These are the 4 best spirituality books I’ve read this year. They’ve all helped me grow in my spiritual awareness and empathy for myself and others.
The 4 Best Spirituality Books of 2021!
Note! The links to the books are affiliate links. You can read more about each book further down in this article.
- The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
- The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
- A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
- Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza
What is spirituality? (my definition)
Spirituality is in my definition the awareness that we are more than our “ego” and that we don’t need to limit ourselves by our identities. We can change who we are whenever we want to because we are intelligent and conscious beings with a brain that is constantly changing and which is reprogrammable. We are in essence the consciousness that can watch and observe our own thoughts and feelings, without identifying with them. We are not our thoughts, our past, or the labels other people/society/and even ourselves put on us. We do not need to identify who we are with our social status (occupation, education, prestige), gender, sexuality, material possessions (clothes, money, cars, houses, beauty), or people (partners, family, friends, acquaintances).
It is natural to have an identity as long as you are human. But spiritual awareness is about being consciously aware of what you identify with, and being able to ask yourself “Is this truly who I want to be?”. Then you can change who you are and become whoever you dream of being. But this cannot happen if you don’t first understand that you are not what you identify yourself with. You are not your past, your outer status symbols, other people’s mental images of you, or your thoughts.
Using these understandings you can begin to…
- Practice meditation to become aware of who you are (what your thoughts usually are, how you usually feel, and how you usually act)
- Practice visualizing a new version of you (Which will re-wire and reprogram your neural networks in your brain to create new habits, which will be the new you)
- Be able to step back and change old behaviors and thought patterns
- —–> You will become a new version of you that you have consciously chosen yourself, and which is not chosen by your parents, society, old classmates, or anyone else.
What is the Ego?
Our ego is the avatar or image that we and others define us as. Often also called our identity. This includes labels that we’ve learned to restrict ourselves by; our name, gender, sexuality, career/job, educational status, social status, financial status, how we “behave” (based on past behavior). It’s natural for a human being to have an ego/identity. But it, unfortunately, causes a lot of negative effects such as bad feelings (anger, anxiety, stress, sadness, hatred, resentment, etc) when something is threatening the ego.
Examples of the ego being threatened and which in turn cause a lot of negative emotions:
- Let’s say you identify yourself with your career, but then you lose your job and can’t find another one. Now you are forced to take another job (perhaps one that you feel is “beneath” you). This will cause a lot of stress to you and you’ll be fearful, stressed, anxious, and probably regret what happened or have resentment to your boss for firing you. However, if you hadn’t identified yourself with your career you’d realize that losing your career does not take away anything from who you really are. This is because you cannot be your career. You have a career, but you are not your career.
- If you identify yourself with your partner (boyfriend/girlfriend/etc) you may feel a lot of anxiety about the thought of losing this person from your life. You may feel like you wouldn’t know who you are without this person. This can cause a lot of insecurity, jealousy, controlling behaviour, and emotional manipulation. But you are not the relationship. You are your own person with or without this other person. Realizing this would mean that you’d be able to love, without feeling the need to possess, control, or own.
The Best Spiritualty books
Now when you understand what spirituality is and how it can help you in your journey of personal development, here are the best spirituality books I’ve read this year.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
This is my non-religious bible. Or my life-encyclopedia.
The power of now is probably one of the most famous books written about mindfulness and spirituality. It’s in my opinion also one of the best spirituality books for beginners and for those who are getting their first glimpses of a life where one is not identified with one’s thoughts.
For me, this book opened up my reality and was the first book that properly taught me why and how to practice mindfulness. Before this book, I had only done a few meditation practices using the Headspace app on my phone, or during PE class in school. But it wasn’t until I read this book that I truly understood why it’s crucial to be able to turn off our thinking mind when it isn’t serving us. I can’t describe everything this book taught me in such a small section of an article, because it was so much that it changed my perception of reality.
My copy of this book is filled with yellow marking and notes I’ve taken on the side of the text, because it’s packed with so much value and knowledge. I can’t recommend this enough to anyone who is even the tiniest interested in exploring their consciousness.
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza
If you like science and practical spirituality – Check this out!
Dr. Joe Dispenza’s book is by far the most scientifically-based spirituality book that I’ve come across. While many other great books about spirituality are super valuable, they may not even try to anchor their teachings in science and may use words that sound flimsy. However, Joe Dispenza tries (and, in my opinion, succeeds) to tie mindfulness and spirituality to the most recent and ground-breaking scientific studies. This book contains theories from quantum physics, neuroscience, psychology, and a lot of other fields of research.
The book “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” is also one of the most practical spirituality books that I’ve found. Everything leads up to a process of meditation that will help you break old habits, and form new ones. You will be able to change who you are. The book also contains a lot of helpful and inspiring journal prompts that you will answer to find out more about yourself.
the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
The four agreements are essentially four guidelines of which you can follow to live a happy and true life. It’s a short read, and the four agreements were not unheard of at all. But the way Don Miguel Ruiz describes them, and the examples he gives, managed to etch the agreements into my heart. I feel like I’ve been living by them ever since I read this book, even without effort. They have helped me avoid needless conflicts with my loved ones, and have honestly made me a happier person since I started living by them.
You could probably just google a summary to get the four agreements so here they are:
- Don’t make any assumptions
- Don’t take anything personally
- Be impeccable with your word
- Always do your best
But I really do recommend you read this book to truly understand the meaning behind them.
A new Earth By Eckhart Tolle
From the same author as the first book “The Power of Now”, comes this last book “A New Earth”. My key learning from this book was about how to look at my purpose in life. I’ve been thinking about what the meaning and purpose of my life is ever since I was eleven years old. Honestly. One of the journal entries in my diary from when I was eleven even said “What is the meaning of my life? When will I die?”. So, I’ve been on a constant quest on finding that out since then.
In this book, Eckhart talks about two kinds of purposes. His philosophy is that we all have two purposes: one inner purpose, and one outer purpose. The inner purpose is the primary one, the most important one.
Your inner purpose is always exactly what you are doing right now. This is because there is only the now. The future has not yet happened, and the past is gone. So the only time where this inner purpose can take place is right in this very moment. So whatever you are doing at any given moment is in full alignment with your inner purpose.
The outer purpose is secondary, and that is what you are doing in the bigger picture. Finding out what your outer purpose is can only come from you, living authentically, in each moment (your inner purpose). This will lead you to your outer purpose. Living authentically means doing what feels true, expansive, and good for you at any moment. Follow your passions, coming from a place of love and gratitude, and etc.
Thank you for reading! I hope this was helpful and that you found a few books to pick up 😊