Meditation can seem like a difficult, almost impossible, task. Although it may look easy (after all, all you do is sit there quietly), it’s actually a lot harder than it seems. In today’s fast-paced, instant gratification, high-tech world, keeping your mind still and focused is not all that simple.
But study after study show that the benefits of regular meditation are quite astonishing. Although the best way to get better at meditation is by practicing daily, it can also be helpful to read a few books by the experts.
Here are my recommendations:
1. Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana
Written by a Buddhist monk from Sri Lanka, “Mindfulness in Plain English” teaches the reader about Vipassana meditation. Vipassana is one of the most ancient forms of meditation – it was originally taught by Gautama Buddha himself.
I love this book because it is the easiest and fastest way I’ve ever been taught to meditate: by simply following the breathe. And not only does the author explain purposeful meditation (i.e., sitting in a quiet place for a time solely to meditate), he also teaches you how to be mindful and conscious throughout your daily activities. Beautifully written, easy to understand and full of insight, this book is an excellent choice for the novice meditator.
2. Opening To Meditation: A Gentle, Guided Approach (Book & CD) by Diana Lang
I like this book for three reasons: first, the book itself is very well-written and clearly explains meditation. Second, Ms. Lang uses beautiful imagery and language to show us that we are more than just a body. She helps us to realize and appreciate all that we really are. And finally, the accompanying CD is a great asset – especially for those who need a little more external stimulation to meditate properly.
The CD is not only a great meditation tool, it is especially relaxing. The music, Ms. Lang’s voice and the guided meditation is a great way to calm anxiety and relax after a stressful day.
Please note, as far as I know you cannot get the accompanying CD if you purchase the Kindle version. Instead, I recommend the physical book if you would like the CD included.
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