Katinka Hesselink
By Katinka Hesselink,
Mindfulness trainer in
The Netherlands

Best Buddhist Books

Best Mindfulness Meditation Books

Mindfulness (Pali: sati, Sanskrit: smṛti) plays a central role in the teaching of Buddhist meditation where it is affirmed that "correct" or "right" mindfulness (Pali: sammā-sati, Sanskrit samyak-smṛti) is the critical factor in the path to liberation and subsequent enlightenment / Nirvana. Here you'll find the best books about mindfulness in the Buddhist tradition.

Mindfulness - some misconceptions

While mindfulness does work to help deal with stress, it doesn't do so by waving a magic wand. Instead, the practice of mindfulness helps us keep in touch with where we are: body, emotions and mind. And that in turn helps us deal with stress more effectively.
However, facing up to all that isn't easy - in fact, it's hard!

Best Mindfulness Meditation Books

The top 10 books about Mindfulness exercises and inspiration

Because modern life is so very busy, so full of sensory impressions from the internet, tv, music, traffic etc. many people need to be reminded of something most people in the past knew instinctively: that sitting still isn't so very bad.

Seriously: when was the last time you sat still, without music, without reading something, without TV on... just sat there? If you can't remember, this is the page for you. You're likely in desperate need of some Mindfulness.

Mindfulness is about finding that place of inner peace that you had playing in the sand as a kid. It's about reconnecting with yourself, right here, right now. It's not really that complicated. It's just that we keep running away from that center. Mindfulness practice will help you still your mind, quiet your body and face up to your real situation right now. It will help you deal with stress, develop concentration and deal with pain.

On this page you'll find the most popular books on mindfulness. These aren't meant to just read from cover to cover. They're meant to help you get back to you. So if all they do is remind you to sit still every once in a while - that's ok.

  1. Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life , Thich Nhat Hanh
  2. The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems - Ronald D. Siegel
  3. Happiness: Essential Mindfulness Practices - Thich Nhat Hanh
  4. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment - Eckhart Tolle
  5. The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation Also by Thich Nhat Hanh
  6. Wherever You Go, There You Are - Jon Kabat-Zinn
  7. Mindfulness, 25th anniversary edition (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) by Ellen J. Langer
  8. Stillness Speaks , Eckhart Tolle
  9. Being Peace - Thich Nhat Hanh
  10. Slowing Down to the Speed of Life: How To Create a Peaceful, Simpler Life F by Dr. Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey

All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.
Blaise Pascal

Mindfulness in Buddhism Books

The above books are aimed at a general audience, interested in Mindfulness, but not necessarily in Buddhism. Sure, many of the authors are Buddhists, but they don't beat their readers around the head with that fact.

Mindfulness in Plain English: 20th Anniversary Edition , by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

This eternal best seller is now in it's 20th year of publication, and still going strong.

It will teach you mindfulness without a teacher, in a kind and yet profound way. This is one of the best nuts and bolts meditation manuals. Currently Amazon has 123 people giving it a 5 star review. 11 give it only 4 stars. Nobody rates it less!

Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh is the most famous Zen teacher alive today. His deceptively simple stories convey a depth of life that transforms lives daily.
Like the previous book, reviews are overwelmingly positive, never going below 4 stars, despite over 100 people having rated it on Amazon.

The Miracle of Mindfulness, Thich Nhat Hanh
How to apply mindfulness to washing the dishes, taking a bath and other ordinary day-to-day activities. With 'only' 5 star reviews, and two 1 star reviews this is the least popular of the books. However, it is probably also the least demanding of the set. People mostly complain that it's too simple for them.
If there is one introduction to Thich Nhat Hanh and his teachings on meditation, for people who have read nothing about the subject before, this is probably it.

Doctrinal Backgrounds of Vipassana-Meditation: Insight in Current Methods and According to Canonical Sources
Mindfulness and Vipassana are often confused. In actual fact Mindfulness is more than what it's usually supposed and Vipassana is a name for a very diverse set of Buddhist meditations.
Rene van Oosterwijk has looked at modern Vipassana teachers, their doctrinal backgrounds and whether what they teach is actually to be found in the Pali Sutras. For those who get confused about the various teachings bandied around as Vipassana and those who want to teach.