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I am a beginner Buddhist and have tried meditating (by concentrating on the breath) but have not experienced any benefits from it. Are there any good books on meditation out there that can help me achieve a better meditation practice?

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You can try reading:

Breath meditation is covered in Ānâpāna,sati Sutta which you can directly read.

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  • Thank you for this. Which of these do you recommend? – Nico Damascus Jan 11 at 11:07
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    All of them as they cover breath meditation. Certain aspects may only be found in one book so it might be an idea to read different books on the subject to get a throughout understanding. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Jan 11 at 11:10
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    @NicoDamascus - Just to second what Suminda says. Best to read many books, since each one will bring something valuable and shed light on the previous ones. And this way you find the authors that resonate with you. . – user14119 Jan 11 at 11:26
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  1. Anything by Thrangu Rinpoche with the word "Meditation" in the title.

  2. The Relaxed Mind: A Seven-Step Method for Deepening Meditation Practice

  3. Meditative States in Tibetan Buddhism

  4. Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation

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Mahasi Sayadaw's Manual of Insight is a good text for the development of concentration leading to midfulness & alertness. There are imho definitely some thing or things wrong in the Manual and i can't for sure know the extent of wrongness but i would still recommend it just because it is so comprehensive. As for the alleged wrongness therein i recommend you train and study to find out for yourself.

Similarly a Ledi Sayadaw's Manual of Breathing presents a quite practical exposition of the commentarial and the author's interpretation of some Sutta. Whether these interpretations are accurate is imo besides the point because i think the manual outlines a tidy albeit rigorous progression for a base development which i am sure a beginner could appreciate.

Third book is A Practical Guide To Jhanas by Leigh Brasington, the first chapters of this book outline a cookie cutter progression of a method which seems to work for many, the expression is consise & practical in contrast to the Ledi Sayadaw's Manual this is afaik the most beginner friendly guide to getting into development. As for the later chapters of high attainments i will not say anything.

That being said the best books are the Sutta, Patisambhidamagga and Abhidhamma.

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