Inspirational Books: Friends for the Journey

Inspirational books can be great friends on the spiritual journey. But there are so many to choose from. Check out these recommendations to help you on your way.

Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man. - Benjamin Franklin

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. - Chinese proverb

Inspirational books have been great friends of mine. I had the joy of working for the biggest metaphysical bookstore on the the planet, the Bodhi Tree Bookstore of Hollywood. I had access to books from all over the world, especially India. I just loved the smell of those very inexpensive Indian books. Some books I would read cover to cover, while others I would just open to a page and read. After work I would stay after and sit and read for hours, and then meditating on some inspirational passage.

Sometimes I wouldn't even open up the book but just hold it as I meditated. I still do that today. Words are crystallized thought, and thought can leads us to the Truth or away from it. But they are never the Truth, no matter how sacred. Eventually one has to go beyond words, to the Source from which all words arise. Meditating with a book is my way of connecting to the author of the words, the inspiration behind the words. It may be Ramana Maharshi, the Dalai Lama, Jesus, Saint Francis or some other holy and wise one. They could still be embodied or not, it does not matter. There is no separation of Spirit. Time and space is a product and story of the mind.

The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of the past centuries. -Descartes

To progress on the spiritual path one must associate with good company, and good company can include those who have gone before us but are still here, through their words, and more importantly, through their being.

The following are inspirational books (as well as some movies and music) that I I have enjoyed upon my journey and ones that I would recommend; as well as others that have been recommended or which look interesting.

Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own. --Charles Scribner, Jr.


Be as You Are, Sri Ramana Maharshi

The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi, Ramana Maharshi

The Collected Works of Ramana Maharshi, Arthur Osborne

The Way of Chuang Tzu, Thomas Merton

Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell

The Heart of Awareness, Thomas Byrom

Zen Essence, Thomas Cleary

Vasistha's Yoga, Venkatesananda

The Nectar of Immortality, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

To Be Human, Jiddu Krishnamurti

Vedantic Meditation, David Frawley

God Speaks, Meher Baba

Autobiography of a Yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda

God Talks with Arjuna, Paramahansa Yogananda

A Path with Heart, Jack Kornfield

How to Know God, Swami Prabhavananda

Blessed Souls, Amma Sri Karunamay...

From Fear to Fearlessness, Pema Chodron

The Joy of Living and Dying in Peace, Dalai Lama, Donald Lopez, Jr

Mindful Living, Thich Nhat Hanh

The Inner School, Hidayat Inayat Khan

Divine Love in Islamic Mysticism, Binyamin Abrahamov

I Am That, Nisargadatta Maharaj

Tales of the Dervishes, Idries Shah

Great Swan, Lex Hixon

The Upanishads, Swami Prabhavanada...

Freedom from the Known, Jiddu Krishnamurti

Think on These Things, Jiddu Krishnamurti

Become What You Are, Alan W. Watts

Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Mohandas Gandhi

Consciousness Speaks, Ramesh S. Balsekar

Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Nikhilananda

Sermon on the Mount According to Vedanta, Swami Prabhavananda

Jnana Yoga, Swami Vivekananda

Duet of One, Ramesh S. Balsekar

Shankara's Crest Jewel of Discrimination, Swami Prabhavananda

The Song of God Bhagavad Gita, Swami Prabhavananda

Sri Karunamayi a Biography, Murugan

A Simple Path, His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa, Garma C.C. Chang

Teachings of Rumi, Andrew Harvey

This Longing, Jelaluddin Rumi, Coleman Barks and John Moyne

Teachings of Hafiz, Hafiz


The Urantia Book

An Outline of Esoteric Science, Rudolf Steiner

Christianity As Mystical Fact, Rudolf Steiner

Forgiveness and Jesus, Kenneth Wapnick

Love Is Letting Go of Fear, Gerald G. Jampolsky

The Vortex Where the Law of Attraction Assembles All Cooperative Relationships, Esther Hicks, Jerry Hicks

How to Know Higher Worlds, Rudolf Steiner

Secret Brotherhoods, Rudolf Steiner

Intuitive Thinking As a Spiritual Path, Rudolf Steiner

Theosophy, Rudolf Steiner

Meister Eckhart, Meister Eckhart

The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle

A Course in Miracles, Combined Volumes, Foundation For Inner Peace

The Fifty Miracle Principles of 'A Course in Miracles', Kenneth Wapnick

The Way of Harmony, Jim Dreaver

The Incorruptibles, Joan Carroll Cruz

Original Blessing, Matthew Fox

The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz

Seth Speaks, Jane Roberts, Roberts

The Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes

All That Is, Mark Allen Frost

Meditations with Meister Eckhart, Matthew Fox

The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, Matthew Fox


The Last Temptation of Christ, Nikos Kazantzakis

Illusions, Richard Bach

The Essential Rumi, New Expanded Edition, Jalal al-Din Rumi

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Three Candles of Little Veronica, Manfred Kyber

Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse

Demian, Hermann Hesse

Steppenwolf, Hermann Hesse

Narcissus and Goldmund, Hermann Hesse

God's Pauper, Nikos Kazantzakis

Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein

Women Who Run with the Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Hanto Yo, Ruth Beebe Hill

Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach

One, Richard Bach

The Bridge Across Forever, Richard Bach

The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman


The Celestine Prophecy, James Redfield


Toward Wholeness, Mary Caroline Richards

School As a Journey, Torin M. Finser

You Are Your Child's First Teacher, Rahima Baldwin Dancy

Zen of Seeing, Frederick Franck

Zen Seeing, Zen Drawing, Frederick Franck

Practical Advice to Teachers, Rudolf Steiner

Spiritual Parenting, Hugh Prather

The Child's Changing Consciousness, Rudolf Steiner

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Sean Covey

Drawing on the Artist Within, Betty Edwards

Simplicity Parenting, Kim John Payne

From Magical Child to Magical Teen, Joseph Chilton Pearce

Evolution's End, Joseph C. Pearce

Art Forms in Nature, Ernst Haeckel

Art Inspired by Rudolf Steiner, John Fletcher

The Artist's Way Workbook, Julia Cameron

What Is Waldorf Education? Rudolf Steiner

The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron

The Secret Life of Plants, Peter Tompkins

The Hidden Messages in Water, Masaru Emoto

Waldorf Education,Pamela J. Fenner

Teaching As a Lively Art, Marjorie Spock

Introduction to Steiner Education, Francis Edmunds

Magical Child, Joseph Chilton Pearce

Dumbing Us Down, John Taylor Gatto

The Underground History of American Education, John Taylor Gatto

The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, Betty Edwards

The Kingdom of Childhood, Rudolf Steiner


Pilgrim Heart, Krishna Das

Breath of the Heart, Krishna Das

Live on Earth, Krishna Das

Kirtan! The Art and Practice of Ecstatic Chant, Jai Uttal

Freedom Chants From the Roof of the World, The Gyuto Monks

Rain of Blessings, Lama Gyurme & Jean-Philippe Rykiel

Fire Within, Libana

Chants of India, Ravi Shankar

All One, Krishna Das

Górecki, Symphony #3

Chant, The Benedictine Monks

Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares, Mystere Des Voix Bulgares

Planet Chant, Planet Chant


What the Bleep Do We Know!?

Brother Sun, Sister Moon

Little Buddha

The Last Samurai


Jesus of Montreal

Peter Brook's The Mahabharata<,i>

Man Facing Southeast

The Last Temptation of Christ

City of Angels

Enemy Mine

The Thin Red Line

Meetings with Remarkable Men Peter Brook

Jesus of Nazareth

Seven Years in Tibet

Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance

March of the Penguins


The Seventh Sign

The Prophecy II

The Matrix Revolutions

District 9


Dances with Wolves

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Field of Dreams


Wings of Desire



A Beautiful Mind



Scared Sacred




Powaqqatsi - Life in Transformation

The Prophecy

The Prophecy 3

The Matrix

What Dreams May Come

The Fisher King

Patch Adams

Akira Kurosawa's Dreams

The Matrix Reloaded

Inspirational Poetry
Inspirational Quotes and Words of Wisdom
Inspirational Stories: Wisdom for the Journey
Janaka's Inspirational Books: Words to Uplift and Reveal
Hindu Quotations and Commentary
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