Books I recommend: These are some of the books that have inspired me over the years. I will update the list as more are added to my own :-)

Yoga:

 

Donna Farhi: Yoga, Mind, Body and Breath

Donna Farhi: The Breathing Book

A rare woman's voice.

She has written an easy to read and easy to follow book with lots of excercises and advice and insights. A recommended practical guide to yoga.

 

 

George Feuerstein: Yogaphilosopy - has written a lot. Check him out :-)

 

 

Richard Freeman: The Mirror of Yoga

My original Ashtanga teachers' book. He is a wonderful teacher and writes from such deep knowledge. But again not an easy read.

 

 

Matthew Remski: Threads of Yoga

A wonderful, wonderful retake on the yogasutras, not an easy read, but very beautiful and struck many chords in me, when I read it. I deeply recommend it.

 

 

Mark Singleton: Yoga Body - the origins of modern yoga

The title says it all. He has traced the roots of modern postural yoga with some quite surprising results. Yoga today may not be what we think it is.

 

 

Michael Stone: Awake in the world

Michael Stone: Freeing the Body, freeing the mind

Michael Stone: Yoga for a world out of balance

Michael Stone: The Inner Tradition of Yoga

Michael Stone has been my primary teacher for some years. And all his books are worth while reading. They offer a perspective on yoga meets buddhism, which is very refreshing and helpful, I have found. 

 

 

Buddhism: 

 

A guide to the boddhisattva's way of life

A root text with a lot of wonderful reflexions even useful for our modern lives. But good to read it with notes. I have a version translated and annotated by Stephen Batchelor.

 

 

Robert Aitken: The Mind of Clover

 

 

Stephen Bachelor: Living with the devil

Stephen Bachelor: Buddhism without belief

Stephen Batchelor: Confessions of a buddhist atheist

Batchelor & Others: The Psychology of Awakening (Buddhism, Science and our day-to-day lives)

Another favourite, he is so good with words. As some of the titles suggest, it is buddhism free of dogma and religion.

Pema Chödrön has done an audiobook where she goes through it. Very wonderful. Useful practice advise for hard times.

 

 

Charlotte Joko Beck: Everyday Zen

Charlotte Joko Beck: Nothing Special, Living Zen

 

 

Pema Chödrön: The places that scare you

Pema Chödrön: When things fall apart

Pema Chödrön: Start where you are Pema Chödrön: Practicing Peace in Times of War 

Pema Chödrön: Confortable with Uncertainty

One of my favourite buddhist authors, that I have found support in at difficult times in my life. Easy to read and a woman's voice. Pema Chödrön is a nun in the tibetan buddhist tradition.

 

 

Bernie Glassman: Infinite Circle - Teachings in Zen

Bernie Glassman was one of the founders of "The Zen Peacemakers"(socially engaged buddhism) and arranges "bearing witness"-retreats at Auschwitz and in Rwanda.

Zen Peacemakers is also one of the organizations I happily support.

 

 

Thich Nhat Hanh: Peace with every step

Thich Nhat Hanh: The Miracle of Mindfulness

Thich Nhat Hanh: Breathe, you are alive

A vietnamese Zen-buddhist monk and peace activist. A strong voice for buddhist activism.

 

 

Jack Kornfield: A path with heart

Jack Kornfield: Stories of the spirit, stories of the heart

Jack Kornfield: The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness and Peace

 

 

Shunryu Suzuki: Zen mind, Beginners mind

A classic and a joy to read.

 

 

Chögyam Trungpa: Cutting through Spiritual materialism

Another classic.

 

 

 

Not really buddhism, but close, let's call it western buddhist philosophy meets tao:

 

Alan Watts: The Wisdom of Insecurity

Alan Watts: Tao, the watercourse way

Alan Watts: The Book of the taboo against knowing who you are

A clear and refreshingly undogmatic voice out of the 60's. 

 

Other books from different genres, novels, science, poetry... 

 

 

Arnold Beisser: Flying without wings

 

 

Carol Lee Flinders: The Values of Belonging

Carol Lee Flinders: At the root of our Longing

She is one of my absolute favourite writers and I base a lot of my teaching and my attempts at rethinking yogapractice on her thoughts and how they voice some of my insights. 

 

 

Victor Frankl: Man's Search for Meaning

 

 

Fynn: Dear Mister God this is Anna

a wonderful and beautiful, little book.

 

 

Kahlil Gibran: The Prophet

Also a classic. A poetical and wise ethical guide to life, written as a prophets last words to the people of his country before leaving them. His voice talks to all of us and not any less at this day and age.

 

 

Ben Goldacre: Bad Science

A book about ... well, about bad science. A fun and informative and sometimes saddening and maddening read.

 

 

Amit Goswami. The Selfaware Universe

An interesting theory of the universe and consciousness - theory I believe not as THE truth, but as a truth for me. Amit Goswami is a scientist. 

 

 

Ursula Le Guinn: The Earthsea quartet

The genre would be called Fantasy today, but she is so much more. Touching, true, a deep insight into human nature. 

 

Keith Johnstone: Impro

Especially the first part of this book is worth while reading, Keith Johnstone is a theatre-instructor and playwriter, but also teacher of improvisation in theatre, but what he talks about relates to all creativity and aliveness in life.

 

 

Daniel Moerman: Meaning, Medicine and the Placebo effect

 

 

Mary Oliver: New and Selected Poems

I LOVE her poems!

 

 

Rumi: collected poems

 

 

Antoine de Sainte Exupery: The Little Prince

 

 

John Welwood: Journey of the Heart

John Welwood: Perfect Love, imperfect relationship

 

 

Jeanette Winterson: Why be happy when you could be normal?

A beautiful, touching and thought provoking autobiography - recount of the author's childhood and quest for happiness.

 

 

Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl Wudunn: Half the Sky

This book is about women and the abuse of them, but also stories of women rising and taking charge. So it is outrageous, maddening, deeply saddening and uplifting at the same time.  It made me engage in the org Women for Women International, where I sponsor the education of a woman for a year in a country affected by war - so a new woman each year. Right now I'm supporting a woman from Sudan. She is the fourth woman I support.

 

 

 

 

I also recommend all books by Astrid Lindgren and Tove Jansson 

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Irene Eisler

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ireneeisler.blogspot.com

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