Books & Resources
The best doctors are those who make accurate assessments of patients’ ailments, points them to the right treatments and hope that they won’t return.
The same I believe is true for spiritual contemplatives. They say what needs to be said, point you in the right direction and wish you well on their journey.
Here are a few teachers that had helped guide me along the way...
Author of the bestseller The Power Of Now, the softly spoken Tolle shares his wisdom with simplicity and practicality. Speaking from his past experiences with depression and what he'd learned from the years after his sudden realisation, his videos (YouTube) and books are intimate, clear, and empathetically written.
Eckhart Tolle - Talks At Google
"Most humans are never fully present in the now, because
unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more
important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now."
One of my favourite authors, Harris writes/speaks on some very complex subjects by bringing together eastern spiritual concepts with our modern understanding of the human mind, and he's able to do so with a high degree of clarity and rationality.
After several profound experiences with psychedelics in his college years, he became fascinated with the human mind and consciousness. He’d spent a great part of his twenties traveling and meditating across Asia with many great spiritual contemplatives. He later got his PhD in neuroscience just so he can apply it to his writings on spirituality and human consciousness. You will find many of his theories are backed by convincing and often mind-opening scientific findings. He is also the author of the highly rated meditation app "Waking Up With Sam Harris".
The first chapter (with audio option) to:
Waking Up: Spirituality Without Religion (a book I’ve read many times)
Speech on the illusion of “free will” (book titled “free will”)
Death And The Present Moment
"The feeling that we call "I" is an illusion… Deepening that understanding, and repeatedly cutting through the illusion of the self, is what is meant by "spirituality" in the context of this book."
"We seem to do little more than lurch between wanting and not wanting. Thus, the question naturally arises: is there more to life than this? Might it be possible to feel much better ( in every sense of better) than one tends to feel? Is it possible to find lasting fulfilment despite the inevitability of change? Spiritual life beings with a suspicion that the answer to such questions could well be "yes." And a true spiritual practitioner is someone who has discovered that it is possible to be at ease in the world for no reason, if only for a few moments at a time…"
“We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree.”
A self proclaimed philosophical entertainer, he is one of the most eloquent speakers on the subject of spirituality, and is my personal favourite. His expression of eastern philosophy is at times like listening to poetry and he has a way of evoking awe in his audience.
SIDDHARTHA by Herman Hesse
“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?" That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.”
A classic literature and a short book of one man's long journey in knowing oneself. The reading flows like a river but the essence of the book may not reveal itself to everyone.
I AM THAT by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
This is not a book for everyone but if you can read it with an open-curious mind without over analysis, at some point what Marahaj says may just click and if it does, it is truly a book of much wisdom. Organised in mini-chapters of 4-5 pages, each chapter is a translated transcription of a conversation that took place between Maharaj and his visitors at his modest Mumbai dwelling. A book that's best read one or two chapters at a time, with sufficient time to digest in between.
**Pdf versions of the books are available online.
"There are always moments when one feels empty and estranged. Such moments are most desirable, for it means the should has cast its moorings and is sailing for distant places. This is detachment -- when the old is over and the new has not yet come. If you are afraid, the state may be distressing, but there is really nothing to be afraid of. Remember the instruction: Whatever you come across -- go beyond."