Nothing needs to be different from how it is right now for us to be okay. There is no problem with the way things are in this or any moment. This understanding can yield a deep relaxation in which personal ups and downs unfold.
Osho opened new doors to truths that for many had become dead. He rejected intellectual, social and spiritual tradition, shining fresh light on ancient wisdom. Osho wouldn’t really submit to or issue commandments, free-wheeling spirit that he was. But here’s as close as he came.
What if we knew our life’s purpose with absolute clarity? What energy we could draw on! How free we would be from worrying about unimportant noise and distraction!
Even better, imagine we understood how to fulfil it. It’s possible, but it demands great self-awareness, intimately knowing who we really are.
What we unknowingly seek is our own wholeness - to express and experience all that we are. What stands in our way of finding it? Our own childish definition of the ‘me’ who seeks it, the labels we hide behind and the priority we give comfort over curiosity.
Phil Jackson has won more NBA titles than any other head coach. He puts his success down to how he helped team members cultivate resilient calmness and develop a deep sense of connection with one another. To improve their performance, he broadened his teams’ horizons and encouraged them to see things in fresh ways.
Tift is a gifted therapist and practicing Buddhist. He helps us understand that we needn’t pathologise disturbing experience. We organise our lives around personal discomforts that seem unbearable, but we have capacities our child-selves didn’t, and we can now work with all experience.
A former therapist, Feldman Barrett is now a neuroscientist challenging outdated views of the brain and mind. The brain’s predictions create our world, based on socially-inherited concepts. But we can update our conceptual library and re-cognise our reality.
Ruiz is a Toltec sage who gives an ancient ‘Western’ take on Eastern wisdom and spiritual growth. When we see our own dream (or story), fear loses its grip on us. When we love ourselves as we are, our relationships are no longer a search for what we already have.
Deutsch is a physicist and computational scientist who places learning above knowledge. His ‘Many Worlds’ interpretation is our best explanation of quantum theory. I love his view of our ever-growing mastery barely scratching life’s mystery.
O’Malley goes beyond Stoicism to show how what’s in the way is The Way. She shows how a few powerful assumptions, which she calls spells, shape the story through which reality arrives for us, and she invites us to use our bodies to overcome those spells.
Part philosopher, part entertainer, Watts is my favourite guide to the spiritual journey. He translated the East for us and integrated it with Western thought. I most appreciate his Taoist writings and his invitation to insecurity.