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Practical Books to Teach a Beginner How to Meditate

Learn how to go from zero to hero when focusing your mind.

In within our modern world, we are bombarded with nothing more than constant sensorial stimulation 24/7 that seeks to draw our attention towards it. Mostly so we can spend our time and hard-earned money on whatever it is that they are selling. Imagine being constantly distracted by someone else’s intentions to sell us things we don’t need all day every day. That’s our modern world.

Thanks to modernity, our attention spans are now shorter than ever. A correction is in order. Meditation is that correction. Practiced since time unrecorded as the way to focus all your mental energies into a single endeavour, to reclaim all that brain horsepower from whichever distracting forces you are presented. Meditation allows you the chance to be fully focused on what you intend to do.

Meditation can be particularly hard for a beginner. Foregoing of all those constant distracting stimuli and forcing you to concentrate again can be challenging, but possible nonetheless. Learn how to finally concentrate again with these books on meditation.

#1 A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield

A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield
One of the biggest questions that we ask ourselves — and others ask of us — when we meditate is: Why? Returning to that original intent can be helpful in establishing and maintaining a practice, and Jack Kornfield lays a beautiful foundation for establishing your own intentions — along with a guide to beginning your practice. I return to this book like an old friend.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

Book Depository (International)Waterstones (International) Read more reviews and buy the book here

#2 10% Happier by Dan Harris

10% Happier by Dan Harris
This is the book that finally cracked the code for me. I had tried everything, but nothing quite conveyed the basics of meditation in such a perfect way until Harris’s book. He approaches it as a skeptic, weaving in details of his rise through broadcast news and why that made meditation a sudden necessity.

Some readers might bristle at his autobiographical details, but these sold it for me. He attacks meditation from a purely practical standpoint — why should I do it, how do you do it, what are you supposed to think about during, what happens if you itch or get sore — and that was exactly what I needed. Now it’s a regular practice for me.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

Book Depository (International)Waterstones (International) Read more reviews and buy the book here

#3 Meditation Illuminated by Joy Rains

Meditation Illuminated by Joy Rains
Many people have told me the book has been a life-changer for them. It’s a quick read written in simple language, it has 21 different meditations to try, it’s an attractive book that fits in the hand (5 x 7 in size)—and most importantly, it gives people a full understanding of exactly how to meditate.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

Book Depository (International)Waterstones (International) Read more reviews and buy the book here

#4 Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris
For readers who care more about meditation than Harris’s life (interesting though it is), Harris produced a version focused solely on demonstrating positive effects of meditation and giving a proper how-to guide.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

Book Depository (International)Waterstones (International) Read more reviews and buy the book here

#5 Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor

Buddhism Without Beliefs by Stephen Batchelor
A little more philosophical than the other two, Buddhism Without Beliefs takes readers through a journey of self-discovery in a different way: Batchelor focuses on the teachings of Buddhism while tactfully updating it for a modern audience and stripping away many of the more supernatural trappings that often push away more grounded minds.

Throughout the book, Batchelor offers legitimately helpful short meditation tutorials that perfectly complement the rest of the book. This one is both genuinely eye-opening and a great introduction to meditation.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

Book Depository (International)Waterstones (International) Read more reviews and buy the book here

#6 Everyday Enlightenment: Beginnings by Leif Harum

Everyday Enlightenment: Beginnings by Leif Harum
This spectacular meditation guide for beginners will inspire self reflection, compassion, purpose, and gratitude. Everyday Enlightenment: Beginnings helps you commence on your own unique journey towards a more conscious, compassionate, and content individual over 21 days.

his traditional journal is made by hand at 11,482 ft above sea level, in a village with a history of making this special paper for over 2,000 years. As a result, your purchase directly helps keep this ancient art alive and supports the livelihoods of these remarkable craftsman.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

Book Depository (International)Waterstones (International) Read more reviews and buy the book here

#7 Repose: The Potent Pause by Victor A. Shamas Ph.D.

Repose: The Potent Pause by Victor A. Shamas Ph.D.
“Repose: The Potent Pause, by Dr. Victor Shamas and Jhan Kold, offers one of the simplest and most effective approaches to meditation that I have ever encountered. As these authors explain, Repose is a very straightforward technique, which involves lying on your back on a flat, comfortable surface (floor, bed, carpet, mat, lawn, etc.), with arms extended perpendicular to your torso, palms up, legs open, and jaw relaxed (p. 12).

The beauty of Repose is that you don’t need to focus your mind on anything in particular. The developers of this technique claim that your body leads your mind naturally into an open, relaxed state. From my own personal experience, this seems to be the case.

After seven minutes of Repose, which is what the book recommends, I feel both relaxed and energized. I often lie in Repose during work breaks, and it seems to clear my mind in ways that let me more productive–and especially more creative–when I get back to work. ”

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

Book Depository (International)Waterstones (International) Read more reviews and buy the book here

#8 Kelee Meditation: Free your Mind by Ron W. Rathbun

Kelee Meditation: Free your Mind by Ron W. Rathbun
Kelee meditation is a 5-minute meditation you can learn on your own. It is taught in medical school to help future doctors deal with stress. The book teaches the step-by-step of the meditation and provides you with the ins and outs. We are a grassroots nonprofit organisation offering a way for people to study their mind.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

Book Depository (International)Waterstones (International) Read more reviews and buy the book here

#9 The Fragrance of Wanderlust by Tricia Wolanin

The Fragrance of Wanderlust by Tricia Wolanin
The book encourages people who are either fearful of meditation or feel that is out of their realm, to see how they have already engaged in these practices while they travel. It explores how to utilise it in their everyday lives.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

Book Depository (International)Waterstones (International) Read more reviews and buy the book here

#10 365 Tao: Daily Meditations by Ming-Dao Deng

365 Tao: Daily Meditations by Ming-Dao Deng
The author studied meditation and the Tao for 13 years, and his book reflects this deep knowledge and lifestyle embodiment. Reading the book’s meditations gives you insight into what it’s like to live a Taoist lifestyle through meditation and reading.

Before buying a copy make sure to compare the price at various outlets:

Book Depository (International)Waterstones (International) Read more reviews and buy the book here

Contributors to this article
Olivia Giovetti from The Meditation of Art

Tom Ella from The Undesirables podcast

Joy Rains from JoyRains

Tom Ella from The Undesirables podcast

Spencer Morgan from Backpack Buddha

Evan Hartwell from Act on Wisdom

Nikki Walsh from The Kelee Foundation

Dr. Tricia Wolanin from UnfoldYourBliss

Stacy Caprio from STACYCaprio

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