100 books like Self-Awareness Practice Instructions

By Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Sankara , Annamalai Swami , Muruganar , Sadhu Om , Anonymous Awareness

Here are 100 books that Self-Awareness Practice Instructions fans have personally recommended if you like Self-Awareness Practice Instructions. 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 Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings

Cheri Huber Author Of There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate

From my list on Zen awareness practice.

Why am I passionate about this?

These books attempt to describe the indescribable, pointing to the unknowable, only the living of which makes living living. What they have in common is that they invite us to practice along with the author, not giving any answers, but inviting us to look. I fell in love with Awareness Practice in my youth and through the decades that love has only deepened. I continue to love this journey of exploration and I hope the books that I have written contribute to that same experience for others. There is nothing more magical than having a direct experience of encountering who we really are, beyond ego’s dualistic world of opposites.

Cheri's book list on Zen awareness practice

Cheri Huber Why did Cheri love this book?

This was my second foray into fascination with what I knew I didn’t understand but desperately sought to. The way this book is written is the method to the understanding it represents. It invites a practitioner to stay with it to receive its gifts and makes for an enduring companion. This book has traveled with me through decades. Each time I read it, it mirrors for me the depth of understanding that is current and what there is to look forward to.

By Paul Reps, Nyogen Senzaki,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"It has stayed with me for the last 30 years, a classic portraying Zen mind to our linear thinking." -Phil Jackson, Head Coach of the Chicago Bulls and author of Sacred Hoops

Zen Flesh, Zen Bones offers a collection of accessible, primary Zen sources so that readers can contemplate the meaning of Zen for themselves. Within the pages, readers will find:
101 Zen Stories, a collection of tales that recount actual experiences of Chinese and Japanese Zen teachers over a period of more than five centuries The Gateless Gate, the famous thirteenth-century collection of Zen koans Ten Bulls, a twelfth…


Book cover of What Is Zen?

Cheri Huber Author Of There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate

From my list on Zen awareness practice.

Why am I passionate about this?

These books attempt to describe the indescribable, pointing to the unknowable, only the living of which makes living living. What they have in common is that they invite us to practice along with the author, not giving any answers, but inviting us to look. I fell in love with Awareness Practice in my youth and through the decades that love has only deepened. I continue to love this journey of exploration and I hope the books that I have written contribute to that same experience for others. There is nothing more magical than having a direct experience of encountering who we really are, beyond ego’s dualistic world of opposites.

Cheri's book list on Zen awareness practice

Cheri Huber Why did Cheri love this book?

As I began my search to make some kind of sense of my life, I started with philosophy and moved to religion. When I came across this book, I intuitively sensed that the author knew what I wanted to know. I had no idea what he was talking about but my heart sang with every page. This was my first experience of being taken to the “place” from which the author wrote. Reading it was like sitting at the feet of the Master, aware of a lack of comprehension while witnessing a living example of what the heart intuitively knows.

By D.T. Suzuki,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Is Zen? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From one of the most influential books ever written on Zen Buddhism: A fascinating study of this ancient discipline.

One of the leading twentieth-century works on Zen,D.T. Suzuki's Zen and Japanese Culture is an invaluable source for those wishing to understand Zen concepts in the context of Japanese life and art.

What is Zen offers a general introduction to the concepts and philosophy of Zen, including Mr. Suzuki's observations of its effects on Japanese art culture, and his explorations of Zen and the study of Confucianism.

In simple, often poetic language, enhanced by anecdotes and poetry, D.T. Suzuki describes what…


Book cover of My Religion, What Shall We Do? & The Journal of Leo Tolstoi

Cheri Huber Author Of There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate

From my list on Zen awareness practice.

Why am I passionate about this?

These books attempt to describe the indescribable, pointing to the unknowable, only the living of which makes living living. What they have in common is that they invite us to practice along with the author, not giving any answers, but inviting us to look. I fell in love with Awareness Practice in my youth and through the decades that love has only deepened. I continue to love this journey of exploration and I hope the books that I have written contribute to that same experience for others. There is nothing more magical than having a direct experience of encountering who we really are, beyond ego’s dualistic world of opposites.

Cheri's book list on Zen awareness practice

Cheri Huber Why did Cheri love this book?

When a clearly enlightened spiritual master speaks to us, our first reaction is often resistance because the message is designed to end the reign of egocentricity and return us to Authentic Being. To me, everything Leo Tolstoy wrote in his maturity offers the same possibility, but none so starkly as My Religion. As with reading Mahatma Gandhi, we have the opportunity to witness the deep practice of an aspirant grappling with transcending the suffering of the human condition, in much the same way John of the Cross describes the “dark night of the soul.” It illustrates every person’s spiritual journey and the uncompromising nature of the path to awakening.

By Leo Tolstoi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Religion, What Shall We Do? & The Journal of Leo Tolstoi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Journal of Leo Tolstoi is a compilation of Tolstoy's journal entries. They entries range from 1895 through 1899.

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (9 September [O.S. 28 August] 1828 - 20 November [O.S. 7 November] 1910), usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. He received multiple nominations for Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906, and nominations for Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902 and 1910, and his miss of the prize is a major Nobel prize controversy.


Book cover of A Gentleman in Moscow

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi Author Of Legacy of the Third Way

From my list on books to take you to the future.

Why am I passionate about this?

From a young age, I've been captivated by evolution and its implications for the future. I immersed myself in classical works of philosophy and literature that explored human emotions and our relentless drive to succeed against all odds, advancing human knowledge and shaping society. This fascination with understanding the future led me to write op-ed pieces on foreign policy and geopolitics for prominent newspapers in South Asia. My desire to contribute to a better future inspired me to author three nonfiction books covering topics such as the Islamic Social Contract, Lessons from the Quran, and Reflections on God,  Science, and Human Nature. 

Abdul's book list on books to take you to the future

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi Why did Abdul love this book?

Russia is once again in the headlines, sparking a geopolitical contest between her and the West.

The period immediately following the Second World War can be viewed as a romantic era, marked by new hope for peace and the rebuilding of the world. The establishment of the UN aimed to resolve power struggles at the negotiating table rather than on the battlefield. 

These elements are all found in this novel, which delves into the past to shed light on Russia's psyche and how it might shape the future. It effectively connects the past with the near future. House arrest is common in oppressive regimes across the developing world.

What intrigued me was that the protagonist was placed under hotel arrest and restricted, punished for a crime he didn't commit. It was a captivating read, especially given the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which will undoubtedly have far-reaching consequences for…

By Amor Towles,

Why should I read it?

31 authors picked A Gentleman in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The mega-bestseller with more than 2 million readers, soon to be a major television series

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Lincoln Highway and Rules of Civility, a beautifully transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and…


Book cover of The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches

Clancy Martin Author Of How Not to Kill Yourself: A Portrait of the Suicidal Mind

From my list on teaching you how not to kill yourself.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am passionate about the subject of suicide because I have lived with suicidal thinking all of my life, have made multiple suicide attempts, have lost loved ones to suicide, and have so many new friends who are survivors of suicide attempts. I am a philosophy professor and writer who spends a lot of his time thinking about the meaning of life, and reading other philosophers, writers, and thinkers who have taught us about the meaning of life. I think the Buddha is especially smart and helpful on this question, as are the existentialist philosophers.

Clancy's book list on teaching you how not to kill yourself

Clancy Martin Why did Clancy love this book?

Basho tells of a long journey he takes across Japan with a friend of his, and they write poetry along the way.

The poetry is included in the memoir. Basho writes completely without judgment, accepting everything he experiences exactly as it is. It is a book that show us how to try to find openness, naturalness, goodness, and (really) the fundamental perfection of everything.

By Matsuo Basho, Nobuyuki Yuasa (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'It was with awe
That I beheld
Fresh leaves, green leaves,
Bright in the sun'

When the Japanese haiku master Basho composed The Narrow Road to the Deep North, he was an ardent student of Zen Buddhism, setting off on a series of travels designed to strip away the trappings of the material world and bring spiritual enlightenment. He writes of the seasons changing, the smell of the rain, the brightness of the moon and the beauty of the waterfall, through which he sensed the mysteries of the universe. These writings not only chronicle Basho's travels, but they also capture…


Book cover of Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment

Susan M. Weinschenk Author Of How to Get People to Do Stuff: Master the art and science of persuasion and motivation

From my list on understanding human behavior.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a Ph.D. in Psychology and a lifelong fascination with people and why they do the things they do, including why I do the things I do. My life and career have been all about trying to learn as much as I can about psychology, brain science, how people think, how people learn, and how to use this body of knowledge and research to understand myself and others. My work is about applying behavioral science to the design of technology to better fit and serve people.

Susan's book list on understanding human behavior

Susan M. Weinschenk Why did Susan love this book?

It’s the 2nd book on my list that’s about happiness, but it’s more philosophical and personal than Dan Gilbert’s book. This book changed my life. It made me realize that I had an expectation that my life should be easy and comfortable. Before I read this book whenever something happened in my life that was not easy and comfortable – my plane was delayed, I got sick, a client was late paying an invoice – I would spin into unhappiness. Why was this happening to me? Everything was personal. Stuff happens all the time. What makes us miserable is how we react to it. I remember reading a passage from the book and feeling my frame of reference change. It permanently changed my view of myself and how I deal with life.

By Ezra Bayda,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A Zen teacher explains that true happiness can only be found by dropping our ideas about happiness—and learning to live fully and fearlessly in the moment

Many books have been published in recent years on happiness. Ezra Bayda, a remarkably down-to-earth Zen teacher, believes that the happiness “boom” has been largely a bust for readers. Why? Because it's precisely the pursuit of happiness that keeps us trapped in cycles of dissatisfaction and suffering.

In Beyond Happiness, Bayda draws on Zen teachings to question our conventional notions about what happiness is and where we can find it. Most of us seek…


Book cover of Just This Is It: Dongshan and the Practice of Suchness

David Reich Chadwick Author Of Crooked Cucumber: The Life and Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki

From my list on interested in Zen Buddhism.

Why am I passionate about this?

I got involved in Zen Buddhism in 1966 because Shunryu Suzuki was a Zen Buddhist and the San Francisco Zen Center which he founded was where I went to meditate with others free of any heavy trips, not pushing a rigid belief system, just learning to include stillness and silence in our lives so that we can feel and hear what the cosmos has to say to us. 

David's book list on interested in Zen Buddhism

David Reich Chadwick Why did David love this book?

Penetrating into the original Chinese texts, Leighton brings us close to the incomprehensible teaching of suchness, also called thusness, a positive approach to emptiness. Buddha is the Tathagata, the thus come. Suchness reminds us that the world, our lives, and emptiness are identical.

By Taigen Dan Leighton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Just This Is It as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Teachings on the practice of things-as-they-are, through commentaries on a legendary Chinese Zen figure.

The joy of “suchness”—the ultimate and true nature inherent in all appearance—shines through the teachings attributed to Dongshan Liangjie (807–869), the legendary founder of the Caodong lineage of Chan Buddhism (the predecessor of Soto Zen). Taigen Dan Leighton looks at the teachings attributed to Dongshan—in his Recorded Sayings and in the numerous koans in which he is featured as a character—to reveal the subtlety and depth of the teaching on the nature of reality that Dongshan expresses. Included are an analysis of the well-known teaching poem…


Book cover of Happiness Beyond Thought: A Practical Guide to Awakening

Anthony Metivier Author Of The Victorious Mind: How to Master Memory, Meditation and Mental Well-Being

From my list on improve your memory, focus, and concentration.

Why am I passionate about this?

Memory techniques saved my life, but I still struggled with depression. When I learned how to combine memory techniques with meditation, I was finally able to experience peace with many aspects of the disease, particularly the unwanted thoughts it placed in my mind. Much good research demonstrates just how powerful memory and meditation are for people who are suffering. Combined, the two practices create even more beneficial outcomes.

Anthony's book list on improve your memory, focus, and concentration

Anthony Metivier Why did Anthony love this book?

Happiness Beyond Thought gives practical guidance on experiencing mental peace that lasts. It isn't caught up in mysticism, but manages to show how some of the wisdom in ancient spiritual traditions make solid scientific sense. As a scientist himself, Weber wanted a secular means of experiencing mental clarity. Since clearing his own mind of unwanted thoughts, he has helped many others do the same.

Although it might seem like it is impossible to rid your mind of unwanted thoughts, Weber is careful to explain that he is focused on a particular kind of thought. Once you understand this genre of thinking, it's much easier to reduce its energy-draining impact on your life. The exercises are simple, but not too simple. When your mind is clear, your memory improves because you have more space for reflective thinking. It's that simple and I highly recommend this book.

By Gary Weber,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Happiness Beyond Thought as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Praise for Happiness Beyond Thought"Husband, father, scientist, military officer, and senior executive in industry and academia, Gary Weber has led a full and successful worldly life. Throughout all of this, Gary has relentlessly pursued a path of practice and inquiry in order to understand life and achieve enlightenment. It is rare to find one who has reached this goal, and rarer still to find such a one who has been so immersed in worldly life.With this book, Gary has successfully integrated his profound realization with traditional non-dualistic teachings, as well as insights from Zen Buddhism and modern brain research, into…


Book cover of Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery

Brian Ahearn Author Of Influence People: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical

From my list on helping you influence people and hear “yes!”.

Why am I passionate about this?

My career and life were changed by Robert Cialdini’s work on influence. There are only a dozen people in the world who have been personally trained, certified, and endorsed by Cialdini to teach his methodology on influence and persuasion. I’m fortunate to be in that very select group. I’ve authored three books and given a TED Talk on influence. My LinkedIn Learning courses around influence in sales and coaching have been viewed by more than 500,00 across the globe. I take Cialdini’s influence concepts and marry them with my 35+ years of business experience to give organizations practical ways to ethically influence people. 

Brian's book list on helping you influence people and hear “yes!”

Brian Ahearn Why did Brian love this book?

Part of mastering influence with audiences involves visuals because of the prevalence of tools like Power Point and Keynote. I came to realize is this truth: your slides support your talk but should not be the focus.

As I read Presentation Zen, I kept going back to my slide dec to rework every aspect based on my learning. I moved away from the traditional bullet point, text-filled slides with cheesy animation and pictures. I replaced them with beautiful pictures and minimal words to supports my theme. The audience response was a night and day difference!

By Garr Reynolds,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

FOREWORD BY GUY KAWASAKI

Presentation designer and internationally acclaimed communications expert Garr Reynolds, creator of the most popular Web site on presentation design and delivery on the net - presentationzen.com - shares his experience in a provocative mix of illumination, inspiration, education, and guidance that will change the way you think about making presentations with PowerPoint or Keynote. Presentation Zen challenges the conventional wisdom of making "slide presentations" in today's world and encourages you to think differently and more creatively about the preparation, design, and delivery of your presentations. Garr shares lessons and perspectives that draw upon practical advice from…


Book cover of On Having No Head

Guy Claxton Author Of The Heart of Buddhism: Practical Wisdom for an Agitated World

From my list on Buddhism that get to the heart of the matter.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a long-time meditator and student of Buddhism, and a retired but still active academic. I am a cognitive scientist specialising in the learnable aspects of real-world intelligence. My meditation ‘career’ started when I was an undergraduate studying psychology at Cambridge in the late 1960s, and has since taken me to America, India, and Japan, as well as to many retreats in the UK with visiting teachers from all the main branches of Buddhism. In my academic life, I have a doctorate in psycholinguistics from Oxford and have been Professor of the Learning Sciences at the University of Bristol and the Research Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning in Winchester. My books on the crossover between Eastern and Western Psychology include The Psychology of Awakening, Wholly HumanNoises from the Darkroom, and The Heart of Buddhism.

Guy's book list on Buddhism that get to the heart of the matter

Guy Claxton Why did Guy love this book?

One person I was lucky enough to meet and study with, though, was a very English Englishman called Douglas Harding: an ex British army officer who has some transformative experiences whist serving in India and spent the rest of his life devising smart, simple and profound ways to induce the same experiences in others. For example: point with your right index finger at the tip of your nose, and pay close attention to your actual experience of what the finger (which you can see) is pointing at (which you can’t). If you are lucky, you’ll be quite disconcerted! It was only some years after his wake-up call that Douglas realised that he had discovered Zen Buddhism for himself.

By Douglas Edison Harding,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On Having No Head as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Reason and imagination and all mental chatter died down... I forgot my name, my humanness, my thingness, all that could be called me or mine. Past and future dropped away... Lighter than air, clearer than glass, altogether released from myself, I was nowhere around.' Thus Douglas Harding describes his first experience of headlessness, or no self. First published in 1961, this is a classic work which conveys the experience that mystics of all times have tried to put words to.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in zen, haiku, and presidential biography?

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