Samstag, 26. Januar 2013

My favourite books on buddhism, personal growth and spirituality

I said I would publish lists now, and I keep my promises usually.
Here comes a list of books that did not exactly change my life (though a bit they all did) but helped me shape my perspective on life and myself immensely over the past twenty years. Each of those books put a major impact into my life. and funny enough each of those books came to me by chance, by coincidence and each time it felt like stumbling over something meaningful, the universe presented to me to make me learn something, to wake me up really to what was possible for me, how much more depth and choices I was allowed to look for.

  • Suzuki Roshi Zen Mind Beginners Mind I mentioned this before. It was the first book I ever read about  buddhism and after this I was basically hooked. The minute I started reading it I also started to meditate on my friends sofa. It opened for me, a girl coming from the catholic german narrowminded smalltown world, a whole different world of how I could be. It opened a road and I am still walking this road and I am still loving it. 
  • Natalie Goldberg Writing down the bones Actually I would have to give the credit for finding buddhism to Natalie Goldberg. Because her book, over which I stumbled in an american bookstore by total accident while looking for something else did it. And then I returned to the bookstore and got Suzuki Roshi next. 
  • Sharon Salzberg Lovingkindness Just a very very good book to read and reread again and again for a person like me with hairs on her teeth and a sharp mind, the tendency to make fun about just anything and the tendency to judge even more, everything. Way to go!!!
  • Sharon Salzberg Voices of insight Another really good book by Sharon Salzberg. I mean, if I get real I might just tell you: Read all her books. You cant go wrong!!
  • Byron Katie Loving what is helped me and still helps me, since I reread parts of it often, whenever I feel stuck in some way, to change my perspective on what is. It is mind blowing to understand, how most of what you believe to be true could be basically the opposite and to understand at the same time that it really does not matter. Maybe the most liberating book I ever read. 
  • Gloria Steinem Revolution from within This book I found while going through my roommates shelf. I liked the title and I was interested in Gloria Steinem and I was not prepared for the intensity of what it did to me. It was actually the first book that made me understand that a lack of selfesteem is something societies do to their members, that children acquire it already in school, that it was something I had inherited and that it was necessary to cure this. Not just for me but for society in general. No society can be healthy if its members are weak. It helped me immensely to start a way to much more self esteem by pure understanding the mechanics of poor self esteem and how I had learned it. It helped me to act towards my daughters in a way that I would say: so far they dont suffer from low self esteem and that is fantastic.
  • Kathlyn und Gay Hendricks The conscious heart One of the best books I ever read about relationships. 
  • Lenore Friedman Meetings with remarkable women Wonderful! Packed with wise words and very interesting lifes of breathtakingly inspirational personalities, all of which happen to be women! 
  • Lenore Friedman & Susan Moon Being Bodies Another book full of wisdom and insight in questions about being a woman, being buddhist, accepting your body and yourself. Made me happy to read it and I learned a lot!
  • Amy Schmidt Dipa Ma The story of an extraordinary life. I found this book in our hallway. Sometimes people put things there they don't want anymore and one morning it was sitting there, like waiting for me. I read it in one evening and it left me deeply satisfied. Books can make me happy. This was one that did.
  • Tiziano Terzani Das Ende ist mein Anfang was a very inspirational book to me. It gave me courage again to look for my path, to listen to my inner voice. Very wise and philosophical too! 
  • Jon und Myla Kabat-Zinn Everyday Blessings. The inner work of mindful parenting was the book that saved me when I had my first child and was unable to tame my ego rebelling against the duties and chains of parenthood. I stumbled across this book the way I stumble often across books, that I need right at that  moment and it taught me more then just being a good parent, it taught me a new perspective on life. In that perspective I wasnt as important anymore as I thought I was. The best thing was, that when I started reading it, one day crossing the street I saw a flyer announcing that those two people from America were actually coming to Neukölln and to give a lecture about that book. Attending that plus reading the book was my wake up call into the happiness of being a mother. My daughter became my zen master and I pretty much believe, I am her zen master too today and now I have a second zen master, Lilly, and sometimes I feel she is even stricter then her sister.
I am always happy to hear about your books, so feel free to tell me what books shaped or maybe even changed your life!