Recommended Reading

The following bibliography is divided into sections corresponding to different traditions. Within each section, the books are further subdivided into levels according to their degree of accessibility, with Level 1 being the most accessible. Also of interest is the reading list for our distance studies course and Joel's book The Way of Selflessness.

Introduction to Mysticism


Morwood, Joel. Naked Through the Gate. Center for Sacred Sciences, 1988. ISBN 0962038709.

Smith, Huston. The World's Religions. Harper SanFrancisco, 1991. ISBN 0062508113.

Wilber, Ken. No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth. Shambhala, 1985. ISBN 0394748816.



Goldstein, Joseph. Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom. Shambhala, 2003. ISBN 1590300165.

The Dhammapada. Translated by Ananda Maitreya, edited by Rose Kramer. Parallax Press, 1995. ISBN 0938077872.

Suzuki, Shunryu. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Weatherhill, 1997. ISBN 0834800799.

Trungpa, Chogyam. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism. Shambhala, 2002. ISBN 1570629579.

Chodron, Pema. Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living. Shambhala, 1994. ISBN 1570628394.

Sengtsan. Hsin Hsin Ming. White Pine Press, 2001. ISBN 189399614X.


Khema, Ayya. When the Iron Eagle Flies: Buddhism for the West. Wisdom Publications, 2000. ISBN 0140193006.

Wallace, B. Alan. A Passage Through Solitude: Training the Mind in a Life of Embracing the World. Snow Lion, 1992. ISBN 1559390050.

Yeshe, Lama. Introduction to Tantra: A Vision of Totality. Edited by Jonathan Landow. Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1987. ISBN 0861710215.

Ngakpa Chogyanm, and Khandro Dechen. Spectrum of Ecstasy: The Five Wisdom Emotions According to Vajrayana Buddhism. Shambhala, 2003. ISBN 1590300610.

Zen Teachings of Wang Po: On the Transmission of Mind. Translated by John Blofeld. Grove Press, 1959. ISBN 0802150926.


The Lankavatara Scripture: Self-Realization of Nobel Wisdom. In A Buddhist Bible. Edited by D. Goddard. Beacon Press, 1970. ISBN 0807059110.

Longchen Rabjam. The Practice of Dzogchen. Translated by Tulku Thondrup, edited by Harold Talbott. Snow Lion, 2002. ISBN 1559391790.



Keating, Thomas. Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel. Continuum, 1992. ISBN 0826406963.

Lawrence, Brother. The Practice of the Presence of God: With Spiritual Maxims. Spire Books/Revell Reprints, 1999. ISBN 0800785991.

The Way of a Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way. Translated by R.M. French. Harper SanFrancisco, 1991. ISBN 0060630175.

The Cloud of Unknowing and the Book of Privy Counseling. Edited by William Johnston. Image Books/Doubleday, 1996. ISBN 0385030975.

Teresa of Avila. Interior Castle. Translated by E. Allison Peers. New Image Books/Doubleday, 1961. ISBN 0385036434.


Eckhart, Meister. Everything as Divine: The Wisdom of Meister Eckhart. Translated by Edmund Colledge and Bernard McGinn. Paulist Press, 1996. ISBN 0809136759.

Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology. Compiled by Igumen Chariton of Valamo, translated by E. Kadloubovsky and E.M. Palmer, edited by Timothy Ware. Faber & Faber, 1997. ISBN 0571191657.

John of the Cross. Dark Night of the Soul: A Masterpiece in the Literature of Mysticism. Translated by E. Allison Peers. Image Books/Doubleday, 1959. ISBN 0385029306.

Underhill, Evelyn. Mysticism. One World Books, 1999. ISBN 1851681965.


Gospel of Thomas: Annotated and Explained. Translated by Stevan L. Davies. Skylight Paths Publishing, 2002. ISBN 1893361454.

Eckhart, Meister. Part Two: German Works: 1. Selected Sermons. In Meister Eckhart: The Essential Sermons, Commentaries, Treatises, and Defense. Translated by Edmund Colledge O.S.A. and Bernard McGinn. Paulist Press, 1981. ISBN 0809123703.

Bonaventura, Saint. Bonaventura: The Mind's Road to God. Translated by George Boas. Prentice Hall, 1953. ISBN 0023112506.

Pseudo Dionysius. Pseudo Dionysius: The Complete Works. Translated by Colm Luibheid. Paulist Press, 1987. ISBN 0809128381.



Anandamayi Ma. Matri Vani Volume II: From the Wisdom of Anandamayi Ma. Translator Atmananda. Shree Shree Anandamayee Charitable Socity, 1982. ISBN 9990001758. (Availability as of August, 2008: Blue Dove Foundation. Also available from Anandamayi Ma's Books On-Line.)

Ramana Maharshi. The Spiritual Teaching of Ramana Maharshi. Shambhala, 1988. ISBN 0877730245.

The Bhagavad Gita. Translated by Juan Mascaro. Viking Penguin, 1987. ISBN 0140441212.


Upanishads. Translated by Juan Mascaro. Penguin Books, 1965. ISBN 0140441638.

Shankara. Shankara's Crest Jewel of Discrimination. Translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood. Vedanta Press, 1970. ISBN 0874810388.

Lalleshwari. Lalleshwari. Translated by Swami Muktananda. SYDA Foundation, 1981. ISBN 0914602667.

Nisargadatta, Maharaj. I Am That: Talks with Sri Nisargadatta. Translated by Sudhaker S. Dikshit and Maurice Frydman. Acron Press, 1990. ISBN 0893860220.


Chatterji, J.C. Kasmir Shaivism. State University of New York Press, 1986. ISBN 088706180X.



Your Word is Fire: The Hasidic Masters on Contemplative Prayer. Edited by Arthur Green and Barry Holtz. Jewish Lights Publishing, 1993. ISBN 1879045257.

Prager, Marcia. The Path of Blessing: Experiencing the Energy and Abundance of the Divine. Jewish Lights Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1580231489.

Baxbaum, Yitzhak. An Open Heart: The Mystic Path of Loving People. Jewish Spirit Publishing, 1997. ISBN 0965711226.


Manahem Nahum of Chernobyl. Upright Practices. Translated by Arthur Green. Paulist Press, 1981. ISBN 0809123746.


Scholom, Gershom. Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism. Schocken Books, 1995. ISBN 0805210423.



Lings, Martin. What is Sufism? Islamic Texts Society, 1999. ISBN 0946621411.

Nurbakhsh, Javad. The Path: Sufi Practices. Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publications, 2003. ISBN 093354670X.

Rabi'a. Doorkeeper of the Heart: Versions of Rabi'a. Translated by Charles Upton. Threshold Books, 1988. ISBN 0939660245.


Schimmel, Annmarie. Mystical Dimensions of Islam. University of North Carolina Press, 1975. ISBN 0807812714.

Farhadi, A. G. Raven. Abdullah Ansari of Herat: An Early Sufi Master. Curzon Press, 1996. ISBN 0700703136.

'Arabi, Ibn al-. "Whoso Knoweth Himself...". Beshara Publications, 1976. ISBN 0904975061.


Chittick, William. The Sufi Path of Love: The Spiritual Teachings of Rumi. State University of New York, 1983. ISBN 0873957245.

Chittick, William. The Sufi Path of Knowledge. State University of New York, 1989. ISBN 0887068855.



Lao Tsu. Tao Te Ching. Translated by Gai-Fu Feng and Jane English. Vintage Books, 1989. ISBN 0679724346.

Nontraditional Mystics


Peace Pilgrim. Peace Pilgrim: Her Life & Work In Her Own Words. Ocean Tree Books, 1992. ISBN 0943734290.

Hillesum, Etty. An Interrupted Life: The Diaries 1941-43, and Letters from Westerbork. Owl Books, 1996. ISBN 0805050876.


Merrell-Wolff, Franklin. Franklin Merrell-Wolff's Experience and Philosophy: A Personal Record of Transformation and a Discussion of Transcendental Consciousness: Containing His Philosophy of Consciousness Without an Object and His Pathways Through to Space. State University of New York Press, 1994. ISBN 0791419649.


Weil, Simone. Waiting for God. Perennial, 2001. ISBN 0060959703.

Merrell-Wolff, Franklin. Transformations in Consciousness: The Metaphysics and Epistemology: Containing His Introceptualism. State University of New York Press, 1995. ISBN 0791426769.

Myth & Dreams


Johnson, Robert A. Inner Work: Using Dreams and Creative Imagination for Personal Growth and Integration. Harper SanFrancisco, 1989. ISBN 0062504312.

Barasch, Marc Ian. Healing Dreams: Exploring the Dreams That Can Transform Your Life. Riverhead Books, 2001. ISBN 1573228974.


Campbell, Joseph. The Hero With A Thousand Faces. Princeton University Press, 1972. ISBN 0691017840.

Eliade, Mircea. The Myth of the Eternal Return: Or Cosmos and History. Translated by Willard Trask. Princeton University Press, 1971. ISBN 0691017778.


Eliade, Mircea. Patterns in Comparative Religion. Translated by Rosemary Sheed. University of Nebraska Press, 1996. ISBN 0803267339.

Norbu, Namkhai. Dream Yoga: and the Practice of Natural Light. Revised and enlarged edition. Edited by Michael Katz. Ithaca, New York: Snow Lion Publications, 2002. ISBN 1559391618.

Wangyal, Tenzin. Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep. Snow Lion Publications, 1998. ISBN 1559391014.

Death & Dying


Morwood, Joel. Through Death's Gate: A Guide to Selfless Dying. Center for Sacred Sciences, 1995. ISBN 0962038717.

Callanan, Maggie, and Patricia Kelley. Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs. Bantam, 1997. ISBN 0553378767.


Bokar Rinpoche. Death and the Art of Dying in Tibetan Buddhism. Clearpoint Press, 1994. ISBN 0963037129.



Wolf, Fred Alan. Taking the Quantum Leap: The New Physics for Nonscientists. Perennial, 1989. ISBN 0060963107.


Herbert, Nick. Quantum Reality: Beyond the New Physics. Anchor, 1987. ISBN 0385235690.

Zukav, Gary. The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics. Bantam Books, 1994. ISBN 055326382X.

Gribbin, John. In Search of Schrodinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality. Bantam, 1984. ISBN 0553342533.


Wallace, B. Alan. Choosing Reality: A Buddhist View of Physics and the Mind. Snow Lion, 2003. ISBN 1559391995.

D'Espagnat, Bernard. Reality and the Physicist: Knowledge, Duration, and the Quantum World. Cambridge University Press, 1989. ISBN 0521338468.

Sources for a New Worldview


McFarlane, Thomas J. Sacred Science: Essays on Mathematics, Physics and Spiritual Philosophy. Thomas J. McFarlane, 1995. ISBN na.


Berger, Peter L., and Thomas Luckmann. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Anchor Books, 1967. ISBN 0385058985.

Toynbee, Arnold J. A Study of History: Abridgement of Volumes I-VI. Abridgement by D. C. Somervell. Oxford University Press, 1987. ISBN 0195050800.


Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. University of Chicago Press, 1996. ISBN 0226458083.

Wallace, B. Alan. The Taboo of Subjectivity: Towards a New Science of Consciousness. Oxford University Press, 2004. ISBN 0195173104.

G. Spencer Brown. Laws of Form. E. P. Dutton, 1979. ISBN 0525475443. (Note: The 1979 edition is recommended because is includes the original Preface, Preface to the first American edition, and Preface to the 1979 edition, all of which are helpful.)

About Our Library

The Center maintains a lending library containing thousands of books, audio CDs, video DVDs, magazines, and journals for patrons to explore the classical teachings of the mystics from all the world's religious traditions.

Library Hours and Location

The library is currently open by appointment. Appointments are availale for indoors, outdoors, pickup/dropoff, and delivery! You can use the membership directory to contact our librarian Jennifer, you can also use the library materials request form or the main css phone below. Please refer to the CSS events calendar for closure dates, location, and map.

Visit:  contact us with some time windows when you'd like to come, and we'll contact you to narrow down to a specific appointment. Below are the our four appointment options:

  • Indoor appointment: You are welcome to come inside and browse the library.  When we connect we'll go over any precautions CSS has in place, and any concerns you have.  When transmission levels for Lane County are High, indoor appointments are limited to 30 min. When transmission levels for Lane County are Medium or High masks are required indoors at the Center.  When transmission levels are low masks are not required for a solo library appointment. We support you if you'd like to be masked we'll mask too. 
  • Browse outside: we have a nice bench outside CSS where you can relax while gather books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs according to your interest that day, and bring them out for you to browse and select from.
  • Outdoor Pickup and Dropoff: request items directly from our online catalog or library materials renewal & request form, we'll fill your bag and contact you to schedule a time for you to come by.
  • Delivery:  Life is complicated.  We can come to you when you can't come to us.  Delivery is currently available to those in the Eugene/Springfield area. 

Steps for requesting items:

Steps for online catalog:
  • Search for the book or recording you want in the catalog and click on the title to go to the detail page.
  • Click on the blue Ask About This button at the bottom right of the item detail page.
  • Remember to provide your name and email or phone numer and any comments about your request.  
  • Note: We have many items in the collection that are not yet in the online catalog.  The request process is similar, look for your item and if you don’t find an exact match, pick an item with the same author or topic to what you are looking for, click the title to go to the detail page, click the Ask About This button and after entering your name and email, use the comment box to describe your request and provide a phone number.  


Library News

See the CSS Library Blog for reviews and new additions to the library.

Renew your library items online!

To request a renewal of your checked out item, click here.

Submit a Review of a Library Item

You are invited to write and submit original reviews of books, videos, and audios that are part of the CSS Library collection. For some advice on getting started with writing a review, see the page writing a review. When you are ready to submit your review, simply fill out the online review submission form.


For a small annual fee ($10/yr.), anyone may apply for library borrowing privileges. To become a library patron, please visit in person and consult with one of our librarians. CSS Membership includes library borrowing privileges.

Supporting the Library

Other than a small annual user fee for non-CSS members, there is no charge for borrowing books, audios, and videos from the Center library.

If the Center library is of value to you, please consider a donation to our library acquisition fund, helping expand the books, audios, and videos available in our lending library:


The Center also welcomes donations of used books of any kind, or new books you may select from the Center Library's Top Wished For Items at

Or, simply by following this link to, a portion of the sale of any item you purchase for yourself will help the Center add books to our lending library.

Contacting the Library

Library patrons may contact the library staff throught the renewal link above, or by writing to

Center for Sacred Sciences
1430 Willamette St. #164
Eugene, OR 97401-4049

or by leaving a message at (541) 345-0102. 

Library Staff Blog.

Writing a Library Review

You are invited to write and submit original reviews of books, videos, and audios (music/talk) that are part of the CSS Library collection.

Before you begin to write, keep in mind:
  • Length of review…50-200 words. It may be edited with your permission for length or clarity.
  • Include title, author, publisher/city, year of publication, page count or time duration, and library subject (e.g., art, biography, Buddhist text, etc.).
  • Basic information to consider for the body of the review:
    • Genre (e.g., Sufi poetry, fiction)
    • Length
    • Writing style (e.g., easy, scholarly)
    • Faith tradition (e.g., Buddhism, Taoist, Christian)
    • Time setting (e.g., modern, medieval)
    • General theme (e.g., biography of a woman mystic, quantum physics perspective)
  • By submitting your review, you are giving CSS permission to publish it on the library’s blog, Center website, and/or in Center Community News, the CSS newsletter. Submission of a review, however, does not guarantee that it will be published.
  • Negative or critical feedback on the library collection is always welcome. However, negative or critical reviews will not be published.

Getting Started
Just getting started can be the hardest part! Faced with a blank page, the judgments can pile in fast. You might think you have nothing to say and get angry at yourself, feel stuck, and just stop trying. In this pause, remember you can look at your thoughts and judgments directly without their stories and listen. If you think about it, what a great spiritual practice writing reviews can be!

Suggestions for Beginning
Consider these basic questions to help you write your review, whether for a book, DVD, audio talk, or music. They are: What was it about? Why did you like it? Did it influence your spiritual practice? How? Is there anything in particular that inspired, provoked, or startled you? Is the author important to highlight? Were there moments of wonder or surprise? Do you recommend it? Can you suggest related books, DVD’s, etc. that readers may enjoy? Having considered the above questions, there are many ways to express your thoughts…
  • You can play with words, phrases, or sentences, such as . . . an easy read, engaging, written for beginning meditators, challenged my ideas about Reality, a scholarly Buddhist text.
  • It can begin with a question, such as… Do you want a book that will touch your heart and mind? Have you read Rumi, a Sufi poet? What is a mystic?
  • Central to your review can be a quote you find within the item. For example: “The problem is that ego can convert anything to its own use, even spirituality.” (Chogyam Trungpa).

Another Approach to Beginning: Ask for Help
First, choose a library item to review. Then find someone who you are comfortable with to talk together about it . . . what it is about, why you liked it, etc. . . . an easy conversation. While talking, each of you can jot down significant words or phrases you say to refer to later while writing your review. Start writing the review shortly after the conversation, keeping the gist of what you talked about, and using words and phrases that first come to you. No second guessing to “sound good”. Refine it later. You might be surprised at your eloquence. Submit your draft review, and a library staff member will be happy to offer helpful ideas.

Submitting Your Review
Before submitting your review, spell check it, and make sure that it is between 50 and 200 words in length. Make sure you have the publication details handy. Then fill out the online review submission form. Thank you!
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