One book that is top on my list for learning non-secular meditation is Jon Kabatt-Zinn’s Wherever You Go, There You Are. It’s a short and straightforward book written by one of the top teachers and scholars on meditation. Kabatt-Zinn created the “Mind Body Stress Reduction” program that started at the Massachusetts Medical Center. In addition, another Kabatt-Zinn book, an edited version of one of his longer books Full Catastrophe Living, is Letting Everything Become Your Teacher: 100 Lessons in Mindfulness that distills his work down to an easy read.

Like a Mindful Flower (2015), Paul Lee

When you have a chronic physical or mental illness, you can easily be overwhelmed with repetitive negative thoughts that can interfere with your life. For over 25 years, I’ve contended with bipolar disorder which has caused me a lot of these issues including many difficult bouts of depression and anxiety. Fortunately I have found that regular mindfulness meditation can lessen the more challenging symptoms of my illness and can help you also.

Here at Bookmans we have books and music galore, including those titles and albums that can help you on your path to mindful meditation.

Lying down during a guided meditation, keeping your legs bent with your feet on the floor can keep you from falling asleep, (i.e. you laying down without your eyes closed while focusing on a particular spot on the ceiling with your eyes half shut). Buddhist Psychologist Dr. Jack Kornfield has Guided Meditations For Self Healing on a two CD set that provides a great introduction to mediation by a skilled teacher.

As I’ve said before, some people I’ve worked with find that meditating in silence to be too challenging. I’ve worked with clients at a mental health clinic to teach them about meditation and found it beneficial to use melodic soundscapes to add a subtle sensory experience to add to the meditation. Ambient Musician, Steve Roach offers some amazing soundscapes on CDs like Dynamic Stillness or A Deeper Silence.

For those of you beginning a practice, guided meditation is a great way to start. In addition to its simplicity, soundscapes can transport you to unknown realms that aren’t associated with particular memories or life moments, which can be very freeing. Remember, there isn’t a perfect way to meditate. If you choose to take on the meditation challenge (whether you have an illness or not), try to sit or lie down for just 10 minutes a day. See if you can do it around the same time for at least five days in a row. If starting is hard, try meditation with a friend or two, so you can encourage each other. Be careful, you may even find mindfulness mediation to become addictive. Don’t put pressure on yourself, if you start and can’t keep it up for too long, just try again.

Now, stop reading and get to it (but be kind to yourself and enjoy!).