Mindfulness and Presence

Mindfulness is the heart of meditation practice. It is both universal and eminently practical. By paying attention to our body, mind and emotions we can transform them and awaken to the unique beauty and possibilities of each present moment.


The Miracle of Mindfulness
Thich Nhat Hanh
Beacon Press (1976)

Buddhist teacher Nhat Hanh introduces the basic principles of mindfulness meditation by blending stories and practical exercises in a simple, direct style.

The Experience of Insight
Joseph Goldstein
Unity Press (1976)

Joseph Goldstein studied intensively with many of the foremost Buddhist teachers of Eastern Asia. The book is a compilation of his instructions and discourses to students given during a thirty day Vipassana meditation retreat.

A Gradual Awakening
Stephen Levine
Anchor Books (1979)

Stephen Levine is an American teacher of Vipassana meditation who has taught in prisons and hospices. In this basic text of mindfulness meditation practice, he presents an approach which skilfully engages and integrates the mind and heart of the practitioner.

A Still Forest Pool
Jack Kornfield and Paul Breiter
Quest Books (1985)

The book is a compilation of the teachings of Thailand insight meditation master Ajahn Chah. Although his teachings are deceptively simple, they contain a profound power to transform the mind and heart of the earnest practitioner.

Seeking the Heart of Wisdom: The Path of Insight Meditation
Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield
Shambhala (1987)

The book is a skilful blend of practical instruction, psychological insight and perennial wisdom, born out of the authors' twelve-year collaboration in teaching intensive meditation retreats throughout the world.

Peace Is Every Step
Thich Nhat Hanh
Bantam Books (1991)

Eminent Buddhist teacher Nhat Hanh shows how mindfulness of breathing and awareness of the acts of our daily lives can transform and heal difficult psychological states and help develop inner and outer peace in the world.

Insight Meditation
Joseph Goldstein
Shambhala (1993)

Based on more than thirty years experience teaching Buddhist meditation retreats, the book touches on a wide range of topics raised by both beginners and seasoned practitioners. It offers wise and practical guidance to those seeking to liberate the mind through insight meditation.

Living the Mindful Life
Charles Tart
Shambhala (1994)

Psychologist Charles Tart explores the interface between psychology, spirituality and mindfulness practice in this handbook for consciously living in the present moment. He includes a variety of practical exercises to extend mindfulness into all areas of life.

Wherever You Go, There You Are
Jon Kabat-Zinn
Hyperion Books (1994)

In this best-selling book, Kabat-Zinn maps out a simple path for cultivating mindfulness in one's own life. Quotations from many of the world's great spiritual traditions reinforce the beauty of dwelling in mindful presence each moment of life.

Breath by Breath
Larry Rosenberg
Shambhala (1998)

Rosenberg, who is a resident teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Cambridge, Massachusetts, presents the ancient Buddhist teaching on cultivating tranquility and insight through full awareness of breathing in this important book.

Being Dharma
Ajahn Chah
Shambhala (2001)

Ajahn Chah was a respected Thai Buddhist master whose refreshingly uncompromising teachings influenced a generation of Western teachers. He emphasizes the path to freedom from emotional and psychological suffering through mindfulness and meditation, and reminds us that by taking ourselves too seriously we cause unnecessary hardship for ourselves and other people.

Food for the Heart
Ajahn Chah
Wisdom Publications (2002)

Ajahn Chah was an exemplary Buddhist teacher whose simple yet profound style of teaching had a special appeal to Westerners. This collection of his teachings conveys the art of Buddhist mindfulness meditation and skilful living with wisdom, humour and compassion.

Mindfulness in Plain English
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
Wisdom Publications (2002)

This important work by a Buddhist monk and scholar is a clear description of the myths, realities and benefits of mindfulness meditation. The writing is clear and straightforward and emphasizes the importance of loving-kindness on the path of spiritual development.

One Dharma
Joseph Goldstein
Harper Collins (2002)

Respected Buddhist teacher Joseph Goldstein distills more than forty years of spiritual practice and teaching in this exploration of a new emerging Buddhist tradition taking root in the West.

The Question to Life’s Answers
Steven Harrison
Sentient Publications (2002)

Steven Harrison challenges the prevailing spiritual, therapeutic and self-help methods we use to change ourselves by presenting a radical and inspiring “spirituality beyond belief.”

Being One
Steven Harrison
Sentient Publications (2002)

The book shows how human relationships can be a focus of spiritual inquiry and an avenue for self-discovery. Harrison constantly reminds us that we are already in relationship with everyone and everything.

Getting to Where You Are
Steven Harrison
Sentient Publications (2003)

This wide-ranging book examines the contemporary world of spirituality and meditation with insight and humour. We are encouraged to appreciate life itself as the ultimate spiritual journey.

As It Is
Tony Parsons
Inner Directions (2004)

Tony Parsons, known for his innovative teaching, invites us to live life from a wholly different perspective - one centered in the infinite awareness of one’s true Self rather than the dream of separation and subjective individuality.

Emptiness Dancing
Sounds True (2004)

Adyashanti is an American spiritual teacher whose teaching reflects the insights of Zen and Advaita Vedanta. He shows how the natural opening of the mind, heart and body holds the secret to spiritual liberation and realization.

Coming to Our Senses
Jon Kabat-Zinn
Hyperion Books (2005)

The book is a companion to the author's Wherever You Go, There You Are and offers simple, intuitive ways in which we can come to a deeper understanding of the world and our life path through full awareness and mindful attention.

The Myth of Enlightenment
Karl Renz
Inner Directions (2005)

Through a series of uncompromising dialogues, German-born spiritual teacher Karl Renz reveals the self-imposed limitations which create the sense of a separate self and mask our true nature as divine beings.

The Open Secret
Tony Parsons
Open Secret Publishing (2005)

Tony Parsons speaks directly of the abiding presence which is continually available to everyone - “an open secret absolutely beyond effort, path, process or belief.”

Invitation to Awaken
Tony Parsons
Inner Directions (2005)

This series of dialogues with Tony Parsons is a radical call to liberate ourselves from the mistaken belief that we exist as separate individuals. When we cut through the subtle mental concepts that obscure our natural state of presence, we realize our true nature and express the freedom that is our natural state and birthright.

Nothing Being Everything
Tony Parsons
Open Secret Publishing (2007)

The book consists of insightful dialogues between Tony Parsons and seekers from around the world. With humour and patience, he continually leads questioners to the basic truth of their own existence as timeless presence and being.

A Thousand Names for Joy
Byron Katie
Three Rivers Press (2007)

In her unique, engaging and direct style Byron Katie shows how suffering can be ended by questioning the stressful thoughts that create it. Her stories of total ease and acceptance in every circumstance of life exemplify the awakened mind.

The Sound of Silence
Ajahn Sumedho
Wisdom Publications (2007)

Ajahn Sumedho is an American monk who studied closely with renowned Burmese meditation master Ajahn Chah. This collection of his simple, direct, and often humorous teachings illuminate the path of meditation and mindfulness.

The Wise Heart
Jack Kornfield
Random House (2008)

This important book examines the universal teachings of Buddhist psychology and their practical application to psychotherapy and transforming the human mind and heart. Kornfield, who holds a PhD in clinical psychology, has been one of the leaders in introducing Buddhist practice and psychology to the West.

The Tao of Now
Josh Baran
Hampton Roads Publishing (2008)

This valuable collection of quintessential wisdom is drawn from a wide range of ancient and modern spiritual teachers and traditions. The universal message is that “the happiness and peace we seek is right here, right now.”

Doing Nothing
Steven Harrison
Sentient Publications (2008)

This groundbreaking book, translated into nine languages, offers a radical perspective on the quest for enlightenment. He offers seekers “a way to touch the truths of life through the simple act of stopping the search: doing nothing.”

The Wonder of Being
Jeff Foster
Non-Duality Press (2010)

Jeff Foster emerged from a spiritual crisis following a life-changing experience of awakening in the 1990s and currently holds meetings and retreats in the United Kingdom, Europe and America. He writes with clarity, humour and compassion as he points out the hidden assumptions which underlie the search for enlightenment and prevent us from realizing and expressing our true nature in each moment of life.

What’s Wrong with Mindfulness
Robert Rosenbaum and Barry Magid
Wisdom Publications (2016)

This uniquely-titled book is an anthology of essays and perspectives from Western Zen Buddhist teachers and academics which examine the current fascination of Western culture with the practice of mindfulness. The contributors place mindfulness within the context of traditional Buddhist teachings, showing how it transcends its Western application as a “cure-all” for stress, health problems, relationship issues, and existential anxiety.

The Deepest Acceptance
Jeff Foster
Sounds True (2017)

In The Deepest Acceptance, Foster explores our resistance to life's experiences which prevents us from living fully immersed in each moment of our lives. “Love is the highest form of acceptance. Judgment is the mechanics of non-acceptance.” Foster’s warmth, humility, and penetrating honesty shine through the pages of this wise, insightful book.

No Time Like the Present
Jack Kornfield
Atria (2017)

Respected Buddhist teacher and author Jack Kornfield explores mindfulness and living in the present from the perspective of inner transformation and working through life’s challenges. He offers inspiring stories, practical meditations, and timeless wisdom to show how we can find love and freedom in our daily lives.