Category Archives: Spiritual Books

Books about Spirituality

Awakening the Buddha Within

Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya DasI loved Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya Das so much that I will have to get a copy for myself.

And yes I probably went overboard posting some of my favorite parts of the book here, here, and here.

Click here to view the table of contents and here to read an excerpt.

Awakening the Buddhist Heart

Integrating Love, Meaning, and Connection into Every Part of Your Life by Lama Surya DasAwakening The Buddhist Heart: Integrating Love, Meaning, and Connection into Every Part of Your Life by Lama Surya Das was such a quick read (much faster than Awakening the Buddha Within).

I liked this book and found it inspiring but felt it lacked the serious Buddhist teachings of Surya’s first book.

In fact, whereas I felt there were so many parts of Awakening the Buddha Within that I wanted to save for future reference, I only felt that way about the Appendix of Awakening The Buddhist Heart — The Bodhicitta Practices of an Awakened Heart (Thogme Zango’s Thirty-seven Practices of a Bodhisattva).

Anger and Awakening the Buddha Within

Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya DasAfter recently re-reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames, I enjoyed reading the brief section about anger in Awakening the Buddha Within: Eight Steps to Enlightenment: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World by Lama Surya Das.

I think it’s important to remember that there is nothing in the Dharma that tells us never to be angry. Anger is a human emotion; it doesn’t automatically disappear. Also it has its own logic, its own intelligence and function. If you bottle up and swallow your anger too often, you are going to make yourself ill. Meeting the challenge of ill will is not about denying, repressing, or suppressing anger. It’s about staying up to date with anger and other emotions by experiencing and releasing their energy moment by moment rather than storing them up. It’s about not carrying grudges or blaming yourself, or turning your anger inward and becoming depressed and despondent. Ideally we should be able to be sensitive and aware enough not only to feel life fully but also to let it go.

Have you ever been in a situation where you felt that someone had treated you very badly, and you couldn’t let it go? You continued to want some kind of resolution or vindication. Perhaps this went on for so long that you felt out of control, and instead of briefly befriending your anger and disappointment, you allowed these feelings to become uncomfortably close companions? The Dharma doesn’t tell you to turn your anger inward. Buddhist wisdom encourages you to look at these situations realistically, experience freely and feelingly, stop grasping, and transform your attitude.

I also liked the Metta Prayer:

May all beings be happy, content, and fulfilled.
May all beings be healed and whole.
May all have whatever they want and need.
May all be protected from harm, and free from fear.
May all beings enjoy inner peace and ease.
May all be awakened, liberated, and free.
May there be peace in this world, and throughout the universe.

Click here to view the table of contents and here to read an excerpt.

Anger by Thich Nhat Hanh

Wisdom for Cooling the Flames by Thich Nhat HanhAs promised, here are more thoughts on Thich Nhat Hanh’s Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames.

I think this book should be required reading for every man and woman.

I loaned a copy to a friend who was coping with some anxiety and anger in her professional life and she liked it so much she bought herself a copy.

We’ll see if it brings about real change but at the very least this book has a calming effect that is much needed during times of anger.

Go get a copy for yourself for Christmas!

Mind of Clear Light: Advice on Living Well and Dying Consciously by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Advice on Living Well and Dying Consciously by His Holiness the Dalai LamaYes, I’m reading yet another Buddhist book: Mind of Clear Light: Advice on Living Well and Dying Consciously by His Holiness the Dalai Lama (translated by Jeffrey Hopkins).

It’s less than 250 pages so I expect to finish it quickly. Though, every other book I’ve read by the Dalai Lama has taken me at least twice as long as I’ve anticipated due to the density of the teachings…

Click here to view the table of contents or here to read an excerpt.

The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence

Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence by Deepak ChopraI don’t have too much more to say about Deepak Chopra’s The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence., which I read a few weeks ago.

Some of the concepts are kind of out there — the need to align yourself with archetypes of gods and goddesses by surrounding yourself with their images, for example, might be something I don’t try.

Still, I strongly believe in the power of intentions; I think we all would enjoy our lives more if we put more trust in ourselves and the universe.

Click here to read an excerpt.

Awakening the Buddhist Heart: Integrating Love, Meaning, and Connection into Every Part of Your Life by Lama Surya Das

Integrating Love, Meaning, and Connection into Every Part of Your Life by Lama Surya DasAfter reading Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das, I decided to check out one of his other books, Awakening The Buddhist Heart: Integrating Love, Meaning, and Connection into Every Part of Your Life.

Here’s the table of contents:

Introduction  1

1 Spiritual Intelligence – Connecting to the Bigger Picture  3
2 Awakening to the Deeper Love – A Buddha’s Love  27
3 Connecting to Your Life Experience  41
4 Developing Authentic Presence  61
5 Letting Go, Getting Real  81
6 The Connection Reflex – Building Meaningful Relationships  107
7 Finding Our Sacred Place in Nature  135
8 Joyfully Crazy and Wonderful Awakenings  157
9 Spiritual Alchemy – Embracing Life’s Lessons  175
10 Learning to Love What We Don’t Like  197

Epilogue  A Prayer for the New Millennium  219
Appendix  The Bodhicitta Practices of an Awakened Heart  221

Index  247

I have high expectations for this book and hope it’s every bit as good as Awakening the Buddha Within.