Meditation isn’t just sitting quietly in a room and waiting for something to happen.
It’s an activity; something that you need to work at to achieve, and it’s not something that can be done in one try.
The truth is, the vast majority of people who say meditation is “not for them” are doing it wrong. If you’re interested in true meditation, but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered.
These meditation books are designed to help take you from a place of not understanding or not “getting” meditation, and walking you through the steps required to achieve mindfulness, peace, and relaxation.
Stress, anxiety, and anger can all be helped; you just have to get started with these trusted resources.
Best Meditation Books – Reviews & Buying guide for 2021
- The 5-Minute Meditation Journal: Quick Guided Meditations for a Calmer, Happier You
- Zen Meditation for Beginners: A Practical Guide to Inner Calm
- The Daily Meditation Book of Healing: 365 Reflections for Positivity, Peace, and Prosperity
- Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace in the Everyday
- The Meditation Book: The Essential Meditation for Beginners to Find Peace, Reduce Stress, and Improve Mental Health
Best Overall: The 5-Minute Meditation Journal: Quick Guided Meditations for a Calmer, Happier You
Miranda Lee covers everything you need to know about meditation in an easy-to-read, short-form book that quickly jumps from one topic to the next.
If you’re a complete beginning to meditation with no prior knowledge, it may feel like The 5-Minute Meditation Journal moves a little too fast, but covers everything you need to know about meditation in a concise manner.
You gain insight into how you can set productive habits that promote positive thoughts, set your intentions for the day, and manifest the emotions that you want to experience throughout the day ahead. Overall, it covers how to clear up your mind and set your sights on goals ahead.
However, some of us come to meditation to remove stress and deal with it, though it seems like the author Miranda Lee has a sunny disposition regardless of meditation being involved. That’s fantastic, but upon review, this journal caters to those who already have meditation experience. It’s definitely not for beginners.
Is it worth it? 100%—it’s new, refreshing, and promotes positivity the entire way through. Just be aware of what state you’re currently in before reading this book so that you don’t feel overwhelmed with the vibe of everything Miranda Lee has to teach you.
- Helps you relax your mind, even when you don’t feel like you have enough time
- Condensed into 144 pages so you don’t waste any time
- Reminds you when to take time to observe your thoughts throughout the day
- Does not cater to beginners properly
- Some areas are wordy when they don’t need to be
- Difficult to get in a rhythm with this, but beneficial when you do
Runner Up: Zen Meditation for Beginners: A Practical Guide to Inner Calm
Bonnie Myotai Treace covers what being zen really means in a simple 168 pages, although there are points where information appears randomized and doesn’t follow the flow of the book.
If you can get around some disorganization in certain sections of this book, you can learn a lot about being zen and meditation in a short amount of time. That being said, this information can be found online with ease, it just takes more time to locate.
That isn’t to say this book isn’t useful. Courses, books, and large information dumps are there to save you time—Treace uses a concise language and keeps things as short as possible to bring you up to speed with everything you need to know around basic meditation, but again, it is basic.
You won’t learn in-depth zen meditation techniques from Treace, so don’t be shocked that the title is what you get. Some serious strengths of this book are that beginners can easily slip into a sense of comfort when reading Treace’s words, so if you’re nervous about getting into meditation in the first place, this is a great way to get started.
Last but not least, it’s important to note that the title is a little misleading, although this may have been unintentional. While meditation leads to a calmer mind, there are specific meditations out there that can help with anxiety, and this book certainly is not designed for anxiety. An introduction, yes, but if you’re entering meditation with the sole purpose of curing your anxiety, you do have to look beyond this intro.
- Truly meant for beginners with no prior knowledge of meditation
- Uses concise language; easy to read
- Describes principles to align your life with
- Title is misleading; not designed to help with anxiety
- Hard to follow author’s train of thought; disorganized in some sections
- Has information that can easily be found through searching
Alternative 1: The Daily Meditation Book of Healing: 365 Reflections for Positivity, Peace, and Prosperity
Worthy Stokes takes you through a much thicker book than others you’ll see on this list, all for a great price, and teaches you the power of words of affirmation.
It offers the tools for growth in many aspects, although some days of the year end up feeling rushed or uninspired. If you don’t believe in anything spiritual, some areas of this book may be difficult to navigate or digest.
Reading an entry every day and committing to that for an entire year is something few will do, but for those that do, they’ll be able to reap the rewards of daily reminders and meditation practices. If you’re not keen on the current day’s passage, you can always return to the previous day.
Growth comes from within, but with guidance. You can’t be expected to have all the answers, which is where The Daily Meditation Book of Healing comes in handy. It’s a guidebook to take you through your own motivation to learn about meditation and practice it each day.
It has its own unique style to it, which may not be received the same way by everyone. These healing practices are good for the normal struggles of life, but this level of meditation isn’t suited to deal with seriously damaging events and issues in your life. It is a good introduction if you’re seeking meditation for deeper reasons.
- Tons of information for a cheap price
- Helpful for every day of the year
- Excellent for mindfulness (beginners and novices)
- Some words of affirmation are short and feel choppy
- Not for everyone (spiritual elements)
- Doesn’t offer healing for serious life damage
Alternative 2: Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace in the Everyday
Matthew Sockolov has a very direct approach to meditation, which may either perfectly vibe with your personality, or it could be very off-putting.
While Practicing Mindfulness offers 75 exercises, some get repetitive and are written in ways that feel like the reader is being pandered to instead of being taught. That can come off as negative to one reader, although some other readers (like us) found the direct approach to be refreshing.
Sockolov certainly isn’t shy, and he’s organized—the thoughts and exercises laid out in this book are straightforward and linear, so you won’t have to worry about falling off the wagon halfway through reading, or losing interest.
While the information is direct, one of the most refreshing aspects of this book is that you only need to spend five minutes per day doing these exercises. Longer meditation practices can be more effective (and often are), but many of us use not having enough time as an excuse to not get started with meditation in the first place. You have five minutes, right?
Most of us do. It’s a quick read despite being 200+ pages, because the information is laid out in a digestible and easy-to-follow way, so you’ll burn through this before you even know what hit you. A solid read, just not for everyone.
- Excellent value (both in page count and information)
- Takes five minutes per day; anyone can devote that much time
- Promotes calmness with plenty of examples
- Author can sometimes appear pandering and distasteful at certain sections
- Some of the 75 exercises can appear repetitive or too similar to others
- Doesn’t fit well with everyone; there’s a unique approach here
Alternative 3: The Meditation Book: The Essential Meditation for Beginners to Find Peace, Reduce Stress, and Improve Mental Health (Higher Consciousness Meditation)
Blair Abee has a knack for storytelling, which is why they use their own narrative and experience to carry the story and message about meditation and stress reduction through this entire book.
However, some of those storytelling aspects get heavy considering this book is a short 159 pages, so the concise information tends to be in patches. That being said, stress reduction is the name of the game, and that’s where Blair Abee really shines.
Reducing stress is difficult, and quite frankly, not enough meditation books truly focus on this. Blair ensures that removing stress from your life is the number one priority, and that theme is very prevalent throughout the entire book.
What isn’t prevalent is the decision-making aspect that’s listed in the selling points. There’s ironically a lot of indecisiveness in this book, which points you in multiple directions. None of those directions are bad, it’s just noticeable that Abree’s head may be in more than one place while trying to train you through this book.
For beginners that want to use meditation right now to start reducing stress in their lives, this is a great book. It gives you more than just a fact sheet of information, so you get the best of both worlds (such as reasons behind why this helps, which not every book actually covers). A great, quick, and light read that’s worth the money.
- A fast read with easy-to-digest wording and information
- Helps you improve your ability to monitor your thoughts through deep meditation
- One of the best beginner books with simple, introductory exercises (anyone can do this)
- Some elements focus on storytelling more than actual concise information
- Aspects related to decision-making are ironically indecisive and all over the place
- Fails to focus on the “Know who you are” selling point
Meditation Book Buying Guide and FAQ
What Are the 3 Types of Meditation?
The thing is, there are more than three types, but there are three main types of meditation that others tend to stem from.
This is a basic rundown of those three types, and how they branch off into other subcategories.
1. Mindfulness Meditation
If you’re aware of your mind and how it allows thoughts to pass through, you’ll be more akin to thinking in favorable patterns in the future. Mindfulness meditation stems from Buddhist teachings, where you observe your thoughts like a bystander watching a stream of information pass by.
You don’t interfere. You don’t try to change the way things are. You simply pay attention to your thoughts, identify patterns of thinking or behavior, and gain insight. Eventually, through enough mindfulness meditation, you’re able to monitor those thoughts as they occur and change your patterns of mental behavior to fit a style of thinking that you want.
This helps remove negativity from your life, and allows you to become self-aware. Nobody is perfect; many of us may be doing inflammatory things to loved ones around us without knowing. Mindfulness meditation begins with you, and spread to help others in ways that you can’t imagine at the start.
2. Spiritual Meditation
Spiritual meditation is akin to prayer. You focus on your connection with a higher power, whatever that higher power may be depending on your religious background, and then maintain that laser focus to reach a deeper understanding.
But a deeper understanding of what? It’s different for everyone, which is why you cannot say exactly how spiritual meditation will affect you, because it won’t affect the next person the same way. That’s the beauty of it.
While spiritual meditation is often done in a house of worship or sacred location, it can be done in the comfort of your own home. Spiritual meditation requires serious concentration, so performing this in an area with little to no distractions is ideal.
3. Movement Meditation
Did you immediately think of yoga? Many people do. Yoga isn’t movement meditation per se, but if you look at the way chakras help energy flow through the body, you will see similarities to yoga with some of these other exercises.
With movement meditation, you gently assist energy to pass through multiple areas of your body with physical movement. One of the three pillars of meditation is the body, and by physically guiding energy through the body, you are able to achieve a sense of self and a connection with yourself.
It amplifies other forms of meditation, but if you don’t know where to get started, try:
- Tai chi
- Qi gong
- Meditation yoga
- Rhythmic exercise movements (walking, running, etc.)
It doesn’t have to be a specific kind of meditation; if you can find a way to use movement to become more in tune with your body and maintain a higher level of understanding, utilize whichever movement meditation method presents itself to you as the most beneficial.
So why do all three of these lay the foundation for other types of meditation? We explore three areas of ourselves: our mind, our spirit, and our body, all of which are essential to striking and maintaining balance. If your mind isn’t in sync with your spirit, you’re at a crossroad. The same can be said for your spiritual meditation as well, regardless of how well your chakras are flowing and your body is performing.
Can You Learn to Meditate From a Book?
Yes, you absolutely can. When you look at the fundamentals of meditation, there are instructions that just about anyone can follow. So what do books do to help you understand meditation on a deeper level? What do they do for you beyond just providing instruction?
They help you think about the reason behind your interest in meditation, the spiritual connection, and out of body experiences (which do happen to those who meditate regularly). These books explore the deeper reaches of what meditating can do for your mind and soul.
When you think about the steps to meditation, it’s simply: anyone can do it. When you apply spirituality and mental healing, it becomes something slightly more complex, but entirely doable. These books help you understand the benefits in a proper way.
Is Meditation Just Sitting Quietly?
Imagine sitting in the center of a room with no audio around you, just being still. Does that sound like a fun activity? You would quickly get bored, your mind would wander, and you would get up to do something else in a relatively short amount of time.
If that’s all meditation was, a lot of people wouldn’t be doing it. These are the different aspects of meditation that prove it’s a process, not just sitting quietly in a big room.
- Focusing on Your Thoughts: Perhaps the most important part of meditation is being mindful of your thoughts and focusing on them the right way. That is to say, understanding your thoughts, identifying them, and then trying to realize why you think the way that you do. Were you designated to think this way by your upbringing? Do you have toxic thoughts that can be traced back to negative emotions from friends, family, or work? Being mindful of and focusing on your thoughts may not sound like a big deal, but it helps out in more ways than one, like a ripple effect.
- Improve Posture: Posture helps resolve lower back pain, sure, but it also helps align our chakras. Meditation cannot be achieved with slouching and slumping, so at the very least, you’ll be able to walk away with better posture which helps in many areas of your life.
- Breathing Exercises: Most people actually breathe rather shallow, and that lack of oxygen can cloud the brain. Breathing exercises in meditation often resemble techniques such as box breathing, which is a technique used by the United States Navy Seals to help them mentally prepare for a mission. Pretty important stuff, you know? These breathing exercises can help you calm down through anxiety, help you clear up your mind, and teach you coping mechanisms for tough situations. Meditation can help you even when you’re not currently meditating.
- Steady Heart Rate: Your heart rate fluctuates due to emotions like sadness, stress, and anxiety (among others). A resting heart rate that stays around the same general area, save for when you’re exercising, is healthy. Meditation offers you the mindfulness required to steady your thoughts, and steady your heart rate as a result.
If meditation was as simple as sitting quietly in a room, everyone would do it.
Meditation can take work, and for some that aren’t spiritual, it may take a little bit longer to get in a good groove. Either way, meditation is still beneficial. You just have to give it a proper shot.
What is the Best Type of Meditation for Anxiety?
Any meditation that is based in mindfulness. Spiritual and movement meditation is great, but it doesn’t focus on the core issues that cause anxiety.
You see, anxiety can begin in the brain, during your thought processes you begin to feel upset, scared, and those feelings multiply. But then something else happens.
The response becomes physical. It takes the form of cortisol: the stress hormone. Your body produces this naturally, but when under too much stress, it can over produce and cause serious long-term damage to your physical health.
That’s right: your physical health, let alone what it wreaks on your mental health. Mindfulness training helps stop anxiety at the source by limiting the bad thoughts running through your head. Well, after some time it does. You have to work to get it right.
Mindfulness meditation teaches you to monitor your thoughts as they come in. Quickly, you begin to tally up how many negative thoughts are coming in versus how many positive ones, and you get the nagging urge—the deep-seeded desire—to tip the scales in the other direction. Anyone would have this response.
While monitoring thoughts, you may see a few anxiety-causing thoughts that seem silly in this third-person perspective. Cast it aside. You notice a positive thought brings you tons of joy. You can work to make more thoughts like that occur. How are you going to fix a problem if you don’t know what’s causing it, after all?
Mindfulness meditation is the key that helps numerous anxious people, and it could very well be your new fix. You just have to stay on top of it for it to continue working, like a diet.
Meditation Done Right
Meditating is about finding inner peace, mindfulness, and relaxing while helping the body.
With proper meditation, you can achieve a more consistent level of happiness, reduce your stress, and overall feel better during your day to day.
These books offer excellent blueprints to help you get started with meditation and mindfulness. If you’re stuck and don’t know where to turn to, meditation could be the answer—you owe it to yourself to find out. Grab a meditation book, give it an honest try, and see what happens to your mood, clarity, and happiness.
Spoiler alert: meditation is about to become one of your daily rituals.
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