In case you don’t know it by now, many of us are facing the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and its aftermath on mental health:
- In the United Kingdom (UK), 53% of adults reported feelings of stress, anxiety, or sadness due to the pandemic-related economic woes.
- One in four adults in the UK also experienced feelings of loneliness while in isolation.
- More than 65% of adults living in the UK feel worried about the effects of COVID-19 on their life.
Stress, worry, and anxiety are expected during these trying times, and it can be quite tough to cope with all that’s happening right now. However, just because coping feels difficult, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, as there are certain ways that one can use to get by.
One good example of coping amid the COVID-19 pandemic is through mindfulness and meditation.
How do you practice mindfulness meditation for beginners?
At this point, you might be thinking that mindfulness and meditation are just for yoga enthusiasts and gurus. However, you’ll be surprised at how beneficial it is and how easily everyone can do it.
Instead of worrying about the future, simply take a moment out of your busy day. Try to forget all of your worries for a while. Inhale, then exhale, and do this a few times. Your mind may wander while doing this but just refocus on your breathing.
By pausing for a moment each day to practice mindfulness, you can reduce your anxiety and stress while increasing your happiness. Easy, right?
So, how do I start meditating for beginners?
Now, doing a simple breathing exercise for mindfulness is just a small part of a bigger picture. To truly delve deeper into the art of living in the present moment, one may start by looking up meditation guides online, attending virtual yoga sessions, listening to podcasts, or reading books!
How do beginners meditate using books?
Books on meditation and mindfulness aren’t necessarily instruction manuals. They don’t give out rules on how to sit in silence for hours, but rather, they help readers, especially those who are beginners, first to understand the essence and benefits of meditation. As the chapters progress, books give their readers certain guides on practicing meditation as part of their lifestyle.
Can I teach myself to meditate?
Yes! Practicing mindfulness and meditation might come off as frustrating and tedious at first, but it gets better with practice. Folks who have read books on mindfulness say that reading takes away the dullness and difficulty that most people experience when meditating the first time.
What are the three types of meditation?
Contrary to popular belief, meditation is more than just being silent for long periods as different meditation types go beyond the lack of noise. Of course, there’s “spiritual meditation,” which Eastern spirituality traditions practice, such as Buddhism, and involve either a spoken or silent prayer. There’s “mindfulness meditation,” which is popular in Western countries and includes being mindful of one’s body and actions. Lastly, there’s “movement meditation,” which is associated with yoga and tai chi, which involves making the movement of one’s body the object of meditation.
Can I listen to music while meditating?
Yes, there are forms of guided meditations that will involve you listening to calming music. If you’re looking for a book that involves music while meditating, then this article is a great place to start!
In this article, you will discover more than a dozen books to help you get started with meditation and mindfulness. All the works detailed in this list are masterpieces, so relish the wisdom from these 14 incredible writers and allow yourself to jumpstart your meditation journey:
1. The Miracle of Mindfulness
Written by Thích Nhất Hạnh
Considered one of the most celebrated meditations books on the market, Zen Master Thích Nhất Hạnh’s The Miracle of Mindfulness is the best “starter” book for budding meditators.
By beginning with a guide to mindful breathing, the book features a classic introduction to meditation that explains what it means to live mindfully amid a fast-paced life.
Apart from offering a guide to learning the skills of mindfulness, the book also reminds readers that every moment, no matter how mundane such as sending an email, is an opportunity to achieve inner peace.
Get a copy of “The Miracle of Mindfulness” here.
2. Wherever You Go, There You Are
Written by Job Kabat-Zinn
Inspiring and instructional, Jon Kabat-Zinn’s “Wherever You Go, There You Are” offers his readers, especially beginners, a simple way to experience the spiritual practice of meditation.
Described as an enlightening exploration of mindfulness, Kabat-Zinn’s book is a concise guide filled with wisdom towards mastering the ancient Buddhist way of reducing stress.
Purchase a copy of Kabat-Zinn’s book here.
3. 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — A True Story
Written by Dan Harris
Award-winning journalist Dan Harris’ 10% Happier is a brutally-honest memoir that tells the story of how meditation relieved him of his depression and stress following a full-blown panic attack on live television.
Harris’ best-selling book delves deeper into his initial reluctance to meditation and his inspiring actions that lead to his eventual success in his “unplanned” spiritual endeavor.
Price | $37.00
Get a copy of Harris’ 10% Happier here.
4. The Headspace Guide to Meditation & Mindfulness
Written by Andy Puddicombe
As a former Buddhist monk and the UK’s prominent mindfulness expert, Andy Puddicombe believes that every one of us should take at least 10 minutes daily to be mindful.
In Puddicombe’s book, he encourages his readers to be present in all aspects of their life by creating a mindfulness program that fits in a hectic daily schedule. Puddicombe’s book is also best experienced with the Headspace app, which features accompanying music for meditation.
Price | $18.80
Get yourself a copy of Andy Puddicombe’s book through this link.
5. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Written by Shunryu Suzuki
Shunryu Suzuki, a Sōtō Zen monk, once said that a “beginner’s mind” is filled with possibilities while only a few are in the expert’s mind.
In the book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind’, Suzuki highlights the essence of keeping a “beginner’s mind” when approaching Zen. While the book is not a step-by-step manual to master Zazen meditation, it offers simple yet profound insights about Zen philosophy that every beginner should read.
Price | $9.95
Purchase Shunryu Suzuki’s “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” here.
6. 8 Minute Meditation: Quiet Your Mind. Change Your Life
Written by Victor Davich
If Andy Puddicombe recommends taking 10 minutes a day to be mindful, author Victor Davich offers a way to meditate for two minutes less of the time.
Davich’s book, “8 Minute Meditation”, features a beginner-friendly and no-nonsense method to help struggling folk reduce stress and heighten focus by pausing for eight minutes a day. The book also clears up myths and misconceptions that usually get in the way of beginners attempting to master the art of meditation.
Price | $ 4.97
Visit this link to get a copy of Davich’s “8 Minute Meditation”.
7. Out of Your Mind
Written by Alan Watts
Alan Watts’ “Out of Your Mind” is a unique meditation book that beginners should get their hands on. The book is an audiobook that focuses less on teaching meditation and more on managing the changes that will occur during one’s meditation journey.
Watt’s book will surely keep your mind (and ears) open in knowing more and diving deep into a consistent practice of meditation.
Price | $67.52 (Audio CD)
Buy a copy of “Out of Your Mind” here.
8. Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace)
Written by Chade-Meng Tan
In his best-selling book, ‘Search Inside Yourself,’ former Google engineer and author Chade-Meng Tan encourage his readers to ‘search’ inside themselves and achieve personal growth through mindfulness.
With Tan’s published and proven method for enhancing mindfulness and improving emotional intelligence, his book is an indispensable guide for beginner meditators.
Price | $9.69
Get a copy of Chade-Meng Tan’s meditation book by visiting this link.
9. Mindfulness in Plain English
Written by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
Known by many as the quintessential guide to mindfulness and meditation, renowned meditation expert Bhante Henepola Gunarantana’s Mindfulness in Plain English is a book that beginners should read.
Gunaratana’s book takes readers to an inside world of the realities, benefits, and myths of meditation while teaching the practice of mindfulness. The book answers questions on what meditation is and how to make it a tool to lead a more peaceful life.
Price | $16.95
Read Gunaratana’s helpful book by purchasing a copy here.
10. Meditation in Action
Written by Chogyam Trungpa
Authored by the late Tibetan Buddhist educator Chogyam Trungpa, Meditation in Action is a book that offers readers a different perspective on meditation.
In his book, Trungpa concentrates on six activities involved with meditation in action: discipline, patience, clarity, energy, generosity, and wisdom. He emphasizes that through these simple experiences, one can effectively obtain wisdom to deal with life’s inevitable situations.
If you wish to meditate beyond the formal practice of sitting in silence, then Trungpa’s book is the one for you!
Price | $10.90
Purchase a copy of “Meditation in Action” here.
11. Make Peace With Your Mind
Written by Mark Coleman
Author Mark Coleman believes that we can only free our mind from worries if we make peace with it; and that is why he wrote Make Peace With Your Mind as a “mental tool kit” of meditation techniques for the troubled mind.
The book features beginner-friendly practice exercises to help the readers examine their uncomfortable thoughts, letting go of past regrets, and practicing mindfulness meditation.
Price | $9.13
Get a copy of Coleman’s “Make Peace With Your Mind” through this link.
12. Why Can’t I Meditate?
Written by Nigel Wellings
Full of practical tips and methods to help readers effectively practice meditation, author Nigel Wellings’ Why Can’t I Meditate? is a book all beginners should read.
Wellings’ book makes it easy for beginner meditators to commit to mindfulness meditation amid life’s unpredictable twists and turns. So, if you’re bent on starting a consistent meditation routine despite countless distractions, this mediation book is certainly worth checking out.
Price | $ 16.00
Read Wellings’ book by getting yourself a copy from here.
13. How to Meditate: A Practical Guide
Written by Kathleen McDonald
Described as a “down-to-earth” book, Kathleen McDonald’s How to Meditate: A Practical Guide answers the commonly-asked questions that beginner meditators often have.
As a Buddhist nun with experience in teaching meditation, McDonald ensures that her readers will obtain high-yield practical advice on authentic meditation and other Buddhist practices. Plus, the book’s tone is also encouraging and refreshingly warm to beginner readers!
Price | $7.99
You can get “How to Meditate: A Practical Guide” through this link.
14. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
Written by Eckhart Tolle
Compelling and easy-to-understand, Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now is a book that budding meditators shouldn’t miss.
Despite being a concise read, the book discusses relevant themes of spirituality and psychology concerning mindfulness. Simple yet practical, Tolle’s book gives readers helpful tips for mindful and meditative daily living.
Ultimately, The Power of Now is a book that beginners shouldn’t miss.
Price | $8.99
Read “The Power of Now” by purchasing a copy here.
Now that you’ve completed reading this list of must-read books of meditation and mindfulness, you probably now have a few ideas on how to start living in the moment.
The pandemic doesn’t seem to be over any day now. However, as we wait for things to get better, may you inspire yourself through mindful meditation with the help of the books shared above!
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