Countless mental health and wellness experts have espoused the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. We now know how important finding moments of stillness and being present are to our inner peace.
Fortunately, there are so many books about this topic at our fingertips. In this article, we’ll explore some essential books on mindfulness and meditation that are sure to inspire and guide you on your journey towards a more mindful and present life.
Let’s dive in!
1) The miracle of mindfulness: An introduction to the practice of meditation (Thich Nhat Hanh)
As you begin your mindfulness journey, you can’t go wrong with this one by Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh.
I find it very practical, as it shows you how to turn mundane moments (like washing the dishes or walking the dog) into opportunities to practice mindfulness. It’s a really pragmatic approach that makes mindfulness and meditation feel accessible and completely doable for newbies.
2) Real-world mindfulness for beginners: Navigate daily life one practice at a time (Brenda Salgado)
This is another practical book that’s perfect for beginners. It’s a step-by-step guide to navigating daily life with mindfulness, showing you how to stay grounded and present in any situation.
What I love about this book is that it’s super relatable and makes mindfulness less intimidating. The chapters are organized by common challenges so that readers can easily find and apply the practice to the areas they struggle with the most.
3) Mindfulness for beginners: How to live in the moment, stress and worry free in a constant state of peace and happiness (Yesenia Chavan)
That title is a mouthful, but really, this book breaks down mindfulness into easy-to-digest bits – so it’s perfect for people who want to understand what mindfulness is all about.
This book resonates exceptionally well with those who want to learn how to tame their monkey minds, even those with attention and anxiety issues. Chavan shares techniques and key strategies for sifting through your thoughts and choosing (can’t stress this enough!) what to think.
4) Mindfulness: An eight-week plan for finding peace in a frantic world (J. Mark G. Williams, Danny Penman, Jon Kabat-Zinn)
Looking for meditation techniques based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MCBT)? Check out this one by Oxford professor Mark G. Williams and award-winning journalist Danny Penman.
This duo came together to reveal simple 10- to 20-minute practices for dealing with stress, anxiety, unhappiness, and exhaustion. Practically anyone looking for a better way to deal with the demands of the modern world!
5) Real happiness: The power of meditation: a 28-day program (Sharon Salzberg)
What I like about this book is its comprehensiveness. It tackles the most relevant aspects of meditation – from the basics of posture, mindful breathing and specific problems like falling asleep (something I’ve been guilty of) to the larger aspects like awareness and compassion.
Best of all, it comes as a 28-day program, so it feels like a workshop. It’s perfect for those who need more structure and appropriate for both beginners and experienced meditators.
6) Hidden secrets of Buddhism: How to live with maximum impact and minimum ego (Lachlan Brown)
From the founder of Hack Spirit, Lachlan Brown, comes a transformative book that will guide you in unlocking your potential and transforming your life.
Hidden Secrets of Buddhism is a comprehensive guide on how to use the principles of Buddhism for personal growth and self-improvement.
Brown’s journey, from his early days as a lost 20-something in Melbourne to embracing Buddhism and creating a successful global business in Vietnam with his wife, serves as an inspiring backdrop to the book.
He debunks common misconceptions about Buddhism, explaining that it’s not a religion, but a practical philosophy that has positively impacted millions of lives over 2,500 years.
The book provides actionable insights and hands-on exercises to help you break free from energy-draining relationships, jobs, and habits, and embark on a more fulfilling and happy life.
While the journey may not always be comfortable, Brown’s guidance offers the support needed to escape life’s traps and reach your amazing potential.
This book is an excellent addition to the list, especially for those who are ready to embrace the wisdom of Buddhism in their mindfulness journey.
7) Wake up to the joy of you: 52 meditations and practices for a calmer, happier life (Agapi Stassinopoulos)
Need a weekly pick-me-up for your soul? This book provides that with 52 meditations and practices for a whole year.
Stassinopoulos imparts valuable lessons on letting go of what doesn’t serve you and building a strong foundation of self-care. She also helps you explore your “conflict” areas and teach you how to connect to the creative spirit inside you.
I love how this book offers a different practice and topic for each week, keeping things fresh and inspiring. And because it contains guided meditations, it’s recommended for people who need more help with structure in their practice.
8) Practicing mindfulness: 75 essential meditations to reduce stress, improve mental health, and find peace in the everyday (Matthew Sockolov)
The best way to describe this book is to liken it to a toolbox. With 75 essential meditations, it’s super helpful for anyone looking to build a consistent mindfulness practice and explore different techniques.
Besides the exercises, the book also gives practical advice on how to overcome the roadblocks that commonly arise when you first start your practice, such as getting distracted or feeling sleepy.
9) The headspace guide to meditation & mindfulness (Andy Puddicombe)
Think you’re too busy for meditation? This book aims to challenge that notion.
Written by a former Buddhist monk and founder of the digital meditation platform Headspace, it’s meant to “get people to take 10 minutes out of their day to sit in the here and now.”
The book offers simple yet powerful meditation techniques that address a wide range of mental and physical health issues. And it’s written in a clear and straightforward way, with a dash of gentle humor, that sits well with both beginners and intermediate users.
10) The power of now: A guide to spiritual enlightenment (Eckhart Tolle)
When this book came out in 1997, it landed on Oprah Winfrey’s book list and thus shot up to fame.
It’s easy to see why – Tolle breaks down complex concepts related to spiritual enlightenment to help us be more aware of how we stand in the way of our own path to happiness.
This book has helped so many people (myself included) transform their lives and find peace in the here and now.
Through this book, I’ve learned how to “watch my mind” without judging, and not follow every single thought that runs through it. As an overthinker, this lesson really was a game-changer for me!
11) Total meditation: Practices in living the awakened life (Deepak Chopra)
Who doesn’t know Deepak Chopra? As one of the leaders of the meditation revolution, he’s got a ton of wisdom to impart.
This book is like a masterclass in living life with presence and spirituality. It offers practical guidance and a 7-day program to help us connect with ourselves and integrate meditation into our daily routine.
12) The mind illuminated (John Yates, Matthew Immergut, Jeremy Graves)
Have you been meditating for several years and now feel stuck in your practice? This book might help. It’s written for intermediate and advanced practitioners and explains the ten stages every meditator goes through.
It’s a step-by-step guide backed by the latest neuroscience research and is a favorite among those who want a lovely combination of Buddhist wisdom and brain science. This book is perfect for those who want to dive deep into meditation and explore its transformative power.
13) Start where you are: A journal for self-exploration (Meera Lee Patel)
If you want a more interactive approach, this beautiful journal might be just what you need. It’s packed with creative prompts and inspiring quotes that help you reflect on your life and find your zen.
The exercises come in a variety of forms, such as writing, drawing, and chart-making. The gorgeous images and hand-lettering make it even more uplifting.
14) The little book of being: Practices and guidance for uncovering your natural awareness (Diana Winston)
This one veers away from traditional breath-focused mindfulness and focuses on natural awareness meditation. That is, an expansive and open form of meditation – an “awareness of awareness.”
It also touches on flexible awareness meditation – focusing on movement instead of rigidly dwelling on breath. The practice contrasts with the formal discipline of meditation, although the two can certainly be used together.
15) What does it mean to be present (Rana Diorio)
I’m a firm believer in the idea that it’s never too early to start training children how to be mindful. In fact, as a former preschool teacher, one of my priorities was teaching my students to notice and observe.
This book helps with that. On top of having beautiful, whimsical illustrations, it poses questions to spark meaningful conversations with children. I highly recommend it for introducing mindfulness and empathy to kids of all ages.
16) I am peace: A book of mindfulness (Susan Verde)
Another good pick for making mindfulness and emotional regulation accessible to kids (and adults, too!). It’s a picture book that’s beautifully illustrated with watercolor images and tells the story of a boy who wants to stop being anxious.
More than that, it teaches readers how to achieve a wonderful sense of calm, all in a gentle and soothing way. It also includes a simple mindfulness exercise to help readers slow down and take a breath to center themselves.
Mindfulness and meditation are powerful tools that can help us navigate our daily lives with more ease, presence, and joy. These 15 books offer a diverse range of approaches, techniques, and insights that cater to everyone—from beginners to experienced practitioners, and even kids!
So, whether you’re looking to start your mindfulness journey or deepen your existing practice, these books are your go-to companions. Get a copy of one (or a few) of these essentials, find a cozy spot, and embark on a journey to a calmer, happier, and more present life.