100 books like Sadhana, the Realization of Life

By Rabindranath Tagore,

Here are 100 books that Sadhana, the Realization of Life fans have personally recommended if you like Sadhana, the Realization of Life. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Travis I. Sivart Author Of Silver & Smith and the Jazeer's Light

From my list on sci-fi that explode the concept of reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always believed a story should be world changing and epic on some level. Perhaps on a personal level, perhaps in the actual sense of world changing. Whether it’s for my readers of a short story, the players in a tabletop role playing game I’m running, or the arc of a novel. Some of these books help form that idea, and others supported it later in my life. I love it when a tale shakes my world—in addition to the world of the characters—and makes me question what I believe. With a doctorate in metaphysics and a love of fantasy and sci-fi, I’m always looking for ways to shake up my worldview!

Travis' book list on sci-fi that explode the concept of reality

Travis I. Sivart Why did Travis love this book?

This is a short, easy read. Some might even say it’s not sci-fi, but I think it fits. This was something I picked up in my teens and it helped create the framework for how I approach writing, creating, and my life. What if perception dictated reality, instead of the other way around? What would your life be like if you could change how you interacted with the world by just changing your mindset? 

By Richard Bach,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Illusions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the cloud-washed airspace between the cornfields of Illinois and blue infinity, a man puts his faith in the propeller of his biplane. For disillusioned writer and itinerant barnstormer Richard Bach, belief is as real as a full tank of gas and sparks firing in the cylinders ... until he meets Donald Shimoda - former mechanic and self-described messiah who can make wrenches fly and Richard's imagination soar...

In Illusions, the unforgettable follow-up to his phenomenal New York Times bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach takes to the air to discover the ageless truths that give our souls wings: that…


Book cover of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

Stephen Benz Author Of Topographies

From my list on the spirit of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.

Why am I passionate about this?

Traveling, meeting people, hearing stories, learning about places and landscapes—this is what my writing is all about. Sometimes it takes the form of nonfiction, sometimes poetry. I’ve had a wandering spirit from early on, finding joy and wonder as a child while sitting in the backseat on road trips, or taking the bus cross-state, or (best of all) riding on a train going anywhere. Reading Kerouac’s On the Road brought everything together: heading out with no particular destination in mind other than finding oneself on the road. And then writing it all down, telling the story. Here are some books that have rekindled the Kerouac spirit for me.

Stephen's book list on the spirit of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road

Stephen Benz Why did Stephen love this book?

Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was first published when I was a teenager. I was aware of the book’s unforeseen popularity and countercultural reputation, but it proved too daunting for me at the time. I read it years later, after I had read Blue Highways, and was immediately enthralled with the road trip dimension of the book (Pirsig travels from Minneapolis to San Francisco on his motorcycle, accompanied by his son and some friends—not on the same motorcycle, of course). It’s a compelling journey across the austerely beautiful northern tier of the American West; it’s also a darker journey into the narrator’s troubled past. Much of the book is given to philosophical inquiry—an intellectual trip that’s just as compelling as the physical journey.

By Robert M. Pirsig,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Acclaimed as one of the most exciting books in the history of American letters, this modern epic became an instant bestseller upon publication in 1974, transforming a generation and continuing to inspire millions. A narration of a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by a father and his son, the book becomes a personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions of how to live. Resonant with the confusions of existence, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a touching and transcendent book of life.


Book cover of Voyage from Yesteryear

Will Holcomb Author Of A Journey into Insight

From my list on that transform how we think and make us grow.

Why am I passionate about this?

One piece of advice I give my kids is to listen to people who are wrong. One of two things happen: you’ll have to define, refine, and explore your personal positions in order to articulate why they’re wrong; or you discover you’re wrong and you grow. I spent 25 years in a church that made no sense to me. That caused me to read and think about why I didn’t believe what they said was “absolute truth.” My writing is the result of a long soul-searching experience that has led me to a place I’m comfortable with and others are finding comfort in the wisdom of The Infinite Jeff.

Will's book list on that transform how we think and make us grow

Will Holcomb Why did Will love this book?

One of my philosophy professors said science fiction writers were the new philosophers. I couldn’t agree more. Science fiction authors can create worlds to test hypotheses about social structures. Hogan creates a world seeded with humans with the goal of finding a planet they can move to before the impending self-inflicted destruction of Earth. Without the connection to Earth, the society that forms is a highly productive world without an exchangeable currency. The robots that brought the ship to the planet can build everything they need. After generations, Earthlings make their way to the planet, bringing the ideas and philosophies that destroyed Earth. The locals welcome them and are amused at the absurd ideas. This book does a wonderful job exploring concepts of wealth, social structure, and so much more. 

By James P. Hogan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Voyage from Yesteryear as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book Club Edition


Book cover of Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity

Will Holcomb Author Of A Journey into Insight

From my list on that transform how we think and make us grow.

Why am I passionate about this?

One piece of advice I give my kids is to listen to people who are wrong. One of two things happen: you’ll have to define, refine, and explore your personal positions in order to articulate why they’re wrong; or you discover you’re wrong and you grow. I spent 25 years in a church that made no sense to me. That caused me to read and think about why I didn’t believe what they said was “absolute truth.” My writing is the result of a long soul-searching experience that has led me to a place I’m comfortable with and others are finding comfort in the wisdom of The Infinite Jeff.

Will's book list on that transform how we think and make us grow

Will Holcomb Why did Will love this book?

Bawer delves into the history of Christian fundamentalism in this well-researched book. It explores the “church of law” vs “church of love.” This should be required reading in churches and maybe we would stop dividing ourselves over false doctrines. Too many religions are working to divide humanity and Stealing Jesus is an important book for resolving that. 

By Bruce Bawer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Stealing Jesus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of the widely acclaimed A Place at the Table, this is a major work, passionately outspoken and cogently reasoned, that exposes the great danger posed to Christianity today by fundamentalism.

The time is past, says Bruce Bawer, when denominational names and other traditional labels provided an accurate reflection of Christian America's religious beliefs and practices. The meaningful distinction today is not between Protestant and Catholic, or Baptist and Episcopalian, but rather between "legalistic" and "nonlegalistic" religion, between the Church of Law and the Church of Love. On one side is the fundamentalist right, which draws a sharp…


Book cover of Sadhana of the Heart: A Collection of Talks on Spiritual Life

Barron Steffen Author Of The Final Gift of the Beloved: Her Disappearance-13 Days

From my list on spirituality for life's purpose and grief.

Why am I passionate about this?

Without my longtime commitment to the spiritual path of Siddha Yoga, I am quite sure that I would never have even met my wife Seana for I would not have been ready for her, let alone survived the trials along the way. And I certainly would not have been able to meet the calamity of her sudden death and come to know it as something else entirely. I have discovered the most strange and wonderful thing—that hidden within the death of a loved one may also be her final gift to us. And this is what I wish for you—in your moment of greatest need, though the world feels shattered into a thousand shards—may you remember this possibility and fully receive what the beloved longs to give you in farewell.

Barron's book list on spirituality for life's purpose and grief

Barron Steffen Why did Barron love this book?

Uplifting, inspired, essential—in this volume of timeless wisdom, my guru Gurumayi teaches students about Siddha Yoga sadhana, the spiritual study and practices that lead to liberation.

Siddha Yoga is a spiritual path. It feels important to understand that it is a philosophy, not a religion, and it includes people from many different faiths. For myself, at its heart, Siddha Yoga sees the highest reality as divine Consciousness that dwells equally in all people. On the Siddha Yoga path, seekers come to recognize this, their innermost Self, experientially.

By Gurumayi Chidvilasananda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sadhana of the Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

These five speeches impart the teachings of the Siddha Yoga path for modern seekers with eloquence, erudition, and compassionate humor, making an ancient tradition deeply engaging and vibrantly alive. Each talk, originally addressed to a global audience as a traditional greeting to the new year in the period 1995–1999, offers guidance—both practical and philosophical—for progressing on the spiritual path in today's world and living a noble and purposeful life. The book teaches with illustrative stories and anecdotes and urges all people to make the best use of their lives, to discover the divinity in their own hearts, and to let…


Book cover of Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation

Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung Author Of Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies

From my list on spiritual formation and Christian virtue.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a moral philosopher, I ask practical questions: What kind of person am I becoming? What kind of life will I live? What loves, hopes, and fears drive my choices and shape my relationships? Character formation moves us from vice to virtue. It starts with self-reflection and moves toward intentional practice. Over time, those practices shape us and add up to a way of life. You will be formed—but how? Glittering Vices, like my job, combines my passions for character development and wise teaching. Enduring the fiery furnace of cancer treatment made formation an urgent, life-changing topic for me. I hope these books open your life to renewal too.

Rebecca's book list on spiritual formation and Christian virtue

Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung Why did Rebecca love this book?

I love Barton’s personal and practical approach to a key cluster of spiritual disciplines in this accessible overview. She explores how to encounter God in Scripture and in prayer, how to practice solitude, self-examination and discernment, how to honor the body and keep sabbath. Individual chapters are framed by an introduction to spiritual formation and book-ended by combining them into a single rule of life. Think of this book as a fresh update of Richard Foster’s classic, Celebration of Discipline. (See her Transforming Center website for more.)

By Ruth Haley Barton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sacred Rhythms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do you long for a deep, fundamental change in your life with God? Do you desire a greater intimacy with God? Do you wonder how you might truly live your life as God created you to live it? Spiritual disciplines are activities that open us to God's transforming love and the changes that only God can bring about in our lives. Picking up on the monastic tradition of creating a "rule of life" that allows for regular space for the practice of spiritual disciplines, Ruth Haley Barton takes you more deeply into understanding seven key disciplines along with practical ideas…


Book cover of The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks

Miguel Farias Author Of The Oxford Handbook of Meditation

From my list on religious experience.

Why am I passionate about this?

From about the age of 14, I have been exploring how unusual ideas and experiences might change a person’s life. This led me to become an author and experimental psychologist studying the effects of religious beliefs, rituals, and meditation exercises on our minds and bodies. I have spent a good part of the last 4 years putting together a book which tries to answer many of my questions on the varieties of meditation practices around the world.   

Miguel's book list on religious experience

Miguel Farias Why did Miguel love this book?

Here we have fragments of the lives of female and male hermits living in the Egyptian desert, trying to live the Christian life away from the temptations of cities. Colourful depictions of their relationships, experiences with angels and demons, and the techniques used to move closer to God and conquer human frailty. These accounts are a superb antidote to today’s mindfulness which feels rather mind-numbing compared to these accounts of meditation.    

By Various, Benedicta Ward (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Desert Fathers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Desert Fathers were the first Christian monks, living in solitude in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. In contrast to the formalised and official theology of the "founding fathers" of the church, the Desert Fathers were ordinary Christians who chose to renounce the world and live lives of celibacy, fasting, vigil, prayer and poverty in direct and simple response to the gospel. Their sayings were first recorded in the 4th century and consist of spiritual advice, anecdotes and parables. The Desert Fathers' teachings and lives have inspired poetry, opera and art, as well as providing spiritual nourishment and…


Book cover of The Song of the Bird

Joan Budilovsky Author Of Sages of Young Ages

From my list on new moms to listen and laugh with their children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve taught yoga and meditation for decades to children from ages 3 to 93. My Doctorate is in Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I love to experience personal development and child development has a very special place in my heart. I learn so much from them! It is particularly fun to watch children discover and explore life. Everything old is new again! Sages of Young Ages can open our eyes if we simply open our ears to each child’s unique spoken truths.

Joan's book list on new moms to listen and laugh with their children

Joan Budilovsky Why did Joan love this book?

Short interesting titles to profound short stories. Each story offers a lesson to clearer soulful understandings. Humor, insights, simplicity – all the things I treasure and hope to be as a writer. Anthony deMello has influenced my world with new ways of looking at old things. I find this in children too – their new eyes looking at old things reminds me of how important fresh perspectives are to enjoying and appreciating life.

By Anthony De Mello,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Song of the Bird as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Every one of these stories is about YOU." --Anthony de Mello

Everyone loves stories; and in this book the bestselling author of Sadhana: A Way to God shares 124 stories and parables from a variety of traditions both ancient and modern. Each story resonates with life lessons that can teach us inescapable truths about ourselves and our world.

De Mello's international acclaim rests on his unique approach to contemplation and ability to heighten self-awareness and self-discovery. His is a holistic approach, and in the words of one reviewer: "his mysticism cuts across all times and peoples and is truly a…


Book cover of Take and Read: Spiritual Reading An Annotated List

Leslie Bustard Author Of Wild Things and Castles in the Sky: A Guide to Choosing the Best Books for Children

From my list on there's no such thing as too many books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always loved reading to myself and others. I've been an English teacher for years. I love sharing good books and have the reputation of being a good resource, especially for moms with children. I’m happy to share everything from memoirs and history books to classics and children’s picture books. Walking through a library or a bookstore is a favorite activity, so finding not only new books but excellent books about books is always a treat. I love to understand what makes a book work well as a story, thus books that delve into the richness of a story through personal narrative or literary criticism have been favorites to keep on my shelves. 

Leslie's book list on there's no such thing as too many books

Leslie Bustard Why did Leslie love this book?

The words and life of Eugene Peterson have been important to my own spiritual formation, so finding a book that shares the books he read that formed him was a must. He recommends classic books, a wide variety of theologians and Bible scholars, poetry, and contemporary and mystery novels. Eugene Peterson had a large and generous heart and a deep-thinking mind, and finding out that I had read many of his favorites already was an encouragement. And looking for more of his recommendations has proved useful. 

By Eugene H. Peterson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Take and Read as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Spiritual reading has fallen on bad times. Today, reading is largely a consumer activity, done for information that may fuel ambitions or careers -- and the faster the better. Take and Read represents Eugene H. Peterson's attempt to rekindle the activity of spiritual reading, reading that considers any book that comes to hand in a spiritual way, tuned to the Spirit, alert to intimations of God.

Take and Read provides an annotated list of the books that have stood the test of time and that, for Peterson, are spiritually formative in the Christian life. The books on this list range…


Book cover of Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World

Rebecca Halstead Author Of 24/7: The First Person You Must Lead Is You

From my list on discovering the leader within you and others.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion for leading began as an athlete in high school, and being part of a team that depended on me showing up and leading myself. Attending the United States Military Academy as part of the second class of women, ignited my desire to earn the respect of those I would lead by being a person of character and competence. After 31 years of leading teams in the Army, I wanted to continue to serve and lead by sharing my leadership lessons learned and expertise gained from those years of service with the corporate sector. To whom much is given, much is expected.  

Rebecca's book list on discovering the leader within you and others

Rebecca Halstead Why did Rebecca love this book?

This book reached into my heart and soul.

It was completely refreshing to read stories that reminded me that love still matters, especially in our actions, but also in our perseverance and pursuits. It made me think hard about what was fueling my desires, thoughts, actions, and impact, and resulted in my wanting to make sure that it was love for life and others.

This book aligned with my belief that we should take our jobs seriously, but ourselves less so—that it is healthy to see the humor in ourselves and situations. Most significantly, I learned that my focus should be on doing, not just being.    

By Bob Goff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Love Does as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The runaway New York Times bestseller!

Can a simple concept shift your entire world? Bob certainly thinks so. When it comes to loving your neighbors, rather than focusing on having the "right answers" or checking the "right boxes," what if you decide to simply DO love? To shamelessly show love and grace to those around you? What would that look like?

It might look like spending sixteen days in the Pacific Ocean with five guys and a crate of canned meat. It might look like taking your kids on a world tour to eat ice cream with heads of state.…


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