Just a disclaimer – I am a Buddhist, so I tend to frame my thinking in Buddhist language. However I am not a religious Buddhist. The only reason that I identify as Buddhist is that the philosophies put forward by the Buddha resound with me, as do the ways that they are presented.
I firmly believe that Mindfulness is integral to any spiritual practice, and I personally feel that the Buddha explained it best.
That being said, here are a few highlights from my reading on this subject.
Chop Wood, Carry Water was the first book that I read that that introduced me to this whole “thing”. I was on a very different path before (not bad, just different) and this book had a profound impact. It really opened my eyes. I went on to reading several others by the same author.
Speaking of Rick Fields, another of the books that I found that he curated was The Awakened Warrior. Parts of it had impact on me. Parts of it left me thinking WTF, but I feel that was the essence of the book. Thinking about things.
I then took several years off, but kept thinking about the ideas raised in Chop Wood, Carry Water. I decided to do some research, and found a local Buddhist Temple. I went down, and they were reading The Art Of Happiness. I had gotten a copy a few months before when I saw it in my local big box book retailer, but that was the push to start reading it. This lead me to Buddhism as a font of great ideas, and informed a lot of my reading over the next decade.
I like to start at the foundation, so when I decided that I wanted to learn more about the Buddha’s teachings, I decided to just read what he said. There is a lot of wisdom there.
After I read the Buddha, I started to expand out into some of the current thinkers. If you know anything about me, you know that I love Physics – so when I saw The Quantum and the Lotus I had to get it. If you are science minded like I am, this is a great exploration of where the philosophy meets science.
I was raised in a Christian household (and I even taught Sunday School in a Southern Baptist church when I was in my teens!), so when I happened across this book, I was intrigued. It’s really true that no matter the path you take, the end of the journey is the same. It’s also true that the tools are the essentially the same – with Mindfulness or Prayer being one of the core tools that is used to quiet the mind and expand internal vision.