Best Mindfulness Meditation Books For Beginners (2019 Update)

By Kenny Lee | Essentials

Mar 02

Everyone seems to be talking about the need to meditate these days. Hectic lifestyles, workplace stress, financial burden, and other stressors taking a toll on our emotional and mental well-being. And so, you decided to heed the health guru’s advice and pick up meditation.

Meditation or specifically mindfulness meditation is growing in popularity in the West. This ancient practice that hails from India has been proven to benefit both physical and mental health of human being.

Getting started with meditation is simple, as the concept revolves around observing your breath or a similar meditation object. But making the practice consistent can be challenging, as your mind is quite unpredictable and as you have recently found out, seems to be pretty stubborn.

As a meditation practitioner, I believe that it’s important to learn from the experience and advice of meditation teachers, and I’ve read through my fair share of meditation books. At times, they could put a light on the obstacles you encountered in the practice and be an inspiring source to keep meditating.

10 Of The Best Meditation Books For Beginners 2019

These books, written by meditation gurus and teachers, may help you to get started with meditation and understand what mindfulness practice is all about.

1. Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best Meditation Books For Beginners

The name Jon Kabat-Zinn needs no further introduction in mindfulness practice. He is one of the pioneers who popularized mindfulness meditation in the West and has picked up the practice from renowned Buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh.

You’ll find all your queries about what mindfulness answered right from the start. Jon Kabat-Zinn broke down the concept in simple words that makes reading ease. But the best way of learning mindfulness is to meditate and you’ll find the instructions a great guide in getting started.

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2. Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Dr. Danny Penman

Best Meditation Books For Beginners

Rather than a mindfulness book that you read in leisure, this is an 8-week program designed to bring mindfulness to your daily life with simple practices. It was written based on the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, a proven method recommended by physicians in the US and Europe to treat depression.

The book is available on Kindle, where you’ll be guided by the calm and soothing voice of the author to kickstart your practice. At certain parts of the book, you’ll find links to guided meditation instructions that helps to slow things down mentally in a hectic life.

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3. The Headspace Guide To Meditation by Andy Puddicombe

Best Meditation Books For Beginners

So, you’ve downloaded Headspace and getting this book seems like a waste of money. Well, you’re wrong. Written by Andy Puddicombe, a former monk and the creator of Headspace, you’ll find that the book complements your experience using the meditation app.

You will find Andy’s style engaging but simplifying what mindfulness is all about. The book brings you deeper into the meditation experience that you’ve had with Headspace, but it does so by breaking ancient concepts into simple words. You’re bound to relate with the many daily scenarios described in the book.

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

Best Meditation Books For Beginners

You can’t mention mindfulness without highlighting Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist monk who’s pivotal in the spread of mindfulness meditation to the west. You’re forgiven if you think that this book will be full of Buddhism theories and text that are hard to understand by the lay people. 

Thich Nhat Hanh puts the concept of mindfulness in simple words and uses examples that you’re bound to experience in your daily life. It shows how mindfulness can be brought into simple acts, such as eating or washing dishes, instead of stressing away with uncertainties. A great read if you’re new to the concept of mindfulness.

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5. Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Best Meditation Books For Beginners

It’s true that mindfulness meditation is often suggested for dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression. But most meditation instructions that you read online never explained the underlying mechanism that deals with your mind and emotion. This book is perfect to clear your doubts on your meditation practice.

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana is a Buddhist monk who has been teaching frequently in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. In the book, he draws our attention to the deeper emotions we felt in daily life and how meditation could be transformative when practiced diligently. More important, it clears the confusion among beginners by explaining what meditation is not.

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6.10-Minute Mindfulness by S.J. Scott & Barrie Davenport

Best Meditation Books For Beginners

Sometimes, doubts crept in when you’re meditating and you questioned if you could really be mindful in daily life. After all, monks don’t have to deal with work, family, parenting and the financial stress that is tearing you apart. Reading 10-Minute Mindfulness may convince you that it can be done after all.

Rather than overloaded with theory, the book is all about taking action. In this case, it’s about introducing mindful habits into your life. You’ll find the authors have carefully laid out a plan that helps you to discard old stressful habits and replacing them with mindful ones. It’s a great mindfulness book for people who are constantly distracted and living with stress.

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7. Walking Meditation: Easy Steps To Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh

Best Meditation Books For Beginners

Meditation always conjures up images of a person sitting perfectly still on a zafu cushion. But there are some circumstances where sitting meditation can be extremely difficult. People who are struggling with back pain can relate to this. Or those who are undergoing chronic stress.

Walking meditation is a different yet effective form of mindfulness practice. In this book, renowned Buddhist monk provides clear instructions on how to start practicing walking meditation. You’ll find the enclosed CD a helpful resource in aiding you to understand how walking meditation is done. Transitioning from walking meditation to mindful walking in daily life is also easier when you have understood the method.

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8. Mindfulness Made Simple: An Introduction to Finding Calm Through Mindfulness & Meditation by Elisha Goldstein

Best Meditation Books For Beginners

Some people are confused about mindfulness and meditation. No, they are not the same. Elisha Goldstein, a seasoned mindfulness practitioner does her best to explain how they differ and yet related before proceeding with the instructions of proper mindfulness meditation.

You’re going to learn more than sitting mindfulness meditation as Elisha shares different practical meditation techniques. Once you’ve mastered the basics, the book offers deeper knowledge on meditation and how you could apply the same techniques in difficult situations, especially when you’re dealing with difficult people.

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9. Mindfulness For Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment—and Your Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best Meditation Books For Beginners

What is mindfulness? It’s a Buddhism concept that doesn’t have an equal word in English. And no one explains mindfulness better than Jon Kabat-Zinn. He dissected the word mindfulness into simple analogies that everyone could relate to.

Reading this book will change your perspective into mundane activities that you often take for granted. For instance, breathing is never the same when you’re mindful. It’s a great book to accompany your practice as you progress deeper into mindfulness meditation.

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10. Mindfulness: A Practical Guide To Awakening by Joseph Goldstein

Best Meditation Books For Beginners

Perhaps this book isn’t really meant for beginners, but it is worth a mention in this list. Joseph Goldstein has been practicing mindfulness meditation for four decades and closely based his practice to ancient Buddhist teaching.

The secular mindfulness that is popular today has its root in Vippasana, or insight meditation in Buddhism. If you’ve got a good grasp of basic mindfulness and you wanted to go closer to the origin of the practice, this is a book that you don’t want to miss out.

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11.  BONUS: The Power Of Now by Eckart Tolle

Best Meditation Books For Beginners

If you need simple instructions to meditate, this book probably isn’t the right fit. But if you’re longing for the answer of how mindfulness, or rather the lack of, is wreaking havoc in many aspects of your life, then you should have read this book yesterday.

Eckart Tolle is a renowned mindfulness teacher and he explains how your mind is conditioned to behave as it is. He also offers a glimpse into the possibility of transformation when you start changing how you react to uncertainties. While the word mindfulness isn’t being used extensively in the book, the essence is everything you need to stay in the here and now.

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I hope you’ve got a clearer picture of what mindfulness is all about, or get started with meditation with the instructions from these books. To make meditation easier, you should also try using a guided meditation app. I’m using Aware and it’s doing a great job for my emotional wellness.

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About the Author

I struggled with social anxiety for at least 15 years, without really knowing what I was going through. Eventually, I defeated my social phobia and conquered the fear of public speaking.

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