Relaxation Research: The 7 Best Books For Your Meditation Practice

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* Meditation and mindfulness are powerful tools for stress relief and sense of self
* Learn, grow and start your daily practice from the comfort of home
* These books will help you unwind and focus through easy directions and anecdotes

It seems everyone and their grandmother is starting a meditation practice these days. If you too want to learn the benefits of a more mindful life, pick up a few of these beginner’s guides. They’ll help you learn basic meditation techniques as well as the science and spiritual backing for why it works.

Once you’ve developed your daily practice through education, be sure to set up your own meditation space at home and invest in a few goodies to make your practice easier. Whether you want some tranquility in your hectic urban life, suffer from anxiety or simply need to find a few moments of Zen during the Trump presidency, meditation and mindfulness will make you a happier and healthier person.

1. Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation

Harness the power of meditation with Sharon Salzberg’s book, “Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation.” The beginner’s guide describes meditation, mindfulness and everything in between. It will help you to cultivate compassion, to deal with self-aware thought and, of course, learn a variety of meditation techniques. The 28-day program is broken down into 20 minute meditation sessions and comes with audio files for four guided meditations.

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2. The Miracle of Mindfulness

Written by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh, “The Miracle of Mindfulness” offers gentle reminders that we should live our lives awake and fully aware. Through practical exercise and anecdotes, the master provides a blueprint for readers who want to work toward a greater sense of peace and self-understanding. The lesson? Be mindful, whether you’re walking the dog or making a million dollar business deal.

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3. Meditation for Beginners

If you prefer to know everything about a topic before diving into practice, “Meditation for Beginners” is the guide for you. The author, Yesenia Chavan, works through the history of meditation, its benefits, how it works, how to create an adequate space for meditation and best practice techniques in a logical and easy-to-read format. At the end of the book, you’ll discover some common obstacles for meditation practice and how to best deal with these roadblocks. Overall, this is a factual read for people who don’t want to mess around with a bunch of fluff.

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4. Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

A classic Zen manual, “Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind” was first published 40 years ago. Since then, it has taught thousands the art of meditation. From the basics of correct posture to non-duality, this beginner’s book is a text you’ll turn back to for years to come, always learning something new from its pages. The simple and easy-to-understand approach to Zen and meditation is the reason this book is still one of the best.

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5. The Untethered Soul

Sometimes we need to change the way we think in order to better fit inside our world. That’s exactly what “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer tries to teach. Once you can untether yourself from what is happening around you, you’ll find a happiness previously undiscovered within. And you’ll learn that happiness is not dependent on anyone but you. So, read “The Untethered Soul” and transform the way you live your life.

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6. Wherever You Go, There You Are

As you may have guessed, “Wherever You Go, There You Are” is all about the practice of mindfulness, which means staying in the present moment, observing and remaining nonjudgmental. First published in 1994, this beginner’s guide to bringing presence of mind to everyday life has sold over 750,000 copies and has appeared on multiple bestseller lists. This book remains on top because Jon Kabat-Zinn’s logical writing order first defines meditation in layman’s terms and then gives the reader techniques for practice.

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7. The Mind Illuminated

While meditation has been widely accepted as beneficial in spiritual, scientific and medical fields, in many beginner’s guides it remains an ancient religious practice. If you’d prefer to know more about why scientists also think meditation is good for the body and soul, pick up “The Mind Illuminated.” Written by neuroscientist Dr. John Yates, the 10-stage program draws from the latest science to teach about holistic health and give a roadmap to those looking to benefit from a daily meditation practice.

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