Helpful books about mindfulness and meditation

There are so many books about mindfulness out there and I get asked a lot for book recommendations when I teach mindfulness courses. While in the course, I encourage everyone to devote all their free time to the practice of mindfulness instead of reading about it. You will not learn mindfulness by reading about it, but there are some wonderful books to read to support your practice. Reading inspiring books will encourage you to practice when motivation to practice is low (and we all go through these periods). It will increase your confidence in the practice and therefore motivate you to do it every day, it can also help you clarify the experiences you notice while practicing. Having said all that, I also believe that reading books is no substitute for having a good meditation teacher to support and guide your practice.

Here are some books that I appreciate and recommend:

1. Place to start:
Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment – and Your Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD
Fully Present by Susan L. Smalley, PhD and Diana Winston
Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
Make Peace with Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic by Mark Coleman
Coming To Our Senses by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD

2. MBSR:
Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD
A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook by Bob Stahl, PhD & Elisha Goldstein, PhD
Heal Thy Self by Saki F.  Santorelli, EdD

3. Insight Meditation (Vipassana):
Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening by Joseph Goldstein
The Experience of Insight by Joseph Goldstein
Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation by Larry Rosenberg
The 4 Foundations of Mindfulness by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
In This very Life: The Liberation Teachings of the Buddha by Sayadaw U Pandita
When Awareness Becomes Natural: A Guide to Cultivating Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Sayadaw U Tejaniya
Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzberg
Boundless Heart: The Buddha’s Path of Kindness, Compassion Joy, and Equanimity by Christina Feldman

4. Science of Mindfulness:
Buddha’s Brain: The Practical neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom by Rick Hanson, PhD with Richard Mendius, MD
The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being by Daniel J. Siegel, MD

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