Meditation comes in different shapes and sizes, but the goal is the same: to find stillness and peace, balance and center, and have an overall feeling of wellness.
Meditation is second nature to some people, but for others, a clear introduction to the practice and guidance in execution is necessary, hence the article I wrote some time ago: 5 Meditation Books for Beginners.
Related: Meditation for Pain
If you’ve gone through those books, or you feel that you need more information, here are more meditation books that can take your practice to the next level.
1. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, Martin Hammond (Translator, Notes), Diskin Clay (Introduction)
Not exactly the first person that comes to mind when meditation is the topic, but Marcus Aurelius was the only Roman emperor who was also a philosopher. This book was not meant to be published but published it did get, providing food for thought and mind exercises for people throughout the ages.
Meditations were composed to provide personal consolation and encouragement, in developing his beliefs Marcus Aurelius also created one of the greatest of all works of philosophy: a timeless collection of extended meditations and short aphorisms that has been consulted and admired by statesmen, thinkers and readers through the centuries. (Source)
2. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal Talks on Zen Meditation and Practice by Shunryu Suzuki
What sets Suzuki apart from his contemporaries is that he doesn’t hesitate to “go down to the level” of his followers – or the curious. He w0uld talk to you face to face if he could.
If that’s impossible, then this book, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind is a worthy substitute. It is a collection of transcripts from his lectures; lectures that boil down to one thing: dedication to a sincere practice without fixating on the thought that there is something special to be had at the end of it all.
Much like the idea of happiness is the journey and not the destination.
In a way, this is is why the book is applicable to those who are at the start of their meditation journey and those who are already in advanced levels.
3. Turning the Mind Into an Ally by Sakyong Mipham, Pema Chödrön
Conquer your mind, and you’ll find peace and balance. Easy to say, more than difficult to do. This book helps in a different way in that it doesn’t urge you to wrestle with your mind. Instead, it guides you into “coaching” your mind to work with you, hence the title.
Strengthening, calming, and stabilizing the mind is the essential first step in accomplishing nearly any goal. Growing up American with a Tibetan twist, Sakyong Mipham talks to Westerners as no one can: in idiomatic English with stories and wisdom from American culture and the great Buddhist teachers. Turning the Mind Into an Ally makes it possible for anyone to achieve peace and clarity in their lives. (Source)
4. Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation by Sharon Salzberg
Sharon Salzberg is a highly-respected teacher when it comes to meditation and spirituality. She offers guidance for advanced students but also provides programs for those who are still testing the waters. In this book, she starts you slowly with a 28-day program which doesn’t really focus on Buddhism but on mundane things which, surprisingly will make huge changes in your life. Think good posture, pain in certain body areas, and sleep.
The book also explains how meditation works, its specific benefits, and gives practice exercises. Additionally, you’ll probably find answers to many of your questions about meditation as the book as a FAQ section which features questions raised by Salzberg’s real-life students.
5. The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency (Hazelden Meditation Series) by Melody Beattie
Codependency is a prevalent issue although it isn’t talked about a lot. Melody Beattie is an expert in this field and has written some of the best books in the niche. This book is all about meditation but for the specific topic of letting go and getting rid of codependent behavior.
You may not even realize at the beginning just how codependent you are, but as you go along, your eyes may become opened to reality, and that’s when the meditation part will help you. A lot.
This concludes this list of meditation books, but keep an eye out for more in the future. I hope you’ll find at least one that will help you deal with issues that you experience in real life and get closer to the balanced life that you deserve.
Have read any of these books? Do you have any books you want to recommend? I’d love to hear from you.