10 Books On Mindfulness That Are Life-Altering

I don't say this lightly.

In fact, there are very few personal growth trends that I would describe this way — although this “trend” has been around for thousands of years.

So here is my proclamation: the practice of mindfulness is life-altering.

And it's trending.

Businesses are promoting it as a way to promote focus, creativity, and productivity. Schools are using it in classroom settings and as a substitute for detention.

Even the military has incorporated mindfulness to help soldiers with stress reduction and pain management.

My own practices of mindfulness have significantly changed my outlook on life, shifted my priorities, and helped me manage stress and anxiety.

Why the recent surge in interest in this ancient practice? Mainly because scientists have been conducting a tremendous amount of research on mindfulness meditation practice.

Researchers are confirming the myriad of benefits that mindfulness practitioners have been advocating for ages, dating back to the Hindu traditions of Vedantism around 1500 BCE.

They have found that mindfulness meditation helps people overcome many health-related issues including stress, high blood pressure, heart disease, substance abuse, and depression.

The practice also helps people enhance mental capabilities like creativity, abstract thinking, and memory.

Mindfulness is a broad description that incorporates many types of meditation, as well as other practices like yoga, breathing, and practicing awareness and focus in everything you do.

Simply being present and attentive in your work, relationships, and even the basic tasks of your day can boost your sense of gratitude, joy, and contentment in life.

If you need more convincing that mindfulness is life-altering, check out this mindfulness post. But if you're ready to explore the practice, I've got some great books for you.

Here are 10 books on mindfulness that will change your life.

1. , You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment, by Thich Nhat Hanh

The beloved Buddhist teacher and author, Thich Nhat Hanh, was my first introduction to mindfulness. In this beautiful book, he offers an introduction to the practice of presence by offering a range of simple, everyday practices for cultivating mindfulness.

His belief, steeped in the traditions of Buddhism, is that mindfulness can “transform our suffering, both within us and around us, into compassion, tenderness, and peace.” This book should be on every practitioner's shelf.


2. The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle

Eckhart Tolle was one of the first to launch mindfulness practices into the mainstream consciousness with this book.

This book was propelled by word of mouth, only to become one of the bestselling mindfulness books of all time.

Tolle explains in a clear, fresh, and supportive way exactly what living in the now means and how to achieve that in daily life. He can explain complex concepts in easy-to-understand language, leading us on a clear path to peace and happiness.


3. Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment and Your Life, by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jon Kabat-Zinn is a teacher, scientist, and clinician who first demonstrated the benefits of mindfulness within mainstream Western medicine.

He is a pioneer in mindfulness-based stress reduction.

For those who want a clear, more science-based approach to mindfulness, this is your book. The pragmatic insights and applications are a great introduction to mindfulness.


4. Mindfulness in Plain English, by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana

Henepola Gunaratana is a monk from Sri Lanka and venerated teacher of Buddhism. In this book, which has sold over a quarter of a million copies, he lays out the fundamentals of basic Buddhist meditation, the how, what, where, when, and why, including common problems and how to deal with them.

Says one of the hundreds of five star reviewers, “This book tells you what meditation is and what it isn’t. If you have an allergy to the word meditation, this is probably the book to start with because as the title indicates, it’s in plain English. There’s very little of the type of lingo that tends to turn a lot of people away from meditation.”


5. Peace of Mindfulness: Everyday Rituals to Conquer Anxiety and Claim Unlimited Inner Peace, by Barrie Davenport

Modern life is so filled with distractions, complications, and stressors that it's no wonder so many people are dealing with debilitating anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

In this book, I teach practical, daily exercises in mindfulness that you can realistically incorporate into your life to help you manage the demands of life.

Whether you’re coping with stress and anxiety, or you simply want to increase self-awareness and contentment, the skills taught in Peace of Mindfulness meet you exactly where you are — in your home, your work, your simple daily tasks.


6. Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World, by Mark Williams and Danny Penman

This book is based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), which is a straightforward form of mindfulness meditation which takes just a few minutes a day to reap the benefits. It helps you break the cycle of anxiety and stress in your life.

MBCT has been clinically proven to be at least as effective as drugs for depression and is widely recommended by US physicians and the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

It has been proven to work for those who are not depressed but who are struggling with the constant demands and stresses of modern life. The book includes links to audio meditations to help guide you through the process.


7. The Here-and-Now Habit: How Mindfulness Can Help You Break Unhealthy Habits Once and for All, by Hugh G. Byrone

In this amazing book that combines science and psychology, mindfulness expert Hugh Byrne gives you powerful mindfulness practices based in neuroscience to help you rewire your brain to break the bad habits holding you back from a meaningful life.

This is a powerful application of mindfulness that can help you develop new, healthy habits that will make you more successful and happy.

By paying attention to your thoughts and actions in the moment, you’ll discover how to let go of old patterns and create healthier habits.


8. Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking, by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport

We all experience occasional negative thoughts. But if you always feel overwhelmed, then you need to closely examine how these thoughts are negatively impacting your lifestyle.

The solution is to practice mindfulness techniques that create more “space” in your mind to enjoy inner peace and happiness. With these habits, you'll have the clarity to prioritize what's most important in your life, what no longer serves your goals, and how you want to live on a daily basis.

The goal of this book is simple: We will teach you the habits, actions, and mindsets to clean up the mental clutter that's holding you back from living a meaningful life.


9. How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind, by Pema Chodron

If you want to learn and develop a meditation practice, this book is a great place to start. When you look for a meditation teacher, you want someone who has walked the walk.

That's why American-born Tibetan nun, Pema Chödrön, is such a popular teacher. Her gentle yet straightforward guidance leads the way for both first-time and experienced meditators.

She explains the basics of meditation, as well as how moments of difficulty can become doorways to awakening. She teaches the art of stabilizing the mind to remain present with whatever arises.


10. Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness, by Diana Winston and Susan L. Smalley

Leading mindfulness researchers and educators, Dr. Sue Smalley and Diana Winston, provide a complete guide for those hoping to bring mindfulness to daily life to become calmer, happier, and more content.

Fully Present offers a scientific explanation for how mindfulness positively affects the brain and the body, as well as practical guidance to develop both a practice and mindfulness in daily living.

Says one five star reviews, “I read this book with an open mind. I tried the meditation practices for only a short time and have truly experienced life changing results.”

There's no doubt you'll find what you need in these books to begin a mindfulness practice or deepen an existing practice.

Pick one and commit to enhancing your life and improving your health through some daily form of mindfulness.

The changes you will see as a result will be life-altering, I promise.

  • Crystal McLain

    Thank you for this list!

    I’ve been dabbling with meditation and mindfulness for the better half of my life (recently with more dedication). And dang. It’s for real.

    Every time I dip back into the ol’ zen-zone, I’m shocked at just how incredibly corrective it is to all things in my life. I’m like a puppy who is pleasantly surprised, again and again, every time I show up.

    I’m a work-at-home massage therapist/artist/blogger, and am always looking for something delicious to refer to my clients, or for my own inspiration.

    I just stumbled onto your site and very much look forward to reading more!

    Peace out,
    Crystal (…yes, I’m a massage therapist named ‘Crystal’, I know, I know….)

  • Joel

    While I’ve been working at meditation, I am always looking for ways to expand my knowledge on the subject. I’m happy to see that #7 has made the list. I have a personal fascination with Habits and to see an author tie it into mindfulness is very interesting.

    Thank you for taking some time to create this list.

  • Mary-Anne

    I’ve realised the profound benefits of a daily meditation practice in dealing with everyday stresses and in ‘calming the chaos’. There is much to gain from the knowledge of long-term mindfulness practicioners. This list of authors and their works makes it easy to select a helpful read in that department.

    Thank you for this list.

  • Vishal

    Hey Barrie, I’m glad you have included most of my favorite books on mindfulness. My own journey started with The Power of Now and since then, have read works of Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, and Jon Kabat-Zinn. However, I think Wherever You Go There You Are by Job Kabat-Zinn deserves to be on this list as it is definitely one of the best books on mindfulness I’ve ever read! Nevertheless, thanks for this compilation! 🙂

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