We had a lot of fun creating this reading list of the best meditation books for our amazing readers at Everyday Power Blog.
10 Best Meditation Books For People On The Go
While virtually unheard of in western society until the 20th century, meditation is having a surge in popularity as of late. Whether you’re looking to decrease stress, increase creativity, or view the world from a refreshingly clear mind in this high tech, fast paced world, these 10 books on meditation will help you find your path to this powerful ancient practice.
This meditation book focuses on the author’s personal journey from clean-cut Harvard professor to yogi, while also providing an in depth discussion of meditation, yoga, and living in the present moment, which many believe to be the truest form of meditation.
“The most important aspect of love is not in giving or the receiving: it’s in the being. When I need love from others, or need to give love to others, I’m caught in an unstable situation. Being in love, rather than giving or taking love, is the only thing that provides stability. Being in love means seeing the Beloved all around me.” ― Ram Dass
An excellent introduction to guided meditation designed for those inclined to meditate who really don’t know where to begin. This book on meditation is written by renowned Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield and provides 8 distinctive meditation techniques with clear instruction.
“Peace requires us to surrender our illusions of control. We can love and care for others but we cannot possess our children, lovers, family, or friends. We can assist them, pray for them, and wish them well, yet in the end their happiness and suffering depend on their thoughts and actions, not on our wishes.” ― Jack Kornfield
Perhaps the least esoteric book about meditation on this list, 8 Minute Meditation: Quiet Your Mind. This amazing mediation book is written for the ever busy American. As long as you can dedicate 8 minutes per day to your practice, this book is for you.
“This is what breath meditation is about: watching your breath, straying off, realizing it, and gently returning. Over and over again. Like I said, meditation is a practice.” ― Victor Davich
This meditation book focuses primarily on the healing power of the self by way of meditation (This may sound a little ‘woo-woo’ but has been proved effective by scientific studies) Meditation as Medicine: Activate The Power Of Your Natural Healing Force provides meditation for specific ailments such as cancer and arthritis.
“The secrets of advanced meditation were shrouded in secrecy because of respect for, and even fear of, their innate power. Just as governments guard state secrets of power, the ancient yoga masters guarded these secrets of spiritual power. They believed that power has the capacity to corrupt, and that it would be disastrous for the wrong person to learn these secrets.” ― Cameron Stauth
More of the best meditation books
John Kabat-Zinn is a pioneer of the mindfulness movement in America. Similarly to Be Here Now, Full Catastrophe Living focuses on being in the present moment. Whereas Ram Dass’ book seems to reach for enlightenment, this book is a bit more practical, utilizing meditation as a technique for reducing chronic pain, reducing stress, and even strengthening the immune system.
“You might be tempted to avoid the messiness of daily living for the tranquility of stillness and peacefulness. This of course would be an attachment to stillness, and like any strong attachment, it leads to delusion. It arrests development and short-circuits the cultivation of wisdom.”― Jon Kabat-Zinn
Perhaps best known as the creator of the cult classic TV show Twin Peaks, David Lynch discusses meditation as a tool for harnessing your creativity, making Catching The Big Fish an excellent read for the creative among us, especially those who may be experiencing writer’s block.
“Ideas are like fish. If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper. Down deep, the fish are more powerful and more pure.They’re huge and abstract. And they’re very beautiful.”― David Lynch
This mindfulness book focuses on the ever popular Transcendental Meditation, making the subject more easily accessible and practical for everyday life. Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation provides information on the science behind meditation as well as captivating stories, making this book a relatively easy read, and an excellent introduction to meditation.
“Men seek retreats for themselves in country places, on beaches and mountains, and you yourself are wont to long for such retreats, but that is altogether unenlightened when it is possible at any hour you please to find a retreat within yourself. For nowhere can a man withdraw to a more untroubled quietude than in his own soul.”― Norman E. Rosenthal
Many people get lost in the mysticism associated with things like yoga and meditation. In Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, Trungpa highlights many of these problems offering viable, practical solutions.
“When you relate to thoughts obsessively, you are actually feeding them because thoughts need your attention to survive. Once you begin to pay attention to them and categorize them, then they become very powerful. You are feeding them energy because you are not seeing them as simple phenomena. If one tries to quiet them down, that is another way of feeding them.”― Chögyam Trungpa
In “The Miracle of Mindfulness” famed zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh echoes the idea of being present in the moment, even during the everyday moments you would normally think of as mundane. This book offers exercises in meditation you can use in your everyday life without even getting into the lotus position!
“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”― Thich Nhat Hanh
Sort of an outlier on this list, Holotropic Breathwork by Stanislav & Christina Grof focuses on a breathing modality developed by the Grof’s in the 70s to induce a trance-like state that can be used in psychotherapy, similar in some ways to regression therapy. While not for the faint of heart (and somewhat clinical in nature) this book provides evidence and anecdotes for this powerful meditation technique.
“This sense of perfection has a built-in contradiction, one that Ram Dass once captured very succinctly by a statement he had heard from his Himalayan guru: “The world is absolutely perfect, including your own dissatisfaction with it, and everything you are trying to do to change it.” ― Stanislav Grof
Which meditation book will be next on your list? What other amazing books about meditation should we add to the list?
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