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American spiritual teacher Ram Dass dies aged 88

Born Richard Alpert, he was a peer of Timothy Leary and played a big role in the psychedelic movement of the 1960s.

RDObituary-Photo-730x400 Source: RamDass.org

THE AMERICAN SPIRITUAL teacher and academic Ram Dass, who wrote the seminal book Be Here Now, has died aged 88. 

Born Richard Alpert, he died peacefully at home in Maui yesterday, his official website said:

For more than 50 years, Ram Dass was a key influence on American spiritual culture. His monumentally influential and seminal work Be Here Now –part graphic novel, part introduction to yoga and inner transformation–is an enduring classic that has sold over two million copies.
Be Here Now still stands as a centerpiece of Western articulation of Eastern philosophy. In the 1970s it was the hippies’ bible; today it continues to be the instruction manual of choice for generations of spiritual seekers.

As a psychologist, Alpert – along with his cohort, Timothy Leary “played a pivotal role in the psychedelic movement of the 1960s, lecturing on the healing effects of psychedelics at college campuses across the country”.

The pair encouraged people “turn on, tune in, and drop out” with psychedelics.

From 1967-68, Alpert journeyed to India, where he met the Indian saint, Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaj-ji). After learning yoga and meditating in the Himalayas for six months, he returned to the West as Ram Dass, meaning“Servant of God”.

Ram Dass spent decades lecturing across America, influencing his followers to explore meditation and yoga. In 1997 he had a stroke, but continued his work after recovering his speech. 

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