5 Underrated Books About Shadow Work For Deeper Self-Awareness

Books about shadow work – from overcoming addiction, to learning how to fight fair, & from grieving death to being prepared for it. Read this!

It took me a while to understand the difference between shadow work and light work healing. This year, after a fantastic guest post on the subject, I became curious! And so, I began looking for books about shadow work, to help deepen my own understanding.

At the same time, I wanted to talk about the lesser known ones through this post. They brought enormous value to my relation with my shadow self, and I hope they help you too!

From overcoming addiction, to learning how to fight fair in relationships; from grieving death, to being prepared for it; there’s a good mix of emotions covered in each of the recommendations below. So, shall we dive in? Let’s go!

#1 – Healing through the Dark Emotions by Miriam Greenspan

Miriam’s book made my heart explode open (and waterworks flow) while reading her personal narratives around child loss. Her story is one of great strength and perseverance.

But don’t get me wrong, it’s not limited to maternity. That was just one small yet powerful angle to break the ice on a much deeper subject.

Embracing our dark emotions.

And it really puts things into perspective – how can you trust the very God that stands quiet as you suffer personal loss?

therapist comforting patient, grief, healing through dark emotions, books about shadow work

This is a bold writing that challenges many psychiatric theories, written by a psychiatrist herself! And I love her spiritual reflections, incorporating ‘unverified’ topics like the dark night of the soul and enlightenment.

Through this book, Miriam introduces her readers to the term emotional alchemy – the ability to transcend our emotions, by working through them. And in that, she talks about rebuilding your faith. Her idea is to stay open to the doubts and work through them into a healthier spiritual life.

Of the many tools and tips provided in this book, I like her simplified acronym, ABS.

Attend.
Befriend.
Surrender.

To? The emotions in your body, in order to experience healing fully.

In a world where we hide emotions and don’t really know who to deal with grief or a lost sense of identity, Miriam teaches us of vulnerability. All gently yet boldly explored through many real-life stories and her clinical work.

Takeaway: This is one of the books about shadow work that teaches us how to observe and navigate through our emotion-phobic culture. The author’s strength is in subjects of grief and how to hold faith in testing times, without losing sight of your spiritual journey.


#2 – In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Maté

We all have some form of addiction.

This book was eye-opening and a big reality check – exploring the darkness of human vices. It begins as a reflection on dozens of cases from Dr Maté’s clinical work in Vancouver. And in no time, meshes into his personal accounts and self-reflections about his addictions. And in effect, yours!

Maté makes you realize that even if you don’t have a drug or alcohol addiction, you could be a workaholic, shopaholic or sugar addict. And that’s no better. Every addiction is a form of escapism from one’s shadow self.
person smoking cigarette, book about shadow work, gabor mate, healing dark emotions

This book is another magnificent writing that really works through the psychology of patients. And it also gives you a candid insight on the the nature of therapy work behind closed doors.

Takeaway: Ofcourse this is perfect for anyone overcoming a personal addiction. And it is also essential to read for anyone that is supporting a loved one through their addictions. It also teaches you compassion and helps open your mind, giving you a chance to self-reflect and overcome your own addictive behaviors.


#3 – Radical Compassion by Tara Brach

This was one of the books that kept coming back to me, through Instagram posts, and so I finally ended up buying the audiobook.

Compassion has been a keyword in my journey this year, and the title compelled me to give this book a chance. And why I immediately liked it right off the bat, was because Tara Brach shares Buddhist teachings in a modern way, to help deepen our compassion.

compassion, love, self awareness

Radical compassion talks about a four-step process, with an acronym RAIN, to build our compassion muscles. This acronym stands for –

Recognize.
Allow.
Investigate.
Nurture.

As you can tell, each step allows us to expose ourselves to dark emotions like anger, resentment, bitterness and so on. We aren’t being told to suppress or shame ourselves for feeling a certain way. This is the fundamental of any form of shadow work.

At the end of every chapter, she walks you through beautiful meditations on each of the four steps. That’s why I recommend the audiobook version!

Though the idea of pausing and ‘thinking before we speak’ isn’t new, when you use her formula to practice RAIN, it becomes more doable.

Takeaway: I highly recommend reading Tara’s book for anyone that might feel like their emotions take over them and they lose sight of themselves, or that need to work deeper on self-love and compassion towards oneself as well as those around.


#4 – Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

I read this book nearly 5 years ago, long before my spiritual journey started. And yet, it felt as if it were preparing me for the ultimate Truth, much in advance.

Being Mortal is written by a renowned surgeon and writer. It talks about the taboo topic, death. His writing is revolutionary, in that it breaks many of our bubbles around the notion of dying through the beautiful mashup of science of philosophy.

death, dying, books about shadow work

And with it, come a large number of self-reflecting questions; all leading to one bigger question – what quality of life are you living, so that you’re ready to die when it ends?

But what – why would anyone want to read about such a morbid subject? Because this is one of the key books about shadow work that address our biggest fear as humans. Dying.

And time and again, other popular books like Sadhguru’s book, Death and Sogyal Rinpoche’s Tibetan Book of Living and Dying teach us the same message.

We cannot understand life, until we prepare ourselves for death. And we haven’t done our true shadow work until we begin to walk on this path.

Takeaway: If the topic of dying and death makes you uncomfortable, I would recommend starting with Being Mortal. It will open your eyes.


#5 – The Dance of Connection by Harriet Lerner

I had mixed feelings about this book, because unlike the other books, there weren’t really any fancy acronyms or tools – just simple story-telling and case study discussions. But it sat with me months after reading it.

And I remember even replaying one of her stories in my moments of anger, recently! So that’s why, it makes a show here afterall. 🙂

The Dance of Connection is a perfect introduction on how to channel one’s shadow emotions into something more constructive. Not only does it discuss conflict management in friendships and marriages, there are stories that reflect on parent-child dynamics, amongst other things.

angry couple, conflict, book about shadow work by harriet lerner

Feeling hurt translates into many emotions – anger and sadness being a few of them. However, growing up, we’re taught to look at these as taboo.

So having grown up, it’s high time we learn how to express ourselves when we’re feeling hurt. Without hurting another person.

Takeaway: This is one of the simpler and shorter books about shadow work that will give you a new lens for your day-to-day conflicts. I recommend reading this if you, obviously, want to be more fun to have an argument with. 🙂


Concluding Thoughts

As you explore the idea of normalizing emotions like anger and grief, it becomes easier to embrace our lesser ‘approved’ side. For instance, anger isn’t a big deal anymore, and it’s completely fine if you take ‘too much time’ to overcome a loss.

We cannot embody the divinity, the Light within us, until we learn to embrace our darkness. And in this, we can transmute it to attain higher levels of self-awareness.

Let me know if you have other suggestions, or enjoy reading any of these books about shadow work. I’d love to know! 🙂

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. This means that at no added cost to you, every purchase you make through these links brings a small commission to my blog. This helps support my work. Thank you for your consideration!

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10 Spiritual Fiction Books that Are Packed with Wisdom

Top spiritual fiction books that will guide your spiritual journey and help you learn life-changing lessons like detachment, karma, the purpose of life etc.

As an adult, I always had the notion that reading a fiction book isn’t as beneficial to my growth. So, I limited myself to non-fictions, constantly trying to learn and grow logically. However, as my spiritual journey began unfolding, and my reading habits become even more intense, I concurred that spiritual fiction books are quite empowering too.

Sometimes, a message can be conveyed with much more ease, when it’s delivered with an analogy. This is actually how my first workshop around Chakra Balancing became popular – through a story-telling format. And ever since, I’ve been thinking about putting together a reading list in the fictional genre.

So, here we are now, and here’s what I would like to recommend to you!

#1 – The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin

If Winnie the Pooh and his friends could teach us about Taoism, what would they say? A LOT!

In their own cute and peculiar style, Pooh Bear and his group tackle the complex questions around Taoism. You know a book is well written if it can explain an intricate subject with much clarity and simplicity. I wasn’t able to understand much about the Tao before this, but the book made a lot more sense to me.

I thoroughly enjoyed and loved Pooh’s take on the Tao, and even more so for its amazing narrative when listening to the audiobook. So if you plan to read this spiritual fiction, I’d highly recommend Simon Vance’s voiceover.

The World of Pooh, Taoism, Spiritual Fiction, Must Read

#2 – The Quest of the Sparrows by Kartik Sharma

The most underrated spiritual fiction book in this reading list! But I see a bright future for it. 🙂

What happens if someone is given the responsibility of a guru, but they’re not ready? The Quest of the Sparrows was such a delight to read, for the relatable way in which an average person is dragged into the spiritual journey through a twist of fate.

sparrows, spiritual birds, animal totem, symbolism

The character development is primarily what made this gem so relevant for us spiritual aspirants, as we too learn to let go of our many vices as we progress.

And the spiritual lessons conveyed through the various characters’ narratives are just as profound and well-written. I also think this book perfectly captures the essence of divine timing and other spiritual laws effectively.


#3 – Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

Not the best storytelling, but the reason this Spiritual fiction is a classic, is for the nine spiritual insights that entail this story. Each insight is uncovered in adventurous (and increasingly fatal) ways.

As the protagonist goes through many hurdles, finally, with a team of spiritual aspirants, the truth about enlightenment is uncovered.

gray wooden house on green mountain

It’s a good blend of analyzing human evolution, human psychology and behavior, and then moulding the findings in respect to energy work and healing.

The mysticism of the Celestine Prophecy is unique, and you’ll most likely enjoy this work, if you’ve enjoyed reading books like The Alchemist.


#4 – Jonathon Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

One of my favorite works by Richard Bach, and the rare book that didn’t need a bookmark. I read it in one sitting!

The seagull, Jonathon is symbolic for a human’s journey through life’s obstacles to attain enlightenment.

The story beautifully depicts life in a full circle – from hope, to despair, to hope again. Although it is one of the older spiritual fiction books in my list of recommendations, Jonathon Livingston Seagull remains timeless even today.

seagull, jonathon livingston, must read spiritual fiction books

Note that the book has two versions. The second release of the book revealed an important chapter at the end. There’s a slight controversy about the value of this change, but I am for the notion that it only added more to the book!


#5 – The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

I’ve talked about this poetic fiction before in my reference to books about practical spirituality. However, I want to bring it up again, in hopes that you will look at this book as an opportunity to understand the meaning of life through a poet’s lens.

the prophet, wisdom, poetry, reading, fiction

The short booklet revolves around a prophet that arrives at a city, and makes many observations about the nuances of everyone’s day-to-day activities.

I’m sharing some of my favorite quotes here from Kahlil Gibran’s most famous work, The Prophet.

Quote about detachment and parenthood

“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”

Quote about work and dissatisfaction

“Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste,
it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.”

Quote about crime and punishment

” Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you,
but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.
But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which his in each one of you,
So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.”


#6 – Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

This book was definitely not what I expected. But it was a writing that was extremely honest about spirituality, from the lens of a seeker that often gets lost on his way towards the Truth.

The story sets up a parallel premise to the actual Gautam Buddha and his enlightenment, versus a young man named Siddhartha on his quest to find the Truth about life.

rule of thirds of statue, buddha, siddhartha, spiritual fiction books that are a must read, herman hesse, purpose of life, ultimate truth

There are some interesting twists throughout the book. The thing that compelled me to read it the most, was perhaps how the author scrapped away the glory and glamour of a spiritual awakening, by bringing forth the many vices that get in our way.

There are very few books that talk about falling off the wagon and resorting to our old ways, but Siddhartha highlights that aspect beautifully. There are many spiritual lessons that were demonstrated and though it’s tough to like the protagonist, it’s really just a huge reality check for our ego. 🙂


#7 – Immortal Talks by Shunya

A unique take to spirituality!

The author of this short yet powerful spiritual fiction conveys his spiritual insights through an interesting discourse. The dialogues take place between Indian God Hanuman and some of his tribal worshippers, called Mahtang.

hanuman, immortal talks, mahtang, spiritual fiction books, must read spiritual books, bajrang bali, wisdom

Immortal Talks has many profound analogies in store, that elaborate on spiritual concepts like karma, detachment, reincarnation, astral realms, etc.

So for anyone seeking clarity about life and souls in a mystical and metaphysical narrative, this is a great read.


#8 – The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

A childhood classic, sure. But the Velveteen Rabbit is a gem hidden away in the kid’s section that’s worth revisiting as an adult. The story revolves around a stuffed toy rabbit that longs to become ‘real’.

pink bunny plush toy, children's storybook, fiction books

Over the course of many hardships, the rabbit grows wise and learns about the essence of life. It can sound heavy when I summarize it like that! But it is actually laid out quite simply such that even a child can grasp it.


#9 – Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson

Its been nearly a decade having read this, because I picked up this self-help book back in college! But over the years, the story’s message really resonated with me.

mice, mouse, who moved my cheese

Who Moved My Cheese uses mice as a metaphor to represent our own human mind. And their quest to find their beloved cheese depicts our longing for material satisfaction.

This book may not sound spiritual right off the bat, neither is it sold as such. But it encompasses important reminders like detachment and going with the flow, which resonate deeply with spiritual teachings.


#10 – Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo

The latest addition to my list. And perhaps the most wholesome in terms of a good story, progressive character development and meaningful messages.

Through another story of twisted fate, an atheist ends up in a car with an enlightened Buddhist monk. Their journey requires them to be together for several days, and as expected, a transformation happens in the atheist’s life.

smartphone turned-on in vehicle mount inside vehicle

What I enjoyed most about Breakfast with Buddha, was how it remains balanced towards all kinds of readers. You could just be getting started on your spiritual journey. Or be several years into it… but you will enjoy it either way!

And there’s very limited dialogue about the metaphysical nature of spirituality. Instead, the approach converges towards practical spirituality. Something we can all implement in our day-to-day lives.


Concluding Thoughts

The great thing about a spiritual fiction is that it’s easy to remember the story, and imbibe the messages. I have overtime learned to appreciate a good fiction book here and there. And I hope this list encourages you to add more to your reading list too!

Read More : 15 Spiritual Authors That Will Spark Enlightenment

NOTE : There are Amazon links in this post. If you make a purchase through these links, you support my work by facilitating a small commission for qualifying sales. This is at no added cost to you. Thank you for your consideration!

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10 Must Read Spiritual Fiction Books, That Are Packed With Wisdom

15 Influential Spiritual Authors Worth Reading

Sharing my list of top spiritual authors and their most influential books about spirituality and consciousness that are worth reading.

Today, the idea is to share 15 different spiritual authors with you, and my favorite works by them. All of them, in my perspective are worth reading (and RE-reading).

Incase you decide to buy or (gift) books by any of the authors recommended below, please consider using the Amazon links. At no added cost to you, every purchase gives a small commission to the blog. Thank you!

#1 – Osho

When I first asked my husband about his opinion of Osho, he told me that he’d heard one lecture recording, and that was enough jyana for a lifetime! Haha.

Osho, Spiritual Authors, Enlightened Master, Spiritual Awakening, Enlightenment, Consciousness

But jokes apart, the 112 Meditation Techniques, combined with mystical and practical Spirituality is literally everything we need. If you read one spiritual book by Osho, make it this one – the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra. This is also available online for free.

Also, you don’t have to read it for the Meditation techniques, just read it for the discourses. Trust me, you’ll be shaken awoke, if you aren’t already!


#2 – Caroline Myss

Myss was my introduction to the world of all things spiritual and consciousness. And I liked her even more for her NO-BS, straightforward and hard-hitting approach to practical spirituality. She is one of the finest and most seasoned spiritual authors of our time.

Caroline myss, Spiritual teacher, sacred contracts, chakras, archetypes

She talks about a range of topics in her works, from Chakras and Archetypes, to Soul Contracts and Healing. So, if I could recommend my top favorite spiritual books by Caroline Myss, they would be :

She also has a terrific blog and YouTube channel where she continues sharing her wisdom, after all these decades.


#3 – Sadhguru

It may not come as a surprise that I mention Sadhguru, because I talk about him and share his work quite frequently.

Sadhguru, Enlightenment, Spiritual Awakening, Shiva, Adiyogi, Isha

In terms of books, there are 2 very powerful works that his stout followers have written on his behalf, that I highly recommend exploring. Keep in mind that they are more mystical in nature and require reading with an open mind.

For those that don’t know, Sadhguru’s official website, Isha also has a profound spiritual blog worth reading.


#4 – Thich Nhat Hanh

This is the point in my blog post, where I start including Buddhist book recommendations. Thich Nhat Hanh is a leading spiritual and Buddhist teacher, greatly revered for dozens of publications about mindfulness and meditation.

Thich nhat hanh, spiritual teacher,buddhist monk, buddhism, spiritual author, meditation, mindfulness

But if you ask me, the one book that I was moved by the most, is called Old Path White Clouds. This is a gentle and profound book about the teachings of the Buddha, weaved intricately into his life’s memoir.


#5 – Sogyol Rinpoche

I was motivated to read the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, by Sogyol Rinpoche, after I kept seeing one synchronicity after the other, to read it.

Sogyal Rinpoche, Buddhism, Buddhist Monk, Spiritual Teacher, Enlightenment, Tibetan Buddhism

And, oh my! This is such a fine introspection on Tibetan Buddhism philosophies. Especially on the nature of death.

Simple, profound and enriching. One of the wisest spiritual books worth gifting, reading and re-reading because it is sure to spark the enlightenment within anyone that crosses its way!

Pssst….I’ve got a bonus collection of Spiritual Videos Worth Watching, available as a downloadable, clickable checklist for newsletter subscribers. Sign up to get yours!

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#6 – Dr Michael Newton

An unparalleled, brilliant pioneer in the space of metaphysics, with scientific backing! I wish his books were a mandate to be kept in every household, for the brilliant discoveries revealed to us about the afterlife, past lives, destiny, our life purpose and more.

michael newton, journey of souls

I have even referred to his books to write my initial metaphysics blog, Soul Contracts. And, the two books that changed the course of my spiritual journey overnight, are :


#7 – Dr Brian Weiss

Many Lives, Many Masters was my first spiritual book, ever. And it sat so deeply, that I went ahead and got my own past life regression done!

This was my first inclination towards hypnotherapy. One so strong, I had myself wanting to become a Hypnotherapist myself.

dr brian weiss, many lives many masters, hypnotherapy

Dr Brian is a pioneer in past life regression, and other than his classic which I mentioned above, the book Only Love is Real is food for the soul. His book is another important addition to 5 Spiritual Books Backed By Scientific Evidence.


#8 – Dr Joseph Murphy

Best known for his works, Power of Your Subconscious Mind, Dr Murphy taught me the true meaning of the Law of Attraction, and the power of manifestation.

dr joseph murphy, power of your subconscious mind, spirituality, spiritual author, psychologist

I have successfully pestered most of my friends into reading his book, and they weren’t disappointed. You should explore his work too!


# 9 – Neale Donald Walsch

My first experience reading automatic writing. And definitely one of the finest! This interesting series called Conversations with God, is about the author Neale, having a late night conversation with ‘God’.

Neale Donald Walsch, Spiritual Author, Writer, Automatic Writing

There are many spiritual revelations and mythbusters that debunk the purpose of religion. I learned so much, and if you read this, your spiritual truth really unfolds a lot faster than if you tried discovering it through trial and error.

This is one book series I recommend every spiritual aspirant to read. Your journey may not be complete without this!


#10 – Michael A Singer

One of the most underrated and relatable spiritual authors.

Michael Asinger, Surrender Experiment, Untetherd Soul

I’ve learned so much from him, and I just can’t shut up talking about both of his bestsellers :

I’ve talked in great length about the spiritual lessons his second book taught me, for anyone that’s seeking a teaser of his work.

It’s worth noting that Singer also has a wonderful Youtube Channel that goes into deeper spiritual wisdom like Karma Yoga and Dharma.


#11 – Marianne Williamson

One of my favorite spiritual messages of all time, from Marianne, is the Divine Law of Compensation. It helped me understand Karma in a way that till date, inspires me to be the best version of myself, without worrying about how the others around me are.

marianne williamson, course in miracles, spiritual authors

Marianne is most known for her teachings and reflections on a Course in Miracles, and I highly recommend listening to her lectures just as much as you read from her books.


#12 – Sonia Choquette

I first heard about Sonia when I was getting acquainted to the world of psychic senses. Though she has a number of bestsellers, I was deeply moved by her work called Trust Your Vibes.

sonia choquette, spiritual authors, healer, psychic powers, sixth sense

Because in this book, over the span of short, action-based chapters meant to be read once a week, she teaches you how to step into your sixth sensory glory. There are exercises, insights and guidance on how to be more unapologetically spiritual!

This was a game changer for me – the book that also taught me to go find my tribe.


#13 – John O’Donohue

Anam Cara, Celtic wisdom, at its absolute, profound best.

 john o donohue, anam cara, celtic wisdom

My friend gave my this book in exchange for Caroline Myss’ Invisible Acts of Power, and I clung on to it dearly for over a year! There was just SO much to takeaway, and so much to let heal your heart. I recommend keeping this book at your bedside and reading a few pages every night before you sleep.


#14 – Daaji

I stumbled upon the Heartfulness Meditation by sweet fate. I was looking for a meditation group to join, and I had my eyes on Isha Kriya, but it wasn’t manifesting for me.

daaji, kamlesh patel heartfulness, meditation, spiritual authors, enlightenment

And then, I was called forth for the life-changing Heartfulness program, thanks to a friend.

The Heartfulness Way is a beautiful book, written by the Heartfulness leader Daaji, or Kamlesh Patel. The book goes in great depth about meditation practices for everyday life and helps answer many questions around the right way to meditate.


#15 – Anodea Judith

One of the finest spiritual authors talking in great depth about Chakras, and their association to our day-to-day life.

anodea judith, chakras, eastern philosophy, spiritual authors, western spirituality

Her work, Chakras : Wheels of Life, is an encyclopedia of all there is to know about Chakras! So, I highly recommend exploring her work, for an all-rounded healing experience.


Concluding Thoughts

I have great regard for other spiritual authors such as Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra and Don Miguel Ruiz. However, I was not as personally moved by their books, as I was by the authors I mentioned above.

I would however still encourage you to read and watch their content, too. They too, are noteworthy and influential in their own rights!

I hope this post inspires you to discover more awakening pearls from some of the best spiritual authors out there. Drop a comment below to let me know about some of YOUR favorite teachers!

NOTE : All images have been sourced from Google Image Search. I give full credits to the websites/photographers for capturing these great headshots.

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15 Influential Spiritual Authors Worth Reading (& Watching)