I never considered myself a spiritual or religious person. In fact, as a left-brain engineer, much of my worldview has been through the lens of data, logic, and empiricism. It took leaving the corporate life to really appreciate that there was something deeper missing an openness to the unexplainable. I’ve drifted into eastern philosophy and mindfulness through the texts below. I’ll caveat that they are very “western” and pop-psy-y, but alas, everyone has their own gateways.
Blog posts and articles
- Thoughts think themselves (Rad.family) – A meditator’s phrase that challenges the notion of “self.”
- Identity and feedback (Rad.family) – Why does our sense of self get perturbed by others?
- The Neuroscience of suffering and its end (Jeff Warren) – Meet your 75,000 year old operating system that can manifest as the “obsessive list-maker, the anxious scenario planner, the distracted daydreamer.”
Rad Awakenings Podcasts
- Jeff Warren – My favorite podcast in which we really dig into what the “self” means.
- Andrew Taggart – We philosophize on conformity, time, and spiritual openness.
- Robert Wright on the Sam Harris podcast – A look at meditation as a gateway to understanding the self.
- Joseph Goldstein on the Sam Harris podcast – Similar to above, but more focused on meditation.
- Naval Ravikant on the Farnam Street podcast – One of the most pragmatic conversations on detaching from societal norms and expectations. Here’s a transcript.
- Jack Kornfield on the Duncan Trussell family hour – Kronfield brought buddhism to the US in the 70s.
- Tara Brach on the Tim Ferriss podcast – Brach writes a lot about non-attachment (i.e. R.A.I.N.)
- Chade Men Tang on Dan Harris’ podcast – Chade brought meditation into Google as their “Jolly Good Fellow.”
- Positive Intelligence, Shirzad Chamine – I absolutely loved this book. Not explicitly Western, but an exploration as to why we self-sabotage with a heavy focus on judgement. Listen to Shirzad on Rad Awakenings.
- 10% Happier, Dan Harris – I loved the skepticism and pragmatism that Good Morning America’s Harris brought to his research on Buddhism.
- Tao Te Ching, Stephen Mitchell version – I’m blown away by how these simple maxims on life are so relevant, 2500 years later.
- Why Buddhism is True, Robert Wright – A fantastic exploration on the “self.”
- Let your Life Speak, Parker Palmer – Palmer is a Quaker philosopher, but believe it or not, has many overlapping ideas with Eastern Philosophy.
More on non-attachment
- Don’t compare yourself to others, The envy problem (Ben Casnocha) – I love his reminder that we’re “Tribes of One.”
- How to overcome comparison and learn to love your life (Storyline) – The scarcity of a comparison-based mindset.
- New ways to define success (Wharton) – How to substitute away from goals that are programmed by culture/society