Throughout history, thousands of books have been written to inspire spiritual awakening, or enlightenment. While experiencing this state is completely different from studying it, I enjoy learning from others’ perspectives and experiences with it, as it tends to fuel my own growth.
Here are some books that have been helpful for me in expanding my awareness of things as they are, and of who I am, underneath my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. In essence, each of these books is saying the same thing, but in very different ways, just as everything around and within us is of the same essence (molecules, atoms, energy) but manifests in a variety of forms. These books point to that essence.
The full benefit of reading these books is not in gaining a mental understanding of this essence, but in experiencing the reality of it. In various ways, these books invite us to ask ourselves the fundamental question, “Who am I?” The answer I’ve discovered is a sense of connectedness with all things, a deep peace beyond words, and a feeling that life is unfolding perfectly in each moment. I continue to move in and out of this perception, but when I am there, I feel whole and complete. May you find similar peace and wholeness as you explore your own essence through these books. Enjoy!
Please note that my descriptions below are short and certainly don’t do the books justice. I invite you to read them yourself if you’re interested in this topic. Each of them can be equally effective, depending on how well you resonate with the writer’s approach.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
This is probably one of the most well-known books on the subject of spiritual awakening, and for good reason. Tolle’s remarkable story and perspective, partly given in a question and answer format, opened my eyes, and continues to do so, each time I read the book.
The End of Your World by Adyashanti
This book was written more for those who have already had the experience of a spiritual awakening, and want guidance on how to navigate the world with their new perception of reality, or for those who have had glimpses into that reality, but have lost it and want to regain it.
In writing both clear yet poetic, Foster invites us to view ourselves as a vast all-encompassing ocean, upon which waves of emotion or thought arise. He proposes a radical acceptance of all of these waves, or parts of ourselves, and discusses how this can be done.
The Presence Process by Michael Brown
Having cured himself of an “uncurable” illness, Brown unveils the process by which he did so, leading the reader through ten weeks of meditation designed to help integrate past trauma, release judgment of self and others, and more, resulting in greater present moment awareness.
Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
A pleasant blend of page-turning fiction coupled with inspirational teachings, Dan tells his story of how he meets an old man at a gas station who becomes his mentor and changes his life, along with his athletic career.
The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks
Concise and perfectly to the point, Hendricks teaches not only that it’s possible to experience abundance, success, and love at ever-increasing levels, but he describes how he and others have done it by breaking through the upper limits we (often unknowingly) set for ourselves.
Loving What Is by Byron Katie
First, I must confess that I haven’t actually read this book, but Jen has, and it increased her awareness of the resistance to unmet expectations in her life, and the peace that comes with loving what is. I have also asked myself the questions Katie proposes in her process called “The Work”, and it had a powerful affect on my awareness.
Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What other books, teachings, or experiences have inspired you in your spiritual awakening? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.