Reddit Reddit reviews The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness

We found 71 Reddit comments about The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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71 Reddit comments about The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness:

u/potifar · 24 pointsr/samharris

There's 50 days worth of "daily meditations" at this point, each ~10 minutes long, plus 16 extra lessons ranging from 3.5 minutes to 29 minutes. Judging by the previous newsletters, he tends to add somewhere in the range of 1-5 new lessons or daily meditations every week.

A better bang for your buck might be a copy of The Mind Illuminated plus a free app like Insight Timer or similar.

u/citiesoftheplain75 · 24 pointsr/Meditation

If you're looking for a solid beginning meditation guide, The Mind Illuminated is one of the best.

u/Iamfindingmyself · 17 pointsr/Meditation

This book helped me build a meditation routine that did all you mentioned and more.

The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness

u/duffstoic · 14 pointsr/hypnosis

Two things will greatly help improve your memory:

  1. Practicing mindfulness.
  2. Practicing mnemonic (memory) visualization techniques.

    For the first, I highly recommend the book The Mind Illuminated by Culadasa (and the accompanying subreddit r/TheMindIlluminated). Practicing meditation in this way will develop extremely powerful mindfulness, allowing you to be very aware of what is happening in your experience at any given time. As a side-benefit, you also get enlightened, so that's nifty. :D

    For the second, there are dozens of books on memory techniques. My favorite is The Manual. I haven't practiced it much, but to give you an idea, a basic memory trick beginners can learn is to memorize an entire deck of cards in order. These techniques are amazing for studying in school, especially for things like biology or language where there is a ton of memorization involved.

    Also if you smoke a lot of marijuana, that will also not do you any favors. Reducing your consumption will help your memory a lot, as one of the effects of pot is loss of short-term memory, and what doesn't enter your short-term memory has no chance of entering your long-term memory.

    There are also a number of supplements ("nootropics") that help with memory, the choline family especially (look up CDP Choline and Alpha GPC and experiment for yourself).
u/jplewicke · 11 pointsr/slatestarcodex

Not quite self-help, but a dedicated meditation practice based on Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha has definitely been transformative over the past year and a half. It's taken a tremendous amount of effort and going through some emotionally and existentially gut-wrenching times, but I'd still say it's worth it on the whole in terms of being able to actually work through some stifling self-limitations. While it worked for me, I think that there may be a gentler path to the same point possible from working with the r/streamentry Beginner's Guide and The Mind Illuminated.

u/Disagreed · 10 pointsr/Meditation

I was in the same boat as you when I got started and I found that using a good guided meditation app provided a solid starting foundation.

I have personal experience with Ten Percent Happier and Waking Up. Both are fantastic but should not be relied on for too long; it should only take a few months to form your own practice based on the techniques you’ll learn.

I’m at the point where I’m getting comfortable with my own daily practice after using each of those apps for a few months. One widely recommended book which I might look at soon is The Mind Illuminated. Another book I discovered recently, Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening, is written by respected meditation teacher Joseph Goldstein, who also narrates the intro guided meditations for Ten Percent Happier.

Edit: Waking up has a companion book that discusses what consciousness is and how to avoid the faith-based dogma that is often associated with meditation.

u/Supernumiphone · 9 pointsr/exredpill

My first suggestion is to recognize that you are holding onto a belief that a relationship is to some degree necessary for your happiness or contentment. The next step is to question this belief. Try this thought experiment: Imagine that you can be perfectly content in your life without a relationship. You go through your days fulfilled, wanting for nothing. You enjoy whatever activities you choose to engage in fully. You have all you need. Now a relationship becomes available. Do you take it? Maybe yes, maybe no. If the benefits outweigh the costs, perhaps it's a "yes." If not, you walk away, because after all why pay the cost if it's not worth it? You certainly don't need it.

I would like to suggest that this is completely possible. The first step here is to stop holding onto the belief that you can't be happy without that. As long as you believe that, you make it true. Any such fixation becomes self-fulfilling. You obsess over the thing you don't have and make yourself miserable.

You say you have a history of mental health problems. Well let me tell you, a relationship won't fix them. It's common for people to believe that the solution to their problems is something external to themselves, but in situations like yours it is never true. Until you address your problems internally a team of supermodels taking turns riding your dick wouldn't help you. It'd be fun, sure, but once the initial thrill wore off you'd find yourself back in the same emotional space with the same problems.

How to get there? I'm not aware of any single one-size-fits-all solution, but it would be worth considering therapy if that appeals to you. To me meditation is a must. If you're not doing that I'd say make it a priority to develop a practice with the intention of making it lifelong. The best book of which I am aware and the one I'd recommend for this is The Mind Illuminated.

Beyond that try to work on your emotional health. A book I highly recommend for this is The Presence Process. Another good one is The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion.

Read these books, apply them, and live them diligently and consistently, and I predict that in a year or two your outlook on life will be completely transformed. Once you get to that point, maybe a relationship will happen, or maybe it won't. You'll be fine either way, and that's more valuable than any pickup technique.

u/Sennmeistr · 9 pointsr/Stoicism

>Combatting depression

Quoting a recent comment of mine:

>You might want to look into cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), if that isn't what you already did.

>Recommended books:
The Philosophy of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and
Unshakeable Freedom.

>Also: Recommended Post.

>Philosophy and Stoicism

Apart from the Enchiridion and the Meditations, the primary reading list includes letters and essays from Seneca as well as Cicero or the fragments from Musonius Rufus. Modern books include How to be a Stoic, A guide to the good life and Stoicism and the art of happiness. The FAQ has a nice list which is worth checking out.

>Books about changing the way you think (false thoughts vs. truths)

This might not be Stoic, but you might be interested in Thinking fast and slow.


Might not be exactly what you were looking for, but reading The mind illuminated and implementing meditation as a practice, changed the way I think about myself and my thoughts on a daily basis.

>The ego

A favourite of mine is the eight page-long article by urbanmonk.

A good starting point for thought provoking and self-help books is the sub /r/BettermentBookClub. If you search for thought provoking articles, /r/Foodforthought or /r/philosophy is the way to go.

u/attunezero · 7 pointsr/progresspics

Try taking up meditation! It can really help you stop, take a step back, realize when and why you're craving, and deal with those feelings instead of giving in. I highly recommend "The Mind Illuminated" as the best no bullshit, no religion, science based, practical meditation manual. edit: and the related subreddit /r/TheMindIlluminated

You could also try some supplements. I find that magnesium supplementation (get lysinate/glyciante chelated form, not oxide, that will just make you poop and do nothing) can help. Supposedly Kudzu can also help reduce your desire to drink. Some people have great luck with Kratom to quit drinking, it's very powerful, but be careful if you try it -- some people have dependence/withdrawal problems using it.

A ketogenic diet can also do a lot for you. For me it decreases desire to drink, makes me sleep better, gives me more energy, keeps my head more clear, and eliminates energy "crashes" throughout the day. Check out /r/keto if you're interested. It also helps that beer is entirely incompatible with a keto diet so if you do drink on it you have to drink dry wine or liquor which helps remove the temptation of delicious beer.

Hope that helps!

u/GingerRoot96 · 7 pointsr/Buddhism

The Mind Illuminated.

Which has it own forum at /r/TheMindIlluminated

u/5baserush · 7 pointsr/occult


Daniel ingram, author of the book in the first link, is a PHD medical surgeon and a self declared arhat. He touches on the DNotS often and often speaks to how treatment of it is something that our medical community should pay attention to in the future.

That book has a ton of information on the subject and will deepen your practice in so many other ways. The book is mostly concerned with the jhanas and will take you through the 4 rupa jhana into the 4 arupa jhana. I believe it discusses the ninth jhana as well(it does i just googled it).

He also runs a website with a ton of information on the DNotS.

Overall its a great book and one can spend perhaps a lifetime on that work alone.

the 2nd one is just as good for different reasons. Check out the amazon reviews.

But bro i think you just gotta push through it. Keep meditating.

Good luck to you.

u/proverbialbunny · 6 pointsr/consciousness

Do you have the concentration to read a book?

There are two routes: Guided meditation on youtube. Early meditation is usually body scans, counting meditation, and walking or generosity meditation (paying attention to every muscle as you move slowly while doing a chore. Two birds with one stone.)

Most kinds of meditation, when done right, will increase concentration, making it effortless and enjoyable to do things that were hard or stressful before.

If you have the time and concentration The Mind Illuminated is the go to book right now. 10 out of 10, it's good.

And yes, your awareness will go up. Awareness is the foundation for consciousness, so you will reach higher levels of consciousness from it.

u/armillanymphs · 6 pointsr/samharris

To those intrigued by the prosaic notions of awakening discussed in the podcast (e.g. - how one relates to the contents of mind having cultivated a deep practice) look no further than The Mind Illuminated. Given the assumption of Sam's crowd being rigorous and scientific, this book should have great appeal to many of you: it guides the practitioner through stages consisting of various exercises that progressively lead to powerful concentration. This is almost purely a technical manual with only brief quotes from suttas, and includes interludes that express the author's hypothesis of how meditation affects the brain's processes (he has a PHD in neuroscience).

This book is also good for those who have held a basic practice of following the breath and returning upon distraction for a long while, but feel lost having practiced just this for a period of time.

Finally, I strongly recommend buying the physical copy over the digital one, since the book consists of tables, diagrams, and images better suited to print.

I hope this will be of use to you all, as it's accelerated my own practice by leaps and bounds. If you apply yourself rigorously to this curriculum, you will see tremendous benefit within the course of a year (but obviously sooner too, given the skills you'll acquired as you go along).

u/broomtarn · 5 pointsr/Meditation

It sounds to me like you're doing very well.

I follow The Mind Illuminated as my meditation manual. One of the exercises it suggests it to pinpoint when the inhale starts and when the exhale starts.

Once you're able to do that fairly consistently, add pinpointing when they each end.

Once that's comfortable, notice sensations between the beginning and end of the inhale and exhale.

From there, you can begin to track the length and depth of the breath -- is it slowing down, speeding up, or staying the same? Is the pause between exhale and inhale getting longer or shorter? Is the length of this inhale longer or shorter than the previous one? And so forth.

If this sounds interesting, I'd encourage you to pick up a copy of the book. I have found it invaluable.

u/KagakuNinja · 5 pointsr/kratom

My go-to book for meditation is The Mind Illuminated

u/heartsutra · 5 pointsr/Meditation

If you’re up for a TON of detailed instructions and theory, you’ll love “The Mind Illuminated” by Culadasa. It’s even got its own sub: r/TheMindIlluminated.

u/pupomin · 5 pointsr/Stoicism

It might help to read some more detailed books about meditation so that you know more about what you're doing, what mistakes to try to recognize, and what milestones to expect.

I like The Mind Illuminated because it provides a lot of detailed information about what to expect and what to do about it.

u/mrdevlar · 5 pointsr/Mindfulness

I highly recommend you get yourself a book with a reasonable roadmap of the meditative process. One which includes some framework for you to begin in.

I recommend The Mind Illuminated.

To answer your specific question, set an intent to do one exercise for the entire 10 minutes and stick to it. Only change the nature of the exercises between meditation sessions. This will keep you focused.

u/Throwbahlay · 5 pointsr/microdosing

Well think of it like this: You are literally taking amphetamines every single day. Your brain is used to it so your brain on amphetamine has become your new default.

I am too lazy to find the research right now but I encourage you to do the research for yourself. Simply eating a more healthy diet, cutting out processed food and especially sugar while also making sure to get things such as vitamin D and omega-3 has been shown to in many cases completely eliminate ADHD.

Exercise has also been proven to be extremely effective since it helps your brain naturally produce more dopamine.

Meditation also has an almost laughably long list of health benefits and it seriously can't be understated how much it can help you. I recommend the book The mind illuminated which teaches you step by step how to get the most out of and develop your meditation practice.

Now I haven't officially been diagnosed with ADHD but I have been diagnosed with schizophrenia and there is a huge overlap of people with schizophrenia who also has ADHD. On top of that I react very much like someone with ADHD reacts to stimulants. I have experimented with Methamphetamine and even on 30+mg with I still reacted by just being extremely calm instead of the usual manic energy rushes people normally experience.

What I am trying to say is that you can either tell yourself that you need the drugs (either microdosing or amphetamines) or you can start getting your life together and quit the drugs. I had done a lot of exercise, clean eating and meditation in the past but it wasn't until I actually started meditating and exercising for a total of 4+ hours every single day that I managed to get control of my mind. Now I can get away with only 30 mins a day to just maintain what I have already gained of control, but it does take some work to get to that point.

I wish you the best of luck in your journey.

u/zulufoxtrotfoxtrot · 4 pointsr/Meditation

I found value in the initial 10 free lessons from the Headspace app. But I don't recommend going further with it or paying for it.

I personally found The Mind Illuminated to be an excellent guide going forward. It's recommended pretty often around here.

u/Ash-Animus · 3 pointsr/Tulpas

Doing it on your own without a teacher isn't the best way to go since there are a lot of bad habits and cul-de-sacs that you can fall into. So if you're going to do it without an in-person teacher or group it's a good idea to have a clearly defined system and a way to be able to get feedback from a teacher. There are two that I'd recommend you research and see if they'd be a good fit for you.

The Mind Illuminated is a book that focuses on concentration-style meditation. If you want to do breath meditation and only want to focus on one style of meditation, this is a good choice. The book is very detailed but is set up so that you only have to read as far as your practice has progressed. There's a Reddit community (/r/TheMindIlluminated) where you can ask questions and get responses from other practitioners and teachers.

Unified Mindfulness is a system that's more focused on mindfulness-style meditation, but it has options for concentration styles along with a wide array of other meditation types. If you like being able to explore and choose different objects of meditation and different techniques, this would be a good fit. There's a less active Reddit community (/r/UnifiedMindfulness), a youtube channel with a lot of information, and a free online course that you can take.

u/KRex228 · 3 pointsr/Meditation

From a practical standpoint, The Mind Illuminated is my personal favorite. Some of it will be difficult to interpret as a newer meditator, but it is an excellent and comprehensive guide to starting a practice and overcoming the many obstacles you'll encounter. If you get this one, go with paperback and not the E Book.

Other favorites are 10 Percent Happier and Waking Up. I have read both of these multiple times and they do a great job of inspiring curiosity about the mind and the value of meditation for skeptical people.

u/brick2thabone · 3 pointsr/awakened

Also I’ll add that the books ‘The core teachings of the Buddha’ by Daniel Ingram and ‘The Mind Illuminated’ are great books. They are very practical and not dogmatic and provide very defined roadmaps towards awakening. I am currently reading both and the definitions outlined of the phases (and what you are going through) are beyond helpful.

The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness

u/TamSanh · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

This book, The Mind Illuminated, is one of the best introductions to Buddhist meditation I've read, written in easy-to-understand, contemporary English, it is useful for both the beginner and intermediate practitioner alike. Comes in both Kindle and Paperback.

There are many other books, of course, that talk more on doctrine. I recommend starting with Ajahn Chah. Thich Nhat Hanh is also a huge favorite, as his writing is very kind and compassionate. I do not have any writings I can recommend, but he is more modern and more accessible.

The beauty about Buddhism is that it is all testable. Test everything you read, to the best of your ability. This is the only way one can truly learn. Go to temple and see how you like it. If it is the right fit, it will be good; if it is not the right fit, there will always be another chance, or try again another time.

There are also a lot of Apps that help support meditation, though I'm not too much of a fan of them. There was a recent post where many people offered their own recommendations:

Feel free to ignore my comment, in that thread; it is not meant for you.

u/TommyRobotX · 3 pointsr/Meditation
u/tufflax · 3 pointsr/Meditation

I didn't have much success with guided meditation. But then I found the exetremely good book The Mind Illuminated and my practice just sky-rocketed. It's priceless.

u/freddielizzard · 3 pointsr/cfs

Hi, I'm really sorry to hear what you're going through.

My CFS occupational therapist suggested to me to try mindfulness, specifically mindful breathing, and I started that almost 2 years ago now, just taking 5 minutes out of my day at regular intervals to sit, eyes closed, and focus on the breath. It really helps to recharge the batteries.

This led to an interest in meditation in general and I've progressed further and further with it in that time and now practice about 2 hours a day, using guided meditations on the apps headspace and insight timer.

My main focus now is the practice in: "The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness"

I cannot overstate the effect that meditation has had on my mental well-being, energy levels and is integral to my pacing. I really strongly encourage you to look into it and I hope you can find some peace .

It's not a cure and I still have lots of bad days, but I feel like I've made some progress in the last 3 months or so at least.

u/unnecessarylongname · 3 pointsr/yoga

I was originally doing Zazen (Soto style Shikantaza). Now I am working through the book "The Mind Illuminated"

(So it's more buddhism style).

u/solo954 · 3 pointsr/yoga

If you want to cope with anxiety, then you should really look into meditation. I meditate and do yoga, and the meditation does much more for anxiety. And both of them need to be done more regularly than once or twice a week. Regular practice will make you more calm the rest of the time, so that your anxiety will not be triggered so often. It's better used as a preventative than a treatment.

I and many others highly recommend The Mind Illuminated as a starting point for meditation.

u/ryanbrennan · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

I'm currently walking along this path and can recommend these books -


John Yates - The Mind Illuminated

Sam Harris - Waking Up

Owen Flanagan - The Bodhisattva's Brain: Buddhism Naturalized

u/Th334 · 3 pointsr/Meditation

I do loving-kindness (metta) meditation daily, and it truly feels fantastic. It conditions the mind more towards unconditional kindness and love for everyone, including yourself! I know that traditionally there are four aspects of the altruistic nature described, called the brahmavihāras: loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity.

I'm by no means an expert, but I'll point you to resources I've found as a student to a student. :)

  • The teaching retreat on Engaged Compassion by Culadasa that's up on YouTube is fantastic. Culadasa is full of wisdom. :) His book is my top recommendation for a (breath) meditation manual in general. This book doesn't focus on cultivating the altruistic nature per se (although it does have metta instructions in appendix), but it's about overcoming dissatisfaction / suffering and the selfish nature through meditation, which is arguably even more important.

  • I've been recommended Sharon Salzberg as an expert on loving-kindness meditation, and particularly her book Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness.
u/under_the_pressure · 3 pointsr/Meditation

I have ADD and have used anapanasati (mindfulness of breath) to work with it. I have followed the methods in The Mind Illuminated and have gotten through Stage 3 (overcoming forgetting of the breath) in 5 weeks of daily practice. Stages 2 & 3 are supposed to be the hardest for people with ADD and I found it wasn't bad at all. It just took consistency in doing 45 minute sits and diligently following the instructions for me.

u/ferruix · 3 pointsr/zen

I'm willing to bet that you don't actually need a teacher, just some specific guidance.

I highly recommend the book The Mind Illuminated. It will provide sufficient context for your anapanasati that you likely will no longer feel the need to seek out a teacher, at least for a good while.

While doing that, I recommend also reading some Foyan and Huineng.

u/Dihexa_Throwaway · 3 pointsr/Nootropics

You can rewire your attention span by doing two exercises daily:

  1. Meditation

    While there are many methods out there, I recommend the book "The Mind Illuminated". I know it is a very long and detailed book, but just head for the jumpstart your practice page, and you'll be able to start. If you do follow it, I also strongly recommend /r/TheMindIlluminated. It's an amazing and supportive community.

  2. Dual N-Back

    Get this free software, which is all you need:

    The game is weird at the beginning, but if you get up to at least 20 sessions a day, you'll feel your brain changing and rewiring for more attention.
u/Elijah_Silva · 3 pointsr/Meditation

If you want a simple guide: Mindfulness in Plain English

If you are interested in an in-depth guide and more oriented towards a step-by-step process: The Mind Illuminated

Now this is the most important point I want to get across. Books will only superficially help you understand with what the mind is. The only way to understand the mind is by investigating it yourself, and the only way to do that is the actual practice of meditation.

u/Brixes · 3 pointsr/multiorgasmic

Did you read my post with the two books i recommend? IF NOT THEN READ THIS POST.

Working directly with moving energy while stimulating yourself is not really effective if you don't sense energy deeply enough in the first place.If you do sense it deeply enough you can just stimulate yourself to a 9 then take the pleasure in your genitals and move it in the MCO until you feel in your genitals you're at around a 4 or 5..then begin stimulating yourself again to a 9 and move the pleasure again in the orbit.Don't waste you time with using kegels at PONR...even if you manage to get some orgasm it's weak and some ejaculate gets into your it's not that effective to restrain from ejaculating if you're just going to have some of it go into the bladder.

You need to understand that energy orgasms are not about using kegels when you're close to's about circulating enough arousal and building it up to a point that orgasms just appear as a side effect and you do that without kegeling . You can use mula bandha to shoot energy up your spine...but that presumes you have enough sensitivity to energy in the first place to be able to do it.Otherwise just doing mula bandha for hundreds of repetitions is just going to trigger at some point ejaculations. You use mula bandha not like you use use it as a pump for energy....but again it's useless if t you don't feel it well enough to direct it thru your intention+mula bandha.

I just feel like most here try to use a broom without a handle or a handle without having attached the "brush"(I don't know what's it called,English is not my native tongue).















Currently, by far the best book for learning to meditate in the Vipassana/Mindfulness tradition is The Mind Illuminated, by Culadasa (John Yates). This massive tome takes you one step at a time through a system of 10 stages—based on your level of concentration.

This book also offers an entire brain-based theory of meditation—catnip for the neuroscience junkies among us (although it’s also problematic as theory) —as well as expert advice on deeper levels of meditation, many additional meditation techniques, and a method of analytical meditation. Furthermore, Culadasa has a whole appendix section that makes sense of the “jhana wars” (my term, not his) by adding a dimension of depth to the usual dimension of the jhana numbers. This is a huge step forward.










THIRD TIP...USE VOWELS AND TONE THEM INTO YOUR CHAKRA LOCATIONS FOR 10 MINUTES/PER CHAKRA...UNTIL YOU FEEL THE TISSUE IN THE CHAKRA LOCATIONS VIBRATING,TINGLING. CHOOSE ONE VOWEL AND TONE IT 10 MINUTES AT EVERY CHAKRA LOCATION. THEN CHOOSE ANOTHER VOWEL AND USE IT IN THE SAME DAY OR THE NEXT DAY. A,E,I,O,U and HA( Key Sound Multiple Orgasm Trigger ) ETC. don't use actual sanskrit mantras because you're invoking those deities into you.Stick to just vowels alone or the HA sound as describe in it's modern form " Key Sound Multiple Orgasm Trigger ".





u/consci0 · 2 pointsr/streamentry

TMI refers to The Mind Illuminated.

u/MasterT1 · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Read "The Mind Illuminated". Best book I've read on meditation that should answer all of your questions.

u/Tells_only_truth · 2 pointsr/LucidDreaming

Take this with a grain of salt, as I neither LD nor meditate (despite wanting to do both =/). I'd try meditation again. Awareness is a fundamental part of lucid dreaming, right? You want to be aware enough in your life that when you're asleep, that same awareness makes you notice something off and go "hey! that's not like in real life!" hence, All-Day Awareness. Popular technique and anecdotally very effective. Plus better awareness should make your dreams more vivid, or let you experience them more vividly. Anyway. This is where meditation comes in. So there's this guy, Culadasa, who is both a neuroscientist and meditation guru (? I'm not sure of the proper title). He wrote this book. It's a very in-depth guide to meditation, laid out in clearly delineated stages. Really well-reviewed and extremely practical, which I appreciate. In the very beginning of the book, he defines mindfulness as the right balance between attention and (peripheral) awareness, with the modern mind severely lacking awareness. Meditation helps train the mind to find and maintain that balance, to bring awareness up. Better awareness = better chances of lucidity, hopefully (and there's a bunch of anecdotal evidence behind it, even just on this sub I'm sure). That's of course not even mentioning the myriad other benefits, purported and proven. So to sum up, I would encourage you to try meditation again.

edit: also, speaking of relaxation, someone posted this in here the other day. have you tried that? the results look promising, 96% success rate after six weeks of practice (although I dearly wish they'd included a sample size).

u/QuirkySpiceBush · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

I'm talking specifically about samatha. IMHO, Zen does a fantastic job of cutting through the clutter of other schools obsessions with metaphysical speculation & endless stages of meditation. . . but often at the expense of lacking more detailed beginner- and intermediate-level instructions about how to compose the mind, how to address common obstacles, etc.

My main practice is Rinzai, but have found the precise samatha instructions of the Kamalaśīla's Stages of Meditation (as elaborated in The Mind Illuminated ) to be an extremely useful supplement.

u/metagnosis- · 2 pointsr/Anxiety

Meditation and yoga. If one is scientifically minded I recommend reading Culadasa's book "The Mind Illuminated" as it gives you very advanced understanding of the thing explained through language that is both scientific and is easy to understand.

u/EmptyTumbleweed · 2 pointsr/Mindfulness

I'm all for meditation. This book is really good. There's even a subreddit for it.
The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness

If you have actual depression and anxiety I'd really recommend seeing your doc and getting a med. It's the only thing that's helped me. Really, there's no shame. It's just like having high blood pressure, it needs to be treated.

u/mynameis_wat · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

"But the thing is i dont even know what im supposed to do during meditation."

There are a few resources:

Mindfulness in Plain English is a text you can find for free online and gives simple meditation instructions. This is what I started with years ago.

A book like Being Nobody, Going Nowhere (ayya khema) also gives some meditation instruction as well as some philosophy around it.

Many have been finding a book like The Mind Illuminated helpful as it is a robust guide into the different landscapes you can find as you begin the meditative path. This book has been immensely helpful to me in my practice.

I also recommend Pema Chodron. If you are hung up on stress and tension, her books can help give a fresh perspective :)

You seem to mention bliss as an indicator of progress. There are many other things to track and be aware of in your meditation path - I would not recommend getting hung up on this particular one. Be gentle with yourself in regards to results and changes as a result of practice. Bliss will not solve the stress, but practices based in 'letting go' may help.

u/generalT · 2 pointsr/Meditation

have you tried reading the mind illuminated?

totally changed my meditation practice.

u/beat_attitudes · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Hi there! I'm glad to hear you're ability to focus and happiness has increased, and that you're calmer. Keep it up!

From the sounds of things, you're doing just fine. There's no one way to meditate, but you'll probably have better results if you stick with one practice for a while. You might like to keep up your "focus on the breath" practice until you can maintain sustained attention on the breath for the length of your session, or maybe longer sessions, and then reconsider from there. This should keep you busy for a while!

The book which really grounded my practice, and gave me clarity about what I was doing, is The Mind Illuminated.

You'll be pleased to hear that it talks quite a bit about pure bliss, and feeling one with the universe, and also about establishing and building upon the kind of practice you have now. I found it very clear, intreresting and accessible, but I'd say it feels like an undergraduate introduction level of writing.

Good luck maintaining your practice!

u/kabuto · 2 pointsr/Meditation

I do nothing special. I follow Culadasa's book The Mind Illuminated.

I sit down on my Zafu, cross my legs in burmese style, close my eyes and be mindful of my breath. I usually do 20-30 minute sits, sometimes longer. I highly recommend reading The Mind Illuminated. It's a very practical guide on how to meditate organised in ten stages including helpful tips, problems you might encounter and how to deal with them.

u/cardiacal · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Although there's a wealth of evidence-based information available now, the vast majority of studies are conceived and interpreted by people who ascribe to scientism, a narrow materialist view, and who have neither the acute perception nor the sublime mind-state attainments of advanced meditators.

It would be wonderful if more scientists were actually accomplished, high-level meditators.

Two accomplished scientists who are also highly adept meditators are Dr. B. Alan Wallace, PhD. and Dr. John Yates, PhD. (aka Culadasa).

Alan Wallace has authored many books on meditation, including the guides How To Practice Shamatha Meditation and Stilling The Mind, among others.

You might be interested in his talks on science and meditation:

Culadasa's The Mind Illuminated is widely lauded as one of the best guides to meditation anywhere, and is the number one best seller in Amazon among books on Buddhism. It is considered to be as complete a guide as you're likely to get in book form.

Direct teaching from a living certified and accomplished teacher is by far the best introduction to meditation, for many reasons beyond getting the right information, in the right order, at the right stage of your practice.


PS: realize that what gets upvotes and approval is often the popular choice, rather than the higher or more true and effective teaching. The reason it's popular can be because it's the lowest common denominator -- something even those with low intelligence, unclear perception, or emotional attachment can get excited about.

u/Throwaway8484822 · 2 pointsr/BPDlovedones

There’s a book called The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness by neuroscientist John Yates (Culadasa) where he explains how to overcome every possible obstacle in meditation. Can highly recommend.

Your skill to be present in meditation affects your skill to be present in everyday life.

u/overlord1109 · 2 pointsr/IWantToLearn

I use the book The Mind Illuminated. It's extremely detailed and has helped me a ton.

There's also a subreddit for it: /r/TheMindIlluminated

u/rcrdlclr · 2 pointsr/Meditation

You can meditate for long though, if you think it is important enough. You can't do it in spare time, it needs to have time reserved for it. Surely you do other things but work. Maybe you see friends. Maybe you watch movies. Maybe you read. You will need to give up on something to make time for meditation.

Also, I'd say meditation isn't so much about a singular thing. It's a bit more complicated than that. You might like this book, it explains it better than I ever could:
It really is as awesome as its reviews.

u/procgen · 1 pointr/conspiracy

You said that people can be made to hate and that they have no choice in the matter, did you not? I'm saying that ultimately it is a choice they make, since people are responsible for their own emotions. We simply disagree, yes? And this has nothing to do with brilliance - even the supremely unintelligent can master their emotions.

It is absolutely 'true in the real world' that you can learn to control your emotions with practice. Meditation is one way to accomplish this. You don't have to take my word for it, of course - do some research if you don't believe me. (Or, even better, give meditation a shot! This is a fantastic beginner's guide:

u/hurfery · 1 pointr/findapath

I'd stay away from Transcendental Meditation and anyone else who tries to get lots of money from you.

The main thing I would recommend is a $16 book. It's currently the best guide to getting results from meditation. It's called The Mind Illuminated

We have a pretty good and helpful community centered around that book over at /r/TheMindIlluminated . You can ask questions there after getting started.

Also you might want to check out this short, free book:

"Meditation: Why Bother" is a nice little intro. You can tell it was written decades ago but it gets a point across. :)

u/zuckokooo · 1 pointr/GetMotivated

So pretty much focus on your breath thus bringing to you to this exact present moment like when you're reading this? What in this exact moment is missing? Look around you, take in all the objects without labeling them, notice the silent presence they have.

Smile, you're here and now, that's all there is, the past was once in the now, the future like tomorrow? That'll be in the now. So yes, just focus on the present moment and live well my friends :)

(Off topic I recommend these 2 books which you can easily find online)

u/omapuppet · 1 pointr/Meditation

Sure. I apologize in advance if this is excessively wordy.

tl;dr: 20 years of basic daily mind-clearing for sleep and relaxation; 5 years of regular-but-not-often-enough poorly guided mindfulness meditation; 1 year of much better results following the recommendations of The Mind Illuminated.

As a child in elementary school (ages 5-10) I had a lot of problems due to day-dreaming. I was fascinated by the way I would 'wake up' in the middle of class from a chain of thoughts with no idea of how long I'd been dreaming, and no recollection of what I had been thinking about. It was also interesting because I could see how that kind of useless thinking was mentally pleasurable, but also unproductive and a hindrance to learning, but I was unable to avoid doing it.

When I got older, around age 13, I started to notice patterns of thinking that I describe as loops. These happen mostly in the morning before my mind is fully awake. Usually it takes the form of a spoken phrase that repeats over and over, but it can also be non-verbal, like a visualization of a sequence of actions or whatever.

I haven't struggled very much with compulsive thought patterns. I know some people can find them extremely difficult to stop, and I consider myself fortunate to not have to deal with that. However, there were a couple of years during my mid-teens that I found compulsive and intrusive thoughts and behaviors to be common and difficult to resist, but they never rose to a level that I found worrying (though if I'm honest about it, if I'd addressed them back then, I'd be a much more successful person today).

Of all of that, the most unpleasant was the night-time mental replaying of embarrassing situations when I was trying to fall asleep. The desire to control that was what triggered my interest in meditation when I was about 17.

I discovered some books about meditation when I was at the library and while I thought they were kind of overloaded with new-agey, religiousy BS, it also seemed to me that there must be something to it if the practice had lasted through thousands of years. This was a few years prior to the invention of the web, so my access to good training resources was fairly limited. But I put it into practice anyway.

At the time my practice was mostly limited to clearing my mind. The books I had access to were either very Eastern and loaded with unknown words and hand-wavy descriptions that I couldn't understand without guidance, or they were very much aimed at beginners and did not explain why focusing on breath was important, or go beyond clearing the mind.

That simple technique was all I practiced for about 20 years, but I did it every night and most mornings. That eliminated my problems with loops and compulsions, but didn't do as much as I'd like for mind-wandering. My sporadic attempts to establish a practice did make some improvement in maintaining focus, but the results were unstable.

My occasional attempts at seated meditation didn't go well because I didn't seek out no-nonsense guidance, and my years of using mediation to fall asleep made it difficult to maintain or increase my consciousness level because all my training was the opposite (and also I didn't know how to gauge consciousness level).

About 5 years ago I got a little more serious about seeing how much more meditation could do for me and I established a more consistent practice (3 to 4 times a week usually). I was still mostly reading beginner materials and lacked a good technical guide about how to understand what I was doing.

Last year I discovered The Mind Illuminated which explained things in a way that really clicked with the way I think and I started recognizing all the mistakes I was making and it gave me tools that made sense. That's made a huge improvement in my progress, and has finally let me start to address my problems with maintaining focus on daily tasks.

I still have a lot of room to improve, but it's exciting to have a roadmap and to be improving.

u/fattkid4sale · 1 pointr/IWantToLearn

Sam Harris has the best meditation app of them all. It’s called Waking Up. It’s free if you can’t afford it.

All the other meditation apps are watered-down, think positively mumbo-jumbo. His is the real deal.

Also check out The Mind Illuminated by John Yates Culadasa as well. It is one of the most praises of recent meditation books and rightfully so I believe.

u/yumbuk · 1 pointr/slatestarcodex

I've gotten pretty good results by following The Mind Illuminated. The book recommends a 45 minute daily meditation if you have time for it, but I've had good results even with ten minute meditations.

With practice, you can train your brain to be better at not losing focus on whatever it is you were intending to focus on, but it does require establishing a habit to set aside time to practice.

On that note, I've found Beeminder to be an effective tool to establish such a new habit.

u/smm97 · 1 pointr/AMA

Great! Yeah, The Mind Illuminated is definitely one of my favorite meditation manuals. Well worth it. Thanissaro Bhikkhu, the abbot of Metta Forest Monastery in southern California, has a lot of great dhamma talks online. They have a lot of their publications available online, along with With Each and Every Breath (Thanissaro Bhikkhu's intro to meditation book). They'll also mail you physical copies for free, just mail an order form.

As for retreats, Metta Forest Monastery allows for overnight visits free of charge in their guest house (there's about a 2-3 month wait though). I've really enjoyed my time staying there, there's a lot of good time to practice and you're usually able to ask Thanissaro Bhikkhu questions during the evening Q and A.

There's also Birken in Canada. They have a really nice set up and its a great place to focus on the practice. They have a beginner retreat usually in the middle of July.

Both of those monasteries don't offer too much instruction. Being new to meditation, it may be helpful to start out with a more structured retreat. I know of some places in Thailand, let me know if that interests you. There's also the Goenka Vipassana retreat centers. They have a very structured course (free of charge as well) and is really great for beginners. They also have centers all over the US, usually within a reasonable distance and they help coordinate ride sharing. With that said, I have some personal issues with some things regarding that particular tradition, how things are taught, and what-not (I can go into further detail if you want), but my main point of advice going into them is to not close yourself off to only what is taught at those retreats.

Those are really the only retreat centers I have experience with in the states, but I can send over a bunch of links to other places you can look into as well. Where are you located more or less?

u/Theguywhodreams · 1 pointr/Divorce

I used the insight timer app; it's free and has lots of guided meditations, but I mostly just used it for the timer. If you're like me and are not the biggest fan of guided meditation, take a look at this course: It was a good starting point for me. Eventually I happened upon a book called The Mind Illuminated that changed everything for me, it's basically an A-Z textbook for meditation that goes over just about everything. They also have a very supportive sub here on reddit (r/TheMindIlluminated). I would also stay away from r/meditation. It used to be a really good sub, but they only have 3 mods for their hundreds of thousands of users and most of the posts there belong on instagram or are people trying to peddle you something (at least that's been my experience).

u/RelevantIAm · 1 pointr/confessions

I invite you to try meditation. This book could very well save your life:


It will help you to gain the awareness that the things you are placing so much importance on are not really all that important. It's never too late, my friend.

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/indiadiscussion

Just saw your username.. I don't even know where to begin lol. I wish you all the best in life. Get some help if possible. Also try meditation. The mind illuminated would be a good start.

u/balanced_goat · 1 pointr/Buddhism

Ehipassiko. That's the Pali word for 'see for yourself,' and the Buddha said it often. It meant 'don't take my word for it - you have to walk the path and see the truth subjectively.' And by that, he meant meditation. The only way to truly practice Buddhism is to practice meditation. Consistently. Daily. Even if it's just 5 minutes.

By all means, read what others are suggesting here. But understand that all the other things Buddha talked about (besides meditation) will fall into place (and make more sense) once you've developed your meditation skills, even just a bit.

Get this book: The Mind Illuminated. It is, without exaggeration, the most straightforward, clear, practical guide for developing the skill of meditation. Like playing the guitar or shooting 3-pointers, meditation is a skill. This book will help you get good at it. All the rest will follow.

u/dovahkid · 1 pointr/leaves

The Mind Illuminated (amazon link, $14) - a science-based meditation manual written by a neuroscientist and meditation master. It's geared toward beginners (in the west particularly).


u/bigskymind · 1 pointr/Meditation