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It’s been a while since I last wrote about meditation and little has changed.
Nothing has changed actually; I just became more convinced that we should all try it – or at least most of us.
I wanted to create a list of meditation resources for beginners because many of you want to start meditating and training your mind but you have no idea where to begin.
I may not be a master of meditation but I do know where you can find help and everything that you need to learn how to meditate as a beginner. They are resources that I used and tried – and continue using today because I would hate to talk about something that I have no idea about.
If you read my Meditation for Beginners post already, then you may be familiar with many of these resources, but, nonetheless, I want to give you all the info in one place.
You will see that I recommend Sam Harris quite often and the reason for this is that he was the one who inspired me to take my meditation practice seriously. He also showed me that even as an Atheist I can practice meditation and not feel any less rational or interested in science. Not to mention he has a wonderful meditation app called Waking Up.
Meditation has nothing to do with what you believe in or what you don’t believe in. Anyone can do it. All these resources are what helped me learn about it and continue teaching me about how to do it, the benefits of doing it and why do it in the first place.
So here we go.
Podcasts that are mostly (or partially) about meditation and mindfulness:
- 10% Happier with Dan Harris. This podcast is all about meditation. Dan interviews different people and the conversation usually circles around their story of how they started meditating and how it helped them.
- Making Sense with Sam Harris. His podcast is an incredible source of inspiration and knowledge as he covers topics such as politics, free will and religion, but he also has a whole lot of episodes where he talks about consciousness and meditation.
- The Rich Roll Podcast. On his podcast, Rich covers all types of topics – among them are meditation, wellness, plant-based nutrition, animal rights and self-help.
Podcast episodes that I love and recommend:
- Sam Harris on the 10% Happier podcast with Dan Harris.
- The Science of Meditation – The Waking Up podcast with Sam Harris.
- Is Buddhism True? – Waking Up with Sam Harris.
- Why Meditate? – Making Sense podcast with Sam Harris.
- The Path and The Goal – The Waking Up podcast with Sam Harris.
Books that talk about meditation and/or mindfulness:
- Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris. This whole book is golden and is actually my favourite non-fiction book of all time. I reread it every 6 months or so. Sam presents the science behind meditation, what he learnt from mystics and gurus he met on his journey, and how we can use mindfulness in our day to day life. I recommend you read it while using his Waking Up meditation app.
- Inner Engineering: A Yogis Guide to Joy by Sadhguru. This book has some pretty good advice about mindfulness and meditation but Sadhguru tends to lean towards teaching some version of Vedanta (pop Vedanta as someone called it) and it can get pretty unscientific, so if you are not able to detach good advice from hardcore spirituality then I wouldn’t recommend it. If reading books is too much then you should watch his videos on YouTube. He is pretty funny actually and you can listen to it while doing chores.
- Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening by Joseph Goldstein. While reading this wonderful book on the topic of meditation, mindfulness and Buddhism, I felt like I reached some type of big realization about life. Joseph beautifully presents the case for why being mindful matters and what Buddha taught us about it. If you are interested in Buddhism but don’t want to get too religious then read this book and enjoy the journey Joseph will take you on.
- 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in my Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works – A True Story. This book is perfect for people who are sceptical of meditation and its benefits, and who want to learn about it from someone who was the polar opposite of what you imagine a meditator to be. Read my review of the book here.
YouTube channels with guided meditations:
Those are pretty much all the resources that I believe you need to get familiar with meditation and what it is. As I said before, I didn’t want to recommend something that I haven’t listened to or read myself.
Sam Harris has been a very important person in my life when it comes to not only meditation but to Atheism and politics as well. I agree with him on 95% of things and I appreciate that he is able to reach out to people of different beliefs and backgrounds and start a conversation that he usually wouldn’t have.
One thing that I learnt by observing him is also that meditation has a huge effect on how one speaks and leads a conversation. Many people describe Sam’s voice as monotone and joke that it puts them to sleep, but it really resonates with me.
I admire his calmness in moments when an average mind would lose itself. He also taught me the importance of being open towards a lighter version of spirituality even when you don’t agree with it. I like that in that sense, he is not like most Atheists who run away the second they hear someone talk about Buddhism or Vedanta – Sam knows that Buddha had some good ideas and teachings.