Regardless of whether you follow a particular spiritual path or not, reading which may widen your understanding of spirituality and the inner self can often prove helpful. It may bring reflection on your lifestyle and your present values while you are taking time out from ordinary living – or even give you a greater vision of humanity and God than you might have had before. It is for this reason that this very short list is not organised according to any particular religion or spiritual path.
Selected books by Stafford Whiteaker
Over 400 places in the UK and Europe for the best yoga activities. Tells you what yoga is and how and where to get started on this ancient spiritual path to good health and healing.
Whiteaker’s belief in the importance of spiritual harmony and peaceful integration of mind and body is often inspiring and always compelling. Daily Express
Good Living in Hard Times explains how you can get the best from the life you have now and ﬁnd a peacefulness that no bank or politician or credit card company can take away from you. The goal is for you to live a contented life no matter your present situation.
From the Middle East Spring to the Occupy Wall Street movements, people are demanding changes to economic, social and political systems that have failed them. To succeed, their demands of Dignity! and People before Proﬁts! will mean a change in their society’s moral and ethical values. While vigorously supporting collective eﬀorts, the author believes that the way to sustain such change when it comes is by the way we live our own life.
Good Living in Hard Times discusses those values which have stood the test of time and need once again to be our benchmarks for living. Self-reliance, personal dignity, and economic reality are the major themes. Fresh air, sound sleep, eating real food, sexuality, laughter, hospitality and other values are discussed which make for a stable contentment that raises you above your present circumstances. The author does not oﬀer quick ﬁ x solutions or self-development practices which soon fall out of use because they have no attachment to real life.
With practicality, Good Living in Hard Times explains things that make you poor, healthy and rich. With such understanding, Staﬀord Whiteaker believes we become self-reliant and discover a lasting union with our neighbours, our planet and ourselves. He claims that when we live this way we not only ﬁnd deep contentment but we contribute to the common good of our society.
The beneﬁts of paying attention to our spiritual life are legendary and bring emotional, psychic, and physical healing which connects us to values that neither money nor power can buy. Staﬀord Whiteaker, internationally recognized for his writing on spirituality, discusses the part it plays in giving us a vision beyond just the tiny bit of the world we see and touch. He reminds us that “our bodies and minds may be limited by time, but our spirit is an eternal force as strong as the stars and as tender as a mother’s touch.”
An international best-seller, translated into over seven languages. Do you sometimes feel swamped? Or ask, “Where’s the real me?” Such eternal questions can be answered deep inside us in the sanctuary of our essential spirit. This indispensable little book shows you how to find this place of retreat from the hectic world – and how to emerge from it fresh and renewed.
Getting in touch with our spiritual self and practising the sacred in our everyday lives is our birthright. It is essential for our physical, mental and emotional health. However, few of us know where to look, and also how it will help if we manage to catch a glimpse of the true self at the heart of our being. In this book Stafford Whiteaker offers ten gateways to letting spirituality flourish in our lives. These can be explored no matter where or who we are – Christian, Buddhist, New Age or of no particuilar persuasion. Included is the use of silence, meditation, midfulness, prayer and the arts of loving, dreaming and celebration.
“Buy it!” – Daily Express
Recommended by Stafford Whiteaker
The more we become aware of the world’s religions, the more we can see the common threads of life woven by God. Here are excerpts from the great Hindu sacred spiritual masterpiece.
A selection of talks to help you along your spiritual journey by a Buddhist monk who was born and educated in America, Japan and Thailand.
One of the most famous of all confessions of a soul. It remains a work which inspires us to realise that no matter how low we fall in life there is hope that we can rise again. The story of a sinner who became one of the world’s most loved and influencial saints.
A new and fresh look at the famous Christian Divine Office which is the book of daily prayers used by monks and nuns. Brother Mark, a monk himself, takes us on a journey through his days with prayers with thoughts and observations on God and life that have been written with love and understanding.
St. John is one of the greatest poets of Spain and Spanish literature and among the most famous Christian saints and mystics. Previous translations in English have been done from a strictly traditional Christian point of view and often in obscure and out-of-fashion language. Starr’s new translation is done from an wide-open spirituality perspective in everyday modern language. It is a wonderful way to discover the thinking and inspiration of this mystic and it makes him available to everyone.
Put aside all those ’little books’ that they sell today and try this one instead. Here is wisdom from men and women who went to the wilderness and listened to God. Short, snappy, and right to the point saying. Some will make you laugh with self-recognition and others help you to live a sacred life. You may be like thousands before you and find you love these first hermits who yearned for God above all else.
A collection about saints and holy men and women who were gay. This book will help to heal the wounds of all who have experienced rejection and exclusion from organised religions and to inspire everyone, gay or not.
Written by a respected Roman Catholic theologian, this book is directed at lesbian and gay people but is an inspiration for anyone who may read it. Hard hitting, bibically sound, and doesn’t avoid current church issues.
Reviewed by Urs Mattmann, author of Coming In – Gay and Lesbian people reclaiming the spiritual journey.
Happily in the past 45 years dozens of affirmative, liberating and inspiring Christian books have been written from different angles, debunking religious homophobia, urging the full acceptance and inclusion of LGBT people. This new book, The Gay Gospels by Keith Sharpe, makes another valuable contribution.
It makes is the point that the Good News of Jesus is also Good News for LGBT people and tries to emphasis what this practically means in practical terms. One is aware that it does this from an evangelical angle and tries to reach people with rather conservative understanding of the bible.
A first part called The Defensive Testament looks at the few passages in the Bible that have been misused to harm LGBT people and gay men in particular by the church and the societies it affected. There is little new to discover as this subject has been explored so many times, but it is helpful to have all the argument s gathered together in a concise and well structured form.
With many great books on this subject already written, the main unique contribution of the book is in its second part: Here in an more original, positively provocative way the author explores biblical texts where he sees a specific gay friendly narrative and message. Besides the already familiar examples like that of David & Jonathan, the narrative examines themes and stories that have been less or not at all highlighted in the past. For example, in chapters like Jesus was no family man or The Transgendered Christ stand out.
Much has been written lately about a special relationship of Jesus with Mary Magdalena which reflects our contemporary interest in sensationalism about historic figures. In The Gay Gospels, the author makes a very enlightening point with challenging implications about the relationship of Jesus with the Beloved Disciple as much more important.
The Good Retreat Guide can highly recommend The Gay Gospels as it offers a vision of the Christian Faith which is full of hope for LGBT people.
Here is a good beginning to understand the silent and still power of the spirituality of Zen Buddhism.
Immensely popular and easy to read modern translation of the bible. Likle most people you probably use many expressions every day which springs from the bible. Here is a chance to find out the story behind those words – and to be inspired by the ‘greatest book ever written.’
The teacher of the importance of bio-diversity in nature and our need to recognize its importance. This book may seem strange on a list of spirituality readings, but read it and you will regain consciousness of the wonder of our earth and the marvel of life.
Here we share in the initiation of a group of young monks as they are introduced to the practice of prayer. We learn about the prayer process. A dazzling insight into little known and traditionally hidden ways to God.
John Drane explains in an easy to understand way these most famous of all sacred texts. People, places, and the meaning of events bring a deeper and clearer understanding of the message of God.
A short but charming study of the story of Jonah and the whale. While being theologically sound, is both amusing and inspiring in our struggle to recognize our human failings and the voice of God in our lives.
This is a good translation into English of the sacred book of Islam which all serious pilgrims on the spiritual path should read and study for inspiration and guidance on their journey.
The thoughts of a profound mystic which are as meanful for our lives today as when they were first written centuries ago.
If we are to understand the importance and place of Islam in our lives and to be helped spiritually, then it is important to read about the life of the last prophet of God.
One of the very best translations of the history of God in the lives of men and women. These words are meant for everyone. The holy scriptures that changed the world.
Christian monk and a writer who reached the hearts of many men and women, Merton is always seeking God and inspires us to do the same through this book and his many others.
Another monk writing here for us in a time of the world which finds everything we know and understand changing. A book which helps all who wish to accept the challenge of living to the full their Christian vocation… and for all perhaps who want and need structure and comprehension in the way they live out a sacred life.
If you have ever been drawn to live alone in solitude for spiritual reason, then Eve Baker’s book will be a good introduction to the solitary life as a part of your spiritual journey.
The happiest of spiritual guidance books! Written centuries ago by a modest monk in plain language, this little book explains how to live in the presence of God every minute of the day – not just when you pray but when you cook and scrub and go to your office and drive the car. This humble but holy man really got it right.
Here are just a few of the profound aspects of a spirituality that could not be killed or forgotten and that lives today in our modern lives, answering many of our quests for a more spiritual life and one which is connected to the life of all things.
The most beauty of Sufi mystics and one of the world’s great poets. No mind that seeks God should be without knowledge of this remarkable and gifted holy man.
Jewish Hasidism produced many rabbis whose deeds and stories still can impact on our souls and inspire our lives. Elie Wiesel, Editor is one of the great tellers of tales in our time and here he brings us the delight and adventure of the Hasidic spiritual masters.
A very old spirituality book but one which remains ever popular for its direct manner and appeal to the way most people feel. Perhaps an old-fashioned kind of language but still very helpful in the spiritual life.
The classic book about shaumanism and the way of the spirit world by a man who not only studied the subject but who made his own journey through this invisible realty.
An excellent book about Buddhism which explains this religion in ways easy to understand for Western men and women.
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