The best books on meditation from a meditation expert

Who am I?

I was introduced to meditation through a hatha yoga course I took as a college student. That’s when I first became enthralled with eastern philosophy. I studied and later taught these subjects becoming a College Professor in them. I’m also a musician and massage therapist. I consider music, meditation, yoga, massage to be beautiful healing modalities with endless transformative possibilities. My various books have been translated into French, Polish, Romanian, Spanish, Turkish, Russian, Bulgarian, and more. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Meditation (co-written with Eve Adamson) has recently become available as an audiobook on This book has turned thousands of people onto the meditative path and I hope it will you too.

I wrote...

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Meditation

By Joan Budilovsky, Eve Adamson,

Book cover of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Meditation

What is my book about?

In today's hectic times, it's more important than ever to learn to slow down, relax and be calm.

Whether part of religious habit or just part of a daily routine, meditation can help slow today's frenzied pace and improve feelings of good health, peace, and control. In The Complete Idiot's Guide to Meditation, Joan Budilovsky and Eve Adamson explain how easy it is to enjoy the benefits of meditation including: Simple stress-reduction techniques that make learning to meditate easier; Incorporating meditation into day-to-day situations. Common misconceptions about meditating; Special techniques from Zen to mindfulness meditation and more.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Autobiography of a Yogi

Joan Budilovsky Why did I love this book?

This was the first book I read on Yoga and it gave me a wonderful creative look at the effects yoga can have on a life. Inspiring and quite beautiful to read. It actually took me into a dream state as I envisioned the magnificence of this lifestyle. I still have the original copy I read which is tattered over so many re-reads. Decades later, my dissertation in Education included numerous references to this book and the profound influence it had on my teaching and on my life.

By Paramahansa Yogananda,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Autobiography of a Yogi as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Autobiography of a Yogi is at once a beautifully written account of an exceptional life and a profound introduction to the ancient science of Yoga and its time-honored tradition of meditation. Profoundly inspiring, it is at the same time vastly entertaining, warmly humorous and filled with extraordinary personages.

Self-Realization Fellowship's editions, and none others, include extensive material added by the author after the first edition was published, including a final chapter on the closing years of his life.

Selected as "One of the 100 Best Spiritual Books of the Twentieth Century", Autobiography of a Yogi has been translated into more…

Book cover of The Sivananda Companion to Yoga: A Complete Guide to the Physical Postures, Breathing Exercises, Diet, Relaxation, and Meditation Techniques of Yoga

Joan Budilovsky Why did I love this book?

This book introduced me to a steady practice of yoga postures. I read it daily and with practice I was eventually able to even do the headstand! The pictures in it are beautifully done and inspiring. This book encouraged me to travel to many Sivananda Yoga Ashrams, where I studied for weeks at a time submerging myself into the yoga lifestyle. I learned a great deal about living in yoga thru this book.

By Sivananda Yoga Center,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sivananda Companion to Yoga as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The essential companion for beginning and experienced yogis alike! Now with fresh, colorful pages throughout, The Sivananda Companion to Yoga remains the classic guide to yoga. Featuring easy-to-follow instructions, inspirational teaching, and detailed illustrations, this authoritative guide covers every aspect of the yoga lifestyle—including relaxation, exercise, dietary guidelines, breathing, and meditation.

A highly regarded organization for yoga studies and practices, the Sivananda Yoga Center created the first edition of The Sivananda Companion to Yoga in 1983. Since its publication, it has sold more than 700,000 copies worldwide and has become a standard text for both yoga students and teachers.


Book cover of The Spiritual Science of Kriya Yoga

Joan Budilovsky Why did I love this book?

This was the book used in the Teachers Training Course I took at the Temple of Kriya Yoga in Chicago. I lived and breathed these pages for the 14 months of training. During this in depth time of study I never missed a noon meditation by Goswami Kriyananda, the author of this book. Many of his past lectures and meditations are now available online. The Spiritual Science of Kriya Yoga is a treasure of information and inspiration.

By Goswami Kriyananda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Spiritual Science of Kriya Yoga as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This fully illustrated book is the most complete text available on the theory and practice of Kriya Yoga. The Spiritual Science of Kriya Yoga takes the student step-by-step through the eight stages of Patanjali's Kriya Yoga system and contains extensive chapters on hatha yoga pranayama, mantra, meditation and samadhi. Goswami Kriyananda explicitly teaches how specific asanas can be used to balance each of the seven charkas. If you could only have one book on yoga, this would be it!

Book cover of Praying Naked: The Spirituality of Anthony de Mello

Joan Budilovsky Why did I love this book?

For over a decade, I traveled the globe giving “Awareness Seminars” with Fr. Stroud. This book is like going to one of those seminars. It’s filled with exercises and stories that enlighten and encourage. Every time I read this book a new memory and/or revelation in Awareness inspires me to continue with an open heart and mind on this beautiful path of discovery. Thank you with all my heart, Fr. Stroud.

By J. Francis Sj Stroud,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Praying Naked as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In his books Awareness and The Way to Love, among others,theinternationally acclaimed spiritual guide Anthony de Mello presented an approach to spirituality that integrated the ancient traditions of the East with the psychological and philosophical perspectives of the West. Twenty years after his death, de Mello’s books continue to attract readers and his work remains a powerful influence on contemporary spiritual thought and practices. J. Francis Stroud, S.J., who helped de Mello with his hugely successful lectures, seminars, and books, has dedicated himself to keeping de Mello’s teachings alive through the de Mello Spirituality Center at Fordham University. In Praying…

Book cover of Heal Your Body: The Mental Causes for Physical Illness and the Metaphysical Way to Overcome Them

Joan Budilovsky Why did I love this book?

The power of the mind – simply and profoundly stated. A dictionary of illnesses with their mental causes along with affirmations to overcome them. From blisters on feet, cancer in body, to stuttering from lips. So many degrees and kinds of ailments are listed, and so many inspirations in ways to heal. Bravo to Louise for clearly and simply exemplifying the profound power of the mind!

By Louise Hay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Heal Your Body as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Unlock the connection between your physical ailments and your mind, and discover powerful affirmations and practical techniques to help you reclaim your health.

World-renowned teacher, Louise L. Hay has helped to heal and inspire millions of people worldwide. She was diagnosed with cancer more than 20 years ago and used the methods she describes in Heal Your Body to cure herself. Louise L. Hay simply explains how our attitude to life and the language we use cause our ailments.

Using her simple and practical techniques, you will be surprised to discover patterns in your own ailments that reveal a lot…

You might also like...

Brother. Do. You. Love. Me.

By Manni Coe, Reuben Coe (illustrator),

Book cover of Brother. Do. You. Love. Me.

Manni Coe Author Of Brother. Do. You. Love. Me.

New book alert!

Who am I?

As a gay man born into an evangelical Christian family, my coming out story was wrought with pain, trauma, and separation from family and loved ones. In the same year I lost my best friend in an accident. My world tumbled and I had to crawl back to a place of reckoning. Walking became my path to healing. So when my brother Reuben, who has Down's syndrome sent me a message from the isolation of a care home in the pandemic, I knew he was in trouble. Those five words - ´brother. do. you. love. me.´changed our lives. I thought I might know a way to save him.

Manni's book list on memoirs that capture the struggle of everyday life

What is my book about?

Brother. Do. You. Love. Me. is a true story of brotherly love overcoming all. Reuben, who has Down's syndrome, was trapped in a care home during the pandemic, spiralling deeper into a non-verbal depression. From isolation and in desperation, he sent his older brother Manni a text, "brother. do. you. love. me."

This cry for help, this SOS in the sand unleashed a brotherly love that had Manni travelling back to the UK mid-pandemic to rescue his brother from the care home, and together they sheltered from the world in a cottage in deepest, darkest Dorset. There began a journey of recovery and rediscovery. Little by little, the brothers had to piece back together Reuben's world, help him to find his voice and find ways for him to trust the world again. This is a book about care, about Down's syndrome, about love. It is a story of resilience and patience in a world that Reuben thought had abandoned him.

Brother. Do. You. Love. Me.

By Manni Coe, Reuben Coe (illustrator),

What is this book about?

The story of two brothers, one with Down syndrome, and their extraordinary journey of resilience and repair.

"Profoundly moving and hugely uplifting."—Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Reuben, aged 38, was living in a home for adults with learning disabilities. He hadn’t established an independent life in the care system and was still struggling to accept that he had Down syndrome. Depressed and in a fog of antidepressants, he hadn’t spoken for over a year. The only way he expressed himself was by writing poems or drawing felt-tip scenes from his favorite musicals…

5 book lists we think you will like!

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