7 Books for Meditative Reading

In addition to familiar sacred texts, numerous books can be used for meditative reading. Here’s a list of 7 suggestions to consider:

 Stack of books

1) Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. This marvelous collection of meditations on life and love was inspired by the author’s experiences at a beach. Reading it while visiting a seashore is especially pleasurable, but it can be enjoyed anywhere.

2) Handbook for the Soul, edited by Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shields. Thirty-two wisdom teachers contributed original writings to this anthology. It’s the kind of book that’s easy to dip into when you feel a need for inspiration.

3) Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach. The process that Tara Brach refers to as “Radical Acceptance” has two parts: seeing clearly and compassion. Her extraordinary book includes a number of guided reflections and meditations.

4) Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. This book, which is geared primarily towards women, contains a meditation for each day of the year, from January 1st to December 31st. The six principles of Simple Abundance that form the foundation of this amazing book are gratitude, simplicity, order, harmony, beauty and joy.

5) Tao Te Ching by Lao-tzu, translated by Stephen Mitchell. Often referred to as The Book of the Way, this volume is made up of 81 very brief chapters that are packed with wisdom. The book has ancient origins, but its lessons on being and doing resonate today.

6) Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn. This is a great introduction to meditation for those new to it and a terrific refresher for those already familiar with it; Jon Kabat-Zinn discusses different forms of meditation, including sitting meditation and walking meditation. Reading passages from the book is a centering experience, in addition to being instructive.

7) Your True Home by Thich Nhat Hanh. This collection of 365 concise teachings was written by a renowned Zen master. Each teaching is a paragraph or two in length, and they cover diverse topics ranging from suffering to nirvana; some of the writings include instructions on various types of meditation practices.

See more features from the April 2014 issue