If you’re interested in meditation, this list is for you!
Check out these 17 best meditation books recommended by 9 experts.
Katie Ziskind, LMFT
Owner, Wisdom Within Counseling
This is a book I highly recommend for when you are going through difficult times.
Everyone goes through tough times. However, this book provides you with a positive outlook and a reflective perspective on your pain, sorrow, and anger.
Reading this book is a practice of meditation and mindfulness. Simply reading a few pages can help you get your head in the right place to think clearly about your beautiful life.
Rather than focusing on all the things that aren’t going well, this book helps you feel compassion for yourself and others.
Zen student | Shamanic Reiki Master Teacher, Lotus Forest
The tippy-top guide for people who want to develop a great meditation practice.
Suzuki Rōshi (means Master or Monk in Japanese) lived and worked in the US and understood the strengths and weaknesses of Western minds. Along with his background in Japanese Sōto Zen and approachable teaching style, he gives us all an solid foundation to set up and develop a long-lasting meditation practice.
This is very nuts and bolts approach to meditation practice, with guidance on sitting style and wandering mind trouble.
Seung Sahn Sunim (means Zen Master in Korean) was a Korean Zen Master from the Rinzai Zen tradition.
He had a very similar perspective to Suzuki Roshi, coming from an Eastern background and working in the West with Western students. His style is extremely direct, to the point of brutal bluntness, and is tempered by the Buddhist principle of “only help”.
This book focuses on developing a rock-solid meditation practice, as well as being a treatise in Buddhism as a whole.
Paramananda is a British Buddhist of the FWBO, currently living and teaching in Central London.
He has a very realistic understanding of meditation for Westerners, and his book focuses not only on practical approaches to meditation and reasons for meditation, but also on the development of loving kindness.
He shows how these two aspects, or pillars of Buddhism, are the inseparable foundation for mindfulness practice.
Corporate Wellness Expert | Owner, Naturally Healthy by Miri
It is a collection of 100 days in which there is a mindfulness message, short meditation and even questions for exploration and self-discovery.
The focus is about our perception of time in our overbooked and overstressed lives with the belief that we develop health issues when we feel that we are always short on time.
Its aim is to have a positive connection with the flow of time which will increase our energy and total well-being. I’ve used it in my own meditation practice and have shared the meditations with clients.
One of my favorite meditation books is Deepak Chopra’s “The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire”.
The book first focuses on self discovery through Vedic texts with the punchline being that you don’t have to search for the truth since the truth is alway within you. The second part of the book focuses on mediation and mantras.
It has a simple explanation of what meditation is and simple meditation exercises that everyone can do. Chopra also adds mantras to the meditation which helps the one practicing connect within.
Family Lawyer | Divorce Break-up Coach
As a new mom, I was often tired – physically and emotionally. I knew, from my own experience, mediation would help but I didn’t know how to make time for it – when I was struggling to find time to do basic things like take a shower.
Mindfulness for Mothers was my savior. Mindfulness for Mothers presents short, simple mindfulness practices that you can realistically incorporate into your day, including some you can do with your children around.
Read related article: 38 Best Gifts for New Moms
The book shares a range of techniques – to enable you to select one that resonates with you and fits in with your schedule, on any given day.
Software Developer, Pick a Kit
Dean’s latest book applies meditation to all kinds of fear and stress, anchoring the practice to these concrete problems.
Dean’s cool, casual style is relaxed as always, and the structure of the book – outlining the problem, leading the reader through the fundamental practice, describing some targeted “overdrive” methods, then introducing the insight Dean and others have gained from their practice – makes Fear Less an ideal practical introduction to meditation.
Dean shares his ten suggestions and links them with the Torah’s Ten Commandments (and Jesus’s two commandments) in a way that deeply resonated with me, tapping into my Christian upbringing.
The pithy titles for the “commandments” are meaningful yet easy to remember; in particular, “No appointment, no disappointment” has become a fixture in our home.
Personal & Spiritual Development Coach, Joshua Smith Inc.
A must have for establishing a new practice or elevating a current one. I call it a Meditation 101 book – it’s got all you need to know from one of the greatest teachers around.
Meditation is a spiritual practice for many but this books also goes into the science of it – how it also effects one’s mind and body based on scientific research.
Related: Best Spiritual Books of All Time
What I love most about this one is that it is a 28 day guide to creating a fulfilling practice – with step by step guidance for posture, breath, scheduling etc. Buy an extra for a friend and go on the meditation journey together – the accountability will keep you consistent while the new habit is forming!
Although this is not a how-to necessarily – it’s one of the best out there in terms of teaching you how to “become the observer of your thoughts”. There are various exercises in this book that took my practice to a whole other level. This book is the best one out there – on present moment awareness.
Meditation clears the mind – it creates inner scared space where we can connect to our “higher self” and the Divine.
I go back to this one year after year because these DAILY meditations teach beautifully and personally how to connect more to the heart – more to your true self – more to finding joy and meaning in every day of life. This is perfect for anyone wanting to connect more deeply with their soul – with their truest and best self.
Founder | CEO, Work From Om
Jon Kabat Zinn is a scientist, writer and meditation teacher known as one of the pioneers of modern-day mindfulness. This book provides an excellent foundation on which anybody can build a meditation practice with simple, accessible techniques, driven by philosophies that are practical and dogma-free.
If you’re interested in meditation because you are feeling stuck, this is the book for you.
In it, American Buddhist nun Pema Chodron uses the Tibetan concept of “shenpa”, translated to “hook” or “attachment”, to encourage the reader to soften and accept the stressors that trigger negative thought and behavior patterns as a way to finally overcome them.
Pema’s approach is raw but compassionate and has helped people all over the world face their biggest challenges with honesty and grace.
It helped me not only understand the importance of meditation but how to meditate!
I came to understand how compelling both positive and negative environments can be. The author explained how a person that is depressed could walk into the room and change the mood of everyone, despite their best attempt to appear happy and okay.
On the flip side of that, he also explained how a genuinely enlightened person could also affect other people in the environment, and the effect is much more significant because the positive energy is stronger, balanced, and healthy. He went on to describe how positive energy can affect and be felt by other individuals up to 24 miles away.
We must start by realizing what type of energy is in our environment and how it is affecting us.
How are we affecting others in return? We must recognize that we are able to influence others around us in such a positive way that they can feel it even if they are 24 miles away! That’s amazing! The 112 meditations in this book will help you become a positive influence in your environment.
Health & Wellness Expert, Maple Holistics
This is the best primer to meditation.
The book is a ten-day program that teaches that the only way to build a good meditation practice is by practicing. The book takes you through a logical step-by-step process, of how to structure your meditation. It teaches you ten techniques to engage your mind body and spirit.
Practicing Mindfulness is a more immersive guide into daily meditation with 74 mindful exercises.
The book is designed to be a companion to help you find your breath and feel grounded. Mindfulness is all about overcoming the daily hurdles that would otherwise stop us in our tracks.
25 best-selling meditation books:
1. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
2. The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
3. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryū Suzuki
4. Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana
5. 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris
6. The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness by Jeremy Graves, John Yates, and Matthew Immergut
7. Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program by Sharon Salzberg
8. Get Some Headspace : 10 Minutes Can Make All the Difference by Andy Puddicombe
9. How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind by Pema Chödrön
10. The Power of Now Journal by Eckhart Tolle
11. Meditation for Beginners by Jack Kornfield
12. Mindfulness for Beginners by Jon Kabat-Zinn
13. Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-To Book by Dan Harris
14. Practical Meditation for Beginners: 10 Days to a Happier, Calmer You by Benjamin W. Decker
15. Meditation in Action by Chögyam Trungpa
16. When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön
17. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Alan Singer
18. Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace in the Everyday by Matthew Sockolov
19. What Is Zen? by Alan Watts
20. Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn
21. Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzberg
22. Making Space: Creating a Home Meditation Practice by Thich Nhat Hanh
23. Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom by Rick Hanson
24. Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
25. Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences between guided meditation and self-directed meditation?
Guided meditation is led by a teacher or guide who instructs meditation practice, often via audio or video recording. In self-directed meditation, you practice on your own, relying on your own inner guidance and concentration. Both meditation forms have their benefits, and the best choice for you will depend on your personal preferences and goals.
How often should I meditate to get results?
The frequency of meditation can vary from person to person, but many people find daily practice the most effective. Even a few minutes daily can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being. It is important to be consistent with your meditation practice and make it a regular routine.
How can I start meditation if I have never done it before?
Getting started with meditation is easy! All you need is a quiet space and a comfortable seat. Many resources, such as books, audio recordings, and online courses, can guide you through the process. You can also find local meditation classes or workshops in your community.
What should I look for in a meditation book?
When looking for a meditation book, consider what your goals are for your practice. Some books focus on the spiritual aspects of meditation. In contrast, others are more practical and focus on physical and mental health benefits. Also, pay attention to the author’s background and qualifications and the overall style and tone of the book.
Is it necessary to have previous experience with meditation to benefit from these books?
No, prior experience with meditation is optional to benefit from these books. Many meditation books are written for beginners and are intended to provide a comprehensive introduction to the practice. However, even those with advanced practice can find new insights and techniques to incorporate into their routine.
Are meditation books better than attending a class or workshop?
Both books and classes/workshops have their own unique benefits. Attending a class or workshop can provide you hands-on experience and the opportunity to receive direct guidance and feedback from an instructor. On the other hand, reading a book allows you to learn at your own pace and review the information as often as needed. Ultimately, it may be best to choose a combination of both, as they can complement each other and provide a comprehensive understanding of meditation.
Can I use a meditation book while traveling?
Yes, meditation books can be a great help when traveling, as they can provide stability and routine during times of change and uncertainty. Many books are compact and lightweight, making them easy to pack in a travel bag or luggage. In addition, meditation can be done anywhere, anytime, making it a convenient and portable practice.
Are there any disadvantages to relying solely on meditation books for my practice?
While meditation books can be a valuable resource, relying solely on books for your meditation practice can limit your experience and understanding of the technique. Taking a class or workshop, practicing with a group, or working with a meditation teacher can give you a more complete and well-rounded experience. In addition, direct feedback and guidance can help refine your practice and ensure you get the most out of your meditation experience.
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