A truly amazing book can change the way you view the world, but they’re also hard to come by. So for some thoroughly-vetted reading recommendations to kick off the new year, we turned to New York’s most inspiring (and seriously well-read) meditation coaches from MNDFL, The Big Quiet, and more NYC meditation institutions. These experts are at the forefront of mindfulness and spirituality and swear by a handful of life-changing books. Keep scrolling to see what they suggest.
Tradition: Shambhala, Tibetan Buddhist
As cofounder and Chief Spiritual Officer at the hugely-popular MNDFL meditation studio, Lodro is one of New York’s best-known meditation experts right now. He’s a teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist lineage and the author of five books on meditation including the best-selling “The Buddha Walks into a Bar.” He’s spoke about meditation regularly over the last 15 years at meditation centers, businesses, college campuses, and even at Google, Harvard University, and Capitol Hill. He regularly writes for The Huffington Post and Elephant Journal and he has been featured by The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, WBUR, FOX, and the CBC.
Book recommendations: The Heart of the Buddha by Chogyam Trungpa, How to Meditate by Pema Chodron, Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh, The Road Home by Ethan Nichtern, Ruling Your World by Sakyong Mipham, Start Here Now by Susan Piver, Turning Mind into Ally by Sakyong Mipham, The Way of Tenderness by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron, The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron, Reveal by Meggan Watterson
Aaron Teich is a Kundalini yogi, meditation teacher, and healer. After graduating from Harvard University with a degree in Comparative Religion, he discovered Kundalini Yoga. To deepen his training, he later earned a Master’s degree in Chinese Medicine and traveled for one year to 12 countries to study with international healers. For the past decade, Aaron has offered classes and workshops in Kundalini Yoga, SNR, and meditation, in addition to maintaining his private healing practice.
Book recommendations: Healing Anger by Dalai Lama, How to Know God by Swami Prabhavananda, Intro to Kundalini, Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
Tradition: Tibetan Buddhist
Adreanna first learned about Buddhism in a high school philosophy class, and she’s been involved ever since. She completed a year-long teacher training immersion at The Interdependence Project in NYC and has since taught meditation as a practical tool for clarity and resilience to corporate offices, middle school students, and served as a lead coordinator of the Meditation Working Group at Occupy Wall Street, bringing daily practice to the volunteers at Zuccotti Park in 2011.
Book recommendations: Acorn by Yoko Ono, The Course of Love by Alain De Botton, Faith by Sharon Salzberg, Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, Rebel Buddha by Dzogchen Ponlop, Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed.
Certified sound therapy practitioner, musician, audio producer, emcee and educator Alex Falk has been facilitating public sound baths and large scale meditation events since 2013. He is a continuing facilitator for buzzy New York-based event the Big Quiet, and has partnered with meditation and wellness programs like Medi-Club, Ziva Meditation, and Sound Off NYC.
Book recommendations: This is your brain on music: The science of a human obsession by Daniel J. Levitin, Diamond Heart Book one: Elements of the Real in Man by A.H. Aalmas, Harmonagraph: A visual guide to mathematics in music by Anthony Ashton), The Hermetic Tradition: Symbols and teachings of the Royal Art by Julius Evola
In addition to teach classes at MNDFL’s Greenwich Village location, Ally is the owner of Gaiatri Yoga Teacher Training. She’s spent the last decade leading yoga and meditation classes, retreats, and teacher trainings all over the planet.
Book recommendations: Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza, Meditation for Love of It by Sally Kempton, Self Observation by Red Hawk.