BOOKS I READ IN 2020

the video version of this post is available on THE DOJO CLUB®'s YouTube.

titles with a * next to them are my favorites and most recommended


RAM DASS, BE HERE NOW (1971)*

i found out about this one through STEVE JOBS’ biography. it was one of the most influential books in his early adult life. i also had a few friends who knew about it and recommended it. the appearance of it intrigued me a lot.


the book is about the importance of spirituality and its ability to keep one grounded.

it’s separated in four parts:


a mini autobiography of RICHARD ALPERT, a HARVARD professor who got turned on to the spiritual world through psilocybin and LSD by his friend and colleague TIMOTHY LEARY. he tells his story of taking a lot of psychedelics for around six years as a desperate attempt to hold on to the high that comes from them and still coming down despite all his efforts. eventually, he ends up going to INDIA, meeting his guru and becoming RAM DASS.


the second part is the core book. it lures you into the spiritual path through its beautiful writing and art style.


the third part details the practical steps that one can take if they choose to start their SADHANA (spiritual work). it talks about all the different parts of YOGA; it includes a few meditations, mantra suggestions, sleeping and eating advice, finding a community to support each other’s spiritual journeys, and so much more.


the fourth part contains a vast selection of book recommendations if you want to learn more about specific aspects of the spiritual journey.


i love this book. it’s what put me onto spirituality. the third part gave me all the info i needed to start the practice. most of the books that i end up reading the rest of the year are because of this one.


i’d recommend it to anyone who is interested in EASTERN philosophy and spirituality. if you wanna explore and practice meditation, mantra, yoga, devotion, etc., i think this book is a good place to start. also if you take psychedelics, the second part of this book is a good one to go through while tripping.


MEMORABLE QUOTE:

“this whole trip i’m talking about is fraught with paradox, the most exquisite paradox: AS SOON AS YOU GIVE IT ALL UP, YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL. how about that one? AS LONG AS YOU WANT POWER, YOU CAN’T HAVE IT. THE MINUTE YOU DON’T WANT POWER YOU’LL HAVE MORE THAN YOU EVER DREAMED OF.”




ECKHART TOLLE, A NEW EARTH: AWAKENING TO YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE (2008)

found this book at a thrift store (i can almost guarantee that you’ll find at least two copies of it in any VALUE VILLAGE you go to). i knew of THE POWER OF NOW so since this was from the same author, i thought “why not?”


the book is a follow-up of THE POWER OF NOW. ECKHART talks about the importance of being in the present moment and he argues that this ability to be fully mindful is essential to the betterment of the planet and of the human race.


i read it at a time where i really needed to hear the concepts which it explores. it calmed me down in a way and served me this reminder that the only reality in life is the present. it served as a great encouragement to practice mindfulness. it was also nice to hear ECKHART’s ideas on the positive impact one can have on the world just by being fully present in every moment.


i recommend this to anyone who finds themselves too lost in their thinking, especially thinking about the past or the future. a lot of it tends to just be ego-games and this book serves as a good explanation for why those thoughts should be taken more lightly. however, i would recommend ALAN WATTS’ THE WISDOM OF INSECURITY more than this one as they somewhat explore the same concept but WATTS’ is more concise.


MEMORABLE QUOTE:

"the modalities of awakened doing are ACCEPTANCE, ENJOYMENT and ENTHUSIASM. each one represents a certain vibrational frequency of consciousness. you need to be vigilant to make sure that one of them operates whenever you are engaged in doing anything at all—from the most simple task to the most complex. if you are not in the state of either acceptance, enjoyment, or enthusiasm, look closely and you will find that you are creating suffering for yourself and others."




SHUNRYŪ SUZUKI, ZEN MIND, BEGINNER&#x