Meditation Books and Suggested Reading

favorite books

The Bhagavad Gita – Eknath Easwaren translation

This could be vaguely compared as India’s version of the Bible, although it contains more aspects like a children’s tale or fable. It is written in verses and has been translated so the majority of this book is an explanation of a short excerpt. Really a foundational writing in the history of meditation and yoga.

When Things Fall Apart – Pema Chodron

This is now one of my favorite books. I renamed it “How to handle type-A personalities and learning methods for overcoming Perfectionist Tendencies”! Pema is a non nonsense writer – she tells it to you straight and I love that bold, forward style. Very relevant in modern day.

Secrets of Meditation: A Practical Guide to Inner Peace & Personal Transformation – davidji

This is a book written by my teacher, so given that I highly admire and respect his work, this is really a summary of much of what our course was about. Provides lots of different avenues and options of ways to meditate, describing many of them to provide a broad overview…

Nonviolent Communication – Marshall Rosenberg

A practical manual for learning new ways to communicate and have dialogue that really listens to the other person and provides more clear ways to acknowledge they are being heard. Some parts seemed a bit basic, although when it came to actually practicing this, I struggled and gained an appreciation that simple doesn’t mean easy.

Paths to God: Living the Bhagavad Gita – Ram Dass

Like Pema, I just really like the way he writes. Very random, lots of stories of the 70s and drugs – somehow it comes back around to the the Bhagavad Gita, though! Fun, interesting with a nifty guide at the back of the book taken directly from a course syllabus at Naropa University.

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success – Deepak Chopra, MD

Although, I have not read this book, I do contemplate daily on each law of the day. I learned this practice in-depth during the week long Chopra event I attended in 2013 and found each one incredibly useful to focus my attention for the day. Wednesday is typically my favorite – the day of the law of least effort :-)

Autobiography of a Yogi – Paramahansa Yogananda

Initially, I struggled to get into this book and then couldn’t put it down. It is very long and really goes to an intriguing place describing levitation and past lives, to name a few, so an open mind is very helpful if you delve into this! Good foundation to understand the Self-Realization Fellowship based in the United States.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Translated by Sri Swami Satchidananda

A bulk of this is written in Sanskrit with a pronunciation guide and everything. Not a light read and gets really technical into various levels of samadhi or attaining enlightenment. It’s an important foundational piece of work, but not a light, summer read and may be summarized more broadly in simpler ways.