Stay Zen with Our Reads on Meditation

Stay Zen with Our Reads on Meditation

Mar 03, 2023Alan Wong
The practice of mindfulness has gained acceptance in recent years, perhaps more so during the early years of the COVID-19 pandemic when anxieties about lockdowns, safety precautions, and resuming normal lives were at an all-time high. Even before that, corporations and institutions have been getting their staff into mindfulness programmes to better their well-being and, one presumes, productivity.

One key aspect in mindfulness practice is meditation. You'd think that placing oneself in absolute stillness and just being in the present sounds easy, but for minds conditioned to the chaos and fast-pace of modern life, sitting still offers no peace.

Worry not, we have you covered. Following our recommended reads for mindfulness, we've picked a few titles related to meditation from our collection to help you understand the practice and, when you're ready, guide you as you embark on your meditative practice.

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris, with Jeffrey Warren and Carlye Adler
Spiegel & Grau
Cover of "Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics" by Dan Harris, with Jeffrey Warren and Carlye Adler
News anchor Dan Harris used to think little of meditation. Then he had a panic attack on air and eventually had a change of heart. In this book, follow Harris and Jeff Warren, a teacher and “Meditation MacGyver”, on a journey to tackle the myths, misconceptions, and self-deceptions that keep people from meditating. This fun yet instructive read comes with game-changing and deeply practical meditation instructions.

Meditation: The Best Birthday Gift You Can Give Yourself by Chiam Kah Boon
Alevation Press
Cover of "Meditation: The Best Birthday Gift You Can Give Yourself" by Chiam Kah Boon
Learn and practise meditation Chiam, who offers his own take on this ancient art and relates his own experiences in meditation based on his 25 years of practice. (He has also discussed meditation in "The Bigger Picture" on BFM Radio.)

The Headspace Guide to Mindfulness & Meditation by Andy Puddicombe
Hodder & Stoughton
Cover of "The Headspace Guide to Mindfulness & Meditation" by Andy Puddicombe
Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk and co-founder of the health company Headspace, aims to get people to take some time out of their day to just be in the now. He shares his simple-to-learn but highly effective techniques of meditation, an accessible and practical route to improved health, happiness and well-being, in as little as 10 minutes.

The Science of Meditation by Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson
Viking UK
Cover of "The Science of Meditation" by Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson
More than 40 years ago, two friends and collaborators at Harvard, Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson, argued for the benefits of meditation. Now, when mindfulness and other brands of meditation have become the rage, they draw on cutting-edge science to sweep away neuromythology and share remarkable findings that show how meditation can cultivate qualities such as focus, selflessness, and compassion.

The Heart Of Meditation by the Dalai Lama
Random House
Cover of "The Heart Of Meditation" by the Dalai Lama
Let His Holiness the Dalai Lama guide you in an advanced meditation practice called Dzogchen, using a visionary poem by the 19th-century saint Patrul Rinpoche, author of the Buddhist classic Words of My Perfect Teacher. He meticulously leads the reader on how to identify innermost awareness and how to maintain contact with it, and how to release oneself from the endless stream of thoughts to let this awareness become consistently apparent.

Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator's Handbook by Ajahn Brahm
Wisdom Publications
Cover of "Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator's Handbook" by Ajahn Brahm
You almost never hear of Buddhist monks claim that meditation is “better than sex”, until you learn of Ajahn Brahm. In a past life, he was a working-class Londoner who graduated from Cambridge University and eventually travelled to Thailand to become a monk. Now the abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery in Western Australia, he is known for his books and talks on Buddhism that are peppered with his brand of inspiring, instructional and humourous storytelling. This book is no exception, and it also guides readers through the stages of practice and overcoming obstacles. Brahm draws from his working-class roots to explain difficult concepts clearly and easily, so that beginners understand them, while experienced meditators can gain new insight.

As with our recommendations for mindfulness, you probably need only one (or two) titles from the above or, based on this list, you can find the ones that suit you best. Regardless, we wish you a blissful journey into mindfulness and meditation and hope you get started soon because when it comes to improving your well-being, there's no time like the present.

Whatever claims are made regarding the benefits of meditation, it is no substitute for professional medical or psychiatric assistance. Please seek help if you need it.

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