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INSPIRATION

I'm always recommending books (& talks & videos) which have inspired me, so here's some personal favourites: 

TAOISM / ZEN / BUDDHISM:

TAO TE CHING: A New English Version, with Foreword and Notes, translated by STEPHEN MITCHELL
-the book which opened me up to Eastern philosophy. Gifted to me over 20 years ago while backpacking in New Mexico, it's one of the few books I've held onto all this time, and have read over & over...A treasure!

ZEN MIND, BEGINNER'S MIND - SHUNRYU SUZUKI
- arguably the best book on Zen - especially for beginners! (and really who isn't?)

 

 HARDCORE ZEN / ZEN WRAPPED IN KARMA DIPPED IN CHOCOLATE / & others I've yet to read... - BRAD WARNER- Brad Warner is an American, ordained as a Zen master in Japan, who's also been the bassist in a punk band for years (hence the title of his first book - but he's actually very ungimmicky) - he writes in a knowledgeable yet super-accessible & often very funny way about Zen - I appreciate the authenticity, knowledge worn lightly, groundedness & humour. His youtube channel is full of great talks too.

SALTWATER BUDDHA / ALL OUR WAVES ARE WATER - JAIMAL YOGIS
- beautiful, poetic & inspiring memoirs of a fascinating life path, weaving in Zen philosophy, surf wisdom, Buddhist meditation, love, life, travel, and the enchantment of the ocean...

MOST INTIMATE: A ZEN APPROACH TO LIFE'S CHALLENGES - ROSHI PAT ENKYO O'HARA
Down to earth, practical, wise & rooted in life experience. 

TARA BRACH - Tara is an American Buddhist author & teacher; her talks (on youtube here ) are particularly heartening, informative, compassionate & humorous. Similarly, PEMA CHODRON is excellent...

Another great youtube channel for Buddhist teaching is DOUG'S DHARMA

 

​YOGA: some personal favourites
(besides the well-known classics ie Upanishads/Bhagavad Gita/Yoga Sutras/Hatha Yoga Pradipika/Gheranda Samhita etc)
BRINGING YOGA TO LIFE - DONNA FARHI
YOGA OF THE SUBTLE BODY - TIAS LITTLE

THE RADIANCE SUTRAS: 112 Gateways to the Yoga of Delight - translated by LORIN ROCHE

- this is a wonderful translation of an ancient text; I often share verses in my yoga classes and cacao ceremonies

THE YOGA SUTRA OF PATANJALI: A BIOGRAPHY - DAVID GORDON WHITE (excellent demythologisation & contextualisation of what's become a foundational Yoga philosophy text for western students...Raises a lot of questions without devaluing the Yoga Sutra (sic) itself!

If you'd like a decent Yoga manual take your pick:

YOGA: THE SPIRIT & PRACTICE OF MOVING INTO STILLNESS - ERICH SCHIFFMAN
YOGA: MIND BODY & SPIRIT - DONNA FARHI
MASTERING THE SECRETS OF YOGA FLOW - DOUG SWENSON

and if you'd like a great Ashtanga Vinyasa manual...
ASHTANGA YOGA: THE PRACTICE MANUAL - DAVID SWENSON (Doug's little brother!)

SOME OTHER INTERESTING READS

THE EARTH'S CYCLE OF CELEBRATION - GLENNIE KINDRED - Her other books are great too. This is the one I first read in 2001 and was the start of really learning to tune into nature's cycles...and the ancient Pagan festivals which honour them.

SHAKTI WOMAN -VICKI NOBLE - reclaiming the sacred feminine from millennia of patriarchy!  

THE EARTH PATH - STARHAWK - more earth-based spirituality honouring the feminine

THE BOWL OF LIGHT: ANCESTRAL WISDOM FROM A HAWAIIAN SHAMAN - HANK WESSELMAN

FOOD OF THE GODS: A Radical History of Plants, Drugs and Human Evolution -TERENCE McKENNA

- A fascinating exploration of how plants have deeply shaped human consciousness & types of society over the millennia (including how the 20th/21st century socially-acceptable drugs of the industrial capitalist western world such as alcohol, sugar, caffeine and TV keep people numbed, "productive" and distracted...)

PLANT SPIRIT SHAMANISM: TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES FOR HEALING THE SOUL - ROSS HEAVEN & HOWARD G CHARING

THE TRUE HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE - Sophie D. Coe & Michael D. Coe

CHOCOLATE IN MESOAMERICA:  A CULTURAL HISTORY OF CACAO - edited by Cameron McNeil

THE BODY KEEPS THE SCORE: MIND, BRAIN & BODY IN THE TRANSFORMATION OF TRAUMA -BESSEL VAN DER KOLK

Sandra Ingerman, Charles Eisenstein, Rupert Sheldrake and Gabor Mate are also all well worth exploring

(Watch Gabor Mate's talk  "When The Body Says No..." (also the name of one of his books)