7 Best Books about Meditation to Make You Feel More Zen-like ...

The benefits of meditation have been widely acknowledged and I would like to share some of the best books about meditation. There are many books on the market, some of which are accompanied by a CD. Although guided meditations can be a good starting point, I don't think they should be relied upon, as the best guide is actually yourself. I had tried meditation a number of times before and time and time again became frustrated with the process. I kept thinking I could be doing far better things with my time as my mind continued to wonder and I couldn't fully focus. The truth is, meditation is about being in the present moment because that is all we have. Thoughts will come and go and that's natural as we're so used to processing information. The best books about meditation are sure to help you on your way to understanding some of the fundamental principles of meditation as well as helping you to relieve stress and start living life to the fullest.

1. Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

On Amazon at: amazon.com

I am a huge fan of Jon Kabat-Zinn and this was one of the first books I read about meditation. This man has been fundamental in bringing meditation and its many benefits to the masses and he is the founding director of the Stress-Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Centre. This is a wonderful introduction to meditation in which Kabat-Zinn explores the powers of meditation in an accessible and entertaining way. He also encourages us to ask questions of ourselves and look deeper within, which is where many of the answers we seek will lie. I believe this is one of the best books about meditation, especially for beginners.

2. Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World through Mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn

On Amazon at: amazon.com

This is another great work by Jon Kabat-Zinn (I told you I was a fan) and in it he describes the ways in which mindfulness meditation can bring about profound changes on one's life. In this book, he explains how he believes that we all have the capacity to heal and grow through meditation practices and shows us how by using the five senses, we can achieve a more fulfilling life.

3. 8 Minute Meditation by Victor Davich

On Amazon at: amazon.com

This is another great book for beginners and helps teach the basic principles of meditation in a clear and concise manner. When it comes to meditation, time is immaterial as it's an artificial construct. When you understand this, you can appreciate that whether you're practicing for five minutes or forty five minutes, what is important is the quality of the meditation. The key is to have no expectations and not to get frustrated with yourself if your mind wonders or you feel you're not 'doing it right.' Just persevere.

4. The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh

On Amazon at: amazon.com

The truth is, although our eyes are wide open, we spend much of our life sleep-walking through it and missing every precious moment while we wish for the next to come. In this fabulous book, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh helps us to be fully awake and fully aware. The author offers insight into ways in which something as seemingly mundane as washing the dishes can be a moment to be appreciated and fully acknowledged.

5. Turning the Mind into an Ally by Sakyong Mipham

On Amazon at: amazon.com

If you want a practical guide on how to strengthen the mind then this is a great book. It is clear and direct and teaches us how we can live a life of joy and compassion in this crazy world. Drawing on teachings from more than 2500 years ago, Sakyong Mipham helps us on a path to transformation and tells the truth about the causes of suffering.

6. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

On Amazon at: amazon.com

Shunryu Suzuki is founder of the San Francisco Zen Center. This compendium of excerpts from his lectures helps us to understand that life itself is our Zen training and leads us on a path to knowing our true selves.

7. Loving Kindness: the Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzberg

On Amazon at: amazon.com

We all want to learn how to love ourselves and others that little bit more and this book shows us how we can step a little closer to compassion and ultimately attempt to rid ourselves of the pain which is associated with much of our experiences in life. Sharon Salzberg is one of America's leading spiritual teachers and in this book, she teaches us about loving kindness and helps us towards what the Buddha described as "the liberation of the heart, which is love."

If you're just starting out, it might be an idea to try and find a meditation group where you can practice together and discuss your experiences. Does anyone else practice meditation? Do you have any book recommendations or helpful tips?