What To Read

I am often asked what books I recommend for personal development. It’s usually a very general question, seeking a very general response. While I do keep a short list (which changes from time to time), I rarely make reading recommendations. There are probably more books pertaining to personal growth than I could read in my lifetime, yet far too many of them seem close to worthless to me: quick, superficial fixes for deep and embedded human patterns, fixes which can not and do not last. Of course some books are very very good, and most of those offer a much deeper dive into mental, emotional and spiritual dynamics, focusing first and foremost on self-awareness…which is not attained through reading alone.

So here is my usual answer, which was stated far more brilliantly than I by Sri Ramana Maharshi, addressing a seeker who asked “What books should I read for self-knowledge?”: The self is the real book. You can glance anywhere in that book. Nobody can take it away from you. Whenever you remember, turn towards the self. Thereafter, you may read what you like.

Or, for a more poetic response, here’s Rumi: I have been a seeker and still am, but I stopped asking books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my soul.

So what are you reading?

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P.S. Yes, those quotations came from books!

Martha BostonComment