The Best Meditation Books for Beginner’s (Plus Tips & Other Resources)

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So you’re interested in starting a meditation practice but you need some guidance.

You’ve come to the right place.

I’ve read numerous meditation books and have also been practicing for a number of years consistently.

I have found that supplementing your practice with a few great books can make all the difference in helping to maintain consistency.

Sometimes there are just a few points that you will learn from experts which totally shift the way you view your practice and in turn the world as well. 

So let’s get into the best meditation books for beginners list so that you can develop a steady practice that benefits your life.

Best Meditation Books for Beginners 

1. Meditation for Beginners by Jack Kornfield

Jack Kornfield is a popular Buddhist mindfulness meditation teacher in the United States. He has founded multiple different meditation centers where students go for retreats and spent time living as a monk in Thailand and Burma.

He has learned from true masters of meditation.

This book is a beginner-friendly simple guide to get started with your meditation practice and Jack walks you through everything you need to know including the right attitude, focus points of concentration, posture, and more.

If you want to learn from an expert meditator and psychologist who has also practiced meditation in the land of the Buddha then this is a great option. 

Check it out here

2. Mindfulness for Beginners by Jon Kabat Zinn

Jon Kabat Zinn is a pioneer of mindfulness meditation in western society. He was one of the first people to implement a mindfulness-based stress reduction clinic and study in the medical community after studying Zen Buddhism and molecular biology.

If you put yourself in the meditation skeptics camp then Jon Kabat Zinn is a perfect person to learn from because he also has a traditional medical and science background.

This book is a beginner-friendly guide to mindfulness meditation that will help you start and develop a consistent meditation practice helping to take the right attitude and learn the foundational knowledge that is critical to meditation.

If you want to learn from one of the pioneers of mindfulness meditation in the western medical community then look no further than this beginners guide by Jon Kabat Zinn.

Check it out here

3. How to Meditate by Pema Chodron

Pema Chodron is an American Buddhist nun who lives and teaches at the Gampo Abbey Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Nova Scotia.

She was formerly a teacher and graduate of UC Berkeley before deciding to become a Buddhist nun. She studied under Chogyam Trungpa who was a pioneer of Tibetan Buddhism in western culture.

This book from Pema is a beginner-friendly guide to meditation for people looking to learn and start a practice that is consistent and healthy.

Pema has a very honest but kind approach to meditation emphasizing the importance of getting to know your mind and body while also bringing a loving heart to the practice.

If you want to learn from a Tibetan Buddhist nun then this is a great book to pick up to help you along your path to a steady and life-changing meditation practice.

Check it out here

4. Real Happiness by Sharon Salzberg a 28 Day Program to Meditation

Sharon Salzberg is a meditation pioneer in the west bringing a secular approach to mindfulness meditation. She is one of the founders of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, MA, and has written numerous awesome books on meditation.

This book is a good guide for beginners because it goes over all the technical details of meditation as well as gives you a 28-day accountability guide to start implementing the practice consistently.

Reviews have consistently said that this book was life-changing and it allowed people to realize the benefits of mindfulness meditation directly in their own lives with a competent guide at their disposal.

If you’re just starting a meditation practice and want a kick-start manual from one of the best teachers of meditation around, this is a great book. 

Check it out here

5. The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh 

Thich Nhat Hanh was one of the wisest Zen meditation masters around who influenced many people around the world with his teachings and calm compassionate presence. 

Hanh had been a Zen Monk since he was 16 years old and was an activist and peacemaker during the Vietnam war. He later went on to found the Plum Village Buddhist monastery in France as well as serving as a teacher around the globe.

This book is less a step-by-step guide to meditation and more of an introduction manual with anecdotes and insights from master Hanh.

If you’re someone who learns better from stories and insights and want to learn from one of the most influential Zen masters around then look no further than this book to get your practice started.

Check it out here

6. Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana

Bhante Gunaratana was ordained as a Buddhist monk at the age of 12 in Sri Lanka and also earned a PhD in philosophy from The American University.

He has led meditation retreats, taught Buddhism, and lectured widely throughout the US.

This book is one of the best “how-to” style books written explaining mindfulness and Buddhist meditation. The approach he teaches in this book is of the Vipassana style of practice where there is a large amount of focus on insight and noting.

If you are new to meditation and working to implement your own meditation practice then this book is a great one to help you get started.

Check it out here

7. Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan

Chade-Meng Tan is a Google engineer and personal growth pioneer who offers a proven method for enhancing mindfulness and emotional intelligence in life and work.

His book is great for people looking for an ordinary guide to meditation practice from someone who is not a Buddhist monk but actually someone who lives and works a normal lifestyle. 

He has a great sense of humor and a straightforward approach to teaching meditation and his goals are to help people become more enlightened and happy while promoting world peace.

If you’re someone who is new to meditation and want to learn from a Google engineer who has been meditating for a long time who also lives a normal lifestyle then this book will help you gain a positive daily meditation practice.

Check it out here

8. Why Can’t I Meditate by Nigel Wellings

If you are someone who has tried to implement a mindfulness practice and wasn’t able to stick with it then this book might be the answer for you.

This book was written for struggling meditators or people who think that they have a mind that is way too turbulent to calm down and meditate with.

It goes over a lot of practical answers and solutions to the most common roadblocks experienced in beginning meditation and also contains personal accounts from Buddhist mindfulness teachers and beginners. 

Check it out here

9. Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

Shunryu Suzuki was one of the most influential spiritual teachers of the twentieth century and was one of the founding fathers of Zen in the US. He was a Japanese priest in the Soto lineage and taught in the US from 1959 until his death.

This book isn’t exactly the best for beginners because it doesn’t contain a step-by-step guide or instructions for starting out but if you are someone who has been practicing even for a little bit you will find the wisdom and insight in this book very profound and helpful in your practice.

If you’re someone who is still technically a beginner but not totally new to meditation then this book from Zen master Suzuki is an excellent addition for your meditation journey.

Check it out here

10. The Posture of Meditation by Will Johnson

This is a great book on meditation posture which will help beginners learn about the anatomy of the body and how it is best to sit for meditation practice. 

The body is just as important as the mind because if the body is aligned correctly meditation will take place automatically. This book explains the posture of meditation and helps you to find a posture that is best for you promoting wakefulness and relaxation in your practice.

Check it out here

Other Resources for Beginning Meditators 

Besides books, there are other resources that are awesome for beginning meditators looking to practice meditation such as guided meditations, apps, CDs, and online programs.

Here are just a few practical ways for learning meditation besides books:

Tips for Beginner Meditators 

Books are a great start if you’re beginning meditation practice because you will want to learn the basics of how to sit, the correct techniques to use, and some practical mindfulness techniques and tips from more experienced practitioners.

There are a few things to keep in mind when getting started with a new meditation practice in order to have success implementing it consistently. 

Be Nice to Yourself and Start Small

I would say from my knowledge of meditation after practicing for years I would recommend starting small and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. 

Try shorter sits like 10-20 minutes once a day to start and focus on the techniques.

Also, keep in mind that the point of meditation is not to get rid of your thoughts but to notice your thoughts and how your mind wanders.

This is one of the biggest mistakes new meditators make. 

They think that their mind is supposed to be clear when meditating. This is not correct. 

The point of meditation is to be aware of how your mind works and how thoughts and emotions are generated. Often, people fail to stick with meditation because they get frustrated when they can’t calm their mind down. 

Remember, the mind will calm down naturally when you let it be, and just be aware of what it’s doing. You don’t need to directly try and change the mind, it is a natural process that occurs when the conditions of the mind are right and your awareness grows.

Each mindfulness or meditation technique is designed to aid your mind in this process. So, take it small and easy to start.

Carve Out a Routine Time

Like any new habit, you need to find a routine time that you can sit and practice for a few minutes each day. 

Find a time that works best for you each day and dedicate a certain amount of time to your meditation practice. Treat it like taking a shower each morning or night.

The more you stick to a routine, the easier it will be to practice until it becomes second nature for you.

Learn From Experts 

Lastly, take time to read a few of the books on this list, watch videos from experts, or do some guided meditations. 

These are very helpful when starting because you need some accountability and guidance when getting started.

It’s usually pretty challenging to try and implement a routine completely on your own when you’re just starting out.

I hope these beginner meditation books and resources can be helpful on your path to wholeness, enlightenment, and well-being.


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Josh is a writer and entrepreneur who runs a small digital content publishing business. His main interests are in topics related to developing personal and financial freedom. When not working he enjoys reading, yoga, surfing, being outdoors, meditating, exploring, and hanging with friends.