Author Topic: Good books on spirituality or philosophy?  (Read 3116 times)

DANE01

Good books on spirituality or philosophy?
« on: June 08, 2011, 02:26:44 AM »
Hi there comrades

Can you recommend any good books on spirituality or meditation philosophy, for a person who does not know much about the subject?..

I've recently found myself more interested in meditation-oriented spiritual thoughts: I've recently gone through a partial or minor kundalini awakening, and after close to four months of experiencing the kundalini effects as traumatic and stressful, I learned to "let go" and "go with the flow". The moment I did that, my kundalini side effects started decreasing, and are now at a level where they don't interfere with my life.

I find myself a changed man, and am experiencing a feeling of inner peace and happiness that I haven't felt before. I just feel very calm, and unstressed. I have gained what I might call "an insight" of my own thoughts - I have become aware of all my thoughts and can see how they don't hold any power over me any more. I find that my life quality has increased tremendously.. To give some practical examples, I experience the following things:

- Sleep comes much easier, as I have less anxious thoughts and am more calm
- I worry less about the future
- I seldomly react with irritation or anger to situations that might seem disturbing or irritating
- I find myself to be less hateful. Even of people or events that might not be friendly or positive towards me
- I can find enjoyment in just lying down and not doing anything, not thinking about anything, just lying down and being alive. It feels great.
- I feel quite happy, actually.
- I have less cravings for sugar, coffee or similar stimulants. I might consume them from time to time, but I dont have the physical cravings anymore
- I no longer have a need to be overly ambitious and constantly strive to develop on a personal level or engage in new projects. And that's a good thing, as I now realize that all those projects could stress me without me being aware of it
- For some reason I also feel a need to be less structured. That's also positive, as I was probably previously too structured and too logical for my own good

I don't really know what caused this change, but I do know that it happened when I finally gave up trying to control the Kundalini. For months and months I had read on about the phenomenon and tried to educate myself on how to reduce the side effects. Some of my tactics might have worked and some probably didn't. I did learn a few things, but mostly I was in the dark of how to try and reduce the energy. In the end it became so frustrating that I just thought "what the heck, I've tried everything except acceptance. Now I'll just go with the flow and see what happens". Insomnia was my main side effect with the kundalini, and when I accepted it and just tried to go with the flow, I almost didnt sleep for 48 hours, but after that, my sleep has actually been almost "normal", and I find that it doesnt trouble me no more. And whenever my sleep is "unnormal", I just go with the flow and don't experience it as irritating.

I think the whole experience somehow has taught me somehting unique. It's hard to put in words exactly what it has taught me, but I just feel so much more at peace, and feel like I am going with the flow with whatever comes my way - be it insomnia, thoughts, pains or anything. And I feel so much more happy and blissful after having realised whatever it is I have realised :).

I don't know if you can follow me.. I haven't written this in the most structured, reader-friendly way as I probably would have prior to this experience (mr. structure fascist  ;)), but I've just written the experience out in one go as I see it..

I find myself interested in probably reading a book about ways of how to contemplate on life.. Probably a book with thoughts along the same line as mine..

I haven't read any such books before, and don't meditate, so I wouldn't know where to start looking.. Could you recommend any good ones?

Thanks  :)

Masauwu

  • Member
    • chipping away
Re: Good books on spirituality or philosophy?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2011, 06:13:59 AM »
Hi Dane,

Congratulations on your progress, i`m glad to hear you are at peace. Letting go is a lesson that i have to learn myself one day.

A few reading materials that come to mind:
Dhammapada because it`s a nice expression of life philosophy
A modern version of the 16 stages of insight roadmap, to help you realise what you realised.  :)

Welcome back
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: Good books on spirituality or philosophy?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2011, 06:37:31 AM »
Probably a book with thoughts along the same line as mine..


Hi Dane,
It sounds like you may have to write this book you are looking for based on the criteria above!  :D

As for as things I would recommend, based on what I enjoy at the moment I've got a lot out of this one; http://www.interactivebuddha.com/Mastering%20Adobe%20Version.pdf

Based on what you have told us over the past few months, the writet D. Ingram would call what you went through as an "Arising and Passing Away" or A&P experience. Basically a door way to a well established meditative path as taught by Buddha and his tradition.

happy reading mate. (the first 4 chapters have so much in them, thats as far as I have got!)

Metta

Andrew
getting it done

Jeeprs

Re: Good books on spirituality or philosophy?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2011, 06:41:27 AM »
I have been reading spiritual books for 30 years - and I think the Dhammapada is an excellent first choice.

Other books that had a big impact on me:

First and Last Freedom, Krishnamurti
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind - Suzuki
Way of Zen - Alan Watts
The Road Less Travelled - M Scott Peck

Don't forget amazon too.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Good books on spirituality or philosophy?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2011, 07:05:47 AM »
Jeeprs list is good. No quibbles with it in fact :) Would add Khalil Gibran "The Prophet".

DANE, you have variously said in your posts that meditation cured your insomnia and reduced anxiety, then the Kundalini flare up which lead to insomnia coming back, then that you could never meditate again as a consequence.

Do you need to read a book next? I ask this because these stages you have been through and your admission of what I would call a form of perfectionism, followed by things being much better because you have actually learned the art of letting go indicate that it might now be time to start meditating again rather than reading about it.

Your previous efforts at meditation were probably of the striving/form of perfectionism variety - so instead of meditation on letting go you were doing a meditation on clinging (which I suspect started the whole kundalini trip). Now you know how to let go you have the most important skill for meditation.

Wanting to read about it smacks a little of your need for perfectionism still hangin on in there .. perhaps now is a good time to try the experiment you posited a few posts back of trying small doses of meditation, remembering it is about relaxing/letting go - not attaining anything, but letting things be as they are and learning to see as they are.

Just a thought.

Very happy to hear of the great benefits you are now experiencing.

Warmly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

DANE01

Re: Good books on spirituality or philosophy?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2011, 09:00:43 AM »
Thanks for the list, guys! I could easily see myself picking up some of these books you suggested..

>>>MATTHEW

Well once again you read me like an open book  :). You are right in your assumption about my meditation practice: My anxiety definitely gave me a very extreme need for structure, predictability and "risk-minimisation" in pretty much everything I did - especially so in meditation. I read two books about it before going forward with it, and I was so hell bent on achieving a concentrated state of mind that it only took me 10 days to be able to sit down for 20 minutes with only 1-2 thoughts occuring. In hindsight, that's maybe not the best way to go around something as supposedly relaxing as meditation :).

I definitely feel that my newfound ability to simply relax and go with the flow has benefited me greatly. In fact, I remember that back when I first found myself in this new situation (some weeks ago), my initial reaction was to think "great, I've learned something, now I must remember to practice it daily, in a fixed routine so I don't lose the skill"  :). But the great thing was that I immediately became aware of this thought and of the anxiety pattern that produced it. And as I did that, the thought lost its power over me.

As a consequence I haven't really done anything to "practice" or train this new mindset, because I think in a sense it can work to the detriment of it. What I've learned is simply to let go, and to be at peace. That's not necesssarily something you need to train. It's just a state of mind that I have now, and I should just be happy for that and relax and enjoy my life as it unfolds - and in that sense, I probably am "practising" that very skill :)..

My initial thoughts about the books (some weeks ago) was also to read them to augment and build on this new skill.. But that's not a healthy mindset in this context. Rather, I think I should read these books, because it might be enjoyable or interesting. - Not because I want to "use it" to grow spiritually. Such a motive is bound to be frustrating and cause suffering, as it clings to the ego, when the only thing valuable to learn, is to actually let go of the ego..

Yes.. without bragging, I think I have indeed learned something these past few months..  8)

Maybe I will start meditating again in short doses.. I don't know yet. I don't feel I "need it", as I did before my anxiety was cured and before this whole experience. However I would like to meditate again - it felt good, and natural, in a sense.. Yet I've tried a few times to focus my attention on a fixed point for a short period of time - be it the breath, one's surroundings, an image etc., and every time I do that, I usually get a very pleasant almost orgasmic feeling that starts building in my body very slowly after 15-20 seconds and picks up pace. I usually quit after 30 seconds because it just feels too good - I start getting goosebumps and subtle orgasmic rushes that I suspect are very closely connected (or initiated by) to the Kundalini energy. So so far, I haven't dared to go any further, as I am not ready for a full kundalini awakening.

Perhaps one day I will meditate again. I miss it, to be honest :).

Andrew

  • Member
    • friends tell me things, sometimes I listen.
    • Letting Go.
Re: Good books on spirituality or philosophy?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2011, 09:35:06 AM »

It's just a state of mind that I have now, and I should just be happy for that and relax and enjoy my life as it unfolds - and in that sense, I probably am "practising" that very skill :)..



Yes you are, for sure, the most important thing of all! I remember first hearing the message to Relax, and my reaction was, 'this is my kind of spiritual path!' That awareness that you talk about is Mindfulness. The Buddha talks about building this Mindset on four states, Love, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, and Equanimity. these are good to remember as it will stop negativity creeping in and diverting your calm. Good work mate!

And good work Matthew, another one chalked up on the side of the monitor!!  ;) I'm glad you are not a monk, but are out amongst it all. Warms my heart.

A

 
getting it done

 

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