Top 10 Free Meditation Resources

1. Palouse Mindfulness

Palouse Mindfulness can be very helpful when you are starting out and want to understand the general direction of meditation. Palouse offers free content for Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a mindfulness program that has been used in hospitals and other clinical settings. It is the approach developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn. The program is free, but contributions help make sure these resources remain available to all.

What to look for:

8 week online MBSR course

2. Mindful.org

Mindful.org is the home of Mindfulness Magazine. Minful’s About page identifies mindful.org as a non-profit, and includes board members like Jon Kabat-Zinn. Mindful focuses on popularizing research and practices related to mindfulness and meditation. It has the slick look and feel of a magazine like Women’s Health, and covers things like celebrities who meditate.

What to look for:

Articles explaining the latest research on meditation and mindfulness

3. Buddhanet.net – Ebooks

Buddhanet is what you would expect- a resource on Buddhist teachings. The Ebook section covers several categories of Buddhist teachings, including meditation. The meditation section offers several useful digital downloads; of particular note are works by Mahasi Sayadaw, Sayadaw U Pandita, and Nyanaponika Thera. These three writers have had some of the greatest influence on the emergence of the vipassana (insight) movement in the West.

What to look for:

Downloadable ebooks from Mahasi Sayadaw, Nyanaponika Thera, and Sayadaw U Pandita- maybe Dr. Thynn Thynn as well

4. Lion’s Roar

Lion’s Roar introduces itself as a reader-supported publisher of Buddhist teachings, news, and perspectives. The Lion’s Roar team contains several members from the Mindful.org team. The site offers articles and audio meditations for learning different approaches to Buddhist meditation – including the Vipassana and Zen traditions.

What to look for:

Collection of articles introducing the various meditation traditions and guided meditations

5. Insight Meditation Society (IMS)

The IMS is one of the most established and most recognized meditation retreat and training centers in the US. While their origins spring from Buddhist traditions, their teachings can be adjusted to suit a more secular approach. Their dharma.org site includes listings of retreat centers, practice groups, and audio guided meditations.

What to look for:

Audio content of teachings and guided meditations from some of the most experienced and respected teachers in the West

6. 10% Happier

The 10percenthappier.com site is mostly set up to direct users to download the app, but there are also a selection of podcasts where Dan Harris talks with people who practice meditation. Harris started 10 Percent Happier after his own online panic attack, and his search for a secular, realistic, and achievable meditation practice.

What to look for:

Come for the podcasts, stay for the meditation app and support

7. SoundCloud channels

SoundCloud isn’t actually a site dedicated to mindfulness/meditation support, but there are a wealth of channels and audio content to support your meditation practice. A few channels to consider:

Buddhist Geeks
Be Here Now Network
Waking Up with Sam Harris

What to look for:

Great audio content from world-class providers

8. Contemplative Outreach

Contemplative Outreach is dedicated to the Christian contemplative traditions of centering prayer and lectio divina. The site offers free guides and some basic instruction on these practices. Christian contemplation and meditation has a history spanning thousands of years, but has only recently seen a resurgence in interest.

What to look for:

Introductory materials on Christian meditation practices

9. Tim Ferriss

By using himself as guinea pig and talking with world class performers in various fields, Tim Ferriss covers the value and beneficial aspects of a meditation practice.

What to look for:

This podcast on meditation, and the selected links at the bottom of the page.

10. Sam Harris.org

Sam Harris is a best-selling author and a Ph.D. in neuroscience. He has written extensively and hosts a podcast where he talks with the heavy-hitters in the fields of meditation, consciousness studies, and other dense topics. Check out the Recommendations section, especially for books on Eastern Philosophy and Meditation. Be aware- you won’t find any fluff here. This stuff can stretch your intellect.

What to look for:

Blog posts on meditation, consciousness. Podcasts with researchers and academics. Recommended readings