9 Top-Ranked Online Meditation Courses For 2021

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The best meditation courses make it easy to build a meditation habit you can stick to — one that helps you reap all the benefits without a huge time commitment. 

Whether you’re looking for meditation courses for beginners or you already have some experience, each of the nine top-ranked options described below will help you level up your knowledge and your overall health

Each course has something different to offer, and all are worth a peek. 

Which one will you try first? 

Why Should You Take a Meditation Course? 

If any of the following benefits sound good, you owe it to yourself to try one of the online meditation courses we dug into for this post.

While we took care to only list courses that would do you good, we also want to help you choose the course that will benefit you most. 

And to know that, you need to know what to look for. 

What to Look for in an Online Meditation Course 

If you know what you want, you know what to look for in a meditation course online. What do you hope to gain once you work your way through the program you’ve chosen?

And where would you like to go from there? 

best online meditation courses

Look at the features below and identify the ones most important to you:

  • Daily guided meditations 
  • Instructional videos
  • Online community
  • Mindfulness teacher training
  • Industry-recognized certificate of completion
  • Training and pace suitable for beginners

How to Choose the Best Meditation Class for You 

Once you’ve nailed down the non-negotiable features, the following will help you narrow down your options if you have more than one favorite: 

  • Your impression of the instructor (their voice, body language, style, etc.)
  • The price and how well it fits your current budget
  • The reviews you read about it
  • The type of meditation the course is focused on (i.e., Zen, mindfulness, transcendental, etc.)
  • The program that just “feels” more like you (your gut feelings count)

Look at the whole picture before you decide on the best course to start with. 

Best Online Meditation Course: 9 Excellent Options to Consider 

Now that you have a clearer idea of what you want and know what features to look for in an online meditation course look through the nine options below to see which one (or ones) appeal to you most. 

1. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Online Course 

Led by Dr. Saki Santorelli and Florence Meleo-Meyer, you’ll learn the same approach to mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

And you’ll learn how to integrate this practice into your daily life seamlessly. 

To get a sense of what the program offers, sign up for a free audio teaching with Jon Kabat-Zinn. If you like what you see, you can, for a limited time, sign up for one payment of $197 ($100 less than the regular price) or three payments of $69. 

Here’s what you get with the program:

  • 16+ hours of downloadable video and audio instruction
  • A Year of Mindfulness series (weekly emails with practice suggestions)
  • A self-guided retreat: A Day of Mindfulness
  • Certificate of Completion

2. Meditation and the Evolution of Consciousness with Daaji (Udemy)

With over 3,000 ratings and an average rating of 4.7 out of 5, this Udemy course teaches guided heartfulness meditation for beginners. 

The goal here is to learn how to meditate to reduce stress and improve your overall well-being, the ultimate goal being genuine happiness. You’ll learn four key meditation practices: relaxation, meditation, cleaning, and (nonreligious) prayer. 

The complete course costs only $19.99 and provides the following:

  • 7 hours of on-demand video with lifetime access
  • Access on mobile app and TV as well as desktop
  • Certificate of completion

3. The Power of Awareness (Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach)

As the title suggests, the goal of this program is to help you cultivate a life-long habit of daily mindfulness meditation and reap all the possible benefits from it. 

best online meditation courses

By the end of this course, you’ll have developed a regular meditation practice, learned valuable meditation skills, and received community-based mentoring. 

To get a taste for their teaching style, sign up for a free video series with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach on The Power of Awareness. You can sign up for the next available course for one payment of $297 (a $100 savings) or three payments of $107. 

What do you get?

  • 26 video trainings
  • Community mentoring (throughout the program)
  • Lifetime access
  • Certification of Completion. 

4. Body and Mind Are One (with Thich Nhat Hanh) 

This course is better suited to people with some experience in mindfulness meditation. Your teacher is Zen master, scholar, poet, and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. 

From his introduction to the course, titled “How Presence Transforms Your Relationships,” you get an idea of what this teacher hopes you’ll gain from the course. Watch the free video to see if his message resonates with you.

If you enjoy the video, you can enroll for one payment of $147 or three monthly payments of $52. 

  • Complete Dharma Talks with Thich Nhat Hanh on video
  • Two Q&A video sessions
  • Audio versions of the entire program
  • Guided journaling
  • Supplemental teachings and exercises
  • THREE valuable bonus programs

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5. Waking Up with Sam Harris

The platform for this course in mindfulness meditation is an app (for iOS or Android), which gives you the first several days free before asking you to continue by subscribing. Once you sign up, you can access all the daily meditations and a host of audio files related to the search for spirituality without religion. 

Your teacher, Sam Harris, presents mindfulness meditation less as a stress-reduction technique than as a window into the workings of your own mind. It’s a more scientific approach than some, integrating recent discoveries with hard-earned spiritual insights.

The app comes highly recommended by authors Susan Cain (Quiet Revolution) and Tim Ferriss (The 4-Hour Workweek, etc.), among others. The annual price of a risk-free subscription is $99.99 (USD). 

What do you get?

  • An app you can use anytime on your mobile device
  • An introductory course on mindfulness meditation
  • Supplemental courses on the theory and practice of meditation

6. Palouse Mindfulness: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (free)

This free meditation program is based on the well-known program funded by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. 

The instructor, Dave Potter, draws on his 12 years of experience teaching the same method in-person to help students taking the course online reap the same benefits.  

best online meditation courses

Check out “MBSR At a Glance” to see an overview of the course and get a feel for the instructor’s tone and style. 

What do you get?

  • Eight weeks of meditation training with guided meditations, articles, and videos
  • A supportive online student community with experienced graduates
  • An extensive library with videos and writings by renowned spiritual guides
  • A certificate upon completion

7. Freeing Ourselves with Mindfulness — with Tara Brach (Udemy)

Aside from her collaborative meditation course with Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach has online courses of her own. Freeing Ourselves with Mindfulness is a bestselling Udemy course, with over 5,000 students and an average rating of 4.7 out of 5. 

The stated purpose of this course on “Freeing Ourselves” is to help you, the student, heal self-destructive habits, release harmful attachments, and overcome addictions. 

You’ll learn where those habits and attachments came from, become more aware of your most vulnerable moments, and break the cycle of dependence, shame, and self-hatred. 

The regular price for the course is $29.99, but if you catch one of Udemy’s frequent sales, you can buy it for less. 

What do you get?

  • 2 hours of on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • Lifetime 24-7 access via mobile, desktop, or TV
  • Certificate of completion

8. Mindfulness Meditation with Jack Kornfield: Core Practices for Living Wisely (Udemy)

Aside from his course with Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield has this highly-rated course on Udemy. The subtitle, “Core Practices for Living Wisely,” gives you a snapshot of the course’s goal: to learn valuable core meditation practices to improve their lives. 

How you build on these essential basics is up to you. But a regular meditation practice should impact more than your daily routine. 

Kornfield explores how you can practice meditation in various ways to ensure it becomes part of who you are — not just something you do every day. He explores meditation’s impact on sensitivity to pain, on strong sensations, and your relationships with others. 

The regular price for the course is $29.99. What do you get?

  • 4 hours of on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • Lifetime access on mobile, desktop, or TV
  • Certificate of completion

9. The Essential Guide to Meditation by MindBodyGreen

MBG Classes describes this one as “the most comprehensive guide to creating a daily meditation practice.” You’ll learn every known type of meditation, along with meditation exercises you can practice anytime and anywhere. 

The website features an outline of the entire course to give you a sense of everything it covers. You can either enroll for yourself or give the course as a gift to someone you love. 

best online meditation courses

The goal here is to learn how to become the change you want to see in the world and to start taking practical steps in that direction. 

For $249.99, here’s what you get: 

  • 44 video lessons by your expert instructor, Charlie Knoles
  • A supportive online community
  • Lifetime access via mobile, desktop, or TV

Did you find the online meditation course for you?

Now that you’ve looked through these nine online meditation courses, which ones stood out for you the most? Which one are you inclined to try this week? 

We believe everyone should have access to high-quality meditation courses, tools, and apps, whatever their budget or background. That said, it’s essential that you feel some connection with the instructor and the course material before you make an investment.

We hope you find something that changes your life in the best possible way. 

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