Nowadays many meditation books are available in the marketplace. Some are free and some of them are costly. Here, I made a list of my favorite meditation books based on the love of friends who provided me with some, and my own soul explorations. Whether you take a look at one, three or all, or just think about the meditations I’m giving you from them, I hope the books will help you find motivation, tranquility and happiness.
#1: Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind – by Shunryu Suzuki
Zen mind is one of those enigmatic phrases used by Zen teachers to throw you back upon yourself, to make you go behind the words themselves and begin wondering. “I know what my own mind is,” you tell yourself, “but what is Zen mind?” And then: “But do I really know what my own mind is?” Is it what I am doing now? Is it what I am thinking now?” And if you should then try to sit physically still for a while to see if you can locate it—then you have begun the practice of Zen, then you have begun to realize the unrestricted mind.
#2: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment – by Eckhart Tolle
The message of the book is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. And while this message may not seem stunningly original or fresh, Tolle’s clear writing, supportive voice and enthusiasm make this an excellent manual for anyone who’s ever wondered what exactly “living in the now” means. Foremost, Tolle is a world-class teacher, able to explain complicated concepts in concrete language. More importantly, within a chapter of reading this book, readers are already holding the world in a different container–more conscious of how thoughts and emotions get in the way of their ability to live in genuine peace and happiness.
#3: Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Life Style by Amit Ray
Vipassana (mindfulness meditation) is considered the heart of Buddhist meditation but its essence is universal and of deep practical benefit to all. Similarly yoga exercises are beneficial for our health and mind. In this book Dr. Amit Ray shows in a scientific manner the ways and means, the methods and techniques to combine these two ancient teachings in a seamless manner.Ray packs a lot of information and inspirational ideas into the Integrated Yoga and Vipassana meditation. The fundamental teaching and practice are drawn from his deep meditation and the teachings of all the centuries of Buddhist and Yoga tradition.
#4:Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
This book provides an excellent foundation for vipassana meditation or any other type of meditation, Buddhist or otherwise. With his distinctive clarity and wit, “Bhante G” takes us step by step through the myths, realities, and benefits of meditation and the practice of mindfulness.
#5: Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh
This book is full of beneficial guidelines for living a mindful, peaceful life and helping those around you do the same. The book tells the stories about tree-hugging or metaphors involving raw potatoes; it tells you how to eat mindfully, even how to breathe and walk; it suggests looking closely at a flower and to see the sun as your heart.
#6: Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously by Osho
The book begins with an in-depth exploration of the meaning of courage and how it is expressed in the everyday life of the individual. Courage is not the absence of fear, says Osho. It is, rather, the total presence of fear, with the courage to face it. This book provides a bird’s-eye view of the whole terrain–where fears originate, how to understand them, and how to find the courage to face them. In the process, Osho proposes that whenever we are faced with uncertainty and change in our lives, it is actually a cause for celebration. Instead of trying to hang on to the familiar and the known, we can learn to enjoy these situations as opportunities for adventure and for deepening our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
#7: Om Chanting and Meditation by Amit Ray
This is a universe of vibration. The teachings of Om, essentially, are focused on helping us to return, in all respects, to the Source from which all things are originated. Om chanting or Om meditation is not a mechanical chanting of the word Om. It is more about feeling. This book is about that. All religions have over all the years have preached a man “Know thyself, you will find God”, “look within yourself and you will find all the answers”, these words are so common but how? This book has the answer.
#8: Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn
This is a particularly nice guidance book on Buddhist meditation and mindfulness. Jon Kabat-Zinn is one of the pioneering medical professionals to integrate east meditation practices in western life. This book is a very easy read – yet full of insight and depth.
#9: When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times by Pema Chödrön
The book discusses:
• Using painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion, and courage
• Communicating so as to encourage others to open up rather than shut down
• Practices for reversing habitual patterns
• Methods for working with chaotic situations
• Ways for creating effective social action(less)
#10: Zen and the Brain by James H. Austin
The book uses Zen Buddhism as the opening wedge for an extraordinarily wide-ranging exploration of consciousness. In order to understand the brain mechanisms that produce Zen states, one needs some understanding of the anatomy, physiology, and chemistry of the brain. Austin, a neuroscientist and Zen practitioner, interweaves his teachings of the brain with his teachings/personal narrative of Zen. The science, which contains the latest relevant developments in brain research, is both inclusive and rigorous; the Zen sections are clear and evocative. Along the way, Austin covers such topics as similar states in other disciplines and religions, sleep and dreams, mental illness, consciousness-altering drugs, and the social consequences of advanced stages of enlightenment.