Here is a list of my favorite spirituality resources.
“If your spirituality or self-care practice invisibilizes oppression and harm, then it’s just another form of oppression and harm.” -Sonya Renee Taylor
1. The Bhagavad Gita -Eknath Easwaran
“You have the right to work, but for the work’s sake only. You have no right to the fruits of work. Desire for the fruits of work must never be your motive in working. Never give way to laziness, either. Perform every action with you heart fixed on the Supreme Lord. Renounce attachment to the fruits. Be even-tempered in success and failure: for it is this evenness of temper which is meant by yoga. Work done with anxiety about results is far inferior to work done without such anxiety, in the calm of self-surrender. Seek refuge in the knowledge of Brahma. They who work selfishly for results are miserable.”
2. Living with the Himalayan Masters -Swami Rama
“The strongest of bondages is created by attachment, which makes one weak, ignorant, and unaware of the absolute reality. Maya, or illusion, is deeply rooted in attachment. When we are attached to or have desire for something, it becomes a source of illusion for us. those who are free from attachments and have directed their desires towards spiritual growth are free from the bondage of maya– illusion. The less attachment, the more inner strength; the more inner strength, the nearer the goal… many people confuse attachment with love but in attachment you become selfish, interested in your own pleasure, and you misuse love. You become possessive and try to gain the objects of your desires. Attachment creates bondage while love bestows freedom. When yogis speak of non-attachment they are not teaching indifference, but are teaching how to genuinely and selflessly love others. Non-attachment, properly understood, means love.”
3. The Four Agreements -Don Miguel Ruiz
“The Four Agreements
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.”
“Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves.”
“God is life. God is life in action. The best way to say, “I love you, God,” is to live your life doing your best. The best way to say, “Thank you, God,” is by letting go of the past and living in the present moment, right here and now. Whatever life takes away from you, let it go. When you surrender and let go of the past, you allow yourself to be fully alive in the moment. Letting go of the past means you can enjoy the dream that is happening right now.”
4. The Fifth Agreement -Don Miguel Ruiz & Don Jose Ruiz
“The Fifth Agreement- be skeptical, but learn to listen.”
5. The Art of Living -William Hart & S.N Goenka
“The only way to experience truth directly is to look within, to observe oneself. All our lives we have been accustomed to look outward. We have always been interested in what is happening outside, what others are doing. We have rarely, if ever, tried to examine ourselves, our own mental and physical structure, our own actions, our own reality. Therefore we remain unknown to ourselves. We do not realise how harmful this ignorance is, how much we remain the slaves of forces within ourselves of which we are unaware.”
6. Braiding Sweetgrass -Robin Wall Kimmerer
“Something is broken when the food comes on a Styrofoam tray wrapped in slippery plastic, a carcass of a being whose only chance at life was a cramped cage. That is not a gift of life; it is a theft.”
“Modern capitalist societies, however richly endowed, dedicate themselves to the proposition of scarcity. Inadequacy of economic means is the first principle of the world’s wealthiest peoples.” The shortage is due not to how much material wealth there actually is, but to the way in which it is exchanged or circulated. The market system artificially creates scarcity by blocking the flow between the source and the consumer. Grain may rot in the warehouse while hungry people starve because they cannot pay for it. The result is famine for some and diseases of excess for others. The very earth that sustains us is being destroyed to fuel injustice. An economy that grants personhood to corporations but denies it to the more-than-human beings: this is a Windigo economy.”
“I love my country too, and its hopes for freedom and justice. But the boundaries of what I honor are bigger than the republic. Let us pledge reciprocity with the living world.”
“We need acts of restoration, not only for polluted waters and degraded lands, but also for our relationship to the world. We need to restore honor to the way we live, so that when we walk through the world we don’t have to avert our eyes with shame, so that we can hold our heads up high and receive the respectful acknowledgment of the rest of the earth’s beings.”
7. Choosing a Path -Swami Rama
“Love that is dependent on some object is not love at all. Eventually, one begins to understand the disappointment and external chaos inherent in love dependent on objects, on what is external Then one starts wondering logically about life and its value, about his relationship with the universe, and his relationship with the absolute Reality behind it. He wants to know the height of perfection which is beyond all knowing. Many people are searching, but they are bathing in the waters of materialism. They are looking in the wrong direction so they never find peace.”
“Attachment is the greatest monster in the history of mankind that misguides and destroys the creative potentials of human life. It is like intoxication. Under its influence one becomes like “a drunken monkey stung by a scorpion.” Almost everyone has the desire to remain attached to something. When one is attached to something, he is even willing to sacrifice himself for the sake of his attachment. But attachment and love are totally different. If someone loves someone wholeheartedly, he will remain detached and serve the loved one selflessly without wanting to receive any fruits therefrom. Wants and desires cause misery and are the very basis of attachment. While love gives freedom, attachment makes one blind and robs the power of reasoning. Love expands, but attachment contracts and causes many problems. Attachment should be modified into love. Love means giving with no expectation, and that expands consciousness. In attachment, however, one becomes selfish and has expectations all the tie. One can live in the world and love all the things of the world, but he must remember that they are not his and that he has no right to be attached to them. The world is full of charms and temptations; that is why it is so distracting.”
8. The Second Coming of Christ: The Resurrection of the Christ Within You -Paramahans Yoganda
I haven’t actually read this book but it is on the top of my list.
- How to Decolonize Your Yoga Practice
- 8 Signs Your Yoga Practice Is Culturally Appropriated – And Why It Matters