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Grist for the mill (The Mindfulness series) [Paperback]

Ram Dass
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 173 pages
  • Publisher: Unity Press (1977)
  • ISBN-10: 0913300179
  • ISBN-13: 978-0913300176
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,441,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By ShiDaDao Ph.D TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This is a book of wonderful and profound spiritual wisdom. It is a book of 'Dharma' - a Sanskrit term which can be translated as 'truth' and 'path'. Dharma is both the spiritual journey and its destination. Ram Dass (Richard Alpert), a former Harvard psychology professor (and friend of Timothy Leary), experimented with LSD (and other entheogens), during the 1960's. This experience was combined with the encountering of Buddhist and Hindu spiritual philosophy, through English translations of holy books - including the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Ram Dass began to see that these spiritual books, far from being works of pre-scientific ignorance - infact represented a profound wisdom in the form of cognitive maps that showed a spiritual seeker the 'inner' direction to take, on the path to enlightenment.

The paperback (1987) [revised] edition contains 170 numbered pages and consists of 15 distinct chapters. Ram Dass, in the 'new' Preface to this edition, points out that the original (1976) edition, appeared a little 'dated' in the mid 1980's, and as a consequence, the text has been brought up to date, so that the 1960's and early 1970's references can be understood by a new generation.

Contents.
Dedication.
Collaboator's Note (By Stephen Levine).
Preface to the New Edition.
1) The Journey.
2) Receiving the Transmission.
3) Rules of the Game.
4) The Evolutionary Cycle.
5) Levels of Reality.
6) The Mellow Drama.
7) Lineage.
8) Guided Meditation.
9) Questions & Answers.
10) Dying: An Opportunity For Awakening.
11) Freeing the Mind.
12) Nobody's Special.
13) Karmupance.
14) God Beyond.
15) Methods and More.
Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars A truly life changing book 23 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ram Dass changed mine. If I was ever to be famous (G-D forbid!) and I was asked that question of who has been my biggest influence, the answer is Ram Dass.
An ex -professor of Psychology at Harvard, originally named Richard Alpert, (the same as the character in 'Lost') realises he 'knew' nothing and shares his journey and the essence of who we really are and what we're really doing here. A MUST read for anyone peering behind the curtain.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plenty wheat and little chaff 21 Sep 2007
By K. Swanson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Richard Alpert has had a long, strange, wonderful trip. One of the best public speakers I've ever seen, back in the 80s when he was in top form he used to turn a roomful of people into a group of one in minutes. His books, which are largely transcriptions of his public speaking, reflect this to varying degrees. The two most successful, to my mind, are The Only Dance There Is and Grist For The Mill.

Grist is an excellent introduction for someone who's seeking a higher path but is put off by organized religion. Ram Dass (or Rum Dum as his Dad called him; I always crack up when he says that on his tapes) is a master at making spiritual growth seem natural and simple and just something you do when you're ready to.

There are so many fine stories and moments in this book; I still remember the exact moment I was sitting on an SF trolley and read this thought (paraphrased): "But often you'll find that once you finally get the Cadillac you dreamed of for years, the guy who wanted the Cadillac is gone." That thought has resonated in my mind like a Tibetan bell so many times over the past 20 years, and it just keeps getting truer.

Rum Dum dispenses with most of the hokey pokeyness of many westerners gone east, and separates the wheat from the chaff. Simple instructions on various modalities of thought and action that lead gently to enlightenment are his forte, and his concepts tend to stay with you for a long time.

Not to mention that it's just a gas to read; he can be a very funny guy!
If enlightenment doesn't lead to happiness and contentment, I ain't buying.

Here's a fellow who's living proof that we can all grow as much and as long as we choose to.

Namaste, brother.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Two Guys Making Raspberry Jam 14 Sep 2004
By Dean Austin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Grist For the Mill/Be Here Now. These two books I've had for years and every now and then find on my bookshelf and read them for the I don't know how manyith time. There's one part where Ram tells how he's been fasting for seven days. He's visiting his publisher who tells him he's looking a little pale, a little thin. Ram says he's on a ten day fast. As he leaves the publisher's high-rise office building, exits the elevator, he passes a homeless person who says, "Hey man, can you help me? I haven't eaten for seven days." Ram says, " That's great, you just got three more to go." Where we're at doesn't mean that's where our friends' are at, our husbands, our wives. We are so self-concerned the rest of the world barley exists. This book will help you see others' points of view in a way no self-help book ever can. Making Raspberry Jam, one of many stories in the book, is about his father. Ram is living in India, he's dropped out of Harvard Law School to study with his Buddhist Master, and gets a call from his father that his mother has died. He gets off the plane wearing a robe, long hair, beard, not looking at all like the Law Student his father remembers from only a year ago. His father, a snobby Boston Banker, is embarrassed, doesn't want his friends to see them. How they relate to each other over the next few days will make you laugh and cry, and remind you of your parents, maybe your children. It's a story you will remember for the rest of your life, and you'll tell it to your friends. Some will get it, some won't. The whole book is that way, filled with stories and insights into human nature. Buy the book just for the Raspberry Jam story and it will be worth it. If you can find hardcovers buy them both. You'll be reading these books many times. I enyoy these two books so much that if you'd like to chat about them please email me, deanaustin@earthlink.net
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very useful book 30 Nov 1999
By Damon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book really helped me bring more of my spiritual growth into my daily life. Most of the spiritual books I have read have been written by non-Americans with monastic backgrounds, and the disconnect in lifestyles has been the most difficult thing to bridge. I understand more fully now what the eastern teachers are talking about when they say that America has to create its own traditions from the teachings.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a little gem "Grist for the Mill" is 21 Jan 2009
By Bruce - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
According to Ram Dass, "Grist for the Mill" is the closest thing to a sequel to "Be Here Now" and I agree. This is one clearly written and excellent book - definitely 5 stars! Don't believe me? Here's a sample:

- Be a connoisseur of your neuroses
- With bare attention consume your impurities
- Take whatever comes down the pike
- Everything is grist for the mill
- Not "this" or "that" but "whatever"
- Keep giving up your story line
- All of life is a meditation cushion. It's all meditation
- You are the fire and fire doesn't burn itself
- Leave behind every model you have had of who you think you are
- You are going to suffer if you cling to anything in form
- Disappear into the void - the Crisp Trip
- Stop romanticizing your story
- Going to G-d is going into that which is beyond form
- We created our separateness for sport
- What we are looking for is who is looking
- In despair we give up all our hope and all our models
- Stay in form but be with G-d. Breathe in the breath of G-d
- Sit there watching the pain and suffering
- The only thing that dies is another set of thoughts of who we were in this lifetime
- Our entire life drama is food for our awakening
- Be like two mirrors facing each other with nothing in between
- The human intellect is very trivial in the greater design of things
- Cut the puppet strings
- Peel yourself like an onion
- Be a lighthouse sending peace and love to all those who are suffering.

See what I mean.

One way to find out how much you have enjoyed a book is to see how dog-eared it is and my copy of "Grist for the Mill" looks really used. This book was first published in 1977 and is just as relevant today, maybe even more so. Perhaps it's time for a new copy.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My father never knew me 27 April 2006
By Al Link and Pala Copeland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is full of stories that communicate what it means in daily living to "Be Here Now." In one story, as Ram Dass is living in India following his spiritual quest, his father calls to inform him that his mother has died. He returns home wearing a robe, long hair and beard, not looking at all like the law student his father remembers from only a year earlier. His father, one of the founders of Brandeis University and former President of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, is so embarrassed that he doesn't want his friends to see them together. How they relate to each other over the next few days, for example, in the simple act of making raspberry jam, will open your heart.
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