What does it mean to ‘Be Here Now’?

I kept hoping to get esoteric teachings from Maharaji, but when I asked, “How can I become enlightened?” he said things like, “Love everybody, serve everybody, and remember God,” or “Feed people.”

When I asked, “How can I know God?” Maharaji said, “The best form to worship God is in all forms. God is in everything.” These simple teachings, to love, serve, and remember, became the guideposts for my life.

Maharaji read people’s thoughts, but beyond that, he knew their hearts. That blew my mind. In my own case, he opened my heart because I saw that he knew everything there was to know about me, even my darkest and most shameful faults, and he still loved me unconditionally. From that moment, all I wanted was to share that love.

Although he knew I would have liked to stay with him forever, in early spring of 1967, Maharaji told me it was time for me to return to America. He said not to tell anyone about him. I didn’t feel ready, and I told him I didn’t feel pure enough. He had me turn around and around, and he looked me up and down intently.

Looking into my eyes, he said, “I don’t see any impurities.”

Before I left India, I was told that Maharaji had given his ashirvad, his blessing, for my book. I replied, “What’s an ashirvad? And what book?” I didn’t start out planning to write the book that became Be Here Now. Be Here Now is Maharaji’s book.

As I sat in the Delhi airport, waiting to leave India, a group of American soldiers kept staring at me. I had long hair, a full beard, and was wearing a long white Indian robe that looked like a dress. One of the soldiers approached me and said, “What are you, some kind of yogurt?” When I got off the plane in Boston, my father, George, picked me up at the airport. He took one look at me and said, “Quick, get in the car before someone sees you.” I thought, “This is going to be an interesting trip.”

Forty years and one near-fatal stroke later, it is still quite a journey. Being here now is even more relevant for me. Being in the moment, at ease with whatever comes one’s way, becomes contentment. This practice allows me to be present to love and serve others and to express unconditional love in the world. When you are fully in the moment, this moment is all there is.

It feels like time slows down. When your mind is quiet, you enter into the flow of love, and you just flow from one moment to the next as naturally as breathing. Whatever arises, I embrace it with love in the moment. This is my practice of polishing the mirror to reflect Maharaji’s love. In this moment there is just awareness and love. If someone asks me how to get into their heart, I give them this practice: I Am Loving Awareness.

– Ram Dass, excerpt from Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart 


8 thoughts on “What does it mean to ‘Be Here Now’?”

  1. How do I purchase polishing the mirror? And other works straight from here. So 100% of money goes to what I know to be True?

    • Traveller, thank you – you have done us all a service by sharing your superior moral character with us. You are obviously better than the rest of us! Thank you for surrendering yourself to us as a superior moral example for us all to emulate. Peace.

  2. It is a special gift to every reader here that Ram Dass and LSRF make available these simple truths.
    “I Am Loving Awareness”, if practiced widely, would heal the world.

    For those who think it is about money for them, ha! They operate on a shoestring. I am certain that they believe Maharajji when he said,

    “If you have enough faith you can give up money and possessions and God will give you everything you need for your spiritual development.”


    “Money is never a problem. The difficulty is in the correct use of it. Large amounts of rupees would come easily if they were going to be put to wise use.”

    Ram Dass puts it to wise use!

  3. If “God is everything” that means that God is Me. And that means that God is not being “All Loving” … All the time. Sorry but this is my station and I am stuck with it. 🙂

    • Lawrence,

      Don’t be so hard on yourself, when we say “God is everything” we mean at your core you are pure compassion and understanding. The expression ” polishing the mirror” or “polishing the lens” means that you are God at your core essence, but like all of us, you have accumulated a bunch of dirt on your lens that needs to be cleaned and polished so that the true light of God can shine forth from you. I’ll guess that rays of that light break through the dirt on your lens from time to time, so you are not always ” not loving ” and Gods love does shine through. The practice is to continue to polish the lens because every time we walk outside we have others throwing dirt on our len, so no matter how clean we get the lens, it always needs repolishing. So yes God is in everything, and that means in you, its just difficult to see Him through all the dirt of the material world. Keep loving, keep forgiving, keep giving, that is polishing the lens.

  4. To be touched by a guru is the greatest feeling in this world…His simple words so profound …my heart is filled with gratitude ….peace ..and love


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