100 books like Waking Up

By Sam Harris,

Here are 100 books that Waking Up fans have personally recommended if you like Waking Up. 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 The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Daniel Fryer Author Of How to Cope with Almost Anything with Hypnotherapy: Simple Ideas to Enhance Your Wellbeing and Resilience

From my list on boost your wellbeing and heal your soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

I could say I’ve had a hard life (and I have), but who hasn’t? Life is one adversity after another, and we need all the help we can get. Without that help, moods suffer, hope falters, and our souls are diminished. During my own personal journey through this quagmire called life, I have often been lifted up and out of the mud whilst reading the books I suggest below and more. These books either made me laugh and cry, made me think, or made me change the way I approached things. Quite often, they did all four at the same time. Their insights were invaluable. 

Daniel's book list on boost your wellbeing and heal your soul

Daniel Fryer Why did Daniel love this book?

The past has gone and can’t be changed; the future hasn’t happened yet. All we have is now. Yet so many of us pick over our pasts or spend far too much time worrying about the future and, in doing so, lose all those precious moments that make up the ‘now.’

The mainstay of therapy is bringing people back into the present to enjoy their lives more, and no book has done this quite so well as this one. It’s both thoughtful and therapeutic, philosophical and spiritual. Spirituality is considered a character strength in positive psychology (an attribute that, when used appropriately, can improve one's well-being and enhance one's resilience in the face of adversity).

It provides food for thought and a tonic for the soul. No small wonder then that it has sold so many copies and been translated into so many languages.

By Eckhart Tolle,

Why should I read it?

24 authors picked The Power of Now as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**CHOSEN BY OPRAH AS ONE OF HER 'BOOKS THAT HELP ME THROUGH'**

The international bestselling spiritual book, now with a new look for its 20th anniversary. Eckhart Tolle demonstrates how to live a healthier, happier, mindful life by living in the present moment.

************

'I keep Eckhart's book at my bedside. I think it's essential spiritual teaching. It's one of the most valuable books I've ever read.' Oprah Winfrey

To make the journey into The Power of Now we will need to leave our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind. Although the journey is challenging, Eckhart…


Book cover of Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Seth J. Gillihan Author Of Mindful Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Simple Path to Healing, Hope, and Peace

From my list on how to find true peace through mindful awareness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. For years I had been interested in mindfulness as a way to help my therapy clients, and had dabbled in it myself. But the practice took on new urgency for me in my mid-forties when I developed a long-term illness that led to depression. I was lost and didn’t know how to re-find my equilibrium. Every day felt like an enormous battle as I struggled to keep going, and often thought of ending my life. I’m so thankful that I found relief through mindful connection to myself, to a deeper awareness in which all of our experience unfolds, and through connection to the people I love. 

Seth's book list on how to find true peace through mindful awareness

Seth J. Gillihan Why did Seth love this book?

This little volume had been sitting on my bookshelf for several years before I noticed it one day. Nearly every page blew my mind. Chögyam Trungpa writes with startling clarity and insight about the nature of the mind. He captures the beauty—infused with sadness—that we find when we inhabit the simplicity of the present. This is a book that I’ve returned to again and again; with each reading I discover the revelation of a new layer of understanding. 

By Chögyam Trungpa, Carolyn Rose Gimian (editor),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The classic guide to enlightened living that first presented the Buddhist path of the warrior to a Western audience

There is a basic human wisdom that can help solve the world’s problems. It doesn’t belong to any one culture or region or religious tradition—though it can be found in many of them throughout history. It’s what Chögyam Trungpa called the sacred path of the warrior. The sacred warrior conquers the world not through violence or aggression, but through gentleness, courage, and self-knowledge. The warrior discovers the basic goodness of human life and radiates that goodness out into the world for…


Book cover of The Wisdom of No Escape: and the Path of Loving-Kindness

Seth J. Gillihan Author Of Mindful Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Simple Path to Healing, Hope, and Peace

From my list on how to find true peace through mindful awareness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. For years I had been interested in mindfulness as a way to help my therapy clients, and had dabbled in it myself. But the practice took on new urgency for me in my mid-forties when I developed a long-term illness that led to depression. I was lost and didn’t know how to re-find my equilibrium. Every day felt like an enormous battle as I struggled to keep going, and often thought of ending my life. I’m so thankful that I found relief through mindful connection to myself, to a deeper awareness in which all of our experience unfolds, and through connection to the people I love. 

Seth's book list on how to find true peace through mindful awareness

Seth J. Gillihan Why did Seth love this book?

This book will also draw you to read it more than once, as it did for me. Pema Chödrön continues the tradition of Trungpa, author of Shambhala, as he was her teacher. From the first sentence of the book, Chödrön reveals the mistake we habitually make as we invest our energy in trying to get comfortable. Each time I return to this book, I discover that it helps me to hold whatever difficulty I’m having a bit more lightly, and to find more humor in my everyday trials and habitual pettiness. This book shows us that on the other side of our attachment to comfort, life is just so much livelier.  

By Pema Chödrön,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Wisdom of No Escape as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Massmarket edition of this spiritual guide to making the most of life, through bad times as well as good, from bestselling author Pema Choedroen. This accessible book has been on the US bestseller lists consistently for four years now.

In The Wisdom of No Escape, bestselling author Pema Choedroen shows us the profound value of our situation of 'no exit' from the ups and downs of life.

This book is about saying yes to life in all its manifestations - about making friends with ourselves and our world and embracing the potent mixture of joy, suffering, brilliance, and confusion that…


Book cover of Into the Silent Land: A Guide to the Christian Practice of Contemplation

Seth J. Gillihan Author Of Mindful Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Simple Path to Healing, Hope, and Peace

From my list on how to find true peace through mindful awareness.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist. For years I had been interested in mindfulness as a way to help my therapy clients, and had dabbled in it myself. But the practice took on new urgency for me in my mid-forties when I developed a long-term illness that led to depression. I was lost and didn’t know how to re-find my equilibrium. Every day felt like an enormous battle as I struggled to keep going, and often thought of ending my life. I’m so thankful that I found relief through mindful connection to myself, to a deeper awareness in which all of our experience unfolds, and through connection to the people I love. 

Seth's book list on how to find true peace through mindful awareness

Seth J. Gillihan Why did Seth love this book?

Mindfulness is often seen as a philosophy and practice that originated solely in eastern religious traditions. Indeed, in my conservative Christian upbringing I was taught that it was wrong to meditate, and that meditation could open one up to demon possession (!). But as Martin Laird’s excellent guide shows, there is a rich history of mindful meditation within Christian monasticism. Laird offers a piercingly clear description of the experience of nondual awareness. His writing reveals not only what the experience is like, but the specifics of how to enter in. 

By Martin Laird,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An instant classic of contemporary spirituality, bringing together an engaging introduction to the Christian contemplative tradition for people inside or on the margins of the churches who feel drawn to the world of silent prayer.

Martin Laird shows how silence and meditation can offer a remedy to many contemporary dilemmas and emotional struggles. Writing with great clarity, depth and authority, Laird examines the meditative methods and traditions found within contemplative prayer. He also explores the role of breath and awareness in the spiritual life, which, while usually associated with Buddhism, is also an ancient concern of Christian thinkers.

Into the…


Book cover of A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life

Jonathan Ellerby Author Of The Seven Gateways of Spiritual Experience: Awakening to a Deeper Knowledge of Love, Life Balance, and God

From my list on spiritually-focused books to awaken your heart, mind, and soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love books! I wrote my first book as a science project at age 11. As a writer, books are my passion. Specifically, I have been interested in the nature of consciousness and healing since I was 12 years old. I started reading everything I could get my hands on at that time and continued voraciously until I completed my Ph.D. around the age of 30. Many themes in transformation and spirituality I read almost exhaustively – Indigenous studies, cross-cultural healing, the nature of mind, and the nature of the soul. I have always needed to keep books around me just to feel at home.

Jonathan's book list on spiritually-focused books to awaken your heart, mind, and soul

Jonathan Ellerby Why did Jonathan love this book?

This was the absolute best book I have ever read that explains the spiritual path.

I love that this book is so balanced and whole. Jack Kornfield helped me understand spiritual growth early in my journey through simple but sophisticated psychology and deep nondual philosophy and experience.

He covers everything clearly, with amazing stories and a fantastic writing style that I found inspiring, challenging, and comforting all at once.

By Jack Kornfield,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Path with Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jack Kornfield's A Path with Heart has been acclaimed as the most significant book yet about American Buddhism-a definitive guide to the practice of traditional mindfulness in America today.

On this audio edition, Kornfield teaches the key principles of Buddhism's cherished vipassana (insight) tradition, and puts them into direct service, with the unique needs of the contemporary seeker in mind.


Book cover of Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives

Wolfgang Riebe Author Of Discover Your Magic: 7 Steps to a Truly Fulfilling Life

From my list on inspiration that bring out the magic in your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having grown up in South Africa in the ’70s & '80s with the whole world against the corrupt, racist government and pretty much cut off from the world, I still managed to achieve my dreams and change the lives of peoples of all races and cultures in over 165 countries globally. My book reflects ‘real-life’ authentic tips to help everyone discover their magic!

Wolfgang's book list on inspiration that bring out the magic in your life

Wolfgang Riebe Why did Wolfgang love this book?

I really enjoy inspirational books written as stories that use life events to portray messages.

It's an easy read coupled with a great story filled with powerful messages. What appeals to me is that the story is captivating and simple. I find in today’s world everything is over-complicated and drawn out.

Dan Millman captures you immediately and the messages are attainable for every normal person and understandable as well - isn’t that what a book should be about?

By Dan Millman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Way of the Peaceful Warrior as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An International Bestseller — Rediscover Life’s Larger Meaning and Purpose

The 20th Anniversary Edition with a New Afterword and Revisions by Dan Millman.

A book that could change your life: When Dan Millman was a young man, he expected that hard work would eventually bring a life of comfort, wisdom, and happiness. Yet, despite his many successes, he was haunted by the feeling that something was missing. Awakened by dark dreams one night, Dan found himself at a gas station with an old man named Socrates, and his world was changed forever. Guided by this eccentric old warrior, and inspired…


Book cover of Be Still and Get Going: A Jewish Meditation Practice for Real Life

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

From my list on Zen and Judaism.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Brenda Shoshanna Why did Brenda love this book?

Combining the teachings of Zen and Judaism Rabbi Lew creates a wonderful balance between stillness and activity. The book includes both Buddhist and Jewish teachings and addresses the pain and psychological issues we grapple with daily.

By Alan Lew,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Be Still and Get Going as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written in a warm, accessible, and intimate style, Be Still and Get Going will touch those who are searching for an authentic spiritual practice that speaks to them in their own cultural language. Lew is one of the most sought-after rabbis on the lecture circuit. He has had national media exposure for his dynamic fusion of Eastern insight and Bible study, having been the subject of stories on ABC News, the McNeil Lehrer News Hour, and various NPR programs. In the past five years there have been national conferences on Jewish meditation in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami where…


Book cover of The Book of Secrets: 112 Meditations to Discover the Mystery Within

Gabriel Dee Author Of The Power of Death: A Radical Path to Personal Transformation and Spiritual Enlightenment

From my list on spiritual books only a few people read.

Why am I passionate about this?

Gabriel Dee is a mystic, author, spiritual teacher, and the founder of Immortology. At the age of 26, he became a seeker and became enlightened on the 11th of March, 2011. He experienced most of the spiritual methods of the world and traveled to India to learn more about healing, hypnosis, and meditation. His main teaching is making people face their own mortality, and then going beyond it to realize their immortality.

Gabriel's book list on spiritual books only a few people read

Gabriel Dee Why did Gabriel love this book?

The next one on my list of the top 5 spiritual books is The Book of Secrets by Osho. He is my favorite spiritual teacher, and although he never wrote any books, the texts from his speeches were published in several compilations. Everything you read from him can be useful, but this book stands above the rest in its length, depth and practicality.

This book is based on a 5000 year old tantric scripture consisting of 112 meditations to achieve liberation. What Osho basically does is that he adds commentaries and his own experiences to each of the techniques, thereby making them understandable and practical for the modern seeker. If I had to recommend any book on meditation, it would definitely be this one.

By Osho,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In this comprehensive and practical guide, the secrets of the ancient science of Tantra become available to a contemporary audience. Confined to small, hidden mystery schools for centuries, and often misunderstood and misinterpreted today. Tantra is not just a collection of techniques to enhance sexual experience. As Osho shows in these pages, it is a complete science of self-realization, based on the cumulative wisdom of centuries of exploration into the meaning of life and consciousness. Tantra-the very word means "technique"-is a set of powerful, transformative tools that can be used to bring new meaning and joy to every aspect of…


Book cover of Praying Naked: The Spirituality of Anthony de Mello

Joan Budilovsky Author Of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Meditation

From my list on meditation from a meditation expert.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was introduced to meditation through a hatha yoga course I took as a college student. That’s when I first became enthralled with eastern philosophy. I studied and later taught these subjects becoming a College Professor in them. I’m also a musician and massage therapist. I consider music, meditation, yoga, massage to be beautiful healing modalities with endless transformative possibilities. My various books have been translated into French, Polish, Romanian, Spanish, Turkish, Russian, Bulgarian, and more. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Meditation (co-written with Eve Adamson) has recently become available as an audiobook on Audible.com. This book has turned thousands of people onto the meditative path and I hope it will you too.

Joan's book list on meditation from a meditation expert

Joan Budilovsky Why did Joan love this book?

For over a decade, I traveled the globe giving “Awareness Seminars” with Fr. Stroud. This book is like going to one of those seminars. It’s filled with exercises and stories that enlighten and encourage. Every time I read this book a new memory and/or revelation in Awareness inspires me to continue with an open heart and mind on this beautiful path of discovery. Thank you with all my heart, Fr. Stroud.

By J. Francis Sj Stroud,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In his books Awareness and The Way to Love, among others,theinternationally acclaimed spiritual guide Anthony de Mello presented an approach to spirituality that integrated the ancient traditions of the East with the psychological and philosophical perspectives of the West. Twenty years after his death, de Mello’s books continue to attract readers and his work remains a powerful influence on contemporary spiritual thought and practices. J. Francis Stroud, S.J., who helped de Mello with his hugely successful lectures, seminars, and books, has dedicated himself to keeping de Mello’s teachings alive through the de Mello Spirituality Center at Fordham University. In Praying…


Book cover of The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation

Shawn Goodman Author Of Kindness for Weakness

From my list on helping you heal and grow.

Why am I passionate about this?

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

Shawn Goodman Why did Shawn love this book?

I’ll be honest: I have only scratched the surface of this book and the questions it asks and answers. How to deal with suffering and remain open to joy and beauty? I understand the book’s content at only the most superficial level. I suspect it’s going to take years for me to go deeper with it. As a writer, I am blown away by Trungpa’s style, which is clear, simple, and relatable. As a psychologist, I am humbled to see how clumsy and awkward our modern approaches are. 

By Chögyam Trungpa,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Featuring a new foreword by Pema Chödrön, this Tibetan Buddhist classic explores the meaning of freedom and how we can attain it through meditation

Freedom is generally thought of as the ability to achieve goals and satisfy desires. But what are the sources of these goals and desires? If they arise from ignorance, habitual patterns, and negative emotions, is the freedom to pursue these goals true freedom—or is it just a myth? 

In The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation, Chögyam Trungpa explores the true meaning of freedom, showing us how our attitudes, preconceptions, and even our spiritual…


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