Updated: Jun 25
Following are my favourite meditation books for both adults and kids that I read when I first began practising and studying mindfulness and meditation.
No matter how busy you are, find quiet reflective moments in your life, and reduce your stress levels drastically with this classic bestselling guide from the "grandfather" of western mindfulness.
My notes - this is the first "meditation" book I read and still my favourite. It's simple and easy to read but so profound.
Stress. It can sap our energy, undermine our health if we let it, even shorten our lives. It makes us more vulnerable to anxiety and depression, disconnection and disease. Based on Jon Kabat-Zinn's renowned mindfulness-based stress reduction program, this classic, groundbreaking work--which gave rise to a whole new field in medicine and psychology--shows you how to use medically proven mind-body approaches derived from meditation and yoga to counteract stress, establish greater balance of body and mind, and stimulate well-being and healing. By engaging in these mindfulness practices and integrating them into your life from moment to moment and from day to day, you can learn to manage chronic pain, promote optimal healing, reduce anxiety and feelings of panic, and improve the overall quality of your life, relationships, and social networks.
My notes - this is a thick book not for those looking for a quick fix but worth the time and patience.
This book fully explains the techniques of meditation and the many benefits that can be obtained from the practice of meditation, visualisation and positive thinking.
My notes - this is a simple easy read with step by step instructions.
The Mind that Changes Everything details specific meditation techniques to assist you in meditation and awareness. Literally, control your mind and you have control of your life. Ian's techniques are for everyone, young, old, healthy, incapacitated.
(Ian Gawler & Paul Bedson)
Introducing mindfulness-based stillness meditation, Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson explain how to build a daily meditation practice. The authors also show how meditation can be used to work with our emotions, aid healing, manage pain, or as a spiritual practice. Meditation is a path we can pursue and refine throughout our lives. Drawing on modern science as well as ancient Eastern traditions and the authors' own extensive personal experience as practitioners and teachers, this guide offers the techniques and understanding needed to explore meditation practice deeply. It is also an invaluable resource for meditation teachers from all background.
My notes - like Full Catastrophe Living this is a thick book and I recommend it for those wishing to study or teach meditation.
Your mind has two aspects. Maybe you are only familiar with one - the active thinking mind with all its attendant emotions. Blue Sky Mind will introduce you to the other half - the still mind. While meditation does involve getting to know both aspects of your mind better, more particularly it provides a reliable way to become familiar with the still mind. This aspect of the mind is renowned for its innate inner peace and clarity, loving kindness and wisdom. Meditation introduces us to the still mind with direct certainty. It then helps us to function with confidence from its centre wherein all the qualities we aspire to as good people are to be found.
My notes - like Peace of Mind this is a simple easy read with step by step instructions and practical exercises.
Perhaps the most important book yet written on meditation, the process of inner transformation, and the integration of spiritual practice into our Western way of life, A Path With Heart brings alive the possibilities of inner peace, wholeness and the achievement of happiness. Written by a teacher, psychologist and meditation master of international renown, this is a warm, inspiring and, above all, practical book. Its gentle Buddhist wisdom will guide you through the ups and downs of contemporary living, such as addiction, psychological and emotional healing, problems with relationships and the difficulties of achieving a balanced life of simplicity.
My notes - this is a beautiful book and another one of my favourites.
Stress and behavioural disorders are common in children, who are increasingly bombarded by marketing campaigns, faced with school and peer pressure, and able to sense the stress of adults around them. Mindfulness and meditation can help children recognise and cope with these pressures, releasing bad feelings gently and giving them simple tools to deal with tension and stress throughout their lives. In this practical and inspiring book, Lorraine Murray shows parents, teachers and youth workers how to lead fun and peaceful meditation sessions with children.
My notes - this is a great book for beginners wanting to teach meditation to kids.
In this sequel to her best-selling book 'Calm Kids', author Lorraine Murray introduces a range of mindful, heart-felt activities to that will help children to teens learn to relax, de-stress and feel centered. You will discover how to develop bespoke tools that support children with special needs and those on the autistic spectrum. In this book you will: - learn how meditation can support brain development, emotional intelligence and improved learning - develop a bespoke meditation 'toolkit' to help children and teens to reduce anxiety and stress - learn how to use meditation to 'problem solve' and overcome challenges - read about worldwide research that supports the use of meditation for health and well-being - become empowered with mindful activities that help children to shine This book is ideal for educators, parents and professionals, especially those with/working with children with additional support needs.
My notes - this is an extension of Calm Kids providing additional techniques for kids with ADHD and on the spectrum.
In the midst of the stress, violence, drug and communication problems of today's families, Meditation for Children presents a sane and practical blueprint for creating strong, close bonds between family members. For parents seeking practical solutions to the tough issues and problems of today's children, this book contains more than one hundred light, fun exercises that have been shown to spark children's creativity, engage their imagination and build a positive self-image. First published thirty years ago, this best-selling book has been updated to address the unique problems children face in the new millennium. Its techniques have been widely tested in homes and schools, and been proven to: calm hyperactive or anxious children; reduce stress in both children and adults; put children in touch with their imaginative and intuitive capacities; improve concentration in students; and create trust and enrich friendships.
My notes - this is an older book but has some wonderful exercises you can do with your kids that I still do with mine (now teens).
In this pioneering, practical book for parents, neuroscientist Daniel J. Siegel and parenting expert Tina Payne Bryson explain the new science of how a child's brain is wired and how it matures. Different parts of a child's brain develop at different speeds and understanding these differences can help you turn any outburst, argument, or fear into a chance to integrate your child's brain and raise calmer, happier children. Featuring clear explanations, age-appropriate strategies and illustrations that will help you explain these concepts to your child, The Whole-Brain Child will help your children to lead balanced, meaningful, and connected lives using twelve key strategies.
My notes - this is a great combination of science and practical tips and exercises.
In this New York Times-bestselling book, Dr. Daniel Siegel shows parents how to turn one of the most challenging developmental periods in their children's lives into one of the most rewarding. Between the ages of twelve and twenty-four, the brain changes in important and, at times, challenging ways. In Brainstorm, Dr. Daniel Siegel busts a number of commonly held myths about adolescence--for example, that it is merely a stage of "immaturity" filled with often "crazy" behavior. According to Siegel, during adolescence we learn vital skills, such as how to leave home and enter the larger world, connect deeply with others, and safely experiment and take risks. Drawing on important new research in the field of interpersonal neurobiology, Siegel explores exciting ways in which understanding how the brain functions can improve the lives of adolescents, making their relationships more fulfilling and less lonely and distressing on both sides of the generational divide.
My notes - this is a very helpful book to understand the science behind why teens behave the way they do.
Full disclosure - I am a Book Depository affiliate so receive a small commission on sales of books through their website if you click on any of the links above to purchase. I always encourage looking for books in your local bookstore or ordering from an Australian site like Booktopia or Dymocks but Book Depository do provide free shipping if you can't find any of these books elsewhere. I have read each of these books and only recommend products I support and feel aligned with.
In 2022 I released my meditation book - Cultivating a Calm Mind.
This 70 page book can be read in a weekend and is a simple step by step guide to managing thoughts, releasing emotions, reducing feelings of stress and overwhelm, sleeping better, increasing focus, slowing down and enjoying life.
It's available in a printed version (with free postage in Australia) as well as a digital bundle with PDf, ebook, kindle and audiobook. There are links or QR codes to the meditations and the audio and video demonstrations.