the best spiritual books

10 mins read
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My book Super Attractor came out in 2019.

Throughout my writing process I revisited some of my favorite books on spirituality and personal growth. I was so inspired rereading them that I decided to share six of them with you today.

I hope these amazing books support you on your spiritual path!

But before I list the six books I’m recommending today, I want to share a few words on A Course in Miracles

a course in miracles

a course in miracles

I have read many books on the topics of spirituality, self-help, personal growth, wellness and related topics.

One of the most important books on my shelf is A Course in Miracles, which has been part of my own teachings since I studied it.

My own book May Cause Miracles offers a 40-day guidebook based on the teachings of A Course in Miracles, and the Course influences all my books.

six of the best spiritual books that changed my life

In this post I am sharing six books in particular. These six books are very special to me for a few reasons. First, I was guided to all of them. I could not deny the pull I felt toward them. When you feel guided toward a book, do not ignore it! That is your spirit guide sending you a very strong message.

Second, I read each of these books in record time. Once I started them I couldn’t put them down! I’ve read all of them multiple times and they’re still page-turners for me. To me, these are some of the best spiritual books out there.

these books helped me become a better writer and teacher

Finally, all these books have helped me to become a better writer and teacher. When I first started writing, I had no clue what I was doing. I just knew I had a message I needed to share. I’m extremely grateful to each of these authors for their beautiful books. They helped me become the writer and teacher I am today.

These books have inspired and supported me along my spiritual path. I hope they do the same for you. I hope they help you heal, grow and deepen your spiritual connection.

1. a return to love by marianne williamson

a return to love by marianne williamson

When I was 25 years old and newly sober, my first sponsor in my recovery group came up to me one day and handed me a book. She said, “I just changed your life, kid.” The book was A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson.

You may be familiar a very famous passage from the book:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

-Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love

I read A Return to Love in one night. I had finally found exactly what I was looking for. I had found the messages, the principles, the tools. I had found a new way of perceiving the world. It was as if I was standing in this bright light. All the darkness that I had been believing in no longer had meaning as it related to this new text that I was committing to. I surrendered fully to the practices and I became a student of Marianne Williamson’s.

A Return to Love got me on the path to studying the metaphysical text A Course in Miracles. If you’re interested in the Course, read this first. I think Marianne is the best translator of the Course.

In time, Marianne became my teacher and my good friend, and I continue to learn from her.

2. the disappearance of the universe by gary renard

Around the same time when I was becoming committed to the Course, one of my good friends gave me the book The Disappearance of the Universe by Gary Renard. She told me she just had a sense that I was supposed to read it. She was right.

This book is the next-level of interpretation of A Course in Miracles. When I finished it, I was able to pick up the Course and read it as easily as if it were a newspaper! The dense language was no longer a barrier for me.

Gary experienced a spiritual awakening in 1992. Two of his guides, identifying themselves as ascended masters, appeared to him.

Over the course of nine years, he channeled those guides to write The Disappearance of the Universe.  While this might sound pretty heady and esoteric, this book is actually extremely accessible. What I like most about it is that it’s a very direct, straight-talk way of teaching a difficult text. It makes the Course so much easier to digest.

3. living in the light by shakti gawain

living in the light by shakti gawain

When I was writing my first book, Add More ~ing to Your Life, I needed help on finding my voice as a writer and structuring a book. One night I woke up in the middle of the night and felt guided toward my bookshelf. This was a massive bookshelf that took up an entire wall of my studio apartment.

I’d inherited many of the books on this bookshelf from my dear friend in recovery, Lauren, who died at 26 years old. Early in my career I gave out many of her books to my own coaching clients because I wanted to carry her legacy.

So in the middle of the night I woke up, worried about how I was going to create an outline for this book, and I felt this pull.

I was literally guided to Living in the Light, and I pulled it off the shelf. It was one of Lauren’s books. I read it in one night. The author, Shakti Gawain, teaches about how to connect with your inner guide and bring awareness to every part of ourselves.

Not only did Living in the Light resonate with me spiritually, it also gave me a clear understanding of how to talk about inner guidance in a more accessible way. As I was reading it and absorbing its message, I thought, “This is how you write a self-help book.” I know Lauren guided me to get that book off the shelf. I dedicated Add More ~ing to Your Life to my friend.

4. many lives, many masters by dr. brian weiss

many lives, many masters by dr brian weiss

I discovered the book Many Lives, Many Masters in an instance of incredible synchronicity. Someone left it on the doorstep of that same studio apartment I lived in when I began my spiritual journey. The subtitle of the book is “The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives.”

This book introduced me to past lives and past-life therapy. It helped me understand that some of the energetic disturbances we experience could be from another lifetime. If you have unexplainable issues that you struggle with, in this book you learn that there’s another way to perceive your life.

Thanks to Many Lives, Many Masters, I learned that you can heal what happened in past lives and you don’t have to be the victim of unhealed trauma.

5. the four agreements by don miguel ruiz

The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

I read this book many years ago and just listened to the audiobook recently. The Four Agreements is rooted in wisdom from the Toltec culture of ancient Mexico. It offers such simple and transformational content that everyone should read.

My favorite of the Four Agreements is “Be impeccable with your word.” Your words are powerful, and they create your experience. This book taught me that we must use our words in the direction of love and truth.

What I love most about this book is the simplicity. It’s very easy to apply. It’s a great place to start and is relatable to everybody. It will meet you where you are.

6. manifest your destiny by dr. wayne dyer

Manifest Your Destiny by Dr. Wayne Dyer

While writing Super Attractor, I returned to Wayne Dyer’s incredible book to strengthen my faith in manifesting. What’s so special about Manifest Your Destiny is that it goes deep. Wayne emphasizes attuning our energy and becoming what it is that we want to attract.

We must assume the energy of whatever we want to manifest and align with God. This is the spiritual backbone of manifesting. Our work is to get in tune with the Universe.

Manifest Your Destiny helped me understand the importance of my energy and of putting my faith in a higher power. In my career I hope to carry Wayne’s message to new generations. He was my teacher, friend and guide.

I put wayne’s guidance into action

In The Universe Has Your Back, I talked about the miracles I experienced as a student of Wayne’s. When I published Add More ~ing to Your Life, I was so grateful for his teachings that I mailed him a copy of the book along with a note thanking him. I didn’t expect a reply at all; I just wanted to express my appreciation.

A few weeks later I received a letter in the mail. I opened the envelope to find a handwritten note from Wayne Dyer! He thanked me for the book and encouraged me to continue moving forward with my career. I was blown away by his generosity and love.

Several months later I attended a Hay House event in New York City where Wayne was the headline speaker. I was sitting in the front row hanging on every word. Midway through his talk Wayne grabbed a book from a table on the stage and started talking about a young new author who had published her first book. He said, “This young woman will be on this stage one day speaking to an audience this large. She will be a fantastic teacher and I want you all to go out and buy her book.”

He then said, “Gabrielle Bernstein, please stand up and say hi to the audience.” I was shocked! I didn’t realize that he was talking about me! I stood up and waved to the audience and thanked Wayne for his generosity. That moment was better than anything I’d dreamed about.

Three years later, I walked onto the stage at the Javits Center to give a talk. Stepping onto the stage and looking out at that big audience, I realized this was the exact stage where Wayne had stood years before, foreshadowing this moment.

My longtime vision had come into true form.


I remembered one of the mantras I learned from him: “As you think you shall be.”

In that moment I realized something…

I had applied the principles from Wayne’s book and manifested my destiny!

I hope these six books inspire and support you on your own spiritual path. They were integral in helping me stay consistent with my spiritual practices.

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