Literature on meditation. How to distinguish quality information from fast food?

If you decide to learn meditation, you can find a lot of information on this topic on the Internet. But the problem is that most of this information is not of high quality.

People react more actively to easy ways to realize their desires. That’s why advertising banners on cheap websites are so common: “She looked 30 years younger because she rubbed it in her face...”, “Shock! It is enough to drink a glass of this magical mixture a day to lose 20 kg. per month!"

Such offers are similar to fast food: brewing Doshirak is much easier than preparing soup. Drinking a miracle mixture for weight loss is easier than balancing your diet and exercising.

On the Internet, people are often trying to “feed” information without caring about its quality. Information related to meditation is no exception. Therefore, you should be careful when looking for materials for mastering the practice.

In today’s article, I tried to highlight criteria that will help distinguish quality information from “fast food.”

Signs of poor quality information

The promise of “magical” results

Many people associate meditation with something magical, mysterious and mystical. This stereotype is actively used. On the Internet you can find a lot of offers using meditation to open the third eye, remember past lives, cleanse the aura of negative energies, and heal from any diseases.

Perhaps I will disappoint someone: do not confuse meditation with magic. You are unlikely to open your third eye with this practice, but do you need such a result?

Most people live in captivity of their own illusions, seeing the world distortedly, through the prism of their own limiting beliefs and patterns. Meditation helps you realize this and see the surrounding reality in a new way, free yourself from limiting patterns and better understand the essence of what is happening. And for this you do not need to open your third eye. Everything is much simpler.

Instead of trying to cleanse your aura, shouldn't you look inside yourself? Usually, such aspirations hide internal dissatisfaction with what is happening, tension and emotional discomfort. Meditation helps you better understand yourself, make friends with your own emotions, and make your inner state more harmonious. And all these changes are explainable by modern science. There is nothing mystical or magical about them.

Meditation is unlikely to cure any disease. Even Buddhist monks, who spend many hours every day in a state of meditation, grow old and get sick. But truly regular practice can significantly improve your health. And this effect is also scientifically explainable: many diseases are of a psychosomatic nature. That is, their occurrence and course are influenced by a person’s emotional state. Meditation helps stabilize emotions, which leads to improved physical well-being.

So, meditation opens up a lot of possibilities, but they are all scientifically explainable. There is no magic in them. If you don’t see simple, scientifically explainable and understandable judgments, most likely the information you see is “fast food”.

Meditations to fulfill desires

In principle, this is a special case of the previous point. Here, too, meditation is seen as a magical ritual that will bring magical results. But I decided to talk about this separately, since such expectations from meditation are a common occurrence.

Take a look at the picture from Yandex, which clearly shows the most common expectations of people from meditation.

That is, many people think: you meditated for a week, and as a result, wealth, prosperity, love, abundance and other benefits magically fall on you.

I’ll repeat boringly that nothing will fall on you with the wave of a magic wand. Meditation does not change external reality. It can only change your internal state and state of mind. But internal transformations can really motivate you to take new actions to achieve what you want. You can suddenly see new opportunities (not because these opportunities suddenly appeared, but because you have learned to notice what you were not aware of before). That is, internal changes can lead to changes in external reality. All in your hands.

So, again we see that there is no magic. There is only work on yourself, which bears fruit.

Replacing meditation with techniques of relaxation, visualization and self-hypnosis

Many people who begin to master meditation see this practice as a way to relieve emotional stress and create a positive inner state within themselves. These are absolutely reasonable expectations, and meditation can really help with this.

But the thing is that, in addition to meditation, there are other psychotechniques that are aimed at achieving similar results. These psychotechnics are not bad. They are good, but they have their own characteristics and limitations. And they are much more superficial than meditation. Therefore, it is a pity when one thing is replaced by another: by considering meditation just as a relaxation technique or a visualization exercise, people lose 90% of the possibilities of meditation practice.

I plan to write an entire article to differentiate between meditation and other techniques: they are too often confused with each other. Today I will briefly outline the main difference.

The main goal of relaxation is physical and emotional relaxation. This is usually achieved by consistently relaxing the muscles of the body and imagining relaxing pictures and images.

During meditation, relaxation also often occurs, but this state is not the goal of the practice. It's more of a by-product. The goal is to train consciousness. As a result of regular training, you change, become more harmonious inside, and, as a result, excess tension goes away. Relaxation and deep calm appear.

That is, feel the difference: during relaxation, you simply relieve the tension that is present inside. But this tension can return at any time when another stressful situation arises. Meditation allows you to get to know yourself better and do deeper work on yourself. As a result, those situations that were previously stressful cease to be so. The very reason causing the tension is eliminated. And relaxation only allows you to work with the investigation.

Now about visualization and self-hypnosis. The goal of these techniques is to adjust yourself to the desired state. You imagine images, pronounce affirmations, and this helps you feel a certain internal state. This is a good way to work on yourself, but it is important to realize that this is not meditation! As with relaxation, visualization and self-hypnosis are much more superficial techniques than meditation.

Philosophizing divorced from real life

Meditation is a practice that encourages thoughtful reflection. But often thoughtful reflections can be confused with philosophical reasoning, which can look very beautiful, but at the same time do not carry any practical meaning.

Meditation is a practice closely related to everyday life. If you do not see this connection, look for new sources of information that will help you discern this connection.

It is worth recognizing that it is sometimes not at all easy to distinguish useless reasoning, which is nothing more than a game of the mind, from truly valuable thoughts. To help you cope with this task, I give here an interesting parable:

One night, in the province where the monastery was located, there was a heavy snowfall. In the morning, the students, literally wading through waist-deep snow, gathered in the meditation hall.

The teacher began his speech like this: “Tell me what needs to be done in this situation?”

One of the students said: “We should pray for a thaw.” Another said: “You need to sit in your cell, and let the snow go its way.” The third said: “He who knows the truth should not care whether there is snow or no snow.”

The teacher said: “Now listen to me.” The disciples prepared to listen to the greatest wisdom.

The teacher looked around at them, sighed and said: “Shovels in hands - and forward!”

If I want to know deeper?

Yuri Kapten’s book “Fundamentals of Meditation” will certainly help you with this. Introductory practical course."

Here the author will talk not only about how to learn various practices and choose the most suitable one, but also to understand meditation as a concept, what place it occupies in world religions and the degree of its influence on historical culture. You will be able to learn this art not only as a spiritual practice, but also how humanity came to it, what rules and conditions must be observed for the best result, what exercises are available to you for this. Thus, you will discover a world of balance and harmony, you will be able to understand this topic, approach it consciously and slowly.

Signs of quality information about meditation

1Simplicity and practicality.
Everything is explained clearly and logically. It is clear to you how to apply the information offered in practice, and how it can affect your daily life. As mentioned above, there are no difficult-to-prove statements or conclusions that contradict the data of modern science. 2Focus not on external results (money, love, health, etc.), but on developing internal abilities, training consciousness. I repeat, meditation is primarily a tool for self-development. External results can only be obtained as a result of internal transformations. Reliable literature shows how, with the help of meditation, you can explore your own consciousness and understand yourself more deeply. 3Focus not on the future or the past, but on the moment “here and now.” Meditation is a practice that teaches a person to remain in the present moment. You bring your focus inside and explore what is happening right now, in this specific second. You are not trying to change anything, imagine something special, or somehow influence your inner experience. You are simply observing what is happening right now. 4Non-descript. This, of course, is not a mandatory attribute of quality information on meditation, but still. Many people expect some special experiences and sensations from meditation exercises. And the meditation technique must be appropriate: super-duper results cannot appear after a simple and unremarkable exercise! In reality, everything is completely different. Meditation may not bring any unusual sensations and may subjectively feel like an everyday and unremarkable activity. Results appear gradually as a result of regular training.

Techniques that allow you to achieve deep transformations are usually outwardly unprepossessing and simple. But behind the external simplicity lies endless depth. Examples of such techniques are breathing meditation and the Body Scan.

So, don't chase after external tinsel!

How to find your mentor?

There is a lot of literature from various authors that will tell you about types of meditation and ways to achieve enlightenment. There can be radical methods that promote maximum renunciation of the pleasures of the material world to gradual practices, where step by step you discover a new world of awareness and balance. Below we will talk about the authors and their approaches to this art. And you will be able to figure it out and understand where to start your journey. An integral attribute in understanding the issue is a sincere desire to change something in your life, the need to reach a new level, which may not even be clear to you yet. But do not be afraid - the hand of the Universe will guide you on the right path.


My article would not be complete if I did not include credible sources here. I recommend starting your acquaintance with meditation with the following books:

  • M. Williams, D. Penman “Awareness. How to find harmony in our crazy world."
  • Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Meditation.
  • Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, Buddha, the Brain and the Neurophysiology of Happiness.
  • Andy Puddicombe Meditation and Mindfulness. 10 minutes a day that will put your thoughts in order."

I want to see the other side

Leonid Lesnyak’s little-known book “Meditation” will help you with this. It is not widely known like the works of Osho or Mathieu Ricard, but this does not negate its value both for those already practicing and for ordinary readers looking for their path.

Here the author will talk about the connection between man and the Cosmos, where we are and where we are moving. The book also touches on the history of philosophical systems where meditation was practiced. You will learn where the energy centers are located in a person and how to develop them, how to prepare your consciousness. Here we are talking about such a well-known state as nirvana - a feeling of balance, goodness and silence, which can be achieved through daily training and practice.

We warn you that the above work is not written in the easiest language, like modern and adapted teachings, but it is suitable for those who sincerely want to understand the subject. Thoughtful and leisurely reading is what is needed for a deep understanding of this book.


A book that has helped thousands of people change their lives through the right start to the day and morning rituals. What if tomorrow every (or even every) area of ​​your life could miraculously change? What would have happened differently? Would you be happier? Healthier? More successful? Would you be in better physical shape? Would you become richer? More energetic? What if there was a simple, but not obvious secret that is guaranteed to help you change any aspect of your life - and do it faster than you can imagine? The morning rituals that the author of this book suggests implementing have helped tens of thousands of people change their lives, feel better and get more done. In the book, you will learn how the first hour of the day determines your success and allows you to reach your full potential.

Daniel Siegel, Mindsight. The New Science of Personal Transformation" (MYTH, 2015)

This book is ranked top on in the Psychology section.

Daniel Siegel, MD, is a child psychiatrist. He is the winner of numerous professional awards and the author of more than ten books on brain function and parenting, which have received high marks from readers and critics. Dr. Siegel is the director of the Mindsight Institute.

Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, said of his colleague's work: "Daniel Siegel's Mindsight Theory makes us say 'Eureka!' by helping us make sense of the endless tangle of jumbled emotions that often drive us crazy."

Indeed, Professor Daniel Siegel explains how the ability to focus attention on our inner world can significantly change the quality of life: “Our ability to concentrate is the key to integrative transformations in the structures of the brain. Through it, we can make the most effective use of the power of awareness, giving ourselves the alternative of choice and change.”

Mark Williams, Danny Penman, Mindfulness. How to find harmony in our crazy world" (MYTH, 2014)

A few words about the authors of the book.

Mark Williams is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford. He is one of the creators of the MBCT approach - Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. Professor Williams repeatedly emphasizes that mindfulness (mindfulness practices) is one of the effective tools of the eight-week MBCT course.

For several years, Mark Williams and his colleagues have been studying the effects of mindfulness practices in preventing relapse of depression.

Scientists have proven the effectiveness of using this approach to prevent relapses, and also that regular meditation helps reduce irritability, anxiety and depression, improves memory, reaction speed, strengthens the immune system, thereby helping to prevent colds, flu and other diseases.

The UK National Clinical Research Institute has recommended this program to prevent relapse of depression.

Danny Penman is a science journalist and doctor of biochemistry. He has worked for the BBC, New Scientist and The Independent. He is a regular contributor to the Daily Mail.

This book can be used as a tutorial. Be prepared to commit about 30 minutes of exercise each day for eight weeks.


The civilized world is engulfed in a noise epidemic. Alerts coming to your mobile phone, the roar of traffic, sounds made by all kinds of technology - all this distracts and makes you very nervous, preventing you from concentrating or relaxing. Constant exposure to noise on our nervous system causes stress and causes breakdowns and conflicts. Only in silence can we calm down, collect our thoughts and make the right decision, but we do not have the opportunity to retire, find a quiet corner, close ourselves off from the outside world - cacophony overtakes us everywhere. Norwegian writer and researcher Erling Kagge claims that ideal silence can be found even among the loudest noise, if you know how. In his book, necessary for every resident of a big city, he answers three important questions: “What is silence?”, “Where to find it?” and “Why is it so important today?”


This book is a classic of authenticity, realness, which dispels all myths about spirituality and enlightenment. This is the book that was with Steve Jobs on his Indian journey. This is what Trungpa himself says: “Meditation is not the desire to achieve ecstasy, spiritual bliss or peace; This is not an attempt to become better. This is only the creation of a certain space in which you can realize and neutralize your neurotic tricks, self-deception, hidden fears and hopes. The goal and the technique itself coincide here: to be in the present moment, without suppressing, but also without letting yourself go wild, to remain in a clear awareness of yourself.”

Do I need this?

Now that we have shown you a list of the best books on meditation, trying to explain its essence along the way, you can decide whether you are ready for such a path of self-knowledge. This spiritual practice gives the best results when it is done daily, and ideally until the end of earthly life. Some even choose the path of a hermit in order to renounce everything material and distracting, but now neither modern monks nor practicing authors require such sacrifices from us.

Finding peace without falling out of the current reality is a special art that requires effort and work. But you will agree that the feeling of harmony and universal love is worth this work, isn’t it?

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