With this book, the inimitable spiritual teacher Ram Dass, finishes the trilogy started by Be Here Now and Still Here. Here is a rounded and rich tribute to the gurus in his life — preeminently Maharaj-ji, the Indian who more than 40 years ago told him to love everybody:
"I said, 'I can't.' That was my ego talking. He said, 'Love everybody.' He wasn't listening to my ego. In that moment I saw my dying ego and who I was becoming. I looked between him and me and had a vision of a coffin, and my old self was in the coffin. I had to give up. He just wasn't going to honor my ego any longer."
From the first day he met Maharaj-ji, Ram Dass was swept away by his unconditional love which not only included human beings but animals, trees, clouds, and fish. The guru taught him that it is possible to transform personal love into impersonal love. To practice this, Ram Dass shares the following:
"I have a practice in which I say to myself, I am loving awareness. To begin, I focus my attention in the middle of my chest, on the heart-mind. I may take a few deep breaths into my diaphragm to help me identify with it. I breathe in love and breathe out love. I watch all of the thoughts that create the stuff of my mind, and I love everything, love everything I can be aware of. I just love, just love, just love."
Ram Dass salutes the satisfactions he derived from participation in Maharaj-ji's community of seekers. Together they sing and do service, acting, in a sense, as a spiritual family. The devotional path as presented by Ram Dass is very appealing. In the West, surrender is tied up with giving up one's power and autonomy. In the East, it means "letting go of the stuff that keeps you separate." Ram Dass sees Maharaj-ji as a mirror of his soul — a person who reflects his attachments and impurities back at him. He concludes: "Maharaj-ji's teaching is love. That love stays with you wherever you are. The more open you are, the more you can receive the love. It's the beginning, the middle, and the end."
Since his stroke, Ram Dass has been more in touch with his inner work. He is more interested in contentment than ever before and believes it is a good model for an aging person. And in the closing chapters of Be Love Now, the author ponders the mysteries and the meanings of various saints and holy persons, including Ramana Maharshi, Sri Ramakrishna, Anandamayi Ma, Sombari Baba, and others. After reading this book, it is possible to have a much deeper and richer appreciation of the path of the heart.