Thursday, January 14th • Live
Virtual • 6:00pm PT/9:00pm ET
A note from Rameshwar:
Dear friends of Ram Dass and Book Passage,
Thanks to Book Passage for orchestrating this bi-coastal virtuality with Dr. Larry Brilliant in Marin and myself in the Far East (that is, the far east end of Long Island.) And thanks to all you devoted readers for participating in this rollout of Ram Dass’s memoir, Being Ram Dass.
A deep bow of warm appreciations to the evening’s co-conspirator, Dr. Larry Brilliant, who took a gracious evening away from the pandemic war he’s been waging relentlessly across time zones and countries. His ongoing advice to the World Health Organization, the incoming administration, CNN, and many others is exactly the kind of selfless service that Ram Dass and our guru, Neem Karoli Baba, urged on his devotees.
This gathering marks just over a year since Ram Dass left his body in December 2020. His wisdom and love continue to circulate, and I hope this book serves as a parable for inner exploration for others in this tumultuous time. Please take care of yourself, those you love, and help spread the qualities of wisdom and compassion we need to get through.
I’ve not had much time for my own reading in the intensive push to finish Being Ram Dass. These past months. I finally read The Overstory by Richard Powers, which I loved. I found The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy, and Now Is the Way by Cory Allen, books about saints, like Living By the Words of Bhagavan, by David Godman, about Ramana Maharshi, and Legends of the Mahasiddhas by Keith Dowman, about Tibetan masters. I tend to return to favorite writers like Hemingway, Joyce, Beckett, Burroughs, Jorge Luis Borges, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, Garcia Lorca, William Gibson, Daniel Ladinsky, Kabir, and Paul Krugman in the NY Times.
May our kind thoughts and good intentions bear fruit.
Born Richard Alpert, Ram Dass was a prominent Harvard psychology professor who partnered with Timothy Leary in psychedelic research, and later traveled to India and met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba. Upon returning to the US with his new name, which means “servant of God,” Ram Dass became a pivotal influence on the culture with his groundbreaking book Be Here Now—a backpacker’s bible for a generation of spiritual seekers. In this new definitive memoir, Being Ram Dass, America's best-known and beloved spiritual teacher, Ram Dass, shares his life story set against the backdrop of eight decades of cultural transformation.
Rameshwar Das, coauthor of Being Ram Dass, will join Marin local Dr. Larry Brilliant, in conversation about the life and new memoir from spiritual teacher and cultural icon, Ram Dass. Both Rameshwar Das and Dr. Brilliant were longtime friends of Ram Dass, having known him for over 50 years. Just as Neem Karoli Baba foretold Ram Dass he would write a book (Be Here Now), he also foretold Brilliant would work for the World Health Organization’s India smallpox program, to help eradicate this ancient plague (which he did).
Dr. Larry Brilliant is a physician and epidemiologist, CEO of Pandefense Advisory, and a CNN Medical Analyst. He also serves on the board of the Skoll Foundation, as well as co-founded the Seva Foundation, an NGO whose programs have given back sight to more than 5 million blind people in two dozen countries. Dr. Brilliant is the author of Sometimes Brilliant, a memoir about working to eradicate smallpox. He lives in Marin County, CA.
Below, please find links to purchase their books.