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Books To Rock Your World
by Eden Kozlowski,
These books don't leave my side. I read a lot... these are some of the ones that have blown my mind and soul and consistently stand the test of time. I update this page whenever I find a jewel.
Two for 2012:
The Great Shift: Co-Creating a New World for 2012 and Beyond by Martine Vallée, Lee Carroll, Tom Kenyon, and Patricia Cori AND The Mystery of 2012: Predictions, Prophecies and Possibilities compilations by Sounds True.
All I can say is super and gripping. Both books showcase a combination of different authors and viewpoints. Read for yourself and discover what you think 2012 will bring. And, never to late to read this material. Will be relevant for years to come.
Three Additions to Spiritual Reads:
To Be Healed By The Earth - by Warren Grossman, PhD
This writing got reconnected to the importance of, yes, tree hugging. My friend and healer, Warren, showcases clearly the massive energetic healing capacites of nature. Take off your shoes and get re-acquainted with Mother Earth. It will make you feel glorious. Also, read my book review on ATH of Earthing - The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? by Clinton Ober, Stephen T. Sinatra, MD and Martin Zucker. It takes the same messages expressed in Warren's book but with a more scientific approach versus spiritual.
Infinite Self - 33 Steps to Reclaiming your Inner Power by Stuart Wilde
Stuart Wilde would never present anything stuffy. I love his honesty and his laugh-out-loud humorous approach to spirituality. He is very influenced by Taoism which flows throughout his book. One of my favorite quotes (which will also give you a great feel for Infinite Self as a whole)... “If you are surrounded by a bunch of incredibly negative, rather grim people – sometimes called relatives, or perhaps friends or co-workers, whatever – rather than fighting that ugliness around you and seeing it as a misfortune, love it. Look at the people, look a the job, your circumstances, the family, the tribe, your home, and say... Thank you, God, thank you for sending me these teachers. They are driving me crackers, yet what they’re teaching me is not to react. They strengthen me by teaching me to transmute negative energy into positive energy. Using these people, I will convert irritation, hatred and reaction into at least a neutral energy of passivity or, if possible, love. These assholes are my venerated teachers. I am truly grateful to God for sending me so many assholes. Thank you for allowing me to be here on the earth plane. What an incredible experience. Isn’t it fantastic that, almost free of charge, I’m surrounded by 55 assholes who are going to teach me a lot about myself?"
Spiritual Parenting: A Guide to Understanding and Nurturing the Heart of Your Child by Hugh and Gayle Prather
Wow, this book is much different than your average or above average parenting book. The authors are resident ministers at a methodist church, and their views are progressive and big picture. I love this, “Spiritually, you and your adolescent are not only equal, you are one. Spiritually, there is no place where your child’s interests end and yours begin. You must make all decisions with your child--not with her democratic vote or her ego advice--but with her heart held tightly to yours. Only when you look at the choices before you through both of your eyes--which spiritually are the same eyes--have you become a whole parent.”
Three Favs for Meditation:
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD
A staple for the students in my intro classes, this book is for anyone who has interest or curiosity about meditation. It doesn’t matter if you are a newbie or if you have been doing it for years, too – so much good stuff in here. Dr. Kabat-Zinn presents meditation in a very understandable, non-mystical way and really shows how all can benefit from a mind-body-spirit connection.
A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life by Jack Kornfield, PhD
This is the second book I recommend to my students when they are ready to really understand what meditation can do and the work it takes, or as Jack states... when they are ready to "take the one seat." I have underlined page upon page within this book. It is authentic; it is powerful. It will make you think and think hard. Please note that several chapters get pretty deep, so might not be a great recommendation for a beginning meditator or someone new to spirituality - unless they are advised to keep an open mind.
The Journey of Spiritual Cultivation by Dr. Neala Peake
How could I not recommend my teacher’s book?! Jack Kornfield (mentioned above) describes meditation as taking the “one seat” - meaning when you sit with yourself you gotta sit with everything - everything about you that you see as good, bad and ugly. Dr. Peake describes it similarly as taking the path of a "spiritual warrior.” When you sit with yourself, you must battle and then learn to accept all of your so-called demons. Read about her journey and her beliefs on what it takes to embark on a true spiritual path.
Six Great Spiritual Reads:
Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser
This is such an honest book. A friend of mine who was going through a divorce recommended it. I wasn’t going through anything “heavy” at the time but felt drawn to it. And, ironically, while in the middle of reading... I made some decisions in my life that quickly broke me open. It helped me so much. Mrs. Lesser, the author, is one of the co-founders of the Omega Institute, the world’s largest center for spiritual retreat and personal growth located in NY state. In her writing she is so candid about her life and shares tremendous stories from others. Again, broken open or not... read it.
A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
I so resisted reading this book because it was being promoted to the masses by Oprah (don’t get me wrong, I dig Oprah). I just didn’t want to be doing what everyone else was doing. Whelp, I was wrong on that (I’m sure Eckhart would say I let me ego get the best of me), and I now see how great it was that so many people were turned on to this writing and how it shifted a lot of people. Quite a feat. I’ll leave you with this thought provoking quote inside the book, “Nothing you can know about you is you.”
Conversations with God Series by Neale Donald Walsch
These three books have made the rounds in spiritual circles so probably not a surprise that they are on my list. Want to challenge your belief system or open it up? This is the book to read. Neale debates the heavy subjects of heaven and hell, religion versus spirituality, politics and even sex with, you guessed it, God. I reread this series every year. It is a book that will grow with you.
Light Emerging: The Journey of Personal Healing by Barbara Ann Brennan
Chakras, etheric template body, auras... this book gets deep into energy healing. So, if you’re deep into it, too, it is one of the best. It was recommended to me many years ago by a friend who, at the time, was battling for her life. It helped her to see the bigger picture of herself and her disease.
Your Soul’s Plan: Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born by Robert Schwartz AND Destiny of Souls: New Case Studies of Life Between Lives by Michael Newton, PhD
If you are searching for a bigger picture explanation about why you have your parents, your friends, your situations, these two great books will allow you to stretch your perceptions of choices and hardships and see the true joy and growth behind them. Here is a quote from Your Soul’s Plan, “The duality we see in the world - right/wrong, good/bad - sits in marked contrast to the neutrality of the soul. Although the personality tends to judge everything that flows by on the river of life, the soul sits quietly on the riverbank, observing with detached compassion and non judgment. A profound inner peace results when we remember this neutrality. In large part the purpose of this book is to facilitate a shift from personality-conscious to soul-consciousness.” i am personally connected with Robert and Corbie Mitleid from Your Soul's Plan; they are good stuff.
I dedicate this article to my friend, Val Jolly - you got me reading again during a time that I thought I had no time... which would in fact have been such a waste of time. Thank you.
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About the Author
Eden Kozlowski's passion is to move people into the calm and peace of their being and help them take responsibility for their work, life and health.
She is founder/CEO of her dynamic meditation/mindfulness-based company out of Akron, Ohio USA – Just Be, LLC as well as a contributor to The Huffington Post and Co-Editor on the Meditation page at All Things Healing. Formerly an advertising creative director and VP out of Atlanta, Georgia, Eden now speaks, teaches, presents, facilitates anything and everything regarding meditation/mindfulness. Practicing since the year 2000, she started as a six-year student of Dr. Neala Peake’s (Co-Founder of ATH). She currently holds weekly classes, retreats and private sessions in person and via skype as well as in mindfulness and stress management at corporate, health and educational facilities.
See her interviews on ATH with Dr. Judith Orloff, psychiatrist and NY Times best-selling author; Sona Mehring, Founder and CEO of Caring Bridge; Elizabeth Lesser, Co-Founder of the Omega Institute; and Sarah McLean, the "face of mainstream meditation."
Blog: The Huffington Post
Akron, OH USA