Seems Easy Enough

Have you ever watched someone do something and thought to yourself, “Well, that doesn’t look so hard”?

Maybe you feel that way about abstract art. Or about free-throw shooting. Or about stacking M&Ms.

But there is a good chance that when you try one of those things, you will discover that they are actually very challenging. Instead, these tasks and others like them require focus, dedication, and a willingness to keep learning.

Mindfulness Meditation

Here’s another activity that seems simple but is more challenging than it first appears: mindfulness meditation.

Truthfully, practicing mindfulness seems pretty simple when you first hear it described: just focus on the present moment rather than rehashing the past or worrying about the future. Mindfulness meditation involves sitting quietly, focusing on the breath, allowing thoughts to come and go, and staying present in the moment. Ideally, the sense of being present starts to be central to our experience even when we are not meditating.

Sit, focus, breathe, be present. Easy-peasy, right?

Well, not really.

In fact, it can be quite difficult. Therefore, we want to provide you with some resources that can help you understand mindfulness more fully and practice it with more ease and consistency. If you are a person in recovery from a substance use disorder, mindfulness can help you overcome cravings and maintain your sobriety.

Here, then, are some books that might make mindfulness meditation more meaningful and manageable.

Our Mindfulness Reading List

  • Serge Prengel: The Proactive Twelve Steps for Mindful Recovery

Let’s start with a book directly related to issues of recovery from a substance use disorder. Serge Prengel has taken the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and recast them to support the practice of mindfulness meditation. Perhaps the biggest change is that Prengel’s 12 steps focus on personal growth rather than on submitting to a higher power. But even with that shifted focus, this mindfulness book may particularly appeal to those who are already involved in a 12-Step program because the overall framework is familiar.

  • Andy Puddicombe: The Headspace Guide to Mindfulness and Meditation
  • Patrizia Collard: The Little Book of Mindfulness, 10 Minutes a Day to Less Stress, More Peace

Andy Puddicombe (the co-founder of the Headspace mindfulness app) and Patrizia Collard share a key belief about mindfulness practice: that you can experience significant benefits from mindfulness if you commit to the practice for 10 minutes each day. That is probably a relief if your mental image of meditation involves monks sitting silently for hours on end. Both of these books provide a practical approach to mindfulness that fits into your busy life—while also making that busy life more manageable.

  • Thich Nhat Hanh: The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
  • Jon Kabat-Zinn: Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment—and Your Life

This is the old-school portion of our recommended reading list. Jon Kabat-Zinn is credited with popularizing mindfulness in the West, and Thich Nhat Hanh was his teacher and a man deeply steeped in the Eastern traditions of mindfulness. Both of these books are intended for beginners, and so they offer a useful set of foundational ideas and practices presented by two of the most respected leading authorities on mindfulness and how it can improve our lives. Notably, Nhat Hanh’s text expands on the idea of being mindful all of the time—not just during mediation. That idea of everyday mindfulness is a powerful one and can be particularly useful to a person in recovery.

We Will Always Keep Your Best Interests in Mind

At The Aviary Recovery Center, we treat every person with the respect and personalized care they deserve. We help people struggling with a substance use disorder by providing medically supervised detoxification followed by a rehabilitation program grounded in individual and group therapy—which also involves addressing any co-occurring mental health disorder that may be in play. Our approach is both evidence-based and judgment-free. We want to provide the strategies, resources, confidence, and continuum of care you need to start your recovery journey on the right foot. We are ever mindful of our responsibility to you.

Considering a St. Louis addictionologist? For more information about The Aviary Recovery Center, please contact us anytime at
(888) 998-8655. We’re here to help.