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Jennifer Evanko

What a wonderful experience this has been – to rediscover books that were important to me at different points in my life.  As I thought about which ten books to choose, I pulled many off the shelf to consider.  In fact, it was very hard to pick just ten.  The ones that didn’t make the cut are still sitting on my desk, waiting for me to find a moment to ’step away from the computer’ and answer the call to once again get lost in their pages.
There is an alchemy that occurs when one connects with a good book.  An alchemy that involves more than just the author and the words of the story.  It involves the reader.  Who they are, when they are and even where they are when they read the book.  This is an obvious statement however, as I re-read some of these books, I marveled at the different ‘Me s’ and different experiences that the same words could inspire. 
The other thing I am left with from this process is how it isn’t always the factual book that brings us wisdom.  Sometimes it takes a dive into fantasy to unlock the hidden possibilities of the imaginal realm.   For it is in the realm of the imaginal where one takes a quantum leap beyond simple fantasy, to be inspired by the possible and co-create a new reality.  

JENNIFER EVANKO has followed the call of her passion for personal growth and the mysteries of human potential for more than 35 years. Her extensive studies in meditation, integrative medicine, alchemy, consciousness, and transformation have taken her around the world to sacred and ancient sites, renowned mystery schools, and new thought teaching/retreat centers at the leading edge of metaphysics and personal transformation.


Jennifer studied energy healing techniques in Brazil, gained certifications through the Mystery Schools of Damanhur in Italy, and trained at the Chopra Center University in California. Building on a firm foundation of ancient wisdom, present-day knowledge, and the latest scientific research, she worked, traveled with, and was personally mentored by scholar, author, and Human Potential Movement and Mystery School founder, Jean Houston. Her journey has led her to master techniques designed to enhance the physical, sensory, psychological, mythic-symbolic and spiritual capacities within individuals.

Jennifer’s original and profoundly transformative trademark Group Wisdom Gatherings, Adventures in Consciousness Programs, and free “deep-dive” meditation sessions are beloved by students worldwide. Her greatest passion and joy is to guide others into the uncharted territories of the meta-realm so they too can push back the frontiers of consciousness and self-knowledge and align with their personal higher destiny.

My 10 Best

(In no order of suggested reading or importance)

Bhagavad Gita
By S.Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada


The Bhagavad Gita is a book that has followed me over the last 40 years. Each time it appeared in my life, I was a different person and somehow it was a different story. A perfect example of life’s spiraling journey where each turn deepens meaning and understanding.

As a young college student in the late 70s, I read this book as an assignment for a course – enjoying it then for the story it told and the concepts it opened. However, I have to admit, I was more absorbed in listening to the teacher’s thoughts, and understanding and accepting the lessons filtered through their perspectives.

The second reading was almost thirty years later when, once again, I was required to read the Gita for a class. At this stage in my life, I had firmly established three identities. There was the successful entrepreneur working with a talented team of professionals in the environmental industry. There was the wife and mother of three active teenage boys. And there was a very quiet, reserved self that was the mystic and spiritual healer. With a richness of perspective, I could now meet this book with my own life playing out within the pages. Indulging that growing mystic with deeper questions to explore. The lessons now resonating with a visceral knowing.

Then, less than a year ago, this book came back into my life. Yes, another course and another required reading… However, this time it was part of my esoteric studies with Damanhur’s Mystery School. Once again, this familiar story opened into something even more profound as we explored some of the deeper esoteric meanings hidden within.

The Celestine Prophecy
by James Redfield


I enjoyed reading this series. I love ‘fiction’ that takes you into a story and leaves you thinking about its truths. And even better, a story that transports you into it. As a slow reader, I love when I get absorbed into a story and then can live it for weeks on end. This is one of those stories that I immersed myself in and ‘lived’ every day. The protagonist was on an adventure to uncover the truth about an ancient manuscript that was said to hold predictions about a spiritual transformation occurring now, in our times. As the story progressed, new insights from this ancient manuscript were discovered while, in the parallel story that was my life, I explored and unfolded each one.

In fact, I remember a shared ‘celestine experience’ that was particularly powerful. I was out hiking with a friend, enjoying the trails thru a redwood forest. It was a beautiful day and the trails were crowded. With a desire to connect with the unseen, but deeply felt, hidden world in this magical forest, we were looking for a place we could meditate. Even though we were both comfortable meditating in public, we hoped to find a private, quiet spot away from the crowds. So, we found ourselves, reverently moving along the trails.

Enjoying an inner stillness while slipping deeper and deeper into the moment. At a certain point, we both noticed a shimmering of the energy around a tree slightly down a trail branching off to one side. Curious, we moved toward that tree only to notice another shimmering tree further ahead on the path. We continued to follow these ‘beacons’ until, quite abruptly, the trail opened up into a clearing that was so lush with nature and rich with prana, it actually glowed. And there was no one around. What unfolded in our meditations there was quite magical.

The Power of Now
by Eckhart Tolle


A powerful book that speaks a truth from the essential self. This book, like Conversations with God, appeared in my life in those busy years of balancing a young family and career. This was one of those books that, during the day, helped anchor the stillness which at the time seemed to exist only in those quiet moments before my day began. With precious little time to myself, I would listen to it on tape while chauffeuring kids to school, friends, or sports events. Secretly enjoying the fact that, for a short time at least, the boys were a captive audience as we listened together.

Conversations with God
by Neal Donald Walsch


When I read this book back in the 90s, I was focused on my emerging career and young family with little time for my private, mystic self. This particular book marked a turning point for me. I had secretly been having my own conversations with God, hearing clear messages and filling journals with stream of consciousness writings in those stolen moments of solitude. It was so freeing when I realized I wasn’t alone, and maybe not so crazy.

Shankara’s Crest-Jewel of Discrimination
by Adi Shankara


This book is a translation of writings from the 7th century A.D., sage, Adi Shankara. Having read and memorized all of India’s ancient scriptures, Adi Shankara was considered a Vedic prodigy. It is said that at ten years old, he was already debating with prominent scholars. Soon after, as a young teenager he left home to become a monk and a teacher.

In his writings, Adi Shankara teaches the philosophy of ‘Non-Dualism. The basic teaching of which is that the individual soul, Atman, is really the Universal soul, Brahman.

I have always loved to explore deep mysteries. With this book, I spent hours delving into the profound and finding simple truths. It didn’t escape my notice that, here I was at fifty years old, finding answers to questions I was only just then beginning to ask, while reflecting on the fact that Shankara was probably the age of one of my teenage sons when he wrote these teachings.

A Mythic Life
by Jean Houston


It was very hard for me to choose one book by Jean Houston. And I have to admit, this may not be my favorite. I also like The Possible Human, A Passion For The Possible, The Wizard of Us, The Hero and the Goddess… and, well, you get the point. Jean is a master storyteller and a prolific writer. However, even though her books are wonderfully written, there is nothing like being in her presence and hearing her stories firsthand. As her mentee, I was blessed with this opportunity many times over the five years I was with her. She is truly a treasure. If you have an opportunity to hear her speak live… GO!

I chose this book because it is pure Jean. It is a story of her life that will make you laugh while she skillfully imparts her wisdom. Within the pages, she effortlessly moves you beyond the boundaries of believability and into the realm of the high creative. It is into those fertile uncharted territories of the creative mind, that Jean endeavors to take all of her students. Inspiring each of us to open to the possible, to embody our latent greater capacities and to dream into being a world that works.

by Penney Peirce


I’ve always been fascinated by the concept that everything in the physical universe is, at the subtle level, energy and information. Even though we perceive a world of form and solidity around us, at this deeper reality, everything is a field of energy. When we touch another object or encounter another person, we are actually merging a small part of our energy field together and then separating – exchanging this information and energy. This subtle exchange is, for the most part, totally unconscious. And yet it pervades and subtly, or even overtly, affects our life and actions.

What a powerful book this was for me, especially back when I first read it. Within its pages, Penney invites you to a deeper understanding and awareness of your own personal frequency. Masterfully weaving her personal stories, science, and research to reveal the concepts, and then offering invitations to ‘try this’ to deepen the knowing with personal experience.

In revisiting this book as one of my top ten, I am struck by how relevant her message is for the challenges we are collectively facing today…

“The only thing we can do now is to stabilize our own personal vibration by not indulging in the seduction of fear, which is flooding the world and trying to saturate the air we breathe… The important work is to keep our bodies, emotions, and minds vibrating in harmony with our souls and spiritual values”

Spontaneous Evolution
by Bruce H. Lipton Ph.D. and Steve Bhaerman


Bruce Lipton, a biologist and Steve Bhaerman, a political philosopher open and explore the topic of conscious evolution in an entertaining and compelling narrative from both vantage points. Pointing out striking patterns found in the cellular collectives of living organisms and mirrored in the human collectives within our global community. As above, so below….

In this book, the authors reveal these patterns as indicators of a positive evolutionary story unfolding in our times. My favorite anecdote puts forth the concept that “Crisis Ignites Evolution” and goes on to compare the imaginal cell and the cultural creative. You may know, the imaginal cell as the one that initiates the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into a butterfly. In fact, it is the imaginal cell that spontaneously makes the quantum leap from the decaying chaos that was the caterpillar to the new complexity that becomes the butterfly. The authors compare this biological cell to human individuals that are considered ‘Cultural Creatives’…

“There is a sense of darkness and impending doom. From within the dying population, a new breed of cells begins to emerge, called imaginal cells. (aka YOU!). Clustering in community, they devise a plan to create something entirely new from the wreckage.”

When I read this, I found myself identifying with the imaginal. Seeing the possible as something we have only to imagine and then reach for. As a student of human potential and a soul mentor, my work is to guide individuals to access the power of their imaginal dreamer.

The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire
by Deepak Chopra


Another prolific author who makes it very hard to choose just one book. But this one is among my favorites.

Back in the late 90’s, the Chopra Center in California offered a special workshop with Deepak Chopra called “SynchroDestiny.” It was this workshop that inspired his writing of this book. Within its pages, Chopra guides you through the course material, mapping out the seven principles of “SynchroDestiny.”

Deepak masterfully weaves science, spirituality, and ancient wisdom with practical exercises that engage you to discover these “connective patterns of the universe” in your own life. As with all of his writings, he leaves you with more than just a deeper understanding of the workings of the universe, he also gives you tools and exercises to make it experiential.

The Summer House
by Jude Deveraux


As my mentor, Jean Houston would meet with me once a week. Each time, she would leave me with reading assignments for discussion in our next meeting. Books like The Fabric of the Universe or Consciousness and Energy … all of them worthy to be on this top ten list. However, I have always enjoyed when she interspersed these heavy reads with a little fiction. And interestingly enough, I often found deep lessons within those light reads.

As an example, I wanted to share this book of fiction. It explores the ‘what-might-have-beens’ in the lives of three women. Each of them reflecting on a life that did not turn out the way they had expected or thought they wanted.

For me, in a light and fun way, it raised important questions. What if you could travel back in time to a moment of choice that changed the direction of your life? And what if you could make a different choice? As I read this book and the story unfolded, I realized that if I changed one thing in my life, it would change everything. That all of the experiences in my life, both good and bad, made me who I am today. This is a powerful message when exploring human potential. A message that invites us to bring our focus to the strengths and gifts we now have to meet this moment. Recognizing that all those past life experiences were the “grit that makes the pearl.”