This article is for people who have already established a daily meditation routine and want to reach the next level and deeper understanding of their experience, especially about what is happening in the brain. A lot of the explored phenomena can be backed by neuroscience today. Here is our pick of advanced meditation books to dive deeper in advanced meditation techniques, like the ZaZen bamboo Breath and other secrets on your way to profund enlightenment:
1. Zen-Training – Sekida
This book is pretty much the best I have read about really stepping up my Zazen Meditation practice and to reach reproducible the level of Samadhi and beyond. The author is very familiar with the western world, but is himself very experienced in meditation practice. He explains different breathing techniques in detail, for example the bamboo technique, where you exhale in little bursts to build tension in the lower abdomen.
As a reader you learn what is happening in the body and brain and why it is important to focus on the tandem (lower abdomen) and keeping your form during meditation. This book is not necessarily suitable for beginners, but if you have already made your first own experiences with mediation and Zen.
2. The Mind Illuminated – John Yates, Matthew Immergut, Jeremy Graves
Perfect book for people who have been meditating for several years and have the feeling of being “stuck”. This book explains exactly the stages that every practitioner goes through and it is sometimes frightening how exactly this applies! It always gives tipps how to evolve to the next stage and what obstacles are most common. This book is not specific about Zen Meditation but is very well well compatible with it.
In a nutshell, if you work this book through it is the first step by step guide to enlightenment backed by up to date neuroscience publications.
3. Awakened Mind Training® – Anna Wise
Very interesting book about brain waves. How do our brain waves influence our thinking and well-being? How can we steer and control them to reach our full potential? In the book Anna Wise describes how to reach the state of the “Awakened Mind” with the help of meditation and exercises – a state in complete harmony with your intuition and increased mental capacity.
4. Buddhas Brain – Rick Hanson, Richard Mendius
This book is amazing. For people who have already progressed further in their meditation practice, this book offers scientifically based explanations why some things are the way they are. This book is not a course or guide to evolve in your meditation practice, but more a deep dive in to the brain and the neuroscience behind meditation, suffering, well-being and mindfulness. Incredibly profound and always proven by current brain research.
In my opinion one of the best books about the brain in combination with meditation with a lot of wisdom you can immediately integrate to enhappy your daily life.
5. Not Always So: Practicing the True Spirit of Zen – Shunryu Suzuki
Very good book to get into the “thinking of Zen”, respectively a successful continuation of his first work “Zen Mind, Beginner Mind”, which you should have read first. I would recommend to read this book only one chapter per day and take your time for it, maybe during a cup of tea. It is very relaxing preparation for your own meditation and many food for thought.
A great book, but for which you should already have meditation experience because a lot of topics have to be experienced by yourself during meditation to be fully understood.
Did we forget a great book for advanced meditation? Share your suggestions in the comments!