The Best Spiritual Books Worldwide | A Top 10

Why do we need spiritual books?

For me, it’s to find answers.

  • Why are we here?
  • What’s the meaning of life?
  • And what’s my role in all of this?

Spiritual Questions Growing Up

Growing up catholic, I liked having a God to believe in and who protected me.

Like many kids, I also struggled. Why is heaven different for Muslims and Christians? And why do some say their religion is better than mine?

It didn’t make sense for my friends to go to a different heaven, and cracks started preventing an unwavering faith.

Is Destiny Simply Probability?

After high school, I studied Data Science and Econometrics. 

Four years of studying the laws of probabilities changed my way of thinking. I remember a fellow graduate saying: “You have to realize that your wife is a suboptimal choice. Maybe you find someone better, maybe you don’t. It’s all probability.” Does destiny even exist, or is it all just statistics?

On the other hand, if university had taught me one thing, it was to think for myself and never assume something true.

It could also have something to do with my name. The apostle Thomas had the nickname “Doubting Thomas” because he wanted to see before believing. It seemed this attitude proved a lack of faith, but is that really a bad thing? Many Buddhist teachers say you’ll find answers by turning inward. Not through learning but through experience. Could this be a better path for me, and could I combine faith and science to find a middle ground?

I realized I could. 

Spiritual books

A Scientific Spiritual Approach

I found the answer by combining religion and science using hypotheses. If two religions disagree, one is wrong, meaning it’s not an absolute truth. If religions agree on something (for example, the importance of love and kindness), there’s something worth exploring. My new approach became finding the things religions all agreed upon. 

This method led me on a new journey. I started reading and learning from many religions worldwide and found spiritual books full of timeless wisdom. Since they helped me, they also have the power to help you on your quest for wisdom and spirituality. 

Continue reading and find some of the best spiritual books available worldwide.

1. Autobiography of a Yogi - Paramahansa Yogananda (India)

Autobiography of a Yogi is a book about the spiritual journey of Paramahansa Yogananda, a well-known Indian Yogi. It’s a personal story and insightful spiritual awakening book that discusses the practice of yoga and meditation and the principles of spiritual awakening.

Books about spiritual awakening are often about awakening the inner self. Autobiography of a Yogi is precisely that. The book talks about how everyone can achieve a heightened state of consciousness. It introduces readers to many advanced spiritual concepts, such as cosmic consciousness, Kriya Yoga’s science, and karma and reincarnation principles. 

It’s one of the most popular spiritual awakening books and was Steve Job’s favorite book. If you prefer movies over books, check out Paramahansa Yogananda’s documentary Awake.

Spiritual books

2. The Way of Zen - Alan Watts (USA)

The Way of Zen is a spiritual book by Alan Watts on Zen Buddhism and Eastern Philosophy. It is one of the best books on Zen Philosophy that tries to bridge Eastern and Western thoughts. Overall, one of the best spiritual awakening books if you want to explore the rich tapestry of Zen Buddhism.

In this book about spiritual awakening, Watts delves into Zen Buddhism’s history, principles, and practices. This spiritual book explores the fundamental ideas of Zen, such as living in the present moment, having a non-dualistic perception of reality, and attaining enlightenment through direct experience. Watts also demystifies Zen thought and explains how Zen practice leaves profound transformative effects on one’s nature, thus emphasizing its relevance for our times.

Alan Watts was arguably even better at speaking than writing. I’d therefore recommend checking out some of his talks

3. The Book of Forgiving - Desmond Tutu (South Africa)

The Book of Forgiving, written by Desmond Tutu and Reverend Mpho Tutu, is a profound spiritual book that delves into forgiveness and healing. This transformative book about spiritual awakening helps readers confront their pain and release resentments and encourages them to find inner peace.

It is one of the compelling books on spiritual awakening, as it delves into the fourfold path of forgiveness and provides tools to understand, face, and ultimately forgive any wrongdoing. 

The authors, from their own experiences during the turbulent times, offer us genuine stories of reconciliation and spiritual growth instead of showing resentment.

Spiritual books

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4. Beyond Religion - Dalai Lama (Tibet)

Beyond Religion is a thought-provoking spiritual book written by the Dalai Lama. When released in 2011, the book gave a new perspective on ethical living that went beyond religious boundaries. As the Dalai Lama is compassionate in his writing, this book has become one of the best spiritual awakening books, especially if you want to live a life filled with peace, morality, and mutual understanding.

In this unique book about spiritual awakening, the Dalai Lama puts forth the concept of secular ethics with kindness, compassion, and humanity as common values shared by all people, regardless of what religion they follow. The Dalai Lama promotes human values like love, tolerance, and compassion to create a more ethical and harmonious world. Focusing on what unites individuals from diverse backgrounds, the book is about cultivating empathy.

spiritual awakening books

5. Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu (China)

Tao Te Ching is an ancient Chinese book attributed to the mystical philosopher Lao Tzu. It’s one of the primary foundational texts of Taoism and one of the most widely read spiritual books. With its profound wisdom, Tao Te Ching is a timeless spiritual book that dates back centuries and is still relevant.

In this book about spiritual awakening, Tao Te Ching talks about Taoist philosophy, such as simplicity, humility, and living in harmony with the natural world. The text has 81 short, poetic verses that guide readers on cultivating wisdom, stillness, and how to live a balanced life. This book invites introspection and contemplation through its metaphorical language, essential for spiritual growth.

Make sure to get the trranslation by Stephen Mitchell. It makes a huge difference!

Spiritual books

6. The Time of The Black Jaguar - Arkan Lushwala (Peru)

The Time of the Black Jaguar is a book by Arkan Lushwala. Arkan is an indigenous ceremonial leader from Peru who emphasizes humans reconnecting with the natural world. As a powerful resource for those seeking meaning, this reconnection with nature provides valuable insights into how ancient teachings can lead to greater harmony and balance. One of the unique books about spiritual awakening, it passes down the wisdom of indigenous cultures from generation to generation.

The author, Arkan Lushwala, is a Peruvian ceremonial leader and an Earth steward who shares inspirational stories in the book and reflections about how humanity can connect with Mother Earth to find a balance and embrace interconnectedness. 

If you’d like to learn more, check out my summary and takeaways of The Time of the Black Jaguar.

spiritual awakening books

7. The Essential Rumi (Afghanistan)

The Essential Rumi is a collection of poems that were collected and compiled by Coleman Barks and released in 1995. The book captures the wisdom and beauty of the 13th-century Persian poet and Sufi mystic Rumi. Rumi is famous for spiritual poetry as through poetry. He gives a message of love, unity, and spiritual transcendence. The Essential Rumi is one of the best books on spiritual awakening that celebrates the beauty of life and the soul.

In this captivating book about spiritual awakening, Rumi’s poems convey the boundless potential of love and the intense longing for divine union. The themes of his poetry delve into self-discovery, inner transformation, and the path to enlightenment, and they serve as a reminder of the truth that resides within the hearts of all people. Rumi is a master of unforgettable imagery and metaphors; no doubt, this book is a path for those who want to embark on their spiritual journeys.

Spiritual books

8. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind - Shunryū Suzuki (Japan)

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind is a spiritual book by Zen master Shunryu Suzuki. The book contains a collection of Suzuki’s talks and observations and is considered one of the best works on Zen meditation.

In this enriching book about spiritual awakening, Suzuki introduces the concept of “beginner’s mind,” a state of openness and curiosity where individuals see the world afresh and new, unhindered by preconceptions or judgments of themselves and others. This approach encourages readers to practice mindfulness and develop awareness in their everyday lives

Overall, the book is a valuable source, especially if you are a newcomer to Zen meditation, as it reveals the transformative power of a mindful, spiritually awakened life.

Spiritual books

9. Think Indigenous - Doug Good Feather (Native American)

Think Indigenous: Native American Spirituality for a Modern World was published in 2012 and was written by Doug Good Feather. The book draws inspiration from the teachings of centuries-old traditions and indigenous wisdom and reflects on modern issues. One of the best books about Native American spirituality if you are looking for transformative knowledge and a greater appreciation of indigenous spiritual practices.

In this enlightening book about spiritual awakening, the author relies on the rich experiences and ancestral wisdom of the Lakota people and other Native American tribes. He covers topics such as the importance of community, the mutual interconnectedness of all living beings, and the profound respect for the Earth and its resources. By sharing practices, values, and rituals, this book asks the readers to reflect upon the spiritual significance of their actions, thoughts, and relationships.

spiritual awakening books

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10. Old Path White Clouds - Thich Nhat Hanh (Vietnam)

Old Path White Clouds was written by Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and released in 1987. This book on spiritual awakening narrates the life and teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, as the book takes the readers on a spiritual journey beside the Buddha. With its heartwarming stories and profound insights, the book is considered one of the best spiritual awakening books if you want to discover the essence of Buddhism.

The author presents the account of Buddha’s life using simple prose that reflects the true essence of Buddhism. The stories in the book provide a comprehensive understanding of the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, and the importance of mindfulness in daily life. The book encourages readers to cultivate compassion, loving-kindness, and wisdom, ultimately leading to a more awakened and harmonious existence.

The Best Spiritual Awakening Books

Hopefully, you liked at least one of these ten spiritual books. 

If you’re unsure where to start, pick the one that resonates most. 

All of them have the power to change you, so start with a spiritual book that excites you. 

If you’re looking for other book tips, consider:

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