10 books like The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation

By Chögyam Trungpa,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Man’s Search for Meaning

Joseph Jean Baptiste Jolicoeur Author Of Your Sun Will Rise Again: Poems of Hope and Survival

From the list on increasing your well-being and happiness, and heal.

Who am I?

I had depression for many years and looked for healing everywhere I could. Bibliotherapy helped me a lot on my journey. I became a bookworm, reading a lot to better understand myself and how I could heal my mind. When I understood that the words we tell ourselves and the thoughts we constantly think matter, my life improved. Changing our mindset by changing our thoughts surely heals our minds, hearts, and lives. The five books I have picked, which are listed below, among others, brought me solace, gave me hope, and helped me see life from a better perspective.

Joseph's book list on increasing your well-being and happiness, and heal

Discover why each book is one of Joseph's favorite books.

Why did Joseph love this book?

This book helped me understand “the power of why” in my life: when we have a reason to keep going, nothing can stop us.

Despite the dreadful experiences in Nazi concentration camps, Viktor Frankl survived because he had found the importance of purpose and meaning in life, even in dire circumstances. We too can tap into resilience, find meaning in our lives, develop our capacity to endure suffering so we can be transformed and healed.

If we are seeking personal growth, wisdom, and a better understanding of ourselves and our place in the world, we should read Man's Search for Meaning. It can contribute to our sense of well-being, happiness, and personal healing.

By Viktor Frankl,

Why should I read it?

36 authors picked Man’s Search for Meaning as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the outstanding classics to emerge from the Holocaust, Man's Search for Meaning is Viktor Frankl's story of his struggle for survival in Auschwitz and other Nazi concentration camps. Today, this remarkable tribute to hope offers us an avenue to finding greater meaning and purpose in our own lives.

The War of Art

By Steven Pressfield,

Book cover of The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

David J. Bookbinder Author Of The Art of Balance: Staying Sane in an Insane World

From the list on living your best life.

Who am I?

To paraphrase the old Hair Club for Men ads from 1980s late-night TV, I'm not only a life coach, I'm also a client. I’ve been a self-help junkie since before the term was a book category. I started out with Eastern thought, added in meditation and psychology, and eventually became a therapist and life coach myself. Like the authors of several of the books I’m recommending here, I’ve crystalized into one easy-to-access volume the essence of what I’ve learned from 20 years of working with clients and from my own struggles. I hope these books help you move ahead confidently, knowing you can take on whatever comes your way.

David's book list on living your best life

Discover why each book is one of David's favorite books.

Why did David love this book?

The War of Art is an essential book for any creative person who feels blocked, stuck, gets off track, or is held back by self-doubt.

Pressfield’s identification of the many faces of Resistance, along with his distinction between the professional and the amateur, helped me fend off an inner critic that had hindered me for decades, allowing me to finish four books (and counting) I had previously abandoned.

Pressfield hammers home this crucial point: “Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.”

And then he gives us the tools to get that work done.

By Steven Pressfield,

Why should I read it?

18 authors picked The War of Art as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A succinct, engaging, and practical guide forsucceeding in any creative sphere, The War ofArt is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul.

What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do?

Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid theroadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dreambusiness venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece?

Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy thatevery one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer thisinternal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success.

The War of Art emphasizes the resolve…

When the Body Says No

By Gabor Maté,

Book cover of When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress

Laura K. Connell Author Of It's Not Your Fault: The Subconscious Reasons We Self-Sabotage and How to Stop

From the list on healing childhood trauma and self-sabotage.

Who am I?

I grew up in a home with severe emotional abuse and neglect. Scoring 6 on the ACEs (adverse childhood events) test became a wake-up call; according to the test, my life span had been shortened by 20 years and I was determined to get them back. I stopped protecting my abusive family and got honest about what I had been through. This drew an audience who said I helped them feel seen and heard (and they did the same for me). I’ve spent the last decade on a healing journey from addiction and self-sabotage, the culmination of which is my new book and trauma-informed coaching practice that transforms lives.

Laura's book list on healing childhood trauma and self-sabotage

Discover why each book is one of Laura's favorite books.

Why did Laura love this book?

In this book, a medical doctor makes the connection between suppressed emotions, especially anger and rage, and disease in the body.

When we live inauthentic lives, our bodies manifest this self-abandonment through auto-immune issues (literally the body turning against itself). He notes that women especially have the tendency to abandon themselves to serve others which creates repressed resentments that come out as disease in the body. It helped explain my painful bout with shingles which became a turning point for me in committing to living for myself instead of others.

By Gabor Maté,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked When the Body Says No as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Can a person literally die of loneliness? Is there a connection between the ability to express emotions and Alzheimer's disease? Is there such a thing as a 'cancer personality'?

Drawing on deep scientific research and Dr Gabor Mate's acclaimed clinical work, When the Body Says No provides the answers to critical questions about the mind-body link - and the role that stress and our emotional makeup play in an array of common diseases.

When the Body Says No:

- Explores the role of the mind-body link in conditions and diseases such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome…

The Places That Scare You

By Pema Chödrön,

Book cover of The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times

Shawn Goodman Author Of Kindness for Weakness

From the list on helping you heal and grow.

Who am I?

When I’m not writing or reading, I work as a psychologist with kids and families. After twenty-five years of this work, it’s clear that many good people are suffering. It is too easy to respond with apathy or cynicism, which creates even more suffering. I am drawn to writing that gives us understanding and hope. 

Shawn's book list on helping you heal and grow

Discover why each book is one of Shawn's favorite books.

Why did Shawn love this book?

Chodron approaches the subject of our fears and insecurities with such a gentle touch that it would be hard to read it and not change and grow. I found this book accidentally, and let it sit on my bookshelf for years. I should back up and say that I have a theory about great books: they find you when you’re ready for them. I’m so glad this one found me.

By Pema Chödrön,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Places That Scare You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the most inspiring spiritual teachers of our time offers simple, practical advice for living with less fear, less anxiety and a more open heart. Bought in a hotly contested auction, The Places That Scare You is now available in massmarket, taking Pema Choedroen 's spiritual teachings to a wider audience.

We always have a choice, Pema Choedroen teaches: we can either let the circumstances of our lives harden us and make us increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us and make us kind.

This unique book shows us how to awaken our basic goodness…

Book cover of Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life: Awakening Your Heart, Connecting with God

Brenda Shoshanna Author Of Jewish Dharma: A Guide to the Practice of Judaism and Zen

From the list on Zen and Judaism.

Who am I?

A lifelong practitioner and teacher of both Zen and Judaism, I am also a psychologist, who has constantly grappled with human needs, suffering, and the craving for meaning. The focus of my life has been to integrate the profound teachings of East and West and provide ways of making these teachings real in our everyday lives. An award-winning author, I have published many books on Zen and psychology, and have been the playwright in residence at the Jewish Repertory Theater in NY. Presently, I offer two weekly podcasts, Zen Wisdom for Your Everyday Life, and One Minute Mitzvahs. I also provide ongoing Zen talks both for Morningstar Zen and Inisfada Zen, workshops, and other talks for the community.

Brenda's book list on Zen and Judaism

Discover why each book is one of Brenda's favorite books.

Why did Brenda love this book?

This approach to meditation includes the wisdom of Buddhism and Judaism as a way to learn from life experience. By combining these two traditions, Rabbi Roth presents a model that allows westerners―both Jews and non-Jews―to embrace timeless Eastern teachings and integrate them with Jewish practice as well.

By Rabbi Jeff Roth,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Awaken your heart and mind to see your own capacity for wisdom, compassion and kindness.

"When we awaken to our own light, it becomes possible to develop real wisdom about our life. As wisdom allows us to see clearly, our hearts break open with compassion for the struggles of our own lives and the lives of all beings. Awakened with wisdom and compassion, we are impelled to live our lives with kindness, and we are led to do whatever we can to repair the brokenness of our world."
—from the Introduction

At last, a fresh take on meditation that draws…

Buddha Da

By Anne Donovan,

Book cover of Buddha Da

Elissa Soave Author Of Ginger and Me

From the list on Scottish reads centring working-class women.

Who am I?

I am a Scottish writer and have long loved books from and about Scotland. But I would love to see more written about the working-class Scottish experience from women’s perspective as I think that would lead to less focus on the violence and poverty that is featured in so many contemporary Scottish books from male authors. There is so much joy in the Scottish working-class experience – a pot of soup always on the stove in someone’s kitchen, the stories, the laughter, a community that cares for their own. Let’s see more of that, and more stories from and about Scottish working-class women.

Elissa's book list on Scottish reads centring working-class women

Discover why each book is one of Elissa's favorite books.

Why did Elissa love this book?

Buddha Da is about Anne Marie’s painter/decorator Da who turns the whole family’s life upside down when he suddenly decides to become a Buddhist.

Set in Glasgow, and filled with quiet humour and pathos, I love how the author takes an ordinary working-class family and infuses their story with charm and wit. You cannot but warm to Jimmy and his family, and feel for Jimmy in particular as he searches for spiritual enlightenment.

I love that this is a novel about working-class Scottish life that is about more than men drinking and fighting, and grim poverty. It is about working-class life as it is – centring on family bonds (with brilliant strong women with minds of their own!), the everyday, and most of all, the universal human desire to find meaning in life. 

By Anne Donovan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Anne Marie's Da, a Glaswegian painter and decorator, has always been game for a laugh. So when he first tells his family that he's taking up meditation at the Buddhist Centre in town, no one takes him seriously. But as Jimmy becomes more involved in his search for the spiritual his beliefs start to come into conflict with the needs of his wife, Liz, and cracks begin to form in their previously happy family.

With grace, humour and humility Anne Donovan's beloved debut tells the story of one man's search for a higher power. But in his search for meaning,…

Start Where You Are

By Pema Chödrön,

Book cover of Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

Lodro Rinzler Author Of Take Back Your Mind: Buddhist Advice for Anxious Times

From the list on how to learn Buddhism.

Who am I?

Lodro Rinzler has taught Buddhism for 20 years, starting when he was just 18 years-old. He is the author of seven meditation books including the best-seller The Buddha Walks into a Bar, and the co-founder of MNDFL meditation studios in New York City. His books Walk Like a Buddha and The Buddha Walks into the Office both have received Independent Publisher Book Awards. Named one of 50 Innovators Shaping the Future of Wellness by SONIMA, Rinzler's new book is Take Back Your Mind: Buddhist Advice for Anxious Times.

Lodro's book list on how to learn Buddhism

Discover why each book is one of Lodro's favorite books.

Why did Lodro love this book?

I vacillated wildly on which of Pema Chödrön’s books to include here, as many of them cover Buddhism in such a way that the teachings are made modern and relevant to whatever readers are going through. This book, for example, covers the ancient lojong, or mind-training, slogans of the Buddhist master Atisha and shows how this very old text has a lot to say about how we can live a life based in mindfulness and compassion. I don’t think you can go wrong by picking up any of her books (or any books written by any of these authors, frankly), but this one fits best for our purposes for a strong introduction to the fundamental teachings of Buddhism.

By Pema Chödrön,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Start Where You Are as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Start Where You Are is an indispensable handbook for cultivating fearlessness and awakening a compassionate heart, from bestselling author Pema Choedroen. With insight and humour, she presents down-to-earth guidance on how to make friends with ourselves and develop genuine compassion towards others.

This book shows how we can 'start where we are' by embracing rather than denying the painful aspects of our lives.

Pema Choedroen frames her teachings on compassion around fifty-nine traditional Tibetan Buddhist maxims, or slogans, such as: 'Always apply a joyful state of mind', 'Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment' and 'Be grateful to everyone'.

Working with…

Luminous Darkness

By Deborah Eden Tull,

Book cover of Luminous Darkness: An Engaged Buddhist Approach to Embracing the Unknown

Diana Winston Author Of The Little Book of Being: Practices and Guidance for Uncovering Your Natural Awareness

From the list on Buddhist stories from lesser-known women authors.

Who am I?

There are so many good spiritual books out there that get little attention, especially books by women and women of color. I have been a meditation practitioner for three decades, running a mindfulness center at UCLA, and been teaching and sharing Buddhist and mindfulness teaching for 20+ years. I need my sources of inspiration too! Each of these books forced me to think—and brought new depth to my own meditation practice. I am interested in how the Buddhist and mindfulness teachings, which I love so deeply, can help us build resiliency and weather the challenges of the intersecting, current ecological, political and social crises. These books are a great start.

Diana's book list on Buddhist stories from lesser-known women authors

Discover why each book is one of Diana's favorite books.

Why did Diana love this book?

Follow Eden on a journey into all the fecundity of darkness—into the body, nature, silence, world challenges. She is an amazing guide to a shadow side of the Buddhist practice that I have not seen elsewhere. She shows how these neglected aspects of ourselves are actually a path to awakening and healing. It’s a pretty remarkable and unusual book and it just came out!

By Deborah Eden Tull,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A resonant call to explore the darkness in life, in nature, and in consciousness—including difficult emotions like uncertainty, grief, fear, and xenophobia—through teachings, embodied meditations, and mindful inquiry that provide us with a powerful path to healing.

Darkness is deeply misunderstood in today’s world; yet it offers powerful medicine, serenity, strength, healing, and regeneration. All insight, vision, creativity, and revelation arise from darkness. It is through learning to stay present and meet the dark with curiosity rather than judgment that we connect to an unwavering light within. Welcoming darkness with curiosity, rather than fear or judgment, enables us to access…

Zen Therapy

By David Brazier,

Book cover of Zen Therapy: Transcending the Sorrows of the Human Mind

Alvin Raja Hornstein Author Of Working With the Dying: Compassion, Shame, and the Illusion of Loss

From the list on how psychotherapy and meditation work together.

Who am I?

I've been a meditator for fifty years, learning from many teachers. I've been a psychotherapist for twenty years. The connections between meditation and psychotherapy are subtle and powerful. When I started my psychology studies, I went to my Zen teacher and asked for his guidance. I knew I couldn't survive the academic path without more depth in my meditation practice. There were two professors who captured my attention: one, the most psychoanalytic teacher at my school, and one, a student of the same Zen master who taught Leonard Cohen. They guided my research. If you're a psychotherapist, are in psychotherapy yourself, or are a meditator, you will love these books.

Alvin's book list on how psychotherapy and meditation work together

Discover why each book is one of Alvin's favorite books.

Why did Alvin love this book?

Brazier begins with his own experience of Zen training, and then continues on to a survey of Buddhist ideas and how each of them relates to the practice of psychotherapy. For example he takes the profound and mysterious concept of karma and then shows us how this is related to the process of helping a patient understand their repetitive psychological patterns. He addresses the topic that was central to my own path of merging psychotherapy and meditation: how loss and death are teachers. He explains the main lesson they teach: what is lost is our illusion of how the world is put together.

By David Brazier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Buddhism, from Abhidharma to Zen, offers a practical path to harmony of head and heart. For over 2,000 years Buddhists have been developing sophisticated psychologies to guide the work of achieving freedom from mental suffering. Now East and West are beginning to learn from each other.

In a readable and practical manner, this book challenges basic assumptions of Western psychology, demystifies Buddhist psychology and presents Zen as a therapy. Giving examples of its effectiveness in psychotherapeutic practice, the author shows how Zen derives from the Buddhist theory of the mind and throws new light upon the Buddhist theory of relations…

The Joy of Living

By Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche,

Book cover of The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness

Bertrand Jouvenot Author Of Managing Softly

From the list on Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness.

Who am I?

Bertrand Jouvenot is a French marketing influencer and prominent writer on business, management, marketing, branding, and digital. He has spent over twenty years in a variety of senior marketing roles. He now teaches at several business and fashion schools for Chinese and European students as well as consulting to various businesses. Bertrand lives in Paris, France, and writes for Le Monde, The Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Mediapart, Stratégies, le Journal du Net, Les Echos, and Influencia, the prestigious French quarterly print magazine spotting trends in marketing, communication, and creation. 

Bertrand's book list on Buddhist philosophy and mindfulness

Discover why each book is one of Bertrand's favorite books.

Why did Bertrand love this book?

The author is a world-renowned Buddhist teacher. Using the basic meditation practices the author provides, the reader can discover paths through his problems, transforming obstacles into opportunities to recognize the unlimited potential of his own minds. The monk invites us to join him in unlocking the secrets to finding joy and contentment in the everyday life. The book offers an illuminating perspective on the art of meditation and is a handbook for transforming our minds, bodies, and lives.

By Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For millennia, Buddhists have enjoyed the limitless benefits of meditation. But how does it work? And why? The principles behind this ancient practice have long eluded some of the best minds in modern science. Until now.

This groundbreaking work, with a foreword by bestselling author Daniel Goleman, invites us to join in unlocking the secrets behind the practice of meditation. Working with neuroscientists, the author provides clear insights into modern research, which indicates that systematic training in meditation can enhance activity in areas of the brain associated with happiness and compassion.

With an infectious joy and insatiable curiosity, Yongey Mingyur…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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