Based on a series of lectures given by William James between 1901 and 1902, The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902) is an in-depth exploration of how we experience religion and how a personal approach to religion can be profoundly useful to us.
Buddhism Plain and Simple (2013) is your no-nonsense guide to essential Buddhist practices. From building awareness to living in the present moment, Buddhism’s most important teachings are explained in a clear and accessible way, and are linked to aspects of everyday life where we need them the most.
The Book of Joy (2016) is an insightful guide to living a life free of sadness, stress and suffering. These blinks are full of actionable ways to cultivate joy for yourself and others while overcoming the obstacles that so often prevent people from finding happiness on earth.
Thoughts Without a Thinker (1995) describes the fundamental principles of the Buddhist tradition through a psychoanalytic lens. These blinks explain how meditation and mindfulness can soothe the mind, alleviate suffering and heal mental illness.
Schopenhauer’s The Wisdom of Life (1851) is a short philosophical essay about what constitutes human happiness. Starting with ancient Greek philosophers’ ideas on human happiness, Schopenhauer develops his own thoughts on what people need to be happy.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari (1997) offers a remedy to the problems of modern life. A fable, it tells the story of the enlightenment of ex-lawyer Julian Mantle and gives advice on how to live a happier, more rewarding and enlightened existence.
Alex Soojung-Kim Pang’s The Distraction Addiction (2013) takes a look at attention in today’s distraction-riddled society and asks how we can stay connected and productive. Drawing on fascinating new research by neuroscientists and psychologists, as well as traditional Buddhist thought, Pang offers hands-on advice on how to stay focused and overcome our internet addictions in a new digital age.
Ikigai (2016) is your guide to living a long, happy life through the wisdom of Japanese culture. These blinks delve into every area of Japanese life to uncover their secrets of longevity and to explain why so many Japanese, especially those on one island in particular, live well past 100 years of age.
The Fear Factor (2017) examines the multifaceted role that fear plays in our lives. Though commonly perceived as a purely negative emotion, fear is in fact linked to several virtuous human characteristics, such as empathy and altruism.
How to Love (2015) is an indispensable collection of teachings on the subject of love from the world-renowned Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh. Packed full of wisdom and insight, this aphoristic handbook unlocks the mysteries of true love in its exploration of what it means to love ourselves, our partners and the world itself.
Packed full of practical wisdom, Life’s Amazing Secrets (2018) begins with a clarifying premise: to experience happiness and balance, we must maintain a spiritual practice, as well as pay attention to our personal lives, our relationships, our work and our social contributions. How to do that is what these blinks are all about.
The Way of Zen (1957) is a classic work that lays out the historical origins and core principles of Zen Buddhism. Our world is changing at breakneck speed, and it often seems that the old rules cease to apply as soon as we’ve gotten used to them. The Eastern philosophy of Zen can help us find the mental stillness and the joy in uncertainty we desperately need.
On Having No Head (1961) is a one-of-a-kind classic of philosophy, spirituality, and mysticism. Combining empirical observations, mystical experiences, logical arguments, personal introspection, practical exercises, Zen Buddhism, and other Eastern spiritual traditions, its aim is to smash through the dualisms that lie beneath much of Western thought: subject and object, mind and body, self and non-self, internal and external world. In their place, the author contends that we can see ourselves and the world around us in a radically different way.
The Quiet Mind (1971) is the firsthand account of an American intelligence agent who traveled the Eastern world in search of inner peace. Throughout his remarkable life, author John. E. Coleman explored a wide breadth of spiritual paths, from Thai Buddhism to Zen to Quakerism. Ultimately, he found the greatest success with vipassana, a type of meditation he later imparted to his own students.
The Power of Ritual (2020) is a guide to finding spiritual fulfillment, and even transcendence, in a secular life. Divinity scholar Casper ter Kuile convincingly argues that it’s possible to turn away from institutionalized religion while still preserving the sacred practices that build community, give space for reflection, and welcome in joy.
Lovingkindness (1995) is a gentle guide to uncovering the profound meanings of love and happiness. With psychological insights and actionable meditations, it shows us how the Buddhist path to pursuing a liberated heart can help each of us tap into our inner radiant joy – allowing us to be kinder to ourselves and to others.
Falling into Grace (2011) explores why humans suffer and shares the ways in which it is possible to let go of existential struggle. Using profound spiritual insights, it shows that the way we mentally interpret the world lies at the root of most human problems, and that another way of viewing the world is possible – one that is rich and free of suffering.
Sovereign Self (2020) explores the Vedas. Revealed over 5,000 years ago, these texts are a cornerstone of Hinduism, Buddhism, and countless other religious traditions in the Indian subcontinent. Packed with spiritual insights, the Vedas revolve around a single central question: How to live in accordance with the true nature of reality? As you’ll discover in these blinks, the answer begins by discovering your own, true self.
The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching (1998) explains core Buddhist teachings, including the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. It shows how to apply these practices to daily life to transform suffering into joy and heal the pain of others.
The Art of Living (1987) details the Vipassanā meditation principles set out by the famed Burmese-Indian teacher S. N. Goenka. As well as describing the techniques of Vipassanā meditation, it delves into the deeper philosophy of Buddhism.
Living Buddha, Living Christ (1995) is a meditation on the surprising intersections between Buddhism and Christianity. This thoughtful text shows the common ground shared by two of the world’s most influential spiritual leaders.
Bittersweet (2022) is a profound meditation on an often overlooked emotional experience – the bittersweet. It argues that opening up to the bittersweet, where pain and joy mingle, allows us to experience life to the fullest. It also shows how vulnerability can be a strength, longing can be a guide, and sorrow can set us on the path to joy and fulfillment.
The Dharma in DNA (2022) explores the intersections between Buddhist philosophy and biology. At first glance, these two traditions couldn’t be more different. One is spiritual; the other empirical. But there are overlaps. Both traditions are attempts to discover meaning, for one. But there’s more to it than that: both the teachings of the Buddha and the findings of biologists appear to converge on a similar understanding of what it means to be human.
Lighter (2022) guides anyone seeking self-improvement through the process of releasing the past and taking power over the future. It’s a combination of wisdom and proverbs as well as a practical guide for doing the inner work of self-healing.
The Earned Life (2022) poses a simple yet profound question: Why does a life of constant achievement often leave us feeling empty? The answer can be found in ancient Buddhist wisdom: it’s not meeting ambitious goals but rather working on meaningful goals that really brings fulfillment and happiness.
The Book of Five Rings (1643) is one of the most insightful texts to have ever been written about the nature of confrontation. Penned by a wandering samurai in seventeenth-century Japan, it’s a timeless study of the mindset of the warrior – literal and figurative.
Real Life (2023) is a guide to navigating life’s seasons with clarity and connection. While we all feel small and disconnected at times, we don’t have to remain stuck there. Drawing on a variety of voices, Real Life shares the possibility of a more expansive and aligned experience – even in the face of some of life’s most formidable challenges.