Spiritual Leadership Books

Spiritual Leadership Books

Starting with the Dalai Lama, the Watkins Spiritual 100 list is a whos who of spiritual leadership today. WhyToRead has been reviewing a top book by each leader. This list, 3rd in our series, starts with Number 15 – Arianna Huffington; best known for Huffington Post.

Read these spiritual leadership books by a leader who has made a unique and spiritual contribution to our world. Celebrate the positive and give yourself a lift. We guarantee you will feel uplifted and positive after reading these. And as always reading widely, including other faiths is a key benefit of reading.

15. Thrive – Arianna Huffington

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A memoir from one of the most influential women in the world, Thrive is an inspiring and insightful book to read, especially for the modern women trying to strike a work-life balance. Huffington speaks candidly about her own challenges in managing a successful career and family demands. More than just a personal account of her success, she also addresses important issues, such as how business culture should change to promote greater women’s contribution to the economy.  You may question her inclusion in a Spiritual Leadership list; but you will not question her honest and moving message.

16. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear – Elizabeth Gilbert

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If you have always felt that yearn within of wanting to live a fulfilling creative life, Big Magic is a must read. For those who enjoyed Gilbert’s bestseller, Eat, Love, Pray, this book is can be considered its self-help version cousin. The main takeaway from Big Magic is that whatever no matter how old you are and whatever the circumstances are, it is never too late to cast aside self-doubts and create the life you’ve always wanted. (And we just love the cover on this book).

17. Be Here Now – Ram Dass

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Dass, a recognized spiritual leader, encourages the reader to question themselves and rethink the important issues in life, such as family, lifestyle and adversities. This book has been described as life changing for some and overly simplistic by others. Regardless of whichever opinion spectrum you may fall on, there is benefit to be occasionally reminded about the importance of self-awareness.

18. The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable about Fulfilling Your Dreams and Reaching Your Destiny – Robin Sharma

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Rarely is there a self-help book so engaging and enlightening as Sharma’s discipline and character development guide. Rather than the run-of-the-mill concept of telling readers what to do to better themselves, this book is contracted in a fable format. It follows the story of a high-profile lawyer who had it all, but gave everything up in search of spiritual growth. This an interesting guide to self-growth with a powerful message that may end up changing your perception of life.

19. Celebrating Silence – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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Whatever challenges you may be facing in life, it always helps to take a look at things from the spiritual angle. As Celebrating Silence shows will prove, there are profound and simple meanings to life’s ups and downs that we face each day. If only we can take a moment to understand what we are going through, we may get a clearer direction to go forward.  Spiritual Leadership comes in all types, with Sri Sri an unusual and outspoken person.

20. A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam – Karen Armstrong

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As the title suggests, Armstrong’s book is a comprehensive historical view of the three major monotheistic faiths. The book shows that the idea of God is indeed an evolving one – something which may not sit well with fundamentalists. Eye-opening and thought provoking, Armstrong’s book has to be approach with an open mind as it may challenge some of our deep-seated ideas about the three faiths.  Spiritual Leadership comes in all types, and Armstrong is a provocative, and original thinker on the role of religion in the modern world.  She believes we should help make religion a force for harmony.

Read Spiritual Leaders 1-7 and 8-14 too.

Influential Spiritual Books 2016

Influential Spiritual Books 2016

WhyToRead continues to review the most influential spiritual books from the Top 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People of 2016 (Watkins Magazine).
Read these books to uplift your spirit, stretch your spiritual comfort zone or simply be aware of major influences in our world today.

For more spiritual books by Leaders 1-7 click here.

Spiritual Books by Leaders 8-14

8. The Secret/ The Magic / The Power – Rhonda Byrne

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Byrne’s three-book series centers on the Law of Attraction and how our thoughts can be used to bring about what we desire. The Secret introduces the concept of the Law of Attraction, The Magic focuses on gratitude and The Power is about love. All of her books draw examples from major religions, spiritual practices and her own life in support of the points presented these spiritual books. Though nothing new or original, Byrne’s books (and video’s) launched into the world with great success and are good reads to remind us of the power our thoughts can have on our reality – especially when the going gets tough.

9. Psychomagic: The Transformative Power of Shamanic Psychotherapy – Alejandro Jodorowsky

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Jodorowsky is not your average modern day spiritual teacher. He advocates the use of a wide range methods for spiritual exploration and growth; from dreams, tarot and meditation to art, poetry and performance. Above all, he teaches us to acknowledge irrationality – that side of life which the intellect cannot figure out – and learn to communicate with it. This book is an enlightening guide for those who can approach it with an open mind.

10. What I know for Sure – Oprah Winfrey

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Not many people of our time can reach the wide encompassing audience that Oprah Winfrey does.  In What I know for Sure, she shares a life’s worth of experience and wisdom gained in what she herself calls her “private book of revelations”. The book itself is a compilation of essays from the column of the same name in O magazine, from the past 14 years. Packed with nuggets of wisdom on a variety of topics, from weight issues to time management, this book is sure to inspire you to rethink many aspects of life, even if you have never watched an episode of Oprah on TV.

11. Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality Presented in Four Paths, Twenty-Six Themes and Two Questions – Matthew Fox

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In one of the most original theological reflections, Fox presents a simple thesis that humans are by nature good, as they are created in the image of god. His argument goes against the Original Sin model, which supposes that humans are inherently flawed and goodness is an exception. This is an excellent book for those looking for an alternative view on Christianity in the west.

12. You Can Heal Your Life – Louise L Hay

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Whether it is health issues, troubled relationships or any rough patches in life, Hay has a message for her readers.  “If we are willing to do the mental work, almost anything can be healed.” As one of the leading authorities in the self-help genre, Hay takes the reader on a transformative journey that starts from within oneself to loving the self. Ultimately, the underlying message is that our thoughts create our reality, and Hay shows us how we can harness our minds to change our lives for the better.

13. Midnights with the Mystic: A little Guide to Freedom and Bliss – Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev (with Cheryl Simone)

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Author Cheryl Simone takes the reader through her life and spiritual exploration that leads her to one of India’s most sought after mystics, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. This book is constructed around a series of late night conversations around a camp fire between Simone and the Guru. The result is a thorough exposition of Sadhguru’s teachings that addresses some of life’s most difficult questions. This is a must-read for those who strive to live a spiritual life full of awareness.

14. Fingerprints of the Gods – Graham Hancock

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If you enjoy ancient world history, Hancock will shed light on mysteries of ancient civilizations and cultures remaining unanswered. In Fingerprints of God, he presents compelling evidence that many fiction authors have theorized in their work: that a technologically and culturally advanced civilization existed but was erased from human history. Entertaining, enlightening and thought-provoking, Hancock will have you immerse in ancient history and conspiracy theories in no time.

Check back for more spiritual books by Influential Leaders of our times next week.

2016 Spiritual Leaders Books To Read

2016 Spiritual Leaders Books To Read

Every year the Watkins Magazine publishes a list of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People. These spiritual leaders have written many books. WhyToRead will review their most popular or most recent spiritual books for you over the next few weeks.

Spiritual Leaders 1-7

1. How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life – Dalai Lama

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If you are a complete beginner to Buddhism philosophy, there is no better way to be introduced to the Buddha’s teachings than by the Dalai Lama, perhaps the worlds foremost Spiritual Leader. The book starts off with the basics of Buddhist morality, then moves on to the practice of meditation, and ends with explanation of tantra. Overall, How to Practice demonstrates the simplicity and practicality of Buddhism principles, which anyone can learn to incorporate into their daily lives to attain peace and happiness.

2. The Church of Mercy – Pope Francis

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The latest book that compiles talks given by Pope Francis focuses on the theme of mercy, addressing topics such as poverty, Mary and the Gospel. This book does not need to be read in order, because each part is a standalone topic. Even if you are not of Christian faith, you may find some of the topics address issues that may resonate with you.

3. The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World – Desmond Tutu

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Being unable to forgive and move on puts one in a self-created mental prison. Co-written with his daughter, Mpho, Tutu invites readers to embark on a path of healing through forgiveness. The authors outline steps to acknowledging sources that caused one grief and despair, and then how to gradually work past them to create inner peace for oneself. If you have emotional baggage from the past that still haunts you, this is an excellent read that may get you started on freeing yourself form what’s hurting you inside.

4. The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle

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The fundamental principle to spiritual enlightenment – according to Tolle – is to practice being in the present moment, for that is all we have. The author clearly illuminates readers on destructive thought patterns created by the ego, and how they inhibit spiritual growth. He also outlines simple techniques to break down various mental barriers. The ideas presented are not new, but Tolle has managed to make it accessible to anyone seeking some sort of spiritual direction.

5. The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: A practical Guide to the Fulfillment of your Dreams – Deepak Chopra

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What place does spirituality have in the quest for material and financial success? It teaches us to accept fate and let go of events which we have no control over, which will lead to less stress and greater peace of mind. Chopra is not saying that we should leave everything up to fate and be passive. Instead, he urges the reader to rethink achievements and failures. If you are prone to worrying about the future, this book may be the pick-me-up you need.

6. Adultery – Paulo Coelho

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This is a new book from Paulo Coelho, probably best known for his spiritual journey “The Alchemst“.

Protagonist Linda is a woman who has it all – a stable career, happy family and financial security. Yet, she feels empty, restless and bored. It would be convenient to dismiss Adultery as a story of a woman looking for excitement in an extramarital affair. However, there are deeper and somewhat uncomfortable life lesson to be learned from this thought-provoking novel. If anything, it is a cautionary tale about how boredom and restlessness can be both constructive and destructive.

7. The Color Purple – Alice Walker

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The Pulitzer prizewinning book is a disturbing yet realistic account into the life of Celie, a young black woman with a tragic, abusive past who learns how to survive, how to let go of the past, and most of all how to love. The author, a committed activist who coined the phrase ‘womanism‘ for black feminists, transformed African-American literature with this book.

More Spiritual Leaders 8-14 next week.