Monday, November 15, 2010

On my nightstand …

092310 nightstand booksDo you enjoy reading? Growing up, my parents, brothers and I were voracious readers, heading to the library each Saturday, returning home with the maximum number of books we were allowed to check out and repeating the cycle again the following Saturday. We’d sometimes negotiate with one another at the library: “You check out those and I’ll check out these and then we’ll switch.” We read a wide variety of topics in books, magazines (from Readers Digest to MAD Magazine), comic books; consumed the Frank L. Baum Wizard of Oz series, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew; classics like Call of the Wild, Little Women, Walden; history, wars, political intrigue, mysteries, Egyptology, dance, music – we’d read under the covers after Mom told us to turn out the light. (I think of a lot of us did that! ha!)

I go through spurts of interests in my reading. At one point, I was primarily reading business books along the lines of In Search of Excellence; at another stage, I read classics that I’d missed (Grapes of Wrath); and at another, I indulged in Latino authors and stories.

Lately, my reading has mostly been regarding spirituality and our yearning to connect with the Divine. There is such a wealth of reading available and many of my like-minded friends have wonderful recommendations that I keep adding to my list.

Right now on my nightstand are four wonderful books that I’ve recently completed reading.

- The Yoga of Jesus draws beautiful, rich parallels between the teachings of Jesus Christ and those of the ancient yogis. Examining Christian teachings through a yogic viewpoint provided greater clarity and a deeper understanding; I read this slowly, pondering and absorbing, going back to re-read sections. A beautiful, enriching experience.

- In Your Truest Self, Jan Lundy interviews 12 inspiring spiritual women and identifies 12 spiritual principles to help us strip away the false ego and identities we’ve manufactured and to reach inside to the truest and most authentic version of who we are. There are thoughts to ponder, reflections and exercises to aid our journeys. I love the stories of the 12 women and was inspired by the way their personal belief systems helped them through very challenging situations.

- Happy Yoga – possibly my favorite book ever! This is the third time I’ve read this book, it’s that amazing. It’s not about physical yoga, so much; it’s about how to be happy! I think that just about every word in this book resonates with me. The first time I read it, some of the ideas and principles were very new to me but felt so right, like a personal discovery that I’d known all along but that had been hidden from me until I read this book. Reading Happy Yoga always gives me profound joy!

- Anam Cara is by Celtic poet John O’Donohue and if you’ve ever listened to his audiotapes, you’ll find yourself hearing his smoothly lilting Celtic voice in the prose. The language is utterly beautiful, each word like consuming the finest meal and drink. O’Donohue’s love for Celtic mystical thought shines forth and he brings you into a world of deeply ancient truths, of harmony with all that is Divine.

And now I’m re-reading The Four Agreements, a book of simple, practical guidance that challenges me to be more mindful and operate from a different state of heart.

What’s on your nightstand? Any recommendations you’d like to offer? Which reminds me: I need to renew my library card!

7 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I highly recommend a book called Yeshua Buddha by Jay G. Williams. It examines the teachings of Christ through a Buddhist lens and gives the New Testament a whole new layer of meaning.

P.S. I love Anam Cara too! And I love his accent! (I read it via audiobook).

Stacy Wills said...

ah yes...i have fond memories of going to the library, too! i've been a confirmed bibliophile ever since. i'm going to have to check out a few of the titles you mentioned. i'm currently reading "traveling with pomegranates" by sue monk kidd and her daughter, ann. really resonating with where i am in my life right now.

Darla said...

Thank you for sharing... I keep near my bed "Strands of Eternity" by Vasant Lad, and a various interpretations of the Tao Te Ching. "Stillness Speaks" by Eckhart Tolle is another slim volume that I enjoy, as well as "Timeless Wisdom" by Eknath Easwaran. I like keeping beside my bed volumes that I can simply open to any page. For anything beyond that, there are stacks of books near the couch! LOL

Rose - The Center of My Self said...

Debra - Thanks for the reco! I'll have to check that out. Amazing sometimes how alike we all are, isn't it?

Stacy - Would you believe I haven't read any of Kidd's books yet? Let me know if you like this one, or perhaps if you think I should start with a different one of hers?

Darla - Intriguing choices! Eckhart Tolle is another that I've never read; I have some catching up to do. I love the idea of keeping these by your bed to open at random.

LauraX said...

Anam Cara and Your Truest Self are on my nightstand too Rose!!!

Kathleen Botsford said...

Anam Cara never leaves my night stand. I have many copies. I had signed up for a retreat with John O'Donohue a few years back and had to cancel due to family commitments. I thought I would have lots more chances as he was quite young. I was devastated when he died. I dedicated my blog to him. Thank you for your kind comments on our dear friend Laura's blog last week. Happy THanksgiving!

Rose - The Center of My Self said...

Laura - We're twinsies - lol!
Kathleen - RIP John O'Donohue; the retreat would've been remarkable I'm sure. On Laura's blog, I enjoyed your statement "Things are always as they should be whether I understand and agree or not." Acceptance, peace and grace. Beautiful.