6 Essential Books On Meditation & Mindfulness For Beginners
“The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
Meditation and mindfulness are ancient traditions rooted in Eastern spirituality. And today, people around the world are curious to learn more about these practices. Especially in Western societies, people are craving peace and groundedness amidst fast-paced lives and busy schedules.
Ready to get started on your own mindfulness journey? These books are perfect for beginners! We encourage readers to seek out resources about the ancient Eastern traditions of mindfulness and meditation to cultivate respect for the practices. While they have been modified for today’s society, it’s important to remember these practices are much more than buzzwords or current fads. Readings from Thich Nhat Hanh are a great place to start!
1. The Miracle Of Mindfulness
Author | Thich Nhat Hanh
Written by the revered Vietnamese Buddhist monk, poet and peace activist, and global spiritual leader, The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation is the best mindfulness guide for beginners. While originally published in 1999, it remains one of the most celebrated and widely known meditation guides on the market.
Review | “Thich Nhat Hanh’s ideas for peace, if applied, would build a monument to ecumenism, to world brotherhood, to humanity.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.
Price | $15, or order secondhand
2. Start Where You Are
Author | Meera Lee Patel
This bright and calming journal is the perfect introduction to mindfulness. Meera Lee Patel, a Nashville-based author, known for her hand-lettering and success as a stationary artist, invites readers into self-exploration and mindful practices through vibrant imagery, inspirational quotes, and interactive prompts with space for journaling.
Review | “Meera Lee Patel’s journal for self-exploration is a work of art on its own, filled with lushly illustrated prompts and advice, and plenty of room for you to discover and create your own beautiful revelations.” –Buzzfeed
Price | $16, or order secondhand
3. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind
Author | Shunryu Suzuki
A late Japanese priest of the Soto lineage, Shunryu Suzuki, has been called the true founding father of Zen in the west. He founded both the San Francisco Zen Center and the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center and authored multiple books about mindfulness and meditation. For first-timers, we recommend starting with his classic Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind.
Review | “One of the best and most succinct introductions to Zen practice.” –Library Journal
Price | $19.95, or less secondhand
4. Real World Mindfulness For Beginners
Author | Brenda Salgado
Real World Mindfulness for Beginners includes expert guidance from leading meditation teachers in the United States. Readers will find that chapters are aimed at daily struggles and challenges and included exercises that address topics like stress, grief, anger, and more. This book is a wonderful introduction for those who are just beginning their mindful living and meditation journey.
Review | “In a world of increasing tension and confusion, this book is so timely and needed.” –Larry Yang, Founder of Insight Community of the Desert Meditation Center
Price | $14.99, or order secondhand
5. The Headspace Guide To Meditation & Mindfulness
Author | Andy Puddicombe
Authored by Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk and founder of Headspace—the world’s largest online meditation platform—The Headspace Guide To Meditation & Mindfulness has one goal: that every person would take 10 minutes a day to be present and mindful.
This excellent guide encourages techniques to help readers be mindful in every area of life—such as in relationships, at work, and while eating.
Reviews | “Discover what neuroscience has known for a very long time…meditation works! A delightfully written and thoroughly enjoyable book.” –Judson Brewer MD. PhD, Medical Director, Yale Therapeutic Neuroscience Clinic
Price | $16.99, or less secondhand
6. I Am Here Now
Author | Alexandra Frey & Autumn Totton
I Am Here Now is a wonderful book to jumpstart your journey to daily mindfulness. With its simple instructions, hands-on creative activities, and space for journaling, it’s an intentional and practical guide to learning mindful living. It is also one of the most widely accessible as it is available in 19 languages.
Reviews | “The book helps me stay calm and curious…It really inspire(s) me to challenge my powers of observation, investigations and bring awareness.” –Zhang K., Goodreads Review
Price | $17, or less secondhand
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