In an increasingly busy world, it can be difficult to find moments of stillness.
The world isn’t going to slow down. But you can learn a number of mindfulness techniques to help you reduce your stress and find moments of inner calm.
A few years ago, I would have scoffed at the suggestion that mindfulness can help to deal with life’s stresses and find peace within.
In fact, many of the approaches to mindfulness are full of fluff, asking you to “think positively” without actually addressing the root cause of your stress.
I’ve found that the most effective approaches to mindfulness help you to be mindful in a practical way. They provide you with the tools to take responsibility for your inner world, so that moments of stillness become the natural result.
Today, I’m sharing the 10 best and most practical books on mindfulness. Check them out and let me know whether they help you to adopt an effective approach to mindfulness. It’s an amazing perspective to live your life by.
1) Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana
Written by Bhante Gunaratana, it was published in 1994 and goes through the basics of mindful meditation and living.
Don’t let the date it was published fooled you into thinking the material is outdated. It’s a classic that deserves to be read every few years.
One of the most renowned people in the mindfulness space is Jon Kabat-Zinn. He popularized many eastern concepts of mindfulness in the west decades ago. Kabat-Zinn says the following about Mindfulness in Plain English: “A masterpiece.”
2) Art of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Living in the Moment by Hack Spirit
When you begin your journey into mindfulness, it’s essential to begin with a primer that explains concepts elegantly without pretense.
This eBook by Hack Spirit is exactly this.
The Art of Mindfulness delves deep into the concepts of mindfulness, explaining them in everyday language. It helps you learn how to this this life changing practice to overcome your overactive mind, let go of multi-tasking and distractions and focus solely on the task at hand.
Check it out here.
3) Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn
In this book Kabat-Zinn urges you to practice “mindfulness,” a more than 2000-year-old Buddhist method of living fully in the present, observing yourself, your feelings, others and your surroundings without judging them.
This book is amazing for its simplicity for explaining what mindfulness is and how to practice it. It was first published in 1994 and has since been updated.
4) The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
From the very first page, Eckhart Tolle takes you on a profound journey into this present moment. He poetically helps you become deeply connected with the deeper essence of your being.
This is probably one of the most famous books on mindfulness and for good reason. Eckhart Tolle explains with such precision and wisdom on why you need to make the present the primary focus of your life. He also talks about how to stop identifying with your ego.
5) Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn
This is another classic from Jon Kabat-Zinn.
This book focuses on how important mindfulness is in today’s society.
He draws from teachings from Thich Nhat Hanh and Zen master Seung Sahn.
Woven into eight parts, Coming to Our Senses uses anecdotes and stories from Kabat-Zinn’s own life experiences and work in his clinic to illustrate healing possibilities. At its core, the book offers remarkable insight into how to use the five senses — touch, hearing, sight, taste, and smell, plus awareness itself — as a path to a healthier, saner, and more meaningful life.
6) Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh
The Vietnamese Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh is an incredibly profound human being. We’ve written about him many times here at Ideapod.
In Peace is Every Step, Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how to make positive use of the very situations that usually pressure and antagonize us.
It’s another masterpiece from Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.
Thich Nhat Hanh quoted in this book “Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
7) Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach
It doesn’t take much to feel deficient in life. It could come from being criticized, getting into an argument or making a mistake at work.
Beginning to understand how our lives have become ensnared in this trance of unworthiness is our first step toward reconnecting with who we really are and what it means to live fully.
This book will help you let go of this trance so you can embrace your life with heart of a Buddha.
8) A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
I read this book in 2009 and it set me on a very powerful path. I finally understand what “collective consciousness” was and how we may all be connected in powerful ways.
This is Eckhart Tolle’s second book after The Power of Now. If you’re feeling that your ego is getting in your way, this is the book for you.
9) Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation by Sharon Salzberg
10) Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chödrön
Start Where You Are is a fantastic book that helps you to cultivate fearlessness while developing your compassion at the same time.
It’s written by Pema Chödrön and presents down-to-earth guidance on how we can “start where we are”, embracing rather than denying the painful aspects of our lives.
Chödrön frames her teachings on compassion around fifty-nine traditional Tibetan Buddhist maxims such as “Always apply only a joyful state of mind,” “Don’t seek others’ pain as the limbs of your own happiness,” and “Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment.”
If you feel lost, like you can’t find your purpose in life, this is for you. It will motivate you to create a more compassionate and kind world.
Love yourself first and everything else falls into place
It may sound conceited or narcissistic to focus on loving yourself first. But it’s not.
The point isn’t to believe you’re better than others or to accept things about yourself that you really do need to change.
It’s about developing a healthy and nurturing relationship with… you!
Loving yourself is about committing to who you are, understanding the many different nuances to your identity, and showing yourself a level of care and intimacy that we usually reserve for other people.
Unfortunately, we’re not taught how to love ourselves from an early age. And we end up caring about what others think of us rather than focusing on what we need at a more fundamental level.
This is why we partnered with Rudá Iandê to produce a free masterclass on transforming our relationships through the practice of self-love.
It’s currently playing on The Vessel (one of our partners) but only for a limited time.
Thousands have attended and told us that the masterclass has completely transformed their relationships for the better.
It’s a must-watch and we couldn’t recommend it more highly.