Inner Work Books

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, by Byron Katie. Known simply as “The Work,” Byron Katie’s methods are clean and straightforward. The basis is a series of four questions addressed to your own lists of written assumptions. Whether you’re angry with your boss, frustrated with your teen’s behavior, or appalled at the state of the world’s environment, Katie suggests you write down your most honest thoughts on the matter, and then begin the examination. Starting with, “Is it true?” and continuing with explorations of “Who would you be without that thought?” this method allows you to get through unhelpful preconceptions and find peace. An integral part of the process is “turning the thought around,” and at first this can seem like you’re simply blaming yourself for everything. Push a little harder, and you’ll find a very responsible acceptance of reality, beyond questions of fault and blame. To see what The Work is about, visit her website at Excellent YouTube videos as well.

Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender, by David Hawkins. Letting Go describes a simple and effective means by which to let go of the obstacles to Enlightenment and become free of negativity. During the many decades of the author’s clinical psychiatric practice, the primary aim was to seek the most effective ways to relieve human suffering in all of its many forms. The inner mechanism of surrender was found to be of great practical benefit and is described in this book. David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D., is Director of the Institute for Spiritual Research, Inc., and Founder of the Path of Devotional Nonduality. He is renowned as a pioneering researcher in the field of consciousness, as well as author, lecturer, clinician, physician, and scientist. He has served as an advisor to Catholic, Protestant, and Buddhist monasteries; appeared on major network television and radio programs; and lectured widely at such places as Westminster Abbey, the Oxford Forum, the University of Notre Dame, and Harvard University.

Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche, by Robert A. Johnson. The shadow in Jungian psychology is the unconscious dumping ground for undesirable characteristics of personality. “Owning” the shadow— accepting it as part of one’s self–is seen as the first step toward wholeness. Using examples from history, mythology, and religion, Johnson offers a tour of the shadow, showing its origin and features, and demonstrating how and why it bursts into consciousness when least expected. Johnson asserts that until we have undertaken the task of accepting and honoring the shadow within us, we cannot be balanced or whole, for what lies hidden does noy go away. To honor and accept ones shadow is a profound religious discipline. It is whole-mkaing, and thus holy and the most experience of a lifetime. A must-read!

Ritual as Resource: Energy for Vibrant Living, by Michael Picucci. Dancer Michael Picucci has survived HIV, heart attacks, cancer, and the loss of many loved ones. Beyond merely coping, he has thrived — but how? This book explains. Mixing vivid life stories and simple, step-by-step creative ritual exercises, Picucci offers readers a self-empowering path to energetic healing through contact with what he calls “healing resources.” These resources are varied but center on a higher power that can be accessed through ritual. Ritual, he explains, allows anyone to tap into the “instinctual brain” that is traumatized by the unnatural demands of modern life, and further into the “shamanistic brain” that opens the way to four important energetic pathways: awakening the felt-senses of the body; resolving emotional traumas; communicating with the instinctive self; and journeying into the “spirit world,” the worlds of light, energy, and consciousness.

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, by Don Miguel Ruiz. In The Four Agreements, Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love. Don Miguel Ruiz dedicated his life to sharing the wisdom of the ancient Toltec. For more than two decades, he has guided others toward their personal freedom. He was born into a Mexican family of traditional healers, became a surgeon in adulthood, then underwent a near-death experience that made him reexamine his life, his beliefs. Like the popular works of the late Carlos Castaneda, Ruiz’s teachings focus on dreams and visions. “Dreaming,” Ruiz argues, “is the main function of the mind.” A series of four “agreements” are detailed, which make up a larger picture of unconditional human faith.

Inner Work: Using Dreams and Active Imagination for Personal Growth, by Robert A. Johnson. In this book Johnson introduces a simple four-step method aimed at helping us explore the unconscious. He encourages us to pinpoint the symbols that appear in our dreams and active imaginings; to note our conscious associations to these symbols; meaningfully to personalize what we have accomplished in these first two steps; and finally through rituals to translate the insights gained into memorable conscious experiences. By providing clear instructions, with illustrations, he gives us a feeling for inner work, making it feasible without reliance on formal analysis. It is difficult to imagine how powerful this small book is. Granted, it is probably most appealing to intuitives and introverts, like myself, but for us, it is like manna from heaven. Johnson has such a gift for putting things simply. Through inner work, this direct, powerful way of approaching the inner world of the unconscious, our dreams and imagination can be transformed into an active, creative part of our lives. Tons more to read by Robert A. Johnson, especially his riveting, white-knuckled autobiography Balancing Heaven and Earth: A Memoir of  Visions, Dreams, and Realizations.

Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires, by Esther & Jerry Hicks. Although Jerry and Esther are listed as the authors, Ask and It Is Given is actually a collection of channeled messages from Abraham. For almost 20 years Jerry and Esther Hicks have been presenting workshops, producing tapes and writing books to help people create the life they desire. And desire is no small word in this agenda. According to the teachings of Abraham– a collective name for the spiritual entities that are channeled through Esther– desire is a good and natural force within us. In fact, we are all here to fulfill our desires, according to Abraham. Yet the reason so much of us feel frustrated, is that we have difficulty knowing how to ask and receive whatever we want to be, do or have. This is one of the most powerful books on manifesting your dreams. Every paragraph contains deep truths that just feel intuitively right. This book is especially effective in showing how our emotions are the key to understanding whether we are on the road to success or failure in manifesting our desires. The exercises are both fun and deeply practical. One of Clyde’s favs. Visit their web site.

John of God: The Brazilian Healer Who’s Touched the Lives of Millions, by Heather Cumming (author) & Karen Leffler (photographer). João Teixeira de Faria is a trance medium and healer in the spiritist tradition from Abadiânia, Brazil, known worldwide as John of God. When allopathic (conventional western medicine) doctors tell you there is nothing they can do for you it is time to visit John of God. I (and many friends) have experienced the work of Medium João firsthand, and can attest that he is the “real deal”. I have also (thankfully) been under the wing and direct guidance of author Heather Cumming both in the States and in Brazil, and can attest to her many invaluable services, not the least of which is this book that is the definitive read about  Medium João and visiting the Casa de Dom Ignácio de Loyola (his healing center) in Brazil. Heather does an expert job in reporting who the Entities are and how they (and the thousands of healing spirits) work. Medium João makes it very clear that he does not do the healing, but rather it is God. It is one of 37 Entities who “incorporate into” (takes over) Medium João’s body and guides the healing process. However there are no magic wands involved, or “quick-fix”. This book (now in 11 languages) is not only an excellent guide to the man, his healing center, and his mission of love, compassion, & hope for humanity— it will defy all of your carefully-crafted logic, challenging you to examine what you think is real and possible in this world & your life. Read More >>

After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path, by Jack Kornfield. Mr. Kornfield, one of America’s most beloved teachers of meditation, assures us that enlightenment does occur on the spiritual path but warns that it is not the end of the road. Bringing his thoughts to a personal level, Kornfield looks up many of the notable spiritual teachers of our times (Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Sufi, etc.) and presents extended quotations of their trials and epiphanies. These anecdotes are woven together with fables and ruminations from Kornfield’s own decades-long experience as a practitioner and teacher, creating an image of the spiritual life as challenging, multidimensional, rewarding, and, yes, mundane. In the old days in China, Zen monks were encouraged to travel for instruction under a variety of masters.

Energy Anatomy, by Caroline Myss. Caroline hits one outa the ballpark. This is all about learning the language of how how energy moves, and getting over some old patterns and lousy preconceptions that just don’t work anymore. Borrowing chakra principles and healing teachings from previous works, Dr. Caroline Myss forms a daily living plan that focuses on making the most of personal energy. Myss questions, chides, and inspires her audience to let go of blame, victimhood, and group thinking and take responsibility for their own lives. Myss backs up her theories with both anecdotal and historical examples, and bolsters the production with a quiet certainty. This may be a decade old, but it’s still the textbook on Energy 101. See more in the Caroline Myss Amazon Store

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