be free from pain and suffering just like me
This person was just to be safe and healthy just like me
This person which is to be happy just like me
This person wishes to be loved just like me

Now allow wishes for well-being to arrive: I wish I wish this person to have the strength resources, and social support they need to navigate the difficulties in life with ease
I wish this person to be free from pain and suffering
I wish this person to be peaceful and happy
I wish this person to be loved because
This person is a fellow human being just like me

Afterwards, thank you partner with a bow or in whatever way feels right

Spiritual estate. or an ethical or spiritual legacy as opposed to the goods we leave behind. By telling stories of your life. They teach and heal.

Sitting with the dying. Death is the ultimate fear. Learning how to sit with it is the only way. When you’re afraid of something come as close up to it as you can. Watching your reactivity and resistance, noticing the boundaries. Sitting with them it’s important to be fearless so that you can let them know that the process of dying is completely safe

Imagine Jesus, Mary, light, or truth to enter through the crown of your head and become one with you. Imagine that your souls are inseparable and imagine the love radiating from your union. Ask this being to stay with you through your transition. Know that you are loving awareness

Prayer or mantra as you’re letting go and leaving your body. Or you could have people at your bedside pray or chant.
I am not this body.
I am not these eyes and what they see. I am loving awareness.
Pause and rest there.
I am not these years and what they hear. I am loving awareness.
Go down through body.
I am not this mouth and when it tastes. I am loving awareness.
Gondown all the way and end with...
I am not this body. I am loving awareness.

I am not these thoughts, I am loving awareness. I am not these memories. Anything else.
Profile Image for Anne.
Author 10 books259 followers
August 10, 2018
This is a powerful book full of wisdom and love. I have not read any other books by these authors but I certainly will seek them out next. I love the fact that the book was written as a conversation between the two authors as they sought to ponder the topic of death and why we are so afraid to talk about it, think about it and except it. It felt like I was right there with them, experiencing their time together and their conversation, which made the book easy to read even though the topics are difficult to digest.

I especially appreciated the parts about dealing with fear of death, and the suggestion to go back in our memories to Explore our first memories that have to do with people around us dying. I found this a very helpful exercise in relation to my own fears of death, and the whole book very gently walked me through letting go of these fears. The layout is gorgeous, and the illustrations are delicate, elegant, and just right for the tone of the book.

Thank you to NetGalley, the authors and the publisher for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Denise.
91 reviews
January 3, 2019
How do you enjoy a book on death and dying? Get the info from Ram Dass. While I’ve read most of what he has said on the topic in his many other books, this is getting it all in one place. It is fresh from the standpoint of Ram Dass’ advanced age and experience at this point in time, nearing his own death. Also it’s co written with longtime friend, Mirabai Bush. I got to know Mirabai a bit more here and she’s great! I am biased about Ram Dass.

I genuinely love Ram Dass. I first loved him because he was so meshugana (learned that word from him) and entertaining. That man can tell a story like no other! Listen to the archived talks on his podcast, (beherenownetwork). Over the years he has taught me to love souls instead of personalities - often hard to do. So.... at this point, I love his willingness to continue sharing his clarity and experiences in spite of a stroke 20 something years ago which couldn’t have been easy - aphasia and partial paralysis. These days I think we see his soul as much as I think is possible in a material world. I love that. I AM that. And so are you.
Profile Image for Kathy.
254 reviews7 followers
October 1, 2019
A good conversation starter for discussing the inevitable for all of us. I'm not a guru follower myself, but do share Ram Dass' perspective of the how we are all part of a greater 'consciousness' or whatever your concept of god(s) might be. I especially like the ice cube metaphor (p. 60) for our passing, i.e. that we are each, physically and metaphysically, like an ice cube (although I would say snowflake) that melts into the ocean when we pass away, the ocean being the Universal Consciousness.
Profile Image for Prachi.
11 reviews1 follower
October 6, 2020
The topic of death is sensitive. It could bring out feelings of fear & grief or of love & acceptance or all of these together. I listened to the audio-book (~7 hours duration). There are no definitive answers in this book as no one knows how is it to die. I liked that they just shared their knowledge and learnings rather than providing definitive answers. We need to talk to ourselves daily on this topic to navigate through the feelings and emotions that this universal truth props in us. I many religions and cultures, the topic of death is seen as inauspicious or negative. This leads to several unresolved issues among the people. Death happens to everyone and so does birth. If there will be no death, there will be no space for any births. It is not a bad thing, but an event that happens to all the living beings on this planet sooner or later. Love is the answer to the fear that death generates. Love for all, for each and everyone without judging. As Ramdass says-We are walking each other home..Merrily merrily merrily!! We are all in this together, no one is alone. This book got me started to think about and explore the topic of death. I know people I can't imagine my world without will go someday. I will die and the people who love me will be here without me. I want them to know, I understood it and they walked me merrily to the home and I will walk with them till I am here. Its all about the LOve. <3 <3
Profile Image for M. Sarki.
Author 16 books201 followers
January 21, 2019

Many of the spiritual ideas and ensuing guidance read in this book I previously have already considered. Some points made by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush I reject and others I am still considering. However, there are many Ram Dass positions that I do believe. But for a person who thinks this life is it, that this life is all he has and that the worms will get him just as they get everyone else, the importance of reading this book becomes paramount given the opportunity to reassess his beliefs and to possibly consider another’s. The following notes are what caught my attention in this book and in no way frame my current state of mind regarding this matter. I am simply willing to take another look at something we all must eventually address if we are lucky enough to consciously decide to do so.

If I’m going to die, the best way to prepare is to quiet my mind and open my heart. If I’m going to live, the best way to prepare is to quiet my mind and open my heart.

Maharaj-ji said nobody dies a moment before their time, and nobody remains a moment after it.

Death comes without warning.

Healing is not about getting back to the way things were, but about learning to live with how they are.

I knew that when my body dies, awareness goes on.

In spiritual evolution, you don’t destroy the ego; rather, you stop identifying with it.

The dying that opens us to life is the letting go of our attachment to our desires and to the fruits of our actions—living life as it is, not as we want it to be; learning to simply be with what Aldous Huxley called “the miracle of naked existence,” not trying to control what we can’t control.

...the opposite of death is birth. The beginning and the end are two sacred events, and in between it is all impermanent.

The ego asks, ‘Why not live for the moment? Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow you will die.’ But if instead you live in the moment, being here now, discovering the preciousness of life in each moment, then you are living, not as an ego, but as a soul, outside time.

If we love well, we will die well. Making peace with death and being fully in the moment allows us to lose ourselves in love, in the love of the beauty and awe of the manifestation of God, in the love of ourselves and others, and in the love of everything else—the suffering, the pain, the joy. We can’t know when we will die, and living without knowing requires surrender, surrendering our hope and fear so we can open our hearts to life and let compassion grow. Then when death comes, we are ready to go into love, into the Light, toward the One.

...all assure me that a soul leaves the physical plane neither a moment too early nor a moment too late. For most of us on earth who so strongly identify with our own bodies and personalities, this is hard to accept.

It’s interesting to notice, as loved ones change, how much we often hold on to who they used to be.

...everyone loses people they love. I am like everyone else. That has helped me to let go of my grief. I have laid my baby to rest…

I climb the stairs, reminded once again that death is inevitable, grief is natural, and we can learn from it and grow.

For your soul, suffering is that which forces you to grow spiritually and brings you closer to awakening to who you in truth are.

...Grief is one of our greatest teachers. It cracks us open—that’s how the light gets in...
We begin to move from mourning to remembering.

I wish people to think about me as I was before I became seriously ill. This is just my body...However you think about it, you have to let go of your name, your history, your friends, your body, your intellect, your desire for beauty—and become one with your individual soul, because death is the extinction of your self. It’s the death of who you know yourself to be, and there is no way the mind can grapple with the extinction of itself.

Whether or not you believe in reincarnation or even heaven, prepare yourself by letting go of self-judgment and regret to be as peaceful, receptive, and loving as possible during your last moment.

...love your past no matter what it is; no matter how painful, to see your life as a story and simply love it without judgment. Ram Dass responds, “You may see that you could have done some things better, but the core practice is to love it all, to accept it all, to love yourself and your story.”

Profile Image for Jade.
72 reviews
September 17, 2022
Is there one book that really shaped your spiritual relationship with death?

The first time I read this book, “Walking Each Other Home” by @babaramdass & @mirabaibush , I was in the middle of an existential deep dive of all things Ram Dass. I fell hard for his blend of Buddhist mindfulness, mystical Hinduism and irreverent Judaism and reading this book was a little bittersweet - kind of like watching the reunion of a favorite TV show or reading the last book in a beloved series … but bigger. To hear Ram Dass speak to aging, dying and death as he grew closer to his own was deeply moving for me.

In this conversation between lifelong friends, Ram Dass & Mirabai Bush advise each other and us on how to be fully present with dying and the gifts we take away from that presence. They consider how we can help ourselves and others die consciously and gracefully and they remind us to stop and breathe in the utter joy of the simple pleasures of being here now.

I also listened to this on audio and it is such a treat to hear Mirabai Bush read this herself. Her intonation and conversational style made me feel like I was sitting in Hawaii with a cat in my lap and a ray of sunshine warming me, two good friends/spirit guides on either side.

If you’re interested in spirituality and death and connect to the teachings of Ram Dass, don’t skip this one. Even if his blend of cultural and spiritual traditions isn’t for you, the art makes this book a beautiful companion to flip through and it truly reads like an engaging and authentic conversation who love each other deeply, lived life well, and are comfortable venturing into the mystery of what lies ahead together. It’s such an honor that we’re invited in. IG:@the.farewell.library
Profile Image for Jackie St Hilaire.
126 reviews11 followers
March 4, 2019
No matter where you live, no matter if you are influential, rich or famous; we are all alike.

We were all born from the same "source" and we will all return to the same "source".

When our natural physical state leaves our body we are hopeful that we will not have to go through this transition alone. If we live our present life alone and don't let another into our 'inner sanctum", our transition will be painful, there will be much suffering and purification in the letting go process.

It is good to begin our conversation on loving and dying in the present moment. Now is the time and if we keep delaying and denying our true self, the end of our earthly journey will be filled with much anxiety.

Ram Dass ( born Richard Alpert) and Mirabai Bush in their conversations on loving and dying, offer us a way to explore our deepest self. Together they give us a glimpse of what to expect when our physical body releases itself and our spirit moves on. Why are they knowledgeable in this mystery of all mysteries, you may ask? One reason is that throughout their journey they have listened to their deepest selves, they have explored possibilities, they have let go of attachments.

This doesn't happen in an instant, it takes many journeys to reach this "peak" but better to start now than to linger on in pain and distress. Both physical, mental and spiritual.
Profile Image for Patty.
2,299 reviews100 followers
April 8, 2020
”If we love well, we will die well. Making peace with death and being fully in the moment allows us to lose ourselves in love, in the love of the beauty and awe of the manifestation of God, in the love of ourselves and others, and in the love of everything else – the suffering, the pain, the joy. We can’t know when we will die, and living without knowing requires surrender, surrendering our hope and fear so we can open our hearts to life and compassion grow. Then when death comes, we are read to go into love, into the Light toward the One.”

It was the title of this book that really caught my attention. The thought of being with one another and walking together is a beautiful image. I would like to be able to walk my loved ones to their final destination. We will see what actually happens, but this image made me want to read this book.

I have known of Ram Dass since I was in college. I admired him, but for a long time the differences between his mysticism and my Christianity made it hard for me to be open to his thinking. My brain and heart have expanded and I can tune into what he is saying with more openness.

Death is not an easy topic to think about. I don’t want to imagine an end to all that I enjoy on this planet. But none of us get out alive, so it is important to prepare and to consider what we want to happen at the end. You may not agree with everything that Das and Bush have to say in this book, but reading it will give you something to react to and then you might have a better idea of what death looks like to you. I found their words interesting and they opened me up to the possibilities of seeing death as another opportunity to love one another.

Ram Dass died in December 2019. I hope he achieved his wishes with his death.
Profile Image for Laekin.
21 reviews
December 9, 2020
Beautifully written perspectives on the difficult conversations we have with people who are approaching death. It is a topic that we often choose to avoid; we almost qualify it away, denying it out of our fear of the overwhelming emotions that it can bring when we do discuss it. The authors raised an interesting point by explaining that this can then isolate the person who is experiencing their moment to go, as it limits their expression of what they’re experiencing. They described this moment as a ‘returning’ to one source, where everything is initially created. I think this can be open to interpretation, notably for some, that may be the definition of ‘heaven,’ for others it may mean for your vessel to return to the ground to allow new life to flourish. This book had me checking in with myself, replaying moments I have had with people who are now gone. From this I’d like to take forward some of the practices they provide with me to improve. My one criticism would be that if you haven’t read a Ram Dass book before you might find it to waffle on a little, but I personally like that about his style - it feels more like a conversation to me. 4.5!
Profile Image for Laura.
470 reviews
August 1, 2020
I wanted to really love this book, but it was just to woo-woo for me. A few things that I marked before I put it down:
pg xiii [about meditating]- I began to see the impermanence of thoughts and emotions as they rose and fell away, and I started taking them less seriously. I felt much less dependent on the ideas and opinions of others, and it gave me a kind of radical self-confidence, like I belonged here on the planet and would be able to understand how it was all unfolding. That's what it felt like. It gave me faith in the way things actually are and that they are okay even though much needs to be changed. I felt free."
xiv- We need to be instead of do, he said. We need to die as egos so we can live fully as souls, as the Buddha himself did.

5- I'm doing the work of sadhana: bringing up the past and loving it. Loving it as a thought. Letting go of regrets and loving the past for what it was and is. There's a difference between clinging to memories and reexperiencing them from present consciousness. They're all just thoughts. The key is to stay in your heart. Just keep loving.
Profile Image for Ann.
303 reviews7 followers
December 25, 2019
Drawing on several different religious traditions, Walking Each Other Home offers a spiritual perspective on death to help attend others in their deaths as well as to help us with our own. The book is written as a series of reflective conversations between Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush. The book beings with a preface and an introduction to the eight following sections of conversations which progress from a consideration of death, to personal experiences of death, to being present as another dies, to considerations of one's own death and preparation for that. The book concludes with a section on practices for living, recommended resources, acknowledgements, notes, and a short biography of the authors.

I found the book quite interesting and good for use in contemplative reflection -- so reading the book slowly is a plus. I appreciated the section on Practices for Conscious Living and the list of resources. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Tomomi Landsman.
97 reviews1 follower
May 9, 2019
I received an Uncorrected Proof of this book for free from Kew & Willow as part of their rewards program. Given a choice among non-fiction, fiction, and young adult, I chose non-fiction.

While I am not a complete skeptic and have sought out meditation and mindfulness practices, I was mostly unconvinced by this book. I found the psilocybin and LSD use especially eyebrow-raising, with Ram Dass using LSD during his father's funeral.

I did appreciate how this book encourages you to think about death and approach it in a way that reduces fear. As a thirty-year-old, I don't feel particularly close to death (but who knows!), but as someone who has watched a loved one die, I definitely found many parts of this book to be relevant.

I was reminded of a friend who uses the app WeCroak, and it actually got mentioned as a recommendation in this book!
Profile Image for Jenneffer.
264 reviews4 followers
June 4, 2019
Loving Ram Dass for over a decade, but learning something new about him and his legacy everyday, this beautiful book of conversations found me at just the right time. My grandfather died last summer, and I have been stuck in grief since that time. I didn't know how to move on, or that I was even stuck at all. Just that life has been dull and I can't find my voice, or have the courage to make hard choices.

Reading these conversations through the lens of love, about death, dying, compassion, and so much light and forgiveness, was exactly what i needed to gently lift my soul away from the tether of grief, and able to think about death again, to realize it is the ultimate fear, but not live captivated by that fear.

Strange as it sounds, it is a perfect professional development recommendation for anyone on the journey of compassion.
Profile Image for Chasity Mayo.
24 reviews
July 6, 2020
This book was not only beautifully written, but filled with intense spiritual information that critically analyzes our ideas of death itself. I love that it covers everything from being supportive to forgiveness. I have also read “Healing Into Life and Death” which covers a lot of similar topics about our ideas of death & how to prepare our spirits for transcending the physical realm. If I had to choose one of the books to recommend, I would pick Levine. I love Ram Dass and he has a beautiful outlook on life. However, I do feel that this book got a bit repetitive. Overall, I was satisfied with the book and would recommend it to anyone that is looking to learn more about death. This book built on my learning from “Healing Into Life and Death” and I appreciated the effort to push spirituality and healing.
Profile Image for Victoria.
150 reviews4 followers
March 17, 2021
What a beautiful book... Ram Dass discusses life and death and loving awareness with his friend Maraibi Bush. This was written after his stroke and she speaks what he says in their conversations. Anyone who is struggling with an incurable disease or facing end of life issues with fear, questions and uncertainty will be deeply moved by what he shares. I had not studied his works back in the 60’s when he became popular, but I am so glad I’ve discovered him. I will be reading all his books.. He has a beautiful soul from which he shares his love for all people. Though his guru was Indian, much of his thoughts reflect a Buddhist tradition. Reminding us that we are all one and that death is not an end but a doorway to eternity.. I’m grateful to have discovered him, and though deceased, he will remain one of my teachers.
Profile Image for Cathryn Wellner.
Author 21 books15 followers
January 14, 2019
A gentle, heart-opening book created by two long-time friends. In my eighth decade, I am comfortable with conversations about death and have the inevitable experience of sitting with friends nearing that passage. But there is always more to learn about how others approach the mystery and what they believe happens once that spark of life is extinguished. I found this book as comfortable as a warm robe and slippers but not as helpful as two other books, Being Mortal (my favourite) and Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I've Loved, written with engaging humour. For those whose views of death resonate with the idea of multiple lives, this will be a welcome exploration of how to prepare for letting go of attachments to the body.
Profile Image for Pt Wallace.
4 reviews
November 22, 2019
I wonderful guidebook for anyone who is grieving the loss of a loved one or who may be approaching death themselves.
Together, Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush guide readers through some of the most fearful parts of our lives. They explain that fear is natural in the face of death because we have only known this life. They explain how we can release fear by approaching death with a new way of thinking and show readers that there are spiritual opportunities within the dying process.

I recommended for those who are struggling with the grieving process and the fear involved in the dying process. As a guidebook on our spiritual path, Walking Each Other Home, reminds us to realize as Ram Dass says, that we are all dying.

1 review
January 27, 2020
Radically Perspective-changing

Miraba does a wonderful job of summarizing hours and hours of conversation and contemplation about living, dying, and embracing death into an extremely readable book.

She and Ram Dass, through their conversations, share the results of lifetimes of contemplation of, and experience with death that offer a radically different view of dying than that held by the majority of westerners.

In addition, they give us practical, loving instruction on being with someone in the immediate stage of end of life in a compassionate, non-clinging way that can be life-changing for both people.

This book has propelled me to spend time with people who are dying, both as a compassionate practice as well as preparation for my own death.
Profile Image for Natalie.
130 reviews8 followers
June 30, 2021
As a student of Ram Dass’ teachings, this is an excellent book that addresses dying. Ram Dass and Mirabai engage in thoughtful spiritual conversations about the fear of dying. They often remind the reader to love everyone, tell the truth, and give up material attachments as we navigate through this incarnation. Ram Dass offers spiritual insight into how to be present for a dying person, how to grieve losses, and how to create space for our own dying. This is a book I intend to re-read often as I encounter future losses and prepare for my own death as I age. The audiobook is narrated by Mirabai and includes a couple of audio clips from Ram Dass’ past talks. The ending of the book offers several meditations. Namaste
Profile Image for Snickerdoodle.
717 reviews11 followers
March 31, 2019
You don't have to believe everything in this book to find plenty to nourish your thoughts about love, death and dying. You need not know anything about Ram Dass, whose thoughts these are, or Mirabai Bush who put them together in a meaningful way. The point of the book is that this is something we're collectively afraid of and so, refuse to think much about it at all, much less spend time thinking about in a personal manner - till we're in the same room with it, and don't know how to cope with the grief. This isn't a dark book by any means. There is light and encouragement here and so much love.
Profile Image for Jane Bystry Weyers.
147 reviews2 followers
October 6, 2019
I found the tone of this book to be a pleasantly relaxed, low key exploration of the end of life through repeated conversations between two long-time friends. Author Ram Dass primarily shares Buddhist beliefs and practices, but is not trying to convert anyone. Rather, he is inviting persons of all faiths/practices to find something useful that they can adopt in their own lives, guiding us to live fuller lives and approach death as a natural ending to a life well-lived. Toward the end of the book a number of resources for exploring practices such as mindfulness and further reading, listening, and viewing are offered - all and all a great resource.
Profile Image for Joanne Kelly.
Author 1 book9 followers
June 27, 2021
I loved this book. I read a few pages every day as I ate my lunch, and looked forward to my little Ram Dass interlude each day. The book is a thoughful guide to living and dying with intention and compassion. I like his assertion that a soul leaves this physical plane "not a moment too early nor a moment too late" and his belief that a human birth "is a bit like attending fourth grade. We stay just as long as necessary to achieve what we need from that specific grade."

I don't see Mirabai Bush listed as a coauthor of this book. I think she did much of the writing, and want to acknowledge her contribution.
Profile Image for Charlotte.
78 reviews7 followers
January 24, 2019
I love Ram Dass. This one is full of insight about aging and dying. Co-written with Mirabei
Bush it take us on the pathway to easing ourselves into old age and eventually death, but without fear. It is like Ram Dass and Mirabei take our hands and show us the way to navigate those years without fear but through our spiritual practice, love and gentle kindness. A wonderful book about a taboo subject, at least here in the U.S. Anyone who is 50 or above or any age really give it a read. Surely squelched many of my irrational fears, full of love and grace.
1,028 reviews
November 8, 2020
4.70 Library book I was going to give this a 5 star but it didn't quite make it. I skimmed over the opening paragraph or 2 in each chapter as I wasn't particularly interested in who was visiting that day or what they were having for breakfast. But then I got into the gist of the daily conversations and that is where the aha nuggets are! There were many, and they were often profound and so thought provoking. I saved many to my journal and plan to revisit this book again sometime down the road....
Displaying 1 - 30 of 80 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.