[Epub] ➝ The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science ➢ Culadasa (John Yates) – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk



10 thoughts on “The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science

  1. says:

    This book is 450 pages of meditation instruction, and present the most comprehensive introduction to the practice I ve ever encountered Its language is crisp, clear and modern It seems it took a theravada vajrayana neuroscience teacher to make this synthesis of Buddhism with modernity to happen The book full of insights and distinctions I never made in 6 years of practice with many different teachers Highly recommended to beginners and experienced meditators alike I should note that it s no This book is 450 pages of meditation instruction, and present the most comprehensive introduction to the practice I ve ever encountered Its language is crisp, clear and modern It seems it took a theravada vajrayana neuroscience teacher to make this synthesis of Buddhism with modernity to happen The book full of insights and distinctions I never made in 6 years of practice with many different teachers Highly recommended to beginners and experienced meditators alike I should note that it s not necessarily an easy read Consider this a university level introduction to the theory and practice of meditation Often one needs to put down the book to really let the meaning of each paragraph sink in


  2. says:

    I ve been meditating for twenty years, not making all that much progress and never quite sure what it was I was getting wrong.This is the book I wish I d had twenty years ago I finally got it what meditation is, what it isn t, what I was doing right, what I was doing wrong, all of it.The author has done a superb job of writing a readable, engaging text of spelling out exactly what the misconceptions and pitfalls are of giving useful advice on how to avoid the mistakes and of what you sho I ve been meditating for twenty years, not making all that much progress and never quite sure what it was I was getting wrong.This is the book I wish I d had twenty years ago I finally got it what meditation is, what it isn t, what I was doing right, what I was doing wrong, all of it.The author has done a superb job of writing a readable, engaging text of spelling out exactly what the misconceptions and pitfalls are of giving useful advice on how to avoid the mistakes and of what you should and shouldn t expect as you progress.I read it through from cover to cover to get the Big Picture and am now re reading from the start to pick up on the details I genuinely feel I ve madeprogress in the handful of days since reading this than I did in all the years before For the first time, I m confident that I m making progress and will continue to do so.Rave reviews all around, for me this is the book on learning to meditate


  3. says:

    What I ve wanted to know but didn t know how to articulate about meditation.


  4. says:

    This is basically the book I ve been looking for for the past 3 years.Most meditation instructions, even from some of the most lauded teachers with decades of experience, are vague at best, potentially damaging to one s practice at worst For years my meditation practice essentially went nowhere Sure, I was marginallyaware and attentive in my day to day life, but I had essentially plateaued in terms of my actual practice, and the only advice seemed to be go to a retreat or worse just This is basically the book I ve been looking for for the past 3 years.Most meditation instructions, even from some of the most lauded teachers with decades of experience, are vague at best, potentially damaging to one s practice at worst For years my meditation practice essentially went nowhere Sure, I was marginallyaware and attentive in my day to day life, but I had essentially plateaued in terms of my actual practice, and the only advice seemed to be go to a retreat or worse just sit I tried a couple of short ones, but they too were unhelpful, and I wasn t convinced that a longer one was worth the investment of time money energy.This book lays out both the how and the why of meditation It gives detailed instruction on what to do with your attention, what will happen as a result, and how to handle those results and any struggles along the way It gives a cognitive explanation for what s actually happening in the brain when we pay attention, are aware, are conscious, are doing anything with our minds A lot of that is purely theoretical and based only from direct, subjective experiences of practitioners, but this is essentially the only means of research and testing anyways in this realm, and the bottom line is it checks out with the experience of others and is helpful It also helps that the author has a friggin PhD in neuroscience The book maps out the path of a meditator in a clear way that doesn t over materialize or make one overly goal oriented, but also doesn t beat around the bush in a way that will prevent progress It shows what s possible and how to get there.As a quick example, most instructions I ve heard advocate not worrying when the mind gets distracted from the breath or other object of attention when meditating just note it and gently return to the breath So I didn t worry about it At all In fact, I let my mind wander all over the place and just tried to watch it do its thing, bringing it back to the breath when I really got lost and suddenly remembered This is what I was hearing from instructions which I now realize was probably a misinterpretation, but they didn t seem to be saying my approach was wrong per se This book lays out that the first goal, after just establishing a practice, should be to end mind wandering That in and of itself was a revelation I didn t know that was something I could do It continues that one should then aim to stop forgetting the breath Then stop big things from intruding attention for too long And on and on And alongside these instructions, he discusses how attention and awareness and intention and diligence actually function, which were also fairly revelatory at times, especially as someone coming to terms with a relatively recent ADD diagnosis, and has struggled with integrating various pieces of knowledge and experience to actually function in the world like a normal human being.Admittedly, some of the results of the later stages may sound pretty radical lasting equanimity, radical worldview transformation, and low level joy that persists between meditation sessions in the face of any challenging scenarios not to mention the descriptions of the jhanas, the weird pseudo orgasmic time frozen meditative absorptions that aren t really the point but essentially make for nice detours on the path , but his descriptions of the neuroscientific theory behind it sound pretty reasonable, I ve experienced some of the lower level weird stuff and subtle tastes of the upper level stuff, and many, many others have personally validated his claims, so I see no reason not to believe it all.I realize this proooooobably sounds kinda evangelistic, but man, it s simultaneously frustrating that I spent so much time floundering, and also empowering that I now have a semblance of what to do from here To be fair, the book isn t perfect He uses terminology that isn t quite in line with what s sort of become standard translations of Buddhist terms, which can get confusing The book can get redundant at times It s hard to know what parts to read in what order there are some really great appendices of additional practices and notes At times he seems to skirt a liiiiittle close to pseudoscience for my comfort But despite all that, already I feel like my entire way of seeing the world has improved a bit, and I can only see how it can get better from here.Pardon the extended metaphor, but after years of mindlessly wandering the meditative landscape among teachers giving vague directions or saying Don t worry, just drive, you ll eventually get there when the road I m on goes up a mountain road to a dead end rather than into town where I m trying to get, I finally feel like I ve been given a freaking map that just tells me where to go and what to look out for.Your mileage may vary Maybe the vague stuff works for you Maybe you re still not convinced it s a worthwhile endeavor But from what I can tell, it definitely is, and this book seems to be the best way for me at least, and for many others, and possibly you to get going, or to keep going


  5. says:

    Useful as I found this book, the author has, sadly, recently been forced to step down from his own meditation centre after revelations that he is at the centre of a significant ethical scandal For many books, I feel that the content stands quite independently of the character of the author But this feels very different Though it is primarily about meditation, it makes clear the connection between contemplative practice and our day to day behaviour Following this book creates a student teache Useful as I found this book, the author has, sadly, recently been forced to step down from his own meditation centre after revelations that he is at the centre of a significant ethical scandal For many books, I feel that the content stands quite independently of the character of the author But this feels very different Though it is primarily about meditation, it makes clear the connection between contemplative practice and our day to day behaviour Following this book creates a student teacher relationship between the practitioner and the author I believe that we should always be very careful about who we allow to teach us We should be sure that they are a person we want to model ourselves after, especially with regard to the things they are teaching And should be aware that the people we choose to follow provide to others an insight into our own lives and character I have recommended this book to many people over the last few years something I no longer feel I can do Meditation is something that I will continue to pursue, and I m grateful to John for getting me as far as it did.I hope he and those around him will recover from what happened But I ll be seeking my guidance elsewhere So far, I am finding The Art and Skill of Buddhist Meditation by Richard Shankman to be an excellent replacement It s core method is very similar using samadhi through primarily anapanasati as a platform for vipassana Unlike TMI, it does not define a linear path, but presents a suite of techniques many of which TMI practitioners will recognise along with guidance on when to use them


  6. says:

    This is the best mediation manual I ve read, and I ve been through a lot It gives a nod to tradition but also dives deep into the psychological transformation that happens during meditation and explains the phenomenon that you will experience it also gives very detailed and explicit instructions for each stage and warns about some traps that exist I found in stage 5 a trap that my father had been in for decades, and is now moving past It s a great read and even better listen since the narrat This is the best mediation manual I ve read, and I ve been through a lot It gives a nod to tradition but also dives deep into the psychological transformation that happens during meditation and explains the phenomenon that you will experience it also gives very detailed and explicit instructions for each stage and warns about some traps that exist I found in stage 5 a trap that my father had been in for decades, and is now moving past It s a great read and even better listen since the narrator makes you feel like he s instructing you directly The glossary and index make it a great reference manual, so I purchased both printed and audio book I can t wait to meet and speak to Culadasa, interestingly enough he trained with the same teacher I did when I was a kid, Kama Ananda


  7. says:

    The book gives you a outstanding understanding of the meditative steps and a descripition of the sensations and hindrances your about to face in each one of these steps Theres is also a discripition of the buddist terminology, traditions, misconceptions and etc You may think the book is too repetitive and boring If you re reading a chapter different from the stage you re currently in so I would advice you to read the book gradually acording to your learning progress After reading it for the t The book gives you a outstanding understanding of the meditative steps and a descripition of the sensations and hindrances your about to face in each one of these steps Theres is also a discripition of the buddist terminology, traditions, misconceptions and etc You may think the book is too repetitive and boring If you re reading a chapter different from the stage you re currently in so I would advice you to read the book gradually acording to your learning progress After reading it for the third time I can say this is the best source out there about the subject


  8. says:

    The clearest explanation I ve seen about what meditation is, how to start, and how to improve Effective in getting me to actually do it Recommended if textbooks work well for you.


  9. says:

    It s a good meditation manual, but I don t find it as impressive as other reviewers For one thing, I think that the promise made on the cover about integrating Buddhist wisdom and brain science is not really kept to the extent I would have liked Sometimes I get the feeling that publishers and writers of books on meditation feel the need to use the word science often enough to avoid falling into some kind of sappy New Age category of books In this case in particular, the model of the mind It s a good meditation manual, but I don t find it as impressive as other reviewers For one thing, I think that the promise made on the cover about integrating Buddhist wisdom and brain science is not really kept to the extent I would have liked Sometimes I get the feeling that publishers and writers of books on meditation feel the need to use the word science often enough to avoid falling into some kind of sappy New Age category of books In this case in particular, the model of the mind elaborated by Culadasa is really very interesting and useful for understanding our everyday experiences, as well as potentially useful for scientific inquiry, but it is not brain science On the other hand, similar and nearly identical models of the mind have been proposed dozens of times in the history of Western philosophy, so that could have been a better anchoring point for the book as fascinating as Buddhism is, it s really not entirely new for Westerners, our history of thought is very diverse and includes same and similar ideas, but because it falls out of the scope of what American academics think is philosophy as opposed to the much maligned continental philosophy it gets left out and then Buddhism suddenly appears to offer something entirely unheard of I guess one has to cater to tastes of the American public for which this was written.The reason I focused on less positive aspects of the book was merely to balance out the overwhelmingly positive reviews which tend to overlook some slight shortcomings of the book I still gave it 4 stars, meaning it s among the better books of its kind I came across My favorite still remains Mindfulness in Plain English Compared to Culadasa s book, for example, it leavesroom for individual variations, and offers a less structured model which is theninclusive of a wider variety of individual experiences


  10. says:

    Best book on meditation that I have ever read, by far Detailed instructions and goals for each level of skill, as well as discussion of obstacles previously encountered on that stage, allowed me to get forward in my practice after I d hit roadblocks that previous instructions hadn t adequately prepared me for Also has extensive theoretical models, using language derived from cognitive psychology rather than anything mystic and esoteric, for understanding what is going on in the practice Proba Best book on meditation that I have ever read, by far Detailed instructions and goals for each level of skill, as well as discussion of obstacles previously encountered on that stage, allowed me to get forward in my practice after I d hit roadblocks that previous instructions hadn t adequately prepared me for Also has extensive theoretical models, using language derived from cognitive psychology rather than anything mystic and esoteric, for understanding what is going on in the practice Probably one of the top five or so books that s improved my life the most so far


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science Providing Step By Step Guidance For Every Stage Of The Meditation Path, This Uniquely Comprehensive Guide For A Western Audience Combines The Wisdom From The Teachings Of The Buddha With The Latest Research In Cognitive Psychology And Neuroscience Clear And Friendly, This In Depth Practice Manual Builds On The Nine Stage Model Of Meditation Originally Articulated By The Ancient Indian Sage Asanga, Crystallizing The Entire Meditative Journey Into Clearly Defined Stages The Book Also Introduces A New And Fascinating Model Of How The Mind Works, And Uses Illustrations And Charts To Help The Reader Work Through Each Stage This Manual Is An Essential Read For The Beginner To The Seasoned Veteran Of Meditation And Can Be Read From Front To Back, Or Used As A Reference Guide, Choosing Chapters As Needed Based On The Current State Of The Reader S Practice