Tis’ the season you guys! I’m finally getting in the spirit, starting to pull out the old decorations, making hot apple cider and putting my lists together. Our little town of Grapevine, Texas just blocked off the streets and put on their big annual Christmas parade — really festive. And, believe it or not, it’s even getting a little chilly here in Texas!! We’ve actually run the fireplace a few times.
I put this gift guide together for those of you that have friends or family that like to tend to their spiritual side. All of my girlfriends are very spiritual, and I feel so blessed to have them in my life. It’s a loving, big-hearted group that likes to lift each other up. Over the years, we’ve recommended and shared books. I think a really great spiritual book is a great way to tell someone you love and care for them, and a few of these below were gifts to me. I’ll always remember who gave them and when. They are cherished treasures.
So, below I’ve put together my 20 all time favorite spiritual books (in no particular order of importance). So, here we go! Please chime in with your favorite spiritual books too in the comments below!!
My 20 All Time Favorite Spiritual Books
A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles” by Marianne Williamson – This, by far, is my favorite spiritual book of all time. It is a mega-best seller in which she makes some of the most challenging concepts in the Course in Miracles understandable and relatable. She really brings home the beauty and importance of forgiveness in a way no other has done. The brilliance of this book is in how she shines a light on love as the ultimate spiritual path and heart of creation.
Manifesting Michelangelo: The True Story of a Modern-Day Miracle–That May Make All Change Possible by Joseph Pierce Farrell – This is the story of a man, who experienced a transformative moment after which he was able to restore facial disfigurements, virtually erase an inoperable brain tumor, dramatically reverse the aging process of several celebrities, and mend broken bones. He did these things through intention and, of course, connection to our higher source. If you have a friend that is in need of healing or a paradigm shift, this is the book to instill renewed faith in all things “mind over matter”.
The Essential Rumi – reissue: New Expanded Edition by Coleman Barks – Okay, what could be a more cherished and elegant gift than that of Rumi poetry — rich, deep and filled with the wisdom of the ages. Rumi, a thirteenth-century Sufi mystic, is the quintessential spiritual poet that will give your friend or loved one year after year of thought-provoking prose.
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer – This is one of Oprah’s top spiritual book picks. One of her favorite observations in this best seller is: “To attain true inner freedom, you must be able to objectively watch your problems instead of being lost in them…. Once you’ve made the commitment to free yourself of that scared person inside, you will notice that there is a clear decision point at which your growth takes place.”
Tuesdays with Morrie: An Old Man, a Young Man, and Life’s Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom – This powerful memoir topped the New York Times Non-Fiction Bestsellers of 2000 and will always be a timeless work. There’s a special place in our hearts for the mentors in our lives. For Mitch, his greatest mentor was Morrie Schwartz a professor from 20 years ago. He rediscovered him just as he was entering the last months of his life. Because of the graveness of Morrie’s illness, Mitch took to visiting him every day. In these visits, he walked away with the finest gifts for which no amount of money can buy. He came to think of this time as his “final” class.
Finding Freedom by Jarvis Jay Masters – This book will give you a very different look at Buddhism in action from behind the bars of San Quentin. Jarvis Jay Masters has been a Death Row inmate there since 1990 and has always insisted upon his innocence regarding the murder of a prison guard. And, there are loads of evidence to support his claim. Masters had originally landed behind bars for a robbery conviction and, in this book, he takes you on a spiritual quest like no other. This book will make you laugh on one page and cry the next. It’s a must-read.
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) by Don Miguel Ruiz – This is a quick and easy read that reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and creates undue suffering. It’s a small yet powerful book that is just the right size to ship in a flat-rate envelope or to add to a colorful gift bag. Any friend who receives this will know in the reading of it that you care deeply for their soul’s path.
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A Practical Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams by Deepak Chopra – I absolutely love Deepak and all his works. I think this is the one that he wrote in seven days, but can’t seem to confirm that on the internet at the moment. Don’t let me start rumors. He’s genius because he’s always able to distill ancient Vedic wisdom down to easy to comprehend, actionable guidance. This is one that you can go back to time after time until the concepts are deep in your bone marrow.
Be Here Now by Ram Dass – You have to love Ram Dass. His life is trippy (no pun intended) and authentic and daringly spiritual in every way. I love giving this book to lovers of all things spiritual, because it is so very transformative. This memoir is filled with a cornucopia of spiritual practices, from one who has really lived and tried most everything. In this book, you get to follow his path from Harvard Professor (he was then called Richard Alpert) to spiritual renunciant in India where he met and became student of his Guru Maharaj-ji. The stories are outlandish, deep, funny, poignant – a true spiritual ride (that absolutely nobody has done in the same fashion). Any friend that knew the 60s and 70s will appreciate it, or give it to a new millennial whose mind you’d like to blow (hey, your parents may have been rockin’ the edge of mind expansion, just sayin’). Drug jokes aside, Ram Dass ultimately discovered that the acid trips and pills paled in comparison to the real spiritual game of enlightenment. I think you’ll enjoy his journey.
The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav – This is the 25th anniversary edition of this New York Times Best Seller. And, Gary Zukav is one of my personal favorites because his spiritual path is one of cultivating true authenticity, aligning with your soul’s signature. One of my favorite quotes from this book is “When the personality comes fully to serve the energy of its soul, that is authentic empowerment.” As a gift to a true friend, it will speak loudly for you in your wish for them to march to their own drum.
The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have by Mark Nepo – If you have a friend that has seemed down or dull in spirit, this is your gift of choice. It’s about reawakening your spirit, busting out of a ho-hum existence and reclaiming your aliveness. A cancer survivor, Nepo is extremely adept at shaking us awake and inspiring us to grab each moment of our unfolding. We all need a little guidance to enchantment!
Conversations with God (Book 1) by Neale Donald Walsch – This book was given to me as a Christmas gift many years ago from my ex-Mother-in-law, a gregarious and wise woman. I truly enjoyed and loved it because it was a true account of Walsch and his journey from being an unemployed homeless man to an “accidental spiritual messenger” and author of the bestselling book, which is now a movie. It was a special gift as I knew that she gave it with the loving intention of helping me in my spiritual journey (and it very much did).
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch – I read this book after my oldest nephew forgot it at my house on a visit to Dallas. I’ll get it back to you one of these years, Chris, promise! It’s especially poignant for him and me because my father, his grandpa, died of cancer. When Professor Randy Pausch crafted his “last lecture”, entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” for Carnegie Mellon, he had already learned that he had terminal cancer. The lecture was so wildly popular that he expanded it into this book, a summation about everything he had come to believe about living.
The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron – This is sweet Pema’s guide to fearlessness. She’s the perfect combination of nurturing and strong as always. And, her year’s of experience as a monk, as well as her hardships before that as an abandoned wife give her the wisdom and compassion that rings out so loud and true in this exceptional work.
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle This is another of Oprah’s favorite books and one of mine as well. Just read the reviews and you’ll see how empowered it has made thousands, if not millions, of people. If this book helps a friend to better live in the moment, there is no better gift you can give.
Living a Course in Miracles: An Essential Guide to the Classic Text by Jon Mundy, PHD – This book was a gift to me by my good friend Laurie. I am so grateful for this book because it really makes the Course in Miracles so much easier to understand, period. I’ve sat in many discussion sessions on CIM, but have never read the it from front to back because the copy is simply too dense for me to stick with. However, this book makes it so much more digestible. It’s a great gift for anyone you know that studies CIM.
The Power by Rhonda Byrne – I was tentative about this book because I have real mixed feelings about The Secret. I think there are aspects of the Secret and “manifesting” that are real. But, I think a lot of people thought or still think that it is a way to game the system. The universe is just too complex for that. That said, this book, on the other hand, is about the power of love and it is so right on.
Leap of Perception by Penney Peirce – This book is by a talented intuitive. It offers effective, easy-to-follow guidance to help you in developing your power of perception. The book also leads you in cultivating an imagination that allows you to live day-to-day more effortlessly and blissfully.
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – This is a great book to give to a good female friend, especially if she’s single or has recently undergone a breakup. You follow Gilbert through the agonizing decision to leave husband, home, country and successful career behind to find herself. Liberating, endearing, gosh I could go on and on. It’s a fantastic spiritual adventure.
I Am That by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj – This is my current favorite and I’m still in the process of reading it. It is deep, deep, deep. Sometimes I’ll read a passage of it to my fiance just to see the contorted look on his face; lol. Don’t worry, if he reads this, he’ll laugh and agree. Maharaj, now deceased, covers a lot of the same ground in many different ways, and for good reason. It takes a lot of discussion for the concepts to start to sink in and gel. I don’t want to over-simplify the book, mainly because that would be impossible. But, it is primarily about taking the mediation, feeling and question of “I am” down the rabbit hole to ultimate enlightenment. Although I am light years from enlightenment, I understand that you can take this feeling or “I am” question to the well 1000s of times and you may find the Matrix movie line to be appropriate – “there is no spoon”. No matter where you are on your path, it’s a life changer.
Hope your holiday season is blessed!!
P.S. Be sure to include your favorite spiritual books in the comments below…