There are zillions of books on meditation, but there are very few we would recommend, especially for somebody just starting out.

Below you’ll find just the books we feel are the most helpful and clear.

If you want to dig deeply into the meditation system invented by Shinzen Young, that Jessica Graham and Michael Taft (mostly) use in their teaching and writing, here is an enormous, comprehensive, and highly technical—and totally free of charge—PDF file, entitled The Five Ways to Know Yourself.


Meditation Instruction

Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki










Start Where You Are, by Pema Chodron





Meditation for Beginners, by Jack Kornfield









Mindfulness for Beginners, by Jon Kabat-Zinn









Mindfulness in Plain English, by Bhante Gunaratana










Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening, by Joseph Goldstein










Against the Stream: A Buddhist manual for Spiritual Revolutionaries, by Noah Levine










Break Through Pain, by Shinzen Young








And I have to add in my own book:
The Mindful Geek, by Michael W. Taft



Related Topics

The End of Your World, by Adyashanti — (I highly recommend this text for anyone with advanced experience in meditation. The audio version is also excellent. ~ MWT)










Buddha’s Brain, by Rick Hanson










Hardwiring Happiness, by Rick Hanson










When Things Fall Apart, by Pema Chodron — (This may be the best book in the world for going through a devastating emotional period, like when a loved one dies or a marriage breaks up. ~ MWT)










The Places that Scare You, by Pema Chodron










Shambhala: The Sacred Heart of the Warrior, by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche










Feel free to suggest other titles you love in the comments below.



  1. “Against the Stream: A Buddhist manual for Spiritual Revolutionaries” by Noah Levine

  2. The Presence Process by Michael Brown is a very good book. Although the title may seem to be bit different but its all about awareness raising. The book is so well written that almost all the questions you raise while reading would be answered in the book itself.

  3. The Mind Illuminated by Culadasa is also a comprehensive guide for meditation. Further, one can start reading with Vipassana book by S.N. Goenka. If you like then Loch Kelly’s book shift into freedom is also a great book with full of awareness based exercises. Even Adyashanti has agreed to the well worth of Loch Kelly in this field. Thanks. Further, one can read the books by Joseph Naft. One of his book named Sacred Art of soul making is very good work explained in simple terms. Thanks

    1. I would strongly second the recommendation for “The Mind Illuminated.” It is arguably the best instruction manual ever written for teaching samatha meditation. The book is excellent for both the beginner and the advanced meditator. It is really a stunning piece of writing and is a book I never tire of visiting.

  4. I think Natural Meditation by Dean Sluyter was great for beginners. Also anything by Mooji is pretty profound.

Let us know what you think