A round-up of mindfulness and meditation resources

meditatingSo as I’ve gotten further along in my practice I’ve been fortunate enough to discover a variety of reading materials, videos, podcasts, apps, etc. on mindfulness that I’ve found either helpful, insightful, or just plain interesting. I’ve sent copies of different books to friends, I’ve posted links on my personal social networks, etc. So why not compile a list of some of those resources here for anyone who is interested?

So in no particular order, here are some of the resources, a brief description, and a link to learn more. In case you’re wondering I’m not an Amazon affiliate, so I have zero financial interest in sharing these recommendations. Though maybe I should become one. Why not?


BOOKS

Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn: A book of short (1-4 page) chapters/lessons in mindfulness. Kabat-Zinn is a molecular biologist who established the idea of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, exploring the practical medical effects of mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching by Thich Nhat Hanh: A book that explores the teachings of the Buddha on suffering, meditation, the Four Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path. Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr. and currently lives in France.

Waking Up by Sam Harris: Harris is most well-known as a (combative) public advocate of atheism. Harris comes at meditation as both a skeptic and a neuro-scientist and he explores how we can learn a great deal about ourselves and the reality of the world through meditation practices that are largely rooted in Buddhist practice.

Why Buddhism is True by Robert Wright: Wright approaches Buddhism and meditation practices from the point of view of evolutionary science. Wright concludes that Buddhism offers both a diagnosis and a remedy to the human suffering, which he explains is a result of our evolution that prioritizes short term rewards and risk avoidance.

10% Happier by Dan Harris: Harris is an ABC News journalist (and self-described fidgety skeptic) who suffered an on-air panic attack during Good Morning America, and the book explores his search to find a way to help him live a happier life. The story sees him explore a variety of self-help gurus before finally discovering Buddhist practices, and how he integrated practices into his life.

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics by Dan Harris and Jeff Warren: The follow-up to 10% Happier, Harris wrote this with meditation teacher Warren as a practical guide to meditation practice without the “woo-woo.”


PODCASTS

Waking Up by Sam Harris: So not every episode focuses on mindfulness practice, but Harris has great interviews with one of his own meditation coaches, Joseph Goldstein, plus an interview with Robert Wright, and an episode on some of the actual science of meditation

10% Happier By Dan Harris: This podcast is much more focused on meditation and practice, and features not only meditation teachers and “experts,” but also includes interviews with celebrities who practice meditation and their relationship to it, including journalist Anderson Cooper, singer LeAnn Rimes, and comedian John Mulaney, among others.


VIDEOS

The Buddha | PBS: This documentary is a beautifully made story of the Buddha’s life and teachings that features commentary from a range of practitioners and scholars, from the Dalai Lama to one-time US Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin, Buddhist monks to psychiatrist Mark Epstein.

Mindfulness: What It Is and Is Not | Joseph Goldstein: This is a talk that Goldstein gave in 2014 at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society in Shrewsbury, MA. Includes a Q & A at the end.

60 Minutes Special on Mindfulness: So I’m going to post two links here… One to the page on the CBS news site where you can watch the video if you have their CBS All-Access pass, or to this version of it on YouTube. The story is reported by Anderson Cooper and includes interviews with Jon Kabat-Zinn and shows what a mindfulness retreat is like.


SMARTPHONE APPS

10% Happier This app, from Dan Harris, features a variety of guided meditations and unguided timed meditations, from 1 minute practices to hour long sessions. To unlock all of the meditations you need to


There are undoubtedly many other great resources out there if you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness meditation, other Buddhist practices, and how they might benefit you. There are probably more that I’ve read, listened to, or watched, but I think this is a good start if you’re interested.

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