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Meditation Made Easy: Top 10 Books for Beginners

Meditation Books for Beginners


. 5 min read

Are you interested in exploring meditation? Congratulations! You have taken the first (and most important) step towards a more mindful and peaceful life.

Now, what next?

Plenty of resources are available online – podcasts, websites, videos and apps…..frankly, the list is endless and overwhelming. But what if you prefer a more traditional approach to learning that doesn’t involve a phone or gadget? 

Enter meditation books.

Books on meditation are an excellent option for those who love to read and don’t want to download yet another app or video. In this article, we’ll highlight ten meditation books perfect for beginners, each with unique features that make them valuable. Whether seeking inner peace or a greater sense of mindfulness, these books will guide you towards a more centred and mindful life. Let’s dive in!

1. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Author | Shunryu Suzuki

This book comprises the teachings of the late Japanese priest, Shunryu Suzuki, the founding father of Zen in the West. This modern spiritual classic is one of the most loved American Zen books. Not only is it thoroughly loved and reread, but also highly recommended as the best first book to read on Zen. It teaches the basics of Zen (posture and breathing) and progresses to the concept of non-duality and everything in between. What sets this book apart is its emphasis on the “beginner’s mind”. Suzuki highlights that one must have an open mind while letting go of previously held thoughts, beliefs and preconceptions. With lots of personal stories, encouragement and joyful insights, this book is beneficial for anyone interested in personal growth and spiritual development. 

2. The Miracle Of Mindfulness
Author | Thich Nhat Hanh

First published in 1975, this book remains one of the most celebrated and popular meditation guides that has transformed the lives of many. Author Thich Nhat Hanh is an esteemed Vietnamese Buddhist monk, poet, peace activist and global spiritual leader. What sets this book apart is Hanh’s compassionate and gentle approach to mindfulness, making it a short and easy read. With practical advice and simple, accessible exercises, he offers great tips for incorporating mindfulness into everyday activities. By becoming more aware of your actions and surroundings (by mindful walking or mindful eating), you can gain inner peace and calm. If you prefer a kind and non-judgmental approach to meditation, this book is a great place to start. 

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3. 10% Happier
Author | Dan Harris

This book is for sceptics. A former sceptic himself, Dan believed that meditation was useless and impossible. But after experiencing a panic attack on live television, he decided to embark on a journey that led him to mindfulness. This New York Times Bestseller will give you a detailed insight into Dan’s journey and meditation practice. 10% Happier has a no-nonsense, practical approach that debunks common myths, enlists the benefits of meditation (backed by scientific evidence and reliable statistics) and offers realistic tips to make the practice work for you. What sets this book apart is that Harry doesn’t present himself as a guru but rather as a regular person who had his doubts about meditation. It combines personal storytelling with practical techniques and makes for a relatable read.

4. Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation
Author | Sharon Salzberg

Sharon is a renowned meditation teacher who has practised meditation for over four decades. Her book is one of our favourites because it provides a practical, detailed 28-day meditation plan, each week focusing on a different aspect. Postures, breathing, managing distractions, advanced meditation techniques – this book covers it all. Get a detailed description of meditation exercises and learn how and why it is helpful to your mind, body and soul. What sets this book apart is its emphasis on self-compassion, kindness and empathy. If you’re interested in exploring yourself emotionally and spiritually and need a comprehensive guide, this book is a great choice!

5. Start Where You Are
Author | Meera Lee Patel

Start Where You Are is slightly different from the books on this list. This self-exploration book is fantastic for those who prefer a more hands-on approach to meditation and compassion. Meera Patel, a stationery artist, has created this journal book as a bright and calming introduction to mindfulness. What sets it apart are the beautiful illustrations, inspirational quotes and thought-provoking prompts that add a humane touch and address themes such as self-care, gratitude and creativity. In a world where more is less, this book encourages readers to acknowledge their present moment and let go of perfectionism and judgement. With Patel’s own stories and lovely insights throughout the book, reading this book feels like chatting with an old, supportive friend over a cup of hot cocoa.

6. Mindfulness in Plain English
Author | Henepola Gunaratana

This book entails precisely what its title suggests: meditation in plain, simple and easy-to-understand language. Gunaratana, a Buddhist monk with over 70 years of meditation experience, believes that people are often afraid to start meditating because they deem it difficult. To tackle this, he wrote a book containing simplified instructions in simple language, making learning mindfulness meditation accessible for everyone. And this is what sets Mindfulness in Plain English apart. It has a clear and concise approach to mindfulness without sacrificing depth or nuance. The book is an excellent resource for beginners just starting their meditation journey. It is worth checking out if you’re looking to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for the present moment.

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7. The Happiness Advantage
Author | Shawn Achor

Slightly different from the others on this list, The Happiness Advantage, is considered a game-changer by many! What sets this book apart? The fact that it isn’t your typical self-help book. By mixing scientific research, stories borrowed from real life and practical advice, The Happiness Advantage presents seven principles that can transform your mindset and set you up for success. The book is engaging and relatable and is brimming with humorous anecdotes that compel you to connect with the author and be inspired to take action that will revolutionise how you approach work and life.

8. Meditation
Author | Osho

An essential handbook for the 21st century, Osho’s book is unlike any other. What sets it apart is its views on meditation. Rather than a serious and disciplined practice, Osho sees meditation as a joyful and playful experience. He believes that one must not consider it separate from everyday life. Instead, one must practice being aware of everything inside and outside of you. Once you have mastered it, you can practice meditation anywhere – at work, play or rest. The book has several techniques – active styles (dance, movement) or traditional silent styles – you’re encouraged to experiment and find what works best for you. Meditation is an informational and inspiring read that will leave Osho’s words and teachings with you for a long time.

9. A Million Thoughts
Author | Om Swami

A successful businessman who left everything behind, Om Swami’s journey makes this book a compelling read. What sets this book apart is its interesting take on managing thoughts. Rather than trying to suppress and control your thoughts, Om Swami encourages one to observe and detach from them. Doing so enables you to free yourself from the grip of your mind and find inner peace. If you’re seeking to understand your thoughts better and manage your inner world, A Million Thoughts is a thought-provoking and practical guide that is also immensely resourceful. 

10. The Little Book of Hygge
Author | Meik Wiking

Last on this list, but in no way the least, is the book of Hygge. Pronounced as “hoo-gah”, Hygge is a unique Danish concept that encompasses a feeling of cosiness, relaxation and an appreciation for life’s simple pleasures. What sets this book apart is how it’s written….so friendly and conversational! Packed with practical tips, ideas and enchanting tales, Hygge also offers valuable insights into the psychology of happiness. It helps savour the beauty of everyday moments and feels like a hug to your soul. Hygge is the comfort read that we all deserve.

That sums up our top 10 picks of meditation books for beginners. As you begin your meditation journey, remember it’s not a one-size-fits-all practice. Everyone’s journey with meditation is different. Determine your preferred goal and outcome and choose a book to help you reach that goal. Most importantly, be patient and persistent. Happy meditating!

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