5 Best Books on Meditation for Beginners


The benefits of meditation – a calmer mind, less stress and enhanced, overall health – are of benefit to everyone. Starting a meditation practice, however, requires more than simply sitting cross legged in a quiet room and closing your eyes, although that’s a good place to start. Engaging in mindfulness and meditation takes some effort, as all meaningful endeavors do, and is more easily grasped, and most effective, when guided by seasoned teachers. These five books, specifically geared towards individuals new to the practice, are a great place to start.

Mindfulness Made Simple: An Introduction to Finding Calm Through Mindfulness & Meditation by Elisha Goldstein – This is an easy to understand, step-by-step guide to the reader’s very first foray into the world of meditation and mindfulness. The perfect book for someone new to the concept of mindfulness and meditation, Mindfulness Made Simple: An Introduction to Finding Calm Through Mindfulness & Meditation, provides motivational tips, exercises and prompts geared toward maintaining a high motivation level, plus five meditations geared toward the beginner and eight, more advanced meditations to help enrich your daily practice.   

Quiet Mind: A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation by Sharon Salzberg, Sakyong Mipham, Tulku Thondup, Larry Rosenberg and Susan PiverAn audio-and-book program, Quiet Mind: A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation features meditation exercises led by some of the world’s most renowned and adept teachers. Meditations centered upon the practices of tranquility, love and kindness, freedom, healing the body and mind, transformation, clear seeing and elements of yoga and its connection to meditation are presented in a gentle format, featuring a short, written exercise and an audio recording of each guided practice. A 78-minute CD is included with each book.     

The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions by Christopher K. Germer, Ph.D. – A well-known therapist and meditation practitioner, Germer supports the reader to experience their own inner, self-critical voice in a new, pro-active and accepting way, through meditation and other self-acceptance techniques. Elegantly written and easy to read, The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion is a beginner’s guide to mindfulness, meditation, emotional healing and self-love.

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington – Best known for her astounding work as co-founder and editor-in-chief at Huffington Post, Huffington presents a new way of looking at success in this candidly written, highly personal combination memoir and how-to book. Challenging the conventional metrics of success – money and power, Huffington makes the case for a third, far more meaningful metric, acquired through unplugging, resting and meditating, as well as delving deep into what matters most.    

Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. – A classic work and one of the first books ever written on the practice of meditation and its healing benefits, Full Catastrophe Living is now available as a revised, updated edition, 25 years after its first publication. Kabat-Zinn, known for his groundbreaking work in the areas of mindfulness, meditation and stress reduction, provides the reader with mind-body techniques adapted from yoga and meditation and medically proven to help reduce stress and increase inner peace, healing and balance.