This book presents 25 psychological and spiritual topics with quotations from Shakespeare’s plays about each of them. Every quotation is followed by a re-phrase in modern English. Each chapter has an introduction, a conclusion, and practices showing how Shakespeare gives us access to our own wisdom about what it takes to be a healthy, wholesome, and spiritually aware human being. Here are some of the topics: love, ego, grief, anger, fear, our shadow side, joy, our true self, time, destiny, gratitude, compassion, grace, prayer, synchronicity, fate, and chance. This book has a mirthful feel and is meant for anyone interested in Shakespeare’s take on healthy living. It is not for scholars only!
We all construct walls so that people will not get too close or love us too much. We can learn ways to let love through or in, and to approach someone who fears our love. There are techniques that can release the scared ego’s hold-outs and hide-outs. We enter gently into the jungle of fear about love, loss, aloneness, abandonment, engulfment, etc. We become heroically defenseless enough to find inner resources so fear can no longer stop us. Order from your favorite local bookstore or click on one of the online purchase links shown below.
How to Know When to Stay and When to Go
Shambhala, April 19, 2021
We have all stayed too long in what doesn’t work. I have done this too, maybe everyone has? The “what doesn’t work” can apply to relationships, jobs, addictions, chronic pain, unresolved conflicts, enmeshment in family drama, affiliation to a religion, organization, or institution—just about anything we become involved in.
On the other hand, there are times in life when we don’t stay long enough. We don’t hang in there through thick and thin in a relationship or affiliation that really can work. There is also the mystery of timing, feeling and responding to the opportune time. Ultimately, our readiness depends on the ping of a timer not in our hands. Time is a player in all our comings and goings. This book, combining psychological and Buddhist practices, helps us open to our own perfect timing for the big decisions in life and then act in accord with it.
To listen (free of charge) to extended explorations of the themes in this book,
click here to visit David Richo’s most recent workshop series in Santa Barbara.
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BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FOR READY
“Ready posits that making important decisions is not about drawing up lists of pros and cons, consulting experts, or honing your willpower. Rather, it is about knowing yourself deeply, inhabiting each moment fully, and then letting the world speak to you in its infinite wisdom (which is not separate from your own). If you’re looking for a way to make decisions you can trust, this book is for you.”—Susan Piver, author of The Four Noble Truths of Love
“Ready is a superbly succinct guide through the entanglements of fear, doubt, regret, and grief to a deepening trust of our decisions about our commitments and the skills needed to time them exquisitely. The journey through the practices is to be expertly companioned by a wise elder and a caring friend.”—Linda Graham, MFT, author of Resilience
“Ready is the antidote to one of the most common crossroads we all experience as human beings—knowing when it is truly time to stay or go. Let this insightful guide support you in learning the language of readiness and cuing the courage required to make the big changes you seek.”— Amanda Gilbert, author of Kindness Now
How To Be An Adult in Relationships
The Five Keys to Mindful Loving
REVISED EDITION — Shambhala, 2021
This book provides ideas and practices that help us as individuals and couples to build intimacy. We learn to address, process, and resolve relationship issues such as fears of abandonment or engulfment, anger, jealousy, infidelity, disillusionment, endings. We learn how to be intelligent about choosing partners and how to handle the phases we go through: romance, struggle, and commitment. We find out how mindfulness can help us be compassionate and no longer held back by the past. We discover the spiritual potential of loving.
In Spanish: Como mantener relaciones estables y duraderas (Amat: Barcelona)
Wholeness and Holiness
How to be Sane, Spiritual and Saintly
(Orbis Books, 2020)
From a psychological perspective sanity, that is, soundness and balance, is what we need to survive and thrive in the world. From a wholeness perspective, we feel ourselves drawn to a spiritual consciousness, something more than individual surviving and thriving. From a faith perspective, we believe that sanctity is our divinely imprinted calling and destiny. Each of the three has a specific set of practices that lead to their fulfillment. The self-help movement sometimes gives the impression that its recommendations are totally separate from spiritual practices. Spiritually-oriented books might propose the reverse. In this book we look for ways to bring the two together. Then we find practices that can escort us to a third splendid objective: becoming a saint. Integrating all three wonderful goals into one person in one lifetime is a grace and joy.
“Wholeness and Holiness is a helpful book for those striving to live a life of wholeness in an age of anxiety. Building on the human person as a relational being open to the fullness of life, Richo addresses the main areas of human personhood such as spirituality, sexuality, and sanctity. Each person has the capacity to be a this-worldly saint, a whole-maker, one who lives in the dynamic fullness of life and contributes to the sacred meaning of the world. We make a difference to what the world becomes and this book helps shape that difference.”
-Ilia Delio, OSF, Josephine Connelly Endowed Chair, Villanova University
Order today with the following links.
Five True Things
A Little Guide to Embracing Life’s Big Challenges
In this book we look at the facts of life that we cannot change, unavoidable “givens” of human life and especially of relationships:
1) Everything changes and ends,
2) Things do not always go according to plan,
3) Life is not always fair,
4) Pain is part of life,
5) People are not loving and loyal all the time.
We cannot find real contentment in our lives until we acknowledge and come to terms with these facts without trying to control them. We can cultivate an “unconditional yes” to these conditions of existence. Once we begin to do that, we start to realize that these givens actually offer us profound opportunities for a new honesty and realism in our lives. We begin to trust what happens as gifts of grace that help us grow in character, depth, and compassion. We also notice givens in our own personality and those of the people around us. We accept the reality of our and others’ gifts and limitations. Then our relationships become easier because they are based on what is rather than on our expectations.
Most of all, we learn how to open up to our own truth—including to what is frightening, painful, or disappointing—and suddenly discover opportunities for our practice of mindfulness and loving-kindness.
This is a revised, shorter, small-sized version of The Five Things We Cannot Change.
Order today with the following links.
How We Can Stop Reacting and Start Healing
A trigger is any word, person, event, or experience that touches off an immediate emotional reaction, especially sadness/depression, anger/aggression, fear/panic, or humiliation/shame. We are all triggered at times by what people say or do, especially in relationships. Triggers have a history. Some are reminders of a pet peeve or an irritation from the recent past. Some are examples of post-traumatic stress going all the way back to childhood wounds. We can learn about ourselves from our triggers. We can find out what we need to work on, what is still unresolved in us. Our goal is not to root out all our triggers but to find a trailhead from them into the psychological and spiritual work that has been so long awaiting us. This is how we turn our triggers into tools. For this we go to psychology with help from neuro-science. We can also turn to spiritual practices, especially ones from Buddhism such as mindfulness and loving-kindness. Thus, triggers lead us to resources both around and in us. This book helps us find out what triggers are, when they come from, and how to handle them so that reactions turn into healing responses.
Meditating on the Mystical Vision of Teilhard de Chardin
Paulist Press — 2017
Contemporary interest in Teilhard’s work manifests the evolutionary mysticism he taught and forecast, and which we can apply to our daily life. This is conscious evolution, a presence in the world as members of Christ’s body. Indeed, we are alive today to co-create—through Him, with Him, in Him, and as Him—the future Christ came to proclaim.
A meditative focus on Teilhard’s words opens us to the mysterious forces in the universe that continually reveal God’s face. Our calling is to join into the momentum of our evolving universe so we can engage with the world. We do this in all we are, and find it everywhere we are. Delightedly, we also discover who we are because a calling always reveals our surprising potential.
“Teilhard de Chardin believed that a vibrant Christian life can set the world on fire. In Everything Ablaze, Dave Richo describes Teilhard’s spirituality in clear and distinct prose, inviting the reader into a new understanding of faith and evolution. Richo highlights the world of Teilhard’s expansive ideas on the dynamism of spirituality, illuminating the life of the spirit as an evolution in love. For those interested in the thought of Teilhard de Chardin, Everything Ablaze provides a wonderful introduction.”
—Ilia Delio, OSF, Villanova University
“David Richo does it again! His synthesis of good theology, good science, and good practice offers any reader a personalized universe that is filled with meaning, purpose, and direction! He fills in the gaping hole created by so much of postmodern cynicism. Be grateful for discovering this book!”
—Fr.Richard Rohr, OFM, Center for Action and Contemplation
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The Five Longings
What We’ve Always Wanted and Already Have
Shambhala Press — 2017
There are five longings deep within us. They are for love, meaning, freedom, happiness, growth. Each of these five reveals us to ourselves, showing us what we want, what our life is for, what keeps us going, what keeps us looking. Longings are mysterious. We often can’t quite name or explain them. Nor can they ever be perfectly, fully, or finally gratified. We shyly or loudly bring our longings to others. Sometimes we find more than we hoped for, sometimes less. Our healthy practice is a radical one: We notice and ask for some fulfillment of our longings from those we trust. We give up expecting all or perfect satisfaction. We notice that we have longings for the lasting in a world that is always changing. We can take that as a clue to the presence of something transcendent in us. With such spiritual consciousness we finally discover that all five longings reflect qualities in our true nature. We are seeking what we are.
- Powell’s Books
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- Shambhala Publications
- And at all good bookstores.
You Are Not What You Think
The Egoless Path to Self-Esteem and Generous Love
Shambhala Press, December 29, 2015
You and your ego: how to develop a healthy sense of self without becoming an egotist—and how to see through that sense of self for the happiness of yourself and others.
How can you build the healthy ego necessary to be effective in life—yet avoid the kind of egotism that makes people dislike you? Don’t worry; Dave Richo has the answers. His new book shows you how to navigate the tricky waters between egotism and selflessness in a way that avoids both extremes and makes you much more effective and loving. The key is to acknowledge your ego and to be kind to it, before you ultimately learn to let it go. As with all Dave’s books, this one is full of examples from myth and religion, with plenty of exercises and practical advice.
When Catholic Means Cosmic
Opening to a Big-Hearted Faith
Paulist Press, 2015
When our understanding of the Catholic vision of life has cosmic dimensions, everything wonderfully widens: Our faith becomes a trust without limit. Our hope overflows with expectancy. Our love stretches beyond all barriers. Our spirituality expands as we update our beliefs in accord with the best advances in psychology and science. This is how we maintain and appreciate the riches of our religious tradition. Christians in any denomination will find this book helpful since we explore how religion and spirituality can be integrated.
True faith in the gospel of Jesus is shown first of all in having and showing love for everyone. This introduces us to the bigness of our faith since it shows it to be about universal love. In this way, faith is a driving force of our evolution as connected beings. When Catholic Means Cosmic presents a liberated Catholicism, one that is about its values, assets, and limitations. While some people have divided religion from spirituality, this book now looks at reconnecting them sanely and exuberantly as it examines the marvels and challenges on our journey of discovering where we are going.
And at all good bookstores.
We were made to love and be loved. Loving ourselves and others is in our genetic code. It’s nothing other than the purpose of our lives—but knowing that doesn’t make it easy to do. We find it a challenge to love ourselves. We might have a hard time letting love in from others: recognizing it, accepting it. We’re often afraid of getting hurt. It is also sometimes scary for us to share love with those around us—and love that isn’t shared leaves us feeling flat and unfulfilled.We explore ways to love ourselves without guilt and with generosity. We learn how to love others with awareness of our boundaries. We confront our fears of love and loving. We embrace the spiritual challenge of letting our scope of love expand. Then love is a caring connection, unconditional, universal, and joyous. “It has been 10 years since the publication of my book, How to be an Adult in Relationships(Shambhala, 2002). During that time I have given over 100 workshops and received countless emails with comments and insights about it. I have kept careful track of them and incorporated them into this new book. It picks up where the “Adult in Relationships” book left off. I believe How to be an Adult in Love(Shambhala, 2013) represents my deepest realizations so far on how relationships work, how to love oneself, and how to practice loving-kindness toward all beings. I hope it is as helpful to all my readers as it was enlightening for me to learn what it took to write it.” — Dave
Here are practices that can usher us into a new way of being alive—as cheerful agents of the goodness that is in us all. Our choices for integrity and loving-kindness reflect that goodness and help us co-create a world of justice, peace, and love. This is an owners’ guide to being an upright and loving human. In the Buddhist, and in many other spiritual traditions, our “right conduct” is a primary pathway to happiness and enlightened living. In psychological terms, it can lead us to fearless love, freedom from ego-centeredness, and contentment with ourselves and our predicaments. Most of all, we find the joy of living our lives at a heart level. (Revised/expanded version of Everyday Commitments )
Daring to Trust offers key insights and practical exercises for exploring and addressing our trust issues. Most relationship problems are essentially about trusting. Whether it’s fear of commitment, insecurity, jealousy, or a tendency to be controlling, the real obstacle is a fundamental lack of trust—both in ourselves and in our partner. Some people are trustworthy and some fail or betray us. Our path of mindfulness and loving-kindness is then to receive loyalty with appreciation and to handle betrayal by expressing our feelings but not by retaliating. We ourselves, in any case, can make a personal commitment to be trustworthy in all our dealings no matter how others treat us. We can’t trust everyone but everyone can trust us. This book is mainly about trust in relationships. However, there are chapters on the three other directions trust can take. We can learn to trust ourselves, to trust reality (that is, trust whatever happens to us as a path), and to trust a higher power than ourselves. These four types of trust not only contribute to having healthy relationships, they are also the foundation of emotional wellbeing and freedom from fear.
This book provides a detailed and straightforward vision of what faith and spirituality can look like in adult consciousness. We explore our inherited and often child-like understanding of God, religion, and life’s plaguing questions. We then offer adult alternatives in the light of mysticism, depth psychology, and our new appreciation of evolutionary cosmology. We look at the differences between religion and spirituality in the light of their similar components: beliefs, a moral code, rituals, and devotion. The emphasis is on self-help so the chapters outline exactly how human maturation in faith thrives best with religious views that are open-ended rather that parochial, metaphorical rather than literal, and respectful of our potential rather than rigidly demanding obedience. This book is written for the average person and is not biased for or against any religious tradition. It can be of assistance to us in designing an expansive and adult spiritual path. This book is a gentle reply to the atheism of our post-modern world though it does not recommend a return to the “God in the sky” but rather an opening to the transcendent, the More within and around us everywhere, where adult faith abounds.
Audio CDs of a Retreat on This Theme
David Richo provides in this live presentation a detailed and straightforward vision of what faith and spirituality can look like in adult consciousness. Price $16.95 Order from Paulist Press
Becoming healthy, both psychologically and spiritually, includes releasing the full range of our imagination about who we are and can be. Writing poetry can be a surprising tool in that exciting venture. What it takes to express ourselves poetically is exactly what can open us to our inner world and connect us to others and to nature. Using Buddhist and Jungian perspectives, this book offers a fresh and inspiring approach to personal growth, one that taps into our inherent creativity and the versatility of poetry. When we write a poem about some life event we may notice that we are naming needs that we never guessed were in us or longings we were afraid to acknowledge. This is the power of poetry to grant us access to the lost or disavowed territories in ourselves. Poetry, of course, is totally legitimate when it is written or read just for fun or for an appreciation of language or images. But we would miss out on its many-splendored possibilities if we did not also reach into poetry to explore our buried treasures. Poetry may have seemed daunting in school but here is a chance for it to become quite charming and wonderfully personal. This book offers an opportunity to use our hearts and pens to explore who we abundantly are.
A touching fact about us is that we seem hard-wired to replay the past, especially when it includes emotional pain or disappointment. We tend to go through life simply casting new people in the roles of key people, such as our parents or past partners with whom there is still unfinished business. This phenomenon, called transference, is unconscious. What we transfer are feelings, needs, expectations, defenses, fantasies, beliefs, and attitudes. Transference can be our way of telling the untold story inside us. We can learn to notice clues about how our past is still very much alive in our present relationships. In this book, we also find practices to help us clear up our old business and form healthy relationships that no longer have to replicate the past. Then authentic intimacy can bloom.
This is a book of quotations gathered from a variety of sources in psychology and spirituality, especially Buddhist, Christian, Jungian, and transpersonal. The quotations are brief and can be used as springboards for contemplation. They are divided into three sections: Psychological insight into the work we can do on ourselves to build a healthy personality. Spiritual awareness of our calling to act in the world with integrity and loving-kindness. Mystical realization exploring the manifold pathways to the divine heart of the universe that was always our own heart. As we meditate daily on one or more of these quotations, we come upon our own unique path and our common human destiny: to love unconditionally, to access wisdom, and to bring compassionate healing to the world around us.
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It is a touching fact that Mary is the most loved woman on earth. A powerful and loving mother who is loved and loves us all is not an invention of Catholicism. The divine feminine expressed as the Great Mother has an ancient history in the collective psyche of humankind. Faith in Mary in this context includes the entire universe in its embrace.
The first challenge is to see Mary not only with the eyes of faith but also as an archetypal energy that endures in the universe. We do this by acknowledging her dark side with all its fertile potential, freeing ourselves from any disabling literalism in our appreciation of her, and becoming aware of her cosmic dimensions. The result is an appreciation of Mary as the figure who preserves the divine feminine through the centuries. Then we have a faith that stands up to our own personal evolution and a religious perspective that stands up to the advances of science.
This book presents a spirituality of heart based on the metaphor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We explore the symbolism of the heart in world religious traditions. We then trace the historical thread of Christian devotion into modern times with a focus on the theology of Teilhard de Chardin and Karl Rahner to design a devotion that respects the new cosmology. This book may appeal both to Catholics and to people from other religious traditions. Order from your favorite local bookstore or click here to order online.
Meditation video exploring themes from this book:
Choosing a Life of Love, Realism and Acceptance
Shambhala, 2007 — Now available in eBook format only
This is a meditative handbook of specific practices to help us show integrity and loving-kindness in daily life. We explore the ways our choices and behavior can lead to being loving toward ourselves and others, realistic in our plans, and acceptant of what life presents to us.
From the publisher:
In this unique book, psychotherapist David Richo offers fifty-two promises we can make to ourselves that will help us navigate the ups and downs of daily living in a wise, compassionate, and psychologically healthy way. Taken together these commitments, along with the author’s brief reflections on them, offer guidance on how to:
>> develop genuine kindness toward yourself and others
>> find freedom from fear
>> maintain healthy boundaries in relationships
>> develop greater honesty and awareness
Designed for daily or weekly inspiration and contemplation, Everyday Commitments also features practical exercises—including journaling, contemplation, and guided meditations—to foster inward growth and lasting positive change.
The Power of Coincidence
Synchronicity, “meaningful coincidence,” happens so that we can find our unique personal destiny. We learn how to remember dreams and we see how they figure into our life purpose. Synchronicity is one way the universe/Higher Power grants hospitality to us on our human pilgrimage and makes everything work for the best. Just the right people and events have come along so that we can be all we were meant to be.
The Five Things We Cannot Change
And the Happiness We Find by Embracing Them
We notice unavoidable “givens” of human life and especially of relationships: 1) Everything changes and ends, 2) Things do not always go according to plan, 3) Life is not always fair, 4) Pain is part of life, 5) People are not loving and loyal all the time. We cultivate an “unconditional yes” to these conditions of existence, and we learn to embrace our predicaments without trying to control the outcomes. We trust the givens as gifts of grace that help us grow in character, depth, and compassion.
Liberating the Power and Creativity of Your Dark Side
This is a handbook on how to become an adult who is actualizing a strong, healthy ego and going beyond it to release the spiritual powers of the Self. It is the heroic journey of exploring our personal issues and finding ways to deal with our childhood wounds, our need to be more assertive, our fear, anger, and guilt. We then explore relationships and how to be happier in them: what intimacy is and how to increase it, the setting of boundaries, and our fears of closeness. Finally we look at our spirituality, unconditional love, and affirmations of wholeness. Order from your favorite local bookstore or click on one of the online purchase links shown below.
Some of the above books are available in Spanish, German and French (and other languages). Please visit the web sites of Amazon Books in Spain, Germany and France.