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Anyone can benefit from meditating on a regular basis — just the act of sitting still and breathing for a few minutes each day helps reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and allow you be more present and engaged. From philosophical to just plain fun, use these meditation books to help center yourself and live a more zen life.
Did you know that there isn't just one way to meditate? The book Practical Meditation for Beginners walks readers through 10 different methods to help kickstart a 10-day practice.
Despite the book's title, even long-time meditators can glean new wisdom from these techniques, such as the body scan, emotional observance, and sitting with difficult feelings. The book is designed to be actionable, and users are encouraged to journal about their experiences afterwards.
If you've ever found yourself dreading certain times of day, like too-early mornings, slow afternoons, or energy-zapped evenings, The Mindful Day is a meditation book that can help you reframe how you see your daily routines.
Written by mindfulness expert Laurie Cameron, the exercises included in this book are meant to boost compassion, connection, and even help win back minutes that were previously spent zoning out on a phone or in front of the TV. The exercises are all scientifically backed as well to help you fully live and experience every minute of your day.
For those who prefer a prompt-based approach to meditating and mindfulness, this journal is the one to keep by your bedside. It includes coloring pages, quizzes, gratitude lists, and emotional maps on nice, thick paper that allow the user to interact with them however they want to. Many users note that they enjoy filling out this journal with a partner in order to instill more mindfulness in their relationship.
This reader-favorite meditation book is great for anyone struggling with anxiety and who can't seem to catch a break from external factors keeping them in a stressed-out state.
Written by Mark Williams, a professor of clinical psychology at Oxford University, and Dr. Danny Penman, a journalist and meditation teacher, this book uses a psychology-based approach called Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy to help readers gain a little bit more control over their thoughts. Their plan is laid out over the course of 8 weeks, but only a few minutes each day are required to make a huge difference.
The lessons of mindfulness aren't just applicable to adult life — they're just as important to kids as well! This picture book translates the concepts of meditation and being present into a kid-friendly storybook, illustrated in beautifully vibrant watercolors.
The Four Agreements is a book about the ancient teachings passed down from the Toltec peoples of Mexico, which have endured in their relevance to living a full, good life today. The agreements outlined in the book sound extremely simplistic (one of them is "do your best"), but author and spiritual teacher Don Miguel Ruiz breaks these large, vague concepts into specific ways that readers can start to instill positive changes in their day-to-day.
Joy and frustration simultaneously exist in everyone's life — meditation offers people a way to help harmonize that internal dichotomy. This meditation book (from the editors at O, The Oprah Magazine) is a collection of essays that grounds the abstract nature of meditation with stories of the pleasures and setbacks that are all part of the human experience.
It also includes an enlightening conversation between Oprah and Buddhist monk Pema Chödrön about rebuilding and thriving after going through a personal tragedy. This book is an enjoyable quick read, and it's small enough to carry with you for flipping back open to a favorite essay at any time.
The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu may be two of the wisest men alive, but their wisdom is gleaned through lives of constant introspection and reckoning with the profound suffering in the world today.
This book follows them during the course of Tutu's weeklong visit to the Dalai Lama's home in 2015, in which they discuss what pure, true joy means to every life (even in the face of immense hardship), and also the mental obstacles that can prevent even the most capable people from attaining it.
Our inner voice helps us navigate tricky decisions and work out what we want to say before it comes out of our mouths, but when it turns into a panicked monologue, it can severely impact our quality of life. For anyone who feels too riddled with anxiety and worried thoughts to sit down and meditate, Declutter Your Mind is a wonderful tool to help you remove distractions, cut down on the mental chatter, and reclaim that space for calm contemplation.
If you prefer reading novels to meditation books, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a wonderful place to start on the journey to mindfulness. Touted for its pacing, narrative voice, and easily digestible concepts, this story of a father and son on a motorcycle trip serves as a metaphor for the underlying questions about the purpose and true nature of humanity.
Meditation, though powerful, isn't all that complicated to execute. Andy Puddicombe, founder of the Headspace app (and former Buddhist monk), argues that 10 minutes a day of quiet, focused breathing can make a world of difference in a busy life. This meditation book breaks it down into very simple concepts, using analogies and stories to illustrate the point.
Find your own stress-free, meditative flow with Angie Grace's book of mandalas. The longer you work on coloring in one of its gorgeously illustrated designs, the more you'll feel your stress melt away, leaving you with beautiful art to admire once you're finished!
If you're looking for advice on how to de-stress that's more down-to-earth than spiritually focused, turn to the straight-talking guru of self-help, Dale Carnegie. Written in a friendly and upbeat voice, he dispenses practical wisdom in each chapter, allowing you to more easily meditate without sweating the small stuff.
Journaling is a great way to get in deeper touch with yourself and to calm down your thoughts when your brain is feeling frazzled. If free-form writing feels too much like work, we suggest picking up Moorea Seal's 52 Lists for Happiness. Each entry in this gorgeous list-making journal gives you a positivity-focused prompt to help you focus on the things in life that bring you the most joy.
This top-rated meditation book is all about looking inward. It helps readers understand their inner selves and how to sit with their energy in meditation, even when it seems incredibly difficult. Anyone who feels like they fixate far too much on the little things would benefit greatly from the teachings in this book.
This best-selling meditation book introduces readers to a deeper practice to help them significantly reduce their everyday stressors. Author Jon Kabat-Zinn places a big emphasis on the concept of being and not doing, using meditation as a means to become more present.