Here are some meditation resources I have personally used, that I have found to be helpful. Of course there are many more options than what is listed here; but I won’t “endorse” anything I haven’t personally found beneficial.
I’ll continue to add to this listing as I continue to encounter more helpful resources in my meditation journey. So feel free to stop by this page every so often, and see if anything new has appeared.
(If you are interested in yoga, I have a separate website focused on that topic, with many yoga-related resources listed there. You can visit that site at yogayearbook.wordpress.com.)
- The Illinois Vipassana Meditation Center: Where I spent my 10 (12) days learning the Vipassana style of meditation.
- Common Ground & Dharma Friends: Common Ground is a local Buddhist meditation center that offers a variety of quality programs, all given freely. Dharma Friends is a “drop-in, practice/social group for young adult practitioners (’20-30somethings’)”, where people gather monthly to meditate and discuss the practice. Meditation can be a solitary experience, so I appreciate having this venue where I can connect with other people who value/appreciate meditation.
- Audio Dharma: I have learned 90% of what I know about meditation via podcasts. The two primary audio resources I use are the Common Ground teachings (also available via iTunes), and Audio Dharma (also available in iTunes), which are the teachings of the Insight Meditation Center in California.
- Tricycle Magazine: Both a print magazine and an online website full of great meditation information. For those interested in Buddhism, Tricycle also offers a “Daily Dharma” email with a one-paragraph teaching; I have found these to be incredibly informative and though-provoking, and a very positive way to start the day.
- A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield: A “classic” meditation text (if a book written less than 20 years ago can be considered a “classic”) that I found to be incredibly helpful as I continue on my spiritual meditative path. A few chapters of the book didn’t resonate with me (about Dark Night and Altered States), but I found the meditations included at the end of almost every chapter to be very valuable. Kornfield also uses many stories and anecdotes sprinkled throughout the book, and I thought the majority of these were entertaining, educational, and/or enlightening.
- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: A “popular” novel that contained many terrific lessons for me. I confess that I read the “Pray” section first (followed by Eat, then Love) – so I may have had a different experience with this book than someone who read it straight through. If you tried to read it once before and didn’t really like it, maybe try starting with the middle section?
- The Dwelling In The Woods: I took my first silent (solo) retreat here, in October 2007. I spent three days mostly alone in a private hermitage (cottage – with indoor heat and plumbing), surrounded by beautiful nature; and while I didn’t do a lot of formal meditation at that time, I did spend time in quiet reflection. It was peaceful, inspiring, and rejuvenating; and now that I feel comfortable in a method of “formal” meditation, I can absolutely see myself using this space as a great resource for a mini solo meditation retreat option. The Dwelling staff are compassionate, kind, and accepting/welcoming of all meditative/personal growth/religious/spiritual traditions.
- Holy Spirit Retreat Center: I took my most recent solo retreat here, in March 2010. The hermitage was beautiful, the setting was tranquil and peaceful, and while I did have to bring and make my own food, I deeply appreciate that the use of the hermiatage is available to everyone. (The Franciscan Sisters do not charge a set fee for use of the space, but instead request a donation based on each individual’s financial situation.)