My Favorite Books on Mindfulness, Spiritual Growth, & Related Topics
♦The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
This is my favorite book, and I’m so happy I found it. It made me realize how much I attach to my thoughts and how freeing it is when you stop giving your thoughts power. What we don’t realize is our thoughts aren’t necessarily true, so there’s no point in becoming emotionally attached to them. Our thoughts are often just assumptions, overreactions, judgments, etc. They’re often irrelevant or irrational.
This book stresses that we should observe our thoughts instead of identifying with them and giving them power. I’ve often talked about this as a therapist and group facilitator. I’d highlight the differences between saying statements like, “I don’t think I’m going to get this job… this is awful” and “I notice I just had this thought about not getting the job”. Observing your thoughts instead of attaching to them is a great way to reduce anxiety.
This book teaches you that you shouldn’t turn to your thoughts for happiness or answers. If you do, you’re basically a prisoner to your own mind. In the end, you just have to LET GO!
Some of my favorite quotes from Michael A. Singer’s The Untethered Soul:
“If you slip, just get back up. It doesn’t matter”
“You don’t fight the mind. In fact, you don’t even try to change it. You just make a game out of relaxing in the face of its melodrama”
“You want to have relationships with people because you genuinely like them, not because you need for them to like you”
“The truth is, everything will be okay as soon as you are okay with everything”
“One of the essential requirements for true spiritual growth and deep personal transformation is coming to peace with pain”
“You are not your thoughts; you are aware of your thoughts. You are not your emotions; you feel your emotions”
♦Practicing the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle has another book titled The Power of Now, but I prefer this one because I found it easier to digest. In this book, Tolle really emphasizes the importance of staying in the present moment. Don’t live in the past or worry about the future, no matter how hard the mind tries to take you there. All you have is the present moment! We miss out on things because we’re too busy obsessing over what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow.
This book really explains and explores the dangers of letting the mind control your life. It explores our beliefs, our judgments, our assumptions, our worries, etc. (and the role our mind plays in creating each). It explains how to look at things differently, have a better relationship with your thoughts, and achieve inner peace.
Some of my favorite quotes from Eckhart Tolle’s Practicing the Power of Now:
“The moment you realize you are not present, you are present”
“Whenever you are able to observe your mind, you are no longer trapped in it”
“A situation needs to be either dealt with or accepted. Why make it into a problem?”
“Die to the past every moment. You don’t need it”
♦Falling into Grace by Adyashanti
I really love this book. It’s compelling and inspiring, and Adyashanti has a way of keeping things simple (which I appreciate!) As I read this book, I realized that we tend to create our own suffering because we try to deny what is. We have to accept the present moment- we can’t fight it, resist it, or try to change it with our mind.
Overall, I really liked the author’s take on how our negative thinking leads to mental suffering- he was clear and added a touch of humor from time to time. He explains how we actually indulge in suffering and why we take pleasure in our pain.
This book highlights the importance of letting go and letting things be. When we let go, we’re free. When we let things be, we’re less anxious, resentful, annoyed, etc.
Some of my favorite quotes from Adyashanti’s Falling into Grace:
“Adults believe what they think! That’s why they suffer!”
“Let go of indulging in the mind, realize it doesn’t have the answers for you, and it doesn’t have the answers for us collectively”
“We can’t escape pain, but what we can do is change our relationship with it”
“When we come to see that words aren’t the truth, that what people say about us tells us about them, not us, we don’t worry so much about what someone might say about us”
♦The Diamond in your Pocket by Gangaji
This book explores the question, “Who am I?” As I read this book, I realized that I am not my name, my job, my interests, my age, my personality, etc. My thoughts and beliefs don’t tell me who I am, either. We tend to create a “story” of who we are, but it’s not real… it’s not the truth. We’re not who we think we are, and the world isn’t what we think it is!
Gangaji explores self-awareness, freedom, and giving ourselves to the present moment. I was especially interested in her insights into suffering and how we tend to approach our pain and suffering in a way that makes it worse. This book really covers a lot, and it includes a foreword by Eckhart Tolle.
Some of my favorite quotes from Gangaji’s The Diamond in your Pocket:
“You are free. You are whole. You are endless. There is no bottom to you, no boundary to you”
“If a thought arises, see that it is just passing through. It is neither wrong nor right. It is just a thought, having nothing to do with the essential truth of who you are”
“What you are searching for, you are”
“When you inquire into suffering, you meet suffering, and when you meet suffering, it is possible to discover that suffering is not what you thought it was”
“Hurt may feel like the end of the world, but it’s not. Hurt hurts”
♦The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power by Vernon Howard
This book is not for everyone (and you may find the title to be a little weird!), but I enjoyed reading it and found it very interesting and unique. This book makes you realize how close-minded we really are, how we take things way too personally, and how we create our own pain without realizing it. Howard really dives into how we can overcome our suffering and rise above our negative thinking.
This book shows you how much you can learn about yourself once you separate yourself from your thoughts, your emotions, your judgments, etc. Howard’s message & insights throughout the book are very empowering and uplifting. He teaches you that you can be happy no matter what is going on around you. He’s very straight-forward and encourages you to take a look in the mirror and be honest with yourself.
Some of my favorite quotes from Vernon Howard’s The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power:
“You realize that all that furious rushing around the deck does absolutely nothing to move the boat forward. You finally grasped the Cosmic Truth that the boat carries you; you don’t carry the boat”
“Do not be afraid of your emptiness. It is not what you think it is”
“You feel good not because the world is right, but your world is right because you feel good”
“We destroy painful emotions by becoming fully conscious of them”
“No longer take excitement as happiness”
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