Inspiring Book Club discussion

Inspiring Books

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message 1: by Robin, Awakened Dreamer (last edited Jun 11, 2013 08:30PM) (new)

Robin Clark (nonduality) | 92 comments Mod

Jonathan Livingston Seagull woke me up. I was around twenty years old and had lived for some time with a foreboding feeling that I did not belong in the world. I would wander around half-dazed, with no real direction or purpose. I had no place to call home.

I clearly remember, one ordinary afternoon, sitting in a house full of strangers, waiting for a friend to appear, feeling awkward, and self-conscious. After a timeless moment of unsettling silence, I suddenly noticed a small book resting on the arm of my chair. Had it been there all the time? Funny...I hadn’t noticed it before. The moment I picked up the book, I disappeared. Jonathon entered my life — or did I enter his?

The words of Richard Bach re-kindled my heart. I felt I had come home. I was not alone anymore. Someone else felt how I felt, thought what I thought. This newly discovered world of Jonathan brought immediate reassurance to my estranged life. With wings unfurled, I took to the wide-open skies of consciousness. I didn’t care anymore. I was free. I was no longer a problem to myself, because I no longer worried what others thought. I could see and feel again. I felt truly alive. I found freedom simply in the pure awareness of being.

I don’t know what happened to ‘me,’ that ordinary afternoon. A transformation had taken place. It was frightening as much as it was exciting. I went on to collect as many books written by Richard Bach that I could find. From this ‘experience,’ I fell in love with words. Words breathe, they can move and inspire us. Words paint and sing and even dance right off the page! Words take us to other worlds.

I believe there is a Jonathan living inside us all, waiting to be set free. It’s in that everyday moment, when suddenly our inner voice cries, “What are you waiting for!?”

I have the 1970 Turnstone Press edition of Jonathan: Hardback, white cover with gold embossed lettering and a golden seagull. It smells musty now, like a good old book should. The photos by Russell Munson help bring the vision of this story to life. Some of the illustrations are on transparent paper that create an ethereal world for the reader to step into. Quite a magical book.

message 2: by Luxmih (new)

Luxmih Forbes | 4 comments Bravo on finding your freedom wings through 'Jonathon'. This is a book I have read over and over again on a new level of understanding each time.

message 3: by Robin, Awakened Dreamer (new)

Robin Clark (nonduality) | 92 comments Mod
That's right. You fly higher and higher, spiraling in ever increasing circles of understanding.

message 4: by Virginia (new)

Virginia Tell (vtell) | 1 comments Bravo to you, Robin! I couldn't agree with you more - one of my most-loved books that I've reread many times, is "Illusions." As a writer, I commend you for the eloquence of your own written word.

On a lighter note, I have recently discovered some enlightening words in a psych book that at times makes some humorous references to get the point across.

"What's Wrong With My Family: And How to Live Your Best Life Anyway" was written by an award-winning author, Susan Mary Malone, and her doctor/therapist brother, Gary Malone.

The simple ways they describe family dynamics helped me to understand what happened in my family and made it easy for me to forgive my parents through a more comprehensive perspective - I had done a lot of "forgiveness work" prior to reading this book, but it really did pull all the pieces together. It's a small book that doesn't delve deeply into the psychological aspects, so I think that may be why it felt so concise and to-the-point. It worked for me especially in dealing with my mother and sister, with whom I've been almost completely estranged for many years - their treatment of my daughter WAS unforgiveable.

message 5: by Robin, Awakened Dreamer (new)

Robin Clark (nonduality) | 92 comments Mod
Thank you for sharing with me, Virginia.

Life is a journey. A truly universal one that we all share. A journey through all realms of human experience in search of true peace and happiness.
There is nothing mysterious about the meaning of life. The apparent mystery is our inability to perceive the obvious. Abiding in our heart is true happiness. And as we explore the shores of our human-beingness ever more deeply, we are able to quiet the surface of our mind and still the moving waters of our emotional seas. When we stand at the bow of our ship and look out upon a clear blue sky we see through all personal drama to the one true nature in us all. Love.

message 6: by Salome (new)

Salome | 2 comments Thank You for this group, first of all. Could anyone please recommend me inspiring book about Buddhism. Thank you in advance.

message 7: by Robin, Awakened Dreamer (new)

Robin Clark (nonduality) | 92 comments Mod
Hello Salome,

I recommend Siddhartha

Happy reading :)

message 8: by Salome (new)

Salome | 2 comments Robin wrote: "Hello Salome,

I recommend Siddhartha

Happy reading :)"

Thank You very much, Robin. :)

message 9: by Mina (new)

Mina (minaetc) Hello everyone! Thanks for sharing your love for Richard Bach! I also really loved "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" but for me it's his book Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah that really shook up something inside me and changed the way I thought about life.

More recently, I found another very inspiring and thought-provoking book, In Search of the Miraculous: Healing into Consciousness by Eliza Mada Dalian. It makes you see your own being very differently.

I'm interested in hearing about other life-changing books so any suggestions as to what I should read next are very welcome :)

message 10: by Robin, Awakened Dreamer (new)

Robin Clark (nonduality) | 92 comments Mod
Hi Mina,

My favorite life-changing books are Siddhartha and The Prophet and Lao Tsu: Tao Te Ching. Timeless, forever beautiful and always refreshing to the spirit.

message 11: by Mina (new)

Mina (minaetc) Thanks Robin, I'll definitely check them out!

message 12: by Cole (new)

Cole (fishyboy) | 6 comments Robin wrote: "Hi Mina,

My favorite life-changing books are Siddhartha and The Prophet and Lao Tsu: Tao Te Ching. Timeless, forever beautiful and always refreshing to the sp..."

I just bought Siddhartha and I am so excited to read it! I really loved the Tao Te Ching, so do you think I will like Siddhartha?

message 13: by Cole (new)

Cole (fishyboy) | 6 comments And some of my life-changing books would have to be the Lao Tsu: Tao Te Ching, Walden, and The Art of Loving.

message 14: by Mina (new)

Mina (minaetc) Walden is definitely an amazing book!

message 15: by Robin, Awakened Dreamer (new)

Robin Clark (nonduality) | 92 comments Mod
Cole wrote: "And some of my life-changing books would have to be the Lao Tsu: Tao Te Ching, Walden, and The Art of Loving."

I am sure you will enjoy Siddhartha going by what you have read. Keep in touch Cole.

message 16: by Cole (new)

Cole (fishyboy) | 6 comments Robin wrote: "Cole wrote: "And some of my life-changing books would have to be the Lao Tsu: Tao Te Ching, Walden, and The Art of Loving."

I am sure you will enjoy Siddhart..."

Thanks! Are there any other Herman Hesse books you would recommend?

message 17: by Robin, Awakened Dreamer (new)

Robin Clark (nonduality) | 92 comments Mod
I haven't read any other Hesse book,but I recommend you savor Siddhartha for a while. Even re-read it!

message 18: by Zeeshan (new)

Zeeshan Ali | 1 comments Could anyone recommend me self help book plz plz

message 19: by Cole (last edited Jan 30, 2014 12:01PM) (new)

Cole (fishyboy) | 6 comments Zeeshan wrote: "Could anyone recommend me self help book plz plz"

I have heard the book The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment is very good, but I have not yet read it.

message 20: by Robin, Awakened Dreamer (new)

Robin Clark (nonduality) | 92 comments Mod
Seeing, Knowing, Being: A Guide to Sacred Awakenings and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose are very inspiring books to awaken the seeker from the dreaming mind. We only need to realize we are not an individual 'I' but the Universe seeing itself through all its reflections.

message 21: by V. (new)

V. Pain (Vpain) | 3 comments The Courage to Be Yourself: A Woman's Guide to Emotional Strength and Self-Esteem
This book was given to me as a gift, and I looked at it and said, "But I don't care what people think...? I am not afraid of being myself." Then I had a crazy emotional "WHY AM I HERE?" moment, and picked up the book in desperation. It encouraged me to think about times I let my true self be put on the back burner, and made me ask, "why?" Now sometimes I hear myself speak, and I am surprised at my bravery. HAVE you been told you are a pushover, or gotten tired of being used, are you in a relationship rut? Read this book before getting romantically involved again.

message 22: by V. (new)

V. Pain (Vpain) | 3 comments Robin wrote: "Hi Mina,

My favorite life-changing books are Siddhartha and The Prophet and Lao Tsu: Tao Te Ching. Timeless, forever beautiful and always refreshing to the sp..."

Actually I loved siddhartha too.

message 23: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Larsen | 2 comments I loved Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah too! I read it years ago and it really helped open up my heart and mind too. Another book that really moved me that I read last year was Have a Little Faith: a True Story by Mitch Albom; it was such a touching true story.

message 24: by Clicerio (new)

Clicerio Muñoz (cliceriomunoz) | 1 comments Hello. Need little orientation. I can't remember the title of a book that makes an statement similar to this one: "success is not just up to you, it relies also upon external circumstances or joints" in other words good luck happens . Someone knows what book this one could be? Thanks in advance for your help.

message 25: by Marcia (new)

Marcia | 1 comments I really love Peace Breathing: Lessons on Achieving Peace in Everyday Life
There is a simplicity to it that makes it iconic. It offers more than just a perspective-shift, as many of the books in this thread do, but also a practice I have successfully (and gratefully) incorporated into my daily life. It was a life-changer for me.

message 26: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 1 comments I think one of the most inspiring book for me is Aquarian. It's not prescriptive at all, it just tells a lot of inspirational stuff within a story. Especially when the old Sage talks about the notion of destiny and how it is misinterpreted. That our body is capable of doing anything as long as we give it what it needs... I'd say give it a shot.

message 27: by Peter (new)

Peter Shasta (goodreadscompetermtshasta) I liked Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah because he shows the need to bring spirituality into daily life.

message 28: by Rod (new)

Rod Jr. (rod_martin_jr) | 1 comments I'm new to the group and love the vibe. I too was blown away by JLS when it came out.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach Richard Bach Richard Bach

At the time, I was experiencing my first deeply spiritual experiences (OBE with full perception, telekinesis and the like). So, JLS was very real to me. To read the comments of people like Roger Ebert from that time cracks me up; he thought the book was banal. It only goes to show that some people are not yet ready for a spiritual experience. I feel sad that they're missing out on something so transcendentally wonderful.

After studying Scientology, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Kabbalah and back to Christianity, I've had a life filled with inspiration. Reading the Bible again from a fresh perspective has revealed to me wisdom that had remained hidden for more than 2,000 years, at least in traditional interpretation. Finding new meaning in such a religious text is a new kind of "high." Learning to read through the eyes of love makes everything bristle with potential value.

Holy Bible King James Version by Anonymous

message 29: by Ulrike (new)

Ulrike Ulrike (ModernThoughtTheories) | 1 comments I also found this book early in my studies and it was one of my favorites. After that I found many more and have spent the last 30 years searching and learning. So thank you JLS for your lifelong inspiration!

message 30: by Ganesh (new)

Ganesh singaraj | 11 comments I am new to this group and reading this type of books., pls guide me to read such inspirational books.

message 31: by Michael (new)

Michael Mefford | 1 comments I'd have to throw out The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck. I actually ended up going into psychiatry, and that was part of the reason. Also, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman really struck a chord with me.
Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives
The road less traveled

message 32: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Martin (kellymartinauthor) | 3 comments Some great ideas for books I have not read yet, thank you everyone! I have read so many life changing books so will add when I remember them all.

Diamond in Your Pocket, The
A book that literally floored me recently with its wisdom was by Gangaji. A book that brought me home to who I am beyond this body, this mind, this story. The way in which it is written really earth's you into spaciousness and personal expansion. Similar in many a way to Eckhart Tolle's wisdom but in a more feminine and peaceful way. This book helps us to learn self kindness and to listen to our own wisdom within.

message 33: by Robin, Awakened Dreamer (new)

Robin Clark (nonduality) | 92 comments Mod
Some really beautiful and inspiring books being shared here at Inspiring Book Club. Thank you Michael and Kelly for the recent inclusions!!

Sharing is one of the greatest spiritual qualities. The miracle is that the more you share your bliss the more you have it. -- Osho

Peace and Happiness to all,

message 34: by Kara (new)

Kara Lane I have read so many inspiring books over the years, it would be very difficult to choose just I'll pick two: Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah and As a Man Thinketh. I have re-read these books many times to remind me of the power of our thoughts and beliefs.

OK, I can't resist. Two more that I have found myself coming back to for inspiration are The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom and The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles.

I love the idea for this group. Thank you for starting it, Robin.

message 35: by Robin, Awakened Dreamer (new)

Robin Clark (nonduality) | 92 comments Mod
Thank you for sharing, Kara. These inspiring books are high on my list too!

Peace and happiness.

message 36: by Trelvine (new)

Trelvine | 2 comments Thank you Kara for sharing, I'll read them.

message 37: by Trelvine (new)

Trelvine | 2 comments I have read this book and it inspired me a lot. I strongly recommend it. Apostle Paul's Case: The Root of the Lie We Have Been Told for 2000 Years" by Author F.P. Josh
Insightful study asks "Why have Christian been lied to for thousands of years?" :

message 38: by Emma (new)

Emma | 1 comments Zeeshan wrote: "Could anyone recommend me self help book plz plz"

Just finished, Absolutely Enough essays on being good enough and other things for young women asking existential questions by Adunni Badmus , good read for young women.

message 39: by Linette (new)

Linette | 2 comments I found inspiration in two novels when I was a child: A Little Princess and Behold, Your Queen!. I read both multiple times. I related so thoroughly to the main characters that it was a given in my mind that I would try to emulate them as closely as possible. The themes of strength, integrity and kindness even in the face of persecution became guiding principles for me at a young age.
On a separate note, does anyone remember the name of the Richard Back book that dealt with parallel universes? I remember that I loved it, and that at some point, the main character comes out of an elevator and that's where so many of his parallels split. I would love to re-read it. Thanks!

message 40: by Michael (new)

Michael Lawrence (MLawrence1134) | 1 comments How you doing i'm Michael Lawrence, I just written two Self-help books. One for men, "The Greatest Secret Untold" and another for the women, "If I were a chick..." both which i believe to be great tools. Any one who is interested can ask and i will send them excerpts from both books. First 5 people i will send them the whole book, which ever one they would like. I'm new to the author world so i need readers to read, so others will know. Thanks a lot and don't be shy to write me. I hope to hear from some of you soon.

message 41: by Leah (new)

Leah Cole (leahcole) | 3 comments Love in Real Life changed me. This may be out of the scope of the discussion, but it may be relevant, too. I wrote the book, but this is not intended to be self promotion. This is about what a book can do for someone's life. That book came into my life six years ago. I had small children and was in the midst of writing a different book. What was exceptional about this book was that every word of it transformed me and my life. Books don't just change the readers, sometimes they change the writers, too. I had traveled the world, worked with different spiritual traditions and read hundreds of books, yet some of what found its way onto the pages was completely new. I suspect that I and many other authors feel like messengers who are in awe of and changed by what comes through them. Every single time that I reread the book, I am amazed to find new meaning. Even if I and my kids are the only readers of Love in Real Life, the book will have made lives happier. Besides, a happy mom is a much nicer mom!
Any other people feel the same about their passions?

message 42: by Gerald (new)

Gerald Freeman (gerryaldridge) | 5 comments My God, I have found someone else, there r many..really, I am who I am today because of this book, and I continue to be Jonathon..the best life lesson I ever learnt xbless u dude x
Gerald Freeman

message 43: by Gerald (new)

Gerald Freeman (gerryaldridge) | 5 comments My inspiring quote: You can travel the world, but if you cannot let go of the past you will never be able to move on x

message 44: by Leah (new)

Leah Cole (leahcole) | 3 comments Linette wrote: "I found inspiration in two novels when I was a child: A Little Princess and Behold, Your Queen!. I read both multiple times. I related so thoroughly to the main characters that it was a given in my..."

I just watched the movie version of A Little Princess last night -- such a lovely and inspiring story!

message 45: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Sturges (soulkat) | 1 comments "Awakening the Buddha Within" by Lama Surya Das is a really inspirational Buddhist book, if anyone is looking for recommendations. The most inspirational book I have ever read is "The Art of Happiness" by the Dalai Lama. The book really helped me through a difficult time in my life, and I plan on reading it again. A quote I love is to be the change you wish to see in the world!

message 46: by Edward (new)

Edward Fahey (edward_fahey) | 5 comments Bach recently found and published and extended version of Jonathan. It contains an extended section about not making a religion out of honoring some great person's specialness.

message 47: by Edward (new)

Edward Fahey (edward_fahey) | 5 comments "Light on the Path" written down by MC.
"At the Feet of the Master" by Alcyone

message 48: by Robin, Awakened Dreamer (new)

Robin Clark (nonduality) | 92 comments Mod
Noticed that one the other day, thanks for sharing.

message 49: by Rachel (last edited Dec 01, 2015 07:25PM) (new)

Rachel Nottelling I don't know if I would call them inspiring, but I can point to two different books that came to me at nearly the same point in my life and changed who I am forever.
One has been mentioned here already: Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. I read this book in the very childish way I read most books at the time. I was sure I knew what the main character *ought* to be doing - and if only I were lucky enough to be in that situation, *I* wouldn't be messing up everything up so badly. By the end of the book, I had a strong revelation about how life truly works. I no longer felt like anything the character had done was a mistake, or even could have been a mistake. My outlook on my own life was shattered and liberated in a moment of clarity. To this day I struggle to find pockets of that clarity in my life.
The other I have spent more time with, "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn and its companion books "My Ishmael" and "The Story of B" by the same author. This collection of allegories continues to shape my world view, and I return to it about as frequently and consistently as an average Christian would to their bible. (Read: not very frequently or consistently, but with the same sense of wanting guidance)

message 50: by Robin, Awakened Dreamer (new)

Robin Clark (nonduality) | 92 comments Mod
Thanks Rachel. I love how books come to us. I was once up high in a gantry above a theater stage dropping autumn leaves down on to two thespians while they were doing their lines for a scene, and right up there, out on a crossbeam, was the book, Journey to Ixtlan, by Carlos Castaneda.
The right book at the right time just so happens to come along and find us!

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