Friday, May 29, 2009

Seven books on how to live joyfully

There is no manual on life, or if there is any it got lost in translation. In a way this is a good thing because it allows us to live our lives as a journey of discovery, instead of having a preemptive path towards an final goal. Chaos and turmoil are part and parcel of every day living. It's how we respond to chaos and turmoil that makes the difference. These are seven of the most amazing books written on "being human". Without fail they are enjoyable to read, shake your view of the world and can catapult you into enlightenment... if you allow them to.

1. The Art of Happiness, Dalai Lama with Howard C. Cutler.
These days the Dalai Lama needs no further introduction I suppose. However Howard Cutler makes this book into a very re
adable book for sceptics and believers alike. As a psychologist he has seen human frailty and he questions the Dalai Lama indepth where others might take his answers for granted. The result is a very thorough book on the pursuit of happiness. "I believe that the very purpose of our lives is to seek happiness."

2.Non violent communication, a language of life, Marshall Rosenberg.
The definitive work on communication. It redefines what communication is for, it teaches us how language can be used as a tool to create empathetic connection
between people, rather than a way of getting your point across. In doing so it gives us a real, useable tool for improving relationships and furthering understanding between people. Move beyond judgement, demand and diagnoses into heart to heart contact. "What I want in my life is compassion, a flow between myself and others based on mutual giving from the heart"

3. Saying yes to life (even the hard parts), Ezra Bayda with Josh Bartok.
A charming little book of quotes, teaching you how to live in the happy acceptance of everything. A great nightstand book, to read when you la
y awake worrying. "Happiness has no cause, it is our natural state of being when unobstructed".

4. Journey to center, Tom Crum.
A well written book of stories describing the authors journey to awakening throughout life, and translates them into concrete and practical tips for every day enlightenment. The stories are humorous and direct, real life experiences that everyone can relate to. "Each moment the true warrior cuts through his story and steps forth from his vision. In this there is true power."

5. Love is letting go of fear, Gerald J. Jampolsky.
A charming book written in the late seventies that in a clear and simple voice explains what the course in miracles is really all about. Concise, poignant and useable in it's simplicity and honesty, it leaves other guides to personal transformation far behind. This charming little book speaks from the heart and to the heart. "Teach only love, for that is what you are."

6. Actualizations, you don't have to rehearse to be yourself, Steward Emery.
Derived from the EST seminars this book leaves behind the rather rigorous methods used there and successfully translates the insights gained through the training. Taking a look at the paradigms that have shaped our thinking and how to tackle them. Chapter titles include: "If you make reality your enemy, you lose" and "I am you, and I love myself".

7. The hero with a thousand faces, Joseph Campbell.
Through exploration of mythical stories the book sheds light on what it means to be human. All mythical heroes are metaphores for the trials and tribulations of every day living. Rather than an instruction manual (as many selfhelp books are) a good story sticks with you and changes you from the inside out. Heroic stories have throughout the history of mankind served as examples for what it means to be human. ""the function of ritual and myth is to make possible, and then to facilitate, the jump--by analogy"

Helpful hint:
"Be who you are and say what you want, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
~Dr. Seuss

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