Mindfulness in Plain English, by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana
This is by far the best book on meditation I have yet encountered. It is practical, and intended for those who wish to begin their meditation practice now. It covers all of the basic questions about how to sit, how long to practice for, and most importantly what to do with your mind and how to deal with any obstacles you may encounter.
It's rooted in the Vipassana technique, attributed directly to the teachings of the Buddha. This is not the only meditation technique, and I am not promoting this above other Buddhist methods nor the methods associated with other spiritual traditions. It is however an excellent starting point for those who are just beginning as well as a great reminder to those with more experience, and this particular introduction is totally pragmatic and free of dogma.
Here it is provided as a free PDF that you can print at home, or read directly on your computer or iPad.
TITLE OF WORK: Mindfulness in Plain English
AUTHOR: Venerable H. Gunaratana Mahathera
PUBLISHER'S ADDRESS: H. Gunaratana Mahathera
Rt. 1 Box 218-3
High View, WV 26808. USA
DATE OF PUBLICATION: December 7, 1990
DATE OF BODHINET RELEASE: April 1994
ORIGIN: Tiger Team Buddhist Information Network
(510) 268-0102 * BodhiNet (72:1000/658)
The publisher retains all rights to this work and hereby grants electronic distribution rights to BodhiNet Democratic Buddhist Network. This work may be freely copied and redistributed, provided that it is accompanied by this Agreement and is distributed at no cost to the recipient. If this work is used by a teacher in a class, or is quoted in a review, the publisher shall be notified of such use.