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Levi Phillips
Levi Phillips

Remember, Be Here Now


Be Here Now, Ram Dass's monumentally influential and seminal work, still stands as the highly readable centerpiece of Western articulation of Eastern philosophy, and how to live joyously 100 percent of the time in the present, luminous or mundane. Be Here Now continues to be the instruction manual of choice for generations of spiritual seekers. Forty years later, it's still part of the timeless present. Being here now is still being here now. Ram Dass now resides on Maui, where he shares satsang, kirtan, and where he can amplify the healing process in the air and waters of Hawaii. His work continues to be a path of teaching and inspiration to so many. Ram Dass's spirit has been a guiding light for three generations, carrying along millions on the journey, helping free them from their bonds as he has worked his way through his own.




Remember, Be Here Now



It strikes me in looking at it here that it must have influenced some other authors whose books I own. Two guys, Don Koberg and Jim Bragnall, did a series of books, starting in 1972 with The Universal Traveler, which even used DeVinne rubber stamps in a superficially similar way. The layout is more conventional and is mostly set in typewriter type, with the rubber stamps used for display purposes.


For those new to Ram Dass' teachings, and for those to whom they are old friends, here is this vanguard spiritual explorer's complete guide to discovering who we are and why we are here, and how to become beacons of unconditional love.


"You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don't have to do anything to earn it. Your shortcomings, your lack of self-esteem, physical perfection, or social and economic success - none of that matters. No one can take this love away from you, and it will always be here."


Joseph Goldstein has been a leading light for the practice of Insight and Loving Kindness meditation since his days in India and Burma where he studied with eminent masters of the tradition. In his podcast, The Insight Hour, Joseph delivers these essential mindfulness teachings in a practical and down to earth way that illuminates the practice through his own personal experience and wonderful story telling.


The Be Here Now Network invites you to join journalist Madison Margolin on the Set & Setting podcast. Set & Setting brings together thought leaders of today's "psychedelic renaissance" to look at the places where psychedelics, spirituality, and culture intersect.


Omid is among the most frequently sought out speakers on Islam in popular media, appearing in The New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, and other international media. He leads spiritual tours every year to Turkey, Morocco, or other countries, to study the rich multiple religious traditions there. The trips are open to everyone, from every country. More information is available at Illuminated Tours.


That bookstore is gone now, like so many of our gathering spaces, but their sign was still there the last time I checked, across the alleyway with a mural of a neighborly street scene, next door to the community center where so many LGBTQ youth in the Detroit area grew up. Every once in awhile, the feeling of refuge will return to my body and remind me of what it feels like to be there, in community space. I like to think of this feeling of refuge, or shelter, as a resource, accessible even though the YEP Night I knew no longer is.


A group of Gay-Straight Alliance kids are gossiping about school. People in the game room are playing an endless game of pool or watching a movie on a donated VCR. Youth activists are designing and facilitating programs. The artsy ones are making a collage. There are too many people to breathe comfortably inside. People step outside the back door on the Troy St. side periodically, cooling off under blue-white streetlights.


Whenever I write about the feeling of home, I slip into that familiar freeze. It is so hard to let go of old places. When I pick up my pen, I am back there on Woodward, a major vein connecting Detroit with the northern suburbs. I watch the streetlights pass and disappear. I think: fight or flee, kid, except I am frozen. The community center space and the bookstore, those places whose rhythms were once so familiar, no longer exist.


I am trying to be here now. I am so far away from the kid I was then. Looking back at her there, sitting cross-legged on that basement folding chair, round-faced and terrified, feels like looking at someone else. When it was time to move on, I laced each eight-holed boot tight, planted my feet square on the ground.


Kathleen Livingston is a queer femme storyteller, community-based artist, and teacher. Her writing is published in Writing Networks for Social Justice, Third Coast, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Peitho, Harlot, A Guide to Composition Pedagogies (2nd ed), Crazy Wisdom Community Journal, Visible: A Femmethology, and in her contemporary circus blog, (defiantcircusarts.com) and zines (self-care #1-3 and how to come back). She works as an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric & Writing at Michigan State University, where she teaches courses on writing and consent.


A brainy, cynical academic and self-professed atheist, the thirty-something Bari has unhappily moved back to her hometown where she is making ends meet by working in a dead-end job preparing boxes of trinkets for shipping while also struggling to complete her doctoral thesis in time to meet a fast-approaching deadline. Until recently she had been teaching a course in nihilism at a university in New York City, but without the thesis she will no longer have her job. On top of everything else she has begun to be plagued by serious headaches. 041b061a72


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