Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch (Tarcher, $14). "Ideas are like fish," writes director David Lynch, who is also a longtime meditator. "If you want to catch the big fish, you've got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure. They're huge and abstract. And they're very beautiful."
Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl Jung (Vintage, $17). I have long been captivated by Jung's emphasis on dreams and archetypes. This autobiographical work, one of my favorite books, helped me explore the possibility that our nighttime dreams, far from shutting us off from "the real world," actually open up another reality — a timeless place that allows us to listen to our souls.
Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman (Rodale, $16). Williams and Penman suggest a variety of quick and easy ways to practice mindfulness, including taking something we've placed on autopilot — brushing our teeth, drinking our morning coffee — and putting it back on the list of things we pay attention to.
Being With Dying by Joan Halifax (Sham-b-hala, $17). Halifax is a Zen Buddhist priest, an anthropologist, and a hospice worker. She writes that treating death as a "drugged-up, tube-entangled, institutionalized" final stage denies us valuable life lessons. She argues that the practice of giving care to the dying "enjoins us to be still, let go, listen, and be open to the unknown."
Give and Take by Adam Grant (Penguin, $16). Grant, a Wharton professor, cites studies that show that those who give their time and effort to others end up achieving more success than those who don't. It's true for salespeople, engineers, and medical students: Nice guys don't finish last!
Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan (HarperOne, $27). One of the most popular classes Google offers to its employees is called "SIY," for "Search Inside Yourself." The class was started by Tan, an engineer and Google employee No. 107, who eventually wrote this book about his principles. The course is divided into three parts: attention training, self--knowledge, and building useful mental habits.
— All six works are cited in Thrive, Arianna Huffington's new book about alternate paths to success and happiness.