Looking for the best meditation books of 2021?
But, how can a person easily learn to meditate? Sure, there are a ton of online resources available, but sometimes you truly want to immerse yourself in the topic and take down a good book.
There are dozens of different meditation styles and techniques available and some more accessible to beginners, than others.
Below we offer some of the best meditation books.
Each one of the books on meditation featured below can help you start your very own meditation practice from scratch, or provide you with necessary insight along your meditation journey.
Our Top 23 Meditation Book Recommendations
The list below is meant to act as a guide. Pick a book from the list, or dive into another that comes up during your search. Every book below has proved to be invaluable on my own meditation journey.
If you need a good book on meditation, any of the best meditation books below are a great place to start!
This book by Jon Kabat-Zinn was published way back in 1994, and no one could have predicted the success this book would go on to have. This book dives into the idea of practicing meditation for its own sake, and is a great beginner’s guide to learning how to cultivate mindfulness.
Each chapter outlines a basic meditation practice you can incorporate into your own life. The meditation are fun and easy, and through reading this book you’ll come away with practical tips to cultivate mindfulness in your own life.
Brian Johnson of Philosopher’s Notes gives a great breakdown of this book, and extracts some of the big ideas this book has to offer. You can check that out here.
Startling, provocative, and often very funny . . . [10% HAPPIER] will convince even the most skeptical reader of meditation’s potential. — Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
This book is part story, part meditation guide from Nightline Anchor Dan Harris. After an on-air freakout, he decided it was time to make some changes in his life. This book chronicles his deep dive into self-help and brain science, and his eventual adoption and understanding of how meditation can help to build a better relationship with your mind.
If you’re sceptical about meditation, or think it’s a little woo-woo, then this book is definitely for you.
With humor and insight, Jack Kornfield patiently explains the Buddhist way to bring deep spirituality into your everyday life.
If you’re struggling with overwhelm and where to actually get started with your meditation practice, then this book is worth checking out. This book covers the practice of Vipassana meditation, and is taught by one of the foremost teachers on the subject, Jack Kornfield.
If you’re looking for a straightforward approach to meditation that’ll allow you to easily create your own practice, while experiencing the readily available meditation benefits, then check out this book.
The Experience of Insight comes about as close to delivering the promise of its title as any written material can. —East West Journal
This book outlines the path and gives practical advice to understanding and practicing Buddhist meditation. This book has been dubbe a modern classic.
It covers a variety of meditation techniques, including, sitting and walking meditation, the relationship you can have with the breath, different kinds of perception, including feelings, thoughts, and emotions, and the nature of consciousness.
Finally, this book covers topics related to the lineage of Buddhist meditation, including, karma, the four noble truths, enlightenment and much more. If you even have an inkling of interest in Buddhist meditation, then this book is worth diving into.
This book is the bible of mindfulness. — Barry Boyce, editor of Mindful magazine
This book has sold over a quarter of a million copies, and that just touches upon its influence. Mindfulness in Plain English was one of the first introductory books to mindfulness written for a primarily western audience.
This book is written for an absolute beginner. A lot of meditation books fall into the trap of using complex terms to describe ideas, that only leave the reader confused, especially if they’ve never comes across those terms before.
Finally, a meditation book written in plain english! Just like the title suggests. If you’re looking to finally wrap your head around mindfulness meditation, this book is worth picking up.
Pema is one of our most beloved and helpful teachers-practical, compassionate, and wise. How to Meditate is a great way to take her teachings to heart and develop a meditation practice. — Jack Kornfield
Pema Chödrön is the author of numerous books on meditation. She’s a kind and compassionate teacher and her books are as gentle and easy-to-read, as they are useful. She’s an experienced meditation teacher and incredible writer.
With this book she explores what it takes to cultivate a lifelong practice of meditation. This book covers the absolute basics of meditation, like posture, to working with your breath, to cultivating an inner-friendliness towards your mind. She also teaches us the skills of remaining calm, no matter what life throws at us.
This is an indispensable book in any meditator’s collection.
[Thich Nhat Hanh] shows us the connection between personal, inner peace and peace on earth — His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Thich Nhat Hanh is a widely known and respected meditation teacher. Chances are you’ve already come across one of his meditation books lining the walls of your local bookstore.
In The Miracle of Mindfulness he covers a wide array or easy-to-implement mindfulness practices for your daily life. If you can’t find the time to meditate in your busy life, then this book is worth the investment.
This book acts as a reminder that every moment holds the potential for us to become present and aware. Even moments like washing the dishes, or peeling an orange.
Most of our minds do nothing more than drive us crazy, day in and day out. But, in order to achieve our goals and even come into peace with our lives we must first befriend our minds.
In this classic Sakyong Mipham shows us that achieving peace of mind is truly an attainable goal for anyone. This book mixes stories of American culture with Buddhist wisdom. This potent combo makes this book readily accessible to anyone interested in meditation.
If you’re looking for a way to turn your mind into an ally, instead of the usual enemy, then check out this book.
Salzberg speaks from experience…an extraordinary teacher. — O, The Oprah Magazine
Real Happiness is truly a treasure. It’s simple meditation guide and breakdown that beginner meditators can truly get a lot from. If you’ve been looking for a way you can actually start a daily meditation practice, then this book will help you lay the foundation.
This is an incredible book for beginner meditators and even comes equipped with a 28-day meditation plan. It covers different styles of meditation, including mindfulness, and loving-kindness.
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind is one of the most beloved meditation books in any Western meditators collection. The quote above opens up this book and sets the tone for what you’re about to get yourself into.
The book is simple, but cuts to the truth of meditation. It’s often recommended as the first book to read in regards to Zen meditation. This book covers the basics of Zazen meditation, and is incredibly clear and insightful in it’s descriptions.
Whether you’re looking for inspiration, or insight into your practice, this is a truly incredible book to have by your side.
The most American form of meditation yet. — Time
Mindfulness meditation is the perfect tool for anyone, no matter what walk of life you come from. This book ties to concepts of meditation and mindfulness meditation together, and offers an easy-to-implement 8 minute practice.
If you’re the kind of person who feels like they can’t meditate, or meditation isn’t for them. Then this book is the solution to your woes. Cracking open this book makes you realize that meditation can actually be fun!
If you’re sceptical about meditation, or simply haven’t been able to start, then we recommend checking out this book.
In lucid, unadorned prose, Michael A. Singer delivers the essence of the great spiritual teachings of the Ages. Each chapter of The Untethered Soul is an instructive meditation on the binds of the human condition and how each and every knot can be gracefully untied so that our souls may fly. The accuracy and simplicity of this work is a measure of its pure mastery. — James O’Dea
This book is less of a guide to meditation, and more of an exploration of spiritual life. It’s readily accessible to readers of any level and provides a heavy dose inspiration for those currently on a spiritual path.
This book acts as a guidebook through your thoughts and emotions and helps you develop a deeper and more peaceful inner life. It also covers what you can do to free yourself from habitual thoughts, and limiting emotions and energy patterns.
If you’re looking for a new perspective to invigorate your meditation practice and spiritual life, then give this book a try.
This book promises ten minutes to a calmer, and more peaceful you. Now, who doesn’t want that? Meditation Now provides a series of different meditation that are all ten-minutes in length.
If you’ve book looking for fresh and new meditations to reinvigorate your practice, then this book will be perfect. This is a true beginner’s guide and will cover, what meditation is, when to meditation, different positions you can meditate in, and a variety of practices you can do just about anywhere.
If you’ve been looking for an easy-to-read primer on meditation, then this book is worth checking out.
Why Meditate? is a clear and insightful guide to beginning a meditation practice, and to continuing one skillfully. Matthieu Ricard provides helpful and specific instruction along with an immense depth of understanding about happiness, suffering, and living a better life. — Sharon Salzberg
Matthieu Ricard is a molecular geneticist turned Buddhist monk, which allows him to bring a wholly unique perspective to the practice of meditation. Why Meditate is a great beginners guide and walks the reader through the benefits, theories, and practices surrounding meditation.
This book brings both science and meditation together, and unites East and West, in this incredible book. If you’re looking for an easy to digest book that takes a look at the latest leading theories and research in regards to meditation, along with in-depth meditation practices, then this book is for you.
The present moment is all we have.
This book from Eckhart Tolle has become modern spiritual classic. This book creates an experience within you as you read it. The power of now is less of a practical meditation guide, and more of an experience of meditative awareness. The focus of this book is on the ego that divides, and how to transcend it and experience higher states of awareness.
If you’ve been looking for a book that’ll inspire you to keep with your meditation practice, then give this book by Eckhart Tolle a try.
Strength in Stillness is a book about the power and practice of transcendental meditation, which is one of the most widely practiced forms of meditation.
The book good into detail about the benefits of meditation and the practice that’s been taught to everyone from CEOs to celebrities.
It doesn’t give a breakdown of the TM process, but it goes into depth about the benefits of meditation and the effect it can have on the mind.
“If you’re intrigued by meditation but don’t know how to begin—or you’ve benefited from meditation in the past but need help to get started again—Dan Harris has written the book for you. Well researched, practical, and crammed with expert advice, it’s also an irreverent, hilarious page-turner.”—Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics is a great book for people who are on the fence about meditating. This book goes into detail about all the excuses people have to not meditate and addresses them.
It speaks to common concerns like “I’m bad at meditating” and “I don’t have time to meditate.”
If you have a very active mind, or still aren’t convinced meditation is right for you, this book is worth picking up.
Meditation from the Mat brings the mental aspects of yoga to life. This book explores the mindfulness-based aspects of yoga and has 365 daily reflections.
Even if you’re not an active yoga practitioner you can use the daily reflections to guide your meditation practice.
If you’re looking for ways to grow your mindfulness practice this book can be the guidance you’ve been looking for.
“All is made painfully clear—we are routed out of our little ‘cubby holes’, all of our excuses are brought out into the open and exposed for what they are. . . . If it is reality you want and not illusion, this is it. . . . An ego-shattering experience.”— The Middle Way
The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation is a book that dives deep into the spiritual and philosophical side of meditation.
It covers how our daily routines and habits can lock us into unhealthy routines and how our desires can rob us of true freedom.
This is a unique book that translates Buddhist wisdom for the western mind and shows readers how to achieve true freedom.
Why Can’t I Meditate is written for people who’ve started a meditation practice, but have never been able to stick with it.
In this book, you’ll learn why a meditation practice is so hard to start and maintain in the modern age.
This book helps to illuminate roadblocks you may encounter and how to avoid these and build a long-term meditation practice.
“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, author of Real Happiness and Real Love
Practical Meditation for Beginners is a step-by-step guide to get started with meditation. It’s a very easy-to-follow book that’ll help you build your meditation practice.
It covers different types of meditation from Zen to walking meditation and more. Each day you’ll learn a new meditation technique and how to incorporate it into your routine.
If you’ve been struggling with where to start, this book is worth reading.
Freedom From the Known isn’t specifically a book about meditation. But, it’s a book that will expand your mind in beautiful ways.
It’ll help you be more open-minded and more mindful in daily life.
The premise of this book is to help you reclaim your power and sense of autonomy in your own life.
Become What You Are is a collection of thought-provoking essays by philosopher Alan Watts.
This book doesn’t dive into the specifics of meditation, but it’ll help you open your mind and start becoming the person you’re meant to be.
The focus of the collection is on living in the present moment and details what our minds do daily.
It’s is a great accompaniment to your regular meditation practice.
That sums up our list of the best meditation books out today. Of course, there are dozens more that could be on this list, but we didn’t want to overwhelm you with choices. Any of the above books are great choices for those looking to deepen, expand, or even start their meditation practice.
Image: Lluis Llerena