Four Books

  • Books on My Shelf 2013

Welcome back to SunnyRoomStudio.  This week, from my shelf, I selected four books to share with you.

I stay alert, whether it be online, in a bookstore, sharing ideas with friends, pleasure reading or doing research for writing projects, or studying spiritual masters, to books that jump out at me … often for less-than-obvious reasons.  But I trust my intuition.  There is some reason I should read this bookSome reason to make sure it is on my shelf.  And definitely some reason to remain open to its message.

It’s uncanny, too, the ways in which a book becomes important as the days unfold.  I’m especially fond of books that provide an opportunity to learn and reflect.  Learning is the one thing we all benefit from.  It’s a process that connects the world in so many ways, people of all ages from infants to men and women in their 90s.

  • Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  ~Henry Ford
  • When the student is ready, the master appears.  ~Buddhist Proverb

And I believe it was Buddha who said “the darkest night is ignorance.”  He also believed that ignorance was at the root of our suffering.

Long story short, here are four books that offer incredible opportunities to learn and to grow.  Not as ultimate sources of truth … truth is always relative, always fleeting, always just beyond our mortal reach … but as works of art that share something of value.  Something that will allow your life vision to evolve and expand.  Dare yourself to go there … let your imagination experience something new.  Remember, you are only old when you have stopped learning.

If I were a teacher, I would ask my students to read these four books with an eye for discovering how they intersect — not on an intellectual level so much, as on a personal and spiritual level.    

  • Book One — Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny by Robert Wright 

Published in 2000, Wright’s book is one of the best books I have ever read.  Insights abound.  Thoughtful questions abound.  If you’ve ever wondered about human destiny (and who hasn’t?), this is a powerful look at an extremely far-reaching topic.  History, science, religion, and spirituality merge in wonderfully creative ways in a mere 334 pages.  “Maybe history,” he writes, “is, as various thinkers have suggested, not so much the product of divinity as the realization of divinity–assuming our species is up to the challenge, that is.”

  • Book Two — Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behaviorby David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D.

Published in 1995, Hawkins takes on the evolution of human consciousness.  He began work in psychiatry in 1952, but relinquished his New York practice for a life of research and spiritual teaching.  Hawkins passed away in 2012, but his work continues to make a profound impact on those who discover his material.  “In fact, this is a holographic universe.  Each point of view reflects a position that’s defined by the viewer’s unique level of consciousness.”

  • Book Three — Understanding Our Mindby Thich Nhat Hanh

Published in 1996, Hanh (Buddhist Zen master, poet, scholar) is the author of more than 100 books.  He lives at Plum Village, his meditation center in France.  “Nirvana means stability, freedom, and the cessation of the cycle of suffering.  Enlightenment does not come from outside; it is not something we are given, even by a Buddha.  The seed of enlightenment is already within our consciousness.  This is our Buddha nature–the inherent quality of enlightened mind that we all possess, and which needs only to be nurtured.”

  • Book Four — A Path With Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Lifeby Jack Kornfield.

Published in 1993, Kornfield takes spiritual concepts and applies them to the issues of daily life.  A timeless piece of work, read this book slowly: absorb the details, let yourself grow into these ideas if you aren’t already there.  “An integrated sense of spirituality understands that if we are to bring light or wisdom or compassion into the world, we must first begin with ourselves.  The universal truths of spiritual life can come alive only in each particular and personal circumstance.”  This is also a powerful sentence: “In this way, our awakening is a very personal matter that also affects all other creatures on earth.”

If you are resistant to personal growth, books can help you push beyond —
allowing you to see yourself and the world anew.  ~ dh

 Thanks for visiting SunnyRoomStudio: a creative, sunny space for kindred spirits.
Looking for book suggestions? 

 I maintain an informal list here in SRS.  See top menu or click here.

 See you again Friday, December 6th, as I continue to share the books on my shelf.

I hope you are also digging into the books on your shelves.  Dusting them off.  Opening to page “whatever.”
Sit down, read your favorite chapter.  Read the first page, the last page.

 Journal about your discoveries.  A book is just a book until you read it for the second time.

 Enjoy the journey. ~ dh

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