Books I’m reading, books I’ve read recently, and books that have had an impact on my life

I’ll be adding to this list over time, both with books that I’ve read some time ago, as well as with books that I’m currently reading and completing now.

The Alchemist – by Paolo Coelho

ISBN: 0062315005

(Finished: Feb 13, 2016) After hearing about Paolo Coelho, and his most famous work, The Alchemist, for so long from so many people, I think the popularity of the book with so many mildly deterred me from reading it. However, I finally picked up a copy one day after reading the inside cover. Almost as powerful as the book itself is the story about the author, and the writing of this work. Paolo writes of feedback from one bookseller, “only one person purchased a copy the first week of its release. It took another six months for the bookseller to unload a second copy—and that was to the same person who bought the first!…By the end of the year, it was clear to everyone that The Alchemist wasn’t working. My original publisher decided to cut me loose and cancelled our contract. I was forty-one and desperate. But I never lost faith… Why? Because it was me in there, all of me, heart ad soul. I was living my own metaphor…I was following my Personal Legend.” That… That right there is why, after read it, I was unable to put the book down. I had to read his story. It’s a wonderfully easy read, a story of following one’s inner compass and the adventure that brings.

Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges – by Amy Cuddy

ISBN: 0316256579

(CURRENTLY READING) So far this book has my attention. She starts by connecting with the reader through her story of overcoming a traumatic brain injury at a young age. Continuing with credible references and storytelling she creates a work that is educational but very interesting and easy to read. It’s as if she’s providing practical applications of aspects of eastern philosophy based on western research in a manner that allows the population at large to benefit from the eastern/western philosophical blend in life-changing ways.

Uncommon Therapy: The Psychiatric Techniques of Milton H. Erickson, M.D. – by Jay Haley

ISBN: 0393310310

(CURRENTLY READING) I initially found Milton Erickson by digging deeper into NLP. My first exposure to any kind of NLP was when I was reading Unlimited Power, by Anthony Robbins. Some 20 years later when I picked it back up, I wanted to find out more about NLP, and where it came from. That search led me to Richard Bandler and John Grinder, and then to Milton H. Erickson, M.D, one of the psychiatrists they studied and worked with. While I’ve read partly through a number of different books on Erickson, this one focuses on Erickson’s view of the human lifecycle and how problems manifest should one fail to progress through the otherwise typical transitions of life. In reading of the cases and therapeutic sessions, I could not help but see aspects of my own life differently, connecting behavioral patterns to certain ‘sticking points’ in my own life. While awareness was never a required aspect of Erickson’s therapy, the effect of the awareness can be transformational as it may allow some to progress past sticking points to reach a more fulfilling life.

The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection – by Michael Singer

ISBN: 080414110X

This book has to be one of my favorite recent reads. It hit home with me because of the way his life’s seemingly miraculous ‘coincidences’ reminded me of stories from my own father’s life – where my dad was faced with some crazy challenges that seemed to almost resolve themselves when he faced them with an almost illogical confidence. In the author’s case, Michael Singer went from living in a van parked by a lake, by choice, with the only intention of meditating and practicing yoga in order to find enlightenment. When some kind of opportunity was presented to him, or there was some kind of congruency he picked up on, he followed it curiously. It was not always in alignment with HIS thoughts about where HE wanted to go, but he chose to let go.. to surrender…with the feeling that something higher… life.. God…something was leading the unfolding. Life was living through him, instead of him trying to impose his will on life. The book is a page turner of what others would chalk up to coincidence, where his surrendering to life took him from homeless to CEO of a $300M company. He went from camping on someone else’s land, to owning over 900 acres surrounding the area where he used to live in his van.

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment – by Eckhart Tolle

ISBN: 1577314808

Stemming from Eckhart’s own story of enlightenment, he shares his perspective and teachings with incisive clarity. The Power of Now to me seemed to clarify, and put simply into words, what I had already believed and felt to be true.

Evolutionary Enlightenment: A New Path to Spiritual Awakening – by Andrew Cohen

ISBN: 1590792092

OK, so rather than a synopsis, I’m going to share the immensely interesting story behind my relationship with this book. I remember seeing it at Barnes & Noble, picked it up and flipped through it. It grabbed my attention because of the title – the thought that the human race, and the universe as a whole, can be evolving to a higher level of existence was very interesting to me. Another story (bear with me, it’ll get really interesting)…I saw a post on Facebook about a man who goes by the name of “The Experimentalist”, Gerard Senehi. The post was Gerard being interviewed on a major news show. During the show he did some amazing things…such as mind reading and other inexplicable feats that left the cast baffled, and then shared a little about The Open Future Institute and what is now called The QUESTion Project. I was amazed with his work, and couldn’t help but reach out. We soon connected, and eventually when he was in town in South Florida, my girlfriend and I met up with Gerard for dinner to share thoughts and ideas. Gerard had sent me some information on The QUESTion Project, which I had printed out to review and I had put it into a book (one of the many books I was currently reading) in my computer bag sometime that morning or even possibly the day before. At some point over dinner, Gerard shared some of his spiritual development, and spoke of his Guru. I couldn’t help but ask who his Guru was, and he said “Andrew Cohen”. The name immediately jumped out at me – I was currently reading Andrew Cohen’s book – Evolutionary Enlightenment! It was such an interesting coincidence, and left me somewhat shocked. Later when I arrived back home and was unpacking my computer bag, I realized that it was into Andrew Cohen’s very book, Evolutionary Enlightenment, that I had put the printout of Gerard Senehi’s own work! Think about the significance of all this…On the night that I’m meeting Gerard for dinner, I put a printout of his work into a book written by a man that I would later discover has been Gerard’s own spiritual teacher??? If that’s not an ‘interesting’ coincidence, I don’t know what is.