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I guess for this to be a successful blog I really should count this list and title it “21.5 books, authors and general subject areas to expand your consciousness” or something. But I’m not going to.

Actually I hope that it is and expanding list…
contributed to by you…

Which books have moved you, stirred you, sparked you,
made you think about something a little differently,Tepoztlan Blue Mountains
answered some questions,
given some solace?

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“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.” ― Rumi

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This week I’ve have had the precious opportunity to experience teaching meditation and yoga in a meditation-retreat setting.

I have taught in a retreat centre before, but there was a vibrant bar-restaurant option and some cracking salsa music.
Something about this week had a different flavour.
No music apart from the meal gong.
No extra activity options other than soaking in a hot spring or sweeping the stairs.Yoga-room-buddha
An essence of quietness extending through the whole day.

“that ‘being’ is often better than ‘doing’
and that taking time out to be still and think
is often a better investment for future productivity
than cramming every waking moment with feverish activity.”
― Vicki Mackenzie (Tenzin Palmo), Cave in the Snow

 

Throughout the week, teaching a “complete beginner”, memories have arisen of the beginning of my own journey 10 years ago.

That time when I didn’t know how to meditate, I couldn’t move gracefully to kneel or sit or bring my hands to my heart centre.
I wasn’t even really aware that I had a “heart centre”.
I definitely couldn’t sit without my knees and back screaming, and my breathing felt so distressingly uncomfortable.

And yet something drew me to meditate.
As far as I recall it was the desire to be like great people.
I noticed that my big-time superstars of Inspiring Life said that they meditate – Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Oprah.
Yep, Oprah’s up there for me baby.
I wanted that acceptance, that perseverance, that peacefulness, that authenticity.

And so I went to classes, read books, watched how other people seem to meditate, and I began.

And then suddenly 10 years passes and here I am,
sitting comfortably,
not so bothered by the screaming numb legs,
breathing easily into the belly,
aware of a vibrant heart centre.

In between is a whole lotta life, a whole lotta questioning, a whole lotta learning.
Without the practice of meditation I can’t imagine where I would have found the space to even ask the questions that I’ve dared to ask of life, let alone to start to make room in my conditioned mind to receive the answers.
Perhaps I would have wandered down a different road to deal with life’s difficulties.buddha on lake Scotland

“I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice
that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives.
I’m not talking about the short-term gratification of pleasures
like sex, drugs or gambling (though I’m not knocking them),
but something that will bring true and lasting happiness. The kind that sticks.”
 Dalai Lama XIV

In meditation I find moments of those things that I sought.
Peace, acceptance, stillness, truth.
More and more they pervade my day.
Along the way letting go of those desires to be like someone else, like those great people, sinking into the experience of who I am.
And somehow even finding the gentle courage to write about it or teach it amidst the usual human emotions of fear, inferiority and insecurity.

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And so, I come to the point that I started with when I sat down to write this…

A recommended reading list for the journey within
whether you are just starting meditation, exploring positive changes in your life, asking “what is life?” and “who am I?”, or needing a reminder of why the heck you started down this crazy-good path…

We all have our own journey, we all start with different backgrounds, ideas and understandings. Likewise we all have different voices that will speak to us through books – what we can read with ease and what drives us crazy with non-sense. So this is what has spoken to me over the years…perhaps it will speak to you now, perhaps another time, perhaps not in this lifetime!Therese dancing at a sacred site in Mexico

“Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board,
remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.”
― Kahlil GibranThe Prophet

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THE BOOK LIST:

The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle.

Synchrodestiny, Deepak Chopra.

A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle.

Everything by Paulo Coelho – I attribute Veronika Decides to Die to awakening the latent spark in me. Actually I have never re-read it since 10 years ago, so I can’t give you details, but I remember it pointing to the fact that we all are a bit insane and we can all find acceptance somewhere in that craziness. His most famous book is The Alchemist.

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”Emma Gorge in the Kimberleys
― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

The Essene Gospel of Peace, Edmund Bordeaux Szekely – this series of 4 books blew open my experience of my body and the earth. Like completely. Coming from a Catholic upbringing, being quite aware of the limitation of that for the lay person, and yet having a strong love of Christ and an openness to the Gospels, it spoke straight to my soul and stirred me big time. It’s probably pretty heavy reading if you are not religiously inclined – angels, satan, sins, heaven – it doesn’t hold back on the big ones.

“The blood which runs in us is born of the blood of our Earthly Mother.
Her blood falls from the clouds; leaps from the womb of the earth;
babbles in the brooks of the mountains; flows wide in the rivers of the plains;
sleeps in the lakes; rages mightily in tempestuous seas.”
– Edmund B. Szekely, The Essene Gospel of Peace Book 1

Then there are quite a few on the Gospel line…basically everything in the Nag Hammadi, which is a collection of Gospels which are not commonly taught in the church. The Jesus Sutras, Martin Palmer.

Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu.

Gagudju Man, Bill Neidjie.

Black Elk Speaks, John G. Neihardt

The stories of Kahlil Gibran.

The poetry of Rumi. Oh what a sweet meeting we had in 2009 when I was on meditation/yoga “holiday” in Thailand!

Anam Cara, John O’Donohue

The Dark Night of the Soul, Thomas Moore.

The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz.

The Celestine Prophesy, James Redfield.

Living in the Heart, Drunvalo Melchizedek.

Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda. To be honest I could only read this for the first time in 2014!

Bhagavad Gita.

Mahabharata.

Anything by Thich Nhat Hanh. Just now I’m reading Old Path White Clouds – the story of the Buddha – loving it.

Anything by Tenzin Palmo.

Anything by Ramana Maharshi.

Anything by Osho.

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So what would you like to add?

Which books have moved you, stirred you, sparked you,
made you think about something a little differently,
answered some questions,
given some solace?

Leave us a comment below.

~~~~~~~

“If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control.
The more love you give away, the more love you will have.” ― John O’DonohueAnam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Derby Sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

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