A New Mindful Year

I recently received a reader question: I've been meaning to ask if there is a book or two (or podcast?) that you recommend on the topics of meditation/mindfulness? I know there are tons out there, just curious which ones you liked.

Oh boy, what a good question, I thought. All the answers are somewhere on my blog, but you'd have to go and look. So (of course) I've done the work for you. 

The first book I always recommend to people is Richard Carlson's Stop Thinking, Start Living. I am looking at my bookshelf now and I actually have two copies there as I lent it to so many people that I bought a second copy to keep for reference. Recently someone gave one back to me. (If anyone wants to borrow one let me know.)

His more popular, digestible books are the Don't Sweat The Small Stuff series. The first one I ever read was Don't Sweat The Small Stuff at Work, given to me by my aunt when I was having a terrible time at work. But I think that Stop Thinking, Start Living gives such a good base for the concept of mindfulness that it's a really good one to start with. He's very intellectual but also knows how to explain what can be at first a very foreign concept in a simple, understandable way.

I also really like Eckhardt Tolle's A New Earth. (Read my blog post about it here.) Tolle also wrote the Power of Now, but I like A New Earth slightly better. Although there's a really weird chapter near the end about pain-bodies. It's kind of out there. Just saying. 

The thing about mindfulness, however, is that although I did a lot of reading on it, I felt that putting it into practice was almost impossible until I started meditating regularly. Because our thoughts (created by the ego) are so strong that unless you "practice" seeing them for what they are, it's really hard. 

My favorite book on meditation is 10% Happier by Dan Harris. (Blog post link here.) I think I like it so much because it's also a memoir and he has a good story to tell. He recommends quite a few authors in there too, which is good. I read Mark Epstein's Going on Being: Buddhism and the Way of Change, which I thought was a refreshing look at Buddhism from the perspective of a Westerner trained as a Freudian psychoanalyst. 

In terms of podcasts, I would also highly recommend Dan Harris' podcast of the same name: 10% Happier.

Thanks Elizabeth for the question! Hope my answer is helpful. 

Never hesitate to ask me a question on facebook, twitter or at mindbodyandscroll[at]yahoo[dot]com.

Photo credit: Buddha statue in meditation pose, robe, blue, concrete, Lake City Way, Seattle, Washington, USA via photopin (license)

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