Husband & Father | Runner & kickboxer | Writer & Reader | Cafe mocha & almond croissant enthusiast | Post-Modern Music Lover 

 

Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. 

For me, Spiritual Books are Inspirational Books, a call to action in my own life. A call to action to create, to inspire, to heal, to shift directions, to see a different perspective, to love, and to engage life. These 10 selections have helped me in different ways in my spiritual growth, in that they’ve all had a positive impact in my life. We don’t get a tailormade manual for how to live our life when we are born, but the beauty of the human experience is that we get to share with one another those paths that have helped us in some way, and we make our own manual as we apply everything we have learned from those paths.

At the age of 14, DON MIGUEL RUIZ Jr. apprenticed to his father don Miguel Sr. and his grandmother, Madre Sarita. From that early age, he was called upon to translate Madre Sarita’s prayers, lectures and workshops from Spanish into English. In this way, through constant repetition and review, he learned the content of her teachings in both languages.

Through interpreting for Madre Sarita, don Miguel Jr. came to understand the power of faith. He saw first-hand how she manifested her intent to heal people, both physically and spiritually.

Don Miguel Jr.’s apprenticeship lasted ten years. When he reached his mid-20’s, his father intensified his training. At the apex of this power journey, don Miguel said to his eldest son, “Find your way out. Go home and master Death by becoming alive.”

For the past six years, don Miguel Jr. has applied the lessons learned from his father and grandmother to define and enjoy his own personal freedom while achieving peace with all of creation.

Today, don Miguel Jr. is married and has two young children. And so, as a Nagual, he begins once again to pass along the wisdom and the tools of his family’s traditions in helping others to achieve their own personal freedom and optimal physical and spiritual health.

Miguel Jr. has taken the lessons of his father and grandmother and discovered his own personal freedom. Being able to apply his teachings to the world around him gave him. a new understanding of the lessons his father and grandmother had passed onto him, once again giving him the desire to pass on his beliefs. After decades of training, Miguel Jr. was finally ready to share everything he had learned. As a Nagual, he now helps others discover optimal physical and spiritual health, so that they may achieve their own personal freedom.

Meet him on his website at www.miguelruizjr.com

My 10 Best

(In no order of suggested reading or importance)

The Four Agreements
by Don Miguel Ruiz

 

 I was 21 years old when I first read my Father’s book, and I put it down around the 3rd chapter, it felt like he was telling me what to do all over again. Years passed, and I picked it up again when I was 26 years old, this time I was using it to help me in the way it has helped so many others who have read it; I used it to help me heal.

Since then, it has become the basis of my teachings, helping others to heal from the wounds that conditional love has left in their lives. This book helps clean the channels of communication, by learning how to not taking things personally, by not making assumptions, always doing my best, and being impeccable with my word. It is a very simple book, yet it can change your life when you are ready to engage it.

Born To Run
by Christopher McDougall

 

My dear friend Shane introduced me to this book when I started to train with my friends, Shane and Brian for my very first race – a Tough Mudder race – when I was 37 years old. At the time, I was only able to run two miles, mostly intervals, and had to deal with some nerve pain in my lower back and legs. So, I had to adjust and be patient as I increased my capabilities. The story of Caballo Blanco and his relationship with the Rarámuri (Tarahumara) has impacted many runners, from the author of this book and the participants of the first Copper Canyon Ultramarathon to the many readers since, including me. The approach of the Rarámuri to running is about a connection to Earth and Spirit, as well as a hunt for the Deer, that shifted my perception of why one would run as a form of mediation. The story of this race between world-renowned ultramarathoners and the Rarámuri has inspired me through 25 half-marathons and six full-marathons; the medals weren’t the focal point of why I ran them, but the actual act of running was the deer that I was chasing through all of that training, the connection of Earth and Spirit.

Fallen Leaves
by Will Durant

 

My best friend, Dr. Ed Durant, is the great-grandson of Will and Ariel Durant, who were themselves writers, historians, and philosophers. I read their work because of my friend and found a treasure of wisdom and knowledge in their work.

Will Durant’s book, Fallen Leaves, is a collection of his writings, a form of reflections of a man who gathered the history, religions, and philosophies of the World, interpreted them to fit the age that he lived in, and to try to come to an understanding of humanity itself. This book captures that understanding, a way to see life, God, and Self once you have understood the history of your civilization and your relationship with it. History is a story that is always evolving, and our own engagement is what keeps the story moving forward.

How To Raise an Adult
by Julie Lythcott-Haims

 

The secret that most parents don’t tell people who don’t have kids, especially our own kids, is that: “We don’t know what we are doing, and that we are doing the very best with what we’ve got.” I came to that realization when I held my children in my arms for the very first time, and to this very day, I feel like I am playing everything by ear as it comes, constantly adapting to the reality of who my children are as they navigate through their own lives.

This book came into my life when I was dealing with the anxiety of “What is going to happen to my children when I am gone?” It is this anxiety that drives most of us to become helicopter parents of sorts, and it helped me find purpose in my parenting. The remedy for the anxiety is purpose; for me, it is to teach them how to survive without me, which is to help them become adults by letting them navigate their own lives and respect them to experience the consequences of their own actions. This book helped me know what I am doing as a parent.

The Autistic Brain
by Temple Grandin

 

My son was diagnosed with ASD when he was two years old, and since then we have read so many books on Autism to help us understand what he needs and what will help him. This book is like a puzzle piece that finally fit, not just in understanding what Autism is biologically, but in our understanding of him as he sees the world, his potential and strengths, his triggers and coping capabilities. It was like taking a step into the world of Autism and broadening our narrow perception, or taking off the old projected mask of what Autism is and seeing it for the very first time. Autism is his ally on his journey through life, and helping him learn how to use this ally will help him thrive in his own way. Thank you, Temple Grandin.

The View From The Cheap Seats
by Neil Gaiman

 

A collection of writings, essays, speeches, and miscellaneous perspectives from a master storyteller, Neil Gaiman. As an author myself, this book reads like an intensive course into the craft that is storytelling. Not a technical course, of course, but an in-depth look into the spirit that allows us to write into a blank page, or putting into words, that which is shapeless in our own imagination and heart. Storytelling is the fire that forges a civilization, a religion, a culture, as it serves as a reflection through words and metaphors of our experience and understanding of humanity. This book motivated me to continue to evolve my craft and be willing to put into words my perception of my relationship with life and spirit.

The Variety of Scientific Experience: A Personal View on the Search for God by Carl Sagan

 

This book encapsulates Carl Sagan’s 1985 Gifford Lectures, where he bridges science and spirituality with his understanding of the relationship of the Universe and God. Each chapter represents a lecture that encompasses a different facet of his argument, from science’s history of understanding the universe to the theological approach to understanding God. But at the very end of the book, there is a collection of questions and answers from each night that allows the reader to see how Carl Sagan was able to interact with people who may or may not agree with his arguments. For me, it is a wonderful lesson in how to engage as a teacher, or lecturer, with his or her students/audience. Engaging duality or juxtaposition allows us to expand our ability to understand one another, let alone share our message in a way that is accessible to another.

Can’t Hurt Me
by David Goggins

 

My dear friend, Brian, gave me this book one day. He himself is now a Boston Bound Marathoner. This is the most honest, pull-no-punches autobiography that I have ever read, yet it is the most inspiring one as well. It is a story that makes me reflect on my own life, and dismiss any excuse I might have had to not push myself outside of my comfort zone in order to create the life I want to live and make it so. A teacher once taught me, “The Key to Enlightenment is Effort.” David Goggins shows us how far effort can take us when there is also heart, sweat, and tears behind it. You can leave that world that would drown you in despair, at the very moment you make the decision to leave it behind.

A Brief History of Time
by Stephen Hawking

 

I have to admit, I read many books on Physics in order for me to read and understand Stephen Hawking’s work, but it was a journey that was well worth it. Standing at night, looking up at the stars, I can see with awe the movements of the cosmos and Hawking’s work narrating an explanation, and with wonder, I see the possibilities of his theories. This book allows me to see my place in the Universe.

Creative Quest
by Questlove

 

In all honesty, I haven’t finished reading this book. That is because every time I continue to read the book, I get up and begin to create something. This book fires my imagination with possibilities, Questlove’s creativeness is infectious and I can’t help but to start putting into practice that which he shares. So, this is the book that has the greatest catalyst to action of any other book I have read. One day I will finish reading it, but I am in no hurry.