For those with an inter-spiritual heart I recommend very highly ‘Words to live by’ a book by Eknath Easwaran. You can get it here – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1586380494/ref=rdr_ext_tmb
EKNATH EASWARAN – http://www.easwaran.org/eknath-easwaran.html
Eknath Easwaran (1910 – 1999, given name Easwaran, family name Eknath) was born into an ancient matrilineal family in Kerala state, South India. He grew up under the close guidance of his mother’s mother, Eknath Chippu Kunchi Ammal, whom he honored throughout his life as his spiritual teacher. An unlettered village woman with a continuous awareness of God, she taught him through her example that spiritual practice is something to be lived out each day in the midst of family and community.
Growing up in British India, Easwaran first learned English in his village high school, where the doors were opened to the treasure-house of English literature. At sixteen, he left his village to attend a nearby Catholic college. There his passionate love of English literature intensified and he acquired a deep appreciation of the Christian tradition. Later, contact with the YMCA and close friendships within the Muslim and Christian communities enriched his sense of the universality of spiritual truths.
RP Eknath was an inter-spiritual teacher before the term was invented!
Here are some samples from the book . You can also get them sent to you on a one per day basis – here http://www.easwaran.org/thoughts-for-the-day-quotes.html
As an irrigator guides water to the fields, as an archer aims an arrow, as a carpenter carves wood, the wise shape their lives.
– The Buddha
The glory of the human being is our ability to remake ourselves. The Buddha is very rightly called the Compassionate One because he holds out hope for everybody. He doesn’t say our past has been dark, therefore our chances are dim. He says whatever our past, whatever our present, the sky is bright for us because we can remake ourselves.
The Buddha says, be a good woodworker. Consciousness is the wood, and you can make it take any shape you like. Just as a carpenter works the wood to build a house or a fine piece of furniture, similarly we can fashion the responses and attitudes we desire: love, wisdom, security, patience, loyalty, enthusiasm, cheerfulness.
You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; in just the same way, you learn to love by loving.
– Saint Francis de Sales
In learning to love, we start where we are – somewhat selfish, somewhat self-centered, but with a deep desire to relate lovingly to each other, to move closer and closer together. Love grows by practice; there is no other way. There will be setbacks as well as progress. But there is one immediate consolation: we don’t have to wait until our love is perfect to reap the benefits of it. Even with a little progress, everyone benefits – not only those we live with, but ourselves as well.
A human being is part of the whole, called by us “universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
– Albert Einstein
None of us see life as it is, the world as it is. We all see life as we are. We look at others through our own likes and dislikes, desires and interests. It is this separatist outlook that fragments life for us – man against woman, community against community, country against country. Yet the mystics of all religions assure us on the strength of their own experience, if only we throw away this fragmenting instrument of observation, we shall see all life as an indivisible whole.
On the one hand I felt the call of God; on the other, I continued to follow the world. All the things of God gave me great pleasure, but I was held captive by those of the world. I might have been said to be trying to reconcile these two extremes, to bring contraries together: the spiritual life on the one hand and worldly satisfactions, pleasures, and pastimes on the other.
– Saint Teresa of Avila
Saint Teresa of Avila was a remarkably spiritual woman. Even as a girl she could say passionately, “I want something that will last forever!” Yet this woman who was to become one of the world’s greatest mystics went through twenty years of doubt and struggle before becoming established in God. If Teresa took twenty years, can people like you and me think of doing it in less? Her words can inspire all of us, for everyone begins with doubts and conflicts. Little people like us are likely to be haunted by them – and to feel frequently disheartened for a long, long time.
When you have doubts about your capacity for spiritual progress, don’t be defeatist. Remember these words of Saint Teresa and keep striving, keep on trying. This is all we are expected to do.
Media Reviews and Endorsements
“[Eknath Easwaran’s] books offer timeless wisdom, a great reference for healing in our contemporary world.”
– Deepak Chopra
“One is utterly fascinated by his choice and . . . grateful for being reminded of thoughts of great minds, thoughts that will always stimulate, provoke and illuminate our minds, powerfully and endurably.”
– The Hindu