On the Bedside Table: Chris Silva

The books we take to bed.

Chris Silva's bedside table, minus the phone he usually reads on.

As I write about what’s on my bedside table to read I must confess a fairly strong smartphone addiction. The phone isn’t there ‘cause I’m using it to take the pic (of course) but ordinarily it’s always there, calling out to me to check my email, for who’s liked my last Instagram post, or the latest Twitter drama that our current president has unleashed. I know I am not alone in this and admitting it publicly, I hope, can help lessen the shame we all feel in this struggle. That being said, these things with printed pages in them (books) on my table aren’t getting the attention they deserve!

First up is “The Path to Awakening” (Shamar Rinpoche), one of those little books that packs a huge impact. It’s considered the main text for this teacher’s writings and wisdom and explains many beautiful aspects of buddhism for the uninitiated as well as the seasoned practitioner. I picked it up at the Bodhi Path Buddhist Center, which is a retreat space Rinpoche himself created here, as well as in a number of other locations throughout the U.S. It’s one of those books that deserves many rereads to gain the most insight from it.

Next is another personal guru’s wisdom that I reach for from time to time, knowing it can put my out-of-kilter thoughts back into perspective. “The Power of NOW” (Eckhart Tolle) is one of those reads that just rings completely true for me. Whenever I read a passage I get that “Aha!” feeling and the quiet calm that comes from knowing all we really have is the current moment unfolding before us.

Next is a selection I have yet to crack, though I have read a number of excerpts online. It was brought to my attention by a friend and native New Yorker as an accurate portrayal of the changing face of the city. “Vanishing New York” was written by Jeremiah Moss, a pseudonym used by Griffin Hansbury, a practicing psychotherapist in the city. He had started a blog by the same name a number of years ago about changes he saw as the declining greatness of what was once considered “the greatest city on earth.” Its general tone is somewhat bleak, but curiously not much different from what one hears about many well-loved places these days — the negative effects of corporate greed and ever-increasing housing costs.

Last is a workbook of sorts by one of my favorite career coaches, Liz Ryan. “Reinvention Roadmap” is chock full of exercises to get one thinking about what truly ignites one’s passions when it comes to finding meaningful work. And Ms. Ryan certainly has the chops to be considered an expert at giving this advice. She is a huge influencer on LinkedIn and has been writing articles on career and human resources concerns in Forbes magazine for many years now. She has a great informal style and presents easily digestible info with a hint of “I’ve been there too so don’t stress about it…” vibe. She was head of a number of Fortune 500 companies HR departments and really knows of what she speaks!