If you spend your days feeling completely consumed by a worrying mind, you are not alone. Stress, anxiety, insomnia, and lack of focus are just a few of the common ailments that plague our hyper-connected (but distracted) culture. Many of us live with too much noise both in our internal and external lives, which is detrimental to our jobs, our relationships, and our health. While meditation is far from a new discovery, modern developments in neuroscience are proving the benefits of developing a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) practice to live a happier, more productive life. If you’re looking to begin or simply continue your mindfulness practice, check out these five fantastic mindfulness books to step into the present moment.
1. Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Written by Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of University of Massachusetts Medical Center’s Stress Reduction Clinic, this book is an excellent beginner’s guide to meditation as a mindfulness practice. The author is excellent at guiding readers through different exercises, delving into their purpose and benefits. The text serves as a wonderful guide for practitioners of any experience level and faith, focusing on the secular benefits of meditation, rather than attaching it to a particular belief system. For a wonderfully approachable perspective on mindfulness, you can’t go wrong with this book.
2. The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle
Regardless of where you are on your mindfulness journey, it’s likely that you’ve heard of The Power of Now. This hugely popular book has a massive following with many readers proclaiming it has changed their lives for the better. It was written by spiritual guide Eckhart Tolle, who found mindful living as an academic who was emotionally drowning in a sea of negative thoughts and issues with mental health. This book is powerful for a variety of reasons, but Tolle’s ability to describe the idea of living in the present moment to a busy, stressed out, Western audience with relatability and a sense of humor is what makes it really shine.
3. 10% Happier, by Dan Harris
If you don’t subscribe to a spiritual worldview, this book is the perfect solution for you. Part memoir, part self-help book, 10% Happier follows Dan’s journey into mindfulness as a result of a stressful, unbalanced life that culminated in a publicly televised panic attack. Dan Harris takes a more practical and scientific approach to meditation, utilizing investigative reporting, research, and scientific evidence to advocate for mindful living. Filled with humor, surprises, and plenty of “aha” moments, readers will find comfort in knowing they aren’t the only ones living with an unruly mind and that meditation offers a practical path to finding relief.
4. Peace is Every Step, by Thich Nhat Hanh
Peace is Every Step a modern classic text on mindfulness by prolific author and Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh. He is highly esteemed worldwide as a Zen master and was even nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Hanh’s writing is as poignant as it is simple, with every sentence carrying deep and enlightening wisdom. You can feel his compassion and sense of peace in this text, and reading it is a true comfort to anyone struggling with a tumultuous state of mind. While all of his books offer much to the reader who is looking to either begin or continue a mindfulness practice. Peace is Every Step is the perfect daily read, as it addresses how to live mindfully no matter where you are or what you’re doing. This book is a ray of sunshine for even your darkest of days.
5. Our Pristine Mind, by Orgyen Chowang
A new book to the canon of mindfulness literature, Our Pristine Mind is a breath of fresh air for peaceful living. Author Orgyen Chowang offers a unique approach to mindfulness meditation. In his Pristine Mind Mediation practice, he effectively guides readers through his step by step approach, from beginning to end. This book is great for those who are new to meditation, or for individuals who have tried it before but struggled and may need a new approach. Chowang has a gift for effectively sharing his Eastern spiritual background with a Western audience in a way that’s approachable, clear, and motivational. His metaphors and examples are incredibly effective and connect with readers, helping them to better understand the practice of meditation for living a happier, more peaceful life.
Have you read any of these mindfulness books?
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