By Sonia Rao
The end of the year brings us to a strange place where we are looking back and in the front at the same time: while reflecting upon and reviewing the past 12 months, we’re inspired to look forward to the brand-new slate that is the New Year.
And so, as we muse and we meditate to become more authentic, kind and centered in the future, reading spiritual books can help us in our journey.
Here’s a list of the books that we love and read at least once every year. Which ones of these have you read? Share with us your favourites (besides these) in the comments.
1. YOU ARE THE PLACEBO: MAKING YOUR MIND MATTER by DR. JOE DISPENZA
Can you create miracles in your body solely through your thoughts? Similarly, can you get seriously sick if you believe you’ve been cursed? Yes, it is totally possible. Get set to change your belief systems for the better as Dr. Joe Dispenza provides an instruction manual of sorts, with proofs and points, in an easy to understand way.
2. DREAM BIG: THE UNIVERSE IS LISTENING by ILONA SELKE
The Universe is a mystery but you can now learn its secret laws and manifest your goals in 3-D reality. Author Ilona Selke (who is also the CEO of Living From Vision®) inspires and equips you to make your dreams come true and to create a better life for yourself and the planet.
3. WAY OF THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR: A BOOK THAT CHANGES LIVES by DAN MILLMAN
Guided by Socrates and Joy, a young Berkeley gymnast is forced to come face to face with romance and magic, body-mind-spirit and also the darkness of the soul. Can the gymnast learn to live as a peaceful warrior or will he be destroyed? This book by world champion athlete Dan Millman is the story of his own spiritual journey and is a great guide for those seeking to live a meaningful life.
4. THE SEAT OF THE SOUL by GARY ZUKOV
Mention human evolution and survival of the fittest comes to mind. In this book by Gary Zukav we understand it as the movement from the pursuit of power based upon the perception of the five senses to those of the spirit. If you ever wondered about your purpose in life then read this book (and re-read it) as it stretches your imagination and encourages you to transform your thinking.
5. A MONK IN THE WORLD: CULTIVATING A SPIRITUAL LIFE by WAYNE TEASDALE
It might be easy to follow a spiritual lifestyle when one is living in the Himalayas far away from the mores and morals of mundane life. But true spirituality is when we can be our highest self in each and every aspect of daily life. Wayne Teasdale teaches us to be a ‘monk in the world’ through his insights on many topics including ‘interspirituality’.
6. PEACE IS EVERY STEP: THE PATH OF MINDFULNESS IN EVERYDAY LIFE by THICH NHAT HANH
Subtle and inspiring, the book, written in the form of snippet-like, short chapters, anchors you mindfully. Read it once and then after that read it again and again, opening up to any page, to remember that mindfulness can be practiced anytime, anywhere. Who else can tell it better than Thich Nhat Hanh.
7. THE FIFTH AGREEMENT: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO SELF-MASTERY by DON MIGUEL & DON JOSE RUIZ
Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements showed us the path of needless suffering we were enduring on account of the agreements we made with ourselves and others (even subconsciously). Now, with The Fifth Agreement, Don Miguel (along with his son Don Jose Ruiz) gets us to step up a level to self-mastery by using skepticism and deep listening. If you’re looking to begin 2018 on an empowered note, this is the book to do it with.
8. THE BOOK OF AWAKENING by MARK NEPO
Why wait to get a terminal disease to awaken to the true beauty that life is? Philosopher-poet and cancer survivor, Mark Nepo, gives us this spiritual daybook, as a guide, to live each day, not just with gratitude, but also with wisdom, clarity, kindness, and a passionate enthusiasm. “A year’s supply of inspiration for you and your friends,” says Oprah.
9. MAGICAL PARENT MAGICAL CHILD: THE ART OF JOYFUL PARENTING by MICHAEL MENDIZZA AND JOSEPH CHILTON PEARCE
As a parent I always worry (and being an over-thinker, it come with the territory) if I’m doing the best I can. So, a guide that shows the path to joyful parenting is a blessing not just for the parent but also for the child. Hurry, Parents, grab this book in which Michael Mendizza and Joseph Chilton Pearce share their 7 principles for creating the ‘Optimum Learning Relationship’ with your child.
10. WILD by CHERYL STRAYED
The author, Cheryl Strayed, in order to come to terms with her mother’s untimely death, goes hiking (untrained and not-so-fit) over more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. This is a story that speaks to everyone who ever lost someone precious and has still to come to terms with it. Dani Shapiro, in the New York Times, called the book "spectacular... at once a breathtaking adventure tale and a profound meditation on the nature of grief and survival, ... both a literary and human triumph.”
11. BOOK OF HAIKUS by JACK KEROUAC
No telegram today
Call them haiku or call them micro-poems. These nuggets are guaranteed to warm your heart and soul. In the tradition of Basho, Issa, Shiki and others, Beat novelist-poet Jack Kerouac invites us into another dimension of words which furthers inspires us to go deep within ourselves and perhaps pen down a few of our own. Best read loudly on a long car ride.
12. THE FORTY RULES OF LOVE by ELIF SHAFAK
Imagine living a life that seems so fulfilling to others but an emptiness of the heart still haunts you. Such is Ella Rubinstein’s life which is completely overturned when she reads a manuscript about the thirteenth-century Sufi poet Rumi and Shams of Tabriz and his forty rules of life and love. Her journey to meet the mysterious author of this work takes her on an exploration of faith and heartbreak and of becoming whole again.
(Sonia Rao is the Editor-in-Chief at Thriive Art & Soul).