In the crazy, fast-paced world that we live in, it's often hard to focus your mind on one thing. Though it's good to be able to multitask, we're not meant to be mentally pulled in so many different directions our whole lives! We need rest. We need focus. We need release. Meditation helps you attain these by training you to hone your focus. As you focus on what matters, you'll find your mind cleared of whatever is unnecessary.
Grabbing a book on meditation is a great place to start! Since we know that there are tons of books on this topic, we came up with a list of the 10 best meditation books for you! Our favorite is Practical Meditation for Beginners by Benjamin Decker. If you're not sure what kind of meditation will work best for you, his exploration of various types is a good place to start. Give the rest of our list a look and check out our buying guide to get advice on how to choose.
A few things you want to consider before buying a meditation book are the book's focal point, length, and format. Doing a quick background check on the author would be a good idea too!
Every meditation book has its own goal or focal point. While some aim to get you less stressed, others help you practice being more mindful in your day-to-day life. Some even promote better sleep!
Meditation has many benefits, but try to be clear about what you’re trying to gain from starting or continuing a meditation practice.
From lowering stress levels, evening out blood pressure, increasing positive moods, cultivating calm, and providing clarity, meditation is a practice that has been used for thousands of years. There are many different benefits that you can gain from meditation, but there are also different meditations to reach these goals.
The breath is one of the basics of meditation. Slow breaths in and out can relax you and calm you down. It helps you reach inside of yourself, examine yourself, and release negative thoughts.
Simple meditation books might help you hone your breathing. Sometimes we get so stressed and worked up that we don’t realize we’re taking rapid, shallow breaths instead of deep ones that help our bodies feel more at ease.
Books that focus on breathing may also give you insight from the author about older meditation texts, information on techniques, and instructions on how to follow certain teachings.
Other meditation books cover a range of age-old or spiritual concepts in a way that lets us apply them easily to the modern world. An example would be the law of attraction, the concept of manifestation, and even the practice of chakra healing! You can learn about these concepts and find new ways of analyzing them and yourself through these types of books.
Books may also have a specific audience in mind. For example, some meditation books are written specifically for children. These help kids become more in-tune with how they are feeling. Even kids get tired and stressed, and these books can help them manage their emotions and calm down.
These types of books for kids are usually written in a very simple way and include drawings. Other meditation books are written specifically to help women become more confident! Because meditation is about understanding the self, you'll be able to gain self-confidence through examining and accepting yourself.
Meditation has its roots in the Hindu tradition, with deep ties to Buddha and his teachings. However, there are many different forms of meditation, with one of the most well-known being Zen. Zen, also known as zazen, practices focus on delving deeper into the self and appreciating the present and what is around you.
If you're interested in a certain form of meditation, then you may want to go for a book that analyzes spiritual concepts or breathing techniques through the lens of that form. Besides these traditional Buddhist forms of meditation, there are also various other techniques, including movement-based ones, like qi gong and tai chi that you may want a book in instead.
Like most methods of meditation, these forms of the art help manage stress, anxiety, and help you analyze the self. When thinking of your level, note that for beginners, guided meditation books are best, as you'll start out with a teacher, in this case, an author, who is experienced and can teach you step-by-step.
If you’re short on time, then you might want to settle for a simple book that isn’t too long. Some meditation books give you daily meditation exercises that only take up one page! These ones are perfect for a quick meditation ritual before heading to work or going to sleep, though they might be more helpful if you have a base knowledge of meditation already.
Other books are longer and come in a novel-like format with sections that are divided into chapters. If you have enough time on your hands, then you could opt for a longer meditation book. These can be great if you really want to dive into the topic and learn more about meditation history, research, or techniques.
When trying to choose a book or books for meditation, consider reading reviews if you are purchasing from an online store like Amazon. There are many different styles of writing, and many different authors, with different backgrounds and forms of training.
If you resonate more with more scientific authors, I would veer toward authors with some formal background in medicine or psychology. If you are more holistic, perhaps you choose an author that has a background in yoga, or some type of mind/body practice.
Meditation books come in several different formats, such as eBooks, audiobooks, or physical copies. Make sure to decide on which format you want based on how convenient it is for you and what pace you want to read at.
Some meditation books come in an audio format. These are easy to meditate with since you can listen to a guide that walks you through prompts and focal points for your thoughts. Like we mentioned before, this makes them very beginner-friendly, as you can listen to instructions instead of trying to read and perform actions at the same time. Plus, you won't have to carry an extra book around!
On the flip side, since audiobooks are pre-recorded, there is a certain pace that the book is read at. If you prefer to go at your own pace, or if you don't like the voice in the audio samples, then you may want to find a physical copy instead.
In this day and age, we're usually always looking for convenience. If you like reading from a device or are traveling and don't want to carry extra luggage with you, then an eBook is the format for you. When looking for a physical copy, you can choose between paperback or hardcover books. A paperback is compact, light, and usually a bit easier to flip through since the cover is flexible.
Hardcover books are more sturdy and usually have a glossy cover. If you plan on taking your meditation book to the beach, to the bathtub, or any place where you’ll be close to water, a hard-bound book might be a better choice. Its glossy cover is less likely to absorb water!
Other meditation books are pocket-sized, so you can easily fit them anywhere. Some are journals that give you space to write things out. These ones usually come with a spiral binding.
There are different ways to meditate, but most of the time, the basic format is to start in a seated position, head over heart over hips, so that you are relaxed but not in a stage where you could fall asleep.
Once you get into your desired posture, there are a variety of different ways to begin. Most practices will encourage closing the eyes, but understandably, this may be uncomfortable in certain settings, so choose a format that works for your setting.
Though most authors who write about meditation have experience with the art, doing a quick read-up on what their experience is will help you figure out if you'll relate to the book. The author-reader connection is much stronger when you relate with the author.
For example, if you’re a working mom, you’re more likely to relate with a meditation book written by a fellow working momma who understands your experiences and circumstances!
Some authors are yoga practitioners, while others have academic credentials to back them up. Others are everyday, ordinary people whose lives have been changed by practicing meditation. You can do a quick check on the author by reading the biography section at the back cover of the book. Or, you can also do a quick online search.
While we would like to think that most authors have experience in the books that they write, make sure to do a general search of the author. Seeing what type of training, experience, or schooling the author has had can help you make a decision on whether or not this person is qualified to teach you how to meditate.
If they own some type of meditation studio or business, reviews are a great way to reveal what type of meditations and what responses their practitioners have given.
Choose a meditation book that focuses on a specific topic you want to address, whether it's eliminating stress, getting better sleep, or finding joy. Also consider the length and format of the book as well as the background of whoever wrote it!
*Please note that these books were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Karin Loo.
Benjamin W. Decker
Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman
Anne Wilson Schaef
Kira Willey, Anni Betts
Practical Meditation for Beginners
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
Qigong and the Tai Chi Axis
The Daily Stoic
Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much
Journey to the Heart
Essential Chakra Meditation
Breathe Like a Bear
Best Way to See What Meditation Styles Work for You
Best Scientific and Cultural Look at Breathing, With Techniques
Best Way to Learn About Zen From a Master
Best to Manage Stress and Change Your Attitude
Best to Learn Moving Meditation for Mind and Body
Best for a Year of Timeless, Daily Wisdom
Best for Women Who Feel Overwhelmed
Best Way to Heal Through Daily Affirmations
Best for Mind, Body, and Spirit Healing Through Unblocking Your Energies
Best to Start Healthy Practices Early
|Available formats||Kindle, audiobook, paperback, MP3, spiral bound||Kindle, audiobook, hardcover, paperback||Kindle, paperback||Kindle, paperback, audiobook, MP3 CD||Kindle, paperback||Kindle, audiobook, hardcover, paperback||Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audio cassette||Kindle, audiobook, paperback||Kindle, audiobook, audio CD, paperback, spiral bound||Kindle, audiobook, hardcover, paperback, spiral bound, CD|
|Focus||Exploring different meditation techniques||Breathing techniques||Zen meditation and mindset||Mindfulness meditation||Movement-based meditation||Stoicism||Meditations for women||Emotional healing||Explanations of the chakras, guided meditations||Mindfulness meditations for kids ages 4-8|
|Author background||Social activist, meditation teacher, Director of Education at The Institute for Transformational Thinking||Author has written for The Atlantic, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Scientific American, and more||Priest, teacher, founder of San Fransisco Zen Center and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center||Founder of One Mind Dharma, teaches mindfulness meditation at addiction treatment centers||Yoga, qigong and meditation teacher for 20 years||Ancient philosophy writer and speaker; publisher, graduate of Harvard Divinity School||Speaker, consultant, clinical psychologist||Self-help author, addiction and recovery advocate||Reiki master teacher, meditation instructor, founder of Santa Monica Healing||Children’s music artist, kids’ yoga and mindfulness expert|
|Available formats||Kindle, audiobook, paperback, MP3, spiral bound|
|Focus||Exploring different meditation techniques|
|Author background||Social activist, meditation teacher, Director of Education at The Institute for Transformational Thinking|
|Available formats||Kindle, audiobook, hardcover, paperback|
|Author background||Author has written for The Atlantic, National Public Radio, The New York Times, Scientific American, and more|
|Available formats||Kindle, paperback|
|Focus||Zen meditation and mindset|
|Author background||Priest, teacher, founder of San Fransisco Zen Center and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center|
|Available formats||Kindle, paperback, audiobook, MP3 CD|
|Author background||Founder of One Mind Dharma, teaches mindfulness meditation at addiction treatment centers|
|Available formats||Kindle, paperback|
|Author background||Yoga, qigong and meditation teacher for 20 years|
|Available formats||Kindle, audiobook, hardcover, paperback|
|Author background||Ancient philosophy writer and speaker; publisher, graduate of Harvard Divinity School|
|Available formats||Kindle, hardcover, paperback, audio cassette|
|Focus||Meditations for women|
|Author background||Speaker, consultant, clinical psychologist|
|Available formats||Kindle, audiobook, paperback|
|Author background||Self-help author, addiction and recovery advocate|
|Available formats||Kindle, audiobook, audio CD, paperback, spiral bound|
|Focus||Explanations of the chakras, guided meditations|
|Author background||Reiki master teacher, meditation instructor, founder of Santa Monica Healing|
|Available formats||Kindle, audiobook, hardcover, paperback, spiral bound, CD|
|Focus||Mindfulness meditations for kids ages 4-8|
|Author background||Children’s music artist, kids’ yoga and mindfulness expert|
We asked Karin for her advice on how long to meditate, so read below for the answer if you're not sure where to start!
Karin says, "Meditation sessions can be as short as one to two minutes, or they can last for several hours, depending on your state of mind and the situation you are in. Whether or not you have free time for this definitely plays a big part in how long you can meditate.
Personally, as a yoga teacher, I would suggest a minimum of five minutes to meditate and truly ground down into yourself and find that inner peace. We don’t always have five minutes, though, so even if you have 60 seconds to observe your breath and slow it down, it’s definitely better than not doing so!"
Meditation can be done with just yourself and open space, but there are also tools that you can get to enhance or make the experience more comfortable. Check out the links below for more!
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a moving, inspirational book that Karin could not get enough it. It truly changed her life, and she hopes that it can change yours as well!
There are tons of great, informative, and inspirational meditation books out there, and we've only touched the surface of what you can discover. For more great options, check out the link below to see what readers liked!
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
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