Summer is truly the season of transformation, wellness, and self-love. We all want to get to a state of body, mind, and spirit that we are comfortable and content with. As I navigate my own journey of body, wellness, and self-improvement, I find community building and connection to be imperative to holding myself accountable each day. I ask, are my goals feasible and realistic? How do I grow as well as improve my own physical and mental health? And also much simpler questions that aren’t really that simple: how do I positively motivate myself to get out of bed to actually start (we can all relate)? Being a beginner in meditation, I find myself taking the time to center myself for a few minutes each morning grounding. I am reminded that our journey to wellness and mindfulness is just that–a journey that isn’t linear. With that in mind, here are five fantastic books to guide you during meditation.
1. The Book of Life: Daily Meditation with Krishnamurti by Jiddu Krishnamurti
This first book brings you 365 insightful short paragraph pieces that will absolutely get you on the path to mindfulness. Jiddu Krishnamurti is recognized as one of the most mindful and insightful thinkers of the century. Each piece in this compilation of Krishnamurti’s work is a daily rumination (easy to get your short read of the day done) on specific subjects and ideologies. The Book of Life is accessible for anyone, a soothing balm on our overdriven mind, and a fantastic companion on your personal meditative practices. The Book of Life is a great book for first-timers like me!
2. Moments of Mindfulness: Daily Inspiration by Thich Nhat Hanh
Moments of Mindfulness by the late Thich Nhat Hanh brings you moments of deep wisdom because what else can we expect from him? I recommend this book to anyone who is a beginner in mindful mediation or just anyone who needs to hear pieces of wisdom–the words of Thich Nhat Hanh will cover you in positive energy like a big, soft blanket. This book is a literal guide in meditation, gently teaching you how to delve into yourself to bring out your best self.
3. How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind by Pema Chödrön
This next book by Pema Chödrön speaks to our desire for love, authenticity, and compassion–especially for ourselves. How to Meditate takes us back to the basics of the human condition: breathing, listening, and stillness, and it all leads us to our goal of self-improvement. When we might feel overwhelmed by the pressure of meditation and doing things “correctly,” Chödrön tells us it’s alright, and that progress is progress, meant to be a nonlinear journey without driven and solid expectations.
4. Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana
Bhante Gunaratana’s Mindfulness in Plain English is a must-read for those into and just learning about meditation. Gunaratana utilizes his teachings and lessons to guide us through mindfulness and meditation. His engaging style is a breath of fresh air and one of the best books in the field of meditation in practice. A fantastic introduction to developing a mediation practice, Gunaratana’s book is a requisite for beginners.
5. Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace in the Everyday by Matthew Sockolov
Our last recommendation brings us to 75 easy and essential exercises in meditation. Practicing Mindfulness by Matthew Sockolov is a journey of progress and completely accessible to anyone just learning meditation! Each practice will guide you in short, five-minute exercises that will bring you peace and destress your mind and body.
I hope these five book recommendations will be a helpful accompaniment on your journey into mindful mediation. Remember not to feel too pressured to get things on the first try. Progress is nonlinear, and you are meant to learn from your experiences.
For similar recommendations, take a look at this Bookstr article that celebrates and centers wellness for International Yoga Day.