What should I read for meditation?
Most of us long for a more zen life, but often we don’t know where to start.
These amazing meditation books give you more insight into the benefits of stillness as well as practical tips for developing a daily practice. So that we can all go into our day a little more calm, focused, and free of outside concerns.
*See here for more on why I love meditation and practical tips.
In this post, you’ll find:
- Great Meditation Books for Beginners
- Excellent Mindfulness Books
- Books With Daily Meditation Tips
- Meditation & Mindfulness Best Sellers
- Meditative Journals
- Mindfulness Coloring Books
- The Best Meditation Books for Kids
Meditation Books for Beginners
If this is your first look into meditation as a practice, these beginner books can be insanely helpful.
How to Meditate
This book, from one of meditation’s greatest teachers, gives a step-by-step guide for you to openly relate to the mind. It covers the basics as well as moments of difficulty that may come up.
“With her gentle approach and clear treatment of difficult concepts, Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön is a wonderful leader for those who want to begin or deepen a mindfulness meditation practice…” ―Vanessa Finney
Practical Meditation for Beginners: 10 Days to a Happier, Calmer You
This beginner’s guide gives you easy and practical exercises to incorporate into your daily routine. Decker offers a specific 10-day program for learning 10 different techniques.
“Pragmatic, thorough, and easy to read, this is a wonderful volume for those new to meditation practices. Ben Decker has captured the essence of what you need to get started on your mindfulness practice journey.”―Sharon Salzberg
Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners
This meditation book includes 50 quick meditation exercises, an in-depth look at what mindfulness and meditation are, and an explanation of how effective they can be in your life.
“Dawn has offered an elegantly simple, wise, and practical approach to mindfulness. In troubled times, these practices are enormously valuable―they help steady the heart, heal the body, and calm the mind.” ―Jack Kornfield
Just Sit: A Meditation Guidebook for People Who Know They Should But Don’t
Just Sit is a guidebook for those still skeptical about meditation as a regular practice. It addresses myths, realities, and benefits, offers advice on how to deal with awkwardness, and gives practical tips on how to find the time to meditate.
“A playfully-illustrated, informative, and easy-to-use meditation guidebook—including an eight-week plan for busy novices—that helps even the busiest would-be meditator incorporate this practice into their lifestyle and enjoy its many physical and emotional benefits.” – Amazon
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found a Self-Help That Actually Works
This book comes from Nightline Anchor Dan Harris and gives his skeptical first-hand experience of diving into meditation after having a panic attack on national television.
“10% Happier takes listeners on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of America’s spiritual scene, and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives.” – Amazon
*Note: if you love this book, see Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics for a follow up how-to book.
Notable Mindfulness Books
Next, these books include meditation but also dig into mindfulness in general.
Meditations: Marcus Aurelius
*4.8/5 Stars on Amazon
Written by Marcus Aurelius nearly 2,000 years old, this classic book remains relevant for anyone in search of a more meaningful life. His work includes a series of spiritual exercises and a deep understanding of human life.
The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness
This book is from a former Buddhist monk turned mindfulness expert in the UK. It offers simple meditation techniques that positively impact everything from productivity and focus, to stress and anxiety, sleep, and more.
“This is the only book on meditation you will ever need. Andy Puddicombe demystifies what is commonly an esoteric practice and brings it right into your living room, your office and your heart.” ―Patricia Ryan Madson, author of Improv Wisdom
*Side note: I’ve used the Headspace app for 5 years and it has been essential to developing a sustainable meditation practice.
The Miracle of Mindfulness
One of the original zen masters, Thich Nhat Hanh provides anecdotes and practical exercises as a means of learning to be more awake, present, and fully aware to the moment.
“One of the best available introductions to the wisdom and beauty of meditation practice.” —New Age Journal
You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment
“Based on a retreat that Thich Nhat Hanh led for Westerners, You Are Here offers a range of effective practices for cultivating mindfulness and staying in the present moment—including awareness of breathing and walking, deep listening, and skillful speech.” – Amazon
How to Train a Wild Elephant: And Other Adventures in Mindfulness
“In a brilliant, practical, and elegant way, Bays has answered the question most frequently asked by students of meditation, ‘How do I bring this practice into my daily life?’ Here is a jewel box of insightful, wise, beautiful, and compassionate ways to do so.”—Jack Kornfield
The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
*4.8/5 Stars on Amazon
In this volume, Thich Nhat Hanh offers seven transformative meditations not shared before. It is based on the essence of Buddha’s teachings and is meant to provide a powerful spiritual dimension to our lives.
“…this path will allow us to discover where we come from and where we are going. And, most of all, it will generate happiness, understanding, and love, so we can live deeply in each moment of our lives, right where we are.” – Amazon
The Book of Joy
*4.8/5 Amazon Stars
Two spiritual masters, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, share their wisdom of how to find unimaginable joy in a world of despair.
“I want to wish all of you joy-because there is no better gift. Two spiritual masters, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, share their wisdom in this uplifting book. I promise you, it’s the best $26 you can spend.” — Oprah Winfrey
The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have
The Book of Awakening, by poet and teacher Mark Nepo, offers simple truths and inspiration from the great wisdom traditions. Each day provides simple exercises designed to help us live the life we want by being present to the life we have.
Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World
A great resource for a step-by-step plan filled with simple practices to incorporate into everyday life. This book is based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), developed by the author and clinically shown to lower depression.
“Peace can’t be achieved in the outside world unless we have peace on the inside. Mark Williams and Danny Penman’s book gives us this peace.” —Goldie Hawn
Books on Practical Daily Meditation
Looking for more daily meditation practices? The following books offer great techniques and practical, everyday advice.
Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations for Finding Peace in the Everyday
Practicing Mindfulness is a recent bestseller on Amazon that introduces 75 essential exercises to develop daily mindfulness, plus tips on how to handle mental blocks and a wandering mind.
“Habits are difficult to change. Our ways of behaving and thinking become ingrained in our neural networks, and this often causes us to act without forethought or reflection… Practicing Mindfulness demystifies mindfulness practice, and is a wonderful—and necessary—addition to existing literature.”—Sonnee D. Weedn, Ph.D.
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
*New York Times Best Seller & Named Best Book of 2020 by NPR
Journalist James Nestor takes a dive into how our breathing has changed and the severe consequences we face when not breathing correctly. Using scientific studies and medical texts, he shows us how a change in our breath can jumpstart and rejuvenate us, as well as halt things like snoring and autoimmune disease.
“A fascinating scientific, cultural, spiritual, and evolutionary history of the way humans breathe—and how we’ve all been doing it wrong for a long, long time. I already feel calmer and healthier just in the last few days, from making a few simple changes in my breathing, based on what I’ve read.” — Elizabeth Gilbert
Dear Universe: 200 Mini-Meditations for Instant Manifestations
In Dear Universe, you’ll find 200 mini-meditations that help you feel more abundant, inspired, and confident, plus read soulful guidance and wisdom.
“Dear Universe is a wonderful resource filled with techniques and wisdom to bring you greater happiness and emotional well-being. Sarah Prout’s unique approach is refreshing and inspiring.”
Mindfulness Meditations for Anxiety: 100 Simple Practices to Find Peace Right Now
Ease your anxiety and bring yourself back to balance with these easy mindfulness meditations, inspiring words, and basics into meditation.
“Taking mindful approaches to anxiety is consistently the only technique that has worked for me. Through the strategies in this book, I have been relieved of plenty of suffering and pain. Although not a cure-all solution, if you put in the work required, you will see its benefits.”―Madison B.
Best Selling Meditation Books on Amazon
Next, these popular best-sellers are sure to keep you glued to the page.
The Daily Stoic
*4.8/5 Stars on Amazon
This book provides 366 days of stoic insights and wisdom into living a better life. It features many of the great leaders of mindfulness and is a wonderful guide for every day of the year.
“The Daily Stoic offers all who seek a calm, wise life a daily spiritual anchor. This book will keep you strong across dark times and steady and clear no matter what your circumstances happen to be…” — Sharon Lebell
The Power of Now
*New York Times Best Seller
Here, Eckert Tolle explains (in question and answer format) that when you accept what is and become fully present, you gain access to inner peace.
“Much more than simple principles and platitudes, the book takes readers on an inspiring spiritual journey to find their true and deepest self and reach the ultimate in personal growth and spirituality: the discovery of truth and light.” – Amazon
The Untethered Soul
*New York Times Best Seller
The Untethered Soul is a beloved read that taps into meditation and mindfulness to transform your relationship with yourself and your world.
“Deep spirituality is within your reach in this book. In it you will find the mirror to see your unconditional, holy self. If you look for practical spirituality not encumbered by credo and ritual, read this book.”―Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit
In Sacred Woman, Queen Afua uses extraordinary meditations, affirmations, holistic healing plant-based medicine, KMT temple teachings, and The Rites of Passage guidance to show us how to love and find joy in our bodies.
“This book was one of the first that helped me start practices as a young woman that focused on my body and spirit as one.”—Jada Pinkett Smith
Think Like a Monk
4.8/5 Stars on Amazon
Think Like a Monk teaches you to overcome negative habits and thoughts while accessing more calm in your life. It gives practical advice to reduce stress, improve self-discipline and focus, and strengthen relationships.
“Jay Shetty has a rare gift for tapping into the world’s timeless wisdom and making it timely by infusing everyday moments with meaning and grace…Read this book to open your mind, lift your heart, redefine success, and connect with your deeper purpose. —Arianna Huffington
Chakra Healing: A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Healing Techniques that Balance the Chakras
*4.8/5 Stars on Amazon
This book provides a variety of techniques to help with pain, fatigue, and emotional issues. Topics include everything from meditation to crystals, essential oils, focused breathing, yoga, and even diet.
“Chakra Healing is filled with combined information for the body, mind, and spirit. A great book to begin working on the many layers of the body―focusing on health, yoga, and the use of crystals as it interestingly combines them to create a better lifestyle infused with wellness.” – Amazon
Meditation and Mindfulness Journals
A meditation journal can be incredibly helpful for establishing a practice, cultivating daily calm, and detoxing your thoughts. Check out these great options:
A Year of Mindfulness: A 52-Week Guided Journal to Cultivate Peace and Presence
A Year of Mindfulness is a daily writing journal with weekly themes. The instruction in this straightforward guide makes mindfulness and peace an easier process.
The Meditation Sidekick Journal
This daily journal (with prompts) explores mindfulness & meditation so you meditate more effectively and is great for beginners.
Meditation: A Day and Night Reflection Journal (90 Days)
Meditation: A Day and Night Reflection Journal helps you recognize the benefits of your meditation practice, record your thought patterns, and track your mood and feelings. It will be an essential tool in helping you make meditation a daily habit.
A Year of Zen: A 52-Week Guided Journal
Each day of this year-long journal brings curiosity and reverence to the day. It’s a beautiful journal for consistent reflection.
The Mindfulness Journal: Daily Practices, Writing Prompts, and Reflections for Living in the Present Moment
Use the actionable writing prompts in this journal to help you find space and presence in your day while reducing anxiety.
Meditation Coloring Books
Next, these coloring books will gently move your worries to the background while guiding you into the present moment.
The Mindfulness Coloring Book
This is an adult coloring book with soothing designs and nature to reduce stress and anxiety.
The Enchanted Forest
This breathtaking coloring book takes a deep dive into nature and into an amazing mindfulness activity.
“Consider trading in your yoga mat for a set of markers and peruse the gorgeous gardens of Basford’s imagination.” – The Huffington Post
Mandala Meditation Coloring Book
This is a coloring book of mandalas with intricate circular designs that bring you to the project at hand in a meditative way.
Meditation Books for Kids
And finally, if you have kids, these books offer a beautiful introduction to daily peace in a world of distraction.
Meditation for Kids: 40 Activities to Manage Emotions, Ease Anxiety, and Stay Focused
This is a fun book for ages 4-8 that teaches how fun and helpful meditation can be. The book offers breathing exercises, mindfulness practice, yoga poses, and more to help kids discover how to calm down, focus, and be more present.
Breathe Like a Bear
Breathe Like a Bear provides 30 simple mindfulness exercises to help tune in and find focus, energy, and calm. Best of all – these exercises can be done anywhere, and at any time.
“Breathe Like a Bear is a beautiful guide to mindfulness. Parents, teachers, caregivers— and especially kids—will love the different ways to explore mindfulness and breath through animals and story...” — Susan Verde
Bedtime Meditations for Kids
In this book, you’ll find specific calming exercises that help kids get to sleep. Great for ages 4-8 and perfect for calming kids down at night.
“This book will be a treasure for you and your child to find ways to unwind and feel connected to one another. As a mother of two young adults, I wish I’d had such a staple on our nightstand. Heck, I had fun reading and doing them myself!” ―Mindie Clark
Mindfulness Workbook for Kids
“This book about mindfulness for kids provides fun exercises and easy strategies to help your child find focus, develop coping skills, and handle tough situations.” – Amazon
I Can Do Hard Things
*Best Seller 4.8/5 Stars
I Can Do Hard Things introduces children to the practice of using mindful affirmations for support and encouragement. It helps them realize that support, resilience, and encouragement can come from their own minds.
See this list of powerful kids affirmations for more positive self-talk for kids!
I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness
*4.8/5 Stars on Amazon
This book encourages children to breathe, taste, smell, and be present in the here and now. It includes a guided meditation and a look into the wonders of nature as well.
Find I Am Peace HERE>>
A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles
A Handful of Quiet offers one of the best-known meditative practices for children from Thich Nhat Hanh. It is an interactive hands-on practice using pebbles to help kids interconnect with nature, relieve stress, increase concentration, nourish gratitude, and deal with difficult feelings.
Mindfulness for Teens in 10 Minutes a Day: Exercises to Feel Calm, Stay Focused & Be Your Best Self
Mindfulness for Teens gives simple 10-minute exercises to help teens learn to focus, control emotions, reduce stress, and find peace in their daily lives.
“Teens live at the heart of the digital age, bombarded with images that only compound the natural developmental stressors and pressure that come with adolescence. In this straightforward guide to mindful ways of being, Jennie Marie Battistin has taken the mystery out of mindfulness and compiled an easy-to-read and utilize guide to informing everyday activities with awareness, self-regulation, and increased calm―the counterbalance to stress.”―Rhea Harris-Junge
Breathing is My Superpower: Mindfulness Book for Kids to Feel Calm and Peaceful
Breathing is my Superpower offers 5 breathing exercises that help kids control their anger, fears, and worries.
“Before going to bed, my daughter does a breathing exercise and she is convinced that with each exhalation she spreads her superpower by destroying monsters. This book is great!” – Jennifer
For more inspiring kids books, see powerful growth mindset books HERE>>
To Consider With Meditation Books
There’s something for everyone in this list of books for meditation and mindfulness. I hope you found a few new reads to guide you on your journey of finding peace and calm in daily life.
What are your favorite meditation books?
Other Self-Care & Wellness Posts to Enjoy…
- Powerful Things to Do on a Rainy Day
- How to Do a Brain Dump (free template)
- Fierce Self-Care Quotes For Your Mind, Body, & Soul