The 7 Best Meditation Books of 2019

Read your way to less stress and a clearer mind

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Many experts would argue that, in addition to a nutritious diet, exercise, and sleep, meditation is a must for optimal health. And they may be right! Regular meditation has been linked to less stress and anxiety, a reduction in age-related memory loss, decreased blood pressure, pain reduction, and more.

Interested in reaping the benefits yourself? Whether you’re a newcomer or have already established a regular practice, these books will help you get the most out of meditation. 

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation

The Power of Meditation delivers a 28-day program that covers almost every element of the practice, from the basics (like learning how to properly breathe and understanding posture) to the more advanced (calming the mind and dealing with distraction). The book, written by leading meditation teacher and spiritual author Sharon Salzberg, features 12 meditation practices, including mindfulness meditation and walking meditation.

People who have read the book say that Salzberg does a great job of explaining the benefits and the science behind meditation. They also agree that she offers practical advice that eliminates the frustration many people can experience when learning to meditate for the first time.

Best Transcendental Meditation: Strength in Stillness

Transcendental meditation is one of the most widely-practiced forms. It involves sitting comfortably with your eyes closed and repeating a silent mantra in your mind. Experts recommend that people practice transcendental meditation for 20 minutes twice a day. In Strength in Stillness, Bob Roth—who has taught the practice to thousands of people including CEOs, celebrities, and inner-city youth—helps explain the benefits.

Reviewers note that this book isn’t an instruction manual, as it truly takes personal instruction to learn how to properly perform transcendental meditation. However, the book does do a good job of explaining why someone should start the practice.

Best for Beginners: Meditation for Beginners

For newbies, meditation can seem difficult and even dull, especially if you’re someone who is anxious or has a racing mind. Thankfully, Yesenia Chavan’s book breaks down the practice and makes it accessible to all readers. Not only does Meditation for Beginners walk you through the history and benefits of meditation, but the book also teaches readers about multiple forms, from guided to prayer meditation. Most importantly, readers put down the book with a clear understanding of how to prepare for and practice meditation daily.

Those who have read Meditation for Beginners say that the author thoroughly explains how to overcome the obstacles that one can encounter when learning how to meditate. Reviewers also agree that it’s an easy book to read and that the advice and directions are clear to understand.

Best for Cynics: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics

Convinced that meditation is too good to be true? Then Dan Harris’ book is for you. Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics addresses all of the top excuses and concerns that stop people from giving the practice a go, from “I’m bad at it” to “I don’t have the time to meditate.” It also provides science-backed solutions for helping people overcome those hurdles.

Reviewers of Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics say that this is a great read for people who don’t understand the benefits of meditation or are too mentally active to find the practice fulfilling. One person also mentions that the author delivers his advice in a down-to-earth way.

Best Yoga Meditation: Meditation from the Mat

Yoga isn’t just a physical practice; it’s also an exercise for the mind. In Meditation from the Mat, author and acclaimed yoga teacher Rolf Gates explores the mindfulness-based aspects of yoga and provides daily reflections that can be used during yoga as well as other times of day. The book contains 365 short practices, allowing the reader to practice mindfulness every day of the year.

Some reviewers say that they use the book every morning to help guide their reflection for the day. People also agree that in addition to being useful, Meditation from the Mat is interesting and informative to read.

Best for Busy People: The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness

If you have zero time in your life to dedicate to meditation, then this book is for you. The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness, by Andy Puddicombe, a clinical mediation counselor in the United Kingdom, teaches readers that meditation doesn’t need to be an inconvenient or time-consuming task. In fact, you can take 10 minutes to meditate while commuting to work on the train or while eating lunch.

Many people who have bought The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness use it in combination with the Headspace app. Reviews say that the book is witty and easy to read, and that it helps make meditation a daily habit.

Best for Kids: Peaceful Piggy Meditation

Meditation can be a tricky thing for energetic tots to master, but this cute picture book can help them learn the basics and have fun while doing so. Peaceful Piggy Meditation, which is best for grade levels kindergarten through third grade, teaches kids that when they are mad, sad, or anxious, sometimes the best thing to do is find a quiet spot to sit and just breathe. At the end of the book, author Kerry Lee MacLean provides guidance on how young kids can meditate.

Parents and teachers who have this book say that the book has an amazing message both for children and adults. They also note that Peaceful Piggy Meditation doesn’t just teach kids how to meditate but also shows them how to navigate their emotions—something everyone could use some help with!

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