Meditation is a practice that is widely known to improve overall wellbeing, but it’s not always that accessible and easy to learn.
In this article we review 25 of the best meditation books for different abilities, from brand new beginners to experts, that will inspire action and allow you to better incorporate meditation into your life
How to choose the best meditation books
With such a wide variety of books covering different types of meditation and mindfulness, it can be difficult to know which will be suitable for you.
If you are completely new, but very dedicated to meditation, perhaps you want more of an informational book that will give you lots of new ideas to incorporate meditation practice into your life. Or, perhaps you are someone who just knows they need that extra push to actually make sure they meditate as much as they know they should.
You should therefore consider both your meditation experience, and if you’re looking for more practical guides, or informational type books when finding a meditation book that’s right for you.
For example, if you are completely new and dipping your toe in the water, you don’t want a meditation book written by an expert guru that also assumes you are knowledgeable about a wide range of mindfulness topics. You want an meditation book written in a style that suits your personality and experience with meditation.
Different types of meditation books
There are a multitude of ways to incorporate meditation and wellness practices into your life, from going to classes, to guided meditation apps and videos. So what are the advantages of meditation books compared to these other mediums? Well for us, books are a great way to get that blend of information, and have some practical advice.
There is also a huge variety in what different meditation books offer. Some might be straight guides to meditation, some might be more focused on everyday mindfulness, some might be focused on theory and history of meditation, or others might have a specific goal in mind for the meditation practice, such as relieving anxiety or relaxation. Therefore, think about why you want to meditate, and choose a book that will allow you to achieve those goals.
The best way to use meditation books
When it comes to any ‘how to’ type book, the biggest pitfall can be reading and getting the information, without actually putting it in action. Therefore, we think the best ways to use meditation books is to make sure you actually stop and practically apply their teachings.
The best books on meditation, in our view, make it very easy to translate your learnings into action. This has also influenced our list of best meditation books, in that we’ve tried to select books that do a great job of inspiring action.
The 25 Best Meditation Books
Below is our list of the 25 best meditation books for different abilities. There’s plenty of variety and styles for you to enjoy and choose from, from beginners guides to in depth expert information on meditation.
1. Practical Meditation for Beginners
Practical meditation for beginners, is exactly what you’d expect, both practical and ideal for beginners. This book is a great way to get started with meditation and also actually take action. The 10 day plan is enough time to get used to meditation, without being a length of time that might intimidate or put off some.
The author Ben Decker, is a social activist, meditation teacher and entrepreneur. He is experienced in teaching meditation and knows the best ways to teach people how to make sure meditation becomes a part of their daily lives.
We liked how practical and easily digestible this book is. The layout is clear, so you don’t feel overwhelmed with too much information. The other great thing about this book, and why we think it is the perfect introduction. Is that within the 10 days you get to try different types of meditation techniques and see what works for you.
It serves as the perfect ‘tasting menu’ of meditation, if you will. Allowing you to dip your toe in the water and see what you like and don’t like. This is where a lot of the value lies for both beginners and novices alike. In that it’s the perfect way to try different meditation techniques and decide your preference before you take things further.
2. The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfullness
You may recognize Headspace as the popular meditation app. We’re a big fan of meditation apps, and have tried both headspace and the meditation app calm, for guided meditations. The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfullness continues that quality we’d expect.
The author of this book is Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk and the cofounder of the Headspace app. He is therefore very knowledgeable about the practical side of meditation and providing meditation practice useful to many.
We found this book to be a very useful all around introduction to meditation and mindfulness. It is definitely more of an informational type book about meditation, with tips and advice. As opposed to a ‘how to’ practical guide giving step by step tips on meditation.
3. Just Sit: A Meditation Guidebook
Just Sit: A Meditation Guidebook makes the list, for being a really entertaining, informative and useful guide on meditation. If you’re slightly skeptical about meditation, and want an introduction and clear step by step instructions, this book is for you.
The authors have written this book in a style that encourages taking action and it is tailored to modern busy people. The book includes an 8 week plan for getting started with daily meditation practice.
The biggest standout for us, is just how visual and accessible this book is. You won’t get bored reading this, not only due to the entertaining writing style, but also how well laid out and visually appealing the book is, with plenty of illustrations and clear points made.
The book also talks about lots of general wellness topics around meditation too, and debunks some myths, as well as outlining benefits, in a clear and informative manner.
4. Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation
Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, is another guide that’s designed to encourage action and introduce readers to different meditation practice.
It’s actually a New York Times bestseller, and we found it to be a great blend of information and practical meditation advice.
The book features a 28 day program, broken down into 4 weeks with a different focus for each. This length of time is a good block and the week by week breakdown helps to encourage readers to stick at it.
The main downside we found with this book though, although the information was very good. Was that, especially compared to some others, it’s not as visual or clearly laid out.
The book is more like traditional books, with lots of heavy paragraphs. Whereas for how to guides, or step by steps, we definitely prefer a clearer structure and diagrams and illustrations if possible.
Overall though, this is still a great introduction to meditation, by an author Sharon Salzberg, who is also experienced in other teachings and has written on other areas of spirituality too.
5. The Book of Secrets: Osho
The Book of Secrets: 112 Meditations to Discover the Mystery Within, is definitely the most robust meditation book on this list.
If you’re already familiar with the basics of meditation and are a novice or expert, this book is definitely for you.Written by Osho, the late philosopher and spiritual leader who passed away in 1990, the book carries on his teachings.
It features 112 meditation techniques, and serves as a thorough and very robust reference book with a wealth of information.
The only downsides of this book are that firstly, it isn’t really for beginners. Secondly, it’s can be hard to read and digest, and should serve more as a reference book rather than a cover to cover read.
6. The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, & the Art of Living
The Daily Stoic is a really robust book containing lots of really thorough and well researched information. Including new translations from Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the playwright Seneca, philosopher Epictetus, and more.
This book aims to be an accessible guide that helps you incorporate daily exercises into your live.
The idea of the book is one page for every day of the year, and by following these teachings over the course of a year, you’ll find the serenity, self awareness, and resilience to live a better life.
This is overall one of the best meditation and mindfullness books out there and is thought of very highly by many. It’s also definitely not just a meditation book, but will help with overall mindfullness and wellbeing.
If you’re looking for a meditation book in which you can make small daily changes over the long term, this could be the choice for you.
7. Dear Universe: 200 Mini-Meditations
Dear Universe: 200 Mini-Meditations, is a meditation book that’s centered around manifestations. Essentially, how to use the power of your feelings and positive energy to create the success, love and joy you’re looking for. The book is written by Sarah Prout, who is an emotional empowerment expert.
It’s a very accessible way to meditate with the purpose of improving different aspects of your life and overcoming negative emotions. Rather than being preachy, it’s also just really positive in its outlook, as well as being direct and honest.
Dear Universe is focused on breaking down different emotions, giving meditations to cope with these in turn. Therefore allowing you to choose which emotions you currently want to work through and engage in appropriate practice.
Overall, it’s a really positive and extremely accessible meditation book that will be suitable for people looking to meditate to bring positive change in their lives.
8. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
Although published over 20 years ago, Wherever You Go, There You Are, remains a defining book on mindfulness.
This is definitely a book more about mindfulness meditation and awareness, than meditation alone. However it’s really effective if you want to incorporate mindfulness more into your everyday life situations.
The chapters are short and easy to digest, so the book will be accessible to many different people. However it might not be quite robust enough for some, or focused on mediation practice enough.
9. Meditation for Relaxation
Meditation for Relaxation gives 60 meditative practices that aim to reduce stress, cultivate calm, and improve sleep. Which are often some key reasons people want to take up meditation.
One of the less well known, but more highly rated meditation books, the meditations in this book allow you to choose from different lengths of time so you’ll be able to practically use this book to incorporate meditation into your lifestyle. You can dip in and out of this book and pick and choose which parts you want to read and action.
Meditation for relaxation is designed for busy people. So if you’re busy, stressed and want to learn ways to meditate that will fit into your busy life then with it’s practicle guides and accessibility, this will be the best meditation book for you.
10. Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 10% Happier, Meditation for Fidgety Sceptics is for those who might be interested in learning meditation, but are skeptical about some aspects, or completely new to meditation and mindfulness.
It’s definitely designed to be an introduction that will try and convince you the benefits of meditation, and get you to meditate. Rather than a guide for those who already know why they should and want to meditate.
So consider this the book for you if you want to meditate but need convincing. However, if you’re already convinced about meditation and mindfulness, it probably won’t be the right meditation book for you.
11. Meditation for Dummies
From the popular ‘for dummies’ series of books, Meditation for Dummies is a surprisingly good guide to meditation.
The book outlines lots of well researched information on the health benefits and mood improving nature of meditation, as well as expanations on how you can incorporate meditation into your everyday life.
You definitely shouldn’t be put off by the ‘for dummies’ title, as this book is extremely thorough in it’s information, and range of meditation exercises you can choose from.
12. Meditation Basics – From first steps to deep meditation
Meditation Basics is actually more of a 3 in 1 manuscript, of 3 different meditation books, that cover different aspects of meditation, from beginner information, to practical tips, to depper meditation practice.
To break down the different content within the 3 books making up Meditation Basics:
– The first book, covers meditation for beginners and goes through an introduction of benefits of meditation as well as details on lots of different sorts of meditation.
– The second book acts as a practical guide, that also gives really important advice on things like establishing your practice, and challenges you may experience.
– The final third book is all aorund meditation consciousness, and different ways to reprogramme the subconscious.
Together, they make an excellent and very robust guide on all sorts of meditation topics.
This book would be a very good purchase for anyone seriously wanting to learn about meditation and all sorts of different aspects. You certainly get value for money here.
13. Meditation Interventions to Rewire the Brain
Meditation Interventions to Rewire the Brain, aims to go beyond traditional meditation and explain meditation’s use as a form of treatment. The book covers a broad collection of mind-body strategies to effectively treat different conditions including anxiety and depression.
The book outlines some of the science behind why different types of meditation can be useful for different types of people.
With the author Jeff Tarrant’s background as a licensed psychologist and board certified neurofeedback, as well as his position as CEO of the NeuroMeditation Institute (NMI), you know you’re getting certified expertise in this book.
The book’s tagline of ‘Integrating Neuroscience Strategies for ADHD, Anxiety, Depression & PTSD’, nods to the content and why the book is definitely more informational on the science for either fellow neuroscientists, or just people wanting to learn more.
This isn’t a ‘how to’ or ‘beginners guide’ but a fascinating read and very interesting for anyone looking to learn more on the science of meditation.
14. The Mind Illuminated – A Complete Meditation Guide
The Mind Illuminated – A complete Meditation Guide, is another very robust and extrmeley highly rated meditation book, that aims to integrate buddhist wisdom alongside brain science, to achieve greater mindfullness.
The book offers a 10 stage program that is grounded in both the science and spiritual teachings. Including advice on overcoming common obstacles one might face.
It not only tells you the ‘how to’ but also goes really in depth as to the ‘why’ of meditation, helping you to realise why things such as paying attention to your breathing can have such a profound effect.
Think of this as an extremely extensive meditation book, and one that combines science and spirituality to give a robust view and guide on how to incorporate meditation and mindfulness.
15. Meditation for Beginners – A Book On Transcendental Meditation
Meditation for Beginners, is a book that’s designed to be a practical beginners guide to transcendental meditation.
It’s definitely a book that makes meditation nice and accessible for beginners or people who don’t have much experience or depth of knowledge.
There are different lessons within the book, and it’s an excellent choice for anyone who needs a bit more guidance or who has previously struggles with meditation.
The main downside is that it is pretty short and isn’t that robust, so if you’re looking for a quick read this could be for you, but for something more robust there are better options.
16. 5-Minute Daily Meditations: Instant Wisdom, Clarity & Calm
5-Minute Daily Meditations is designed to get people to take that first step and actually begin incorporating meditation in their lives using short 5 minute meditations.
It outlines how you only need 5 minutes, and that meditation can be done in different ways during different parts of your day.
The book contains 365 daily meditations that foster self-reflection and awareness and speak to common problems we face. It’s simply and direct and very clear to follow, however it might not be robust enough for some.
If you’re a busy person looking for different ways to incorporate meditation and like your information in very direct actionable fashion then this will be a good book for you.
17. Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga
Enjoy Yoga and Meditation? Then Meditations from the Mat is the book for you.
With many big fans who can’t speak highly enough of it, this book offers 365 daily reflections offering a way to integrate the mindfulness of yoga into your everyday life. It especially focuses on body AND mind, and outlines the benefits of incorporating the mind in yoga.
It’s very thorough in detailing different aspects and information about yoga, and also easy to go through by doing one daily reflection per day.
Therefore, if you’re already doing yoga and want to incorporate more mindfulness, or if you are open to both yoga and meditation, then this will be a great book for you.
18. Practicing Mindfulness – An Introduction to Meditation
Practicing Mindfulness – An introduction of meditation, is a really thorough book that teaches principles and techniques of sitting meditation, walking meditation and also the importance of meditative awareness.
You’ll also learn how to use meditation skills to work through thoughts and emotional states, become more self aware of your body, and deeply attentive to your mind.
The book also comes in audio CD format, which is how many people choose to consume this content.
This is a really thorough book that serves more as a ‘course in meditation’, so if that type of course format suits you, then this book will be a good choice.
19. Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor explores the topic of breathing, why the way we breathe matters and how to make the most out of your breath.
This 202 release will forever change the way you think about your body and how your breath works. It simply proves that the way we breathe can change our life.
20. The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations for Codependency
The Language of Letting Go has been written for those who struggle with codependency, with daily meditations that offer growth and renewal, encouraging self care.
If codependency is an issue you’re struggling with then this book is extremely highly thought of.
It definitely has that self-help element as more of the focus than pure meditation itself, but it will be useful for people wanting to deal to codependency issues.
21. Practicing Mindfullness: 75 Essential Meditations
Practicing Mindfulness: 75 essential meditations, is a book designed to offer effective exercises and meditations to increase overall awareness and mindfulness.
The practice based exercises in the book aim to make integrating meditation into your daily life as easy as possible. There are over 75 meditations that vary in length and are organised by difficulty, so you can work your way through as you become more experienced.
The book is very accessible, not only because of how it is designed to be incorporated into everyday life, but also because it is really practical and actionable. It’s also easy to find the relevant meditation for you at a particular time and pick and choose.
Therefore if you’re a beginner who wants to feel they can progress through a practical and informative meditation book, this is an excellent choice.
22. Meditation Routine – Clear Your Mind, Reset and Reboot
Meditation Routine is a guide to basic meditation giving a brief history of Chinese meditation also.
It’s a brief book but one that outlines lots of different information about meditaiton in a short and easy to digest format.
Some of the topics covered are: meditation to relieve stress, Chinese meditation, a step by step meditation guide, cultivating mindfulness, and information on how meditation can improve your lifestyle.
Therefore if you want a succinct overview on the benefits of meditation and some actionable tips before you decide to take meditation further, this is a good option.
23. A Million Thoughts
A Million Thoughts is a book where you can learn all about meditation from the Himalayan mystic Om Swami.
Om Swami is a monk who lives in the Himalayan foothills. Once a corporate executive, he has now completely renounced his business interests to pursue a more spiritual life.
In A Million Thoughts, you’ll learn how to meditate correctly as well as how to practice various styles of meditation. You’ll also learn elements of many yogic practices.
This is a really interesting read written by a renowned sage, that will probably be more suited to readers looking for more insight into the spiritual aspects of meditation.
24. The Heartfulness Way
Another more spiritually focussed meditation book, The Heartfulness Way presents a unique method of meditation that aims to facilitate an immeditate and tangible spiritual experience.
Heartfullness meditation consists of four different elements, relaxation, meditation, cleaning and prayer, and also illuminates ancient practices as part of this.
Think of this book as taking spiritual wisdom and instilling it into an easy to digest and actionable format. If you’re looking to for more of a spiritual meditation experience and learning, then this is a great choice.
25. Walking Meditation: Easy Steps to Mindfulness
Walking Meditation: Easy steps to mindfulness (as you might have guessed), advocates the less commonly practiced art of walking meditation. Which centers around being alive in the present moment through movement.
The book covers different topics such as recognizing the miracle of simply walking; reversing ‘habit energy’ through connnecting body and mind; using walking meditation to deal with difficult emotions such as anger and anxiety; and finally learning to walk with joyful and appreciative aimlessness.
If you’re someone who has experienced other forms of meditation and are looking to broaden your horizons, then Walking Meditation could be the book for you.
When deciding what meditation book would come out on top out of our list, it’s extremely difficult with so many really robust and diverse options.
Practical Meditation for Beginners, is ideal for beginners or novices at meditation who are looking to learn different types of practices to see what they like, or just experiment with a taster of different types of meditations. We also found the 10 day plan is extremely achievable in length of time, and loved that it serves as a broad introduction to different practice.
Whereas Just Sit, is an excellent, entertainingly written, and very digestible, guide to meditation. But on top of this, the book also covers plenty of other topics around overall wellness and the benefits of wellness practices such as meditation.
Overall, when deciding which book is right for you, you should choose a book that matches your ability, and also what you’re looking to get out of meditation.