Summer Reading Guide for Letting Go
Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to let go. Whether it’s a relationship, a job, or even a negative thought pattern, holding on to painful things can cause us to needlessly suffer. Following are some of my favorite books offering different perspectives on how to let go of the past, pain, and suffering, in order to live a more present and fulfilling life. Please enjoy this summer reading list for letting go:
Trusting the Gold: Uncovering Your Natural Goodness by Tara Brach. We receive so many messages from our culture meant to divide us from one another or turn us against ourselves. Yet when we stop judging, stop avoiding, stop trying to resist that which makes us afraid or ashamed, we open to our true nature–a boundless field of awareness that is innately fearless and loving.
How we Live is How We Die by Pema Chodron. As much as we might try to resist, endings happen in every moment–the end of a breath, the end of a day, the end of a relationship, and ultimately the end of life. And accompanying each ending is a beginning, though it may be unclear what the beginning holds. In How We Live Is How We Die, Pema Chödrön shares her wisdom for working with this flow of life–learning to live with ease, joy, and compassion through uncertainty, embracing new beginnings, and ultimately preparing for death with curiosity and openness rather than fear.
The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. Whether this is your first exploration of inner space, or you’ve devoted your life to the inward journey, this book will transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you. You’ll discover what you can do to put an end to the habitual thoughts and emotions that limit your consciousness. By tapping into traditions of meditation and mindfulness, author and spiritual teacher Michael A. Singer shows how the development of consciousness can enable us all to dwell in the present moment and let go of painful thoughts and memories that keep us from achieving happiness and self-realization.
The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology by Jack Kornfield. You have within you unlimited capacities for extraordinary love, for joy, for communion with life, and for unshakable freedom–and here is how to awaken them. In The Wise Heart, celebrated author and psychologist Jack Kornfield offers the most accessible, comprehensive, and illuminating guide to Buddhist psychology ever published in the West. Here is a vision of radiant human dignity, a journey to the highest expression of human possibility–and a practical path for realizing it in our own lives.
No Mud No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering by Thich Nacht Hahn. Thich Nhat Hanh acknowledges that because suffering can feel so bad, we try to run away from it or cover it up by consuming. We find something to eat or turn on the television. But unless we’re able to face our suffering, we can’t be present and available to life, and happiness will continue to elude us.
Loving Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzberg. Throughout our lives we long to love ourselves more deeply and find a greater sense of connection with others. Our fear of intimacy–both with others and with ourselves–creates feelings of pain and longing. But these feelings can also awaken in us the desire for freedom and the willingness to take up the spiritual path.
Remember, letting go is a process, and it takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself and keep coming back to the present. Feel your feelings. With time and practice, you can learn to let go and embrace the present moment.
Please contact Rachel Gordon if you have questions about Buddhist psychology and integrative, holistic techniques to address mental health issues and promote total body wellness. If you live in the Denver/ Castle Rock area and would like to learn more about what Rachel has to offer through Humble Warrior Therapy, please call (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule.
Tags: Buddhist Psychology, Feelings, Jack Kornfield, Letting Go, Michael Singer, Mindfulness, Pema Chodron, present moment, Suffering, summer reading, Tara Brach, Thich Nhat Hanh