Books on Meditation

There is a good range of books on meditation.  Often they recommend slightly different methods of meditating.  It's best if you can find a way that suits you and try to stick with it.  In the end, meditation is not about technique but about an open heart and having the courage and willingness to encounter God.
Too much experimenting with different methods of meditation can be a way of avoiding that encounter by trying to stay in control.  Remember that prayer and meditation are always a response to an invitation by God.  We meet Him in the present moment.
Reading can be instructive and inspiring, but the most important thing is to sit down and meditate for a few minutes.
            Author                       Title        Publisher                     Comments

Willim Johnstonn (Ed.)

The Cloud of Unknowing

 St Meinrad (Abbey Press 1975)

 A classic work on contemplation by an anonymous author from the Middle Ages.

 Charlotte Joko Beck Everyday Zen Thorsons 1997  A guide to Japanese Zen practice and its effects in everyday life.  Practical and full of insight.
 John Main     Word into Silence  Paulist Press  A guide to meditation based on traditional Christian teaching and using a continuous Christian mantra.
 John Main The Heart of Creation   Written by the founder of the World Community for Christian Meditation, The Heart of Creation gives us 31 of John Main's talks, each of which deals with an aspect of Christian meditation, which he relates to central Scriptural themes.  John Main advocates the use of a mantra during meditation, but those who do not practice in this way can still gain a lot of insight from his work.
 John Kabat-Zinn Wherever You Go - There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. Hyperion 1994 By the founder of the Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare and Society Center at the University of Massachusetts. This is a self-help book with excercises based on visualisation and mindfulness.
 Laurence Freeman The Selfless Self Darton, Longman and Todd    Freeman is the successor to John Main at the World Community for Christian Meditation, this book is about the transforming power of meditation.
 Mary Jo Meadow  Christian Insight Meditation: Following in the Footsteps of John of the Cross  Wisdom Publications  A technical guide to meditation and purification based on the teaching of the mystic St John of the Cross.  It also compares the Christian and Buddhist traditions.        
 Eric Harrison      Teach Yourself to Meditate    This book is a simple guide to different kinds of meditation and is useful for all beginners in meditation.  It includes ideas such as a simple mindfulness while doing everyday tasks such as eating or taking a shower.
 Robert Kennedy  Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit  Continuum Publications  A guide to Zen thought and its compatibility with Christian beliefs and practice.  Robert Kennedy advocates the strict teacher - disciple relationship that fosters enlightenment.