100 books like Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life

By Rabbi Jeff Roth,

Here are 100 books that Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life fans have personally recommended if you like Jewish Meditation Practices for Everyday Life. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Jew in the Lotus: A Poet's Rediscovery of Jewish Identity in Buddhist India

Brenda Shoshanna Author Of Jewish Dharma: A Guide to the Practice of Judaism and Zen

From my list on Zen and Judaism.

Why am I passionate about this?

A lifelong practitioner and teacher of both Zen and Judaism, I am also a psychologist, who has constantly grappled with human needs, suffering, and the craving for meaning. The focus of my life has been to integrate the profound teachings of East and West and provide ways of making these teachings real in our everyday lives. An award-winning author, I have published many books on Zen and psychology, and have been the playwright in residence at the Jewish Repertory Theater in NY. Presently, I offer two weekly podcasts, Zen Wisdom for Your Everyday Life, and One Minute Mitzvahs. I also provide ongoing Zen talks both for Morningstar Zen and Inisfada Zen, workshops, and other talks for the community.

Brenda's book list on Zen and Judaism

Brenda Shoshanna Why did Brenda love this book?

While on a trip to Dharamsala, India, for a Buddhist–Jewish dialogue with the Dalai Lama, the author, Rodger Kamenetz, comes to understand the incredible connection between Buddhist and Jewish thought. Along the way he encounters many Jews who have become distanced from their roots and tradition, seeking meaning in other practices. Through the author’s amazing journey into Tibetan Buddhism, he is finally able to come to an appreciation of the power and beauty of his own Jewish practice and roots.

By Rodger Kamenetz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Jew in the Lotus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kamenetz, a poet and a Jew, was invited to attend and write about a historical meeting between a delegation of American Jews and a group of Tibetan Buddhists that included the Dalai Lama. This interfaith get-together was inspired, in part, by the increasing number of Jews who have become Buddhists as well as the Dalai Lama's perception of Jews as survival experts. The Dalai Lama felt that the Jews, experts in exile and the preservation of faith and practice, would offer advice and comfort; participating rabbis were intrigued by the surprising similarities between the two religions, including esoteric traditions and…


Book cover of One God Clapping: The Spiritual Path of a Zen Rabbi

Brenda Shoshanna Author Of Jewish Dharma: A Guide to the Practice of Judaism and Zen

From my list on Zen and Judaism.

Why am I passionate about this?

A lifelong practitioner and teacher of both Zen and Judaism, I am also a psychologist, who has constantly grappled with human needs, suffering, and the craving for meaning. The focus of my life has been to integrate the profound teachings of East and West and provide ways of making these teachings real in our everyday lives. An award-winning author, I have published many books on Zen and psychology, and have been the playwright in residence at the Jewish Repertory Theater in NY. Presently, I offer two weekly podcasts, Zen Wisdom for Your Everyday Life, and One Minute Mitzvahs. I also provide ongoing Zen talks both for Morningstar Zen and Inisfada Zen, workshops, and other talks for the community.

Brenda's book list on Zen and Judaism

Brenda Shoshanna Why did Brenda love this book?

Like a Zen koan or a Jewish folk tale, One God Clapping presents a series of stories, each containing a moment of revelation that is never simple or contrived. This book is a bold experiment in the integration of Eastern and Western ways of looking at and living in the world.

By Alan Lew, Sherril Jaffe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One God Clapping as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Zen Buddhist practitioner to rabbi, East meets West in this firsthand account of a spiritual journey.

Rabbi Alan Lew is known as the Zen Rabbi, a leader in the Jewish meditation movement who works to bring two ancient religious traditions into our everyday lives. One God Clapping is the story of his roundabout yet continuously provoking spiritual odyssey. It is also the story of the meeting between East and West in America, and the ways in which the encounter has transformed how all of us understand God and ourselves.

Winner of the PEN / Joseph E. Miles Award

Like…


Book cover of Be Still and Get Going: A Jewish Meditation Practice for Real Life

Brenda Shoshanna Author Of Jewish Dharma: A Guide to the Practice of Judaism and Zen

From my list on Zen and Judaism.

Why am I passionate about this?

A lifelong practitioner and teacher of both Zen and Judaism, I am also a psychologist, who has constantly grappled with human needs, suffering, and the craving for meaning. The focus of my life has been to integrate the profound teachings of East and West and provide ways of making these teachings real in our everyday lives. An award-winning author, I have published many books on Zen and psychology, and have been the playwright in residence at the Jewish Repertory Theater in NY. Presently, I offer two weekly podcasts, Zen Wisdom for Your Everyday Life, and One Minute Mitzvahs. I also provide ongoing Zen talks both for Morningstar Zen and Inisfada Zen, workshops, and other talks for the community.

Brenda's book list on Zen and Judaism

Brenda Shoshanna Why did Brenda love this book?

Combining the teachings of Zen and Judaism Rabbi Lew creates a wonderful balance between stillness and activity. The book includes both Buddhist and Jewish teachings and addresses the pain and psychological issues we grapple with daily.

By Alan Lew,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Be Still and Get Going as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written in a warm, accessible, and intimate style, Be Still and Get Going will touch those who are searching for an authentic spiritual practice that speaks to them in their own cultural language. Lew is one of the most sought-after rabbis on the lecture circuit. He has had national media exposure for his dynamic fusion of Eastern insight and Bible study, having been the subject of stories on ABC News, the McNeil Lehrer News Hour, and various NPR programs. In the past five years there have been national conferences on Jewish meditation in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami where…


Book cover of Zen Judaism

Brenda Shoshanna Author Of Jewish Dharma: A Guide to the Practice of Judaism and Zen

From my list on Zen and Judaism.

Why am I passionate about this?

A lifelong practitioner and teacher of both Zen and Judaism, I am also a psychologist, who has constantly grappled with human needs, suffering, and the craving for meaning. The focus of my life has been to integrate the profound teachings of East and West and provide ways of making these teachings real in our everyday lives. An award-winning author, I have published many books on Zen and psychology, and have been the playwright in residence at the Jewish Repertory Theater in NY. Presently, I offer two weekly podcasts, Zen Wisdom for Your Everyday Life, and One Minute Mitzvahs. I also provide ongoing Zen talks both for Morningstar Zen and Inisfada Zen, workshops, and other talks for the community.

Brenda's book list on Zen and Judaism

Brenda Shoshanna Why did Brenda love this book?

Zen Judaism is a frank reflection on the tensions between reason and faith in today’s context of knowledge. This book includes logic, ethics, philosophy, phenomenology and the need to inject Zen-like meditation into Judaism.

By Avi Sion,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Zen Judaism is a frank reflection on the tensions between reason and faith in today’s context of knowledge, and on the need to inject Zen-like meditation into Judaism. This work also treats some issues in ethics and theodicy.


Book cover of Zen Therapy: Transcending the Sorrows of the Human Mind

Alvin Raja Hornstein Author Of Working With the Dying: Compassion, Shame, and the Illusion of Loss

From my list on how psychotherapy and meditation work together.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been a meditator for fifty years, learning from many teachers. I've been a psychotherapist for twenty years. The connections between meditation and psychotherapy are subtle and powerful. When I started my psychology studies, I went to my Zen teacher and asked for his guidance. I knew I couldn't survive the academic path without more depth in my meditation practice. There were two professors who captured my attention: one, the most psychoanalytic teacher at my school, and one, a student of the same Zen master who taught Leonard Cohen. They guided my research. If you're a psychotherapist, are in psychotherapy yourself, or are a meditator, you will love these books.

Alvin's book list on how psychotherapy and meditation work together

Alvin Raja Hornstein Why did Alvin love this book?

Brazier begins with his own experience of Zen training, and then continues on to a survey of Buddhist ideas and how each of them relates to the practice of psychotherapy. For example he takes the profound and mysterious concept of karma and then shows us how this is related to the process of helping a patient understand their repetitive psychological patterns. He addresses the topic that was central to my own path of merging psychotherapy and meditation: how loss and death are teachers. He explains the main lesson they teach: what is lost is our illusion of how the world is put together.

By David Brazier,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Buddhism, from Abhidharma to Zen, offers a practical path to harmony of head and heart. For over 2,000 years Buddhists have been developing sophisticated psychologies to guide the work of achieving freedom from mental suffering. Now East and West are beginning to learn from each other.

In a readable and practical manner, this book challenges basic assumptions of Western psychology, demystifies Buddhist psychology and presents Zen as a therapy. Giving examples of its effectiveness in psychotherapeutic practice, the author shows how Zen derives from the Buddhist theory of the mind and throws new light upon the Buddhist theory of relations…


Book cover of A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life

Jonathan Ellerby Author Of The Seven Gateways of Spiritual Experience: Awakening to a Deeper Knowledge of Love, Life Balance, and God

From my list on spiritually-focused books to awaken your heart, mind, and soul.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love books! I wrote my first book as a science project at age 11. As a writer, books are my passion. Specifically, I have been interested in the nature of consciousness and healing since I was 12 years old. I started reading everything I could get my hands on at that time and continued voraciously until I completed my Ph.D. around the age of 30. Many themes in transformation and spirituality I read almost exhaustively – Indigenous studies, cross-cultural healing, the nature of mind, and the nature of the soul. I have always needed to keep books around me just to feel at home.

Jonathan's book list on spiritually-focused books to awaken your heart, mind, and soul

Jonathan Ellerby Why did Jonathan love this book?

This was the absolute best book I have ever read that explains the spiritual path.

I love that this book is so balanced and whole. Jack Kornfield helped me understand spiritual growth early in my journey through simple but sophisticated psychology and deep nondual philosophy and experience.

He covers everything clearly, with amazing stories and a fantastic writing style that I found inspiring, challenging, and comforting all at once.

By Jack Kornfield,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Path with Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Jack Kornfield's A Path with Heart has been acclaimed as the most significant book yet about American Buddhism-a definitive guide to the practice of traditional mindfulness in America today.

On this audio edition, Kornfield teaches the key principles of Buddhism's cherished vipassana (insight) tradition, and puts them into direct service, with the unique needs of the contemporary seeker in mind.


Book cover of The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation

Shawn Goodman Author Of Kindness for Weakness

From my list on helping you heal and grow.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I’m not writing or reading, I work as a psychologist with kids and families. After twenty-five years of this work, it’s clear that many good people are suffering. It is too easy to respond with apathy or cynicism, which creates even more suffering. I am drawn to writing that gives us understanding and hope. 

Shawn's book list on helping you heal and grow

Shawn Goodman Why did Shawn love this book?

I’ll be honest: I have only scratched the surface of this book and the questions it asks and answers. How to deal with suffering and remain open to joy and beauty? I understand the book’s content at only the most superficial level. I suspect it’s going to take years for me to go deeper with it. As a writer, I am blown away by Trungpa’s style, which is clear, simple, and relatable. As a psychologist, I am humbled to see how clumsy and awkward our modern approaches are. 

By Chögyam Trungpa,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Featuring a new foreword by Pema Chödrön, this Tibetan Buddhist classic explores the meaning of freedom and how we can attain it through meditation

Freedom is generally thought of as the ability to achieve goals and satisfy desires. But what are the sources of these goals and desires? If they arise from ignorance, habitual patterns, and negative emotions, is the freedom to pursue these goals true freedom—or is it just a myth? 

In The Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation, Chögyam Trungpa explores the true meaning of freedom, showing us how our attitudes, preconceptions, and even our spiritual…


Book cover of Buddha Da

Elissa Soave Author Of Ginger and Me

From my list on Scottish reads centring working-class women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Scottish writer and have long loved books from and about Scotland. But I would love to see more written about the working-class Scottish experience from women’s perspective as I think that would lead to less focus on the violence and poverty that is featured in so many contemporary Scottish books from male authors. There is so much joy in the Scottish working-class experience – a pot of soup always on the stove in someone’s kitchen, the stories, the laughter, a community that cares for their own. Let’s see more of that, and more stories from and about Scottish working-class women.

Elissa's book list on Scottish reads centring working-class women

Elissa Soave Why did Elissa love this book?

Buddha Da is about Anne Marie’s painter/decorator Da who turns the whole family’s life upside down when he suddenly decides to become a Buddhist.

Set in Glasgow, and filled with quiet humour and pathos, I love how the author takes an ordinary working-class family and infuses their story with charm and wit. You cannot but warm to Jimmy and his family, and feel for Jimmy in particular as he searches for spiritual enlightenment.

I love that this is a novel about working-class Scottish life that is about more than men drinking and fighting, and grim poverty. It is about working-class life as it is – centring on family bonds (with brilliant strong women with minds of their own!), the everyday, and most of all, the universal human desire to find meaning in life. 

By Anne Donovan,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Anne Marie's Da, a Glaswegian painter and decorator, has always been game for a laugh. So when he first tells his family that he's taking up meditation at the Buddhist Centre in town, no one takes him seriously. But as Jimmy becomes more involved in his search for the spiritual his beliefs start to come into conflict with the needs of his wife, Liz, and cracks begin to form in their previously happy family.

With grace, humour and humility Anne Donovan's beloved debut tells the story of one man's search for a higher power. But in his search for meaning,…


Book cover of Luminous Darkness: An Engaged Buddhist Approach to Embracing the Unknown

Diana Winston Author Of The Little Book of Being: Practices and Guidance for Uncovering Your Natural Awareness

From my list on Buddhist stories from lesser-known women authors.

Why am I passionate about this?

There are so many good spiritual books out there that get little attention, especially books by women and women of color. I have been a meditation practitioner for three decades, running a mindfulness center at UCLA, and been teaching and sharing Buddhist and mindfulness teaching for 20+ years. I need my sources of inspiration too! Each of these books forced me to think—and brought new depth to my own meditation practice. I am interested in how the Buddhist and mindfulness teachings, which I love so deeply, can help us build resiliency and weather the challenges of the intersecting, current ecological, political and social crises. These books are a great start.

Diana's book list on Buddhist stories from lesser-known women authors

Diana Winston Why did Diana love this book?

Follow Eden on a journey into all the fecundity of darkness—into the body, nature, silence, world challenges. She is an amazing guide to a shadow side of the Buddhist practice that I have not seen elsewhere. She shows how these neglected aspects of ourselves are actually a path to awakening and healing. It’s a pretty remarkable and unusual book and it just came out!

By Deborah Eden Tull,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A resonant call to explore the darkness in life, in nature, and in consciousness—including difficult emotions like uncertainty, grief, fear, and xenophobia—through teachings, embodied meditations, and mindful inquiry that provide us with a powerful path to healing.

Darkness is deeply misunderstood in today’s world; yet it offers powerful medicine, serenity, strength, healing, and regeneration. All insight, vision, creativity, and revelation arise from darkness. It is through learning to stay present and meet the dark with curiosity rather than judgment that we connect to an unwavering light within. Welcoming darkness with curiosity, rather than fear or judgment, enables us to access…


Book cover of Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living

Lodro Rinzler Author Of Take Back Your Mind: Buddhist Advice for Anxious Times

From my list on how to learn Buddhism.

Why am I passionate about this?

Lodro Rinzler has taught Buddhism for 20 years, starting when he was just 18 years-old. He is the author of seven meditation books including the best-seller The Buddha Walks into a Bar, and the co-founder of MNDFL meditation studios in New York City. His books Walk Like a Buddha and The Buddha Walks into the Office both have received Independent Publisher Book Awards. Named one of 50 Innovators Shaping the Future of Wellness by SONIMA, Rinzler's new book is Take Back Your Mind: Buddhist Advice for Anxious Times.

Lodro's book list on how to learn Buddhism

Lodro Rinzler Why did Lodro love this book?

I vacillated wildly on which of Pema Chödrön’s books to include here, as many of them cover Buddhism in such a way that the teachings are made modern and relevant to whatever readers are going through. This book, for example, covers the ancient lojong, or mind-training, slogans of the Buddhist master Atisha and shows how this very old text has a lot to say about how we can live a life based in mindfulness and compassion. I don’t think you can go wrong by picking up any of her books (or any books written by any of these authors, frankly), but this one fits best for our purposes for a strong introduction to the fundamental teachings of Buddhism.

By Pema Chödrön,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Start Where You Are as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Start Where You Are is an indispensable handbook for cultivating fearlessness and awakening a compassionate heart, from bestselling author Pema Choedroen. With insight and humour, she presents down-to-earth guidance on how to make friends with ourselves and develop genuine compassion towards others.

This book shows how we can 'start where we are' by embracing rather than denying the painful aspects of our lives.

Pema Choedroen frames her teachings on compassion around fifty-nine traditional Tibetan Buddhist maxims, or slogans, such as: 'Always apply a joyful state of mind', 'Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment' and 'Be grateful to everyone'.

Working with…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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