Helpful resources for your journey
Reading about meditation practice can be helpful.
At its best, it helps you inform and understand how to practice well. Reading about others' experiences and path helps you contextualize and normalise your own. The ups and downs, challenges and non-linear progress that is common for most people.
It can also help you find approaches and technicalities of the practice that help unlock something for you and make your own meditations more fruitful.
However, the risk is always when we read too much, we may start overanalyzing our experience and have many expectations for what should happen. We may end up comparing a lot and trying to fit our experience into our imagination and ideas of what it should be like.
As always, the best is to find the middle way. To be informed and curious but to not get ahead of yourself. Let's not "mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself". We always have to keep coming back to this very moment, to our own experience.
General Books for All-levels.
The Mindful Geek. Michael Taft.
Great introductory book to Mindfulness. Covers the basic scientific research, and mindfulness techniques and is written colloquially and simply.
The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works. Shinzen Young
Probably my favorite author on meditation. He writes very clearly and logically and approaches meditation pragmatically and precisely. Good book giving a general overview and diving a bit into multiple aspects like technique, attitude, science and philosophy.
Why Buddhism is True. Robert Wright
A perspective on Buddhist meditation written by an evolutionary psychologist. He goes into the theory of how the brain evolved and how Buddhist meditation helps rewire the inbuilt bias towards being unhappy.
Old Path, White Clouds. Thich Nhat Hanh
Book about the historical Buddha's life, Siddhartha Gautama. Beautiful stories and feelings portrayed.
Cave in the Snow. A woman's quest for enlightenment. Vicki Mackenzie.
Inspiring autobiography of one of the first western females to be ordained. She stayed in a cave for 13 years to meditate and breaks a lot of the male-dominance of buddhist meditation.
The Places That Scare You. Pema Chödrön
Amazing book on Metta and how to integrate compassion and joy into your daily life.
A Path with Heart. Jack Kornfield
I love Jack's soft and heart-based approach to this path on which it can be easy to be dragged into overly technical or striving approaches.
After the Ecstacy, the Laundry. Jack Kornfield
Details many mystical meditation experiences. Also covers the integration aspect of the practice which is very important.
The Science of Meditation: How to Change Your Brain, Mind and Body. Daniel Goleman & Richard DavidsonMeta-analysis of all the best studies done on meditation covering, attention-training, MBSR, Vipassana, Metta. Great for learning about brain science behind what we're doing.
Technical and more in-depth.
The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness. John Yates
Great book on Anapanasati meditation. Introduces a lot of models of the mind to help meditation practice. Very good for technique and how to practice. Not so much about integration into daily life.
What is Mindfulness. Shinzen Young.
A long PDF covering what Mindfulness is from all angles, breaking it down into its components of Concentration, Clarity and Equanimity. Accessible here: https://www.shinzen.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/WhatIsMindfulness_SY_Public_ver1.5.pdf
Seeing that Frees. Meditations on Emptiness and Dependent Arising. Rob Burbea.
Excellent book covering aspects like Concentration vs Insight practices and goes into depth about different ways to investigate the 3 characteristics; Anicca, Anatta & Dukkha on and off the cushion.
Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha. Daniel Ingram.
Very in-depth and pragmatic Dharma book covering what theory you need to know. He is very technical and obsessive so read at your own discretion. This type of practice can create a lot of striving and expectation.
The End of Your World. Adyashanti
A book great for advanced practitioners that examines what happens after initial glimpses of Non-Duality, Non-Self.
Websites, Apps, Podcasts.
Dhamma.org. 10 day Vipassana meditation retreats.
Retreats all over the world with very standardised Vipassana technique being taught. Can recommend for those wanting to go deeper into body awareness.
Deconstructing Yourself. Michael Taft. Podcast.
Many techniques of meditation discussed. In depth and can be technical but fascinating. Can also recommend his 1 hour long youtube meditations https://www.youtube.com/c/MichaelTaft108
Guru Viking. Podcast
Great Podcast interviewing many experienced pragmatic Dharma teachers.
Waking Up. Sam Harris. App
Single best resource for meditation related content. Has guided meditations, lecture, conversations with esteemed teachers. Covers many techniques but mainly nondual mindfulness. Free unlimited access for 7 days: https://dynamic.wakingup.com/shareOpenAccess/f09231
Insight Timer. App
Great meditation timer app. Also has many guided meditations. Be careful not to get distracted by the social platform side of the app.