Reading is probably the most important habit in creating the life that you dream of. By viewing life as a continuous journey towards greater knowledge you will come to understand that books are a great resource. YouTube-Videos and blog-articles are also valuable resource, but they will never be able to reach the depth and nuanced presentation of insightful thoughts, that only a book can give you.
Sometimes books are the distilled knowledge of a whole lifetime of self-experimentation and understanding which a person has achieved. Some authors spend decades acquiring knowledge through trial and error and then spent a sometimes equally extended amount of time to transform that knowledge into written form. By the written word we are able to get a glimpse into what the mind of geniuses have come to understand and of people who have walked the path of life before us.
This is a list of books which gave me wonderful insight and had an impact on my life. The links will open in a new window and send you to amazon. I recommend you come back regularly as I will be adding new books in the future.
No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth by Ken Wilber
Great insights into the spiritual path. Beautiful about this book is it's depth while still covering the many areas of spirituality. I learned a framework from which to see the different spiritual practices and the overall scheme in which they apply to our human psychological development. It clearly shows the reader the difference between psychotherapy and spirituality.
Insightful, practical and precise. I reread this book regularly. It provides an instruction for the practice of Neti-Neti, while also providing the necessary background to understand and integrate the experience.
Through direct experience you will show to yourself that the strong identification with the body is actually just an illusion. The experience of the body is qualitatively the same as any other experience. With the only difference that in this illusion there is a sensory dimension to the body, which other experiences (like a table) do not share.
I have yet to come across a more direct description of enlightenment. This brings your "spiritual seeking" back to reality. By reading his description of reality it oftentimes made me feel very dumb that I am not able to see it as clearly as he does. A valuable and direct view on enlightenment. Usually most teachers make it seem like it is the end of all seeking and the path to ultimate happiness. This book will quickly re-contextualize your desire for truth. The value of this book is that it will not make anyone "accidentally" stumble into enlightenment who is not wholeheartedly committed to Truth.Brief Peeks Beyond by Bernardo Kastrup
This book gives the rational and logical thinking part of your brain the explanation of "enlightenment" that it wants. While reading this book it will become clear to you that the worldview of a physical universe outside of you is no longer necessary. It is not straight forward nor easy to explain reality while holding that believe. While adopting the meta-physical worldview based around consciousness, which is presented here by Bernardo Kastrup, allows for a very simple and elegant way to explain reality.
___________________________________________From Illusion to Enlightenment by Michael J. Roads
A description of the path to enlightenment based on emotions and feelings. The book left me with a warm and inviting feeling towards the path. Compared to the approach by Jed McKenna, Michael J. Roads provides a more practical advice on how to see through illusions and become content with Truth.
As this book is written in the form of a conversation it is enjoyable to read. It provides many insights into our false beliefs. But the book also contains some spiritual beliefs, which can be identified so that they do not subtract from the qualities that it provides.
Dawning of Clear Light by Martin Lowenthal
If you are interested in darkness retreats then this book is a great resource. It describes the authors own experiences through his diary entries while in retreat. It is packed with meaning and insights when read carefully, because the essence of what the authors wants to point to lies way beyond what words can express.
So this book wants to be read slowly and I found that meditating about some of the passages really helped understanding what is being pointed to.
Many beautiful poems and short stories make for an enjoyable time while reading this book.
"The practical neuroscience of happiness, love and wisdom" - this is a very good summary of what you will get out of this book. It explains you how to become happier and the claims are explained and backed by scientific studies. I really liked the practices presented in here. I read this book a couple of years ago and have made some of the practices a daily habit and still do them to this date.
In my experience they can transform your brain over time and lead to a more happy state. Highly recommended for the scientific understanding of why (some) of the spiritual practices lead to increased compassion and happiness.
After reading a couple of books on Buddhism, I have found this one to be a good start for anyone who hasn't yet had deeper contact with the Buddhist traditions. The book gives an overview of the history and development of the practices and explains the most important ones. You will learn what to expect from practice and how to apply and approach the path.
The greatest strength of this book lies in the explanation of the human situation. You come to an understanding of what causes suffering and problems in our lives. And this gives you the necessary motivation to practice and apply the teachings to your own life.
This book teaches you the history and practice of the stoics. The stoics philosophy is one of negative visualization, in which you strive to become more happy through resilience against the negative and inevitable events of life.
My own approach to the challenges of daily life was definitely influenced by the stoic approach. This book is practical, it does not tell you anything about reality or truth in and of itself. But as that is not all that is needed for a successful life, I highly recommend this book for everybody who is interested in a sustainable approach to happiness.
I immensely enjoyed listening to this as an audio-book. I think to this date I have listened to it three times. The narrative is captivating and tragic but even more so true from the spiritual perspective. It gives a great feeling for the struggles of the spiritual path. Most practitioners will be able to feel with the different characters and see in them a reflection of their own struggles. If you listen or read between the lines, I promise, you will also have meaningful and deep insights. Enjoy!
Hands-down, this is the best book on how to use Lucid Dreaming for spiritual practices. For the modern western person there is no book that can explain the practices of Dream Yoga and their spiritual significance better than this one.
I have found the topic and outlook that this book presents to be highly inspiring. Dream Yoga is difficult and demands long-term commitment, but the rewards are equally high. If you would like to explore your dreams and give them a deeper meaning, than this is the book you want to keep by your bedside.