Favourite authors and books

I love my Kindle

I love my Kindle

What attracts me to an author? Initially it is probably an accidental meeting. It could be the cover or the title or the review that I read in a magazine, or it might just be “in my face” at the time. You know how it is – you visit someone, they make you a coffee and you can’t help but look at the book on the coffee table – and you are hooked. Has that ever happened to you?

So, my favourites are:

M.Scott Peck – the first one I read was The Road Less Traveled. Others include The Different Drum; People of the Lie; A Bed by the Window; In Heaven as if on Earth and In Search of Stones. I didn’t realise it at the time but I believe his writing has influenced my own style (or how I would like my style to be).

Alain de Botton – the first one of his I read is called  Sophie’s World  then The Consolations of Philosophy and then I went on to read Status Anxiety which I really enjoyed. His writing sparked  in me a deeper interest in philosophy.

Steven R Covey – his famous book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is one of my favourites. We had a book club at work a few years ago and that was one of the books we studied.

Martin E P Seligman, PhD. is another of my favourite writers. I enjoyed Learned Optimism; What You Can Change and What You Can’t; and Authentic Happiness. I learnt a  great deal from these books and thoroughly enjoyed the journey. He is one of the pioneers of Positive Psychology teaching.

Sydney Banks – The Missing Link – Reflections on Philosophy and Spirit – Sydney Banks may not be as well known as the other authors but his writing is profound, full of wisdom and beauty.

There are many more but that will do for today. I DO read novels as well sometimes. Since I have my Kindle I am enjoying downloading free books, some of which I would never thought of reading before. I am currently reading an eBook about George Washington.

There are so many books and SO LITTLE time!


Being in the “now” is not what I thought it is

Compassion personified: a statue at the Epcot ...

Image via Wikipedia

Today I have been reading The Missing Link by Sydney Banks. I attended some workshops based on his philosophy about seven years ago. I bought this book then but I couldn’t quite grasp what it was saying.

I re-read it today (while watching Aussie Rules Football) and I saw something in a new light and want to share it. I have been saying for years that we must live in the “now” and enjoy the moment etc etc. What I read today changed my whole perception of what that means.

I will try and explain – Sydney Banks teaches about Mind, Counsciousness and Thought – the Three Principles. My understanding of that is the God (as we see him or her), is within everything in this world, including within me and within everyone else. This leads to the importance of love and compassion, even for our enemies; even for ourselves! When we are able to reach that essence within ourselves in a spirit of love, there we will find wisdom.

To do that “in the NOW” means that at this particular moment I am free from memories or troubles from the past. I am at peace within myself. I am not anxious about tomorrow. When I am in that state of NOW, then I can trust the essense or wisdom or God within me to guide me to right actions and thoughts based on love and compassion.

Sydney Banks also encourages us to observe our thoughts and not to take them too seriously. They are not US – they are just thoughts that come and go around the clock. They are neither right nor wrong – they are just thoughts. When we follow our thoughts with actions, we are then accountable for the decisions that we make based on those thoughts.

We need to have compassion toward ourselves and not judge or moralise on the thoughts that are passing through. The more we try NOT to think them, the tendency is for them to get stronger. Listen for when you tell yourself things like, “you must, you shouldn’t, you are hopeless etc”. Just be aware those thoughts only have power if we give it to them.

Consciousness is being aware – being able to stand back and observe whatis going on. It allows us time to reflect and make good decisions based on that goodness that lies within us!

I hope this make sense to you as you read this. I wanted to put it in writing to see how well I have grasped it myself. If you google Sydney Banks you will find more information about him and his teachings. He passed away in 2009 and never sought to be an important person or gain fame or a following. He had a personal awakening based on the Three Principles and he wanted to share them with others.

Cheers for now