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10 book ideas for learning about spirituality

    1. The Book of Psalms

    In the Bible, God is always telling his people to “sing my praises”. This is what the Book of Psalms is all about. It’s a collection of songs that were sung in ancient Israel.

    2. The Bhagavad Gita

    The Bhagavad Gita is part of the Mahabharata (the great epic) and it’s where Krishna tells Arjuna how to live life.

    3. The Dhammapada

    This book is part of the Pali Canon, which is like the Bible for Buddhism. It’s attributed to Buddha but written down 400 years after his death. It’s a collection of sayings that Buddha would repeat over and over again to his followers.

    4. The Tao Te Ching

    Often called “the bible of Taoism” although there are many books in that canon. But this one has had the most impact on Western culture as it was translated by Alan Watts, who then went around talking about it and spreading Taoism in the 60s counter-culture movement.

    5. The Upanishads

    These are part of the Vedas, which are considered sacred texts in Hinduism (although not everyone agrees with this). They are stories told by sages trying to describe their realization of what they call “Brahman” or God, or perhaps something beyond God. These are some of the oldest writings we have on earth (from around 800 BC).

    6. The Analects of Confucius

    Confucius was an ethical philosopher who lived 2500 years ago in China and wrote down his ideas about how to live a good life and be a good leader for society. He believed you could achieve these goals through learning from others and studying history.

    7. In Search of the Miraculous by Ouspensky

    Possibly THE book on spiritual philosophy ever written in English . A Russian man named P D Ouspensky came to London at age 50 to study with Gurdjieff (who I will write about later) and he wrote down everything he learned from him until his death at age 70 when he finished this book and then died shortly thereafter (it's kind of spooky). This book describes Gurdjieff's "fourth way" method which involves developing your body, mind, emotions, etc into a higher functioning whole being so you can experience higher states of consciousness more often during your day-to-day life here on earth.

    8. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda

    Yogananda was born into a family descended from yogis who had been practicing yoga for thousands upon thousands of years before he was born in 1893 India . He became an expert yogi himself but also wanted to spread yoga teachings throughout America so he moved to LA in 1920 where he started an ashram (a place where people go for spiritual training) which still exists today near Hollywood Blvd., now run by his direct disciples (who were also yogis). His story describes how he moved from India to America while experiencing astral projection, meeting Jesus while meditating under a fig tree (and many other interesting experiences), including meeting one day with Mahatma Gandhi who said "You are India's gift to America." This book inspired me greatly when I read it 20 years ago when I first got serious about spirituality here in Los Angeles..
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