Best Meditation Books

Best Nonfiction Book

Generally speaking, reading about meditation is much less helpful than just practicing meditation. Maybe that’s why I haven’t read as many books on this spirituality subcategory as I would like to have done.

Yeah. That must be the reason.

In any case. We all need at least a few on our spirituality bookshelf; after all, meditation is a requirement for life these days. Or at least a requirement for “being spiritual.”

And hey–there is good reason for that. First, meditation actually is as awesome as they say it is. Second, and more important: mediation isn’t just one thing. For me and many other alternative spirituality types, meditation is, well, pretty much whatever we say it is. You could walk a dog and call it a dog walking meditation; I do.


Best Meditation Books is part of a larger project called Books I Want My Kids to Read Someday. Like this list, it’s an ongoing, possibly unending, project. Check back or subscribe on the right for updates.

So many books on this topic–just so, so many. In future, I’ll add to this list extensively. For now, for the sake of space, I’m including just the stuff I’ve read, plus other stuff by these same authors.

Best Meditation Books:

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle
A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle
Stillness Speaks, Eckhart Tolle
Practicing the Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle
Meditation Without Gurus, Clark Strand
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, Pema Chodron
The Wisdom of No Escape And the Path of Loving-Kindness, Pema Chodron
Ten Percent 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, Dan Harris
The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation, Thich Nhat Hanh
Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, Thich Nhat Hanh
Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness, Jon Kabat-Zinn
Meditation: How to Reduce Stress, Get Healthy, and Find Your Happiness in Just 15 Minutes a Day, Rachel Rofe

Other Recommended Meditation Books:

Pema Chodron:

Always Maintain a Joyful Mind And Other Lojong Teachings on Awakening Compassion and Fearlessness, Pema Chodron
Awakening Loving-Kindness, Pema Chodron
Comfortable With Uncertainty: 108 Teachings, Pema Chodron
Don’t Bite the Hook: Finding Freedom From Anger and Other Destructive Emotions, Pema Chodron
Hooked! Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to Consume, Pema Chodron
Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change, Pema Chodron
No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva, Pema Chodron
Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living, Pema Chodron
Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves From Old Habits and Fears, Pema Chodron
The Places That Scare You: A Guide To Fearlessness, Pema Chodron
The Pocket Pema Chodron, Pema Chodron
This Moment is the Perfect Teacher: 10 Buddhist Teachings on Cultivating Inner Strength and Compassion, Pema Chodron
Tonglen: The Path of Transformation, Pema Chodron
Awakening Compassion: Meditation Practice for Difficult Times, Pema Chodron
Awakening Love: Teachings and Practices to Cultivate a Limitless Heart, Pema Chodron
Bodhisattva Mind: Teachings to Cultivate Courage and Awareness in the Midst of Suffering, Pema Chodron
Coming Closer to Ourselves: Making Everything the Path of Awakening, Pema Chodron
Fully Alive: A Retreat with Pema Chödrön on Living Beautifully With Uncertainty and Change, Pema Chodron
From Fear to Fearlessness: Teachings on the Four Great Catalysts of Awakening, Pema Chodron
Getting Unstuck: Breaking Your Habitual Patterns and Encountering Naked Reality, Pema Chodron
Giving Our Best: A Retreat With Pema Chödrön on Practicing the Way of the Bodhisattva, Pema Chodron
Good Medicine: How to Turn Pain Into Compassion With Tonglen Meditation, Pema Chodron
How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends With Your Mind, Pema Chodron
In Conversation: On the Meaning of Suffering and the Mystery of Joy, Pema Chodron
Karma: Finding Freedom in This Moment, Pema Chodron
Natural Awareness: Guided Meditations and Teachings for Welcoming All Experience, Pema Chodron
No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva, Pema Chodron
Noble Heart: A Self-Guided Retreat on Befriending Your Obstacles, Pema Chodron
Practicing Peace in Times of War, Pema Chodron
Pure Meditation: The Tibetan Buddhist Practice Of Inner Peace, Pema Chodron
Smile at Fear: A Retreat with Pema Chödrön on Discovering Your Radiant Self-Confidence, Pema Chodron
The Pema Chödrön Collection, Pema Chodron
The Three Commitments: Walking the Path of Liberation, Pema Chodron
The Truth of Our Existence: Four Teachings from the Buddha to Illuminate Your Life, Pema Chodron
True Happiness, Pema Chodron
Unconditional Confidence For Meeting Any Experience With Trust and Courage, Pema Chodron
Walking the Walk: Putting the Teachings Into Practice When it Matters Most, Pema Chodron
When Pain is the Doorway: Awakening in the Most Difficult Circumstances, Pema Chodron

Jon Kabat-Zinn:

The Power of Meditation and Prayer, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Sogyal Rinpoche, Larry Dossey, and Michael Toms
Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life, Jon Kabat-Zinn
Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Myla Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness Meditation for Everyday Life, Jon Kabat-Zinn
Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn
The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness, J. Mark G. Williams, John D. Teasdale, Zindel V. Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn
Arriving at Your Own Door, Jon Kabat-Zinn
Living Buddha, Living Christ, Thich Nhat Hanh
Letting Everything Become Your Teacher: 100 Lessons in Mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn
The Mind’s Own Physician: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama on the Healing Power of Meditation, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Richard Davidson

Sharon Salzberg:

Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, Sharon Salzberg
Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program, Sharon Salzberg
Heart as Wide as the World, Sharon Salzberg
Voices of Insight, Sharon Salzberg
Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience, Sharon Salzberg
The Force of Kindness: Change Your Life with Love and Compassion, Sharon Salzberg
The Kindness Handbook: A Practical Companion, Sharon Salzberg
Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace, Sharon Salzberg
Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier, Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman

Joseph Goldstein:

Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation, Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield
The Experience of Insight: A Simple and Direct Guide to Buddhist Meditation, Joseph Goldstein
Insight Meditation: The Practice of Freedom, Joseph Goldstein
The Path of Insight Meditation, Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield
Insight Meditation: A Step-By-Step Course on How to Meditate, Joseph Goldstein, with Sharon Salzberg
One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism, Joseph Goldstein
A Heart Full of Peace, Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield
Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening, Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield

Thich Nhat Hanh:

Vietnam: Lotus in a Sea of Fire, Thich Nhat Hanh
Being Peace, Thich Nhat Hanh
The Sun My Heart, Thich Nhat Hanh
Our Appointment with Life: Sutra on Knowing the Better Way to Live Alone, Thich Nhat Hanh
Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha, Thich Nhat Hanh
The Diamond That Cuts Through Illusion, Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Diamond Sutra, Thich Nhat Hanh
‘Hermitage Among the Clouds’, Thich Nhat Hanh
Zen Keys: A Guide to Zen Practice, Thich Nhat Hanh
Cultivating The Mind Of Love, Thich Nhat Hanh
The Heart Of Understanding, Thich Nhat Hanh
Transformation and Healing: Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hanh
True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart, Thich Nhat Hanh
Fragrant Palm Leaves: Journals, 1962-1966, Thich Nhat Hanh
Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers, Thich Nhat Hanh
The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, Thich Nhat Hanh
The Raft Is Not the Shore: Conversations Toward a Buddhist/Christian Awareness, Thich Nhat Hanh and Daniel Berrigan
The Path of Emancipation: Talks from a 21-Day Mindfulness Retreat, Thich Nhat Hanh
A Pebble in Your Pocket, Thich Nhat Hanh
Essential Writings, Thich Nhat Hanh
Anger, Thich Nhat Hanh
Be Free Where You Are, Thich Nhat Hanh
No Death, No Fear, Thich Nhat Hanh
Touching the Earth: Intimate Conversations with the Buddha, Thich Nhat Hanh
Teachings on Love, Thich Nhat Hanh
Understanding Our Mind, Thich Nhat Hanh
Buddha Mind, Buddha Body: Walking Toward Enlightenment, Thich Nhat Hanh
The Art of Power, Thich Nhat Hanh
Under the Banyan Tree, Thich Nhat Hanh
Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life, Thich Nhat Hanh
Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child, Thich Nhat Hanh
You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment, Thich Nhat Hanh
The Novice: A Story of True Love, Thich Nhat Hanh
Your True Home: The Everyday Wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh, Thich Nhat Hanh
Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm, Thich Nhat Hanh
The Pocket, Thich Nhat Hanh
The Art of Communicating, Thich Nhat Hanh
Blooming of a Lotus, Thich Nhat Hanh
No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering, Thich Nhat Hanh
Is Nothing Something?, Thich Nhat Hanh
Mindful Movements, Thich Nhat Hanh

Clark Strand:

Waking up to the Dark: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age, Clark Strand
Waking the Buddha: How the Most Dynamic and Empowering Buddhist Movement in History Is Changing Our Concept of Religion, Clark Strand
How to Believe in God: Whether You Believe in Religion or Not, Clark Strand
The Wooden Bowl: Simple Meditations for Everyday Life, Clark Strand
Seeds from a Birch Tree: Writing Haiku and the Spiritual Journey, Clark Strand

Other Authors:

Oneness With All Life, Eckhart Tolle
Guardians of Being, Eckhart Tolle
Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity, David Lynch
Zen Meditation in Plain English, John Daishin Buksbazen
Buddhism Without Beliefs: A Contemporary Guide to Awakening, Stephen Batchelor
The Zen Way, Myokyo-ni
How to Be a Yogi, Swami Abhedananda
The Way of Zen, Alan Watts
Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan of Relationships, Osho
Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World, Surya Das

And here are a few more related links for you:


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  1. Mollie as I can see you are doing an amazing job. I know many of the books you have read. Being a Mother and Wife at the same time is not easy enough time to read as you wish. Again, good job and keep moving forward.