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What Is Tapas? Yogic Tool For Overcoming Obstacles Explained

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Changing a habit or pattern of thinking and following the path of spiritual development and self-improvement requires a lot of effort and discipline. And here it is worth remembering one of the basic yoga principles – Tapas. It is the tapas practice that focuses on austerity, self-discipline, persistent meditation, and perseverance. Tapas is realized through a conscious and sustained effort to resist all temptations and to overcome all obstacles that stand between you and your goal.

In this article, I will answer the three most common questions about Tapas:

  • What is tapas?
  • What are the benefits of practicing it?
  • How can we practice it in everyday life?

What Is Tapas?

Most yoga practitioners are familiar with basic yoga principles – yamas and niyamas. Tapas is one of the niyamas.

So what is tapas?

Tapas can be variously translated from Sanskrit into English as heat, spiritual austerities, fiery discipline, and internal fire. It represents zeal and fullness of effort.

Sometimes it is regarded as a purifying action, for it removes impurity. This concept refers primarily to the body and means proper care for it. It is due to asceticism and the elimination of impurity that the perfection of the body and sense organs is achieved.

Patanjali emphasized that only spiritual heat (tapas) can burn off the contamination of the psyche. Daily practiced tapas as a component of Niyama, along with cleanliness and contentment, changes the state of the mind, making it less “polluted”. The practitioner cleanses himself from worldly filth, accumulates merit, and increases the store of spiritual energy.

Sometimes “tapas” is translated as “asceticism”. However, the idea of extreme asceticism is also far from the teachings of Patanjali. After several years of severe asceticism, Buddha Shakyamuni abandoned strict asceticism and began to preach the Middle way (Madhyama Marga) that focuses on moderate self-restraint and high morals. The term “tapas” in Buddhism means “self-discipline”.

Tapas And Yoga

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Yoga practice is always about tapas and overcoming inner challenges. It is always about the kindling of inner fire. When we practice yoga, pranayama, and meditation, despite our reluctance and laziness, we cultivate willpower and develop self-discipline.

To follow the spiritual path, you need to continuously train yourself, challenge yourself, and overcome difficulties. A spiritual path is not about staying in harmony while living somewhere in a peaceful and isolated place. Following your spiritual path means finding peace and harmony everywhere you go. And the more challenging you feel to find them the further you move forward along your spiritual journey. The number of challenges you overcome is proportional to your spiritual growth and the level of your self-development. Therefore overcoming such challenges as laziness and apathy in your spiritual practice is essential for gaining willpower and self-discipline.

Where Does Laziness Come From?

When we are captured by worldly desires, when our energy channels are narrowed and clogged, when our mind is controlled by old information, limiting beliefs and outdated stereotypes, our willpower is very much weakened. And when willpower is weak, our actions are guided by apathy and laziness.

When we start overcoming our laziness and apathy by performing spiritual practices our willpower gets trained. As an ordinary muscle is pumped up through daily workout, so daily overcoming of your laziness “builds up” your willpower. By daily practice, our willpower grows stronger. And eventually, you will notice that now you can easily get rid of bad habits such as smoking, eating junk food, etc.

If you practice tapas daily for several years, the results will exceed all your expectations. Along with your willpower, your own body will also obey you. Your entire body and your health will obey your orders.

The Three Kinds Of Tapas

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There are three types of tapas:

  • Tapas of the body
  • Tapas of the speech
  • Tapas of the mind

What is tapas of the body?

Tapas of the body (KAYIKA) is the development of the willpower through performing such practices as Brahmacharya, service to Gurus and sages, Ahimsa (or nonviolence), fasting, etc.

What is tapas of the speech?

Tapas of the speech is the development of the willpower by speaking the truth, using words that do not hurt any living being, studying the Scriptures, etc.

A very special form of tapas of the speech is Mauna – the silence. Mauna implies not to talk at all for a certain period of time (one day or a few hours). A superior level in Mauna is mental silence, i.e. keeping the mind totally quiet. Mauna practice helps conserve energy and sharpen the insight.

What is tapas of the mind?

Tapas of the mind (MANASIKA) is the development of the willpower to keep a perfect peace of mind, to practice effortless self-control, to have a lack of negative thoughts, etc.

To maintain the balance of the mind in all cases of life, to be always serene, contented and calm, to be cheerful in adverse conditions, to have courage in the face of danger, to have the presence of reason and abstinence — these are all forms of mental tapas.

From a philosophical point of view, meditation is the highest form of tapas of the mind. Fixing the wandering mind on God is the mastery level of tapas.

4 Ways to Make Tapas Your Everyday Practice

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Here are 4 ways to help you develop discipline both in your spiritual practice and in life.

#1: Practice Yoga In the Morning

Set a goal to wake up as early as possible, preferably before sunrise, and perform Surya Namaskar. Do not look at your phone or open social networks right after waking up and before practice.

Alternatively, you can practice mantra chanting, meditation, affirmation practice or pranayama every morning. Also, a morning prayer can be included in your daily routine.

You see, in the morning, we are full of creative energy. Early morning practice will help you set yourself up for a conscious and productive day that will be spent in a calmer mood.

#2: Create New Eating Habits

They say food addiction is the worst addiction. We all have it in one way or another unless you are breatharian.

When you don’t know how to control your appetite and cravings you can easily turn into a slave of your habit to eat whatever you are craving.

It is always difficult to give up the usual foods that bring pleasure but does not bring health benefits.

Tapas can help you to develop self-discipline in your eating and take your cravings under control. There is something you can try right now. At least for a week, try to exclude from your diet foods that interfere with your practice or may even be harmful to your health. For example, give up sweets for a week. It can be whatever you like the most – alcohol, coffee, dairy, meat, bread, chips, etc. Then try to do the same for a month. And then do it for an entire year. Once you mastered it for a year you can exclude it for life.

#3: Practice Yoga Daily

Promise yourself to practice yoga for at least 10-15 minutes every day for a week, no matter what happens. Over time, this will become a habit, like hygiene in the morning. Discipline will bring development to your yoga practice and better results.

Do the same with your meditation practice. Meditate for at least 10-15 minutes daily. It’s better to perform a daily 10 minutes meditation than not to meditate at all.

Prioritize your spiritual practices and very soon you will see that your life is changing as well as your mindset. All the events in your life are going smoother and you have a clearer understanding of what’s going on in your life and what life requires you to do from the spiritual point of view.

#4: Control Your Thoughts

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To develop control of your thoughts is a primary goal for everyone who follows a spiritual path. Our thoughts have the power to create the reality we live in. People who have no control of their thoughts become prisoners of life ‘circumstances’. Therefore everyone should learn how to develop the ability of concentration and thought-control.

During your yoga or meditation classes, you may have thoughts that are usually repeated in everyday life. It is these thoughts that are the obstacle on your spiritual path. Pay attention to them and learn how to control them.

A wonderful practice that may help you to develop concentration and thought-control is a daily mantra chanting. If you find it difficult to concentrate on Sanskrit mantras, try affirmation practice. Say the same positive affirmation 108 times with a complete focus on every word you are pronouncing.

By applying these methods, you can improve your yoga, meditation, mantra or any other spiritual practice, change the patterns of thinking and behavior. Your mind, your attitude to yourself, and the events of your life will change in a positive matter.

The Bottom Line

No matter what we do for developing our discipline we should always remember that the basis of discipline should be love, not punishment. When trying to follow Tapas, pay attention to the benefits it will bring. Talk to your inner child and explain to him/her that, for example, waking up early in the morning will give you more time to do the things you enjoy doing but never can find the time for them. Also, start applying the principles of tapas during your yoga classes. This will improve your practice because the main thing in mastering any practice is consistency. And it also depends on discipline!


Katya Ki is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of SOLANCHA Magazine, a Feng Shui Master, a Metaphysical Expert, a Reiki Master, and Human Rights Attorney. She has been studying Eastern metaphysics and esotericism for almost 20 years now. And she's still discovering new knowledge, which is hidden in ancient teachings. During her pilgrimage to the monastery of Saint Catherine in Egypt, she discovered the SOLANCHA System. This is how the SOLANCHA journey started!

Spirituality

Svadhyaya: The Path Of Understanding Your True Self

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Svadhyaya is one of the five niyamas (yoga principles) that focuses on the study of self, self-reflection, introspection of self’s thoughts, speeches, and actions. In the process of practicing this niyama, we get engaged in the realization of our own essence. Svadhyaya serves as a ‘prism’ through which can we see the Divine within us. In this article, I will dive deeper into what svadhyaya is, why it is so important to practice it and what you can do today to step on the path of understanding your true self.

What Is Svadhyaya?

Svadhyaya is a compound Sanskrit word composed of ‘sva’ (स्वा) and ‘adhyaya’ (अध्याय). ‘Adhyaya’ means “a lesson, lecture, chapter; reading”. ‘Sva’ means “own, one’s own, self, the human soul”. Therefore, Svadhyaya literally means “one’s own reading, lesson”.

According to the Yoga sutras (Sutra 2.44), one who practices Svadhyaya acquires the ability of deep concentration, approaches the higher consciousness and becomes able to comprehend the higher truths.

There are several interpretations of this principle. Its first meaning is self-analysis, self-realization, self-education, awareness of oneself as a whole structure in various aspects: mental, emotional and spiritual. The second meaning of this principle is the study of the Scriptures, spiritual literature, Vedic sources of spiritual knowledge. And the third meaning is chanting mantras aloud (performing Japa).

It is necessary to practice Svadhyaya daily. For most of us, it is difficult to break away from our daily routine, but it is necessary to find an hour or two and devote them to spiritual self-improvement or reading spiritual literature. Compare how much energy you spend on questions of the material world, and how much time you devote to the spiritual world? When embarking on the path of spiritual self-improvement, you need to set your priorities correctly.

Understanding The True Essence Of SELF

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Stop for a moment and think: what is life? The pursuit of ephemeral happiness? The endless bustle of everyday life? Or just boring aimless vegetating, when you don’t have the ability to see the true meaning of life and just go with the flow?

In most cases, people’s idea of life is misleading.

Many of us wake up every morning and force ourselves to go to work that we hate. After work, we come home and fall on the couch in front of the TV. We have our dinner and go to bed. And this is how most of us live. We live the same day again and again and call it “life”.

We are like robots, performing our functions, without thinking about the true meaning of what we do and for what reasons. This kind of life does not bring joy and does not give a sense of satisfaction.

Yoga is designed to help us become better, get rid of the obscurations that fill our lives. When we realize all the frailty and meaninglessness of our existence aimed at satisfying material needs, we begin to understand that the main goal of life is to cultivate our spirit. Therefore, eventually, everyone who follows a true spiritual path begins his journey of spiritual self-improvement, to break the shackles of the material world and free himself from the illusion of earthly values, unleash his inner light and illuminate not only his path but also to share it with those who are still in the darkness.

Gradually, as we practice moral principles, we begin to notice how we are moving forward. So, we should not miss any opportunity for self-development and self-improvement. And Svadhyaya serves us as a wonderful tool for gaining self-knowledge.

Our eternal Spirit experiences difficulties when it is imprisoned in a body that is affected by the material nature that binds it to the cycle of rebirth in the material world. It is necessary to learn how to limit the manifestations of the ego that forces us to focus on the material needs.

When we are involved in a process of constant self-development we gain control over our ego.

We need to always remember that all the knowledge we need is already within us. All we need to do is just reveal it. Every time we study the spiritual scriptures we are not learning something new but reminding ourselves of what we already know and always knew deep inside. The knowledge that we need for our development is hidden from us behind the limitations of our materialistic minds and opens gradually as the level of our spiritual awareness increases.

Jnana Yoga And Svadhyaya

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The teaching of yoga is divided into several branches. Each of the branches leads a person to the knowledge of his true Self, to the flowering and growth of his soul.

Hatha yoga, for example, helps us learn to control our physical body since it is a temple of the spirit.

Raja yoga helps us unlock our inner potential, develop our mental abilities, learn to control our mind, and strengthen our willpower.

Bhakti yoga is designed to awaken unconditional love and unselfishness, which leads to the realization of the unity of being.

Jnana yoga is a way of knowing and studying, which allows us to plunge into the amazing world of truths that lie at the heart of being. Yoga of wisdom, as it can also be called, will allow you to find answers to such questions as: “Who am I and why am I here? What is the purpose of my life? What exists outside of visible reality? What will happen to me after I leave this life?”

Svadhyaya is the basis for practicing Jnana yoga because it is the beginning of the path of knowledge and understanding of one’s own nature. When we learn about ourselves with the help of Svadhyaya, we also come to the realization that the opportunity to be happy is hidden in each of us. And the knowledge of self will lead us to liberation from the false ideas and illusions of the material world, change our worldview and we will gradually come to an understanding that each of us is a part of the whole.

Svadhyaya And Mantra Chanting

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As mentioned above, Svadhyaya leads to the opportunity to attain deep concentration. Mantra chanting is one of the tools we can use for this.

When we are involved in mantra chanting, it is important not just to repeat the text of the mantra, but also to understand its meaning.

By chanting mantras, we can purify the surrounding space. Even just listening to mantra chants can clear your mind. When you listen to their sounds with reverence, they can lift your consciousness to a higher level.

It is believed that the sacred Sanskrit sounds tune us in harmony with the vibrations of the cosmos. Thus even if you just listen or read mantras, it can have a beneficial effect on your aura and contribute to your spiritual development.

Studying The Vedas

The Vedas are considered the most ancient Scriptures. The Sanskrit word “Veda” means ‘knowledge’, ‘wisdom’, ‘intelligence’. Therefore, the Vedas teach us to understand what we read, to comprehend the deep meaning.

The Vedas are written in early Sanskrit and contain hymns, philosophy, and guidance on ritual for the priests of Vedic religion. They have been directly revealed to seers among the early Aryans in India and preserved by oral tradition. The four chief collections are the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda.

Reading and studying the Vedas allow us to touch the sacred wisdom of spiritual truths. This is not just a repository of mantras, hymns, and mandalas. The sages of the past shared their spiritual knowledge and experience in the Vedas, and now we have the opportunity to touch these divine truths that can help us start a meaningful and conscious life.

Initially, the knowledge that the Vedas contain was passed orally from teachers to students, who, in turn, memorized mantras by constant repetition. Because the Vedas have been preserved through constant self-study, they also belong to the practice of Svadhyaya.

Later the Vedas were recorded in writing. The Vedas are compiled by the sage Veda Vyasa, who divided them into four parts: Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda.

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Veda Vyasa

Rig Veda is considered one of the oldest religious sources of knowledge in the world, a sacred collection of mystical hymns written in Sanskrit.

Sama Veda is the Veda of chants.

Yajur Veda is a collection of mantras used for worship rituals.

Atharva Veda is a collection of mantras and magical incantations and healing spells.

The final part of the Vedas is the Upanishad (Vedanta). The word Vedanta literally means the end of the Vedas and originally referred to the Upanishads. It describes how the four Purusarthas (objects of human pursuit) can be achieved. These four Purusarthas are Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha.

Studying Sacred Scriptures And Spiritual Literature

Svadhyaya also implies the study of other spiritual Scriptures. By reading sacred texts and Vedic literature, we discover a treasure trove of spiritual knowledge that was left to us by the Great teachers of the past.

When we practice Svadhyaya we constantly study from sacred sources of spiritual wisdom with reverence and respect. In doing so, we establish a connection with the spiritual masters. As we dive into the sources of spiritual wisdom, we come into contact with the exalted spirit of those who left us this treasure. In this way, we rise in spirit to their level while reading their creations.

It should also be borne in mind that just reading spiritual literature is not enough. It is important to understand the inner meaning hidden in every thought of the author, manifested in his work.

After reading spiritual texts it is important to take time for analyzing, reasoning, learning and thinking about the ways you can apply this wisdom to your life.

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Most religions are based on faith and they ask you to take sacred texts on faith. However, when we talk about svadhyaya practice, we mean the deep understanding and analysis of everything we learn. Only by understanding the essence of the Scriptures, can this knowledge penetrate into our subconscious mind.

Analyzing what you read, applying it in your life, comparing it with the experience you have already received on your spiritual path, you get precious experience and spiritually grow.

Thus, the books of Great spiritual masters provide us with support in difficult moments of life and are a motivation for spiritual self-improvement.

Other than the ancient Vedic Scriptures it is also very important to read spiritual books of modern authors, communicate with spiritual Teachers, spiritual mentors, visit lectures on spiritual topics and attend seminars. Any “immersion” in the spiritual atmosphere somehow affects our consciousness, increases the vibration of our consciousness and allows us to reach a higher level of awareness.

The Bottom Line

We should always remember that when we start our spiritual journey we grow, and our worldview constantly changes. Therefore reading spiritual literature after a while, we can comprehend more or perceive it differently than we previously learned and understand. The mind perceives only what it reads that resonates with the level of spiritual development of the reader. So don’t be lazy to read a book you have already read before again and again. You may discover something new that you missed or misunderstood.


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Spirituality

Padma Mudra For Reconnecting With Your Inner Light

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Padma Mudra is a symbol of purity, light, and beauty emerging from the darkness. By practicing this beautiful mudra you’re opening yourself to the light and coming to a realization that the greatest sense of steadiness in life is an open heart. Hence Padma mudra also helps you to open and balance your Heart Chakra (Anahata).

In this article, I will share with you the benefits of Padma mudra and how to properly practice it.

What Is A Mudra?

Mudra” can be translated as “seal”, “mark”, or “gesture”. Hence Mudras are symbolic gestures practiced with the hands and fingers.

Connecting the fingers in certain combinations, we can activate the meridians and direct energy throughout the body. Different positions of the fingers have the ability to close or clear the energy channels. In addition, performing this or that mudra, we affect the biologically active points of the palms and fingers.

Mudras are invented for the correct redirection of energy in the body, for the control of prana and for changing the psycho-emotional state. Also, with their help, you can eliminate problems in the body and in the mind by pressing on particular acupuncture points.

What Is Padma Mudra?

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“Padma” in Sanskrit means “Lotus flower”. Lotus symbolism is common throughout Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism philosophies.

Just think about it – a lotus flower takes root down in the mud and rises up through the water to blossom at the water’s surface. The path of the lotus is similar to the journey to enlightenment. It is the journey from darkness to light.

The mud where a lotus flower takes its roots represents our ego, our habits, our emotions. It represents our life’s challenges, our shadow.

The water through which the lotus must rise is cleansing and purifying. It is our spiritual practice, inner work, and personal development. It takes action and awareness.

The lotus flower’s rise from the mud up to the water’s surface requires action, it is a period of growth.

The fully bloomed lotus flower represents our fully awakened self. Pure and beautiful.

Padma mudra is often associated with Lakshmi. Goddess Lakshmi graces us with the gifts of auspiciousness, compassion, and love. She gives us abundance, both spiritual and material.

Lotus Mudra Benefits

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The Lotus Mudra helps to heal a “broken heart”, strengthens unconditional love for all living beings or for a particular person, opens the heart, helps to attract a soul mate, drains out the misunderstanding, and helps to release tension. It is also practiced to enhance the fire element in the body.

Other Benefits:

  • Develops intuition;
  • Eliminates negative karma;
  • Helps to find mercy, compassion, love, understanding within your heart;
  • Grants purity and freedom from obscuration;
  • Reminds us of our own inner beauty;
  • Opens and balances the Heart chakra;
  • Strengthens the psyche;
  • Inspires purity and perseverance;
  • Gives positivity and optimism;
  • Has a calming effect to the mind;
  • Helps eliminate negative subconscious programs;
  • Protects against psychic attacks, etc.

How To Perform Padma Mudra?

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It is recommended to perform this mudra daily at sunrise or sunset for 10-15 minutes.

Take a cross-legged position. Bring the base of the palms together at the heart center, touching the thumbs and pinky fingers together. Spread the rest of the fingers out like the lotus flower opening toward the sunlight. Close your eyes and take several deep and long breaths.

Visualization:

Visualize a Lotus Bud in your heart that is opening more and more with each breath. When the flower blooms completely, it begins to absorb the sunlight, it is filled with love, joy, warmth, light. Imagine and try to feel how love and compassion for all people are growing in your heart. Visualize and feel that there is so much love in your heart that there is no more room for loneliness, sadness or any other negative emotions.

Mantra

To make your mudra practice even more powerful start chanting the following mantra for 108 times:

Om Padme Padme Mahapadme Padmavati Maye Svaha

Affirmations

You can also combine your Lotus Mudra practice with affirmations. For example, you can use the following affirmations:

  • My heart is pure!
  • I radiate love and compassion!
  • I rise above life’s challenges with ease and grace.
  • I am calm and blissful!
  • I open myself to the Light!
  • My inner light shines brightly!
  • My heart is pure!

You can also include Love affirmations into your Padma Mudra practice.

The Bottom Line

Osho Quote On Life and Lotus Image

Padme Mudra will help you to stay connected to your roots, open yourself to the light and realize that the greatest sense of steadiness in life is an open heart. Be patient and consistent and very soon you will start noticing the benefits of your practice!


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Best Books For Spiritual Awakening To Assist Your Spiritual Journey

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In this article, we want to share with you 15 best books for spiritual awakening. It doesn’t matter if you are a spiritual seeker or you are new to spirituality. Regardless of what stage you are in on your spiritual path right now, our collection of best books for spiritual awakening has a book for everyone!

Below are 15 best books for spiritual awakening. Choose a book that best resonates with you!

15 Best Books For Spiritual Awakening

“A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” by Eckhart Tolle

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This is definitely one of the best books for spiritual awakening. And if you are new to spirituality, it’s perfect to start with!

Most of us aren’t aware of how our thoughts control us and we derived our sense of self from our mind. This identification with our mind is what Eckhart Tolle refers to as an ego-based state of consciousness or being unconscious. This bestselling book is about transcending one’s ego to enhance personal happiness and impact the world positively. It’s about awakening to a new state of consciousness and discovering our inner purpose.

Attachment to the ego can contribute to negative feelings and patterns of thinking. Reading this book will help you be more aware of the subtle things your ego does to make you unhappy and suffer.

“A New Earth” has been written as a traditional narrative, offering anecdotes and philosophies in a way that is accessible to all. Illuminating, enlightening, and uplifting, “A New Earth” is a profoundly spiritual manifesto for a better way of life and for building a better world.

“The Shift” by Wayne Dyer

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“The Shift” is a companion book to the movie of the same name – illustrates how and why to make the move from ambition to meaning. Such a shift eliminates our feelings of separateness, illuminates our spiritual connectedness, and involves moving from the ego-directed morning into the afternoon of life where everything is primarily influenced by purpose.

As we contemplate leaving the morning of our life, where ego has played a commanding role and entering the afternoon (and evening), where meaning and purpose replace ambition and struggle, we may encounter unexpected occurrences that accompany this new direction. It’s almost a universal law that we’ll experience a fall of some kind. Yet these falls or low points provide the energy we need to move away from ego and into a life of meaning and purpose.

The Shift doesn’t mean that we lose our drive and ambition; it signifies that we become ambitious about something new. We make a commitment to living a life based on experiencing meaning and feeling purposeful, rather than never-ending demands and false promises that are the trademark of the ego’s agenda.

“The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield

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You have never read a book like this before – a book that comes along once in a lifetime to change lives forever.

In the rain forests of Peru, an ancient manuscript has been discovered. Within its pages are 9 key insights into life itself – insights each human being is predicted to grasp sequentially; one insight, then another, as we move toward a completely spiritual culture on Earth.

Drawing on ancient wisdom, it tells you how to make connections among the events happening in your life right now and lets you see what is going to happen to you in the years to come. The story it tells is a gripping one of adventure and discovery, but it is also a guidebook that has the power to crystallize your perceptions of why you are where you are in life and to direct your steps with new energy and optimism as you head into tomorrow.

“The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo

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Featured as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2010, this book has become a classic go-to for people seeking spiritual meaning and purpose in their lives.

Written by a philosopher-poet, this book is a collection of 365 beautiful essays, one for each day. At the end of each essay, there’s a mini exercise to help you be present and get more in touch with your spirit.

The Book of Awakening is the result of Nepo’s journey of the soul and will inspire others to embark on their own. He speaks of spirit and friendship, urging readers to stay vital and in love with this life, no matter the hardships. Encompassing many traditions and voices, Nepo’s words offer insight on pain, wonder, and love. Each entry is accompanied by an exercise that will surprise and delight the reader in its mind-waking ability.

In this book, the author also shares his own journey as a cancer survivor and the spiritual insights he received from his experience. Reading this book will inspire you to embark on your own journey of self-discovery and spiritual awakening.

This book is best suited for those who enjoy learning via the experiences of others and reading short essays.

“40 Day Mind Fast Soul Feast: A Guide to Soul Awakening and Inner Fulfillment” by Michael Bernard Beckwith

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Numbers held great significance to the ancients, and the number 40 is constant in a variety of spiritual traditions. With 40 Day Mind Fast Soul Feast, you may begin your own 40 day transformational, mystical journey with a wise, experienced guide who has walked the terrain for 30 years as a practitioner and teacher of meditation, affirmative prayer, and the Life Visioning Process.

“The Spiritual Awakening Guide: Kundalini, Psychic Abilities, and the Conditioned Layers of Reality” by Mary Mueller Shutan

The first modern, comprehensive resource on spiritual awakenings, this pragmatic, clear guide covers everything from the first step on a spiritual journey to enlightenment, and the different types of spiritual awakenings, from mild to dramatic, we may go through.

Using the concept of the twelve layers that cover an awakened state Mary Mueller Shutan addresses every step of the spiritual journey, starting with the Self and showing how family, ancestral, past lives, karmic, archetypal, and other larger layers such as societal, cultural, global, and cosmic energies condition us to sleep and obscure our realization of an awakened state. Instructions for how to navigate through each of these layers and how to recognize where we are in our spiritual journey are included each step of the way along with common physical, emotional, and spiritual symptoms that may be experienced. By addressing post-awakening states, oneness, dark nights of the soul, ego death, near-death, and severe illness, psychic abilities, addictions, dietary changes, the God-self, personal and collective shadow, and psychosis vs. awakening we understand the experiences we may go through while struggling with spiritual awakenings. This practical book opens new understandings of how to live in the world while going through an awakening process and offers the revolutionary idea that we are meant to be humans, to have a physical body with physical, sensate experiences and emotions. We are meant to live in the world and be a part of it even as fully awakened individuals. This guide proposes a look at the possibility of leading a grounded, earth-bound life of work, family, friends, and other experiences in an awakened state.

“An Invitation to Freedom: Immediate Awakening for Everyone” by Mooji

Best books for spiritual awakening Mooji image

Amidst the busyness and chaos of our daily lives, many of us search for meaning, fulfillment, and a genuine sense of who we really are beyond our ego and conditioning.

An Invitation to Freedom guides you toward the immediate, authentic awakening that so many of us seek – the realization of our true nature as pure, effortless awareness. These simple yet profound instructions, questions, and contemplations will lead you directly into the heart of truth and absolute freedom. This could be the greatest discovery you make in your life.

“3 Steps to Awakening” by Osho

This is one of the best books for spiritual awakening written by Osho!

Waking up or awakening means that the dream is over – the dream of unconsciousness we all spend most of our lives in – often a life of tensions, anguish, feeling unfulfilled and running after illusions which are just substitutes of what we are really looking for. This little book is actually a big book, containing Osho‘s entire teaching from an early period of his public life and teachings. He takes us through three steps on the path to awakening, steps to help us to get out of our conditioning, our limitations, and frustrations. “There are only three steps: freedom of consciousness, simplicity of mind, and emptiness of mind.”

For freedom of thought, for the liberation of thought, and for the awakening of intelligence, the first thing, the first awareness that is needed is: “No thought is mine. No thought is mine.” While we read this book, Osho takes us through this experience of letting go of identification, allows us to get a glimpse of what a life of awakening can be.

“Awakening of the Heart: Essential Buddhist Sutras and Commentaries” by Thich Nhat Hanh

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Awakening of the Heart is a comprehensive, single-volume collection of the Buddha’s key sutras, translated with contemporary commentary by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.

Awakening of the Heart captures the heart of Buddhist wisdom and Thich Nhat Hanh’s unique talent to make the Buddha’s teachings accessible and applicable to our daily lives and times. This is a wonderful gift for anyone looking to deepen their practice and understanding of the teachings, as well as a unique resource to understand the fundamentals of Buddhism from its source.

“Awakening the Sacred Body: Tibetan Yogas of Breath and Movement” by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche

The power of the breath has been recognized for millennia as an integral part of health and well-being. In Awakening the Sacred Body, teacher Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche makes accessible the ancient art of Tibetan breath and movement practices. In clear, easy-to-understand language, he outlines the theory and processes of two powerful meditations—the Nine Breathings of Purification and the Tsa Lung movements—that can help you change your relationship to yourself, to others, and to the world.

The simple methods presented in Awakening the Sacred Body and in the accompanying online video focus on clearing and opening your energetic centers to allow the natural human qualities of love, compassion, joy, and equanimity to arise. When sadness releases, joy is able to arise. When anger releases, love becomes available. When prejudice releases, equanimity prevails. And when lack of kindness ceases, compassion is present.

These practices, which focus the mind and breath together while performing specific body movements, will help you discover your inner wisdom and express your greatest potential.

“Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World” by Lama Surya Das

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Lama Surya Das, the most highly trained American lama in the Tibetan tradition, presents the definitive book on Western Buddhism for the modern-day spiritual seeker.

The radical and compelling message of Buddhism tells us that each of us has the wisdom, awareness, love, and power of the Buddha within; yet most of us are too often like sleeping Buddhas. In Awakening the Buddha Within, Surya Das shows how we can awaken to who we really are in order to lead a more compassionate, enlightened, and balanced life. It illuminates the guidelines and key principles embodied in the noble Eight-Fold Path and the traditional Three Enlightenment Trainings common to all schools of Buddhism:

Wisdom Training: Developing clear vision, insight, and inner understanding – seeing reality and ourselves as we really are.

Ethics Training: Cultivating virtue, self-discipline, and compassion in what we say and do.

Meditation Training: Practicing mindfulness, concentration, and awareness of the present moment.

With lively stories, meditations, and spiritual practices, Awakening the Buddha Within is an invaluable text for the novice and experienced students of Buddhism alike.

“The Little Book of Buddhist Awakening: The Buddha’s instructions on attaining Enlightenment” by Eric Van Horn

The Little Book of Buddhist Awakening looks at the subtle and elusive questions about awakening, which is also commonly called “enlightenment.” What does it mean to awaken? What are the different ways in which the Buddha described the end of the Noble Eightfold Path? What are common misconceptions about awakening?

“Awakening the Mind, Lightening the Heart: Core Teachings of Tibetan Buddhism Hardcover” by Dalai Lama

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The second volume in the landmark Library of Tibet series, Awakening the Mind, Lightening the Heart examines the next step of the Path: Compassion. Based on a classic fourteenth-century Tibetan poem famous for its ability to awaken compassion in the human heart, this elegant primer combines the mind training and stages of the path traditions of Tibetan Buddhism with enduring simplicity and illuminating prose.

“Holy Science” by Sri Yukteswar Giri

This extraordinary treatise explores parallel passages from the Bible and the Hindu scriptures to reveal the essential unity of all religions. Swami Sri Yukteswar, the revered guru of Paramahansa Yogananda, outlines the universal path that every human being must travel to enlightenment. He also explains the vast recurring cycles of civilization, affording a profound understanding of history and the ever-changing panorama of turbulent world events.

“The Yoga Sutras by Patañjali” by Swami Satchidananda

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This valuable book provides a complete manual for the study and practice of Raja Yoga, the path of concentration and meditation. The classic Sutras (thought-threads), at least 4,000 years old, cover the yogic teachings on ethics, meditation, and physical postures, and provide directions for dealing with situations in daily life. The Sutras are presented here in the purest form, with the original Sanskrit and with translation, transliteration, and commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda, one of the most respected and revered contemporary Yoga masters. In this classic context, Sri Swamiji offers practical advice based on his own experience for mastering the mind and achieving physical, mental and emotional harmony.

We hope you enjoyed our collection of best books for spiritual awakening and were able to pick a book that resonates with you!


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