Personal Development

11 Best Meditation Books for Beginners [2023 Update]

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Looking for
the best meditation books you can read to start or continue your meditation practice?

brings a lot of benefits. It reduces stress and anxiety, enhances self-awareness and
consciousness, increases happiness and life satisfaction, and a lot

But it can
also be a difficult activity to start. Even expert meditators find it hard to
continue the process sometimes.

In this
article, we share with you 11 meditation books that you can read to motivate
and inspire you to deepen your practice. These books can definitely help you
find the peace and enlightenment you are looking for, and aid you in achieving
a healthier, happier lifestyle.

1. The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh

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Whether you
are walking, eating a snack, or simply breathing, you should be able to
concentrate on what you are doing. The key is focus, awareness, and
self-examination. This mindfulness book provides sincere and useful steps to
help the reader learn the art of introspection.

First published in 1975 by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation teaches its readers the art of mindfulness through a series of anecdotes and practical exercises. Hanh explains that we should treat our everyday activities as an instrument to develop the gift of awareness.

One of the
most popular books by Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness will teach you the
importance of living in the present moment with full awareness of reality.

2. Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana

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Written by
Buddhist monk Henepola Gunaratana, this book is exactly what its title suggests:
simple, plain, and easy to understand. The author believes that the most
effective way to explain something to someone is through the simplest possible language.

Gunaratana also believes that people are often afraid to start meditating because they think it is difficult to do. Hence, they need simplified instructions written in simple language that can teach them how to meditate.

in Plain English is one of the most influential books about mindfulness and

3. 10% Happier by Dan Harris

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10% Happier was inspired by an incident in Dan Harris’s life, when he experienced a panic attack live on national television. At that moment, he knew he had to make changes in the way he lived his life.

This book is
dedicated to those who are skeptical about meditation. Harris was once a
non-believer. He thought that meditation was either useless or impossible (or
both). But after what happened to him on air, he took a journey that led him to
believe in the power of meditation and mindfulness.

As a New York
Times Bestseller, 10% Happier provides you with a guide to Harris’s own
meditation practice. Additionally, it covers a list of benefits of meditation,
backed up by scientific evidence and reliable statistics.

4. Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

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published in 1994, and with over 750,000 copies sold to date, this book
continues to change people’s lives with its lessons on mindfulness and
meditation. It is dedicated to both beginners and long-time practitioners.

Kabat-Zinn aims to bring meditation to Western culture, and wrote his book in a
way that would inspire Western readers to try the practice. It is not so much a
step-by-step procedure as an explanation of the principles of mindfulness.

5. Declutter Your Mind by SJ Scott and Barrie Davenport

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This is a
book I have written along with my writing partner Barrie Davenport, which I
humbly believe belongs on this list. It has sold thousands of copies and received
hundreds of positive reviews.

Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking is a book that deals with your overwhelming thoughts, daily anxiety struggles, and negative thinking. It is filled with mindfulness techniques and exercises that can help you gain a positive mindset.

If you are
looking for inner peace to increase your happiness, I recommend reading this
book. It will teach you how to prioritize the most important things in your
life and let go of the things that no longer serve you.

6. Make Peace With Your Mind by Mark Coleman

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Mark Coleman
believes that we all have an inner critic inside that keeps on reminding us
that we are never good enough. This voice inside our heads is what makes us
question our abilities, doubt our actions, and distrust our intuition.

In Make Peace With Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You From Your Inner Critic, he teaches his readers how to let go and get over that inner critic through mindfulness meditation. Every chapter discusses what creates and destroys the critic. You will find stories of real people who have overcome the voices in their heads.

Coleman has
written this book in an informal yet engaging style. You will learn how to live
a happier, freer life with the simple meditation practices it teaches.

7. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

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A compilation
of the teachings of Shunryu Suzuki, this book is one of the most beloved
American Zen books. It was first published in 1970, and is considered to be a
true, spiritual classic.

The book teaches
both beginners and experts what Zen meditation is all about. Suzuki starts with
the basics—posture and breathing—then progresses to the perception of
non-duality, and everything else in between. He also explains how the essence
of Zen meditation should not be forgotten, even when you have mastered it.

Suzuki is one
of the Sōtō Zen monks that helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States.
The book shares his enlightening personal stories and words of encouragement.

8. Meditation in Action by Chogyam Trungpa

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Trungpa is a Tibetan master who teaches Buddhist meditation. In this book, he
explains that meditation goes beyond the formal practice of sitting. He
believes that meditation is a combination of awareness, compassion, and

further explains that there are six activities that strengthen the practice of
meditation: generosity, patience, discipline, clarity, energy, and wisdom. With
all these, one will be able to see things clearly and deal with them with the
utmost effectiveness.

Meditation in
Action is recommended both for first-time and long-time meditation
practitioners. It develops self-consciousness and heightens self-awareness and

9. Real Happiness by Sharon Salzberg

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Salzberg provides a practical, detailed, 28-day meditation and mindfulness
program in this masterpiece. Her focus is on meditation as a technique and
exercise rather than a spiritual practice (imagine running and hiking instead
of Zen Buddhism).

Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation covers the basics of mindfulness meditation, from posture, scheduling, and breathing to focusing and decluttering. In addition to the step-by-step description of how to meditate, it also lists evidence-based reasons why meditation is beneficial to the mind, body, and soul.

A truly
remarkable meditation book, Real Happiness teaches its readers how to use
meditation as a means to be more resilient and creative. Moreover, it demonstrates how
meditation can give you peace, clarity, and happiness.

10. 10-Minute Mindfulness by SJ Scott and Barrie Davenport

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I also co-authored
this book with my writing partner, Barrie Davenport. In it, we did not focus on
mindfulness meditation specifically, but instead listed habits that you can use
to achieve a more peaceful, happier life.

In 10-Minute Mindfulness: 71 Habits for Living in the Present Moment, you can choose from 71 short habits that you may want to add to your daily routine. You do not need to complete the habits all at once. The book works like a “menu” for you—choose one, a few, or all.

We understand that most people have busy lives. But despite that fact, we all still need to focus on ourselves and the things that can make us happy. This is the purpose of this book: to bring you small habits that can readjust your life’s course and make it a happier one.

11. Why Can’t I Meditate? by Nigel Wellings

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Before describing
the meditation practice in detail, Nigel Wellings compiles reasons why
meditation is so hard to accomplish, particularly in this modern age. The book
lays out all of the potential roadblocks that might hinder your meditation

It does not end there, of course. Wellings also offers an accessible guide for both beginners and experts on how to get the best out of mindfulness meditation. In addition, he explains how one can make meditation a permanent part of their life.

Practical yet
informative, this book is a transparent approach to meditation. It admits that
meditation is boring, difficult, and often scary, but it also provides reasons
why people should still consider it as a tool to achieve a more satisfying life.

Final Thoughts on the Best Meditation Books

The practice
of meditation is not easy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t doable. Remember that
nothing is impossible with a heart and mind that believes.

With the
meditation books we have shared above, we hope that we can help you motivate
and inspire yourself to pursue and continue mindful meditation.

If you have already read one or some of these books, we’d like to know your thoughts! Share a comment or two below, and let us know how these books have impacted your meditation practice.

And if you’re looking for tools to help you start meditating, check out these blog posts:

meditation books | meditation books amazon | best meditation books reddit

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