Stress, Anxiety, sadness, depression… How commonly do we hear these words around us? Nearly everyone around us is inflicted with one or the other, especially during these tough times of a global pandemic. Even though there is not much one can do, We, at BookArt101, have compiled a list of book reviews of the top 10 meditation books for you. Let’s together select from the book reviews which one of these meditation books is best for you.
Practical Meditation for Beginners – Benjamin W. Decker
Practical meditation for beginners by Benjamin W. Decker is a 10 days journey where each day you are taught new techniques to be a better and calmer version of you. The book literally charts out plans for you for every day like a custom made meditation book.
The book covers Breath awareness, mindful observation, eating, walking, emotion channelling and body scan meditation among other things. What is most useful about the book is how Decker divides each chapter or each day’s meditation exercise into sections.
There are sections like ‘What is it’, ‘What you’ll get out of it?’, ‘What you will need’ and the ‘Get Started Portion’ His each day manual ends with a ‘Go Deeper’ section for those who want to explore more and Decker adds that up with a Recommended reading section along with a cute space for notes.
Honestly, This felt like the most practical book given our busy schedules, making it top our list of best meditation books. It felt more like a helpful bookbinder/workbook than a book. Like, it made meditation feel doable. Unlike some other books where I just went like… Yeah! That’s never happening!
Wherever You Go, There You Are – Jon Kabat-Zinn
Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book is a guide on how to live the most in the present moment. It is aimed at beginners and long time practitioners. Zinn is very good at letting the reader draw mental images through metaphor as a way of making them understand complex situations.
Wherever You Go, There You are has small chapters which make it feel like small meditative sessions. People who like more hands-on books with less metaphors and more practical packed pointers might want to avoid this book.
But for those who dig the metaphors, it is an insightful and deep book with practices on how to stay more mindful while doing everyday tasks. It focuses on the ease of being truly where you are. I could pick up some useful tips from this one, If you read it, I hope you can too.
Moments of Mindfulness: Daily Inspiration – Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh’s Moments of Mindfulness is a spiritual Journal. With 52 daily inspiration quotes or poems, depending on how you perceive them. Hanh provides daily inspiration using brevity as nuggets of wisdom folded waiting for you to unfold.
It is the kind of book you would want to keep at your bedside by the table lamp, to open daily or in times of need. But, I assure you, Once you read it either it will be dog eared or full of bookmarks.
Moments of Mindfulness is not your usual meditation book with large chunks of texts or advice. The overall book has a very soothing and calming design. There is a lot of white space and a visual covering an entire page that precedes the daily inspirational quote.
It won’t be surprising if this book calms you down more than the other meditation books even though it has no such formal meditation techniques. The designer’s usage of white space and the placement of text magically forces your brain to slow down and just take in the words. Thich Nhat Hanh has taught me the importance of brevity more than my English lit grad did!
Sitting Still Like a Frog by Eline Snel
Eline Snel’s book is a help-book for parents on teaching their kids mindfulness techniques. The book is aimed at parents but the exercises and the content can also be read out loud to the kids themselves.
Sitting Still Like a Frog covers mindfulness, attention towards breathing, muscle tension, calming down the worries and letting go among many other things. By the end of it, parents end up feeling like they needed the book as much as their kids did.
Sprinkled with anecdotes from problems that Eline Snel faced with her own kids, Sitting Still Like a Frog goes beyond the realms of a book. You feel like you are talking to a friend who has gone through what you are going through.
My favourite part of the book was how each chapter was divided into further subsections for a quick read, how exercises were termed in different sections and tips in another in the same chapter.
Let’s be honest, Parents are busy species who might not have the luxury of reading a book cover to cover. For those looking at quick solutions for their troubled precious littles, this one is must pick meditation book.
The Science of Meditation – Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson
Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson’s book does exactly what its name suggests. It talks about the science behind meditation. It clears up many prevalent misconceptions in our pop cultures regarding meditation. Goleman and Davidson have some mind-blowing research data to back up their arguments.
In The Science of Meditation, the writers talk to yogis and practitioners of meditation and mindfulness. They test the data in their own research labs, thus, giving scientific backup to some of the observations you yourself might have made if you have been practising meditation for a long time.
Something that stood out for me while reading the book was the honesty with which Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson have stated the difficulties that they faced while doing the research. What should be the unit of measurement while researching something as abstract as mediation?
There is also a section of ‘In A Nutshell’ at the end of each chapter to help you remember and recall what you have just read. For those of you who have memory issues like me, Trust me when I say this, it is going to save you.
The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction – Rebecca E. Williams and Julie S. Kraft
The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction by Williams and Kraft is a great book for people to pick up who have trouble dealing with grief, stress and anger. The entire book is divided into three parts and 10 chapters which primarily deal with getting to know the basics like emotions, thoughts and other things, Looking at your Losses – a section that deals with the loss addiction cycle and the last part about moving forward that deals with grieving, recovery, relapse and what happens later.
The book has small exercises for you in each section so that you can track your own progress. It is conversational in tone and easy to read. All the chapters are further divided into subsections for ease. This book is for anyone who has trouble dealing with difficult emotions.
For me, the whole concept of Mindful Grieving was what made me sit back and really take in what had happened inside of me. A must-read for people prone to want to give in to their addictions.
Color me calm by Lacy Mucklow and Angela Porter
Color me Calm as the name suggests is an adult colouring book with 100 templates for adults who find it easier to calm down and relax by colouring. Meditation in its essence is about relaxing and being in the moment and this achieves its purpose well.
For someone like me who literally had no introduction to colouring as a calming hobby. It did not only have introductory illustrations but it also gave a sense of achievement that I was not expecting, making it a part of the top 10 meditation book list.
Designed by art therapist Lacy Mucklow and artist Angela Porter, Color me calm is a value add to any list of Meditation books.
Why Can’t I Meditate? – Nigel Wellings
“May this be a bridge, a boat, a ship for all who struggle with their practice of mindfulness.” – The dedication of Why Can’t I Meditate? Says all about the book that needs to be said. Nigel Wellings addresses all those people who are interested in and willing to meditate but somehow fail to make it a daily habit. It acts as their daily motivator to not give up and to continue trying repeatedly till they have made it a habit.
The book teaches you kindness and compassion, Wellings also uses a lot of situational examples. A lot of information is reinforced in boxes in between the chapters so that a reader does not miss it. This was actually a very good practice as the book is heavily laden with examples and people might forget or get confused with the topic that was being talked about.
Be Calm: Proven Techniques – Jill Weber
Be Calm It is not typically a meditation book or mindfulness book. At least, I wouldn’t call it that. It is specifically aimed to calm down those who struggle with clinical Anxiety. Reviewing this book also means reliving the realisations that it leads to. It is divided into three sections: Feelings, Behavior and Thoughts.
Jill Weber provides situations and examples that people with Anxiety find relatable and practical explanations and doable exercises. It is based on the principles of ACT, CBT, exposure theory and mindfulness.
There is an exercise that talks about taking control of the situation from the situation itself to you. You must read the book to understand this. Being someone with GAD, this is definitely in my list for top 10 meditation books.
Dear Universe: Sarah Prout
Dear Universe by Sarah Prout is a complete inspirational guide to a better life. It is not just a book that gives meditation tips. Of course! The book has 200 mini-meditations for instant manifestations but somehow it is more than that.
It is about finding your place in the universe. It is about creating it and keeping it sacred. It is very positive and the vibrant colour scheme adds to the overall vibe. That’s the thing with Sarah Prout that made her book different from all the others. She doesn’t sell you a book. She sells you a vibe. And Let’s accept it, sometimes in life, all we need is a positive vibe even if it comes borrowed from someone in this case from Sarah Prout. She teaches you how to make it yours though!
And that concludes our list for top 10 meditation books.
I hope you find something for yourself from this list of top mediation books. I have tried to include diverse books that deal with different kinds of problems. If I have missed some, Please accept my apologies and write to me in the comments section and I will try writing on them. Tell me how you like my reviews of them.
Please know that it’s not important that what has worked for me also works for you. Please make an informed choice. Choose the book according to your needs and let us know if we could help you in any way. We would love to know even if we have impacted your life in a teeny tiny way with this list of top meditation books!
Cheers and a happy meditation!
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