I have to tell you something. A meditation practice has been something I’ve been working on for a while now. I’ve had mixed results, depending on how I’m feeling at the time. Meditation can look like it’s so easy for people who do it all the time, but for us normal people, it’s almost like magic (i.e. it seems really cool but also impossible). It’s hard to find time for a home practice because my life is so “busy.” I have a group that meets once a week, but I often make excuses because my life is “so busy.” You can write Book Riot articles, pet your cat, and worry about looming deadlines instead of completely shutting down your mind. There are a lot of things to do instead of completely shutting down your mind, such as:
The reason I have chosen to put together this list of mindfulness and meditation books for beginners is because I want to help other people. Then, too! I know I’m not the only one out there. I know there are a lot of people who are reading this who want to find simple ways to incorporate meditation and mindfulness into their daily lives. To help you find books on meditation and mindfulness that cover a wide range of topics, I’ve tried to put them all in one place below. From the spiritual to the practical to the scientific, one of these meditation books will work for you, no matter what your needs are.
The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh
The Miracle of Mindfulness is on a lot of lists of books about meditation, and for good reason. It’s a great book. In this book, Thich Nhat Hanh gives practical advice and stories that anyone can relate to in order to learn how to be more mindful. This book is a good mix of spirituality and practicality. It has ideas for everything from eating a tangerine to washing the dishes.
How to meditate: a practical guide by Kathleen Macdonald
You can’t get more simple than a book called “How to Meditate,” and this book is pretty simple, too. This book is written by Kathleen MacDonald, a Western Buddhist nun who has a lot of experience with teaching and practicing meditation. In it, she gives a simple and clear guide to meditation. How should you stand? It’s time to think about: MacDonald has the answer to all of your questions about meditation.
The myth of freedom and the way of meditation by Chögyam Trungpa
He is a meditation master, teacher, and artist. If you are interested in the spiritual side of meditation, Trungpa talks about Buddhist philosophy and how our daily habits and preconceptions can keep us from being free. The idea of spiritual materialism might seem complicated to a new meditator at first, but Trungpa’s method is clear and easy to understand.
The mindfulness workbook for addiction by Rebecca E. williams
If you use meditation to deal with grief, anger, stress, or addiction, this workbook is here to help. Stop putting off your healing by using drugs and alcohol to make the pain go away. Keep your mind off of what’s bothering you by not letting life get in the way. A clinical psychologist who specializes in addiction and recovery from mental illness, Williams is looking at mindfulness and meditation from a less spiritual point of view than someone who is religious and more focused on how it can help people.
A guide to making friends with your mind by pema chödrön:
How to meditate: A Practical guide to making friends with your mind by Pema Chödrön
You should read them all. I chose How to Meditate (the second book on the list with this title) for this list because it’s a good one for beginners. In this detailed guide, Chödrön breaks down the practice of meditation into easy-to-follow steps so that you can build your own long-term meditation habit.
Mindfulness in plain english by Henepola Gunaratana
As the title says, this is a simple guide to mindfulness in plain English that anyone can understand. In Gunaratana’s case, he is a Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist monk who has done missionary work in India, so he has a very spiritual and friendly way of talking.
Meditation for beginners by Jack Kornfield
If you’re new to meditation, this book is a quick (under 100 pages) and dirty guide to help you start right away. In this book, there’s a CD of guided meditations. As a beginner, I have to say that guided meditations are very helpful for keeping your attention and focusing on the full practice without distractions.
Search inside yourself by Chade-meng Tan
When you look at this book’s cover, you can see that it looks a lot like Google’s lettering. This gives you a sense of who author Chade-Meng Tan is trying to reach with this guide to meditation. If you think about it, Tan is actually a Google engineer and has worked to spread mindfulness as an important practice for other Google employees both at work and outside of the company. People who read this can now learn the same mindfulness techniques that Google employees use. So if you want to build a practice that works well for a busy person in the digital age, this book is for you.
Why Can’t I meditate? by Nigel Wellings
As a result, you’ve tried to start a meditation practice before, but you didn’t like how it worked or were even angry at how slow it was. In this book, Wellings talks about why it can be so hard to keep up a successful meditation practice in the modern world. This book talks about all of the things that are stopping you from having a successful meditation practice.
8 minute meditation by Victor Davich
A lot of these books say that you should start a daily practice that lasts about 20 minutes. Davich’s 8 Minute Meditation, on the other hand, says that you can get a lot out of just 8 minutes of meditation each day. The way I see it, that sounds a lot more doable to me. The book gives you clear, step-by-step instructions on how to set aside 8 minutes each day to clear your mind and calm your nerves. As a first step, this could be a good one.
Meditation now: A beginner’s guide by Elizabeth Reninger
Meditation Now by Reninger has a lot of short meditations for people who start out. In these meditations, you’ll learn how to be mindful in all kinds of situations, from traffic jams to giving a speech. In addition, the guide comes with three 28-day meditation plans, advice on how to deal with common problems in your practice, and more.
Turning the mind into an ally by Sakyong Mipham
Sakyong Mipham has made a career out of explaining Buddhist ideas in a way that Western people can understand. Here, Mipham shows that he is able to mix Eastern ideas with Western ones. The author goes into great detail about every part of meditation, but doesn’t make it seem like a lot.
Zen mind, beginner’s mind by Shunryu Suzuki
This book is full of short stories about Zen meditation and how to do it. It’s interesting to hear about Zen Buddhism from Suzuki, who was a St Zen monk and teacher who made Zen Buddhism popular in the United States. Suzuki told personal stories and gave advice, so hearing about Zen Buddhism from Suzuki’s point of view is a good thing to do.