Only read this if you want to see a list of the best mindfulness books that are NOT your typical list!
Now, I’ve seen the list of best mindfulness books by all the amazing gurus and mindfulness teachers. I love the 5-star rating self-help books that pop up in Google searches and that friends refer to me. And I believe that many of you read these books and finish feeling like you get it, it resonates!
My “alternative” best mindfulness book list will offer you a different tool, and present new ways – maybe even the best way – to create a holistic approach for your mindfulness practices.
I wish for you to find whatever it is you are looking for as you comb the pages of mindfulness books AND be curious about building what works for YOU!
Check Out Both Outstanding Book Lists!
If you take the time to read beyond the initial list – the “best mindfulness book” list that most will expect – you will get a fresh and new perspective… well you’ll get my opinion anyway. ☺
I hope you will and then share with me your favorite book and thoughts on both lists!
So, in order to get started…
…take a moment to pause and move away from this frantic world, draw in a deep breath, open your mind, and consider what it is that you need in this present moment from what is to be the best mindfulness book for you.
You may ask yourself…
“What will a great book with an eight-week plan, or mindfulness techniques, or inspirational quotes, tell me that I don’t already know?”
Personally, I think my “alternative” list applies to daily life and allows YOU to be your best guide. In plain English, the YOU part matters and applying your own emotional intelligence is where you find mindfulness that is unique to YOU.
So ask yourself…
“What is “mindful living” to me anyway?”
“What am I looking?”
“Have I considered what I already know or what has worked for me in the past?”
“Do I already have a solution for myself?”
Then with that awareness, open a little book or two that has been sitting on your shelf for a long time and dive in… but with an understanding of what you are seeking first!
This first list – of which I have read multiple times and consider each author a personal guide, mentor, and teacher – are full of important words that have guided me toward many practices that I now call lifestyles like mindful eating, as well as sharing the knowledge of the brain science behind mindfulness, and understanding clinical research about stress levels, and beyond.
Honestly, they have all supported me personally in many difficult situations and empowered me to be a better guide and co-creator with my clients.
Gratitude for My Mentors & Ancient Wisdom
I will continue to be guided and inspired by the words and wisdom of these mindfulness gurus. I hope you will be too.
So, take a peek… and then keep reading because I’d like to share another way, perhaps a more creative way to expand your mindfulness practice through a good book list!
Have you seen this cute little book? There are a series of them… I just love the How to Love one! I picked up my first copy at Mom’s Market years ago and have since bought many copies as gifts.
Thich Nhat Hanh’s words in the book inform us that the closer we feel to our loved ones, the more connected we are to all. Love that little nugget of wisdom!
Present moment, compassion, and practices … I have read this book many times and continue to learn each time I read it. I love the approachability of the practices – personally, I think they are for beginners and experienced practitioners.
Worth a peek inside if you looking to connect more in the present moment.
Vulnerability, personal stories, science, practical knowledge, and benefits of meditation… I mean what’s not to love!
Take a pause here… and think for a moment… “what it would feel like to be 10% happier… or 10% less stressed?” Check out the book if this calls to you, and then check out the list below to help personalize your approach!
The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle
All we have is now. Each tick of the clock is the only moment we have, any future moment is a gift. Actually, that is how I see moments past too, yes, even the difficult ones.
We transform when we surrender to the present moment – and I truly love how this book shares with us that the “now” is where we align to our true selves and find pure joy.
Eckart was one of the first voices I remember hearing say this about present moment awareness. It just stuck with me… and each time I read or reference this book I am reminded to center and ground myself.
Honestly, I don’t even need to read it… I look at the cover and am reminded to practice presence. LOL… pretty powerful and a great time saver!
Truth be told, I need to read this book again. I love bringing practices to my clients and I know this book is full of simple exercises to reduce anxiety and stress and increase clarity and creativity. Need some of that? Yep, me too.
So Many Books, So Little Time
Everyone I know has a new book suggestion… “hey have you read …”, “you must read this book because it shares the latest information on…”, etc. All well-meaning comments that have me quickly jumping on Amazon to spend another $20 some bucks.
I mean I don’t want to miss anything, or be unable to contribute to the conversation during the next girls’ night out when everyone talks about the latest breathing exercises book! Feel me on that?
Yet… I know I don’t need to race out and buy every Sam Harris, Thich Nhat Hanh (as cute as they are!), or Deepak Chopra book. Honestly, if I had the privilege of speaking with any of those wise teachers I don’t think they would tell you to do that either.
Actually, that is the reason for this best mindfulness books post … because I want to invite you to consider what you already know.
What is mindfulness anyway?
How about this to consider…
Mindfulness is a simple process of noticing what is around you, seeing new things, and sensing how it feels, and what it teaches or offers you… and allowing it to bring you to a more present state where you can be more sensitive and experience different perspectives.
What is mindfulness practice to you? Do you need a book to experience that?
My stacks of mindfulness books are growing faster than I can read through them… faster than I can even listen to them.
So… I have to catch myself, and remind myself of that…
I have (and YOU have) the knowledge and wisdom already inside me.
It’s not inside a book.
Now, this may sound crazy as I recently published the award-winning book Sacred Space, Subtle Shifts for Mind, Body, Home Transformation. AND… the 2nd Sacred Spaces book will be available in early November.
Want to join the launch team for book #2? Go here!
So, let me clear up this conflict I present. There is of course amazing wisdom, practical exercises, and many important stories in mindfulness books… I will continue to head to my local bookstore (and Amazon) to buy books and search for the latest mindfulness techniques and a great read!
AND… I will do that as I remember to listen more attentively to that little voice in my head… and the intuition in my heart… where I already have so many of the answers I am searching for among the pages of the best books!
You know the one?… the voice you hush and push away rushing through your daily life?
So, what am I saying… I am inviting you to search your heart and trust what you already know about many mindful practices. You do not need to be a Vietnamese Buddhist monk to reduce stress levels or embrace everyday life with the passion you desire (and deserve!).
It takes subtle shifts and simple practices that offer you a complete guide to finding the inner peace you seek! (hmmm… maybe you are a Buddhist monk? ☺)
If a book provides inspiration, a little help, or something more powerful like managing chronic pain or balancing mental health then heck yes pick it up and consume it… AND… listen and tune in to your own wisdom.
Make the practices and wisdom yours!
My “Alternative” Best Mindfulness Books
The time will come
when with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Derek Walcott, “Love after Love”
Perhaps as curious humans, we read to affirm, validate or even find an answer. However, I love adding to that the idea of reading to reflect and E – X – P – A – N – D.
Even the mindfulness books we go back to over and over, (for me that is The Power of Now, by Eckart Tolle) offer a continued peeling back and exposure to new perspectives and something that speaks to us each time we open it.
I say yes to reading, expanding, and learning! AND as Derek Walcott shares in his poem “peel your own image from the mirror… feast on your life.” This requires us to reflect, listen and experience… trust ourselves, and create what is best for YOU!
What Books Empowered My Mindfulness Practice the Most?
This little book is a perfect introduction to using nature as a healing tool and a pathway to engaging with our senses. Practices like this bring us to the present moment… and yes to practicing mindfulness!
We all know what it feels like after a day spent in nature, and if we pay attention we can witness inspiration of perfect harmony and learn from the trees, water, critters, and beauty all around us.
It was this book that opened me to listening more deeply. Why? Because as Clifford points out “Trees are very patient listeners.” Nature is actually a patient listener… the more time I spend in it the more I think it wants to listen back.
And indeed, it is an amazing listener. Nature asks nothing of you, and actually, you don’t have to even speak to it to feel a sense of connection and relaxation.
Trees offer a feeling that their grounded presence is available to you by simply standing among them.
This great book invites the questions:
What if the time I spend in nature allowed me to practice being mindful?
What would that look like for me?
Where can I soften my heart and just listen to it?
What if I invite myself to interact with nature and trees as teachers?
The best thing about this book is it shares thoughts and invites you to build your own relationship … one unique to YOU!
Go ahead… pause reading this blog and get outside for a forest bath!
When daily life takes over I turn to this practical guide to reset.
Sometimes the challenges of life challenge my mindful living practices. So… this is a favorite book of mine because it creates a sacred pause for me and allows me to build a ritual, a sacred space, that I need at that moment.
I don’t know of any clinical trials that show bathing enhances mindfulness… so you are going to have to try it for yourself! It is the inner knowing that is already divinely yours that will be the best clinical trial of all!
Maybe we should gather a group and do our own trial! Who wants to be a part of that trial group??
Here’s what I do know, every time I step into a bath, inspired by the recipes in this book, my body takes a deep breath, I release difficult emotions and stress from the day, and a feeling of inner peace takes over.
Some of my best thinking happens as I arrive at the warm water… it’s a reset… a place where I listen more deeply to myself.
This is mindfulness to me. With a little help from Sherman’s approach and extensive examples, recipes, and suggestions allow me to unwind and…
… sorry I gotta go draw a bath! ☺
“In the Toltec tradition, we recognize that every human is an artist, and the art we create is the story of our lives.”
Awe… YES! We are the creators of our own stories. This requires awareness and recognizing our own wisdom and ability to heal and transform… it is a mindfulness practice you create for you.
See you are already doing the mindfulness thing… or are you?
Are you aware of your inner knowing?
Do you listen to her?
What would happen if you did?
I simply invite you to look more expansively for where you draw inspiration to learn and grow… to be mindful. And the creation of a medicine bag… a small pouch filled with sacred items – items sacred to you – can be a reminder of the artist within us all.
What type of daily reminder would help support your mindfulness practice?
Maybe it’s a medicine bag, maybe it’s something else. This book shares ancient wisdom, history, and understanding of how a medicine bag holds important rituals!
Chakra Healing, A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Healing Techniques that Balance the Chakras, Margarita Alcantara
Chakras are powerful energy centers within all of us, actually within all living critters. Alcantara offers a holistic approach to understanding our energetic body… and clearly explains how this energetic body is a part of the layers of our existence.
This is not a picture book of pretty chakra pictures – it is a practical guide that allows you to tune into yourself by experiencing and bringing awareness to your unique energy.
Yes, it is full of ideas for balancing the chakras… and encourages you to explore essential oils, meditations, crystals, and behavioral changes… and it addresses specific issues like anxiety, neck pain, loneliness, and many others offering chakras that may be at the root of the “issue”.
This is a powerful little book that will open your mind to developing a deeper awareness of your own energies – mindfulness at work again!
Heard of this one?
Of course, I saved the best for last! This is my latest book!
I would be honored if you would pick up a copy here and let me know how it impacts you!
It was awarded the Book For Peace 2022 and multiple #1 best-selling categories… how could I not list it as the best mindfulness book!
Sacred Spaces is not just mine. It is a collective book that includes 21 authentic stories and holistic practices by other experts and practitioners.
Each author’s story expands the reader’s understanding of others’ experiences offering inspiration and encouragement to step into your uniqueness and shine!
I am thrilled to say that the second Sacred Spaces is currently in the works and due out on November 1, 2022! Don’t want to miss it? Be sure to sign up for my newsletter here!
Sending You a Mind Hug!
Some many thoughts, so little time.
Here’s the deal… the world needs you to be you. And being you requires you to listen to your wisdom, and show up shining bright as your beautiful self.
I know we are going to keep buying mindfulness books and looking to wise teachers to guide us and help us move toward inner peace and new ways of mindful living. I am forever grateful for all the zen teachers.
AND… I hope your favorite book is one you are writing to yourself, one you write from a place that knows your approach is best when it is unique to you, one of reflection, and one that brings you real happiness.
You deserve it!