Recommended Meditation Reading List

Meditation Books

365 Tao: Daily Meditations
I love the concept of this book, you can read one daily meditation for one year, and the Tao is so universal that if you take the time, something will resonate.

A New Earth: Create a Better Life
Eckhart Tolle’s second major book and my personal favourite, despite also loving The Power of Now of course. This one is very empowering and jargon-free, thanks so much Eckhart.

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity
If you are like me and engaging in the creative (drawing, writing, making music for example) is a mediative practice for you, Julia Cameron is very inspirational. I would also recommend buying the Morning Pages workbook, and if you prefer audio teachings, there’s an inexpensive audio version of reflections on the book available at Sounds True. In love with this straight-talking and insightful woman.

A Thousand Names For Joy: How To Live In Harmony With The Way Things Are
I can’t rave about this enough. In fact every single thing put out by Byron Katie is precious. This book clarifies and outlines her simple yet powerful meditative technique, The Work, with stories from her life. A meditation I draw upon regularly, Byron Katie has quite literally changed my life for the better.

Before I Am, Second Edition
Although I am not a fan of Mooji’s assertion that the Sadhana (daily practice) is unnecessary, I do like his soft, warm-hearted teachings on self and spirituality. This is a lovely book.

The Book Of Secrets: 112 Meditations To Discover The Mystery Within
If your like to experiment with meditation techniques, these are pretty lovely. Osho’s verbal teachings documented from live talks and teachings (not by him). I particularly like the simplicity, range and organisation according to the senses in this book.

The Body: Art Of Meditation
Such an excellent writer, Paramanda, (who I mention again just a couple of entries down), this book shows how the body cannot really be ignored in a meditation practice. Some very accessible and effective breathing and body-awareness guided practices are also detailed here and most definitely worth exploring.

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One
Joe Dispenza’s teachings on the habits of the mind are highly useful for anyone, with any background and level of interest in mind-work.

Change Your Mind: Practical Guide To Buddhist Meditation
Paramananda, a London-based Buddhist monk, is an excellent clear-thinking writer and teacher in my opinion. This book really helped me to understand the practice and the guided practices are also excellent. If you are failing to get your head around meditation but want to know and practice more, this is highly recommended.

Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao
I love everything I read about the Tao, and Dr. Wayne W. Dyer demonstrates how to apply the ancient wisdom of the ancient texts to our daily lives so well.

Concentration & Meditation
Swami Sivananda’s teachings on meditation, insightful and outlines one of the many productive benefits of habitual meditation. The ideas are very simple and it is an easy read.

Cultivating Stillness: A Taoist Manual for Transforming Body and Mind
This book offers a range of things to think about: an overview of Taoist philosophy, poetry, excerpts from Lao Tsu’s Tao Te Ching and some space for free-writing. A little patience and a non-intellectual approach is required, but it’s a lovely book to dip into every now and again.

Tao Te Ching (A New English Version)
By far my favourite version of the translated Tao Te Ching is by this author, Stephen Mitchell. And I have read a number of versions of Lao Tsu’s teachings. It comes with anntotations and a warm introduction from the author. Is it a pocket-sized book (I carry it wth me everywhere in fact), and it’s dirt cheap too.

Happiness: a Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill
Everything Matthieu Ricard teaches on happiness and meditation is fantastic. He writes well, has charm and grace, and is always bang on. I would recommend all of his books but read this one first. Also, sing up to his newsletter as he sends out beautiful emails on a regular basis that contain Thought of the Week annotated ancient texts as well Smile of Week stunning photography on his travels.

The Healing Power of Meditation: Leading Experts on Buddhism, Psychology, and Medicine Explore the Health Benefits of Contemplative Practice
This is an excellent book based on dialogues with experts, scholars and long-time teachers of contemplative practices. Ideal for those who want to be convinced.

I Need Your Love – Is That True?: How to find all the love, approval and appreciation you ever wanted
Another phenomenal book by Byron Katie of The Work, this focusing specifically on our relationship with others, which pinpoints the notion of thoughts ‘kick us out of heaven’ and how we can transform our thoughts about the relationships we have. Amazing book.

The Inner Smile: Increasing Chi through the Cultivation of Joy
The Inner Smile meditations of the Taoist tradition are beautifully simple and very effective. Another book by Mantak Chia about Taoist meditations (he really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to Taoist practices and chi). I recommend everyone to try this meditation.

Loving What Is: How Four Questions Can Change Your Life
The first book to read by Byron Katie on how to do The Work. Superb. There is nothing quite like Byron Katie’s work.

Meditation As Medicine
Please buy this book, especially if you are familiar with Kundalini meditations. I would also recommend this book for those who want an overview of the evidence-based scientific studies on meditation. Several are referenced here for those who wish to explore more. Since the author and prescriber of Medical Meditations is a medical doctor, Dr.Dharma Singh Khalsa, his approach to explaining centres on the science behind meditation (but in an accessible way). You can also take a look at his website Dr.Dharma, fascinating and valid work on the health benefit of meditation.

Meditation: The First And Last Freedom
Osho is humorous, unique and engaging. I enjoyed reading this one.

Mind, Its Mysteries and Control
In this book, Swami Sivananda shows the connection between mind, feelings and suffering in a clear and simple that is motivating for those with a desire to begin a regular meditation practice.

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
Eckart Tolle’s first book, extremely popular and easy to read. I am not really a fan of Practising the Power of Now (the follow-up practical book) because I’ve read better practical books on meditation or the art of presence, but this book is one of a kind.

Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine
Dr. Deepak Chopra writes well and puts forward some fascinating ideas in this book.

The Six Healing Sounds: Taoist Techniques for Balancing Chi
I am a huge fan of Taoist practices and Taoist philosophy. This book outlining the Six Healing Sounds meditation for balancing the energetic body is brought to you,  alongside so so many others, by Mantak Chia. I actually visited Tao Garden a few years and attending the teachings of Mantak Chia’s Universal Healing Tao (UHT) teachings. He really is an excellent teacher, and if his physical appearance is anything to go by, he looks about 40 (but is actually in his mid-70s) and has a lovely warm spirit.

Stillness Speaks
Yet another great read by Eckhart Tolle.

The Tibetan Book of the Dead: First Complete Translation
A highly-appraised translation of this text. A must-read.

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation For Everyday Life
John Kabat-Zinn is a well-known meditation teacher and author. I love this title, the concept and Kazbat-Zinn’s work in general. I like this one a lot.

Writing Your Way
A meditative free-flow writing workbook and resource book. Windhorse Publications are a publishing house connected to the Triranta order of Buddhist monks, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading a number of their publications, particularly those by Paramanda. This book, written by Manjusvara, is also well worth exploring if you are blocked with your writing.

You Are The Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter
Another fascinating book by Joe Dispenza.

Meditation Websites

The Open Mind
I don’t usually like this type of thing, that is, website littered with inspirational quotes and scientific links to spirituality and mind-work, but this one is slightly different. Some of the content I haven’t seen in other places. Take a look, even if it’s only a quick one.

The Work
I can’t say anything more, you have to visit this website. I have listed some books by Byron Katie above too. This is a true gift of today, resources and support are totally free and I cannot think of anything better for understanding the (un)work of your mind.

Mindful
A really informative and understated online magazine.

Dharma
The society for insight meditation (as in Vipassana teachings), full of accessible jargon-free resources to draw upon.

Art Of Living
These centres are across the world. I attended one in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, for Yin Yoga training with the impressive Victor Chng. The free resources on their websites are very good. Here’s find some nice (and free) online meditations.

Art Of Meditation
Lots of great suff here: audios, meditations courses, articles, news updates on meditation by Burgs, an experienced and intrepid meditation teacher.

Mindful Schools
I love this concept, and this only scratches the surface of what’s out there. There are a number of publications on mindfulness in Higher Education that I am particularly interested (see Beth Berila, Arthur Zajonc, Daniel Barbezat, Parker Palmer and Mirabai Bush to name only a few). This one is less special interest, and more on initiatives for embedding mindfulness practices within school curriculum. Of interest to primary or secondary teachers as well as parents.

Meditation Magazines/Journals

Elephant Journal
My favourite online journal for conscious living that has something for everyone. I tell everyone about this one, if you haven’t already, check it out.

Mindful Magazine
An informative yet understated online magazine.

Meditation Music

Nirvana Radio Station
If you are short of music or like to play random music on the radio than your own laptop or electronic device, this is definitely my favourite radio station.

Sounds True
I also mentioned this on the other lists, there is so much here for you. There is something for everyone from meditation music, to meditation audio teachings to guided meditations. A must visit.

Spirit Voyage
I tell everyone about this website, I’ve also mentioned it in the On Yoga page for beautiful Kundalini music. You can also register for guided and group Kundalini meditation events and sessions. Although that’s not really my thing, this website really has a lot to offer for those most interested in Kundalini yoga.

Meditation Courses

Buddhism & Modern Psychology, Princeton University (Coursera, Online)
A free MOOC (Massive Online Open Course), I thoroughly enjoyed doing this one. An excellent teacher (author of The Moral Animal Robert Wright) an excellent idea for a MOOC on Buddhism.

Buddhist Meditation & The Modern World, University Of Virginia (Coursera, Online)
Another free MOOC, places Buddhism within frameworks of our daily lives to make it more universal and less abstract. Excellent.

10-day Vipassana Insight Meditation (Face-to-face, running on donations only)
I first tried Vipassana in India, Mumbai. It’s not for the faint-hearted; a free meditation course for 10 days, 10-hours a day. No other stimulus is permitted, no pens, paper, mobile phones, books or computers. Not even speaking is permitted. It is a warm and safe place to spend 10-days if you are sure you want to delve much deeper into your meditation practice. The original teachings of the Buddha, universal and accessible, as brought to India from Burma and then the world (quite literally, there are centres and ‘non-centres’ in more than 200 locations) by the late S.N. Goenka. Once you’ve attended a 10-day Vipassana course, you can return for 3-day ones too as an old student. You can also eventually volunteer as a much needed Dharma Server after attending at least three 10-ady courses. I like to go for some peace and time-out, a sort of annual cleanse. We are very lucky to have these centres – that run on donations only to cover food and lodging costs – all over the world. I cannot recommend this course enough.

Meditation APPS

Head Space
Very accessible, great idea. One of the easiest ways to get started with meditation.

Temples & Other Retreats in the Ningbo & Shanghai Area

Baopu Taoist Temple, Hangzhou
Celebrating Lao Tsu, the founder of Taoism, I love this temple and its view. The walk is beautiful and although often crowded, the temple is secluded and peaceful.

Yejo Circle Meditation Retreats, Shanghai & surrounding area
A lovely organisation that offers regular weekend retreats and events of all sorts: zen art, yoga in a temple, walking meditations and much more. You can follow them on Facebook or if you are China-based, add their business account on WeChat for notifications about their weekend offerings.

Yongfu Temple, Hangzhou
If you are based on the East coast belt of China, like me, this is my favourite temple. Hangzhou, a second-tier city is beautiful and this temple doesn’t disappoint.

Buddhist Xianghai Temple, Shanghai
Worth a visit.