Shadow Expert | Writer | Dancer | Wife | Grandma

 

 

Connie Zweig

Books are doorways. They open onto other worlds and lead me on to unexpected pathways. I have always loved books, even as a child. But, as an adult, authors have guided me, mentored me, surprised me, and givenme  the most precious gifts. Perhaps that’s why, eventually, I wanted to write books. I wanted to guide and mentor others; I wanted to give my gifts, share my insights, and offer the wisdom of a long life of introspection.

I read primarily non-fiction for most of my life. I came to fiction in my 60’s and have been gobbling up mysteries and literary fiction. But it serves a different purpose for me. Story carries me away from my little universe and into the worlds of others. But non-fiction is a private classroom, whether I seek to understand a new orientation in psychology, a new finding in neuroscience, a new insight in physics, or a new impact of climate change. And, most especially, a new offering from a spiritual teacher.

Connie Zweig, PhD, is a retired therapist and renowned expert in shadow work. She is co-author of Meeting the Shadow: The Hidden Power of the Dark Side of Human Nature and Romancing the Shadow: Illuminating the Dark Side of the Soul, and author of Meeting the Shadow of Spirituality.

Now, in her latest book, The Inner Work of Age: Shifting From Role to Soul, Connie Zweig is reinventing age by showing baby boomers how to master late life from the inside out, and learn that aging can be a spiritual experience that take us across the threshold from role to soul.     www.conniezweig.com

My 10 Best

(Roughly in chronological order)

Be Here Now
by Ram Dass (and all later books).

 

When Ram Dass returned from India with the teachings of his guru and published this first book, he became a spiritual guide for the Baby Boomer generation. His book aroused my longing for India and the teachings of Vedanta, which I have pursued to this day. It also taught the basic practice of presence, which continues to resonate in me moment to moment.

Memories Dreams, Reflections
by C.G. Jung

 

Jung’s autobiography goes where others fear to tread – deep into his shadow or dark side. His transparency and vulnerability moved me to tears. His brilliance and his intellectual contribution to the understanding of what it means to be human still astounds me (20 volumes of collected works). It opened the world of depth psychology to me, which I later pursued as a career

Autobiography of a Yogi
by Yogananda

 

I read this at age 19 in college at UC Berkeley in the late 1960’s. I had been radicalized and was completely outer-oriented. A friend gave me the book – and I turned East. From then on, my life was about spiritual practice and awakening.

Siddhartha
by Herman Hesse

 

This timeless novel about a prince awakening to this Buddha nature resonated deeply with my spiritual longing and imprinted an image of spiritual possibility. I was not drawn to Buddhism; but I was drawn to the universal thirst for awakening.

The Great Swan
by Lex Hixon

 

Lex was able to recreate his encounters with the great Hindu adept Ramakrishna in such a specific way that he took me there. I felt as if I sat at the seat of the master, feeling his eyes on me, taking in his every word. This book is a masterpiece for anyone who is a seeker.

Coming Home
by Lex Hixon

 

This book explores the common foundation of every spiritual tradition – the experience of transcendence in the founder. Although their dogma and practices are diverse, the many religious/spiritual traditions stem from the same source – and this insight blew my mind. I saw that it’s experience, not concepts, that matter.

Kundalini Vidya
The Science of Spiritual Transformation
by Joan Harrigan

This book clarified, at last, how the kundalini travels, gets blocked, and can be rerouted for spiritual awakening. The author holds the kundalini lineage from India and has profound knowledge, which I had been seeking. She opened my eyes to the inner workings of the subtle energies within us.

The Essential Rumi translations
By Coleman Barks

I immersed myself in Coleman’s translations of Rumi and found in his verse a reflection of my own spiritual longing. Eventually, I wanted to study more deeply. We went to Turkey with a sheikh from Rumi’s lineage and learned Sufi practices. Then I wrote a novel, A Moth to the Flame: The Life of Sufi Poet Rumi. This book led me on an eight-year journey into a foreign world.

Walking Each Other Home
by Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush

 

This final book from Ram Dass was published while I was writing The Inner Work of Age. It’s a simple and profound conversation between RD and Mirabai about the dying process and the companions on our journey. I suffered the loss of two close friends during this time and read to them from this book during their illnesses and deaths. It was deeply meaningful for all.

From Aging to Saging
by Rabbi Zalman Schacter-Shalomi

 

This is the bible for conscious aging – until my book was published.
Rabbi Zalman helped to launch this movement and founded an organization, Sage-ing International, which continues to train people to become Elders. This book was the only one I could find about aging that truly inspired me.