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15 Great Books That Have Shaped My Thinking On Prayer & Meditation

Prayer and meditation have played a major role in my personal growth for several years.

C.S. Lewis famously said “Prayer doesn’t change God. It changes me.” Many people look at prayer as an attempt to twist God’s arm or a desperate technique for making oneself feel better about the plights of life. Prayer, however, is also a psychonautic tool that allows the practitioner to plumb the depths of his or her own being.

Does prayer improve our ability to alter the course of physical events? If so, then to what extent? These are interesting questions for theology and the philosophy of religion. Whether prayer gives us the power to change *things* or not, however, I have definitely experienced prayer as a form of inner technology that helps me organize my thoughts, calm my mind, strengthen my resolve, make sense of my life, and deepen my awareness of self.

Below is a list of books that have helped influence the way I practice and think about prayer. This isn’t a list of the “best” books on the topic nor is it an exhaustive list of everything one should read if they wish to know more about the inner life. When I look back on the past decade, however, these are some of the works that have challenged my assumptions and helped me experience prayer and meditation as a fun and character building activity. 

  1. Meditation: The First and Last Freedom by Osho














2. Sadhana, A Way to God: Christian Exercises in Eastern Form by Anthony de Mello














3. Journey to Awakening by Ram Dass














4. New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton













5. The Philokalia: The Complete Text








6. The Possible Human by Jean Houston












7. Jewish Meditation: A Practical Guide by Aryeh Kaplan
















8. Meditation from the Heart of Judaism (Anthology)














9. Fire Within: Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross and the Gospel – On Prayer by Thomas Dubay














10. Centering Prayer: Renewing an Ancient Christian Prayer Form by Basil Pennington














11. Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster














12. Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel by Thomas Keating













13. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
















14. Mysticism: A Study in Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness by Evelyn Underhill














15. No Man Is an Island by Thomas Merton


Witness and watch

Interior depth, unlike information, cannot be commoditized and mass distributed.

Being a person of substance is the product of inner work and each man must perform this work for himself.

The quest for freedom is a first-person narrative, and the telling and traversing of this story leaves no room for substitutes or stand-ins.

Read others. Hear others. Observe others. Consider their concepts and contemplate their experiences, but before the day is done, descend into the abyss of your own soul.

Witness and watch. Listen and learn.

Do this daily.

Investigate yourself until you are vested with the power to invent yourself.

My life is a prayer. My existence is an act of meditation.

“It is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” -Ralph Walso Emerson
I am capable of finding my alignment under any conditions. I possess the flexibility necessary to connect to my Highest Self even when I am busy and on the go. Whether I am alone or in a crowd, I know how to maintain a positive vibration. By learning to see everyone and everything as an expression of Source-Energy, I can transform every experience into an opportunity for enlightenment, expansion, and evolution.

Prayer and meditation are not isolated activities separate from the whole of life. They are states of consciousness where my attention and intention is directed towards the higher energies of Spirit. Through patience, practice, and persistent self-love, I can cultivate this state of consciousness.

I do not always have to be doing what I love in order to feel my connection to God.

When I am doing what I do not love, I will find that which is loveable in what I am doing. When I am with who I do not love, I will find that which is loveable in who I am with. When I am in places I do not love, I will find that which is loveable in the places I am in.

Unconditional Love means there is no condition, however stressful or unpleasant, where I am incapable of focusing on and finding that which is an expression of the God who is Love.

Nothing can get in the way of my alignment because I have the divine ability to use every situation as a tool with which to facilitate and further my own evolution. No one can interfere with my ability to connect with Source, because I know how to see the Source in everyone.

From this state of knowing, I declare that my life is a prayer. I affirm my existence as an act of meditation.

I do not need to go to an exotic place or a quiet space in order to find resonance with the peace and power within. The place where I am is my place of connection.

Now is the moment. Now is the opportunity. Now is the freedom I have always sought.

It is so and so it is!

T.K. Coleman

If you liked this post, check out:

1. I tap the Source of all blessings

2. I am independent

3. TK’s Success School: Make your ideas “a-ffirm” reality!

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