The following three books leave me speechless. They have changed my life, helping me to be more mindful, which helps me live in the present. (I would have never thought to type such a sentence even one year ago, but midlife has taught me the enormous enjoyment that the present offers.) The lessons can be learned and practiced immediately. Moments after starting the first book, I had become more able to listen to others, to relax, to enjoy life more fully.

Nominated for the 1967 Nobel Peace Price by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Thich Nhat Hanh teaches how to turn the small moments of daily life — washing dishes, driving the car — into meaningful engagement.

If you are willing to read only one book on finding inner peace, on learning to meditate, on living in the present, here is that book (choose any of these, or all of them). These books are short and sweet. And they are very accessible, not pie-in-the-sky philosophical.

WARNING: Anger is a great book. But the first comments (on eating) are hard to digest. Don’t get stuck on them. The appendix is a good place to start.