Books Much?

Recently, a few members put together a list of books that helped enhance their recovery.

My Spiritual Journey by The Dalai Lama and Sofia Stril-Rever

“In this elegant self-portrait, the world’s most outspoken and influential spiritual leader recounts his epic and engaging life story. The Dalai Lama’s most accessible and intimate book, My Spiritual Journey is an excellent introduction to the larger-than-life leader of Tibetan Buddhism—perfect for anyone curious about Eastern religion, invested in the Free Tibet movement, or simply seeking a richer spiritual life. The Dalai Lama’s riveting, deeply insightful meditations on life will resonate strongly with readers of Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, or the His Holiness’s own The Art of Happinessand Ethics for the New Millennium.” (From Amazon.com)

The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer

“This book is a modest attempt to aid God’s hungry children so to find Him. Nothing here is new except in the sense that it is a discovery which my own heart has made of spiritual realities most delightful and wonderful to me. Others before me have gone much farther into these holy mysteries than I have done, but if my fire is not large it is yet real, and there may be those who can light their candle at its flame.” (From The Introduction)

A. W. Tozer
Chicago, Ill.
June 16, 1948

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho continues to change the lives of its readers forever. With more than two million copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has established itself as a modern classic, universally admired.

Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories can, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams. (From Amazon.com)

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From The Seekers: Rumi

Boil Nicely Now

Look at the chickpeas in the pot,
how they leap up when they feel the fire.
While boiliing, one of them rises to the top
and cries, “Why are you setting this fire under me?
Did you buy me for this tumbling and tourture?”
The housewife keeps hitting it with the ladle.
“No!” she says, “boil nicely now,
and don’t leap away from the one who makes the fire.
It’s not because you are hateful to me that I boil you,
but so that you might gain flavor,
and become nutritous and mingle with
essential spirit.
This affliction is not because you are despised.
When you were green and fresh,
you were watered in the garde:
that watering was fo the sake of this fire.”

-Mathnawi III, 4159-65
translation by Kabir Helminski

What stood out to us was “It’s not because you are hateful to me that I boil you, but so that you might gain flavor.”

Formerly, I thought that my negative consequences were just a punishment. In recovery, I’ve discovered that my “afflictions” have become part of what makes me unique – and uniquely helpful. Rumi reminded me to trust that the spirit of the universe is working with me, not against me. Rumi also reminded me of the power of gratitude.

In recovery, whenever I’m angry or depressed I don’t have to drink or use drugs. All I have to do is grab a pen and paper and start making my list. I’m grateful for my fingers. My toes. Sober friends that care about me. A safe place to hang out on campus.

I get a list of ten or so things I’m grateful for and suddenly life doesn’t seem that bad.

J.

The Seekers Study is a weekly meeting. It is geared at helping expose people in recovery to a variety of different spiritual perspectives, in hopes that they will develop a better understanding of what spirituality means to them.