Recent global events added to our own personal stressors have made it more difficult for us to cling to our hopes and dreams for a better world. That’s why more and more people are turning to meditation to attain the inner calm and peaceful countenance that seem so elusive in the present time.
These books on meditation and mindfulness will help you gain focus, achieve serenity and lower stress levels. Here’s hoping they will be of valuable assistance to you in your daily practice.
Written by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu who have been through grievous suffering and oppression, The Book of Joy shows the reader how to achieve enduring happiness by assimilating eight positive qualities they called the eight pillars.
Paradoxically, these eight pillars are simple truths coming from deeply respected spiritual leaders. And not surprisingly, those who are engaged in meditation and mindfulness agree because they have found that constant meditation brings out these qualities in them.
The meditations in this book are based on the philosophy of Stoicism but are worded in practical and concrete words rather than abstract ideas. Ryan Holiday effectively picks the works of stoic philosophers Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus and Seneca and transforms them into modern and usable content.
For example, the verbose discourse of Epictetus on Control and Choice is simplified into “differentiating into what we can change and what we can’t…what we have influence over and what we do not.” By accepting this unchangeable truth, the reader attains a happier life.
Shaken…is Tim Tebow’s story of how he dealt with rejection and a shattered dream. A professional NFL quarterback on the New England Patriots, he suddenly found himself without a career and nowhere to go. His rise and fall in football was followed by the public.
Tebow writes how his experiences had utterly shaken him and how his faith held him up and carried him through the darkest nights. What he went through only served to reaffirm his identity founded on his spirituality and principles and not on worldly achievements and wealth.
Thomas Sterner follows up his first book on developing discipline and focus in one’s life with Fully Engaged, which talks about techniques for achieving one’s goals without getting into a frenzied state. His fifth chapter, A Mantra for Inner Peace, delves into the propensity for always looking at the future step or event leading to the goal, instead of focusing on the present. His techniques help the reader to achieve the goals set with as less stress as possible.
Chade-Meng Tan shows the reader that the mind can be trained to achieve sustainable and enduring joy through mind-training, which is another word for meditation. Specifically, Tan says, mindfulness meditation is practicing how to pay attention to the present, on purpose and without judgment.
This book is practical and helpful since it teaches us how anyone can incorporate mindfulness meditation into their busy and fast-paced lives, which is the norm nowadays. And when one has learned how to attain that joy, success in work, family and relationships follow.
Enlightenment is often viewed as an abstract and esoteric concept that only gurus and mystic leaders can achieve. Not so, says Shinzen Young, as he explains the science of how mindfulness meditation works. He also shows how it can improve one’s mental skills, compassion, and relationships to other people and the world.