5 Best books for meditation

We suggest the 5 best books for meditation, to enhance your knowledge of this vast subject.

Apr 30, 2024
Have you had the sense that you've maxed out your meditation routine?
Is there a feeling that you have got whatever you could out of meditation?
Then, it may well be time to expand your knowledge on the topic.
If you have been meditating for a while, but are now looking to delve further into the topic, reading books on meditation can be a great way to explore the field in more depth.
Books like ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle or ‘Peace is Every Step’ by Thich Nhat Hanh can bring you so much knowledge about the art of meditation. These are the kind of books we’d like to introduce you to as you read this article.
Reading books can provide helpful insights and tips on how to make the most of your meditation practice. In this blog, we will look at five of the best books for meditation and discuss how they can help deepen and expand your practice.
With these new insights, you will understand that your experience with meditation has been shallow, and there are more benefits of meditation open to you.
These are not quite what you would look for in a guide for beginners, but for those who have practiced for a while.

The 5 best books for meditation

Any book listed here is a pillar on the topic of meditation and acts as a practical guide for someone interested in meditation.
Every guide to meditation will have a new lesson for you, and the more you read, the richer your meditation becomes.
Our pick for the first read from the lot, is the Miracle of Mindfulness, by Thich Nhat Hanh. We recommend this first as it is vital to understand the significance of being in the present moment.
As you would know, this ability to remain in the present is crucial to an effective session. Reading through this book will embed this idea in your mind to the point where it becomes second nature to you.
We found that the use of mantras during meditation has a similar effect of grounding you in the present. Especially, the Guru Yoga mantra which can awaken our spiritual self.
The Guru Yoga mantra is an ancient chant that invokes the spirit of Lord Shiva, considered the ultimate teacher or instructor. It is common practice to play this mantra before a class to awaken your higher self, so that you may absorb knowledge better.
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Next time you meditate, try playing this Shiva mantra on your headphones at a convenient volume. You will find yourself grounded and perfectly centered.
The Guru Yoga mantra is part of the Ancient Yoga Mantras for De-Stress album. This album is part of the Ancient Chants from India - Gold edition bundle.
There are several other options for advanced reading in meditation:
1. The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
2. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
3. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
4. Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
5. Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana

Summary of the best meditation books

We thought it'd be better if we list the books by the most noteworthy points highlighted by them.
This way you can decide which book to start with, based on what you feel your meditation techniques are lacking.
1. The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh Summary The Miracle of Mindfulness is an essential guide to mindfulness techniques from the celebrated master of Zen Buddhism, Thich Nhat Hanh. The book outlines the principles of mindfulness and provides practical exercises to help readers learn how to cultivate a deeper awareness of the present moment. Key takeaways from the book include learning to observe one’s thoughts and feelings without judgment, as well as cultivating self-compassion and kindness. Practicing these principles can lead to greater clarity, presence, and joy in life. Recommended mantra to play in the background as you read this book: Guru Yoga Mantra - A Shiva mantra that will awaken your spiritual self, opening you up to compassion and kindness.
Source : Goodreads
Source : Goodreads
2. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn Summary Wherever You Go, There You Are is an accessible introduction to mindfulness meditation from leading meditation teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn. The book explains how to cultivate mindfulness in everyday life and provides guidance on how to use mindfulness to reduce stress and anxiety or control a panic attack. Key takeaways include learning to observe one’s thoughts without judgment and developing an attitude of non-striving, or letting go of the expectation that one must achieve certain goals or outcomes. Recommended mantra to play in the background as you read this book: Ganesha Gayatri Mantra - A mantra invoking Lord Ganesha, which will fill you with positivity.
Source : Biblio
Source : Biblio
3. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle Summary The Power of Now is a classic exploration of spiritual awakening from spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle. The book is an inspiring exploration of how to move beyond ego-based thinking into a state of presence and awareness. Key takeaways include learning to become aware of the present moment without judgment or attachment, as well as recognizing that all moments are opportunities for growth and transformation. Recommended mantra to play in the background as you read this book: Nirvana Shatakam Mantra - A Shiva mantra that is known to help dissolve the ego by introducing you to the ultimate truth, which is Shiva.
Source : Oprah
Source : Oprah
4. Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh Summary Peace Is Every Step is another essential guide to mindfulness from Thich Nhat Hanh. The book is an inspiring exploration of how mindfulness can be used to cultivate joy and peace in everyday life. It is essential reading for someone embarking on their mindfulness journey. Key takeaways include learning to practice non-attachment and find joy in simple moments, as well as recognizing that all moments are opportunities for connection and transformation. Recommended mantra to play in the background as you read this book: Sarvamanagala Maangalye Mantra - A peace mantra that fosters a sense of togetherness and community among listeners.
Source : Plum Village
Source : Plum Village
5. Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana Summary Mindfulness in Plain English is an accessible introduction to meditation from renowned meditation teacher Bhante Gunaratana. The book provides practical guidance on how to develop a meditation practice, including advice on posture, breathing techniques, and concentration exercises. Key takeaways include learning how to cultivate equanimity and non-attachment, as well as recognizing that all moments are opportunities for insight and growth. Recommended mantra to play in the background as you read this book: Shree Saraswati Mantra - A mantra that invokes Goddess Saraswati, the patron deity of knowledge and wisdom.
Source : Rahva Raamat
Source : Rahva Raamat

Tips on how to improve your meditation practice

Reading alone won’t make you a better meditator – you also need to practice! Here are some basic tips for incorporating meditation into daily life:
  • Set aside time each day for your practice – whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour – so that it becomes part of your routine.
  • Find a comfortable place where you can meditate without distractions or interruptions.
  • Start with shorter periods of practice – even five minutes can make a big difference – and then gradually increase the length as you become more comfortable with the process.
  • Experiment with different types of meditation (such as mindful breathing or loving-kindness) to find what works best for you.
  • Incorporate books into your practice by reading passages before or after sitting and reflecting on their meaning in relation to your own experience.
  • Finally, don’t be discouraged if progress seems slow – simply show up for your practice each day with patience and openness, and let yourself be guided by the process itself.
  • Work through the material systematically: don’t try to read everything at once! Instead, focus on one chapter at a time and spend some time reflecting on its implications before moving on to the next one.
But from the books mentioned above, there are more advanced techniques to enrich your meditation journey:
  • Do not judge the thoughts that cross your mind as you meditate. The objective is to observe.
  • Do not hold expectations of a specific outcome from a meditation session. It is a long journey, not a quick stop.
  • Be compassionate and kind towards yourself, as you would with others.
  • Recognize that your awareness is not a cause for worry, but an opportunity for transformation.
  • Find joy in the simple, mundane things.
  • Go through life with equanimity. Do not react too strongly to joyful or joy-sapping events.
All these lessons are meant for those who have spent time with meditation. But if you're new, you can keep reading to get a basic understanding of it.

What is meditation?

For a beginner, it is important to define what we mean by meditation.
Meditation is an ancient practice that has been used for centuries to help people connect with their inner selves and gain a greater understanding of their relationship with the world around them.
It is a mental exercise that involves focusing on one particular thought or object, such as a mantra or visualization, in order to achieve a state of heightened awareness and relaxation.
By reading these books from mindfulness experts and meditation experts, you enrich your understanding of this concept greatly.

Conclusion

In conclusion, reading books on meditation can be a great way to delve further into the practice and gain new insights into its potential benefits.
While there are many books out there, the five discussed above offer valuable teachings that can help enrich your meditation practice in meaningful ways.
By following the tips outlined above – such as setting aside time for your practice each day, reading passages before or after sitting, and working through the material systematically – you can make the most out of these books and reap their full benefits!
 

 
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How to use books for meditation? Meditation is an ancient and rich practice. There are various schools of thought contained in it. If you’re somewhat new to it, you might be overwhelmed by the thoughts and teachings available on the topic. Outside of signing up for a meditation class, a book on meditation offers the best way to provide grounded teaching of one school of thought without being confusing.
 

Frequently asked questions on best books for meditation

Who was Thich Nhat Hanh?
Thich Nhat Hanh was a Vietnamese monk who started the Plum Village Tradition in Buddhism. He is considered to be the ‘father of mindfulness’ and is a huge influence on the Western practice of meditation.
Who is Eckhart Tolle?
Eckhart Tolle is a spiritual teacher, who has been a huge factor in the widespread use of mindfulness practice. His book ‘The Power of Now’ succinctly explains the benefit of introspection and being present in the moment. These lessons were a huge reason why people adopted mindfulness as a daily practice.
How do I know if I’m meditating correctly?
The first sign is that you become unresponsive to eternal stimuli for the most part. You also become hyper-aware of your internal thought process. With these two conditions, you are in deep meditation.