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5 Soul-Searching Reads

Since writing my last post on books I have read, Travel-Related Reads for Twenty-Somethings, I have been busy doing a lot of reading related to spiritual growth and transformation.  I wanted to share a few of my favourites with you.  I would recommend picking up one (or all) of them for your next adventure, or even just to have at home.

1. “Fear” by Thich Nhat Hanh

This book came into my life in an interesting way.  When I was staying in Chiang Mai, I found a book by Thich Nhat Hanh in a book exchange in the lobby of our accommodation.  It was just a little pocket book, so I took it with me, and Thich Nhat Hanh’s wisdom inspired me and changed me in ways that I can’t even put into words.  When I returned home, I decided that “Fear” would be the next book of his that I would read.  It is beautifully written, easy to read, and full of wisdom for difficult times.  Recommended for anyone who is feeling anxious, afraid, out-of-control, or overwhelmed by tragedy in their life.


2. “Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself” by Lori Deschene

Tiny Buddha is an incredible blog-style community of inspiring people who are dedicated to sharing their stories related to change, life, love, relationships and spiritual transformation.  I have been following Tiny Buddha for a few years now, and I was ecstatic to see a hand-picked selection of stories available in a book.  A super easy and enjoyable read, Tiny Buddha’s Guide to Loving Yourself provides short, essay-style contributions from dozens of people just like you directly related to their life experiences and how they learned to love themselves.  Recommended for light-hearted, relatable reading when you need a bit of a boost.


3. “Letting Go of the Person you Used to Be” by Lama Surya Das

Lama Surya Das is an american-born spiritual leader who follows the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.  This book is a healthy combination of his personal stories, practical meditation techniques, and essential wisdom for dealing with change.  Recommended for anyone who feels stuck in their past or anyone who feels trapped or limited by things out of their control.


4. “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” by Robin Sharma

I found this book in a thrift shop, and decided to buy it simply because I had heard so many wonderful things about it.  I brought it with me on my backpacking trip to Waterton this summer, and I was able to finish it in only two days.  A truly captivating story about a big-shot New York City litigator who abandons his practice after suffering a major heart attack to undergo a spiritual transformation in the Himalayas.  This story will change you.  Recommended for anyone considering a lifestyle shift, feeling unfulfilled or empty, or someone looking for inspiration in everyday life.


5. “Buddhist Boot Camp” by Timber Hawkeye

This book is among my favourites, if not my absolute favourite book related to spirituality.  Timber Hawkeye, a long-time student of world religion, wrote this book to inspire and empower people by taking the sometimes complicated teachings of the Buddha, and writing them in simple, easy-to-read, and understandable short segments that can be read in any order.  The author has spent several years living and studying in both a Buddhist Temple and a Zen Monastery.  He writes with honesty, clarity, integrity and transparency.  I would recommend this book to absolutely every single person I meet.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a Buddhist, a Christian, or an Atheist…if you believe in kindness and compassion among humans, this book will speak to you, and it will teach you so much.

16283548Have you read any of the above mentioned books?  What did you think?  Which other books have you found helpful in your soul-searching journey?


Ashley Dempster is a twenty-something Canadian Travel and Adventure blogger based in Calgary, Canada. Her passions include good food, minimalist packing, running, music, and chasing down every opportunity for adventure.

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