Recently, I was watching a stand-up comedy show, in which this Indian guy Abhishek Upmanyu, was brilliantly throwing one punch-line after another, and he came to the topic of the ‘universe’. What he said was funny, but also hit home. When we struggle with basic problems in life like a job, relationship, or health, we don’t want to know that ‘we are made from stardust’, ‘we are facing a past-life karma’, or any other mystical, mysterious wisdom. We want something concrete. We need a practical lens on spirituality that helps us in daily life.
So, here are 8 books about practical spirituality that will support the highs and lows of your spiritual journey.
#1 – Trust Your Vibes by Sonia Choquette
This book focuses on our “sixth sense”.
Sonia talks in depth about developing our intuition, as well as how spirituality can be gently introduced into our families. She also shares a comprehensive list of things she does on a daily basis, to keep her energy levels high and healthy. Some examples that I took on are: making sure to eat well before my client calls, and going on
When we go through a spiritual awakening, many of us fear being called crazy. And so, we avoid sharing what we’re going through with anyone. But, her brilliant piece of writing helped me come out of my isolation, by showing me that these experiences are NORMAL and must be shared with our ‘tribe‘.
There is a great deal of insight to take away for budding spiritualists and healers. To this date, I flip through this book and am still reminded of something that can help me.
#2 – The SURRENDER EXPERIMENT BY MICHAEL A. SINGER
Usually, Spiritual Awakening and Enlightenment stories are fun to read but they become unrelatable as soon as the person says that they didn’t do anything to get there, it just happened.
Michael, on the other hand, set out to attain Enlightenment.
For most spiritual practitioners, there are several elements in The Surrender Experiment, that will help them in their own journey regardless of how recent or long back they started, such as –
- wanting to stay in isolation but finding ‘obstacles’ on the path’ that stir them away from spiritual practices;
- trying to avoid people/events but instead attracting more of them;
- trying to live a life close to monkhood but being unable to escape relationships, material jobs, and desires;
The author reveals 40 years of living in the forest, setting up a spiritual temple, working with jail inmates, running a business, getting married, and much more.
Spiritually, is the keyword.
In the truest sense, this is as close to exemplified Practical Spirituality, as you can get. He proves you can be in the world, yet not be attached to it. And without being a monk. 🙂
#3 – The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
I have mentioned this book over and over again but for differing reasons.
In terms of Practical Spirituality, it helps dissolve fears and helps you become a more unapologetic, authentic version of yourself. It’s not a quick fix, but if you keep at it – amazing things will begin to happen.
Cameron helps bring out the inner Artist in every being through 12 weeks of fun exercises. She believes that God loves artists because whatever we do creatively, is an expression of God!
Side note: Long after I’ve finished the book, one of my favorite journaling practices remains the Morning Pages. Which I’ve talked in more detail about, in 7 Journaling Ideas for Self-Healing.
#4 – Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss
This is a dense and incredibly insightful book about practical spirituality. It talks about how we can understand the balance or imbalance of Chakras in our daily life.
There are countless stories of how relationships are resolved, wounds and traumas are healed, and chronic diseases and pains go away, simply by examining our bodies and their pains. Caroline strongly emphasizes on analyzing our body and energy centers, to enhance our wellness.
One of my favorite examples was when she shared the story of a person who healed their chronic foot pain. They realized they ‘didn’t like going to a certain place’. So, the person’s feet would hurt whenever they tried leaving their home!
Anatomy of the Spirit is one of the most popular publications by Caroline and one of the nicest explanations I’ve read about the 7 energy centers of the energy body.
#5 – The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
A short and handy book about practical spirituality, producing inner joy, and freeing ourselves from self-deprecating thoughts. The four agreements are –
- Be impeccable with your word,
- Don’t take anything personally,
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
“BUT HOW?”, you’ll wonder. The Toltec wisdom in this timeless bestseller will answer all your questions.
#6 -The Heartfulness Way by Daaji
One of the best things to have happened to me after Hypnotherapy is The Heartfulness Program. A simple and effective 3-step technique to holistic well-being is taught worldwide at no cost.
Selfless volunteers, called preceptors, sit on a weekly basis in group meditations. They become windows to Pure Light received from Divine Source itself. Yogic Transmission is the official term for this experience.
My personal experience has been, that I’ve felt subtle changes at first that have had a rapid, ripple effect over my life. Give it a try (their website will help you find and schedule a free session with a preceptor closest to you).
The Heartfulness Way is a book by Daaji that answers many questions about meditation.
- Why should we focus on the Heart in meditation?
- What is the right posture for meditation?
- Should we meditate at night or in the morning?
- What are the various stages of meditation that we experience?
- Is what I am experiencing in meditation right or wrong? And much more!
#7 – The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
What seems like poetical fiction, is actually 26 short prose poetry fables (that are easy to understand, don’t worry) on every aspect of life, ranging from love, marriage, and children, to crime, work, death, and more.
Gibran, in very simple prose, explains how we must perceive life.
I can’t summarize how The Prophet is practical merely by talking about it, so I will quote my favorite verses to give you a taste of the spiritual guidance you can use from this work, on a daily basis.
* On Love & Marriage
Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
* On Jobs & Working
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste,
it is better that you should leave your work and sit and the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
* On Crime & 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 is in each one of you,
So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.
#8 – The TAO OF POOH BY BENJAMIN HOFF
The last book to be added to my list. But perhaps the cutest, sweetest, and most heart-touching of them all. And though I just finished reading it, I can’t wait to revisit it already!
Remember the childhood classic, Winnie the Pooh? Now, imagine that Pooh (and all his other friends) came back to life. And, alongside the author, explain the principles of Taoism, the Chinese spiritual philosophy to you.
I couldn’t make much sense of the Tao Te Ching when I tried. So, for me, The Tao of Pooh was a simplified, joyful experience. I took away quite a lot, and feel like the audiobook version is even better if you can get access to it!
It was also helpful in helping me understand the broad difference between the Confucius, Buddhist, and Tao philosophies.
All this goodness revealed, I would like to end on a note, as I often do with such posts that if you were able to purchase books using any of the above links listed, thank you! Your support helps me raise the quality of what I do. 🙂
Vasundhra is the Founder & Writer of My Spiritual Shenanigans. After seeing 11:11 on the clock one fateful night, her life turned around. Ever since, she has been blending modern psychology and ancient spirituality, to help herself and people around the world elevate the quality of their lives.
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