June 7

Best Book for Meditation: A Comprehensive Guide


Best Book for Meditation: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you looking for books to help you start or continue your meditation practice?

Meditation brings a lot of benefits. It can reduce stress and anxiety, make you more aware of yourself and what is happening around you, make you happier and more satisfied with life, and more.

But it can also be hard to get started with. Even people who meditate a lot sometimes find it hard to keep going. It’s hard to remember to do it every day.

Here are 11 books about meditation that can help motivate and inspire you to deepen your practice. These books can help you find peace and wisdom. They can also help you live a healthier, happier life.

Table Of Contents

Quick Picks: Best Book for Meditation: A Comprehensive Guide

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 An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation by: Thich Nhat Hanh

Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana

10% Happier by Dan Harris

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

1. The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation by: Thich Nhat Hanh

You should be able to focus on what you are doing. You should be aware of what is happening and look at yourself to see if you can do better. This book can help you learn how to do that.

This book, written by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and published in 1975, teaches its readers the art of mindfulness. The ability to pay attention to what is happening right now is known as mindfulness. Hanh shows us how to develop this kind of awareness through a series of stories and exercises that we can do in our daily lives.

The Miracle of Mindfulness is the name of one of Hanh’s most well-known books. He tells you how necessary it is to live in the present and be aware of the real world.

2. Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana

This book is called “Buddhist Monk Henepola Gunaratana: Simple, Plain, and Easy to Understand.”The author feels that using the simplest words is the best way to convey things.

Gunaratana believes that people often don’t start meditating because they think it is not easy. So, he wrote simplified instructions in simple language to teach people how to meditate.

Mindfulness in Plain English is a book about mindfulness and meditation.

3. 10% Happier by Dan Harris

An incident inspired 10% Happier in Dan Harris’s life. He experienced a manic episode on live television and realized he needed to modify his lifestyle.

This book is for people who are skeptical about meditation. Harris used to think that meditation was useless or impossible. But something happened to him on-air that made him believe in the power of meditation and mindfulness.

10% Happier, as a New York Times Bestseller, offers readers a walkthrough of Harris’s meditation practice. It discusses various benefits of meditation, which are backed up by scientific research and trustworthy numbers.

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

This book, published in 1994 and has sold over 750,000 copies, teaches people how to be mindful and meditate. It is beneficial to both novices and people who have been training for some time.

Jon Kabat-Zinn wrote his book to inspire Western readers to try meditation. The book is not a step-by-step guide, but it does explain the principles of mindfulness.

5. Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking by SJ Scott and Barrie Davenport

Declutter Your Mind is a book about getting rid of your thoughts that make you feel overwhelmed or anxious. It has exercises and techniques to help you have a more positive mindset.

This book will teach you how to be happy by prioritizing the essential things in your life and letting go of those that don’t help you anymore.

6. Make Peace With Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You From Your Inner Critic by Mark Coleman

Mark Coleman believes that we all have an inner critic that reminds 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 this book, the author teaches readers how to let go and get over their 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.

This book is written in a casual and easy-to-read style. The simple meditation methods it teaches will educate you on how to live a happier and more free life.

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

Shunryu Suzuki’s teachings are collected in this book. He was a Zen master. And these teachings were collected and published in 1970. This book is considered to be a spiritual classic in America.

This book is about Zen meditation. It starts with the basics like posture and breathing. Then it moves on to more complex concepts, like the perception of non-duality. The author also explains how you should never forget the basics, even when you have become an expert in Zen meditation.

Suzuki was one of the monks who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States. The book shares his personal stories and words of encouragement.

8. Meditation in Action by Chogyam Trungpa

Chogyam 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 includes being aware, compassionate, and creative.

Six things help you practice meditation effectively: generosity, patience, discipline, clarity, energy, and wisdom. When you have all of these, you will be able to see things clearly and deal with them effectively.

Suppose you are new to meditation or have been doing it for a while. In that case, this book will help you develop self-awareness and heighten your productivity.

9. Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation by Sharon Salzberg

Sharon Salzberg’s book provides a 28-day program to help you meditate and be mindful. Her focus is on meditation as a technique and exercise rather than a spiritual practice. You can think of it as running or hiking instead of Zen Buddhism.

The book covers the basics of mindfulness meditation, from posture and breathing to focusing and decluttering. In addition to the detailed description of how to meditate, it also lists evidence-based reasons why meditation is beneficial to the mind, body, and soul.

This book teaches people how to use meditation to be more resilient and creative. It also shows how meditation can give you peace, clarity, and happiness.

10. 10-Minute Mindfulness: 71 Habits for Living in the Present Moment by SJ Scott and Barrie Davenport

This book has 71 short habits that you can add to your daily routine. You don’t have to complete them all at the same time. Choose one, a couple, or all items on the book’s “menu.”

Even though most people are busy, they should still focus on themselves and what makes them happy. This book will help by giving you small habits that can change your life for the better.

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

Before describing the meditation practice in detail, Nigel Wellings lists why it can be hard to accomplish, particularly in this modern age. The book lays out all potential roadblocks that might hinder your meditation success.

It is not the end. Wellings offers a beginner- and expert-friendly approach to mindfulness meditation. In addition, he explains how one can make meditation a part of their life that lasts forever.

This book is both practical and informative. It takes a transparent approach to meditation by admitting that it can be boring, challenging, and even scary. However, the book also provides reasons why people should still consider using meditation as a tool to achieve a more satisfying life.

The Best Meditation Books and How to Use Them

The link between practicing meditation and improved mental health has been firmly established. Even if you hadn’t considered trying it before, you might be at least curious about how it works and the potential health benefits.

“Meditation can help with relaxation and focus,” says Heidi J. Dalzell, PsyD, a licensed psychologist and practicing therapist with 25 years of experience. “It lowers stress and improves self-awareness and self-esteem. It can also support people in changing negative coping strategies, such as addictive behaviors.”

While that all sounds great, if you’re new to meditation, it may sound vague or daunting (or both). That’s where meditation books come in. “I often recommend meditation books to my clients in my therapy and coaching practice. Since they offer a way to extend the things we do together in our sessions,” Dalzell says.

Similarly, Kamlesh D. Patel, a meditation teacher and spiritual guide at Heartfulness, says that meditation books. can help deepen a person’s understanding of the practice and provide individual support as they start. “Good meditation books are like maps to a journey,” he says.

With a wide variety of meditation books available, readers should look for ones written by experts in the field and ones that match their experience level. Whether you’re an experienced meditator or a novice, you can find a book tailored to your needs.

1. Practical Meditation for Beginners: 10 Days to a Happier, Calmer You

If you’re new to meditation and looking for a straightforward, easy-to-use book, this book by Benjamin W. Decker—a self-described social activist, meditation teacher, and entrepreneur—is a safe bet.

The writing is clear and concise and walks the reader through easy steps to getting started. It’s also great for someone interested in learning multiple meditation techniques, as it features ten different approaches. Suppose you’ve tried meditating before but couldn’t stick with it. In that case, this book will open your eyes to other meditation methods that might be easier to stick to.


  • Spiral-bound
  • Ten different approaches to meditation
  • 10-day timeframe


  • Small print
  • Some people may find writing dry

2. The Daily Meditation Book of Healing: 365 Reflections for Positivity, Peace, and Prosperity

Although it was written to help people address trauma, anxiety, and emotional distress. This book by Worthy Stokes can benefit anyone looking to heal in any capacity (which is all of us). A trauma survivor herself, Stokes teaches readers how to heal from past emotional distress through meditative practices.

The book can be especially helpful for people prone to negativity, prompting readers to look inward, challenge negative thought patterns, and approach themselves with compassion.


  • Focuses on recovery from various types of distress
  • Daily reflections and affirmations


  • No written-through daily guided meditations
  • Can veer into mystical/spiritual territory

3. Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners: 50 Meditations to Practice Awareness, Acceptance, and Peace

All the types of meditation, many people find mindfulness the best fit for them and the easiest to get into. And for those without the option of attending a mindfulness class in person, this book by Dawn Mauricio—experienced mindfulness and meditation teacher—is the next best thing.

The book also comes with more than 50 mindfulness exercises that take between five and 15 minutes each to help readers develop the skills they need to get more out of this type of meditation.


  • Provides background on mindfulness and meditation
  • Includes breathing exercises
  • Offers 5- to 15-minute mindfulness exercises


  • Focused specifically on one type of meditation
  • Book takes a Buddhist approach, which isn’t for everyone

4. Meditations on Self-Love: Daily Wisdom for Healing, Acceptance, and Joy

It can be hard to love yourself sometimes, and author Laurasia Mattingly knows that. This book focuses on the positive and encourages readers to work towards greater self-acceptance. Having used meditative practices to deal with grief and wean off her anxiety medication. Mattingly wants to teach you how to listen to your heart more while letting go of the anxieties of the mind.

While the prompts may not be the most original, they’re pleasant and brief. Making it easier to incorporate meditation into your daily routine when you’re short on time.


  • 365 meditation prompts
  • Quick entries for those short on time


  • No written-through daily guided meditations

5. Zen Meditation for Beginners: A Practical Guide to Inner Calm

Whether or not you’re familiar with Zen Buddhism, you’ve probably at least heard the word “zen” thrown around as a synonym for something or someone being calm and balanced. But there’s far more to the practice than that, and Bonnie Myotai Treace (a Zen priest and teacher of the practice) introduces readers to the tradition in this book.

Using ten featured Zen principles, the book provides brief exercises designed to help people get into a peaceful, positive headspace.


  • Compact size
  • Walks readers through the basics of Zen principles


  • Instructions may be unclear to newbies

6. Bedtime Meditations for Kids: Quick, Calming Exercises to Help Kids Get to Sleep

Geared towards kids ages four through eight, this book by Cory Cochiolo, a certified hypnotherapist teacher, introduces little ones (and, in some cases, their parents) to the concept of meditation. But rather than using the usual terms, exercises and activities are given child-friendly names, like “vacuum cleaner breathing,” “bubble mansion,” and “roar like a lion.”

While anyone can benefit from the exercises, they are especially helpful for little ones who tend to get scared or anxious at night.


  • 30 calming bedtime exercises
  • Makes meditation seem fun rather than a chore
  • Bright, engaging illustrations


  • Only available in paperback
  • Not for those looking for kids’ bedtime stories

7. The No-Nonsense Meditation Book: A Scientist’s Guide to the Power of Meditation

Not everyone considers themselves a “spiritual” person, so given meditation’s roots as a spiritual practice, it can sometimes be a tough sell. But today, not only is a lot of meditation offered and practiced in secular settings. But there’s also plenty of research explaining the mental health benefits people have been experiencing for centuries.

That’s the approach author Steven Laureys, a board-certified neurologist, takes in this book—in which he makes a very interesting and compelling case, explaining what meditation does to our brains. He follows that with some practical and highly accessible tips for getting started in meditation.


  • Ideal for meditation skeptics
  • Uses science and research to back meditation


  • Not for those looking for a strictly spiritual or religious approach

How We Selected

While many excellent meditation books have been around for decades, one of these lists was published no earlier than 2017 and written by meditation experts and/or authorities in that space. We selected each book based on thorough research and consulting four experts for input—one licensed clinical psychologist, one meditation teacher, one meditation expert and yoga therapist, and one meditation and yoga teacher.

We asked each expert what readers should look for when selecting the right meditation book for them and how readers can benefit from learning about meditation through a guided book.

While many excellent meditation books have been around for decades, one of these lists was published no earlier than 2017 and written by meditation experts and/or authorities in that space. We selected each book based on thorough research and consulting four experts for input—one licensed clinical psychologist, one meditation teacher, one meditation expert and yoga therapist, and one meditation and yoga teacher.

We asked each expert what readers should look for when selecting the right meditation book for them and how readers can benefit from learning about meditation through a guided book.

What to Look for in a Meditation Book


Look for a book that provides the detail and information you need but doesn’t become overwhelming. “It is not so much about the length of a book, as much as it is about its structure and type of meditation you want to learn about,” Patel says. “Still, anything over 200 to 250 pages would be an overkill for a beginner. Any book that theorizes the content instead of coming directly to simple practices is not walking the talk.”

Michelle Thielen, C-IAYT, a meditation expert and yoga therapist, has similar advice. “If one is dabbling or dipping their toes into the waters of meditation, a shorter book that focuses on the introduction to the practice will suit their needs,” she says. “If one wants to immerse themselves in practice as a discipline, dive into philosophy, traditions and the benefits of meditation, a lengthier book is recommended.”


Meditation books sometimes are geared toward a specific audience or focus on a particular challenge, like managing stress and anxiety. Before purchasing a meditation book, ensure the content addresses your needs and is relevant to your situation.

“Many of us read books on meditation because we are trying to solve a problem. be it stress, a conflict in our relationships, or something negatively affecting us,” Patel says. “A book shares how someone has applied meditation techniques to their life problems. can resonate with readers and help them understand how they can apply meditation to their lifestyle.”

Because there are so many different types of meditation, Thielen suggests looking for a book with a broad and objective perspective. “Learn how any person can practice meditation and how various cultures, religions, and traditions practice this ancient discipline,” she says. “Ask yourself, why do I want to start meditating? Is it to ease anxiety and stress in a temporary season? Is it to implement a daily habit and a more permanent practice? Is it to connect to your spirituality? Or simply to see what the hype is about?”


Meditation books can come in different sizes, shapes, weights, and formats—including hardcover, paperback, or spiral-bound. And while not every book is available in multiple styles, if you’re likely to use one type more than the others, it’s something to consider before making a purchase. “Meditation books are ready reckoners, and not just for one-time reads or references,” Patel says. “Hence the weight, packaging, and ease of carrying it matter a lot. A bedside easy access also helps.”

Paperback or workbook-type spiral-bound books are ideal for beginners. Thielen says, “it’s helpful to be able to open the book while you practice, implementing those step-by-step guidelines.” And speaking of size, Dalzell recommends getting a book with print large enough for you to read without straining your eyes or losing your place.

Suppose the book best fits your meditation needs but doesn’t come in your preferred format. In that case, Patel suggests getting a separate journal “to take notes from the book and observe progress in your meditation practice.”

Final Verdict

Though each of these books brings something different to the table, there are two that stand out. The first is Practical Meditation for Beginners: 10 Days to a Happier, Calmer You (view on Amazon) by Benjamin W. Decker. Spiral binding allows the book to lay flat, introduces ten different types of meditation, and clear, concise writing. This book is perfect for someone looking to learn the basics and test the waters of meditation.

The second is The No-Nonsense Meditation Book: A Scientist’s Guide to the Power of Meditation (view at Amazon) by Steven Laureys. This book will appeal to those convinced and motivated primarily (or solely) by logic and science. But it’ll also appeal to those drawn to meditation as a spiritual practice, as it backs up several of their longstanding claims about the mental health benefits.

Deciding to start meditating can be difficult, but it is possible. Remember that if you put your mind to it and have the right attitude, you can do anything.

Learn more: 7 Guided Meditations for Uncertain Times

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