So, you’ve been meaning to learn to meditate. However, looking up meditation audiobooks for your commute home probably looks a little… daunting. You could be trying to quell that anxiety, or you’re in need of some slower living, or someone noticed how you need to “unwind” or “relax” and after telling them where exactly they could take their observation, you probably decided- yes, actually, before I hurt someone (or is that just me?). Whatever the reason, there are some distinct benefits to starting a meditation practice. Science tells us this.
For me, it was trying to quiet the negative voice in my head, the one that sounds a lot like my mother. The one that never shuts up, that judges every single move I make throughout the day. The one that makes me completely frozen in fear of making a wrong decision, of taking the wrong risk. My practice is still new- and it feels incredibly feeble right now. But what my meditation practice is helping me do is learn to appreciate everything around me, appreciate the fact that my life may not be perfect according to American standards, but its okay. It is helping me be compassionate to myself and others.
Starting my practice felt overwhelming, because it seems that everyone has a book about meditation out right now. There’s books on how to meditate for a great day, guided meditations to manifest wealth, or be a better athlete, or meditate for sleep. It can be overwhelming. In fact, my search brought up over 100 “How To Meditate” books. Yikes.
It’s not only that though. I am a work at home mom. Dudes, this life is hard. When do I actually get any time to read? I mean. Sure, I write, I have a degree in English, but my TBR pile is about 10 years long. While, I prefer reading—one helpful thing I can do is listen. This is helpful because I can listen to how to meditate anywhere. Thich Nhat Hanh, in fact, tells his readers that meditation can be a simple as being aware of washing your dishes- if that’s where you get your audio reading time in.
I am grateful for these meditation audiobooks. These 6 books helped me realize that having a practice is more simple than I had thought. Of course, these are how-to books, but some of them have guided meditations in them. Please PLEASE be careful listening to them in your car. I don’t need anyone falling asleep at the wheel, okay?
I firmly believe in the power of this book, and every single one of his books. It only takes a few hours to get through, but it is packed with little wisdoms. Thich’s practice starts with the little things, doing dishes (as mentioned above), answering your phone, peeling an orange, exc. This is a profound introduction to what meditation is. It makes the mundane holy.
How to Meditate: A Practical Guide by Kathleen McDonald
It is what the title says, a how to book on meditation. With her experience as a Western Buddhist nun, McDonald answers the practical questions that beginners have. What techniques should I do? How should I sit? What should I think about? Am I doing this wrong? Her practical advice quells our anxiety about if we have what it takes to meditate.
Zen Mind, Beginners Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
This is another shorter book, but it really welcomes those who are searching for a practice. This is the essence of American Zen Buddhism. Many readers say this is the perfect audio book to take a walk with, and I have to say, I agree.
STAGES OF MEDITATION BY DALI LAMA XIV
If you’re looking for something a little more meatier this book is for you. The Dali Lama uses logic and interpretation to think about how we should respond to holy writings. In this book, however, you get a deeper look at the basic tenants of Buddhism, as well as how that relates to meditation. It’s a short production, but packed with a lot of information. This is a book you might enjoy in a car, because it affords minimal distraction.
This audiobook is a series of guided meditations, meant to help you with your practice. Tara Brach is a PhD in clinical psychology and is an internationally known teacher of mindfulness and meditation. Since these are guided mediations, this book is definitely NOT recommended for listening while driving.
Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier Book by Dan Harris, Carlye Alder, and Jeffery Warren
This little gem is for those of us who really want to see the science behind the practice. If you’re familiar with Dan Harris’ 10% Happier you’ll be familiar with this book. He talks about his breakdown on national TV and how that led him on a journey toward himself. In this book we see him take a cross country trip with a couple of friends to learn about the American lifestyle and the science behind meditation.
I know I’ve already offered a classic Thich Nhat Hanh book, but I love this author. So bear with me please. This book expands on mindfulness meditation for our lives. Rather than trying to use mediation as an escape from the world, he shows us that we can find happiness within the disturbances. This book contains seven transformative meditations that will help us live deeply with ourselves and each other. And that is the point of meditation, right? We’ve lost ourselves and we’re trying to find our way back?
What are your favorite meditation audiobooks? Hit the comments to share the best!