Practicing mindfulness is becoming more and more common among a wide range of people.
Even health officials are keen to promote the benefits of learning to live in the now. Particularly in the hectic lives that most people lead today.
It lowers stress levels and raises happiness levels among a huge variety of other benefits.
But how can you go about learning to liv in a more mindful way?
Luckily, there are fantastic books that have been written on the subject of mindfulness and meditation.
Here are 15 of the very best books on mindfulness.
1. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind – by Shunryu Suzuki
In the forty years since its original publication, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind has become one of the great modern spiritual classics, much beloved, much reread, and much recommended as the best first book to read on Zen. Suzuki Roshi presents the basics—from the details of posture and breathing in zazen to the perception of nonduality—in a way that is not only remarkably clear, but that also resonates with the joy of insight from the first to the last page.
2. Loving-Kindness – by Sharon Salzberg
Throughout our lives we long to love ourselves more deeply and find a greater sense of connection with others. Our fear of intimacy—both with others and with ourselves—creates feelings of pain and longing. But these feelings can also awaken in us the desire for freedom and the willingness to take up the spiritual path.
In this inspiring book, Sharon Salzberg, one of America’s leading spiritual teachers, shows us how the Buddhist path of lovingkindness can help us discover the radiant, joyful heart within each of us.
3. Not Always So – by Shunryu Suzuki
Not Always So is based on Shunryu Suzuki’s lectures and is framed in his own inimitable, allusive, paradoxical style, rich with unexpected and off–centre insights. Suzuki knew he was dying at the time of the lectures, which gives his thoughts an urgency and focus even sharper than in the earlier book.
In Not Always So Suzuki once again voices Zen in everyday language with the vigour, sensitivity, and buoyancy of a true friend.
4. The Miracle of Mindfulness – by Thich Nhat Hanh
In this beautiful and lucid guide, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers gentle anecdotes and practical exercise as a means of learning the skills of mindfulness–being awake and fully aware.
From washing the dishes to answering the phone to peeling an orange, he reminds us that each moment holds within it an opportunity to work toward greater self-understanding and peacefulness.
5. Zen Meditation In Plain English – by John Daishin Buksbazen
An excellent, practical introduction to Zen meditation. Written in a warm and easily accessible style, this book appeals to anyone with an interest in meditation, Zen, or, as is often the case today, a combination of the two.
The book emphasizes the importance of receiving good instruction and of finding groups to practice with, yet it lays out the necessary steps to practice Zen meditation on your own. The book includes easily followed exercises to help the reader along.
6. 8 Minute Meditation – by Victor Davich
These days everyone is learning mindfulness, from the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks to stars like Goldie Hawn and Ellen Degeneres. But mindful meditation is not just for celebrities, CEOs, and professional athletes.
Mindful meditation is an incredible tool that anyone can master for a better life.
7. Real Happiness – by Sharon Salzberg
Thousands of years prove it, and Western science backs it: Meditation sharpens focus. Meditation lowers blood pressure, relieves chronic pain, reduces stress. Meditation helps us experience greater calm.
Meditation connects us to our inner-most feelings and challenges our habits of self-judgment. Meditation helps protect the brain against aging and improves our capacity for learning new things.
8. How To Meditate – by Pema Chodron
Pema Chodron is treasured around the world for her unique ability to transmit teachings and practices that bring peace, understanding, and compassion into our lives.
With How to Meditate, the American-born Tibetan nun presents her first book exploring in depth what she considers the essentials for a lifelong practice.
9. Turning The Mind Into An Ally – by Sakyong Mipham & Pema Chodron
Strengthening, calming, and stabilizing the mind is the essential first step in accomplishing nearly any goal. Growing up American with a Tibetan twist, Sakyong Mipham talks to Westerners as no one can: in idiomatic English with stories and wisdom from American culture and the great Buddhist teachers.
Turning the Mind Into an Ally makes it possible for anyone to achieve peace and clarity in their lives.
10. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism – by Chogyam Trungpa
Tibetan meditation master Chögyam Trungpa highlights the commonest pitfall to which every aspirant on the spiritual path falls prey: what he calls spiritual materialism. The universal tendency, he shows, is to see spirituality as a process of self-improvement—the impulse to develop and refine the ego when the ego is, by nature, essentially empty.
“The problem is that ego can convert anything to its own use,” he said, “even spirituality.”
11. Mindfulness In Plain English – by Bhante Gunaratana
Mindfulness in Plain English is one of the most influential books in the burgeoning field of mindfulness and a timeless classic introduction to meditation.
This is a book that people read, love, and share – a book that people talk about, write about, reflect on, and return to over and over again.
12. Finding The Still Point – by John Daido Loori
Through Zen meditation it is possible to find stillness of mind, even amidst our everyday activities—and this practical book-and-CD set reveals how. John Daido Loori, one of America’s leading Zen teachers, offers everything needed to begin a meditation practice. He covers the basics of where to sit (on a cushion, bench, or chair), how to posture the body (complete with instructional photographs), and how to practice Zen meditation to discover the freedom of a peaceful mind.
13. Quiet Mind – by Multiple Authors
This unique book-and-audio program brings together some of the country’s most beloved meditation teachers. Each contributor presents a short written teaching along with an audio recording of a guided practice. Quiet Mind features:
• Sakyong Mipham on shamatha, the practice of tranquillity
• Larry Rosenberg on vipassana, the practice of clear seeing
• Edward Espe Brown on zazen, the practice of freedom
• Sharon Salzberg on metta, the practice of lovingkindness
14. Meditation For Beginners – by Jack Kornfield
Have you ever thought about trying meditation, but didn’t know how to get started?
With Meditation for Beginners, trusted teacher Jack Kornfield shows you how simple it is to start—and stick with—a daily meditation practice.
15. The Experience Of Insight – by Joseph Goldstein
Here is a modern classic of unusually clear, practical instruction for the practice of Buddhist meditation: sitting and walking meditation, how one relates with the breath, feelings, thought, sense perceptions, consciousness, and everyday activities. Basic Buddhist topics such as the nature of karma, the four noble truths, the factors of enlightenment, dependent origination, and devotion are discussed.