This is a very small list of some books I have found helpful and interesting.
- A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. Eckhart Tolle
- Aging as a Spiritual Practice: A Contemplative Guide to Growing Older and Wiser. Lewis Richmond
- Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life. Winifred Gallagher
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. Yuval Noah Harari
- Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. Sarah Ban Breathnach
- Still Here: Embracing Aging, Changing and Dying. Ram Dass
- The Four Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer & Visionary. Angeles Arrien, Ph.D.
- The Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom. Angeles Arrien, Ph.D.
- Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. Jon Kabat-Zinn
- A Path with a Heart. From Carlos Castaneda’s Don Juan, Apprentice to a Yaqui Sorcerer
- The Blue Zones of Happiness. Dan Buettner
Any poetry by Mary Oliver, Rumi, Maya Angelou — really, any poetry at all that appeals to you.
There are also many interesting books and articles on brain science, keeping one’s brain healthy and happy, the effects of self-talk on the brain, etc.
Tracking the Five Stages of the Soul
In her book, The Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom, Angeles Arrien describes the tool of “tracking”, “an active tool that develops the objective, fair-witnessing mind. In tracking, we focus attention, maintaining curiosity and equanimity as we look at whatever is surfacing in our minds in the moment. This cultivates balance, objectivity, and discernment, allowing us to see courses of action that create positive change for ourselves and others.”
She goes on to describe an approach to tracking found in Harry R. Moody and David Carroll’s book, The Five Stages of the Soul. This exercise is very useful for helping to make a wise choice or decision in — or simply shed light upon — an important area of life. The complete exercise can be found here.