December 12 – reverb11 – Libro (Book)

Via Michelle Margaret Fajkus
on Dec 12, 2011
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What book did you read in 2011 that was most inspirational? Why?

For me personally, three books rocked my interior world this year: The Places that Scare You by Pema Chodron, The First and Last Freedom by J. Krishnamurti and Cutting through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trongpa. Each volume had to be savored slowly due to their intense teachings. At the same time, the writing is accessible and user-friendly, even for newer spiritual practitioners. Each of these books shifted the way I look at life and spiritual practice greatly. I cannot recommend them more highly.
For more reading recommendations, check out “Mindful” Stocking Stuffers: Favorite Buddhist Books.

Thanks to Dawn Curtis for providing today’s question!


I cannot live without books. ~Thomas Jefferson

Reverb is a month-long endeavor in reflecting on the past year and envisioning the year to come. Find out more about Reverb11. Check out the daily prompts and feel free to write publicly on this blog or privately in your diary, as much or as little as you want, as often or seldom as you are compelled to.


About Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle Margaret is a Gemini yogini, writer, teacher and retreat leader who founded Yoga Freedom in 2002 in Austin, Texas. Her home since 2012 is Lake Atitlán, Guatemala where she lives in a tiny eco cabin with her Colombiano partner and their adorable daughter, dog and two gatos. Michelle has been writing this column for elephant journal since 2010 and has written some inspiring books, with more on the way. She leads yoga and mindfulness retreats and serves as the retreat managers for the stunningly beautiful Villa Sumaya on majestic Lago Atitlan. Her lineage is the very esoteric Yoga Schmoga, which incorporates hatha yoga asana, dharma (Buddhist) teachings, pranayama (breath work), yin yoga, mindfulness practices and meditation. Join Michelle on retreat in Guatemala!


3 Responses to “December 12 – reverb11 – Libro (Book)”

  1. Valerie Carruthers says:

    I glance around my living room at the little stacks of books here there and everywhere, not to mention the bookshelves in the master bedroom that became the library. Usually I'll have two, three (four!) books going at a time. Ever since I learned to read by following over my mother's shoulder as she read to me, books have been among my dearest friends.

    This year I immersed myself in "The Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh," a collection of his works that includes his classic The Miracle of Mindfulness." His words, his voice are so gentle, sweet, motherly in a way. Yet in everything he has accomplished he's shown tremendous resolve. He reminds me of the saying, "The heart of a saint is as strong as a lightning bolt, as soft as butter."

    Another—and it's totally opposite from Hanh—is Psychomagic by Alejandro Jodorowsky. AJ became famous for his cult films in the Seventies then went on to become a shamanic psychologist. The book is both a memoir and an overview of his radical healing techniques with his patients. I love it because it's so totally non-conformist, original, and daring to say the least. It's a work of utter authenticity and a potent reminder that whatever I yearn to create must come from that authentic place within my soul.

  2. Loren says:

    Something I can really relate to, books, I do not know how many I have read this year, but the most life-changing one for me has been Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. Not only is it a well written and enjoyable book to read, but the information it contains is accessible and inspirational. Since reading the book my old Asics sneakers have been lying in my cupboard unused as I am now running exclusively in my Vibram Five Fingers. Running without all the padding and restrictions of sneakers has changed my running to an extremely conscious and meditative experience. You need to look at where your next foot will fall on the earth and if there is some impediment you need to change the placement before you put your foot down. Although this may sound complicated the brain automatically does all this processing and your feet always find the right place to land. As the observer this is a beautiful and awe inspiring act to watch. I can honestly say that this book has changed my relationship with running and increased my enjoyment and presence tenfold.

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