Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world by Mark Williams & Danny Penman
Often recommended as a first introductory book for those wishing to have a go at mindfulness themselves at home. After a brief introduction the book takes the reader chapter by chapter through the standard 8-week Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) course as it is delivered in the UK. The paper version has a CD inside the back cover with the audio recordings to practice during the ‘home study’ 8 weeks, and the kindle version includes instructions on how to download the recordings.
Mark Williams was until recently Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and was instrumental in the development of the 8 week MBCT course. The course is recommended on the NHS NICE guidelines as being as good as anti-depressants in preventing recurrences of depression.
Full Catastrophe Living, Revised Edition: How to cope with stress, pain and illness using mindfulness meditation. by Jon Kabat-Zinn
This book from the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction as it is taught in the West is a manual for developing your own personal meditation practice and learning how to use mindfulness to promote improved health and healing in your own life. It is a wide ranging and much loved book and its main criticism tends to be its size. The revised edition is over 600 pages long and is a weighty and daunting looking book. Not always recommended as a starting point as the size can put you off, however is a great resource and a very readable book. It is a useful book to dip in and out of and includes chapters on practice and applications such as; ‘walking meditation’, ‘keeping up the formal practice’ and ‘working with fear, panic and anxiety’. Includes instructions to download audio files of the meditations.
A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook by Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein
This workbook is especially great if you like spaces on the page to write down your thoughts and experiences. The format gives plenty of space to write down your experiences of formal and informal practice as you work through the chapters on a weekly basis as recommended in the book. Includes a CD (or download instructions) for the meditations. The authors have great pedigree and were part of the original crew who brought mindfulness to the West. One word of warning though, the meditation recordings are very west coast American, so if you prefer a more English accent, be aware you may need to ease into their style! This book is very much focused on stress reduction not anxiety or panic.
Calming the Rush of Panic: A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Guide to Freeing Yourself from Panic Attacks and Living a Vital Life. by Bob Stahl and Wendy Millstine
A really great book for using mindfulness techniques for panic attacks or panic disorder. This reasonably short and accessible book uses an MBSR approach to specifically target panic attacks and panic disorder. Its goal is to show you what exists beyond your panic-a life filled with a greater sense of calm, connection, and happiness. Includes short case studies at the end of each chapter showing how panic can intrude on life and how mindfulness exercises can be used to help reclaim your life. Its particular strength is the exercises targeted specifically at panic. These are written rather than audio and so need to be read or recorded yourself to have them accessible at all times.
This beautifully written little book by the Buddhist monk and ‘world’s most revered master’ of mindfulness takes you back to the roots of mindfulness. Shows how even simple acts like washing the dishes or drinking a cup of tea can be transformed into acts of meditation. Truly a joy to read for those who would like a more traditional insight into mindfulness.