27 Must-Read Books On Meditation To Expand Your Practice

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What are the best meditation books out there right now?

And which ones will meet you exactly where you are now? 

Look up “meditation books,” and the sheer volume of options is overwhelming.

That’s where we come in.

Because we want every meditation book you purchase to be worth every penny you spend on it and more. 

To that end, we’ve created this list of 27 time-tested (and reader-approved) meditation guides written by real people who’ve met the same challenges you’re facing now. 

Which one will you read first?

What’s In This Article?
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27 Best Books on Meditation 

Welcome to our list of 27 of the best books on meditation to add to your personal growth reading list for this year.

From the best meditation books for beginners to inspired options for deepening your practice, we know you’ll find at least one new favorite. 

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

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh presents meditation through gentle exercises to show how you can practice mindfulness wherever you are and whatever you’re doing or experiencing. 

One of his most popular books, this one helps you find a calm refuge within, no matter what’s going on and where you are with your meditation practice. Come as you are.


2. Meditation: How to Meditate — A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind by Pema Chodron 

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This first book of American-born Tibetan nun Pema Chodron explores the essentials for a developing meditation practice. 

The goal here is to help you live with authenticity and compassion to create lasting connections and give yourself the spiritual nourishment you need. She starts with basic techniques and moves on to lessons on working with your thoughts and emotions. 


3. How to Meditate: A Guide to Self Discovery by Lawrence LeShan 

This simple, insightful book was first published 50 years ago and is just as relevant today. The message is to stop trying to silence your rushing thoughts and instead learn to observe them quietly and without criticizing yourself. 

This book can help you find a place in meditation that feels like coming home.


4. Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana 

Hailed as one of the most influential books on meditation since its publication in 1994, this one gets high praise from Jon Kabat-Zinn (“a masterpiece”). 

The author, Bhante Gunaratana, guides you with clarity and wit through the myths, realities, and benefits of mindfulness meditation

Approachable and full of practical advice, this is an essential guide for those just starting out. 


5. Practical Meditation for Beginners: 10 Days to a Happier, Calmer You by Benjamin W Decker 

Decker’s book uses a 10-day plan to help you find the one that’s the best fit for you. He covers ten different meditation practices — from Zen and Vipassana to body scans and walking meditation. 

As you work through the program, you’ll find it easier to see which types of meditation would be easiest for you to make your own. 


6. Why Can’t I Meditate? How to Get Your Mindfulness Practice on Track by Nigel Wellings 

Meditation can be an easy practice to begin but a difficult one to maintain. While it can help you relax and be more mindful, it also opens the door to greater self-knowledge, which can be uncomfortable. 

Decker’s book takes what meditators often find tedious or difficult about meditation and uses it to help you overcome your blocks. 


7. 10% Happier Revised Edition: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self Help that Actually Works — A True Story by Dan Harris 

Harris’s memoir recounts how he reluctantly adopted a meditation habit after a drug problem, an on-air panic attack, and an unplanned “spiritual” journey. His new practice, along with this raw memoir, made him an evangelist for meditation. 

This book details how meditation helped Harris with relatable challenges: negative self-talk, anxiety, and the search for self-help that actually helps. 


8. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: 50th Anniversary Edition by Shunryu Suzuki 

Named one of the 100 Best Spiritual Books of the Twentieth Century, this Zen classic begins by explaining the title: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; but in the expert’s, there are few.” 

The author covers the basics with clarity and insight while encouraging you to keep the mindset of a curious and open-minded beginner. 


9. Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris

If you’re interested in learning how to practice mindfulness meditation but would rather avoid any religious overlay, you’ll find a lot to love in this book by well-known neuroscientist and author Sam Harris. 

Part contemplative memoir and part scientific exploration, Waking Up shows an appreciation for the experiences and valuable insights of spiritual leaders without adopting their religious views. 


10. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn 

The 10th-anniversary edition of this bestseller contains a new afterword by the author. It opens by acknowledging something we don’t often take the time to think about: whatever‘s happened to you and whatever you’ve done has already happened. 

The important question that remains is, “Now, what?” Kabat-Zinn’s book helps you answer that question. 


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

If feeling overwhelmed has become your normal, this book can show you how to cultivate a healthier, less cluttered, and more peaceful mind. 

It explores the four main causes of mental clutter — as well as its many consequences —and teaches you strategies (including meditation) to address each one, so you can focus your energies on creating a more meaningful life.


12. Meditations on Self-Love: Daily Wisdom for Healing, Acceptance, and Joy by Laurasia Mattingly 

In this book, you’ll find 365 meditations that cultivate self-acceptance and self-love. 

Both are essential to success in every area of your life, and having a daily meditation prompt can help you uproot and replace the negative thoughts that have been holding you back. 

Each entry is short, clear, and powerful, encouraging you to make self-love a daily practice. 


13. Teach Yourself to Meditate: Over 20 Exercises for Peace, Health, and Clarity of Mind by Eric Harrison 

Harrison walks you through 20 exercises to show you what meditation is, why you need it in your life, and how to do it. You’ll learn ten core meditation practices anyone can learn and enjoy. 

You’ll also learn the life-changing benefits of daily meditation practice. The book also includes “spot meditations” you can practice wherever you are. 


14. Meditation for Relaxation: 60 Meditative Practices to Reduce Stress, Cultivate Calm, and Improve Sleep by Adam O’Neill 

The strategies and practices you’ll learn in this book will help you step aside from the noise in your mind, so you can reset your thoughts, calm your emotions, or even settle into a deep and restful sleep. 

The 60 meditation practices can help you find peace and equanimity in the middle of chaos and uncertainty. 


15. Mindfulness Meditations for Anxiety: 100 Simple Practices to Find Peace Right Now by Michael Smith, PhD 

The author guides you through 100 simple meditation practices that can help you respond more helpfully when anxious thoughts come. 

You’ll become more aware of your triggers and what’s behind them and become adept at responding differently to them. 

Descriptions for every exercise in the book tell you how long each will take, what it involves, and what it targets. 


16. Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace in the Everyday by Matthew Sockolov

 

The founder of One Mind Dharma wrote this book to offer practical guidance through 75 mindfulness meditations. 

The book also offers seasoned advice on dealing with wandering thoughts, distractions, cognitive distortions, and mental blocks. 

Each meditation takes only five minutes. As you progress through the exercises, they grow with you, building on what you’ve learned.


17. The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom, and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness by John Yates, Matthew Immergut, and Jeremy Graves 

If you’re curious about Buddhism and how the brain works, you’ll enjoy this book written by a neuroscientist turned meditation master. Hw offers a 10-stage program grounded as much in science as in ancient spiritual practices. 

Dr. Yates wrote this book as much for beginners as anyone interested in how the mind works and what meditation can do for it.


18. Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation by Norman Rosenthal

Widely recognized as the best book on transcendental meditation (TM), Dr. Rosenthal’s book explores the art and science of this approach, as well as its stress-relieving benefits and the best way to incorporate it into your daily life. 

You’ll also enjoy interviews with celebrities like Paul McCartney, Laura Dern, and Russell Brand, who openly discuss how this meditation has helped them. 


19. The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in Ten Minutes a Day by Andy Puddicombe 

As a former Buddhist monk with ten years of experience teaching, the author is one of the UK’s foremost experts on mindfulness meditation. 

His simple exercises, stories, and techniques show how just 10 minutes a day can impact every area of your life. 

Each meditation helps you find calm amid the ongoing chatter in your mind. 


20. Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program

Author Sharon Salzberg is a world-class spiritual author and teacher. She is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society, and she has thirty years of meditation teaching experience in her impressive resume.

Salzberg decided to turn three decades of experience into a 28-day program that has all the breathing, posturing, and mind-calming methods any beginner can ask for.

Real Happiness is a 224 page, complete meditation guide in which she answers frequently asked questions about the art of meditating. It’s a great book for beginning meditators with clear and concise instructions.


21. Meditation Now: A Beginner’s Guide: 10-Minute Meditations to Restore Calm and Joy Anytime, Anywhere

Author Elizabeth Reninger knows the power of meditation and has an intuitive understanding of meditation and yoga.

Her focus is Eastern philosophy and spiritual practices. Reninger has gone into the deep recesses of mindfulness for more than the last 30 years, and she shares her experiences with her readers. This is one of the best introductions to meditation if you are a beginner.

Beginners should read this book because Reninger covers every facet of the meditating in language anyone can understand.


22. Making Space: Creating a Home Meditation Practice

This is another great Thich Nhat Hanh book.

Making Space gives readers easy-to-follow instructions for correct breathing practices, as well as setting up a breathing room in your home, as well as listening to a bell, sitting, and breathing.

He offers walking meditations, as well as tips to follow so you can eat and cook while you’re in a mindful state. The purpose is to help you infuse the atmosphere of your daily home life with mindfulness and peace and appreciate “the sacred nature of place and home.””

The beautiful illustrations in this book will inspire you to create your own meditation sanctuary in your home to facilitate your practice.


23. You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life: Simple 4-Minute Meditations for Inspiration, Transformation, and True Bliss

Author Rebekah “Bex” Borucki brings her certified meditation and yoga teaching skills to readers who might feel they don’t have the time to meditate.

Bex shows people how to create powerful meditation practices in a short amount of time. The book describes how in only four minutes you can change your life.

Borucki guides readers through 27 different meditation practices, and she also answers pertinent questions about her 4-minute meditation routines.

With her meditation prompts, compelling personal story, and personable style, she makes meditation accessible to everyone.


24. Meditation Made Easy

Author Lorin Roche offers readers a come-as-you-are type of meditation mentality.

Lorin is a meditation trainer with more than thirty years of experience. Roche answers questions and debunks myths, plus, he offers readers three easy techniques to get started.

He calls these techniques the “Do Nothing Technique,” “The Feeling At Home Exercise” and the “Salute Each Of Your Senses Technique.”

Says one reviewer, “I will join the chorus of admirers: Roche doesn’t just make meditation easy, he makes it alluring and sexy. “


25. Thoughts Are Not the Enemy: An Innovative Approach to Meditation Practice

For those who struggle with quieting the mind during meditation, this book offers some unique insights and techniques.

Author Jason Siff explains a “Recollective Awareness” meditation technique that gives readers insight into the rich inner landscape of consciousness and the mind.

Many meditation techniques invite you to let go of thoughts, making the practitioner feel that thoughts are “bad.” Siff suggests we should allow thoughts to arise and become mindful of the thoughts so we don’t reject or resist our natural mental processes.

As we observe our thoughts with curiosity, we learn more about ourselves and our inner worlds.

This meditation technique helps people make sense of their lives and bring peaceful resolutions to challenging situations.


26. Meditation For Beginners

Author Jack Kornfield is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society and the Spirit Rock Center in California and has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. He is a teacher in the vipassana movement in American Theravada Buddhism and trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma, and India

“Insight” or vipassana meditation is a skill of calming the spirit and clearing the mind for higher understanding. Jack Kornfield helps beginners bring this type of meditation to life with a step-by-step approach to bringing a deep spirituality into everyday life.

In this book, Kornfield offers readers the teachings found in the best Buddhist monasteries. Meditation for Beginners gives readers simple and universal ways to start a meditation routine and is one of the best beginning meditation books.

Praise for this book is widespread and includes an endorsement from His Holiness the Dalai Lama who says, “It’s encouraging to find Westerners who’ve sufficiently assimilated the traditions of the East to be able to share them with others as Jack is doing.”


27. Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation

Author Bob Roth offers readers a practical, straightforward, and simple approach to understanding the benefits of Transcendental Meditation, a form of silent mantra meditation.

According to his Amazon page, “Roth trained under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the twentieth century’s foremost scientist of consciousness and meditation, and has since become one of the most experienced and sought-after meditation teachers in the world.”

Roth has a long list of meditation students and works with Hollywood celebrities, billionaires, CEOs, inner-city youth, and combat-scarred veterans. He is the current CEO of the David Lynch Foundation and he is a Center for Leadership Performance director.

Transcendental Meditation (TM) must be taught individually by a highly trained teacher with lifelong follow-up. This book doesn’t teach you TM but rather explains what it is, how it benefits you, and how to go about finding the right teacher.


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Did you find some meditation books that speak to you?

Now that you’ve looked through these 27 must-read books on meditation and mindfulness, which ones stand out for you? Which will you try first? 

Please let us know in the comments below! 

Our goal here is to help you create a daily meditation practice you’ll love too much ever to give up. 

And while you might start meditating because of the well-known physical, mental, and emotional benefits, ultimately, you need a deeper reason to keep going. 

We want to help you find that. 

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