5 Influential books that challenge your way of thinking

As a lover of knowledge in all forms (especially reading), I’ve been slowly devouring any thoughtful, captivating and fascinating books that have cropped up. Some of which have soothed, enthused and left a powerful lasting impression, that will stay for the rest of my life. There are so many titles to choose from and each individual has a unique area of interest. This makes it difficult to craft a list of 5 books for everyone. However, here’s my attempt, if anyone were to pick up one of these, it could cause a shift in perspective and hopefully, in a positive way. These are some of the books that have influenced my experience greatly and resonate strongly with my perception of reality.

Instead of writing a description for each book, there will be an excerpt from each book. This way if you are excited by the excerpt you may just get a copy and read on. Here are 5 Influential books that challenge your way of thinking (in no particular order) :

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Open To Desire by Mark Epstein

“The Buddha’s path is one that trains the mind to do the unexpected. It does this by teaching us how to willingly enter a non-purposive state in which ‘doing’ and ‘being done to’ give way to the simpler joy of ‘being.’… ‘Others will not understand me. That will be wearying and troublesome for me.’ Yet the Buddha managed to find a way out of this predicament…sitting in solitary meditation without being manipulated by likes and dislikes….The interesting thing about this method is that, while it is often practiced in solitary meditation, it does not need to be. It can also be practiced in the world.”

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Vagabonding by Rolf Potts

“For first-time vagabonders, this can be one of the hardest travel lessons to grasp, since it will seem that there are so many amazing sights and experiences to squeeze in. You must keep in mind, however, that the whole point of long-term travel is having the time to move deliberately through the world. Vagabonding is about not merely reallotting a portion of your life for travel but rediscovering the entire concept of time. At home, you’re conditioned to get to the point and get things done, to favor goals and efficiency over moment-by-moment distinction. On the road, you learn to improvise your days, take a second look at everything you see, and not obsess over your schedule.”

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Consolations Of Philosophy by Alain De Botton

“…no one is able to produce a great work of art without experience, nor achieve a worldly position immediately, nor be a great lover at the first attempt; and in the interval between initial failure and subsequent success, in the gap between who we wish one day to be and who we are at present, must come pain, anxiety, envy and humiliation. We suffer because we cannot spontaneously master the ingredients of fulfilment.”

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Healing Our Deepest Wounds by Stanislav Grof

[column]“The renaissance of interest in Eastern spiritual philosophies, various mystical traditions, meditation, ancient and aboriginal wisdom, as well as the widespread psychedelic experimentation during the stormy 1960s, made it absolutely clear that a comprehensive and cross-culturally valid psychology had to include observations from such areas as mystical states; cosmic consciousness; psychedelic experiences; trance phenomena; creativity; and religious, artistic, and scientific inspiration.”

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LSD: My Problem Child by Albert Hoffman

[column]“Of greatest significance to me has been the insight that I attained as a fundamental understanding from all of my LSD experiments: what one commonly takes as “the reality,” including the reality of one’s own individual person, by no means signifies something fixed, but rather something that is ambiguous—that there is not only one, but that there are many realities, each comprising also a different consciousness of the ego.”

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I hope you enjoy! Let us know if you have any more books that you highly recommend to read and also if you have read any of the books on the list your thoughts on them.


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