100 books like Mindfulness in Plain English

By Bhante Henepola Gunaratana,

Here are 100 books that Mindfulness in Plain English fans have personally recommended if you like Mindfulness in Plain English. 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 Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

Lynda Allen Author Of Grace Reflected

From my list on life-changing world-rocking books.

Why am I passionate about this?

I think of myself as a listener and life in progress. As a poet and author, I’m always listening to the words that move through my heart. I’m also a spiritual seeker, always looking for the Divine in the world around me and almost always surprised by the ways it shows up when I’m paying attention. Yet, there’s another part of me that is a Jersey girl through and through, looking for humor or irreverence in the face of life’s challenges. All these aspects come together in an unusual harmony, creating an openness to being changed by the things that come into my life. Hence, a list of life-changing books.

Lynda's book list on life-changing world-rocking books

Lynda Allen Why did Lynda love this book?

Reading this book helped me change my life for the better. Putting Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings into practice in my daily life helped me live a more mindful, more peaceful life at a time of great transition in my personal life.

One of the things I love the most about this book is how simple it is to incorporate its practices into daily life. There are sections on how to be mindful about washing dishes or answering the phone! There are also sections that went much deeper, which dealt with how to be mindful of my emotions, which I have found so valuable in dealing with anxiety, difficult situations, and fear.

One of my favorite experiences related to this book was guiding a group of middle school-age kids through a discussion inspired by the “Tangerine Meditation.” Instead of a tangerine, we considered a piece of paper and talked about the…

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Peace Is Every Step as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'This is a very worthwhile book. It can change individual lives and the life of our society.' The Dalai Lama

Lucidly and beautifully written, Peace is Every Step contains commentaries and meditations, personal anecdotes and stories from Nhat Hanh's experiences as a peace activist, teacher, and community leader. It begins where the reader already is - in the kitchen, office, driving a car, walking in a park - and shows how deep meditative presence is available now. Nhat Hanh provides exercises to increase our awareness of our own body and mind through conscious breathing, which can bring immediate joy and…


Book cover of When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

Christine Christman Author Of Do You Want to Be Well? A Memoir of Spiritual Healing

From my list on grief and spirituality.

Why am I passionate about this?

As I formed my self-identity I considered myself a spiritual seeker, always straying beyond the boundaries of my more conservative Christian communities. As a minister’s wife, I had a wide experience of Christian-based faith and community. When my husband died instantly of a heart attack, my entire spiritual foundation seemed to crumble. This book is a memoir of my journey to rebuild a new spirituality, founded on the remnants of my original faith and expanding to meet my new and changing experience of who I am. I have a master’s degree in English so the study of literature, mythology, and poetry also strongly influenced my journey, my story, and this memoir.

Christine's book list on grief and spirituality

Christine Christman Why did Christine love this book?

I learned in my grief that the experience of loss can open the door wide for personal growth and transformation. Pema Chodron’s book brings the possibility of gentle healing through the lens of Buddhist practice. After the first year of loss, as I was beginning to regain some stability, this book helped me find my way into new spiritual practices. I used it to expand beyond old beliefs that no longer served me and into new ways of thinking and being. It grounded me in the context of suffering, helping me to see that I wasn’t alone; that suffering was nothing to be ashamed of. And her stories offered some practical ideas that I hadn’t found in my Christian spiritual practice.

By Pema Chödrön,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked When Things Fall Apart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pema Choedroen reveals the vast potential for happiness, wisdom and courage even in the most painful circumstances.

Pema Choedroen teaches that there is a fundamental opportunity for happiness right within our reach, yet we usually miss it - ironically, while we are caught up in attempt to escape pain and suffering.

This accessible guide to compassionate living shows us how we can use painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion and courage, ways of communication that lead to openness and true intimacy with others, practices for reversing our negative habitual patterns, methods for working with chaotic situations and ways to cultivate…


Book cover of Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

Nita Sweeney Author Of How to Make Every Move a Meditation: Mindful Movement for Mental Health, Well-Being, and Insight

From my list on why meditation is worth your time and effort.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a thirty-year meditator, certified meditation leader, and award-winning author, it’s my job to keep up on the latest books about mindfulness and Zen practice. Despite seeing new volumes being published regularly, I return to these books as great sources of solid practice information. Each of these authors explains meditation in accessible terms, easy for readers to follow and understand. I can’t remember who said that a confused reader is an antagonistic reader, but they are right. The books I’ve suggested offer clarity. They help readers begin or continue their practice and understand how and why meditation is worth their time.

Nita's book list on why meditation is worth your time and effort

Nita Sweeney Why did Nita love this book?

Jon Kabat-Zinn is one of the founding teachers of mindfulness practice in the United States. Wherever You Go There You Are, another simple yet profound gem, sets forth the benefits and techniques for living in the moment. I really enjoy how he talks about the many ways to meditate. There is no one posture, no one practice, it is all about what you do with your awareness. As the subtitle says, the book explains how to take mindfulness meditation off the cushion and into everyday life.

By Jon Kabat-Zinn,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Wherever You Go, There You Are as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Explains how anyone can use mindfulness--the art of living each moment fully as it happens--to reduce anxiety, achieve inner peace, and enrich life.


Book cover of Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

Bodhipaksa Author Of This Difficult Thing of Being Human: The Art of Self-Compassion

From my list on finding and building compassion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I went through a particularly hard time several years ago and to get through it I was forced to dig deep into what I’d learned about compassion and self-compassion over three decades of meditating. Because I’m a meditation teacher, I wanted to share with my students everything I learned about being kind and supportive toward myself as I went through the toughest challenges I’d ever faced so that they could benefit as well. That’s why I wrote This Difficult Thing of Being Human. Self-compassion has become the core of everything I’ve taught since then, and one of the wonderful things about it is that once you’ve shown yourself compassion, you automatically find yourself treating others with compassion too.

Bodhipaksa's book list on finding and building compassion

Bodhipaksa Why did Bodhipaksa love this book?

Sharon Salzberg is undoubtedly the preeminent teacher of lovingkindness meditation in the west, and probably the world. When I read her book I’d already been practicing this form of meditation for a dozen years, and yet dipping into it now reminds me of how much of my own teaching draws on Sharon’s pioneering work. If you want to learn to develop lovingkindness, which is the basis of compassion, Sharon’s book is the ideal place to start.

By Sharon Salzberg,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Lovingkindness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Throughout our lives we long to love ourselves more deeply and find a greater sense of connection with others. Our fear of intimacy—both with others and with ourselves—creates feelings of pain and longing. But these feelings can also awaken in us the desire for freedom and the willingness to take up the spiritual path.

In this inspiring book, longtime meditation practitioner and teacher Sharon Salzberg shows how the Buddhist path can help us discover the radiant, joyful heart within each one of us, drawing on Buddhist teachings, wisdom from various traditions, her personal experiences, and guided meditation exercises. With these…


Book cover of Still Running: The Art of Meditation in Motion

Nita Sweeney Author Of How to Make Every Move a Meditation: Mindful Movement for Mental Health, Well-Being, and Insight

From my list on why meditation is worth your time and effort.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a thirty-year meditator, certified meditation leader, and award-winning author, it’s my job to keep up on the latest books about mindfulness and Zen practice. Despite seeing new volumes being published regularly, I return to these books as great sources of solid practice information. Each of these authors explains meditation in accessible terms, easy for readers to follow and understand. I can’t remember who said that a confused reader is an antagonistic reader, but they are right. The books I’ve suggested offer clarity. They help readers begin or continue their practice and understand how and why meditation is worth their time.

Nita's book list on why meditation is worth your time and effort

Nita Sweeney Why did Nita love this book?

I recommend this book not because the author runs, as do I, but because she connects the physical body with freedom and insight. She has felt the stillness during movement. You are fully in the moment and everything is one. I met Vanessa Zeuisei Goddard, by chance when my husband and I visited Zen Mountain Monastery where she was practicing and where Ed had practiced years before. The retreats were between sessions, on a break from silence, so she and I were able to talk. To speak with someone who is both on the meditative path and who meditates while she moves gave me the courage to move forward with my work on my own movement meditation book. I step into the lineage, a tradition her lovely volume follows.

By Vanessa Zuisei Goddard,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Still Running as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Learn how to bring the power of stillness into your running practice with meditations, guidance, and inspiration from a long-time runner and Zen practitioner.

Running is more than just exercise. Running is a practice, a moving meditation, that brings the power of stillness to all the activities in our lives. Vanessa Zuisei Goddard combines her experience leading running retreats with her two-decade practice of Zen to offer insight, humor, and practical guidance for grounding our running, or any physical practice, in meditation.

When we see running solely as exercise and focus on improving our times, covering a certain number of…


Book cover of The Practice of Groundedness: A Transformative Path to Success That Feeds--Not Crushes--Your Soul

Nita Sweeney Author Of How to Make Every Move a Meditation: Mindful Movement for Mental Health, Well-Being, and Insight

From my list on why meditation is worth your time and effort.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a thirty-year meditator, certified meditation leader, and award-winning author, it’s my job to keep up on the latest books about mindfulness and Zen practice. Despite seeing new volumes being published regularly, I return to these books as great sources of solid practice information. Each of these authors explains meditation in accessible terms, easy for readers to follow and understand. I can’t remember who said that a confused reader is an antagonistic reader, but they are right. The books I’ve suggested offer clarity. They help readers begin or continue their practice and understand how and why meditation is worth their time.

Nita's book list on why meditation is worth your time and effort

Nita Sweeney Why did Nita love this book?

I found Brad Stulberg’s latest book when I was researching my book and immediately toned down my prose to meet the challenge of distilling practices nearly impossible to explain in simple terms anyone can understand. Sound impossible? Brad makes it look effortless. There’s just enough science balanced by personal experience and other anecdotes that what could have been a PhD dissertation (was it?) reads with ease. The power and simplicity make it elegant and ever so useful.

By Brad Stulberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Practice of Groundedness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Join thousands of readers and learn about the foundations of sustainable excellence and concrete habits for peak performance and a more genuine kind of success.
 
"A thoughtful, actionable book for pursuing more excellence with less angst." --Adam Grant, author of Think Again and host of the TED podcast WorkLife
 
"Ambitious, far-reaching, and impactful" -- David Epstein, author of Range

"This book taps into something that so many of us feel but can't articulate." --Arianna Huffington, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global
 
***
 
From the bestselling author of Peak Performance comes a powerful antidote to heroic individualism and the ensuing epidemic of…


Book cover of The Mindful Athlete: Secrets to Peak Performance

Nita Sweeney Author Of How to Make Every Move a Meditation: Mindful Movement for Mental Health, Well-Being, and Insight

From my list on why meditation is worth your time and effort.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a thirty-year meditator, certified meditation leader, and award-winning author, it’s my job to keep up on the latest books about mindfulness and Zen practice. Despite seeing new volumes being published regularly, I return to these books as great sources of solid practice information. Each of these authors explains meditation in accessible terms, easy for readers to follow and understand. I can’t remember who said that a confused reader is an antagonistic reader, but they are right. The books I’ve suggested offer clarity. They help readers begin or continue their practice and understand how and why meditation is worth their time.

Nita's book list on why meditation is worth your time and effort

Nita Sweeney Why did Nita love this book?

In addition to the many books on meditation and mindfulness practice, I read performance books to add that angle to my own book. Even if someone only wanted to run faster, jump higher, or hit a better golf shot, I wanted them to find something more. This is also true of Mumford’s book. He offers profound advice for athletes of any type learned from his experience and the journeys of the professional athletes he has coached. There’s kindness without sugar-coating and profound vulnerability on these pages. I read it straight through.

By George Mumford,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mindful Athlete as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The all-star adviser to athletes like Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan shares his revolutionary, mindfulness-based program for elevating your game

“George helped me understand the art of mindfulness. To be neither distracted or focused, rigid or flexible, passive or aggressive. I learned just to be.”—Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan credits George Mumford with transforming his on-court leadership of the Bulls, helping Jordan lead the team to six NBA championships. Mumford also helped Kobe Bryant, Andrew Bynum, and Lamar Odom and countless other NBA players turn around their games. A widely respected public speaker and coach, Mumford is sharing his own story…


Book cover of Loving-Kindness in Plain English: The Practice of Metta

Bodhipaksa Author Of This Difficult Thing of Being Human: The Art of Self-Compassion

From my list on finding and building compassion.

Why am I passionate about this?

I went through a particularly hard time several years ago and to get through it I was forced to dig deep into what I’d learned about compassion and self-compassion over three decades of meditating. Because I’m a meditation teacher, I wanted to share with my students everything I learned about being kind and supportive toward myself as I went through the toughest challenges I’d ever faced so that they could benefit as well. That’s why I wrote This Difficult Thing of Being Human. Self-compassion has become the core of everything I’ve taught since then, and one of the wonderful things about it is that once you’ve shown yourself compassion, you automatically find yourself treating others with compassion too.

Bodhipaksa's book list on finding and building compassion

Bodhipaksa Why did Bodhipaksa love this book?

Our final book offers more of an “old school” guide to developing kindness and compassion. By “old school” I mean that that the writings of Gunaratana, who is affectionately known by his fans as “Bhante G.” is firmly rooted in classic teachings from the Buddhist tradition. But he goes beyond that, drawing on his personal experience, quoting modern meditation teachers, and sharing the results of scientific studies of lovingkindness and compassion. And he does all this in a warm and kind way that makes reading this illuminating and practical book a true pleasure.

By Bhante Henepola Gunaratana,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Loving-Kindness in Plain English as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling author of Mindfulness in Plain English invites us to explore the joyful benefits of living with loving-kindness.

With his signature clarity and warmth, Bhante Gunaratana shares with us how we can cultivate loving-kindness to live a life of joyful harmony with others. Through personal anecdotes, step-by-step meditations, conversational renderings of the Buddha’s words in the suttas, and transformative insights into how we live in and relate to the world, we learn that peace here and now is possible—within ourselves and in all our relationships. Bhante G speaks directly to how we can cultivate loving-kindness to find emotional clarity,…


Book cover of A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles

Mimi Chao Author Of Let's Go Explore

From my list on picture books to inspire mindful curiosity in kids (and adults).

Why am I passionate about this?

I believe that creativity and mindfulness are critical qualities for a well-lived life. This is something I learned through personal experience as a former lawyer who returned to my childhood dream of creating art and stories. Mindfulness—a kind, nonjudgmental awareness of what is happening in the present moment in and around you—helps people of all ages practice self-compassion, appreciate the world and others, and see life as an adventure. I write and illustrate picture books to share these concepts through storytelling, teach mindful creative classes, and am a certified meditation teacher through The Awareness Training Institute and the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.   

Mimi's book list on picture books to inspire mindful curiosity in kids (and adults)

Mimi Chao Why did Mimi love this book?

I love the simple and approachable pebble meditation practice shared in this kid-friendly mindfulness guide, which emphasizes our interconnectedness with nature.

I truly believe that mindful skills like self-awareness and emotional regulation are critical to living a happy, meaningful, and compassionate life, and the sooner children can begin practicing them, the better.

This book offers a fun, easy, and beautiful meditation practice for all ages. 

By Thich Nhat Hanh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Handful of Quiet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

A playful, illustrated guide to one of the best known and most innovative meditation practices for young children experiencing stress, difficulty focusing, and difficult emotions
 
Developed by Thich Nhat Hanh as part of the Plum Village community’s practice with children, pebble meditation is a playful and fun activity that parents and educators can do with their children to introduce them to meditation. It is designed to involve children in a hands-on and creative way that touches on their interconnection with nature. Practicing pebble meditation can help relieve stress, increase concentration, nourish gratitude, and can help children deal with difficult emotions.…


Book cover of The Healing Power of Mind

Jean Muenchrath Author Of If I Live Until Morning, A True Story of Adventure, Tragedy and Transformation

From my list on adventure, healing, and growth.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jean Muenchrath wrote down her story to heal herself from the trauma of a life-threatening mountaineering accident, an epic survival incident, and decades of chronic pain. She then published her memoir to inspire readers to follow their dreams and to encourage them to overcome whatever challenges their life presents. Before she became an author, Muenchrath was a park ranger with the National Park Service for over thirty years. She’s led trekking tours in Nepal and Thailand and worked in Bhutan with the World Wildlife Fund. Jean enjoys traveling to foreign lands, exploring wild places and sitting quietly in meditation.

Jean's book list on adventure, healing, and growth

Jean Muenchrath Why did Jean love this book?

I have given this book as a gift to friends and acquaintances who were struggling with health issues, trauma, depression, anxiety, or loss. Recipients of this book have told me how much it has benefited them—they found peace and renewed energy on their path of healing physical and emotional pain. It’s a short book packed with easy-to-practice meditations that are simple, yet profound. It is suitable for reader’s of all backgrounds and belief systems.

By Tulku Thondup,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Healing Power of Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The true nature of our minds is enlightened and peaceful, as the depth of the ocean is calm and clear. But when we mentally grasp and emotionally cling to our wants and worries with all our energy, we lose our own enlightened freedom and healing power, only to gain stress and exhaustion, suffering and overexcitement, like the turbulent waves rolling on the surface of the ocean.

Our minds possess the power to heal pain and stress, and to blossom into peace and joy, by loosening the clinging attitudes that Buddhists call "grasping at self." If we apply the mind's healing…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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