North Stars:  Resources for our Spiritual Axis

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
Deepak Chopra. Book and DVD.

The gift of language and clarity come through in this succinct spiritual and scientific understanding of how the universe works. I’ve long said if you only read one book for the rest of your life, it should be this one. Chopra starts with the Potential we all bring to our own unfolding, and moves it through to our Dharma, our purpose. In between he goes step by step through the dynamics of the other laws: giving and receiving, least effort, intention and desire, Karma (cause and effect) and, in my opinion, the biggest and most difficult law of all to master: detachment.

Understanding and living these laws can bring great peace and growth to us as individuals, nations and cultures. The book is easily read and can be referenced quickly. The DVD, while informative and visually compelling with Olivia Newton-John as a key part of the creative communication of content, is not as easily accessed for life-application, in my view. Creating affirmations and meditations from the written word where one can linger and reflect is more effective for long-term deepening of practice leading to spiritual success. This is a book for everyone.

Oneness With All Life – Treasury Edition
Eckhart Tolle

This compilation of “Inspirational Selections from A New Earth” gives the reader Tolle’s deep understanding of the Universe as lived through our human spirit. The book is divided into ten sections, each with easily digested pieces dealing with questions and topics such as “Who Am I?”, “Your Life Purpose”, “Awakening” and “Consciousness.” Each section’s offerings are in one paragraph or page, and can be referenced as the reader desires. Without the need to read from beginning to end, the reader can access the book’s richness and wisdom at any point and in any depth. This is a book to be treasured now and lingered over forever.

The Four Agreements
Don Miguel Ruiz

If all you read is the fly-leaf of this wonderful, easily digested book, you’ll still get a lot of life changing guidance in four easy steps.  Don Miguel Ruiz simplifies and gets to the heart of peaceful, nature-based understanding of human behavior and intention and speaks directly to the reader with specific ideas, questions, comments and real-life experiences.  He gives the reader articulation of feelings, helps the reader find the right words to navigate the daily living pitfalls we all face and does it with a loving presence.  You can feel his smile in his words.  This is a gift to keep within easy reach.

Gifts From A Course In Miracles
Edited by Frances Vaughan, Ph.D, and Roger Walsh, M.D., Ph.D.

The treasure that is A Course in Miracles has offered guidance, comfort and wisdom to countless people around the world. “Gifts From a Course In Miracles” compiles the salient messages of the course. Body, time, illusions, perception and many of The Course’s teachings of the God in all of us are detailed in easily digested meditations and affirmations. This is a gift in the truest sense of the word.

Super Brain – Unleashing the explosive power of your mind to maximize health, happiness, and spiritual well-being
Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD.

In an easy-to-read style with depth and diagrams, the mysteries of how the human brain works are unraveled and clarified.  Integrating brain matter with the consciousness it interprets comes alive with direct-application how-to’s in everyday life management skills and choices.   From weight loss to personal power in relationships, from depression to God, Chopra and Tanzi get specific with steps and processes for expansion and fulfillment of personal dreams and finding happiness.  This is a must-read for anyone who thinks…and feels.

The Consciousness Revolution – A Transatlantic Dialogue
Ervin Laszlo, Stanislav Grof, Peter Russell

With the ease and comfort of three old friends chatting, these brilliant minds discuss the conditions and possibilities for peace and a sustainable planet in our time.  Arts and science, medicine and music, entertainment and government – all subjects are on the table, carefully and lovingly explored.  From Star Wars to Karma and reincarnation, this is an easy and memorable read.  Highly recommended.

The Divine Matrix – Bridging time, Space, Miracles, and Belief
Gregg Braden

In clear language and conversational story-telling Braden uses his signature animated style and articulation to bring to life the questions of eternity, connecting pictures in caves and oral tradition cultures to the time-space continuum.   Braden is a master using personal accounts and connectedness of message through other writers, thinkers and masters of philosophy in this landmark writing.  I’ve attended his workshops and talks and listened to his cd’s, all of which I highly recommend.  The Divine Matrix will not disappoint you.

Integral Spirituality – A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World
Ken Wilber

If you’ve ever wanted – all in one place – a clear, mathematical compilation of any possible of view of God, spirituality, religions, culture and their relations to each other in first, second or third person perspectives – this is it.  Wilber’s brilliance is combined and compared with those of other deep thinkers and philosophers in charts, graphs, colors and algorithms to offer a new way to see ourselves moving forward through spiritual practices and religious structures.  In clear, step-by-step connectivity, Wilber articulates how we can balance our spiritual traditions with scientific, moral and artistic progress experienced through the ages.  This balance helps us keep the message of the great sages, but lose the myth and lore:  keep the baby, lose the bathwater.  Wilber’s dense style and intensity are not for the faint of heart; this is not a book to be skimmed and re-read later.  Go all the way in or not at all.  If you go all the way in, your view of possibilities for spiritual enlightenment on our beautiful planet will be bright indeed.

Your Soul’s Compass – What is Spiritual Guidance?
Joan Borysenko, PhD and Gordon Dveirin, Ed.D

Finding and trusting spiritual guidance can be a lifelong quest, and in this true “find” of a book, Borysenko and Dveirin ask 12 questions of 24 Sages from varied worldwide traditions, cultures and religions.  These conversations lead to seeking and finding the common and not-so-common threads throughout our successful wisdom traditions and bring us to recognizing and trusting the inner guidance each of us possesses.  Borysenko and Dveirin offer few “right” or “wrong” answers, and instead give us latitude to finding our own way based in personal resonance and comfort.   If the reader is seeking a defined path for Spiritual study and guidance, this could be the book to help point the way.  If the reader is seeking understanding of how we answer questions through Spiritual guidance, this book will broaden the foundation for the seeking.  Regardless of the readers’ intentions, this book is worth reading.

Why Good People Do Bad Things – How to Stop Being Your Own Worst Enemy
by Debbie Ford

All the negative, self-defeating inner dialogue and self-punishment that drives us to depression and confusion is explored here with depth, insight and sensitivity.  Debbie’s clarity and no-nonsense approach to illuminating and understanding our personal and public destructiveness, along with antidotes for healing that destructiveness is laid out in an understandable, coherent and easily accessed form.  I understand why it was chosen to be part of the curriculum of the American Institute of Holistic Theology, where I am pursuing a degree in metaphysical spirituality.  I highly recommend Why good People Do Bad Things..

Prayer is Good Medicine
Larry Dossey, M.D.

With his usual painstaking research and attention to statistical detail, Dr. Dossey’s findings support what many spiritual seekers have known for centuries, and that is that healing is a fundamental part of the mind-body link, and is an integral part of healing.   With numbers and percentages and studies, interviews and personal accounts, Dr. Dossey takes you through the mental process of knowing this healing power.  He also takes you step by step through the prayers so you have the words to support the intent.  This is a must read for anyone on the healing path.

The Healing Path of Prayer – A Modern Mystic’s Guide to Spiritual Power
Ron Roth, PhD.

Finding and linking our own path to prayer is a challenge for all of us as healing seekers.  Dr. Roth has created a blueprint for focused intention, understanding, and a structure for prayer specifically directed.  An excellent companion to Prayer is Good Medicine.  The combination of these two texts is a practice guide for beginners and experienced seekers as well..

Walking A Sacred Path, and The Sacred Path Companion – A guide to Walking the Labyrinth to Heal and Transform
Lauren Artress

Long forgotten or misunderstood, the Labyrinth is enjoying a newfound level of attention as a historical tool for transformation, and personal reflection.  Ms. Artress is one of the world’s leading authorities on the Labyrinth, and with great depth and love for this sacred instrument, she takes us on an outer world exploration and an inner world revelation.  Thru personal accounts and stories of individuals whose lives were changed, Walking A Sacred Path  and The Sacred Path Companion are easy reads, moving you to find a labyrinth near you so you can begin your own exploration.   Walking the labyrinth and these two texts are highly recommended by me.


Daring Greatly – How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Brené Brown, PH.D., LMSW

In Brené’s articulate, direct and gentle way, she invites us into the area where angels fear to tread…our own vulnerability. She takes us from our not-enough-ness fueling our shame and sense of inadequacy to the place where we find and create the courage to show up and be seen. Under Brené’s watchful eye, we navigate the nuanced differences between shame and guilt, vulnerability and weakness, humiliation and embarrassment. How to trust ourselves, how to trust others: “Vulnerability is about sharing our feelings and our experiences with people who have earned the right to hear them.” From how to cultivate Wholeheartedness in our own lives to parenting wholehearted children, my highlights in this book know no end. This is a must-read for anyone who lives, loves, parents or leads.


Workshop: Playing the Matrix – Mike Dooley

The unbound and irrepressible Mike Dooley is absolutely believable as The Universe in his one-man workshop bringing us through the step-by-step process of manifestation. Dooley’s “Matrix” shows us in living color how to know the difference between reality and illusion, and how to attach to reality and detach from illusion. When we get hung up in telling the Universe HOW to manifest our desires, we fall down. We just tell the Universe WHAT we want to manifest and let the Universe do the rest. Dooley created a workbook that closely follows the workshop so we can replay the whole day in our head and practice the affirmations. Money well spent for anyone serious about creating a desirable reality.


CD/Book: A Return to Love – Marianne Williamson

In Marianne’s soft, conversational style and direct, cut-to-the-chase determination, Marianne brings the lessons of A Course In Miracles into real-life situations in this 5-cd collection of a live workshop recording. Love is all there is – seeing anything as something other than love is where we make mistakes. There are no sins to be forgiven; only mistakes in perception to be corrected. This correction takes place through forgiveness. It is through forgiveness that we reach atonement: “at-one-ment.” In the workshop CD’s, Marianne takes questions from her audience and answers our life-situation dilemmas with how to love through it…admitting that it’s not easy, but it is real. In the Book and in the CD Collection, with humor and insight, Marianne returns us to love.


The Isaiah Effect – Decoding the Lost Science of Prayer and Prophecy – Gregg Braden

The 1946 discovery of the 22-foot parchment of the original book of Isaiah changed everything we learned about scripture, Old Testament, New Testament, and the ancient Wisdom traditions underlying our current religious practices. With detail and personal experiences in the caves and wanderings around the planet, Braden takes us to the ancient wisdom with the only book totally intact, beyond the Dead Sea Scrolls. His state of the art examination and articulation along with his wit and personality invite us to easily understand, digest and implement the teachings of Isaiah. Braden believes the foundations of religious teachings in popular culture are not incorrect, just incomplete. The Isaiah Effect answers a lot of spiritual questions for a lot of us, and brings clarity to the ones that are not easily answered.


True Meditation – Discover the Freedom of Pure Awareness – Adyashanti

This is a text from my Master’s Course in Metaphysical Spirituality from The American Institute of Holistic Theology, and it’s the best guidance I ever received relative to Meditation and the process for attaining peace and opening the path to Enlightenment. Meditation is the art of allowing our thinking to go silent (as opposed to making our thinking go silent) so we can find the space between the thoughts and the quiet beneath the noisy brain work. Once we’re in that non-everything-else space, we can find our true Self, the beingness of who we are. There are many books, techniques and workshops dedicated to this process of meditation, and much of those teachings have to do with technique. Adyashanti’s approach is no direction, no technique, no control. His belief is when we have technique and judgment in the process, it takes us out of our natural state – which is relaxed calm. Just let everything be as it is. In fact, that’s the name of the one of the meditations on his CD, enclosed with his book. Adyashanti lifts all the contortions off the joy of meditation. Nice.


Getting in the Gap – Making Conscious Contact with God Through Meditation – Wayne Dyer

This is another text from my Master’s Course in Metaphysical Spirituality from The American Institute of Holistic Theology, and while the technique offered by Dyer is method and process, it is remarkably simple and very, very effective. The directness of finding the space between our thoughts is made user-friendly in Dyer’s gentle approach. It has been said that the average person has 60,000 thoughts a day. The problem is they’re the same 60,000 thoughts we had yesterday and probably will have tomorrow. Dyer’s Gap is a modernization of Japa, and ancient tool for meditation. Find the space between the thoughts has never been easier. This is an excellent book for people who wish to begin a meditation practice. My only caveat for this book is that Dyer uses western terminology, prayers and scripture to enable the process. If you can release your reactions to those references (which can easily be substituted for any others of your choosing), this is a very good beginner’s manual for meditation practice.

A Course in Miracles – Channeled by Helen Schucman

While this book can look overwhelming at first glance, the student of The Course will find wisdom and comfort in every line. Because this is channeled writing, the circular and holographic nature must be digested slowly, in my opinion. A study group would be helpful in this regard. The introduction to the book really tells it all: everything we need to know about being human is to be learned by us – in our own time, in our own way.  The curriculum will not change; only the time we learn it is determined by us. If I were stranded on a desert island, this and the “Seth” books would be all I could need or desire. Please study this text. You will know peace beyond description.

Seth Speaks – The Eternal Validity of the Soul – Channeled by Jane Roberts

Seth is a non-physical entity who has written a number of books channeled through Jane Roberts, a medium. These writings are conversational in style and lead the reader through understanding the physics of the Universe, consciousness and the vehicle of the Soul. The style of writing is in segments of dictation through Jane by Seth. All this writing resonates deeply with me at a metaphysical comprehension level and explains what I know in deep, deep understanding. Many “aha” and “that’s it!” moments in this book. If I were stranded on a desert island, this and A Course in Miracles would be all I could need or desire. Please study Seth. Many of your questions will be answered.

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

From Babylon to the 21st Century, Karen Armstrong has done a superb job of chronicling how we arrived at our wisdom traditions and our foundations for religious practices. In a delicate and detailed style, showing meticulous research, Armstrong layers and weaves how our traditions have overlapped and been influenced by each other over the centuries. She helps us see our own misconceptions of hundreds of years ago are affecting our political and geographic governances today. If you really want to know how it all is and why God exists, read this book.

Law of Divine Compensation – On Work, Money and Miracles – Marianne Williamson

In Marianne’s down-to-earth and conversational style, Williamson brings us to the center of the Universe’s Intention of Creation: self-organizing, self-balancing and self-healing. All the rest is story. Once we understand how we are intended to create and be abundant and be more, we can apply that to any area of our lives. In The Law of Divine Compensation, we see it applied to money. If we believe in lack, we live lack. If we believe in abundance we life abundance. But because only abundance exists (A Course in Miracles), there is no lack – only a misguided perception to be corrected. Williamson gives us tools to live this correction.

Dying to be Me – My Journey From Cancer, to Near Death, To True Healing – Anita Moorjani

Anyone interested in the beyond-physical-ness of our human body should read this book. Metaphysics is about “beyond the physical” – and there is much to be learned from the individual experience here. In a universe where only Love exists, how can illness be such a part of human experience? Moorjani takes us on her personal journey and chronicles those of others who have had Near Death Experiences. Once we are released from the angst of the human vessel, all is love, all is joy, all is understood. Love is all there is. Nothing else matters. Read this book if you are involved with any illness or caring for someone who is. You will be enriched and invigorated.

The Illustrated World’s Religions – A Guide to Our Wisdom Traditions – Huston Smith

In a beautiful, well-written and easily followed style, Huston Smith takes us on a journey, visual expression and photographic joy of the world’s great religions. From the traditions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam to Taoism, Confucianism and Primal Traditions, Huston brings it all into human focus. This beautifully illustrated book is equally comfortable on a coffee table or in a reference library as Smith goes from his first chapter, “Point of Departure” to “A Final examination.” This is a book to be savored.

Journeys Into Emptiness – Dόgen, Merton, Jung and the quest for Transformation – Robert Jingen Gunn

This book is for anyone who is human. Finding our way through the morass of uncertainty, depression and family of origin can be overwhelming and defeating. Reading about these three geniuses of their time and seeing the impact they continue to have on modern society, we can only feel invigorated at the possibilities for our own lives. This is a most comforting, enlightening and reassuring book. Read it and find yourself and anyone you love between its pages.


Congratulations, by the Way – Some Thoughts on Kindness – George Saunders

I don’t remember where I heard about this book, but I’m glad I did. You can read it in an hour, and reflect on its wisdom for the rest of your life. This is the transcript of a convocation, a large gathering of people, in this case, very young people. His gentle but insistent way of bringing us to presence, kindness, generosity as human beings and in a world of competition, egos and carelessness is his soft-edged message. “What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.” Even his book is delivered with kindness. Anyone who is young or ever was should read this book.


“Forgiveness has deeper rewards than excusing someone for how they have hurt us. The deeper healing comes in the exchange of our resentments for inner freedom. At last, the wound, even if never acknowledged by the other person can heal, and our life can continue.” – Mark Nepo