Six must read books to strengthen your spiritual journey

Spirituality is technically defined as ‘being concerned with the human spirit’, yet everyone has an entirely individual experience that is unique to them. Communicating this deeply personal sensation proves to be a challenge for many, let alone arriving at a conclusive understanding. It opens the door to vulnerabilities, controversial viewpoints, and a realm of uncertainty. Put it this way, the sacred subject is highly unlikely to arise in light-hearted chatter during a family dinner on a Sunday evening. (Unless your entire family practises a religion of course).  

A very common approach that curious soul’s will take, in order to broaden their perspective on spirituality, is reading. So much wisdom can be found within language and literature in the form of biographies, fiction, non-fiction, essays: The list goes on. 

In this article, you will find six highly valuable sources of information. Six contrasting novels, six unique perspectives and six opposing experiences. Yet, what do all of the books have in common? Inner peace and connection to something greater. Not only this, but if you truly absorb the content, you will find yourself relating in ways you didn’t deem possible. So, approach these with an open-mind and get learning! 

  1. The Book Of Ichigo Ichie: The Art of Making the Most of Every Moment the Japanese Way

Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles co-wrote this spectacularly unique piece on being fully present, embracing change, and finding beauty in each breathing moment. Ichigo Ichie is a Japanese phrase that translates to ‘One time, one meeting.’ The authors draw on the wisdom of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, in order to guide the reader toward embracing the significance of every encounter. It is a practical insight and offers actionable advice on incorporating Japanese Philosophy into your everyday life.

  1. The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living

This structural journey that is encouraged to present one passage each day, is a modern interpretation of the Ancient Philosophy known as Stoicism. Ryan Holiday uses translations from Seneca, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius in order to guide the reader through a daily ritual of reflection and self-improvement. The book covers many areas applicable to the reader’s life, such as resilience, virtue, mindfulness, and acceptance of what is beyond one’s control. 

  1. Seva: Sikh Wisdom for Living Well by Doing Good

This incredible insight into modern day Sikhism provides the reader with seven applicable rules that guides you towards a happier way of living. Jasreen Mayal Khanna writes on the selfless service engraved within the Sikh community through the exploration of science-based studies, interviews and a look into history and fables. ‘Seva’ serves as a valuable resource for those seeking a more meaningful life.

  1. Life As A Siamese Monk

Richard Randall narrates his personal experience as the first British man to be ordained as Buddhist Monk in Thailand, way back in the 50s. This autobiography could almost be mistaken for an action packed piece of nonfiction, discussing the unimaginable. Randall accounts his meditative journey, single minded devotion to his teacher, psychic realms and his unrelenting commitment to truth. Despite this novel basing on the events of another man’s life, the authentic exploration of self serves as a place of resonation for many readers who are on their own spiritual path.

  1. The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down : How to be Calm in a Busy World

This contemplative guide encourages readers to embrace the art of mindful living through poetic and insightful prose. Haemin Sunim discusses his experiences as a Buddhist Monk and finding solitude in a busy, fast-paced world. The book offers practical advice on navigating life’s challenges, finding inner peace, and detaching from the chaos that is our modern society. It is divided into thematic sections, each chapter exploring different aspects of life, from relationships and rest, to mindfulness and passion. 

  1. Mahatma: A Golden Treasury of Wisdom – Thoughts & Glimpses of Life

Written by Mahatma Gandhi himself, this staggering selection of original photographs, statements, passages, and real life campaigns, offers a sincere glimpse into the life of an influential figure who believed in peaceful protest in order to fight for independence, all while embodying unity and peace. This alternative outlook teaches a balance of activism in a world where passiveness ‘appears’ an easier solution in order to protect your spirit. This novel encourages apologetic authenticity, therefore leading to a happier life.

With each recommendation on my list differing in ‘surface’ belief systems, their unique tales can be interpreted as you please. From the mindful teachings of “Ichigo Ichie” to the daily reflections in “The Daily Stoic,” and the selfless wisdom of “Seva,” each book crafts a narrative that, despite its uniqueness, threads together the universal themes of finding inner peace and connecting with something greater. “Life As A Siamese Monk” and “The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down” have become companions on my personal journey, offering profound insights and moments of introspection. Gandhi’s “Mahatma,” with its treasury of wisdom on peaceful activism, has resonated deeply with my quest for authenticity. Embrace these stories with an open-heart and become the best version of yourself!