Meditate on These Books

Have you turned to meditation to relieve some of the stress brought on by the coronavirus? If so, and you want to deepen your practice (or if you haven't but would like to), here are three great books to get you started.

wheneverAs the creator of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in 1979, Jon Kabat-Zinn is one of those credited with popularizing meditation in the West. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life (Hachette Books, $17) is his inspiring, often poetic, introduction to meditation, what he calls "the process by which we go about deepening our attention and awareness, refining them, and putting them to greater practical use in our lives."

After he suffered an on-air panic attack in 2004, ABC News anchor Dan Harris began to meditate. Since then, the self-described "evangelist" for the practice has written a bestselling book, launched a weekly podcast and created a popular app. In January 2016, Harris and meditation teacher Jeff Warren boarded a bus and took off on an 11-day cross-country trip to spread the meditation gospel. Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book (Spiegel & Grau, $17) recounts that journey, in an entertaining story of their interactions with new and experienced meditators and a solid manual for anyone starting a practice.

For those ready to wade into slightly deeper waters, there's noted Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön's How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind (Sounds True, $19.95). In addition to describing the basics of mindfulness meditation, Chödrön offers ample guidance about working with difficult emotions and incorporating sounds, sights and bodily sensations into one's practice.

While none of these books will transform you into an instant yogi, they may move you a few steps further along the path to enlightenment. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer