Books on Mindfulness and Meditation

By Alvin Tulshi, Library Information Assistant
July 15, 2020
George Bruce Library
Ruth St. Denis and Denishawn dancers in Yoga meditation

Ruth St. Denis and Denishawn dancers in Yoga meditation, 1915. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: DEN_1246V

2020 has seen its fair share of major events, many of which have been unsettling. With all that has been going on, we may find ourselves anxious, stressed, and depressed. A lot of us may be so overwhelmed by current events that we've lost our drive to do the things we love and that keep us active, including exercise. But there is an outlet that doesn't require much to keep our mind and body well maintained. 

Meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. It's a technique that has been known for reducing stress and anxiety, as well as building beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increased pain tolerance. 

We have many books (all available as e-books as well) related to mediation in our collection for you to borrow. Here is a sampling below:

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Meditation For Beginnersby Jack Kornfield

Have you ever thought about trying meditation, but didn't know how to get started? With Meditation for Beginners, trusted teacher Jack Kornfield shows you how simple it is to start—and stick with— a daily meditation practice.


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Moments of Mindfulness: Daily Inspiration by Thich Nhat Hanh

This beautifully designed gift book contains many of the best-loved inspirational quotations and passages from Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. Basic meditation instructions and messages of peace, love, insight, understanding, and compassion accompany two-color illustrations throughout, with blank pages for personal reflections and inspiration. Moments of Mindfulness is a perfect journal for spiritual exploration.

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Altered Traits by Daniel Goleman

In the last twenty years, meditation and mindfulness have gone from being kind of cool to becoming an omnipresent Band-Aid for fixing everything from your weight to your relationship to your achievement level. Unveiling here the kind of cutting-edge research that has made them giants in their fields, Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson show us the truth about what meditation can really do for us, as well as exactly how to get the most out of it.

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The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Worksby Shinzen Young

For decades, one of the most engaging teachers of our time has illuminated the many dimensions of awakening—but solely at his live retreats and on audio recordings. Now, with The Science of Enlightenment, Shinzen Young brings to readers an uncommonly lucid guide to mindfulness meditation for the first time: how it works and how to use it to enhance your cognitive capacities, your kindness and connection with the world, and the richness of all your experiences.

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Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jon Kabat-Zinn is regarded as "one of the finest teachers of mindfulness you'll ever encounter" (Jack Kornfield). He has been teaching the tangible benefits of meditation in the mainstream for decades. Today, millions of people around the world have taken up a formal mindfulness meditation practice as part of their everyday lives. But what is meditation anyway? And why might it be worth trying? Or nurturing further if you already have practice?

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10 % Happier by Dan Harris

Nightline anchor Dan Harris embarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the strange worlds of spirituality and self-help, and discovers a way to get happier that is truly achievable.

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

To make the journey into the Now we will need to leave our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind. From the very first page of Eckhart Tolle's extraordinary book, we move rapidly into a significantly higher altitude where we breathe a lighter air. We become connected to the indestructible essence of our Being, “The eternal, ever present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death.” Although the journey is challenging, Eckhart Tolle uses simple language and an easy question and answer format to guide us.

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Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation, a 28 Day Program by Sharon Salzberg

Beginning with the simplest breathing and sitting techniques, Salzberg shows how to start and maintain an effective meditation practice. She explains three key skills—concentration, mindfulness, and lovingkindness—and shows how this is a practice that, performed for just twenty minutes a day, can transform your life and bring greater resiliency, creativity, peace, clarity, and balance. 

Have trouble reading standard print? Many of these titles are available in formats for patrons with print disabilities.

Staff picks are chosen by NYPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We'd love to hear your ideas too, so leave a comment and tell us what you’d recommend. And check out our Staff Picks browse tool for more recommendations!

Summaries provided via NYPL’s catalog, which draws from multiple sources. Click through to each book’s title for more.