What are the Best Meditation Books for Beginners?

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Meditation is a broad topic. There are so many books out there that picking one that suits your needs can be tricky.

Do you want something scientific?

Or something more spiritual?

Maybe you are after a gentle introduction to meditation just to see if it resonates with you.

This article covers all these bases so you can choose the best meditation book for you.

[bctt tweet=”I want to inspire more people to get into meditation. And reading books is a great way to gain the motivation to start. ” username=”mindfulchiggs”]

These books are ones that I have personally read and benefitted from. I gained a lot of knowledge and inspiration from them to help mebuild the habit of meditating daily.

Not only that I have included a recommendation from someone who I respect and has more experience meditating than I do.

Also, as a bonus I’ve included the book that shaped the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course I’m doing.

Easy Read

Peace is Every Step – Thich Nyat Hanh

Simply put, this book is lovely.

Image for Peace is Every Step, one of the best meditaton books for beginners

If you are after a beginner introduction to meditation, you are not going to find a more accessible book than Peace is Every Step. You can easily read it in less than a day.

The writer, Thich Nyat Hanh is a Vietnamese monk, who is a famous teacher and writer of more than ten books.

His writing style flows effortlessly and truly reflects his nature: It’s peaceful and elegant. With some fantastically, simple ways to develop mindfulness in our busy lives.

I only read this four months ago and the main thing I gained is the perspective that meditation can be enjoyable. And through the example of Thich Nyat Hanh, it is possible to become a better person.

Length: 160 pages
Goodreads Rating – 4.3
Kindle Version – Yes
Audio Book – Yes

Relatable Story

10% Happier – Dan Harris

This is an interesting tale of a real life meditation journey.

Image for 10% Happier, one of the best meditation booksDan Harris is a TV news presenter that after having a panic attack on air, discovered meditation and the benefits it could bring to his life.

He details his journey and what he learnt from meeting various gurus and scientists. If you haven’t tried meditating yet and you are sceptical of its benefits, you will definitely gain some useful insights into the world of meditation.

For me, the most interesting part is his personal account of his experiences on a 10 day silent retreat. Why someone would want to spend 10 days not talking to anyone I do find slightly baffling. And actually pretty scary.

However from reading his account and speaking to a couple of friends who have been on silent retreats, I think I’d be willing to give it a try.

One thing I have to say is that I dislike the title of the book. How can you put a number on happiness? But I guess it’s a marketing ploy to get people talking.

I also didn’t find the writing style to be particularly personable. However, what I did gain is a fresh perspective on meditation. I might not have started meditating straight after reading 10% Happier (I read the book in January 2017) but I do think it had a contributing effect in getting me to give it a try a few months later.

Length: 256 pages
Goodreads Rating – 3.9
Kindle Version – Yes
Audio Book – Yes

Science

The Science of Mindfulness – Ronald Siegel

Lectures detailing how mindfulness can help in everyday life from a Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School for 30 years.

Image for The Science of Mindfulness, one of the best meditation books for you if you like scienceIf you’re after more knowledge supporting mindfulness and it’s benefits in everyday life you should certainly give this a listen.

These lectures are jam packed full of information on how mindfulness can help people deal better with:

  • Relationships
  • Stress
  • Addictions
  • Loneliness
  • Depression
  • Worry and Anxiety

It’s perfect for work commutes. Especially if you normally listen to radio or podcasts anyway.

I,myself, am three quarters of the way through it. And I like to listen to it on the Underground here in London.

There’s exercises too, which I personally don’t really use because they haven’t been formatted well for Audible. But I’m sure they are useful.

[bctt tweet=”One of the great nuggets of information I’ve taken from The Science Of Mindfulness and use in my everyday life is that, on average, it takes 90 seconds for an emotion to melt away if you do not engage in thoughts about it. ” username=”mindfulchiggs”]

The way to use this information is to regularly practice counting 20 breaths. If you take 20 slow, deep, meaningful breaths you’re going to easily get over the 90 second threshold.

And by regularly practicing this, you can use it in times of need.

To be honest, I have to practice this more myself. I’ve actually tried counting 20 breaths when I’ve had emotions take over on various occasions in the past and I’ve found it to be incredibly effective.

[bctt tweet=”So this is a note to self: Practice counting 20 breaths multiple times a day so I can remember to use it when my emotions take over.” username=”mindfulchiggs”]

Length: 13 hours 53 minutes
Goodreads Rating – 4.2
Kindle Version – No
Audio Book – Yes

Wherever You Go There You Are – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jon Kabat-Zinn is considered to be the godfather of mindfulness out in the west. He was an American professor of medicine who created the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course (MBSR).

The MBSR programme that he constructed has been emulated and offered by hundreds of teachers since. In fact, I am currently doing an8 week MBSR from the British Mindfulness Institute. And this is the next book that I plan to read. As and when I do, I’m going to come back to this article and give my honest take on the book.

Length: 304 pages
Goodreads Rating – 4.1
Kindle Version – Yes
Audio Book – Yes

Spirituality and Kindness

Pure Meditation – Pema Chödrön

This is more of a spiritual book with an emphasis on peace and Loving Kindness, a type of mindfulness meditation.


I have to admit I, personally, have not actually read this book.

However, it comes highly recommended from a friend, Donna, that I respect a lot who is incredibly warm and friendly.

It is on my list of books to read. When I do read it I also plan to come back and give my thoughts.

Length: 2 hours and 7 minutes
Goodreads Rating – 4.2
Kindle Version – No
Audio Book – Yes

Notice that I have not included a How to Meditate Book

I do not doubt there are probably some good how to books out there. However, the books I read above all had lots of exercises to practice meditation but they never propelled me to try a single one. And I’menthusiastic about meditation.

The thing is, the written word just isn’t the best medium to learn how to meditate.

Audio works much better for this. It’s why I advocate doing guided meditations.

[bctt tweet=”Reading, though, is a great way to pick up useful information about meditation: why we should meditate and why it is good for you.” username=”mindfulchiggs”]

If you do read one of the these books, please free to reach out to me.

I’d love to know if they bring you value in the same way they have done and will do for me.