Not sure where to begin with mindfulness? Here's a few great books to get you started.
by Avery Elizabeth
Want to practice being mindful? Great news, I have a list of my favorite Mindfulness books for beginners to get you started.
What does it mean to be Mindful?
To me, it means living life with intention and opening your awareness in the present moment without passing judgment. It’s kind of like being a screen door on a breezy day. A lot is going on outside the house as well as inside, but you’re merely an observer of both. You’re enjoying the breeze, feeling the sunshine or raindrops and simply experiencing the flow of life.
Why is being mindful advantageous? Mindfulness gives one the ability to stay in the moment, instead of being regretful or judgmental of the past, while avoiding unnecessary anxiety and anticipation of the future. Staying mindful in the moment allows you to interpret what is going on around you clearly without getting too attached to every input entering your system. With consistent mindfulness practice, you can sift out the extraneous information and give your monkey brain a rest, allowing you to process things more clearly and accurately. Switching off the brain’s autopilot mode will enable you to slow down. It gives you the space to discover and enjoy the lovely little things in life and how quickly they can come and go, while at the same time realizing the same is true for the not so lovely little things we all endure on the day to day.
Being mindful is an ongoing daily practice. In the beginning, it’s tough. I’ve been practicing mindfulness and mild forms of meditation for five years now and I am considerably less emotionally reactive than I was in the past. Now, I can see the bigger picture and I can act accordingly. I deal instead of feeling panicked and I have more self-compassion. I can move closer to my truth. Life is more comfortable even though it hasn’t changed in any significant way. I’ve changed.
These are all books that I think have significantly impacted my mindfulness journey. As a side note, I don’t associate myself with any major religion, it just so happens that Buddhism focuses mainly on meditation and mindfulness, so many books that intertwine these two topics reference Buddhism in the process. This is a great list of mindfulness books for beginners.
Siddhartha was written way back in 1922, but you would never guess. This book is about the spiritual journey of self-discovery of a man named Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. It’s quite an easy read, but it caused me to ask a number of thoughtful questions and form my moral code. Reading Siddhartha is a great place to begin your mindfulness journey.
The Buddha Walks Into A Bar A Guide to Life for a New Generation speaks to the younger crowd about navigating one’s way through this chaotic world. It also offers simple and effective ways to jump into the world of meditation.
Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom is easily one of the best books for Westerners to read about mindfulness. Buddha’s Brain combines scientific knowledge from neuroscience and psychology with practices you can incorporate into your life every single day. It teaches you how to rewire your brain that was meant for survival, allowing you to trash all the unnecessary incoming information and focus on what will help you thrive today.
How To Train A Wild Elephant and Other Adventures in Mindfulness is a simple guide for everyday mindfulness. It has 52 short chapters with real techniques and challenges to nurture a more mindful existence.
The Tao of Pooh is ingenious. Author Benjamin Hoff introduces concepts of Taoism in relation to a character we all know, Winnie the Pooh. If you’re curious or already headed towards a life of natural living and simplicity, pick up this book!
The Four Agreements is a simple code of conduct for everyday life. While there’s nothing particularly new in this book, it’s concise and easy to put into practice immediately. Whenever I’m feeling upset or confused by a situation or outcome, I think of this book and figure out where I went wrong.
I hope you enjoyed my list of mindfulness books for beginners and best wishes getting started!
Check out more recommendations of Till Favorites books and podcasts here!
Photo: Thought Catalog