Reading is a key component of learning. I do my best to read a book each week. And I'm always looking for new titles! To share your own book suggestions, use #ABookAWeek on Twitter or Instagram and tag me @NicolasCole77. If I choose your book, I'll tag you in the blog post!
If you follow me on Snapchat (@Nicolascole77) then you know every morning I share a page from this book I'm reading called 365 Tao. I've been getting a lot of direct messages from people asking what the book is and how they can get it, so I figured it would be a good mention in the #ABookAWeek Series.
Every morning before I meditate, I read a page from 365 Tao. I find reading something short and thought provoking helps me get into the right frame of mind to begin my meditation. The book I used before 365 Tao for this (which I also highly recommend) is called Manifest Your Desires: 365 Ways To Make Your Dreams A Reality. When I was 19, right before I went on this trip where I canoed 320 miles down into the Gulf of Mexico, a buddy of mine suggested I pick up this book and bring it with me. We ended up passing it all around the group of us 12 guys on the canoe trip, and for about four years after that I read a page from that book every single morning before each meditation. It had a tremendous impact on my life, and I have suggested it to anyone interested in focusing on inner work.
I have tried other meditative books, and for a while I replaced Manifest Your Desires with some Rumi poetry, but for the most part I have struggled to find something similar to Manifest Your Desires.
365 Tao is that book. And this will probably be my book for, well, the rest of this year, and who knows how long after that.
What I love about this book is that each page is short enough that you can read it in a minute or two, but contains more than enough depth to be contemplated throughout the day. It's not preachy or filled with "spiritual buzz words" like "Just remember to be present." That stuff gets old really fast. 365 Tao reads more like poetry, and I find its artistic flair to be the most thought provoking element.
If you're interested in getting into meditation, I think this is the best practice to get you started. Read a page a day, first thing in the morning. Even if you don't meditate afterwards, the act of reading a page a day will first help you instill the habit. Once the habit is in place, then you can extend the length of time—start with two minutes of reading and two minutes of meditation. Then two minutes of reading and five minutes of meditation. Etc. Until you find an amount of time that works for you, and you create a morning routine around this practice.
When I say that reading and meditating in the morning is one of the most important parts of my day, I really mean it. Over the past 5 years, 4 of which I read and meditated every single day. The year that I took off, almost every element of my life began to crumble. I felt like I was running in every direction, looking for something external to fill an internal void. It took me a long, long time to realize that what I was looking for, and what I was missing, was just a little bit of inner peace and a feeling of being "centered."
That's what meditation does.
Ever since I incorporated the practice back into my life, I have felt things return back to a higher frequency. It affects everything. It increases your growth curve. It helps you attract the things you truly desire. You gain more clarity around people in your life, situations, challenges, and your goals. You see life as something that you design, rather than something that is "happening to you." I know people get turned off by words like "meditation" and "spirituality," and trust me, I understand you. I was raised Catholic and spent the majority of my adolescence and early adulthood rebelling against organized religion. But meditation has nothing to do with your beliefs or your religion. All it is, is you taking five minutes in the morning to turn off your phone, turn off your computer, sit in silence, and listen to yourself.
If you're interested in that, I highly suggest picking up a copy of 365 Tao.
Or both. Why not.
Want to join the #ABookAWeek club? Submit below! Every Sunday I give you a new book to read.