Author | Spiritual Teacher | growth-junkie | champagne-quaffer | chocaholic | dancing queen and wilderness lover |
I naively thought I’d be able to choose ten spiritual books and write about them in an afternoon. How wrong I was! It was a challenge to select just ten titles that have inspired and influenced me on my 30-year journey! I tried to include books that stood out for me, and as a result, many famous and brilliant books didn’t make the short-list. From yoga to crystals, spiritual books of all kinds, from metaphysics to hypnosis, from Wisdom Teachings to meditation, have been of fundamental importance in my life. I tend to learn from books, often preferring them to courses or training. My selection may be eclectic, but then so am I. Spirituality has a broad remit, and there will always be something for everyone. Spiritual books help to awaken, and raise awareness and consciousness. That contributes to the evolution of humanity. What could be more important?
Bridget Finklaire is an Author, Spiritual Teacher and qualified/experienced psychotherapist and hypnotherapist. Her debut novel, Red Dress, is published by John Hunt Publishing and launches July 30, 2021. The book is an engaging, light-hearted story about a forty-something career mum who’s stressed out and disenchanted with her successful life. It that can be read on different levels and is filled with spiritual wisdom. It’s fiction but loosely based on Bridget’s life. Like the protagonist, Katy, Bridget was a Harley Street therapist. Unlike Katy, she’s been on a spiritual journey for almost 30 years.
Bridget’s ‘why’ or purpose is positive transformation of self, others and ultimately, humanity. She’s been described as a natural communicator, a brilliant teacher and an inspiring leader.
Her core message is “Love is the Way.” She holds a vision of people awakening to the truth of who they are, creating meaningful lives with joy and purpose, and collectively creating a new way of being. Bridget is particularly interested in working with circles of women who support each other in awakening. Teamwork is an integral part of The Bone Circle.
Bridget was born in Hampshire, grew up in Derbyshire, and lived in London for almost 30 years before moving to Cape Town, South Africa, in 2012. She’s studied and taught many spiritual disciplines and continues to study and teach regularly.
My 10 Best
Moon Over Water
by Jessica MacBeth
I picked up this book back in the 90s at one of the early Mind, Body, Spirit festivals in London. In one of those serendipitous moments, I’d overheard an interview on Radio 4 which mentioned the importance of meditation.
As a busy mother of two, I didn’t have time or cash to spend on a meditation course, so reading about it seemed like a good option. I was intuitively drawn to the original cover and title and started reading it on the train home. Within days I’d read the entire book, and within weeks, I’d tried the different approaches. I settled on one and practised every day.
I’ve since attended various trainings but always return to the simple practice of sitting and watching the breath. I remember a phrase from the book – “Relaxed awareness, expectant gratitude, watching the breath, focused on the hara.” I still use that now. A few years after buying the book, I developed and facilitated a short meditation and deep relaxation course. When I left London for South Africa, I simply couldn’t store or ship all of my books. I regret that I let go of many precious titles – this is one of them.
For me, meditation or stillness is the single most important factor in a spiritual journey. This book gives simple instructions to the beginner. The ‘how’ of meditation is simple. The practice takes dedication. Moon Over Water gave me the motivation to continue, and I’m delighted I did.
Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui
by Karen Kingston
This is another old title for me. I became interested in Feng Shui in the early 90s when my daughter was a toddler. Most of the books focused on the Bagua, lucky charms, geomancy and the placement of colours and objects.
Later, I learned about geopathic stress and how to clear it. This book ignited my life-long interest in energy, vibration, space-clearing and creating Sacred Space. I read the book avidly then went to see Karen give a talk at the Feng Shui Society, which in those days met at the Rudolph Steiner House near Regent’s Park, London.
I became fascinated with sensing energy and vibration. It set me on a path of reverence for nature and for working in a shamanic way. I later trained in space clearing and creating Sacred Space. That led me to be a ghostbuster, clearing trapped spirits from houses and helping them back to the Light.
I’ve space-cleared many fascinating places in my life, including Battle, near Hastings. When I moved to South Africa, I began clearing land as well as buildings.
Conversations with God (trilogy)
by Neale Donald Walsch
I read book one soon after it was published and loved it. It took me a while to get through it because I wanted to absorb and understand the messages. I bought the sequel, which took me longer to read as I was digesting at an even deeper level, and God, or at least a Messenger of God, was talking to me at critical points to further expand on the text.
This was a significant turning point for me in understanding God, intuition, the Still Small Voice within, and hearing and being guided clairaudiently. The third book took me ages to read because by then, the Voice within was expanding on just about every concept within the pages!
Over a decade later, there was an event in London connected to Give it Forward. People gathered in Trafalgar Square with a book that had inspired them. We were each to give our book to a stranger. I took all three volumes of Conversations with God. I hope it similarly inspired that stranger!
Power versus Force
by David R Hawkins
I read this in the early 2000s because a friend had recommended it. I wasn’t sure about it at first but became fascinated by the idea of levels of consciousness and their measurability. It made sense to me that consciousness is the key to spiritual growth, happiness, wisdom and enlightenment. It was profound for me to realise emotions such as shame, guilt and fear, were measurably low in consciousness and frequency, while love, joy and peace resonated at a very high rate.
I determined then and there to dedicate myself to raising my consciousness to the level of enlightenment. I wanted to be of service to humanity by counterbalancing the negativity of this world. I learned how to muscle test, then set about measuring the consciousness level of books, courses, music and lectures.
I decided to only work with material that resonated at over 540 (Joy) on David Hawkins’ scale. I purposely sought out anything that exceeded that, paying particular attention to anything that muscle-tested over 800. The decision to embark on this path has had a ripple effect that still touches me today.
Emotions and the Enneagram
by Margaret Frings-Keyes.
I still think this is one of the best books on the Enneagram as it’s written by an experienced psychotherapist who understands the shadow, archetypes and the importance of early conditioning.
Many Enneagram books focus on each of the points’ positive aspects or strengths or on how the Enneagram fits into the corporate world. After I’d trained in psychotherapy and hypnotherapy, I read this text, and it helped me gain valuable insights into my clients. Understanding my own Enneagram was empowering, and later, I used this book as the basis for one of the modules in my training programme, The Bone Circle.
The Enneagram can be an excellent tool for self-awareness and spiritual development when in the right hands. I teach that the Enneagram is the underlying structure of your identity/ego-self.
Once people get to grips with it, they can see through many of the ego’s illusions and rise into their own Greatness.
Journey of the Souls
by Michael Newton
I read this book as a practising hypnotherapist and was fascinated by the series of case studies that Michael Newton uses, which form a picture and story of soul evolution.
I started taking a few friends between lives to see what would happen. Michael Newton uses ‘clean language’ throughout, which means that each account is coming from a place of innocent truth. Nobody had any agenda; nobody was influenced. Dr Newton simply asked questions and found similar answers again and again.
By piecing together client stories, he was able to map the entire journey of a soul from the moment of death (the beginning of the book) to the moment of re-birth (the end of the book). The book renewed my faith in hypnosis and regression as powerful tools for healing and positive change. It confirmed everything I suspected about soul growth, soul choices, life lessons, reincarnation and past and future lives.
For me, this was evidence, not conjecture. I often recommend the book for people who are struggling with the loss of a loved one. Grieving is a challenging process and a rite of passage. Once you realise that life on planet Earth isn’t the be-all and end-all, you’re able to transcend the suffering and find peace and joy.
Gem’s Story a Spiritual Journey
by Joost Boekhoven.
This is a small book that’s not so well known, but I wanted to include it in my list. I wrestled with the decision, and it won over Autobiography of a Yogi, The Kybalion, The Baghavad Gita and a few books on yoga. Why? Because it’s more accessible and more likely to be read. Many of its famous cousins sit on people’s bookshelves for years.
So, Gem it is! It’s a delightful, heart-warming read that teaches through story. Having worked with story as a form of therapy, I found it a joy to read. It’s written in the first person, in a straightforward style and appears to be timeless. The reader is never quite sure when or where the story is set. This, for me, adds to the impression of the message because spirituality is mystical, individual, timeless and universal.
The engaging tale follows Gem and her Master, a Monk, as they travel from village to village. It’s the journey they take together, the questions, the struggles, the misunderstandings and the learnings that accumulate, that are so powerful. The internal dialogue of Gem makes this book profound.
Gem is an outsider looking for deeper meaning, and I think that sums up many people who are on a spiritual path. One of my favourite aspects of Gem is how it illustrates the notion that as a Spiritual Teacher, I hold very dear to my heart – that the teacher is also the student, and the student is also the teacher.
Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander
This book is like marmite – you either love it or hate it. I found it fascinating, not because of the Near-Death Experience he wrote about, which was similar to other people’s accounts, but because of Dr Alexander himself.
He was a complete sceptic who didn’t believe in the afterlife. He was a scientist who based his opinions on academic learning, verified by his five senses. In spiritual speak, he was all ‘logical, rational, left-brain’.
I come across a lot of people like that. I come from a family of siblings exactly like that! Dr Alexander’s honest and vulnerable account of who he was before and how the experience changed him, was for me, a wonderful insight into the power of Heaven.
The experience opened his spiritual mind, his right brain, to a whole new realm of existence, and with it, a completely new understanding of consciousness. The book’s detractors say it doesn’t prove anything, but perhaps they’re missing the point? The experience was so profound that Dr Alexander risked professional ridicule to write down his account for the world to read.
If you’re sitting on the fence with this subject – about consciousness, the soul, and other spiritual phenomena – perhaps reading this book will open a crack in the psyche that could let in the Light.
The Heroine’s Journey Woman’s Quest for Wholeness by Maureen Murdock
There were so many titles I could have put on this list that my choice changed several times! I eventually plumped for Maureen Murdock’s book, about the journey we make as women. It’s a little dated now but still relevant, and I relate to it, as many women do. I’ve incorporated The Heroine’s Journey into my work, The Bone Circle. I think it perfectly complements the masculine, outer adventure of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey.
The Heroine’s journey came to me when I was burning out and feeling lost, empty and confused. I’d taken on the mantel of the masculine in order to succeed in the outside world. As a result, I’d lost touch with my soft, feminine self. Instead of emulating the masculine way of doing things, it taught me to dig deep into myself, heal the mother-daughter wound, and excavate and resurrect aspects of my femininity that I’d denied.
The book helped me to align with my core values and live in harmony with who I am. It made me gently question the status quo and have the courage to listen to my own truth and authority. I read this book concurrently with “Women Who Run With the Wolves”, and there are definitely parallels. The latter takes you on a Heroine’s Journey. The former explains it in modern terms.
The Book of Knowledge: The Keys of Enoch
by Dr JJ Hurtak
For me, this is a complete teaching, not just a book and has become a way of life. I first came across an excerpt from it in 2005 and found it arcane and inaccessible. One of my Spiritual Teachers recommended I buy it.
I eventually ordered the book, and it arrived in the post in August 2006. I’d just returned from a family holiday in Italy, and the neighbour has piled the post on our kitchen table. I ripped the package open and gazed at the cover. Something about the book drew me in. My hairs stood on end.
I started flicking through the pages, stopping to look at illustrations and to read what I was later to discover as the “Glyph Pages”. They encapsulate each of the Keys. An hour or so later, I was still in my jacket. The kids were hungry. My husband was pestering me to unpack suitcases, but I couldn’t pull myself away from this impossible book! I couldn’t understand it, either. By January 2007, I’d joined the London Study Group for the Keys of Enoch, and I’m still studying it today.
It’s the most profound teaching I’ve ever come across. As a capstone teaching, it encompasses many traditions, from Tibetan Bon to Ancient Egyptian, from Sanskrit to Hebrew, from Kaballah to Coptic Christianity. This is a Higher, multi-dimensional teaching on seven levels, which explains the science of spirituality. “Science guided by Consciousness” is the mission statement of the AFFS (Academy For Future Science).
The teaching is designed to prepare mankind for quantum changes, increase understanding, provide insight, and expand consciousness. This teaching has had a significant and profound impact on my life. I still study today, and I still teach study groups. I simply love it!