Library Corner – The Wisdom Edition
In the first edition of Library Corner, I shared my thoughts on books that help you to find a deeper connection to yourself. Once you’ve connected, you can begin to explore your inner world. My review of the following books are all about that exploration. As with the previous edition, these are books that are always within arm’s reach.
The Untethered Soul – Michael A Singer
I’d been aware of this book and drawn to its title for many years but for some reason never ended up with a copy until a friend recently lent it to me.
It’s a beautifully written, easy read about the nature of our minds and how when we let them take over, they end up running our lives. Michael Singer encourages you to ask the biggest of questions “Who am I” and within that inquiry, to go beyond the surface of what your mind tells you, you are. You will explore the concept of the witness and become aware of your thoughts and feelings.
If you’ve ever been caught in a thought loop or been plagued by emotions that keep coming up about some past event, this book may offer some help and guidance on how to break that cycle and live more freely.
If you’re ready to explore the deeper aspects of who you really are and what consciousness is, then make space on your bookshelf for The Untethered Soul.
The Prophet – Kahlil Gibran
I heard an excerpt from this book at the end of a Yoga class. The teacher sheared the part about giving. I asked her at the end of class where it was from and she showed me the book. I went straight home and ordered a copy.
First published in 1923, the commentary is as relevant now as it was back then. The human condition hasn’t changed much over the centuries and we still have much to learn. My favourite sections are the parts on giving as mentioned above, and children.
This is one of those books that I have bought multiple times, either because I have lent, lost or given copies to others. There really is no greater gift than a book.
Autobiography of a Yogi – Yogananda Paramahansa
I first read this page turner of an autobiography when I started to take my yoga practice seriously, began to develop a self-practice, and started to look beyond the asana. I would read it while on the train to my office job, a distraction from the coming day I was about to endure, until I could get back on the train and open the pages again. Even back then, with my limited depth of understanding of yoga, it was an incredible story which I enjoyed immensely.
Now, fast forward many years, a continued practice, yoga teacher trainings, and hundreds more hours of study, I’ve just read it again. Although familiar with the bones of the tale, this time around I went much deeper. The names of places, people and deities have been put in context and I got to enjoy another layer of this epic memoir. I’ve vowed to read it again in another 10 years and hope to look back at my current understanding and recognize the superficiality. By the next time I read it, I’m hopeful I will have been lucky enough to travel to India.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve practiced yoga, or whether you’ve ever practiced yoga at all, the pages of this book contain an unfolding of magical happenings and mystical experiences. Everything from the story teller magically manifesting a lunch feast that allowed his brother-in-law to consider the existence of a greater power, to his guru manifesting in physical form in front of him when he was known to be at that time in another town.
This is a tale and a half of a young boy in India who started out on a devout yoga path from an early age. He managed to scrape a university degree (with some divine intervention), preferring to spend his hours with his guru/teacher. He was told from a very young age that his path would eventually lead him to the USA to bring the teachings of Yoga to the West.
Be Here Now – Ram Dass
You really need to see this book to believe it. It’s definitely one you want as a paper copy rather than on an electronic reader. Written by American spiritual teacher, Ram Dass who travelled to India in the 1960’s. It’s an enlightening tale of travel and discovery of both outer and inner worlds, as well as an instruction manual for the practice of yoga and understanding the human condition.
A simple practice from the book you might like try right now is this;
Ask yourself “Where am I?” And answer “Here”.
Ask “What time is it?” And answer “Now”.
Repeat until calm.
Ram Dass is famous for many teachings but, you’re most likely to have heard the well-known quote “We are all just walking each other home’. He left his earthly body in late 2019.
Moonology – Yasmine Boland
Something a little bit different here. If you’re one of those people who notices the phase of the moon (I am, big time), then you’ll love this. It goes into the different phases of the moon and the energetic effects this can have upon us – remember, the moon controls the tides. It literally moves oceans, so it stands to reason that it can affect us on some level given that we are 70% water.
There’s a section that helps you work out your astrological rising sign (this is different to your sun sign you are mostly likely to already know) and from there you can read about each different moon phase throughout the year, how this might affect you, and what you might focus on during that cycle in relation to the different astrological houses.
On a personal level, I found this a really useful tool for better understanding the different phases of the moon and why some new/full moons seem to affect me more significantly than others. I’ve used it as a reference for reflection and a prompt for journaling. I’ve always been really interested in astrology but found it too complicated a subject to study. This guide really helped me grasp some of the more basic concepts, such as rising signs and houses. From there I’ve gone on to study more, and actually feel like I’m starting to “get it”.
So there you have it. 5 books of wisdom, depending on your interests and personal focus. If you’ve read any of these and would like to share your own comments, please do so below. I’m open to recommendations too. Books are like countries to me…….my list of places to visit gets longer, the more I travel. The more I read, the longer my to-read list becomes. I’m rarely bored, that’s for sure!
Thanks for reading.