You might be just starting out with your practice in meditation or perhaps you are looking for the best books on meditation to help deepen and more clearly define your practice. Together we will take a journey through some exciting different reading options that are intended to help inspire and encourage your practice. The larger amount of intention and effort we put into understanding our meditation practice will usually convert into a deeper understanding of ourselves and why we practice meditation.
|HEADSPACE GUIDE TO MEDITATION
|4.8 / 5
|Wherever You Go, There You Are
|4.7 / 5
|Mindfulness in Plain English
|4.8 / 5
|Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender
|4.6 / 5
|Practicing the True Spirit of Zen
|4.5 / 5
What You´re Looking for in a Meditation Book
I am glad you are looking to expand your knowledge through reading! Reading is a very special conduit of learning that allows us to dive into the minds of authors that we would´ve otherwise never met. In terms of modern-day success, the average CEO reads 60 books a year! That´s 5 books a month!
In regards to meditation and reading, you will simply want to know what you are looking for and I will help guide you towards the proper reading material for you. Are you looking for a practical meditation book that gives you guidelines and steps? Maybe you are looking for a new perspective on your meditation? Or perhaps you are simply looking for deeper insight into yourself and to gain wisdom through the experience of others?
Regardless of the category you fall under, you will be able to find a book here that will fit your needs whether you are beginning or already established within your practice. If you´re looking for a practical approach to begin in your meditation practice right now you can use the Beginner´s Meditation Handbook for practical guidelines and get started today!
Be a Student, Not a Follower
When you are seeking knowledge from others it is important to maintain the mindset of a student. A student will observe and assess the information being presented and keep the information that works well for him while discarding the rest that does not. It is simple! If something works for you, use it! If it does not, discard it.
Try to not use your time arguing the concept or resisting it. Simply accept it or let it go.
It is important to maintain the mindset of a student. If you do not you will soon find yourself flippantly changing your foundational moral beliefs on the whim of each new author you come across. Remember, you are becoming your Self. Not someone else!
Another Book, Really?
If you´re like me, you may be amassing quite a library of books in general, but don’t let this overwhelm you. There are obviously many options today like the Kindle and PDF files but nothing really compares to a book with real live physical paper in it. This avid book collector also appreciates the practical value of having a physical book, like being able to fold the pages to mark them. If you´ve been struggling to begin your meditation or to advance your practice then the intentional purchase of a physical element that will guide you towards success in meditation may be exactly what you´re looking for.
The biggest issue people have with adding reading into their daily life is the lack of our most valuable asset: Time. It´s not necessarily that anyone is lacking time – everyone has the same amount of it. People simply have a hard time keeping on top of their schedule and managing their time in order to be as efficient as possible with the time they have available.
Ultimately, taking control of your schedule requires a desire to manage your time which requires an understanding as to why scheduling is important. You´ll find that it´s not the scheduling that must be understood but the task! Why are you wanting to accomplish these tasks? What is the end goal? The end result? The purpose?
In terms of reading, we are pursuing more knowledge and greater intellect within a certain topic. In meditation, we are seeking to fully understand ourselves and evolve in our perspective, to be enlightened. There may be other reasons that you pursue these two particular subjects but once you clearly understand what those reasons are then you will easily find yourself setting a schedule for your reading and your practice.
As you get into your daily routine you can also find a useful meditation timer to make sure you don´t get lost in your book or meditation! Having a soothing meditation timer to smoothly alert and transition you from one activity to the next will help keep a fluid flow to your day.
The Best Books on Meditation
Now we are going to dive into the best books we´ve found on meditation! The world of meditation is ever-expanding and the community engaged in the practice is endless. This phenomenon has brought together a beautiful array of written works that I´ve whittled down into a select few for you to choose from. So sit back and enjoy reading about what you´ll be reading next!
The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness
The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness is a great book for students that are beginning their practice in meditation. The author is Andy Puddicombe who spent part of his life as a Buddhist monk and has returned to regular society to share his teachings. He shares a lesson taught by his teacher by saying ¨Be present, be patient, be gentle, be kind – everything else will take care of itself.¨
Puddicombe´s mission is to get people to sit in the present moment and feel the moment of now for at least 10 minutes a day. He has identified a strategy to be able to fit a routine and daily mindfulness practice into an already jam-packed time-crunched schedule that we are used to operating in. He is modernizing mindfulness!
There is also an application you can download called Headspace: Meditation and Mindfulness that works very cohesively with this book. The book will go into detail to help you understand why you should be meditating while the application will help you stay focused and consistent.
This book has even been recommended by Bill Gates as one of his top five books of this year, amongst other business-related books. The book is extremely basic, though, so know that! If you are already meditating and have a basic understanding of mindfulness and meditation you won´t find much new information. This book is essential for people who are both looking to start meditation and looking to add meditation to their busy work schedule.
Customer´s who found the book too basic have still loved the consistency of their practice that is encouraged through the Headspace application!
- Great book for beginners
- Helps add meditation and mindfulness into your busy and daily life
- Available in audio or paperback
- Has a partner-application that supports the book – Headspace: Meditation and Mindfulness
- Can be considered basic and lacking in substance for those who have a general understanding of meditation and it´s practice
Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everday Life
In the book Wherever You Go, There You Are you will learn to keep yourself present in the moment. Have you ever thought yourself miserable in the place you are and thought ¨Geez, it would just be so much better if I could be over there.¨ Well, trust me. It is an endless chasm within you that will never be satisfied or fulfilled if you attempt to feed it.
I personally exercised this thought and experienced this endless pit of wanting. I quit my job and left everything behind in Idaho. From there I went to California to India to Canada back to California and back to Canada again. Everywhere I went was paradise. Everywhere I went, I wanted to be somewhere else – onto the next thing!
¨From paradise to paradise makes a paradise dull.¨
This thought process breeds misery and unrest. You will never grow satisfied, you will only grow older. The author of Wherever You Go, There You Are, Jon Kabat-Zinn teaches you that true contentment, true peace, and true joy comes from within. He teaches you how to uncover these treasures within you through meditation and mindfulness.
One downside customers have found in reading this is that Kabat-Zinn tends to use reiteration to drive his points home in this particular book. This means you might find that he essentially repeats information to teach you. He is doing this as a sort of auto-programming to your consciousness so that the concept filters into your subconscious and takes root.
However, this technique of teaching can produce a dry or boring experience for some students.
- Teaches you the important lesson of finding peace from within and not seeking for it externally
- Teaches to uncover the joy and peace within you through meditation and mindfulness
- Great book for beginners
- Available in audio, paperback, or hardcover!
- Author uses reiteration and repetition to drive concepts home which can render a dry and boring experience for some students
Mindfulness in Plain English
Mindfulness in Plain English is written by a Buddhist monk by the name of Bhante Gunaratana. Gunaratana has written many books and aside from writing, he is active in leading Vipassana retreats. He also leads workshops with students teaching them of mindfulness, Metta (spreading love to all beings), concentration, focus and other topics that stem from the benefits of meditation.
The book is considered an introduction to mindfulness and is a perfect start to give you a strong foundation and fundamental understanding to begin meditation. Gunaratana uses clear, concise language so any person at any level will be able to glean understanding from his book.
The book is not directed towards your individual religious or non-religious beliefs. It is written from an objective standpoint with a very logical and practical objective: to be happy. Through this book, you will learn how to focus in on yourself and essentially pay attention to the present moment. We are missing so much but we don´t even realize it.
Some people have found the book hard to read as the author goes into great detail about what mindfulness is not. It does also tell you what mindfulness is but some have found the focus on what mindfulness is not to be too overwhelmingly negative throughout the book.
- A great introduction for students beginning in mindfulness
- Available in paperback and audio format
- Written in simple to understand language
- Some people have found the author explaining what mindfulness isn´t to be too negative focused
Letting Go: The Pathway to Surrender
Letting Go: The Pathway to Surrender takes you on a journey of self-discovery and learning to let go of the obstacles that are obstructing your path to inner peace. The book is designed to help you alter your thinking to be free of negativity from your life.
The author, David R. Hawkins, is a nationally renowned psychiatrist and spiritual teacher. He has spent much of his life researching into the intricacies of the human spirit and human consciousness. He has appeared across the world giving lectures, in documentaries, and has even been involved with foreign governments as a peace mediator.
The book takes you deep into the concept of surrendering and letting go of all our attachments. Our wishes, our desires, our hate, and anger are all things that make us unhappy. They are feelings that stem from the desire to have something that is not there or to make something go away that is there. To surrender is to accept what is. It is as it is.
Some people have complained that the author talks about things that aren´t necessarily backed up by modern science. This is understandable considering the world of modern science doesn´t clearly understand the infinite phenomena and anomalies that co-exist within our universe. Dr. Hawkins also uses reiteration to deliver concepts to his students and some people can get bored with the repetition.
- Teaches the concept of letting go and surrendering to reality and accepting things as they are
- Intended to free your life from negativity
- Available in paperback, hardcover, and audio
- Author doesn´t relate to modern science for most of his work
- Author uses reiteration to deliver concepts and ideas which can become boring
Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen
Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen is a collection of Shunryu Suzuki´s lectures before the time of his death on December 4th, 1971. Suzuki is a Buddhist monk that has been studying the practice of zen since he was 12 years old. He is also the founder of the San Francisco Zen Center, the first Buddhist monastery to appear in San Francisco.
Suzuki´s lectures shine through in Not Always So while he clearly explains the concepts of Zen and applying them into your daily life. He is like a friend, or a father, gently guiding you on your journey while also allowing you to find your own way. He teaches from a standpoint of freedom – freeing your mind.
Suzuki is sincere in empowering your own freedom as opposed to tying you down to certain directions and techniques. He helps you delve deep within yourself to find your own knowledge, your own wisdom, and your own unique understanding of your reality.
It is important to note that the concepts of Suzuki are going to be rather advanced. There won´t be any practical steps or guides on how to monitor your breathing or being in mindfulness meditation. Suzuki is more focused on teaching insight and wisdom and to allow each individual to fully become in their own way.
- Teaches the concepts of Zen and empowers you to free your own mind and to be an individual
- Great option for advanced students looking to gain deeper insight and wisdom into their practice
- Available in hardcover and paperback
- No particular cons for this book
Every Good Book Has an End
Finding the best books on meditation that fulfill your individual thirst for knowledge can be challenging. But now, you´re all ready to go! You´ll now know exactly what you´re looking for in a meditation book and what to expect out of each book before you even purchase it. The book will be a great addition to your collection and being excited about a new book on meditation will help you solidify a poignant daily routine around your reading and meditation.
Aside from that…our journey continues on! Meditate well, my friends.