By The Spiritual Explorer | Published 28 January, 2010
There is nothing better to revitalize one’s faith than to read a good spiritual book. In Ma’s India there are so many great sales of spiritual books that almost any spiritual reader’s desires can be fulfilled. Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Eastern religions are all represented in the spiritual books available.
From Tibet’s Great Yogi Milarepa, a story about an extraordinary 15th century Tibetan Saint, to The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron, a contemporary and renowned Buddhist teacher, one can sample the wisdom of Buddhist maxims and precepts at a great discounted price within these spiritual books.
Perhaps this will inspire you to start a spiritual book club. This is a great idea for those who wish to garner spiritual growth through small groups or those who are looking for spiritual support groups. It is also suggested that if one is struggling with questions of faith, one could benefit from talking about a particular spiritual book with other like-minded people. In Stumbling Towards Enlightenment, the author Geri Larkin speaks of how the path to spiritual enlightenment is replete with feelings of doubt and obstacles and is not just a straight sun-filled path to halcyon enlightenment.
Similar to this is Thich Nat Hanh’s spiritual book, Taming the Tiger Within, where he speaks of the difficulty of transforming the emotions of envy, fear, anger, jealousy and provides meditations and practices to transform these feelings. This spiritual book is a truly valuable tool in these difficult times where feelings about life and its myriad challenges in general sometimes run amok.
Speaking about the dangers inherent in the spiritual path alongside with difficult emotions is what Chogyam Trungpa refers to in the spiritual book, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. Trungpa addresses the possibility of the ego fooling one into thinking that he/she is on the path to spirituality because of certain so-called spiritual abilities whereas in truth, only ego delusion is increasing. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism is truly a seminal spiritual book by a great master of Buddhism and is considered a spiritual sine qua non for spiritual book reading.
Again, dealing with the problems and pursuits of spiritual life, renowned master Sogyal Rinpoche, teaches 365 meditations, pithy, pragmatic prose dealing with every possible situation in life and death, in his spiritual book, Glimpse after Glimpse. Even if you are meeting at your spiritual book club once a week, you will certainly have enough relevant and meaningful material in Rinpoche’s book to fill each scheduled meeting for quite some time.
In your spiritual book club, if you are religiously and politically compatible, and very interested in how conservativism has adopted a religious brand all of its own by creating a Jesus in accordance with its views, you might want to read Hijacking Jesus by Dan Wakefield. This is a fascinating spiritual book, which raises a lot of discourse and ire perhaps at the same time.
Another spiritual book that meets the criteria of provoking controversy, is Women’s Buddhism, Buddhism’s Women which addresses how throughout history, women have been held back in their attempts to fulfill their spiritual practices through obstacles to reaching full ordination within their orders. In these scholarly and personal essays, this spiritual book describes how women have significantly contributed to revamping and revitalizing Buddhist practice to meet their ever evolving spiritual needs. Another spiritual book, Buddhism Through American Women’s Eyes, gives us more thought-provoking and salient essays addressing contemporary problems in women’s lives such as stress, abortion, cultivation of harmony in these difficult times, and how women can bring their Buddhist practice into greater relevance in contemporary times through their practice.
These are but a few of the spiritual book choices to be made. Come to our store and choose your spiritual book for the New Year and be spiritually refreshed, revitalized and inspired again in your spiritual pursuits!!