Spirit, Awakening & Liberation - Comment

The Gospel Of Thomas - David CappsThe Anatomy of a Spiritual Meltdown - by JC Mac / FREE E-BOOK
The fastest way to enlightenment is to screw everything up all the time. This book chronicles the life of JC Mac and some of his personal stories, mistakes and spiritual blunders, all of which in the end led him to the final door. It was at this point that the divine light of God burst through, unannounced, stunning and indescribable. The book is an insiders view of the process of awakening — a movement away from the concepts that construct our world and into what simply is. It is a fascinating and entertaining read. The Anatomy of a Spiritual Meltdown, JC Mac's first book, is now available as a free download from this site, with kind permission from the author.
Vati LeaksVati Leaks - Keeps the Public Updated on Church Affairs
Vati Leaks is the place to go to read unknown and suppressed information that has been hidden from the people by the Vatican hierarchs in an attempt to conceal the truth about its past. The site is the brainchild of Tony Bushby, a researcher and writer who has published many articles on truth and alternative Christianity, and is famous for his book The Bible Fraud, which was followed by The Secret in the Bible.
BOOK: Before I Am - Mooji
Mooji is a loving and compassionate exponent of more traditional (guru-focused) Advaita spirituality. This is his first book and in it he shows the reader, through his dialogues with various seekers, how to experience directly the unreality of our egos and the unity of our Original Self (shared by all in oneness). Although Mooji found realization spontaneously himself, he considers Ramana Maharshi and Papaji to be his spiritual masters, especially the latter as he spent time in Papaji's living presence. This book is a good introduction to Advaita Vedanta by a man that seems to have a lot more depth than most other modern Advaita teachers out there.
Ennio Nimis presents the very best introduction to Kriya Yoga (Jan 2011)
Many of us who have read the classic book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda have been left with a burning curiosity of the techniques of Kriya Yoga that underpin this momentous spiritual work. Kriya Yoga is a set of techniques that basically encourage kundalini awakening which leads on to full spiritual awakening. These techniques, said to have been developed by the rishis thousands of years ago, were rediscovered by Lahiri Mahasaya who was taught them by the mythical Babaji. Lahiri Mahasaya passed the teachings on to Sri Yukteswar who passed them down to Paramahansa Yogananda who wrote Autobiography of a Yogi that piqued worldwide interest for them. Only problem was that as organisations develop around teachings, and there are many organisations purporting to teach Kriya Yoga both in India and around the world, they end up controlling the teachings and using them as bargaining chips for seekers' money, loyalty and control. Therefore, any search for the techniques of Kriya Yoga will turn up very little as the knowledge is usually given on condition of absolute secrecy. But this spiritual farce has finally come to an end with the online publication of Kriya Yoga practitioner Ennio Nimis' online book. It is available in three sections: Part 1 lays the foundation and outlines Nimis' own experience; Part 2 gives the techniques themselves; and Part 3 looks at further practical aspects. EnergyGrid would like to personally thank Ennio Nimis for releasing this divine knowledge.
BOOK: Silence of the Heart / Robert Adams
A direct disciple of Ramana Maharshi, Robert Adams (who has since past away) is an American self-realized master in the Advaita tradition and someone with huge clarity and wisdom. You cannot read his material without being somewhat changed by it, but be warned. If you like the fuzzy-feeling nature of Gods, Spirits, the enlightened self (ego) and healing energies, you will be disappointed as Adams snatches away all these illusory comfort blankets, leaving you with only the "I am". And if you find that depressing or uninviting, then you are actually stuck in ego or conceptual spirituality, and this book is not for you.

The Gospel Of Thomas - David CappsThe Gospel of Thomas - A Blueprint for Spiritual Growth - by David Capps
This e-book has been written as a spiritual and insightful interpretation of the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas which comprises 114 profound but sayings attributed to Jesus. With David Capps elucidation, this ancient New Testament apocryphon, which is notoriously obscure and mystical, begins to offer up its profound wisdom. By kind permission, Capps' book is available here for free download. E-BOOK


BOOK: Buddhism Without Beliefs / Stephen Batchelor
This book was a bit of a surprise. There are many books written by Western Buddhists and most cover the basics adequately. But with this little book, Stephen Batchelor has done a fantastic job of illuminating the very heart and essence of Buddhism, stripping away the beliefs and rituals that unfortunately formalize it into a religion in many people's minds. By doing this, he has avoided writing just another religious book, but rather a simple guide to awakening (which is, after all, what the Buddha himself was trying to do).
Mel Gibson's Apocalypto Insults Mayan Culture (Jan 2007)
Mel Gibson brings out a new film called Apocalypto and, as usual, runs rough shod over historical accuracy to further his Christian agenda and fixation on violence. Those who see Apocalypto will leave the cinema with the false notion that the Spanish Conquistadors' invasion of Meso-America was a blessing that liberated the Mayans from their own barbarism. Truth is, the Spanish were far more barbarous in bringing their fetid Catholic dogma to the New World, displaying the same Christian fervour which has been responsible for the murder, maiming and torture of millions over the centuries, the destruction of hundreds of cultures, and the sexual abuse of countless children. Even the Muslims were historically known to be more tolerant than the Christians. So how is it that the 'gentle Jesus meek and mild' could have spawned such twisted minds and frozen hearts?
BOOK: Working with Angels / William Bloom
I have heard Bloom lecture several times and each time I am impressed by his wisdom and sincerity. In this book, he presents a compelling description of the angel, fairy and spirit realm and shows how we can cooperate with these "invisible" beings if we make that an intention. This book has a very wide scope and is filled with anecdotes and the author's personal experience. A very lovely and inspiring read!
Here's all you need to know to become enlightened:
Sit down, shut up, and ask yourself what's true until you know.
That's it. That's the whole deal; a complete teaching of enlightenment, a complete practice. If you ever have any questions or problems, no matter what the question or problem is, the answer is always exactly the same:
Sit down, shut up, and ask yourself what's true until you know.
In other words, go jump off a cliff.
Don't go near the cliff and contemplate jumping off. Don't read a book about jumping off. Don't study the art and science of jumping off. Don't join a support group for jumping off. Don't write poems about jumping off. Don't suck up to someone else who jumped off.
Just jump."
Jed Mckenna quoted from Spiritual Enlightenment
BOOK: Walking Between The Worlds / Gregg Braden
Subtitled "The Science of Compassion", this book is a potentially life-changing book on how to live our lives with and in compassion. I am always surprised at Braden's books because he never falls into the wishy-washy New Ageism that is so rampant in the United States spiritual movement. Quoting from the Essene gospels, Braden presents a thoroughly Western spirituality that is literally a God-send for freethinkers who do not want to escape into Eastern philosophies and practices, and he presents it in a beautiful and very open and honest manner.
Huna Philosophy (recently brought back from the Big Island, Hawaii. Thank you Z!)
IKE — the world is what you think it is
KALA — there are no limits
MAKIA — energy flows where attention goes
MANA WA — now is the moment of power
ALOHA — to love is to be happy with
MANA — all power comes from within
PONO — effectiveness is the measure of truth
BOOK: The Wisdom of No Escape / Pema Chodron
Pema Chodron was one of the foremost students of Chogyam Trungpa, and she seems to embody a softer but equally insightful wisdom to her teacher's. This book is about embracing life and the human condition. There is ultimately no escape from this. Although the human condition can seem very painful, Chodron shows us that only by meeting it full on, only by accepting ourselves and our limitations exactly as they are, can we find true loving-kindness towards ourselves and others. If we try to avoid this total acceptance, we mistakenly cause more suffering.
BOOK: When Things Fall Apart / Pema Chodron
Chodron takes us into the very empty heart of Buddhism and how it can give us the strength to face our confused and chaotic lives head on. She encourages us to directly approach the difficult emotions and feelings that life inevitably throws up at us with a sense of curiosity and acceptance, rather than our usual endless avoidance of pain and discomfort. By doing this, we learn how to be truly happy inside — conformable with hopelessness — rather than grasping for ephemeral happiness outside. By being so uncomforting, this book brings us true comfort.
BOOK: Advice on Dying / His Holiness the Dalai Lama
This book is about dying, and in learning to accept its inevitability, we can live a better and more fulfilling life. The Dalai Lama encourages us, through the excellent translation and editing by Jeffey Hopkins, to focus on impermanence, and in so doing release ourselves from attachments that can cloud our minds at the moment of death. Hi message is very much one of urgency, because our death could always be imminent. This might all sound rather morbid to the Western mind, but in fact it is liberating to face our greatest fear head on and to use its energy to drive our spiritual practice.
BOOK: Transforming the Mind / His Holiness the Dalai Lama
This is an excellent introduction to transforming the mind using the "Eight Verses", perhaps the most important text from the lojong Tibetan writings. Here, the Dalai Lama shows how to enhance compassion, cultivate balanced attitudes towards oneself and others, develop positive ways of thinking and transform adverse situations into conditions conducive to spiritual development.
BOOK: Still Here / Ram Dass
Still Here was written much later in Ram Dass's life, and is a book about honouring and accepting the process of growing old and (hopefully) wiser. What a blessing it is to have someone so high profile in our culture express how positive old age can be and how it is cornerstone in the life of those seeking spiritual fulfilment. This book should be given to every person in retirement homes in order to help counteract the negative beliefs that most of us hold about old age, letting go and dying.
BOOK: The Only Dance There Is / Ram Dass
Formally a Harvard professor and brilliant psychologist, Richard Alpert journey to India in 1967 in search of Eastern wisdom. He returned a year later by the name of Ram Dass (a name given to him by his guru) and set about being one of the first western embodiments of Eastern philosophy and wisdom. Ram Dass has always retained his ordinary humility and humanity (unlike many western teachers) and his brilliant mind has meant that he has been able to express, quite beautifully and humorously, some of that wisdom in this book.
BOOK: Naked Buddhism / David Deida
Deida writes beautifully and in a way that speaks to the heart. In Naked Buddism, Deida exposes the essence of Buddhism in a way that no writer has done before, and in a manner that is lucidly easy for the Western mind to understand. This book is about learning to open up, let go and love. There is nothing new about this message. But the way Deida does it is so sublime and so effective that just reading his words will change you. This is definitely not a book to miss. (If you are interested in Buddhism per se, this might not be the book for you.)
BOOK: Fast Lane to Heaven / Ned Dougherty
This is a book about a man who owned one of the most popular nightclubs in the Hamptons and how a near death experience changed his entire life. A heart attack in his mid-thirties pushes Dougherty into a celestial realm were he met past relatives, friends, divine beings, as well as the golden light of God. He is also told about the future and given warning for humanity if it does not mend its ways. Dougherty comes back a changed man, loses his nightclub, completely reprioritization his life and finds, for the first time, true happiness.
BOOK: I Am - Howard Falco
Who we think we are is key to the world we experience, what we can achieve and how we process the past. Howard Falco has written an insightful book that explores the role of identity in our lives, showing us a way to answer some of the most important questions that we ask ourselves. Towards the end of the book, he outlines some processes that allow us to use identity to find peace, fullfillment and to achieve our goals. Some will find this book more about ego validation than spirit validation, but the tools that Falco highlights will be useful for many people for dealing with psychological blocks and life's issues.
BOOK: Good Life, Good Death / Rinpoche Nawang Gehlek
A lovely book by a lovely man. Rinpoche Gehlek is the grand nephew of the 13th Dalai Lama and one of the last high Lamas fully educated in Tibet. He has been based in America now for the past few decades where he teachers Buddhism to Buddhists, Hollywood actors, composers and musicians. Gehlek's gift is to answer the very basic questions of life in plain language.
BOOK: The Prophet / Kahlil Gibran
Sublime… Gibran's book The Prophet is a spiritual classic that speaks deeply to our hearts and souls with unfathomable wisdom. Published back in the 1920s, this beautiful book, which it has to be said has unfortunately become something of a cliché due to over-quoting, deals with simple, everyday life and how to live it wisely. There are very few books indeed that bypass the mind and speak directly to the soul, and Gibran's is certainly one of them. And now that the copyright has expired you can find it for free online (including here at Energygrid).
BOOK: Ask the Angels / Rosemary Ellen Guiley
Angels are becoming very popular here in the West, with our penchant for a personal connection with the divine. Guiley introduces us in this book to the whole hierarchy of angels, from the 22 Master Angels of Life that govern aspects of our daily lives such as love, relationships, healing, strength and forgiveness, to the Nine Angels of the Higher Order who guide our spiritual growth. She gives us appropriate prayers to contact each of the different angels, as well as methods to meet our personal guardian angel.
BOOK: Creating True Peace / Thich Nhat Hanh
This is an inspiring and timely book for these violent times we are currently living in. Bringing together stories, insights and teachings in one beautifully woven tapestry, Thich Nhat Hanh describes our responsibility to water the inner seeds of love, peace and harmony, rather than those of hatred, anger and ignorance. This is a very inspiring book by a man who not only walks his talk, but one whose writings have been described by Sogyal Rinpoche as "the voice of the Buddha".
BOOK: The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching / Thich Nhat Hanh
If you want a structured book on the essence of Buddhism then you can't do better than this. Many people don't realize that Thich Nhat Hanh is not just a very loving Buddhist monk, he is also an expert scholar on Buddhism, its doctrines and its origins. This book is more formal than his others, covering the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path, and other teachings of Buddhism, but don't let that put you off. Even though he speaks with authority, he is able to speak to the heart with his lucid and poetic writing style.
BOOK: The Miracle of Mindfulness / Thich Nhat Hanh
A beautiful book by a beautiful man. Thich Nhat Hanh presents a manual on meditation, showing us how meditation is so much more than sitting cross-legged on the ground humming "om"s! In the true sense of the word, meditation is mindfulness in the present moment, and we can meditate doing practically any activity provided that we are attentive. This is a classic from one of the few high profile Eastern masters to remain unchanged (and unspoiled) by relocating to the West.
BOOK: The Bhagavad Gita - A Walkthrough for Westerners / Jack Hawley
There are many translations of this great Indian scripture, but this one is particularly lucid to the Western mind. The Bhagavad Gita is an epic mystical poem about life, death, love and duty that has been a source of inspiration for Eastern spiritual seekers for over five thousand years. It is the story of Arjuna, a wise and compassionate warrior prince, who falters as he faces battle in a divided kingdom, where he knows he must kill people who were once dear to him. He turns to his friend Krishna, an Avatar who is also his charioteer, who then explains to him the ultimate nature of reality behind all this confusion.
BOOK: The Journey to You / Ross Heaven
One of the best introductions to Shamanism by a gifted shaman and writer. Heaven updates Shamanism and gives it a contemporary ideological foundation. He also gives practical advice on how to make this journey to ourselves, the challenges that we will face and a description of some of the landscape along the way. His book is wonderfully illustrated with inspirational stories.
BOOK: The Unity of Being / Steven Henson
What strikes me most about Steven Henson's new book, The Unity of Being, is the courage and integrity of the author to undergo the "spiritual process" without clinging to religious dogma. It might sound easy, but even in "New Age" circles, we can actually blunt the processes of spiritual purification and uncovering by clinging too tightly to our belief systems. Henson vividly describes the humbling process of becoming wise, introduces us to his Sufi teacher Bulent Rauf, and shows us the unity of all things in God. This is a book with true depth, a universal appeal and one that demands mindful reading.
BOOK: Balancing Heaven and Earth / Robert A. Johnson
Johnson is a renowned Jungian psychoanalyst and bestselling author of books such as We, She and He. His writings are sublime, and if you have never read them, you are missing profound Western wisdom. These memoirs were dictated to Jerry Ruhl to create his autobiography. He describes how Westerners generally need a Western approach to the spiritual journey and by example shows how this heroic journey can be undertaken. This will be a profound book for those who feel alien to the "empty" spiritual approaches of the East.
BOOK: Urban Shaman / Serge Kahili King
This book outlines the art of shamanism from the Hawaiian perspective. King is a psychologist who has studied shamanism with masters from both Africa and Hawaii. In this book he presents practical guidance on applying ancient Huna wisdom to our modern lives, including dream interpretation, methods of healing the body, relationships and the environment, seeing into the future and making vision quests to other realities.
BOOK: Reality / Peter Kingsley
This book is nothing short of pure genius. Reality introduces the world to the real Parmenides and the extraordinary mystical traditions that lie at the roots of western culture. If you think that mediation, inner contemplation and cycles of rebirth belong solely to Eastern spiritual traditions, this book will change that world view. The West has a remarkable spiritual heritage, but it has been lost for millennia until Kingsely, with writing can only be described as sublime, rediscovered it.
BOOK: A Path With Heart - Jack Kornfield
Jack Kornfield is the wisest of teachers because he is not afraid to own his basic humanity, and his mistakes. He presents himself and his teachings as nothing special, and in so doing includes each of us as his brothers and sisters on the path to spiritual unfoldment. This book is a travelogue for those on the spiritual path, and Kornfield's vast and varied experience on this path allows him to show us what spirituality actually is and what it means to pursue this path, and perhaps even more importantly, what it is not and the pitfalls that await. Kornfield also presents some simple meditative exercises to allow the reader to grasp things for him or herself. Highly recommended.
BOOK: After the Ecstasy, The Laundry / Jack Kornfield
Kornfield is a leading American Buddhist teacher and psychologist — one of the first of a generation of Western seekers to have brought back the wisdom of the East from his time spent in the monasteries of Thailand, Burma and India. In this magnificent book he draws up on the wisdom of from many religious traditions, showing the common essence of humanity at the core of all spiritual practice. And he does it in a way that is easily understandable to the Western mind. This book, with a cheesey title, is filled with inspiration and personal testimonies by ordinary people, and is definitely one of THE most inspiring books around.
BOOK: The Wheel of Life - Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
This book is essentially about spirituality in action — facing whatever life throws at us with an open heart and determination to make a difference. Nobody has done more than Kübler-Ross to bring comfort, understanding and dignity to the dying, and in this book she shares her personal journey from the depths of despair and compassion visiting the Nazi concentration camps shortly after the end of the last World War to the realization that human consciousness survives death and that the most important thing that we can do in this life is to love. You won't find any spiritual dogma in this book, just the memories of an open-minded, tough, spirited and open-hearted pioneer who cared deeply.
BOOK: Blessing Power of the Buddhas / Norma Levine
What a joy to read a spiritual book that isn't trying to teach you something! Levine takes us on a magical journey into the remotest places in Nepal, Sikkim, Ladakh and Tibet. She ostensibly writes about sacred objects but her book actually penetrates to the very heart of human devotion to the divine. You cannot hope to read a more touching and beautiful account of Buddhism in practice.
BOOK: The Secret Science Behind Miracles / Max Freedom Long
This is one of the very first books that hinted at the power and sophistication of the Huna tradition on the islands of Hawaii. Written back in 1948 from his journeys in the islands during the previous decades, this book gives an insigtful and inspiring introduction into Hawaiian Shamanism as practiced by the Kahunas, or the "Keepers of the Secret". A fantastic and inspiring adventure into native Shamanism. (There is evidence to suggest that Max Long never even met the man he claims taught him about the Hawaiian religion, but his books are inspiring none the less and worth a read.)
BOOK: Carry Me Home - Catherine Lucas
Carry Me Home begins with a personal tragedy and then weaves an intimate journey of healing and acceptance to spiritual wholeness. Lucas was brought up an atheist — cynical about all things spiritual. At seventeen, she suffered a terrible accident that killed her mother and left her emotionally scared. This is the inspiring story of how a brave and determined woman transmuted pain and guilt into a spiritual realization that shines through at the end. The journey is not easy and takes many years, but it is a journey that she successfully makes. You will find no dogma here, just an honest, open and beautiful account of the process of individuation that we all face at some point in our spiritual evolution.
BOOK: I Am That / Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Maharaj was an ordinary and largely uneducated storekeeper in Bombay who, when he was middle-aged, met a guru who taught him a mantra and how to meditate everyday. This simple practice led to an explosion of awakening within Maharaj and the simple shopkeeper transformed into an illuminating and enlightened teacher. This book is a large series of dialogues with Sri Nisagadatta covering almost every aspect of our lives, and unlike many other teachers, the questioner is permitted to carry on a line of questioning and really put the teacher to the test. A fantastic book and worth every penny of the relatively high price.
BOOK: Buddhism: The Plain Facts / R. Mann & R. Youd
If you want to learn about Buddhism or to teach another about it, this is one of the best introductions that you will find. The authors write from their own experience as practicing Buddhists (is there any other kind!) in a very simple and mindful manner about the central tenets of Buddhism and its relation to many different aspects of ordinary life.
BOOK: The Magus of Strovolos / Kyriacos C. Markides
This book was a total surprise. Bought from a bookshop just because it had a good testimonial by Colin Wilson on the back, The Magus of Strovolos shows itself to be a heavyweight in the profoundity department — well written and facinating. And it suffers none of the shallow pop-wisdom that seems to permeate current spiritual literature, which is why it was never a bestseller when it was published in 1985. Markides records in this book the actions, testimony and teachings of a healer in Cyprus called Daskalos who presents a glimpse into the world of a modern day shaman.
BOOK: The Psychic Protection Handbook - Caitlín Matthews
Ostensibly, this is a very good book on psychic protection. Nothing new in that — there are many around. What sets this book apart from the others is its sheer scope and the wisdom of its author. Matthews, who runs a shamanic practice in the UK, has produced a gem of a psychic and psychological handbook, one that even those not needing protection at this time can benefit from. She covers everything from dealing with fear, difficult relationships and overcoming negative feelings, to avoiding psychic disturbances and becoming attuned to spiritual guidance. This is a hands-on book in that you need to do the meditations and visual guidances she suggests so that the book's wisdom becomes real for you.
BOOK: Spiritual Enlightenment - Jed McKenna
Perhaps this book is out of place in the spiritual section of this site because there is not a lot that most people would consider "spiritual" about it. This book is about waking up from the dream, and that includes the "spiritual" dream that we all play. Enlightenment, from McKenna's perspective, is the end state of mind when we realize that the "I" that defines our experience is an illusion and that we are just bit-parts in a movie. McKenna book is direct and promotes a Zen approach to enlightenment, which will only appeal to individuals with a mind rather than a heart focus on reality. But it does cut through a lot of spiritual crap!
BOOK: Dark Nights of the Soul / Thomas Moore
A gem of a book for those facing troubled times: Moore shows us the difference between wanting healing as quickly as possible, and letting go to the darkness. The first can leave our soul untouched as we strive to restore ourselves to the light as quickly as possible. The second option of embracing the darkness, on the other hand, has the ability to open us up to the wisdom of the heart. This is a profound message; one that is not understood by many people in our current "doing" culture. It requires patience, reflection, commitment, humility and, above all, courage. Moore has the rare ability to convey real wisdom through his words, despite the limitations of language.
BOOK: Play of Consciousness / Swami Muktananda
It is a shame that Muktananda's life in his later years here were marred by controversey (accusations of sexual abuse by some of his exfollowers), for he still remains truly one of the great teachers of Eastern spirituality. This book is an autobiographical account of his path to enlightenment, and unlike many Western authors, he writes from the authority of experience and the dedication of many, many years in silent retreat and meditation. Although this book is not a guide to meditation, it is facinating all the same.
BOOK: Diamond Mind / Rob Nairn
A book written so beautifully and with such wisdom that reading it is an act of meditation in itself - almost! Rob Nairn is a psychologist who goes to the heart of the meditative experience without introducing mystical distractions. A fantastic book for understanding the Western mind and deepening the meditative experience.
BOOK: The Door to Everything / Ruby Nelson
An inspirational little book of the type that are no longer written. Nelson writes a fantastic little book about the ascension qualities that we need in order to approach the divine. This is a short discourse on learning to have absolute trust and faith in God. The book is written from an "alternative" Christian point of view rather than an Eastern perspective. A lovely and inspiring book that is a welcome relief from the usual New Age rubbish on our bookshelves today.
BOOK: The Secrets & Mysteries of Hawaii / Pila of Hawaii
The islands of paradise, the Hawaiian islands, hold an important place in the current transformations that are currently happening globally. Pila, a Vietnam veteran and NLP trainer takes the reader on a magical journey that includes the islands' sacred sites, myths and contemporary happenings that indicate a grand cosmic plan that is unfolding at this delicate and monumental time in history. After reading this book, you will want to go to Hawaii, but not just to sit on the beach!
BOOK: The Nature of Personal Reality / Jane Roberts
One of the founding authors of the so called New Age movement, Jane Roberts was not your typical mystical channeller of which you see many today. The entity that she channelled, called Seth, did not utter sugary platitudes but gave sound and personally empowering advice… "You create your reality" and "The point of power is the presen." Roberts was as much a student of Seth as anybody else and her own humanity, humility, intelligence and open-mindedness are stamped indelibly in this book which is basically a transcription of her channelling sessions by her husband Robert Butts.
BOOK: Beyond Fear / Don Miguel Ruiz
By the author of the bestseller The Four Agreements, this highly recommended book is a summary of Don Miguel's Toltec teachings, and takes the reader through the process of shedding fear, judgement and guilt. Some of the revelations in this book (such as the central role of the sun in defining our individual beings) are quite astonishing as it shows how the alchemy of Toltec teachings can cut through blocks that could take years for conventional religions and/or psychotherapy. Toltec teaching is a welcome relief for those who find Buddhism too mental and soulless.
BOOK: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying / Sogyal Rinpoche
Sublime! This book is written by one of the greatest living teachers of Tibetan Buddhism. And it shows. The book is an inspiration from start to finish. Sogyal Rinpoche was one of the last generation to go grow up amongst the eminent masters in Tibet and his book is a testimony to a wisdom that the Chinese have all but tried to stamp out. This book is a classic… you will not find a greater living authority on matters of life and death from the Tibetan Buddhist perspective.
BOOK: Of Water and the Spirit / Malidoma Patrice Somé
Born in Burkina Faso region of West Africa, Somé was kidnapped at the age of five by Jesuit priests and brought up in a seminary school. At the age of nineteen, however, he rebels against his education and the white man's God, and returns to his people. There it is decided that he should undergo the life and death spiritual initiation that he had missed, as it would be the only chance he would have to rediscover his true identity. This book throws up the miraculous and the supernatural with abandon, and matter-of-factly describes events that leave the reader open-mouthed.
BOOK: Life and Teachings of the Maters of the Far East / Baird Spalding
This is a 6 volume set of books that record the journey of Baird Spalding to the Far East in the early 1900s. The book is about devotion to God. Whether the journey really happened in the way that Spalding suggests is immaterial. These books are classics and encapsulate the very heart of the spiritual quest. If you are not looking for another "how to" book but just pure inspiration, then these books are for you.
BOOK: A New Earth - Eckhart Tolle
Another gem from Tolle, A New Earth is a book about finding your inner purpose, which ultimately for all of us is to awaken. Awaken to what? To the present moment — to awaken in consciousness. That is it. And Tolle lucidly prescribes for this process in a way that few others are able, a process that examines the evolution of consciousness over the eons, the construction of the ego, and now in our present age the birth of a new consciousness and a new Earth that is withdrawing its support for the ego and its delusion. This book is both psychologically insightful and recipe for fundamental change.
BOOK: The Power of Now / Eckhart Tolle
You won't find a better guide to the art of staying in the present — the true practice of spirituality. Eckhart Tolle is one of the first Western teachers of enlightenment who is not a product of Eastern religious instruction, but of a spontaneous realization that happened to him many years ago. He doesn't want followers, you money, your allegiance or your heart, just for you to be in the present moment as much as possible. His astonishingly simple and paradoxically profound message parallels Buddhism with its emphasis on bringing the attention into the present moment.
BOOK: The Essential Chogyam Trungpa
Edited by Carolyn Rose Gimian, this is a fantastic compilation of excerpts from fourteen of Trungpa's books. The book is divided into forty sections that cover everything from the path of the spiritual warrior and to meditation and the relevance of Tibetan Buddhism in modern society. Trungpa had a deep understanding of the Western mind which gives his teachings a biting edge often lacking in others.
BOOK: Shambhala / Chogyam Trungpa
Born in 1940 in Tibet, Trungpa Rinpoche was an intellectual and spiritual giant — a recognized major tulku who not only received the best education Tibet could offer, but also studied at Oxford University. As a consequence, he was one of the first Tibetan lamas to teach Westerners in English, without the use of an interpreter. His fearless approach and eloquence made him one of the most influential figures in the development of Buddhism in the West, especially in America, where he was also renowned as an alcoholic and a womaniser. This small book, is perhaps his best.
BOOK: Training the Mind / Chogyam Trungpa
Trungpa's classic on Buddhist Tonglen meditation. Breath in suffering, breath out happiness; breath in disease, breath out health. A recipe for disaster? Paradoxically not… what we give away we keep. Tonglen practice cultivates compassion for others and selflessness in ourselves. The book has these words on the back, "WARNING: Using this book could be hazardous to your ego!"
WaiteBOOK: Back To The Truth - 5000 Years of Advaita / Dennis Waite
This 600 page book is the definitive work on Advaita or Oneness spirituality including its history and the different branches including the important distinction between traditional and modern paths of this philosophical and spiritual system. Advaita is a spiritual philosophy based upon the Upanishads — ancient Hindu scriptures that are thousands of years old — and its basic premise is that everything and everyone is part of a single, undivided whole or oneness. When this is truly realized, all the "fell-good" aspects of spirituality are seen to be just as illusory as material world that spirituality generally rejects. Dennis Waite has done a fantastic job writing this book.
BOOK: Tibetan Buddhism / B. Alan Wallace
The full title of this books is Tibetan Buddhism: From the Ground Up. And that is exactly what it is. A practical introduction written by an experienced Western Buddhist for a Western readership, and requires no blind faith or religious sentiment. This is a book for independent and open-minded Westerners wondering what the path of the Buddha has to offer in the modern secular world.
BOOK: Gifts Of Unkown Things / Lyall Watson
Covers a journey that Watson made to a small volcanic island in Indonesia and his encounter there with a tribe of native people and more specifically a young woman shaman. Watson is a distinguished biologist and he combines fascinating insights into the fauna and flora of the island with his struggle to understand the shamanistic wisdom and power of a young woman. (This is more of a story than a "how to" spiritual book.)
BOOK: Introduction to Tantra / Lama Yeshe
If you think that tantra is about better sex, then you should read this book. Lama Yeshe is a fully realized tantric meditator, scholar and yogi who gives a very lucid account, based on experience, of what tantra actually is. Tantra is the path of spiritual growth that uses aspects of ordinary life, be they sensory pleasures or responsibilities, as the vehicle to enlightenment. In fact, when done with a clear heart and altruistic intentions, it is known to be one of the fastest routes to reaching this state. (And for your information, Lama Yeshe was a celibate monk.)
BOOK: Autobiography of a Yogi / Paramahansa Yogananda
No other book has done as much as this one for introducing Eastern spirituality and practice into the West. Paramahansa Yogananda was one of the first Hindu yogi to come over from India to set up teaching centers in the United States. His spiritual practice revolves around Kriya Yoga, the yoga of breath (although there is no actual instruction in this book for this technique which needs to be leaned from an actual teacher). Autobiography of a Yogi is exactly that, the life story of a man that witnessed miracles because of his own devotion to God and his enormous spiritual standing. This book has been a classic for seekers on the spiritual path for many decades. Pure inspiration!