Best meditation books according to redditors

We found 2,432 Reddit comments discussing the best meditation books. We ranked the 318 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Meditation:

u/dharmadharmadharma · 554 pointsr/IAmA

/u/everythingisforants, PM me if you're in the US and would like me to mail you, from Amazon, a copy of my favorite book about meditation. (Free, no strings attached.) :)

Edit: Wow, I didn't predict this enthusiastic of a response! I didn't list the name of the book because I wanted to offer a gift to someone, not be salesy. :)

The book is "The Mind Illuminated" by Dr. John Yates (Culadasa). There's a whole Reddit dedicated to the book at /r/TheMindIlluminated. Many of his students answer questions in the Reddit and offer assistance. Also check out /r/StreamEntry and /r/Meditation. If you're interesting in learning about the nature of suffering, the causes of suffering, and the way to end suffering, check out /r/Buddhism.

I don't think you need a book to learn how to meditate but getting good instruction is critical. Meditation is like any other skill—playing the piano?—without good instruction you have no guarantee of success. It can be the difference between sitting on the cushion for twenty years and not getting anywhere versus a decent chance of becoming enlightened withinin several years. A good teacher in person is best, but failing that a good book can be of great use... whether this one or several others. "The Progress of Insight" is also worth a read.

Edit part deux: Holy Inbox Batman!

I also just remembered that two of his students are teaching a 6-week video intro course online:

  • Dates: January 8th - February 12th
  • Time: Sundays 4:30 to 6pm Pacific Time (7:30 to 9pm Eastern)
  • Cost: $150 (no one will be turned away due to inability to pay).

    PM me if you want more details.
u/Th334 · 123 pointsr/Meditation

Beginner meditation is simple. Pay attention to your meditation object (eg sensations of breath at the nose), and when you notice that your mind has wandered off somewhere else:

(1) Take a moment to appreciate the part of your mind that informed you that you are no longer paying attention to the meditation object. This strengthens and encourages this useful faculty of your mind.

(2) Gently, without judgement, redirect your attention back to the meditation object.

(3) Strengthen your grip on the meditation object by engaging with it more fully.

Some further tips:

  • At all times keep being aware of your environment, like sounds or body sensations, just don't actively focus on them. Let them be in the background.

  • Untrained mind will always wander off, the exercise lies in noticing it and redirecting it back.

  • Just observe your meditation object (and your mind) exactly as it is. The goal is to learn and to be curious, and not to force your mind with willpower.

  • Positive reinforcement is key. Take a moment to think about your motivations to meditate before every sit. Accept every experience that you observe. Remember that there is no such thing as a bad meditation.

u/balanced_goat · 43 pointsr/Meditation

A much more comprehensive and practical explanation of this (including exactly how to do it, not just 'keep meditating') can be found in The Mind Illuminated by John Yates, PhD (aka Culadasa).

u/subcosm · 34 pointsr/Buddhism

This and many other powerful stories appear in Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. One of my most cherished books.

u/Purjinke_Shift · 30 pointsr/self

I am so sorry your family is going through this.

I didn't lose the use of any body parts, but I did experience a bleed in my brain at 15 that totally altered my family's lives. It's been 11 years. Had to relearn depth perception, I had double vision for a year, and they didn't know if/when it would ever happen again. When a tragedy such as what you're going through occurs, it effects the whole family. My comment will be directed at all of you, as you will all need time to heal and relearn how to live. Not only your injured little girl.

The first thing I recommend is therapy. For all of you. My parents felt helplessness, guilt, anger, and a whole plethora of other difficult emotions. My little sister suddenly had a big, strong sister who wasn't there to lean on anymore. I almost died. We each had individual feelings and emotions to process on the road to healing. Family therapy wasn't a good option for us, but it can be for some. Ideally, a mix of individual therapy with a per needed basis of family therapy would have been the path I hoped for my family.

The only book I've read that has ever been any benefit relating to my health is How To Be Sick by Toni Bernhard. I'm not sure how old your daughter is, but I recommend it to you and your wife as a possible guide in this terrible situation. In later life, I've also experienced daily chronic pain and fatigue associated to Fibromyalgia. Although it's marketed as Buddhist inspired, but it's not religious. She takes ideas from the Buddhist teachings and applies them as coping mechanisms and life skills for her chronic condition. This book has helped me with the feelings of denial, "why me?", and loss. I'm not the same person I was before these conditions, but I like who I am now, and I'm happy. My parents tell me I'm stronger, but I think they have to say that cuz they're parents. I haven't had another bleed, though apparently I'd had one prior to age 15.

Good luck, your family is in thoughts. This Internet stranger is hoping for the best for you all!

Peace and love.

u/TamSanh · 28 pointsr/Buddhism

Ajahn Mun and Xu Yun were two monks that had claims of their enlightenment written into their biographies. Thich Quang Duc, of Rage Against the Machine album cover fame, was also arguably one such being, amongst many others.

But, really, if you're worried about evidence that the Buddha's path is true, the only way to remove all of your own doubt is for you to try it for yourself. Those without trust in the great teacher will never feel satisfied with anecdotes and proclamations of attainment; only going through the motions will allow you to see. Thankfully, there are markers along the path that are not as "far away" as enlightenment, and looking out for those during the journey should be more than enough to dispel those lingering doubts that what he taught is achievable in the current lifetime.

I recommend The Mind Illuminated for contemporary, clear instructions about the journey.

Edit Passive voice.

u/citiesoftheplain75 · 24 pointsr/Meditation

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

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/ItsAConspiracy · 24 pointsr/Meditation

It doesn't take any special effort, it's just mindfulness meditation. Things naturally pop up now and then. When they do you just observe them and they gradually dissipate.

The Science of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young talks about it a lot. For now I'm mainly practicing the method in The Mind Illuminated, supplemented with open focus guided meditation from the Princeton Biofeedback Centre, and both do this pretty effectively for me.

u/autopoetic · 23 pointsr/Buddhism

Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzburg. It helped me a lot. Metta (loving-kindness) meditation in general helped me a lot, and this is a really good introduction to it.

Honestly, it felt a bit cheezy at first. But after sticking with it for a while, I now think it's the most important part of my practice. There is a very powerful resonance between loving yourself and loving other people. In metta you cultivate both, and they enhance each other.

u/Bizkitgto · 23 pointsr/Psychonaut

You're not alone, many of us are lost in this world. Jobs are boring and contribute to the loss of the 'soul', you're getting beaten down. We weren't meant to be banging our TPS reports all day long...we all feel like this, and it's killing us. Remember back when you were a kid - being curious about everything, the endless imagination, playing for the sack of 'playing'? What happened to all that? People started enforcing their rules and thoughts on you, society started to get inside your head. You started to freely give your ATTENTION to other entities: teachers, parents, friends, the media, propaganda, social media, the internet, etc. Bring back your attention, you own it an no one can steal it form you.

Some things that helped me:

  1. Get your body right, if your body is hurting so will your mind, the mind-body connection is real. Start running (running makes me feel better than yoga or meditation) outside if you can. Exercise is proven to help elevate your mood and enhance your cognitive functions. So consider exercising on a regular basis, I recommend running and 5x5. Also, this is a great video that explains what I'm trying to say.

  2. Get your diet right, try to only drink water, cut out sodas and sugar. Eat healthy and as much real food that you can. Avoid the synthetic crap (chips, pop, candy, etc). You will start to feel better and you'll also have way more energy towards the end of the day, no more 3 o'clock crash.

  3. Read more. Watch less TV. Spend less time on the internet. We waste so much time consuming garbage media. I think we are meant to do things, anything really. When we waste so much time consuming I think that our brain/mind starts to get used to be off and I think this lack of doing stuff contributes to feelings of depression or sadness, lethargy, etc. Also, cut out social media - kill your Facebook, snapchat, etc. Read before you go to bed, get you imagination working again. I recommend you read the Bhagavad Gita.

  4. Do something. Paint. Train for a marathon. Learn computer programming. Just do something you have always wanted to do, scratch that curiosity itch. Your body/brain/mind wants to do things - learn a new skill or build something, paint something, anything. We don't do stuff anymore - we are just consuming. Try to find your long, lost imagination you had from your childhood - and resurrect it. Consuming = death. Build, learn, run, train, etc. Just do it! <-- This man believes in you, and so do I!!
u/CelestialDynamics · 22 pointsr/Meditation

In order of importance:

The Mind Illuminated|John Yates|/r/TheMindIlluminated|Sometimes too technical, otherwise, perfect.
Mastering The Core Teachings of the Buddha|Daniel Ingram|Dharma Overground, /r/streamentry|Most times, too arrogant. Still valuable.
Opening the Hand of Thought|Kosho Uchiyama|r/Zen, Local Zendo|Zen leaves too much to the reader to figure out
A Path With Heart|Jack Kornfield|--|Doesn't give the how, but the Why for many people.

To give you an idea from a technical meditation standpoint, The Mind Illuminated cuts this into ten stages, like a cooking recipe, or a college degree.

  • This post, based, on Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, tells you exactly what stream entry looks like, it's unmistakable.

  • Here are instructions for first Jhana. Once you get some access concentration, where you can rest your mind on something for a bit with some stability, you can reach concentration states. Jhanas are amazing! (That stoned feeling is a light Jhana)

  • Daniel's Map. Not everyone see's it exactly this way, but I found it to be fairly accurate. I mean, there's a map, it isn't just "close your eyes and be."

    Thanks for the feedback!


    I am a Zen Buddhist, with heavy influences from Theravada and Vipassana.

u/mettaforall · 18 pointsr/Buddhism
u/mushpuppy · 18 pointsr/atheism

Respectfully, your first question is a bit too personal for me to answer. You didn't mean it that way; I understand. But to answer it I would have to reveal more than I choose.

What I can say is that I have survived grief. I experienced it, explored its depths, and came out the other side. There was a time in my life, literally, when everyone I ever had loved was dead.

Life doesn't offer any promises. All it offers is itself. And it will end soon enough, anyway.

To address the issues you raise in any sort of competent way would require far more space than I have here. I suggest--and I don't mean this as a brush-off--that you read the Bhagavad-gita, the other Upanishads, the writings of the Buddha. You also probably would want to read commentaries, as the texts probably would be indecipherable without them. You also might want to try The Razor's Edge and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which are a couple of accessible novels that at least introduce certain ideas.

This may seem like a puzzle, but the main thing to understand is that your sense of permanence is illusory. This concept is so fundamental to life that it transcends and infuses atheism, philosophy, religion. From it flows the idea that many other things also are illusory--pain, suffering, grief, desire, hope, happiness.

In any event, as you ask such valid and profound questions, it would make sense to arm yourself with the equipment to answer them, right?

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/tLoKMJ · 15 pointsr/Christianity

Honestly many translations of the Bhagavad Gita are very accessible, even to newcomers, and give a good overall view of many of the core principles and beliefs.

Checkout Easwaran's version for one that's both very inexpensive as well as tremendously friendly to newcomers and westerners alike with it's introduction and commentaries.

u/zarcad · 15 pointsr/TheMindIlluminated

For those of you questioning TMI in light of recent events, I would encourage you to take a broader perspective about the practice.

In my personal experience of 11 years of practice of the Eightfold Path, my results are that I am calmer, less stressed, happier, less knee-jerk reactive, and more at peace. Most of the time, I feel entirely at peace. I believe that my immediate family, although not practitioners, have benefited from my improvement over the past decade. It has been worth the effort!

I have only picked up TMI recently and it has already helped me with some meditation blocks that I wanted to work through. TMI seems to be a good meditation manual and particularly useful to those (like me) who do not have regular access to a good meditation teacher.

However, in traditional Buddhist terms and IMHO, TMI is incomplete in terms of Buddhist awakening. TMI covers 2 factors from the 8 in the Eightfold Path. Practicing one or two of these without the support of the other factors COULD be a path to nowhere for some people; others may find that TMI alone works well for them.

My recommendation to anyone questioning TMI is to continue to practice its meditation techniques but also consider incorporating the rest of the Eightfold Path into your practice and see for yourself whether it is worth the effort. Some sources for the Eightfold Path.

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 · 13 pointsr/streamentry

Could you say a little bit more about what types of therapy you've been doing? How does your therapist recommend dealing with the disgust when it arises?

I've been doing working through some trauma in my practice and in therapy (Somatic experiencing, EMDR, and DBT). The DBT approach to stuff like this is interesting because it includes systematic efforts to antidote emotions by taking actions that are contrary to our immediate urges. You can check out the worksheet handout for this , which has opposite actions for disgust on page 5. So if you're experiencing disgust in situations where you know that it doesn't fit the facts of the situation and where acting on your disgust won't help you, they'd recommend doing the following:

> Opposite Actions for Disgust: Do the OPPOSITE of your disgusted action urges. For example:
> 1. MOVE CLOSE. Eat, drink, stand near, or embrace what you found disgusting
> 2. Be KIND to those you feel contempt for; step into the other person’s shoes.
> All the Way Opposite Actions for Disgust:
> 3. IMAGINE UNDERSTANDING and empathy for the person you feel disgust or contempt for. Try to see the situation from the other person’s point of view. Imagine really good reasons for how the other person is behaving or looking.
> 4. TAKE IN what feels repulsive. Be sensual (inhaling, looking at, touching, listening, tasting).
> 5. CHANGE YOUR POSTURE. Unclench hands with palms up and fingers relaxed (willing hands). Relax chest and stomach muscles. Unclench teeth. Relax facial muscles. Half-smile.
> 6. CHANGE YOUR BODY CHEMISTRY. For example, do paced breathing by breathing in deeply and breathing out slowly.

I'd recommend starting gradually and on easier stuff so you're not biting off more than you can chew. As you apply it more systematically it will really build your self confidence and self-trust. It can also really help to start verbally disclosing more of what you're feeling to people that you trust.

I've got less experience with disgust than with shame, but I wouldn't be surprised if there's an associated felt sense that there's some group of people who'd judge you for the thing you're disgusted by, and whose opinion you're powerless to change. Sometimes getting over shame seems to involve getting OK with the idea that you're willing to push back 100% against that imagined group, give them the metaphorical finger, and metaphorically leave for a place where you'll be treated well. Disclosing your feelings in a safe place can help with this, although there can be some cognitive dissonance from people accepting things about you that you can't yet accept about yourself.

You could also try to find a therapist who does EMDR to identify historical memories that you're disgusted by and reprocess them to remove some of the emotional charge. The somatic experiencing approach would probably categorize disgust as a shutdown state like shame, and would probably say that when you notice disgust you should intentionally redirect attention to neutral/supportive stimuli like your feet on the floor, your back on a chair, your hands touching each other, etc. So try to relax, notice the scenery around you, reconnect with the people near you, joke around, and take your time getting back to the question of what to do about the disgust. Dip into it just a little and find a way to systematically relax and reorient before dipping back in.

I'd say that in general when you're approaching practice with a trauma history, path and stage descriptions are going to not be the best roadmap to be using. Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness has a roadmap of increasing your "window of tolerance" where you're emotionally well-regulated. There's an interplay with meditation where better emotional regulation seems to make it easier to get to Equanimity, and where progress in insight (seeing sensations as just temporary sensations) itself promotes better emotional regulation. But forcing yourself to move too fast in either meditation or life can bring up an overwhelming amount of stuff, so sometimes you need to back off and give yourself time and space to process it more slowly. Metta's also good to work into your practice.

One final random thing -- can you find any comedy that's funny about either the things you find gross, or about how the process of disgust is itself funny? Sometimes exaggeration or absurdity or surprise can help us let go and find the humor in a situation. I've had some good results with this with social awkwardness, where stuff that I used to find cringe-inducing is now also pretty funny.

Good luck and we'd love to keep hearing how you're doing!

u/under_the_pressure · 12 pointsr/Foodforthought

Insight Timer is better (and free). Also (serious) The Mind Illuminated

u/kimininegaiwo · 12 pointsr/AskWomen

The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook helped me with my anxiety.

It's not exactly a self-help book, but The Mind Illuminated has helped me learn more about meditation and mindfulness.

u/Chizum · 11 pointsr/Buddhism

To be honest, I think you'll find the combination difficult as one promotes individualism and vengeance whereas the other eschews non-self and friendship to all despite the recipients perceived flaws.(Kindness is never wasted on the "undeserving".)

But since you sound interested in learning with little history involved, I recommend you read Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness by Henepola Gunaratana ($4 used on Amazon). It's got a great section on compassion. Do you have the bravery to love your enemy? Can you see that the fetter of greed for sensual desire causes suffering?

u/omapuppet · 11 pointsr/Meditation

> I start feeling warm and energized and just totally present. That’s when I can really “take in” the effects of meditation I guess. That’s where I experience bright colors, and “psychedelic” experiences, and all that fun stuff.

I don't know what tradition you are following, but in some traditions what you are describing sounds somewhat like one of the dullness traps. As described in The Mind Illuminated:

> The Seduction of Dullness
> Strong dullness can be a seductive trap. States of dullness lead to dream imagery, archetypal visions, pleasurable sensations, paranormal experiences like channeling, past-life recollections, and the overall feeling that something profound is occurring. If you anchor attention on the breath, you can sustain them for a long time without falling asleep. In certain traditions, these states are purposely cultivated. However, when it comes to cultivating attention and awareness, these states are only a hindrance. Remember that visionary experiences, brilliant insights, and any other seemingly profound encounters should all be avoided at this Stage [Stage Four, when you are free from both gross distractions and strong dullness. Dullness no longer leads to drowsiness, nor causes perception of the breath sensations to grow dim or take on hypnagogic distortions]

If those sorts of states are what you want, cool. Just be aware that dullness should be avoided if your intention is to strengthen awareness and keep the overall energy level of the mind high.

u/Unreasonably-High · 10 pointsr/Buddhism

Oh, I wanna try too:
>Are there different "branches" of Buddhism, sort of like in Christianity?

  • The Schools of Buddhism
  • Differences between the schools

    >Who was The Buddha?

  • PBS documentary on The Buddha
  • BBC documentary on The Buddha
  • Buddha Nature

    > why is there prayer in Buddhism? How is Buddhist prayer different than, say, Christian and Islamic prayer?

  • IIRC only a few sects actually 'pray' in the classical sense, otherwise it's simply paying homage; showing respect, saying thanks.
  • Paying Homage

    >Do Buddhists go to temples on a certain day of the week like Christians? Is there a ritualistic process on what is done each day?

  • This depends on the hours your local temple/center holds. However there are 'typical hours', once in the 'morning', once in the 'afternoon', and once in the 'evening'.
  • Ritualistic processes will depend upon the culture of the school of Buddhism you subscribe to.

    > If I call my local Buddhist temple or meditation center, would someone there be willing to talk to me over the phone and introduce me in real life to what Buddhism is?

  • They may be busy, and ask you to come back later.
  • Some zen schools will turn you away outright to test your resolve. (This is wrong, see /u/Gundi9's comment bellow.)

    > Basically, I would really appreciate it if you could explain to me what Buddhism means to you, what your daily Buddhist lifestyle is, and how it affects you.

  • I meditate, keep the 4 noble truths at the forefront of my attention and make a concerted effort to stay on the 8 fold path.

    Also, here are some books:

  • The Dhammapada
  • The Dhammapada is so ubiquitous i'm certain you can find versions of it online for free.
  • The 8 Fold Path
  • Also, see our sidebar, it says things I didn't, and probably says the things I did say so much more gooderbetter.


u/[deleted] · 10 pointsr/Meditation

I am pretty sure that Buddha absolutely said something exactly like that.

In the Satipatthana Sutta, the Buddha directly talks about exactly those very things. I don't remember if it is precisely for staying mindful while experiencing sexual urges, but it is about focusing on the phlem, body fluids, urine, feces, etc. to stay mindful (as it is the Establishing of Mindfulness Discourse). I do remember coming across other teachings that mention bodily fluids such as this, but unfortunately at the moment I can't remember the sutras.

What /u/jayebyrde mentioned is directly in line with many teachings in Buddhism. Just off the top of my head, Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw goes into great detail on this exact subject (using the minds ability to focus on phlem, the feces in the body, etc. to direct the mind from this particular desire) in the Manual of Insight. A book in which Sayadaw thoroughly references the direct words and teachings of Buddha in nearly every page he writes.

u/jormungandr_ · 10 pointsr/TheMindIlluminated

For those of you who have the old edition, the newer edition of the book has a foreword that can be read on the Amazon page.

First Impressions

The first few paragraphs of the Introduction was all it took to reel me in. To explain, I need to provide a little backstory:

There are tons of research papers highlighting exactly what the benefits of meditation are, ranging from stress reduction to mood regulation and more, many of them mentioned on page xiv. In fact, that was my initial motivation for starting a practice several years back, but rather quickly I became confused by the often contradictory instructions online and all the Pali and Sanskrit words everywhere. I ended up doing basic samatha practice, but my motivation waned at times because I didn't have any clue about training the mind. After a while, I settled into a state of strong dullness and had no clue that it wasn't what I was looking for. I remember wondering why I felt spaced out all the time after my sessions.

One of the reasons I no longer frequent the meditation subreddit is because with hindsight I recognize there is a lot of bad advice there from people who don't know any better. I'll share a rather humorous example: I recently read a thread where a guy was clearly experiencing dullness/drowsiness, and the only thing making him aware of this was the fact that his own flatulence startled him to wakefulness. Well, the top few responses were just jokes and everyone who answered him seriously gave bad advice because they didn't know any better.

I just remember thinking that if I didn't have TMI I would've been stuck in dullness forever, probably. I wouldn't have gotten out of it with the help of that sub. So you can imagine my feelings of relief to find this book, and to have my gut feeling be validated.

Key Points

I think overall there are four key points in the Introduction:

  • Through meditation it is possible to train your mind and to ultimately achieve awakening.

  • There is (or, was) a strong need for a clear map of the process because with meditation's rise in popularity, fewer and fewer people are even aware of the potential for Awakening through meditation.

  • Both samatha and vipassana are necessary for Awakening.

  • "Brief episodes of samatha can occur long before you become an adept practitioner. Insight can happen at any time as well. This means a temporary convergence of samatha and vipassana is possible and can lead to Awakening at any stage."

    I find that last point in particular to be a tremendously powerful idea- one that I've used to great success during my sits. I have a problem with being impulsive. Thanks to meditation it's much less of an issue, but I'm not able to always maintain the long-term view. Being able to remind myself before every sit that if there is sufficient cooperation among the sub-minds Awakening can happen at any moment - that's a very important concept for me. It makes it much easier to cultivate a joyful attitude.

u/WookieMonsta · 10 pointsr/yoga

Light on Yoga: Yoga Dipika by B. K. S. Iyengar

u/KingKontinuum · 10 pointsr/todayilearned

It seems a lot of people have a misperception of what mindfulness meditation is/does. Many seem to think the goal is to focus on your thoughts when that is the exact opposite of what you're doing depending on your practice.

If anyone is genuinely interested you should check out r/meditation. From there, I found a great book -- the mind illuminated -- that gives insightful tips about meditation.

There's a ton of published work and literature out there that you can stick your head into and grasp a firm understanding of what it does to one's brain once they begin their regular practice.

Researchers have found that it can be more beneficial than a vacation.

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/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/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/mindroll · 9 pointsr/Buddhism

"Once someone is enlightened, there is no cause to again become confused and ignorant.... we weren't once enlightened and then fell from that state.... Although all sentient beings have Buddha nature or Buddha potential, their minds have been clouded over by ignorance since beginningless time. Each moment of ignorance was produced from the preceding moment, without beginning. No external being created it. However, although ignorance has no beginning, it does have an end. It can be removed through the wisdom realizing emptiness, the lack of fantasized ways of existing. Once we perceive reality, our minds can no longer ignorantly misconceive things." - Ven. Thubten Chodron

"If your mind has from the very beginning been uncreated purity and perfection, then you might ask why we wander in samsara. It is because from the very beginning we have never recognized our own nature. This is not to say that we degenerated from a former state of recognition, but rather there never was such a state of recognition.

... If the mind’s nature is recognized, that recognition and the qualities inherent within the nature of the mind are the source of everything we call nirvana: all the qualities of buddhas, of their bodies, realms, and so on. If the mind’s nature is not recognized, that lack of recognition, that ignorance, is the fundamental cause or root of all samsara, all of its suffering and lack of freedom. It is this mind that, when its nature is recognized, attains buddhahood. It is this mind that, when its nature is unrecognized and on the basis of which karma is accumulated, falls into the lower realms." - Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche

u/Share-Metta · 9 pointsr/streamentry

My personal practice mixes breath meditation and metta. I start off with some mindful breathing to calm the mind and body. Then I take a minute to feel the breath through my various chakra areas. This step helps me get in touch with my internal processes and subtle energies. It helps a lot with feeling the emotional feedback of the metta practice. Next I move my breathing to the heart chakra (center of the chest) and maintain my awareness of the breath in that spot. Then I typically use the standard phrases towards myself after each exhale:

  • Inhale / exhale at heart chakra.
  • "May I be safe."
  • Inhale / exhale at heart chakra.
  • "May I be peaceful."
  • Inhale / exhale at heart chakra.
  • "May I be healthy."
  • Inhale / exhale at heart chakra.
  • "May I be happy."

    It's important to pay attention to the type of feedback you get from metta practice. You may feel like there is aversion or frustration there. Be mindful of whatever feedback you get and relax into it. Accept it and continue. This goes for positive emotions too! Accept them and continue with your intention of kindness.

    After however many rounds feel right of metta towards myself, I move onto specific people, whoever comes to mind first, and eventually onto all living beings. Here there is eventually a transition point where the metta is strong enough that I don't need to use the verbalizations, it's at this point that the metta is self-sustaining just by focusing on the intention/feedback loop.

    From here there are two directions I'll typically go in:

  1. Jhana
  2. Choiceless Awareness

    This is just my personal practice so I'm not sure how helpful it will be for you. In terms of books on Metta:

u/NomadChild · 9 pointsr/hinduism
u/BearJew13 · 9 pointsr/Buddhism

Man this is a tough question. Buddhism is not easy to understand. The best "Intro to Buddhism" books I know, half of my friends (in their early 20's) would have a very difficult time understanding.

Although it's not a Buddhist book, perhaps she would enjoy The Tao of Pooh which uses the Winne the Pooh characters (pictures too!) to explain Taoism. Although Taoism is different than Buddhism, this book may help your daughter to lighten up on the tough existential questions, and to try to simply enjoy life and be present.


In a few years, to introduce her to Buddhism, I'd recommend What the Buddha Taught, Awakening the Buddha Within, Mindfulness In Plain English, and the Dhammapada - which is a collection of verses/sayings that are said to represent the essential core of Buddhist teachings.


The Dalai Lama is my favorite spiritual teacher, but I think his books can be a little difficult, especially for someone so young. I remember when I first started dwelling on existential questions in high school, I borrowed the Dalai Lama's Meaning of Life from my Dad. Although the book was difficult, it was one of the main factors responsible for me starting to seriously pursue Buddhism.

u/theelevenses · 9 pointsr/streamentry

This is a powerful and important lesson. I personally can identify deeply with your experience. I am still recovering from meditative burn out related to trauma.

I do feel like the pragmatic community in general does not have a big enough discussion surrounding trauma. On many retreats, I was met with a quizzical look when I explained the feelings that I was having and told to just apply the method and things would work out.

Eventually, the method brought me to the same purgatory that you describe. I've gotta be honest and say that the purgatory sure felt like hell to me.

It wasn't until I hit a pretty dark place that I found Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness. After reading the experiences described in the book I reached out to David and he connected me with Willoughby Britton. Both the book and Willoughby helped me put my meditative experiences into a context that helped me get out of that hellish place.

A big lesson for me is that in order to reach a state of no self you have to have some respect and compassion for your sense of self to begin with. Often, the way trauma robs you of your feeling of inherent value is incompatible with the methods the pragmatic community prescribes for resolving these issues. Books like TMI and MCTB (which I love) often have this do x and y will happen approach to things but I personally remember feeling like a failure because I couldn't follow the most basic of these math-like instructions.

I'm going to piggy back on your post to say to anyone going through a similar experience that you are not alone. If the path gets so difficult that your day to day life becomes unbearable considering how trauma fits into your narrative might be important and necessary.

Also, note to the mods, I vote that you guys add some resources related to trauma to the r/streamentry beginners guide and reading list. I have been checked out of the sub since I have gone through all of this but taking a cursory look I don't see anything related to trauma in the guide. Please, ignore this request if I missed something.

Many thanks for what you have written here and much Metta.

u/MariaEMeye · 9 pointsr/TheMindIlluminated

I've had an accumulation of doubts, and after having a steady daily meditation routine of 45 minutes, I'm not meditating hardly at all. I know that strong doubt is my problem, not so much doubt in the method of TMI or Culadasa, because I don't actually doubt either at all, but more worried that I'm not ready for all of this, that as a mother of small children I need to have different priorities :( Feeling a bit sad and lost, but I have actually taken some action to address some trauma that I know needs attention via therapy, and before doing TMI it didn't occur to me to address this as my life was functional and happy anyway, but now I know I have to address all of this sooner than later if I want to take my meditation path seriously... I'm planning to read from the dharma treasure recommended reading list and center on shorter meditation sessions, and especially do metta and walking meditation. And see how things go and how I feel I suppose...I feel sad about my practice, but I feel very good and happy about my life in general... Its a bit strange, but before having my children when I started to delve into Buddhism, I was sort of ready to jump head in to everything, but now I have very strong attachments to my children and their welfare, and I worry if I come to pieces as I walk my meditation path,if they will be affected...I did ask Culadasa about this via the patreon questions, but sadly the question didn't get answered as only those questions of who attended got answered (again couldn't attend that day as there was a change of time and I would have had to get a baby sitter). The path is going to have ups and down I suppose... I'm also reading a book called Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness as it addresses one of my doubts and worries.




u/theravadin · 9 pointsr/Buddhism

Those are very good questions. Here are some helpful resources:

Trading Candy for Gold: Renunciation as a Skill by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.


Buddhism takes a familiar American principle — the pursuit of happiness — and inserts two important qualifiers. The happiness it aims at is true: ultimate, unchanging, and undeceitful. Its pursuit of that happiness is serious, not in a grim sense, but dedicated, disciplined, and willing to make intelligent sacrifices.

What sort of sacrifices are intelligent? The Buddhist answer to this question resonates with another American principle: an intelligent sacrifice is any in which you gain a greater happiness by letting go of a lesser one, in the same way you'd give up a bag of candy if offered a pound of gold in exchange. In other words, an intelligent sacrifice is like a profitable trade. This analogy is an ancient one in the Buddhist tradition. "I'll make a trade," one of the Buddha's disciples once said, "aging for the Ageless, burning for the Unbound: the highest peace, the unexcelled safety from bondage."...


Other resources:

Mindfulness In Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana.

Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond by Ajahn Brahm.

Wings to Awakening

Kind regards,


u/lysergico · 9 pointsr/microdosing

I would recommend mindfulness meditation, I find it synergizes quite well with microdosing, at the same time it goes deeper and is longer lasting

If you have 9 minutes to spare, listen to this:

If you have another 26, listen to this:

The absolute best book on the subject matter in my opinion is The Mind Illuminated, it reads like a college text book and the process is laid out nicely and is easy to follow.

I have found mindfulness to be an important tools in my life toolkit.

u/pi3141592653589 · 8 pointsr/india

I will recommend the following book.

From what I understood reading Upanishads, the message is very similar to that in Bhagvad Gita. Our actions are driven by our senses and the selfish desires they drive. The main message of both the books is to overcome your selfish desires and do what is good for the society. The only way to figure out what is good for the society is by making yourself wiser and meditation is emphasized as a way of understanding yourself and your relation to the world. Only then you can figure out what you can do to improve the society you live in. There is no single way of achieving this. It depends on your personality. You can improve the society by doing social work, acquiring knowledge, worship, by going in to administrative services and working for betterment of the society etc.

I cannot emphasize this enough that this is how I interpreted it after reading the books a couple of times. I am not an expert.

u/fithacc · 7 pointsr/streamentry

Practice has been pulling me into the roots of my fears, the burdens i'm carrying on my shoulders, and the sadness that is integrated in this. I'm not going to lie it's pretty hard facing this, especially during finals season. Metta is teaching me a lot of things, although its not possible to say ive permanently learned anything :P

I am attempting to read "Lovingkindness" by Sharon Salzberg. And prev touched on "Science of Enlightenment" by Shinzen Young, didn't finish it as the need to focus on metta arised.

sigh.. well, im thankful i was able to see even momentarily these burdens im carrying are just something in the possible future. the reality is, right now i have power in the present moment. i hope i remember this.

thank you for reading this far! Wishing myself, you and all beings happiness <3

u/En_lighten · 7 pointsr/Buddhism

Generally, you might find 'confession' to be helpful.

Briefly, perhaps, this is more or less confessing misdeeds while calling to mind the three jewels. You might read a bit about this type of stuff in this brief sutra. You also might consider reading something like the Bodhicharyavatara which has a section on confession.

You also might perhaps come to understand that we've all basically been dummies and done stupid stuff. In Buddhism, one of the main disciples of the Buddha was named Moggallana, and it's said that he killed his parents in a past life. In the Tibetan tradition, there is a figure named Milarepa who is said to have killed something like 35 people in his life. And in the Pali Canon, there's also discussion about Angulimala who is said to have killed 999 people prior to meeting the Buddha with his eye on the Buddha being #1,000 - he failed, and later became an arahant.

Anyway, one of the karmic effects of 'misdeeds' is that we feel like you feel.

You could consider cultivating the 4 immeasurables, which can plant many good seeds and overcome much negativity. Metta or loving kindness meditation is even studied in modern medicine. I've heard good things about Sharon Salzburg's book Loving Kindness on this topic.

Best wishes.

u/Further_Shore_Bound · 7 pointsr/Buddhism

I believe training yourself according to the eightfold path is the act of Buddhism. No matter what else you incorporate, the four noble truths and the eightfold path are foundational.

Begin with virtue/ethics.

u/snoozyd87 · 7 pointsr/getdisciplined

Hi, 31M, fighting depression, acute social anxiety disorder and suicidal tendencies. I am doing good now. Had a scare a few months ago when a close family member fell really ill, and I really started to put in the effort to turn my life around. It is a work in progress, but I am doing well. My advice:

  1. Realize, first and foremost, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, everything is okay. If you are an Introvert, that is perfectly fine, in fact that is a cause for celebration. You see the world runs on profit, on selling you shit you don't need and is actually harmful to you, and you being introvert is bad for business. Being calm, self-aware, introspective means no more impulse purchases, no more stress-eating, no more constant sugar rush, and most importantly no more addictions. Good for you, horrible for selling you supersaturated soda, processed junk food and drugs.

  2. Realize that being shy and socially awkward is not the same as introversion. These often rise from our deep rooted emotions and conflicts, sometimes we are not aware of them. I'll give a simple example, I have lower back pain since childhood. I recently started exercising and found a fantastic fitness channel on YT. I realized that the cause of my pain was that my Glutes are terribly weak, and my Abs are weak too. My back hurts not because there's something wrong with it, but because it is overworked. My back has to put in 3 times the effort just to stabilize my core and help move my spine. Similarly, The real cause of all your emotional distress can be found, and healed, only when you start to exercise. Which means:

  3. Meditate. Common sense, buddy, just as nobody but yourself can gift you with a healthy and athletic body, only you can find joy and happiness in yourself once you clean out all that fear and anxiety in your mind. Of course, a good teacher or a good book helps, just as with exercise. Simple breathing meditation. Sit comfortably. Take a deep breath. Exhale. Focus on the flow of breath. The mind will wander. Gently bring it back. Try it, start with what I did: try to perform just 3 perfect cycles. If you want to understand the scientific basis for why Meditation works, read: The Mind Illuminated | John Yates, Matthew Immergut, Jeremy Graves

    Some more reading: If you want to know how meditation helps the mind, read the best book on cognitive therapy:Feeling Good | David Burns.

    For instructions on breathing and mindfulness meditation, there are many great resources online. Also check out /r/Meditation.

  4. The one thing, the one attribute that defines us and helps us most in time of need is Willpower. There is this reservoir of strength inside you, an untapped fountain of energy that will sweep away all the uncertainty, fear and pain once you tap into it. Read this: The Will power Instinct | Kelly McGonigal.

  5. Develop some good habits. Wake up early. Keep tidy. Meditate. Exercise. Eat healthy. Read. Habits play a crucial role in forming us, and many of these habits are critical to our success or failure. Read this: The Power of Habit | Charles Duhigg.

  6. Finally, find a goal in your life. A goal that fulfills you, gives you purpose, and makes you whole. We have a word in Sanskrit: 'Samriddhi'. It means physical, mental and spiritual fulfillment. An observation: your financial well-being is a key factor in your happiness, because it directly affects you and your ability to care for and help others. Understanding how money works and how to enjoy a steady and growing flow of income is a key skill that is often neglected. Yes it is a skill that can be learned and trained just like exercise, with just a bit of help from our old friend willpower.

  7. Lastly remember you are not weak, fragile, pushover or any of these silly things. You are good. You are beautiful, strong and confident, and don't you dare think otherwise.

    I leave you with this song: Get up! Be good. PM me if you need anything.
u/batbdotb · 7 pointsr/Meditation

A few options here:

  1. You may not be getting enough sleep - but you are normally too stimulated to notice. Meditation may be making you aware that you are tired. If this is the case - meditate BEFORE going to bed if you can, you will sleep much better.

  2. Diet is not mentioned much here - but it is extremely important. Having high vegetable intake has drastically changed my overall levels of focus and mental clarity.

  3. In terms of meditation, you may be indulging in dullness as part of your practice. This is a major corner stone of The Mind Illuminated. Essentially, you may need to focus more on becoming alert in your meditation sessions. Much has been written about this elsewhere so I will not get into it here. But investigating dullness and alertness is a start.

    Best wishes
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/GingerRoot96 · 7 pointsr/Buddhism

The Mind Illuminated.

Which has it own forum at /r/TheMindIlluminated

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/heartsutra · 6 pointsr/Meditation

Subtle dullness is a meditation obstacle that arises once you subdue mind-wandering, gross distraction, and gross dullness (sometimes described as drowsiness or mental sinking). The problem with subtle dullness is that it can fool you into thinking you've attained single-pointed concentration when in fact you're in a very subtle fog. It's considered a very dangerous state, and meditators can waste their lives that way.

I know of at least two meditation traditions that talk about subtle dullness. I first learned about it in Tibetan Buddhist meditation instruction. Here's some instruction from Pabongka Rinpoche as transcribed by Trijang Rinpoche, who was one of the Dalai Lama's two main tutors. In this case he's talking about using a visualized image of a Buddha or mandala as the meditation object:

> There are two types of dullness, subtle and coarse. When you recall your meditation device, its image may be steady but unclear. This is coarse dullness. Subtle dullness is as follows: you have not lost the retained features of the visualization, you even have steadiness and clarity of image, but the force of your retention has slackened and its clarity is not intense. Subtle dullness is the main obstruction to meditation. [From Liberation in the Palm of Your Hand]

Culadasa (my main meditation teacher) also talks a lot about subtle dullness and how dangerous it is. It Here's what he says in The Mind Illuminated:

> This new level of stable attention is precisely what makes us more vulnerable to slipping into a deeper state of sustained subtle dullness. That's because the mental agitation that stimulated the mind and helped keep us awake in earlier Stages has subsided. As subtle dullness deepens, it causes both peripheral awareness and subtle distractions to fade. If we don't recognize this as a sign of subtle dullness, it can easily be mistaken for the strong, exclusive focus of Stage Six... Without guidance, meditators often confuse a deeper state of subtle dullness with having achieved the more loft states of later Stages.

He goes on to say:

> We can sustain this type of subtle dullness for very long periods. It's often described in these kinds of terms: "My concentration was so deep, an hour seemed only like minutes." Or, "I don't know where I went, but I was just gone, and felt so peaceful and happy."

If you're meditating just to relax, I suppose that's OK, but both Culadasa and the Tibetan tradition warn that spending a long time in subtle dullness will just make you stupider over time, like a burnout. And if you're meditating with the goal to perceive higher truths, subtle dullness is a terrible trap:

> When the pleasure of dullness is particularly strong and our peripheral awareness of thoughts and sensations fades completely, our meditation can even seem to fit the description of a meditative absorption (jhana). We can quickly get attached to such experiences, prizing them as proof of our meditative skills. Yet, relative to the practice goals in this book, they are complete dead ends. It's crucial we learn to recognize and overcome subtle dullness to progress in your practice.

u/CoachAtlus · 6 pointsr/Meditation

That's the default state of mind. Your practice is simply making you aware of that state.

Unfortunately, there's no way to simply turn off thinking. That's like trying to turn off hearing. For brief stretches of time, with powerful concentration, you can absorb yourself in an object other than thought, such that the thinking recedes into the background (and depending on the depth of your absorption may appear to cease altogether), but that's a difficult practice.

Alternatively, through insight meditation, you can follow how your attention moves between thoughts (or mental objects) and the objects of your senses, moment-by-moment. Through that, you'll see how thoughts are constructed, always dependent on some other thing that has arisen, and you'll also see how thoughts pass away, like all other things.

Through this process of investigating the mind, you'll also see how experience is always unsatisfactory in some way, either because you're experiencing something unpleasant that you want to go away or because you're experiencing something pleasant, but you're anxious about losing it.

As the mind begins to understand this, it begins to naturally become less enchanted by all experience, and the quality of "equanimity" is developed, a sort of peaceful balance, where all experience -- for better or worse -- is allowed to arise and simply be as it is, without that added layer of constantly pushing it away or clinging to it, which is what generates stress or dissatisfaction.

With a more advanced practice, there may come a time when the mind ceases completely, a state called "cessation," which can lead to very powerful insight into the nature of mind, but also has the very practical benefit of seemingly re-wiring the brain in such a way that the volume and frequency of certain thoughts seems to subside to an extent.

All of this, though, requires exceptional commitment and effort. You alone own the practice.

Some helpful resources if you're interested: My teacher website, which talks about the practice I've engaged in and found helpful. Also, I'd recommend The Mind Illuminated, which is the best meditation manual I've read and discusses some of these concepts.

u/lulzoiaf · 6 pointsr/Meditation

It is a very common, almost universal, phenomenon at the transition point between total beginner and "starting to get it". See it as a stage, it will go away as you keep sitting. It will probably come back regularly almost every time you sit for some time.

Culadasa calls it "Grade I piti" in his book The Mind Illuminated.

Daniel Ingram calls it second nana, or Knowledge of Cause and Effect, in his book Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha.

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/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/LarryBills · 6 pointsr/Buddhism

Here's a fairly standard recitation for Metta practice:

>May [you] be happy,
>May [you] be healthy,
>May [you] dwell in safey,
>May [you] be free from suffering.

The classical teaching on Loving Kindness is to start with a benefactor (teacher, etc.) Once you have your metta up and going, you extend it to:

  • Yourself
  • A loved one
  • A neutral person
  • A "difficult" person in your life

    You don't move to the next stage until you've stabilized the metta at your current stage.

    Then, you work on extending metta outwards to fill the room (and beyond) in the 6 directions. The recitation is slightly modified to:

    May all beings above be happy...May all beings above be healthy...May all beings above dwell in safety...May all beings above be free from suffering.

    Then you continue in each direction, trying to push/extend the metta outwards.

    May all beings below/in front/behind/to the left/to the right...

    Tip when you are choosing your 5 people: imagine them as either children or smiling. Even your difficult person. This typically makes it a bit easier to wish them well.

    Keep at the meditation daily and don't get frustrated. Remember, it's a skill and it takes a little bit to develop. So don't get down on yourself or abandon it if it all doesn't click in the first week. Metta practice is noble and orients the mind towards wholesomeness. Your day to day life and moods will improve greatly with some dedicated practice.

    If you are interested, you can check out Sharon Salzberg's book on Lovingkindness (metta)
u/FINDTHESUN · 6 pointsr/Meditation

no , just open-minded, what about you ?


here's a quick selection of some of the books from my library list. have you seen/read at least 1 of those?? ;-)

How knowledgeable are you ?

u/reddit_account_123 · 6 pointsr/india
u/shargrol · 6 pointsr/streamentry

/u/sunmusings, you might be interested in the book: Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness: Practices for Safe and Transformative Healing

u/reccedog · 6 pointsr/hinduism

I pick and choose from a lot of ancient spiritual practices. Hinduism is one that really resonates with me though. I started with reading the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. Both considered to be amongst the core texts of Hinduism.

For the Bhagavad Gita, a very beautiful and easy to read version is Stephen Mitchell's translation.

For the Upanishads, the version I like best is Juan Mascaro's translation.

Wishing you peace and love on your journey.

🙏 Namaste 🙏

u/Markovicth45 · 6 pointsr/TheMindIlluminated

Yes. Watch from 1 hour and 17 min in:


In terms of learning to work with energy the number one most important thing IMO is to learn to really ground/root your energy. That can be done very deeply through standing meditation postures from qigong (called Zhan Zhuang). You can also directly learn to sink your energy.

A few good books for learning to do standing meditation and to ground

And for working with energy in general:,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=detail

u/Darkstar7175 · 6 pointsr/TheMindIlluminated

Unfortunately, I don't know of any resources with TMI-like clear instruction ... this books really is in a league of its own ;) I have been practicing Zhan Zhuang using these videos. Before my first sit of the day, I'll do a few minutes of the warm-up exercise, 5-10 minutes of the posture, and a couple minutes of the cool-down exercise. In terms of books, I've heard that Energy Work is good, as well as The Way of Energy, which was written by the gentleman in the videos I linked above. I've also been practicing ashtanga yoga for almost a year now, and I'm just now starting to recognize that it may be helping a bit with the energy stuff, as well. There's a bit of a learning curve to the technique, breathing, and postures you have to go through before it becomes effective, I suspect.

u/peroperoname · 6 pointsr/taoism

Learn about doing shadow work. Rather than reading a text, you can watch videos about it online.

But ultimately, you have to ask yourself the question, why are those thoughts appearing in your mind. Whenever there are thoughts in your mind that you cannot control, it is usually your subconscious trying to give you feedback (positive or negative) on what direction you should take.

The type of questions you mentioned usually pop up with self acceptance issues. Which almost everyone has. There is a part of you that you cannot accept, and you are rejecting it, and so it is invading your mind space, it is telling you that if you are not satisfied with who you are, then work towards the person you want to be. You have an ideal image of who you want to be, what is your role/hierarchy in the society. Anytime you find out that there is someone better than you, your subconscious mind causes a reaction because there is a mismatch with the perception of who you want to be.

Most people have this instinctive reaction, but if this particularly bothers you then you may have unresolved issues from your childhood. Or it may also be a part of your genetic make-up. It is okay to have those thoughts, try to be accepting of them, and understand why they are arising. Use that understanding to gain a better acceptance of yourself and be more "whole", so to speak.

Instead of reading texts, practice forms of healing arts like Qigong or Yoga which will give you good foundation on the road to self-acceptance.

u/McMammoth · 6 pointsr/Buddhism

I see this book is highly recommended by some of the people in this thread, so I went to Amazon to get it and saw this review:

> I was looking for more information on Tibetan buddhism, but sadly this book is mostly about the author. I found it hopelessly narcissistic and pedantic.

I'll probably still get it anyway, since you guys (and most of the rest of the Amazon reviewers) recommend it so highly, but I'd appreciate it if someone could address this review.

EDIT: Actually some of the two- and three-star reviews are concerning as well...

u/Godlessyou · 6 pointsr/offmychest

There's a book that actually changed my life after reading it and I think it would be a good read for you. It's a book about Buddhism, but before you dismiss it for religious reasons or anything it's not like that. It teaches you to understand that you can decide how you react to things... Anyway it's a really great read and really helped me change my outlook on life. I hope it can do the same for you.

u/thenaturalmind · 6 pointsr/Buddhism

Yeah, Ingram does a great job covering the jhanas. You might also want to check out:

  1. Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English

  2. [Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond]( s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318903325&sr=1-1)

u/r3dd3v1l · 5 pointsr/Meditation

Hi, I hope this finds you well. I've struggled with anxiety for a very long time and it was not apparent how bad it was until my first retreat. This was about 5 years ago.


Most of the time when I sit my breathing feels uncomfortable and tight. I used to end sits with way more anxiety because I was not addressing relaxation. You can really hurt yourself if you force it.


Below are some things that have really helped me in the last year.


I don't know anything about your past but you may want to look into the following:

  1. CPTSD - complex PTSD. Chronic anxiety may be due to "consistent" stress.


  1. This book has helped me with my meditation

    I'm sure if you look online you'll find free audio/pdf versions.


  2. Join and check out this community as they have monthly Zoom meetings discussing ways of practicing gently:


  3. Try Reginald Rays earth breathing meditation (04 Guided Earth Breathing), I do this and it helps to relax me. I do it lying down. This helps to notice tension in the body.


  4. see if you can find a somatic therapist with "meditation" experience


    *** A lot of times "breath" meditation is not what we should be doing. Focusing on the breath can create a lot of problems with people with anxiety issues. Note! I did not say anxiety disorder. There are other ways of helping to calm your system down first. Don't be hard on yourself if you can't do "breathing" meditation. Learn to relax. It's absolutely possible. Little by little.
u/aspen-glow · 5 pointsr/streamentry

Well, you would hyperventilate if your inhale were longer than your exhale. I don't think that's healthy for trauma survivors. For me, I definitely use breathwork / pranayam to help with anxiety and tension that are as a result of trauma. A simple breath is to inhale 5 counts, exhale 10 counts, repeating this. By making your exhale longer than your inhale, you activate your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) and your vagus nerve, which is very calming for anxiety, stress, etc. Counter to this is a longer inhale and shorter exhale (hyperventilating), which stimulates your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), which would NOT be helpful for trauma survivors.

Because I have a tendency toward anxiety from my childhood abuse, pranayam and meditation have been life-changing in giving me the tools to both observe emotion when it arises, and allow my breath to carry the emotion through to its end (ie, until the emotion transforms and changes, as it inevitably does).

You may find the book Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness to be good, as well as a book on yogic pranayam.

u/JeffWright123 · 5 pointsr/TrueQiGong

I am pretty new to it all but I really like Everyday Chi Kung and The Way of Energy, both by Lam Kam Chuen. It's pretty easy to develop a beginner's practice (and then carry it to higher levels) using these two books. You might also want to look at his standing meditation videos.

u/NomadicVagabond · 5 pointsr/religion

First of all, can I just say how much I love giving and receiving book recommendations? I was a religious studies major in college (and was even a T.A. in the World Religions class) so, this is right up my alley. So, I'm just going to take a seat in front of my book cases...


  1. A History of God by Karen Armstrong

  2. The Great Transformation by Karen Armstrong

  3. Myths: gods, heroes, and saviors by Leonard Biallas (highly recommended)

  4. Natural History of Religion by David Hume

  5. Beyond Tolerance by Gustav Niebuhr

  6. Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel (very highly recommended, completely shaped my view on pluralism and interfaith dialogue)

  7. The Evolution of God by Robert Wright


  8. Tales of the End by David L. Barr

  9. The Historical Jesus by John Dominic Crossan

  10. Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography by John Dominic Crossan

  11. The Birth of Christianity by John Dominic Crossan

  12. Who Wrote the New Testament? by Burton Mack

  13. Jesus in America by Richard Wightman Fox

  14. The Five Gospels by Robert Funk, Roy W. Hoover, and the Jesus Seminar (highly recommended)

  15. Remedial Christianity by Paul Alan Laughlin


  16. The Jewish Mystical Tradition by Ben Zion Bokser

  17. Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Elliot Friedman


  18. Muhammad by Karen Armstrong

  19. No God but God by Reza Aslan

  20. Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations by Michael Sells


  21. Buddha by Karen Armstrong

  22. Entering the Stream ed. Samuel Bercholz & Sherab Chodzin Kohn

  23. The Life of Milarepa translated by Lobsang P. Lhalungpa

  24. Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by John Powers

  25. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones compiled by Paul Reps (a classic in Western approached to Buddhism)

  26. Buddhist Thought by Paul Williams (if you're at all interested in Buddhist doctrine and philosophy, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not reading this book)


  27. The Essential Chuang Tzu trans. by Sam Hamill & J.P. Seaton


  28. Atheism by Julian Baggini

  29. The Future of an Illusion by Sigmund Freud

  30. Doubt: A History by Jennifer Michael Hecht

  31. When Atheism Becomes Religion by Chris Hedges

  32. Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith
u/outopian · 5 pointsr/Buddhism

Zen Flesh, Zen Bones

Not really a manual, but definitely an awesome book of parables, koans, and stories. Carried it with me when I was wandering around the country as a kid. There is no imaginable way to count how many times I've read it or sought for specific tidbits to reread to see how I grasp things at different times.

u/a_cup_of_juice · 5 pointsr/Buddhism

Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana: A clear guide to bringing the eightfold path into your daily life.

u/No_Thank_You_Daddy · 5 pointsr/Buddhism

I have really appreciated Bhante Gunaratana's Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness and Mindfulness in Plain English. They are good choices if you want to go straight to how to apply Buddhism to your life.

u/otisdog · 5 pointsr/Buddhism

Can't claim to be much of a Buddhist scholar, so I can't answer your question directly but:

I'm not sure what you've read/how you got started but I'm 24, diagnosed (major recurrent) about six months, probably "depressed" since middle school and Mindfulness in plain English (Free!: and Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha's Path ( have been invaluable to me. I've read a lot of what was online and a few other books, but those two books stuck out for me. Also, I'm not sure how this goes over in this subreddit, but depending on the severity of what you're dealing with you may want to seek advice from a qualified professional about medication. I realize this sounds lame and believe me I basically avoided it for ten years but I can honestly say I haven't felt this way since I was a kid, and my family says its like having their son/brother back. I was the walking dead, or rather, reclusive, hiding but breathing dead until I got on anti-depressants and started trying to practice what I've learned from mindfulness/buddhism; I don't care what it is that's working or how, I just know I don't think about killing myself every minute and I don't hide myself in bed/find myself failing at the basic requirements of functioning life.

In particular for some reason the existential non-answers to Buddhism and the ability to deal with nonstop chatter of the mind were pivotal in helping me gain some control of my life. Cultivating loving-kindness also helped me, seemingly ironically, let go of a lot of stuff. I would say more than any other thing try to maintain a positive perspective and open mind. Unfortunately a lot of the core simplicity evident in some teachings is inherently antithetical to western social consciousness; we cultivate sarcasm and cynicism that naturally mocks universal concepts like love, peace, tranquility. That the teachings are often delivered in pesudo-scientific sounding "alternative medicine" or "eastern philosophy" packages with their concomitant disparaging subtext compounds this conditioned aversion. It may be going too far to say that unraveling these notions is a step towards a "deeper meaning," but perhaps not.

u/Paradoxiumm · 5 pointsr/Meditation

Mindfulnss, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditatior's Handbook by Ajahn Brahm, great for beginners and seasoned practitioners.

u/TheRedBaron11 · 5 pointsr/LucidDreaming

For starters, I've been reading this absolutely amazing book, I've had a few revelations into how purposeful meditation can help lucid dreaming techniques. Firstly, the book emphasizes the idea that one of the main purposes of meditation is to cultivate two things: Mindfulness and Stable Attention.


Mindfulness, many of you are very aware of. It includes both external observation (what's going on around you, sensations in your body, etc) and internal, metacognitive observation (awareness of emotion and thought). It means being peripherally aware of these things, without directing your primary attention towards them.

Many lucid dreaming techniques involve mindfullness, and ADA is the pinnacle. ADA is a technique that is not only geared towards dreaming - it is an end goal of many who are purely interested in the benefits it can bring to waking life as well.


Stable attention, on the other hand, is not so heavily emphasized in this sub. Meditation is like weight training for your mind. If you lift chest and bis every day, neglecting your legs, you'll look like a chicken. If you cultivate mindfullness without regarding stable attention, the book outlines a few "symptoms" that could not only make lucid dreaming harder, but also could be detrimental to (desired) brain function.

The hardest part about advanced stages of meditation seems to be combining the two together, at the same time, so that both your awareness and focus are effortless and powerful. For a long time, I was meditating with the purpose of developing ADA and mindfulness only. I have gotten very good at doing reality checks, my awareness is pretty solid throughout the day, and I often realize I'm dreaming. However, my ability to focus has not made very much progress - in fact sometimes I feel like it's gotten worse. Even though I become lucid often, the dream does not always become super vivid, the length is often short, and I tend to get distracted SUPER easily.


Since I started focusing on the two as a pair during meditation, I have seen many benefits that come from training the attention, both awake and asleep. In waking life my focus has gotten better. Attention wanders naturally for everyone, but my cycle of re-focusing it has become much shorter. The way you get distracted doing work is the same way you get distracted from your meditation object (finger wagging, the breath, yoga poses, etc). In the dream world, the vividity of my dreams has increased, they've been more stable, and I'm more able to focus on my dream intentions without "losing it".

Instead of trying to be aware of everything but focussed on nothing (the silence that we talk about), it is sometimes good to be aware of everything and focus on nothing but the meditation object. Something specific is best, such as the sensations of the breath passing the tip of your nose.

tl;dr You can't pick and choose what you want to train. The meditation and lucid dreaming package includes both mindfulness and stable attention, and training one to the exclusion of the other has consequences - awake or asleep.

u/tanger · 5 pointsr/Meditation

I am not a meditation expert (I think I am TMI level 4) so I can't fully evaluate its teachings but I read a number of books and I like this book the best. It is a very detailed guide with clear explanations for meditators of all experience levels. I think people just like the book so much that it looks they have a stake in the sales. Look at the reviews at - 134 reviews, 4.9 stars in average. Redditor for 10 years ;)

u/Fleezo · 5 pointsr/Meditation

I'm just going to link you to this book which has helped me. I have been practicing meditation for about a year and half now everyday. I got this book about 2 months ago and I wish I had gotten it when I first started. It basically lays out all the different stages of meditation like a road map while most things you read online are going to be like signs which say where to go but don't actually let you know where you are in the journey. Book:

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/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/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/KagakuNinja · 5 pointsr/kratom

My go-to book for meditation is The Mind Illuminated

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/Royed · 5 pointsr/Meditation

I am currently in the middle of reading Manual of Insight by Mahasi Sayadaw, and what you've posted seems directly in line with what I am reading.

u/righteous_bandy · 4 pointsr/Fantasy

I'm not sure about the Mahabharata in its entirity, but Eknath Easwaran does a really wonderful job of translating and contextualizing the Bhagavad Gita (which is one very small, but very famous part of the Mahabharata). That might not be a bad place to start.

u/Dogbert12 · 4 pointsr/changemyview

I can't change your mind. You need to meet more religious people. Read some actual theology. Meet a Ba'hai, or a Hindu, or a Muslim. Nobody can change your mind on this.

You're putting too much emphasis on logic. The fact is that formal logic (if A, B, if B, C, A therefore C) isn't all that useful outside of an academic setting, and in my experience the people who go around declaring things 'logical' and 'illogical' don't really know what it means. Usually, what these people mean by 'logical' is what makes sense to me. If you judge people based on how 'logical' you feel that they are, you're going to have a very bad time and a very hard life. Unless you're an academic philosopher, that behavior won't serve you well.

For example, do you believe the sun will rise tomorrow? I know you do. Well, that belief of yours has no basis in formal logic. That's a problem philosophers have been trying to tackle for a very long time, and with no real luck. I know, I know: the sun has risen every day in the history of the Earth, you say. Of course it will rise tomorrow. But if you step back and actually try to write a formal logical argument for that fact, you'll find you won't be able to. By your own standards, your beliefs shouldn't be taken seriously. After all, they're based on what is, essentially, faith.

You believe in these things--that the sun will rise tomorrow, that the earth will keep spinning, that your life is real and not some sort of elaborate fantasy or dream--not because you have any logical reason to (again, try to write one up. You won't be able to) but because those beliefs are based on your experience and what makes your life function. You lay out your clothes for the next morning, you study for your test, you go to bed early, all because of a belief which is based on no logical reasoning whatsoever. You need to live your life as if these beliefs are valid because you couldn't function otherwise. You've had this experience of the sun rising every day, so you have no reason to believe it won't. You have faith that it will, based on nothing resembling logic. You live your life accordingly.

So, if you're still with me, why shouldn't that apply to other people? If I have a subjective experience--a feeling in my heart which I can't describe, that there is some sort of divine providence or some form of higher intelligence--who are you to tell me otherwise? I have a subjective experience which I call 'God'; I've felt it every day of my life. Sometimes I do things based on that experience which have no logical purpose. I pray.

How is that at all different from you laying your clothes out in the morning, based on this inherently illogical belief that the sun will continue to rise like it has for the last few billion years? You live your life based off of experiences and beliefs with no formal logical underpinning. So does any religious person. You'd be a hypocrite, in my opinion, if you had the audacity to declare anyone somehow not-as-valuable as you for being 'illogical'.

I'm certain you're not convinced, and that's because no one will convince you of this. Again, you need to meet more religious people. I don't mean in your small Bible Belt town (a lot of the people I know with this attitude come from small religious towns, so I don't mean to assume). What I mean is real religious people, from different faiths and different countries and cultures and histories. Read religious texts--they're just philosophy, deep down, and if you want to be an intellectual you'll need to read them someday. Read, if you can, The Upanishads. In my experience, Hindu stuff has a lot in common with other faiths, even the Abrahamic ones. And if you do live in a small religious town (as I know many of the folks at /r/atheism do) them leave. Drive around America. You'll meet tons of religious people and, in my experience, they're nearly all intelligent and friendly and good-natured as long as you don't touch their property.

u/jty87 · 4 pointsr/Buddhism

This is Mahasi Sayadaw. You might like his noting method.

Here are a few more resources on his approach to meditation.

And here is a comprehensive meditation manual he wrote.

I'm not a Mahasi guy myself, but I thought he sounded kinda like what you're looking for...

u/liamt07 · 4 pointsr/TheMindIlluminated

/u/TMIMeditation you might find this book helpful as a companion reference:

u/All_Is_Coming · 4 pointsr/yoga

There are thousands of different asana. The Hatha Yoga Padipika lists the 84 classic postures (only the first four, Siddhasana, Padmasana, Baddha Konasana, and Simhasana, are necessary to attain yogic perfection). The definitive guide is Iyengar's Light On Yoga.

u/texture · 4 pointsr/Psychonaut

This is not ego death, this is just depression. With ego death there is no thing to feel bad.

I recommend that book. It will be the best 12 bucks you ever spend.

u/Peloria · 4 pointsr/depression

Suffering from depression for many years, I recently started changing my mind. I have read a few books, Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth, and Bhante Henepola Gunaratan's Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness. Reading these books helped me understand what was happening in my head.

Depression is something that you may never get over and is something you should accept. Once you stop fighting it (by accepting it) you can focus that energy somewhere else. Happiness is not what you should seek. When trying to find happiness, you will fail. When I was depressed, I would constantly say (out loud or to myself) "I just want to be happy," but now I realize my definition of happiness and what I wanted were different. Happiness has a different meaning and connotation than what I really was hoping to achieve. Happiness to me means experiencing pleasure, (mostly through the 5 senses and social acceptance). This is short lasting and it seems the more we have the more we want. Peace is what I really wanted. I wanted my mind to stop thinking all the time. I wanted calm and quiet and the absence of pain and sadness.

It was not something that came naturally or easy to me. I had so many years of thinking the same way, it felt 'not like me'. But that is good. When your depressed, thinking like you is bad. So, I began trying to be aware of what I was thinking. Anytime a negative thought would pop up I would say to myself, "Is that true? Is this necessary? Why do I feel this way? Is this feeling beneficial?" The only problem with the questions is that you have to answer them and not let Depression answer them.

I would try to talk to a counselor, it really helped me. I didn't think sitting talking to a stranger would be so beneficial, but somehow it did some good. Also, I found staying way from TV to be best. The books I suggested really helped me and I hope you maybe go to a book store and just glance through them. Depression causes you to not see clearly, and makes you doubt that what people suggest will help. Don't let Depression control you, try to take small steps to control the depression.

Hope this was helpful in some way. Sorry so long. If want to ask anything I will be around.

u/chakrakhan · 4 pointsr/Buddhism

Theravada is relatively secular. With basically any sect, you may have to interpret ideas like karma and rebirth the way you will.

Here's some stuff to check out:

Secular Buddhist Podcast

Secular Buddhist Association

The ID Project

Also, as a side note, I really recommend the book "8 Mindful Steps to Happiness" as a wonderful introduction to the Buddhist path from a Therevadin perspective.

u/Sherlockian_Holmes · 4 pointsr/Meditation

I can really recommend the book A Mind Illuminated if you need a sort of guide through the steps. It's really well-made and helpful on the path.

Here's an excerpt that seems relevant:

>“You’ve reached Stage Nine when there’s complete pacification of the senses and fully developed meditative joy. This means that almost every time you sit, you can enter a state of mental and physical pliancy, accompanied by the blisses of mental and physical pliancy. This is also called Grade V or pervading pīti, which you experience as circulating energy, physical comfort, pleasure, stability, and intense joy. Although you can regularly achieve this grade of pīti, each time you do, the growing intensity of the joy and energy of the experience inevitably disrupts it.
The goal of Stage Nine is for meditative joy to mature completely, and for pīti to subside in intensity. You accomplish this by repeatedly reaching Grade V pīti and sustaining it for as long as you can. Other than that, you just have to keep out of the way while continuing to practice. When you can stay with the pīti long enough, allowing unification to proceed and joy to mature, pīti eventually gives way to tranquility and equanimity. This is the essence of Stage Nine practice.”

>“For the intensity of pīti to calm, you need to be able to sustain it until the intensity peaks and starts to subside, giving way to tranquility and equanimity. At first, Grade V pīti can’t be sustained very long at all because physical pliancy is so novel, interesting, and enjoyable. And the highly energized, excited state of Grade V pīti makes potential distractions, such as altered body perception, illumination, and inner sound, even more potent. Competing intentions to attend to these phenomena repeatedly succeed in disrupting the consensus to attend exclusively to the breath.”

>“The excitement can also produce a powerful, restless urge to get up and share your experience with someone. It’s also common to mistake the intense joy, inner light, and transformed perception of the body for something more exalted. The ebullient satisfaction of meditative joy may make you think, “I’ve arrived. What more could I want? This is it!” Remember, joy affects not only how we feel in response to experiences, but also how we perceive and interpret them. Enjoy these positive qualities, but don’t be misled by them.
To deal with these distractions, urges, and misperceptions, recognize them for what they are, and just let them come, let them be, and let them go. Yes, you’ll likely give in a few times at first, but as soon as the euphoria subsides, return to the practice with a firm resolve to ignore whatever arises. On the positive side, these disruptions let you practice regaining pīti after you’ve lost it. An adept meditator at this Stage can usually overcome these problem “quickly and easily and stay with the pīti longer.”

  • Culadasa John Yates. “The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science.”

    Either way, seems like you're doing tremendous work. Strive on.

u/hissingcookie · 4 pointsr/samharris

The mind Illuminated is probably the most straightforward, no-nonesense, textbook style guide to meditation I've ever read. It can be a little dry but has clear actionable advice for anyone serious about practicing.

u/MonkeyIsNullo · 4 pointsr/Meditation

Dhamma Brothers is a film about teaching meditation to inmates. The teachers, I believe, were certified Goenka's style of Vipassana, which, crudely put, is basic body scanning. Some great links can be found on this thread. Your Breathing Body Vol1 & Vol2 by Reggie Ray is probably the most comprehensive coverage you're going to get for staying with the body - if that's what you want to do. Most likely you do since prison is not exactly a safe place. Mindfulness of the body would be a great refuge in a place like that. Also, you could look into stuff by Shinzen Young, he has a lot of videos on YouTube and new book coming out, however, to simplify his stuff even more you could get this book. Simple practices is what I would stick with for prison. Also, also, someone in this thread will, sooner or later, recommend The Mind Illuminated. You can't go wrong with the techniques in there.

Edit: grammar. :/

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/grayisthenewgrey · 4 pointsr/taoism

I like the red pine translation:

and ursula le guin's:

in my opinion its always good to read a few different different translations of the same passage to really get at the thing. each translation is informed by the translators time place understanding and belief in the source material, which i find interesting to cross compare.

the daodejing is collection of classical chinese poems, and those are very modal for lack of better word. in a very rough description, classical chinese poems consist of loosely connected nouns and descriptors devoid of syntax leading to a purposive ambiguity necessitating the reader to in effect finish the poems themselves. so it is literally the entire point of the daodejing that it doesn't mean one exact thing in particular, but loosely describes a sentiment we finish in our minds.

u/CaseyAPayne · 4 pointsr/taoism

Here's my favorite. Nice introduction. Included the Chinese. The best part is it has commentary to "great Chinese thinkers" which illustrates how multidimensional the text is. Even among greater historic figures in Chinese history there is no consensus. The power of the book is in its ability to turn your personal experience into principles to govern yourself.

u/bewalsh · 3 pointsr/Meditation

I never consistently reached jhana 1 before i realized that 'watching the breath' doesn't mean manually breathing and paying attention to it. You let your body breathe the way it does when you're doing other things, but watch it.

I extra strongly suggest reading:

  1. The Mind Illuminated

  2. Right Concentration

    If you read these two books it will 100% without any doubt get you to jhana, zero questions, zero gimmicks. The fruit of reading these two for me is indescribable, I genuinely cannot communicate how big the payoff on this is.
u/Tabularasa00 · 3 pointsr/Meditation

Personally I feel it's like trying to still the rippling water in a pond. In the earlier stages your trying to focus, focus but the mind is like an annoying five your old kid constantly lobbing these big rocks in to the pond. "Maybe I'll have Pizza Later" or "I can't believe what that person said today," Once you get past those then it's often followed by little pebbles like, "Oh this is going well today," or "Wow I didn't think about anything there for about 30 seconds." Then you might get pulled away by those tiny reflections and its back to square one with "Wow this is the best session I've ever had maybe I'll quit my job and go on retreat for 6 months, where will I start?" ;-) You could think of them as 'schools of thought' as you say or just a more coarse level of thought that's progressing to a more subtle level. I'd see it as a sign your making progress though, it's a good thing that your recognising them for what they are..just more thoughts. After you get through those more talky discursive statements and fantasies you'll probably find more and more subtle levels of background 'processing' that you start to notice, less verbal but still active and fighting for your attention too.

In some of the traditions I've looked at this idea of checking up or the active monitoring of your session occasionally is fine but it's used more strategically and momentarally, sometimes it's called 'introspection' or monitoring the flow of mindfulness in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition I think. That's a whole area in itself though, too much to go into here. This is not the same as judging or reflecting leisurely on whether your having an overall good session though, it's more a kind of quick spot check of the body and mind ensuring the continued quality and vividness of your engagement with the object (the breath in your case). This is done wordlessly and after a while when you get better at it it's so fast (like an eyeblink) that it doesn't distract the attention. It can become a distraction if over used in later stages though.

There's a good book I found by recommendation on here that is more detailed on specifics of techniques in stilling the mind.

The author summarises some of the techniques and practices that are common to a few Buddhist traditions in a more *cough accesible way. Although he labels some things differently I recognise alot of his ideas from other works and classic texts I have read and studied over the past year and a half, he references some of the original sources too, might be worth a look. Patience and practice is the main thing I believe but there are specific techniques and roadmaps available you can use to make the journey quicker and easier.

u/Zossimov · 3 pointsr/LucidDreaming

I'm glad you're enjoying the book and that it's helping you on the way to ADA! I didn't post it earlier in the daily thread since I got sidetracked by different things and it slipped out of my mind.

While we're on the subject, I've got couple of more resources regarding mindfulness meditation that might be interesting.

The first one is a comprehensive book on meditation called The mind illuminated which offers a step by step process of how to meditate and provides plenty of answers for a novice meditator. It helped me a great deal in the beginning since I didn't know what to expect or what to think of certain emotions that I was having while meditating - for example, bliss, the slight feeling of disgust or disassociation from certain things. Without knowing what to think of them, I was surprised at first that such emotions can well up inside me while meditating - "trying to relax" in my mind - but reading through that book and "Mindfulness in plain English" made me realise that meditation is an active introspective attention that shines a light on one's thoughts and emotions. The goal of meditation is not the removal of such emotions or thoughts, it's their understanding through purposive attention. I would highly recommend it for someone starting out with meditation with the caveat that it could be "too good" of a guide, as it is very structured and after a while that can be one of its cons.

Another resource worth looking into is that of Open Monitoring Meditation. What surprised me in the beginning and still does to this day, are the numerous variations on meditation and what those entail. Open Monitoring for me is a natural progression of the meditative practice I'm doing while seated for 20-25 minutes a day in meditation. I start out by paying attention to my breath, noticing the sensation of breathing in, holding the breath for a split second and then breathing out. Noticing whether I take a long, deep breath from my diaphragm or a shallow breath from my chest. Ask myself at first: Do I feel a certain tension in my chest, neck or shoulders? Then I start to pay attention to my mind and what thoughts arise within it - is it a compulsive thought on posting to reddit something I forgot, maybe or that job interview I'm going to have later in the day? After that, in whatever I do or think I ask myself "Is this worth thinking/doing?" if it is then I ask myself "How well am I doing this? Could I improve on it somehow?". The latter questions aren't meant to be judgemental, in my opinion, rather they should bring your attention and awareness to the thing that you are doing whatever that might be, walking, reading or writing a post on the sub. To me there are plenty of parallels between Open Monitoring and ADA, perhaps they are based upon the same body of practices and motivations or perhaps they are referring to the same thing but in a different language?

Either way, I highly recommend looking into it. Here's a scientific paper I found on a quick search that investigates Open Monitoring Meditation and two other forms of meditation, giving a pretty good overview picture of the three and their uses to the everyday meditator.

Hope it helps and I'll keep posting such resources whenever I come across more!

u/redspade117 · 3 pointsr/Meditation

Very good guide on meditation:

Compassion training:

Use these books to begin a consistent meditation practice. Also, I would recommend finding a good therapist to work with on a regular basis. Start journaling and try to give yourself a break, talk to yourself a little more nicely. You don't need to hate something about yourself, remember that you are human and be grateful that you at least recognize what may need to change within yourself. Some people never even get that far :)

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/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/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/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/tufflax · 3 pointsr/Meditation

I was also depressed a while ago when I got tinnitus. But I went to therapy and it really helped. I don't think meditation would have helped as quickly. I don't know much about PTSD, and your depression might well be different from what I had, but I think you should first seek professional help.

With that said, if you want to learn more about meditation, I think The Mind Illuminated is a fantastic book. Note, however, that there are many different kinds of meditation, but the book describes what I believe is the most popular kind.

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/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/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/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/TommyRobotX · 3 pointsr/Meditation
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/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/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/TheFuzz · 3 pointsr/taoism
u/hecha · 3 pointsr/taoism

For each chapter in Red Pine's book he includes the Chinese characters, his translation, and a page-full of select interpretations from well-known commentators. Just to clarify - a single translation but a handful of interpretations.

u/pibe92 · 3 pointsr/Buddhism has an excellent course titled "Discovering Buddhism" that can be taken online and does a good job of introducing Buddhism from square one. FPMT is a respected mainstream organization. Otherwise, I would recommend the book Buddhism for Beginners by Thubten Chodron. Ven. Chodron has studied extensively with the Dalai Lama and is a well-regarded Buddhist scholar.

Either of those resources would be helpful to study on your own alongside attending whatever services are nearby.

u/burrito-boy · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

Sharon Salzberg's book "Lovingkindness" is a perennial favourite:

u/DormiensVigila108 · 3 pointsr/Psychic

No problem. If you're interested in self-realization, I highly recommend The Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita; short reads, but very powerful and ancient systems of self-examination and inquiry (the linked translations are, in my opinion, the best formatted and done, with a stellar introduction for those unfamiliar with the text). Additionally, I'd like to leave you with a quote about dreams that left a very strong impact on me:

As 4th century BCE Daoist philosopher, Chuang Tzu, said: “Chuang Tzu once dreamed that he was a butterfly fluttering here and there, going wherever he pleased. He was totally unaware of Chuang Tzu. A sudden awakening left nothing else but Chuang Tzu himself, who did not know anything about his being a bufferfly. It is therefore unknown whether it is Chuang Tzu who dreamed of being a bufferfly or if it is a butterfly who dreamed of being Chuang Tzu. The butterfly and Chuang Tzu are completely different entities, and it is called transformation when an entity becomes another.”

u/pour_some_sugar · 3 pointsr/Meditation

One of the 'classics' is Autobiography of a Yogi and another wonderful book is Eknath Easwaran's translation of the Bhagavad Gita

They basically go hand-in-hand as the Bhagavad Gita is one of the founding documents related to classical yoga (the quest to unite the individual soul with the universe).

The books don't so much give a history of meditation as much as provide a wonderful background / introduction to Eastern philosophy as well as being fun to read and inspiring to many people.

The Bhagavad Gita made me want to meditate, and the Autobiography of a Yogi gave me the further inspiration to seek the lessons from the author in how to meditate, as well as a philosophical background on classical yoga meditation systems beyond the 'yoga lite' health club version that is so prevalent today.

u/JohnnyZampano · 3 pointsr/Meditation

I don't have the answers you seek. Yet it seems you have them, as do we all.

>Who/what is this observer, this part of me that can observe things, can think things, but can also objectively step back and experience things...?

This is something I have asked myself for years in meditation and life, and something that keeps getting answered only while giving rise to new questions.

It sounds like whatever you are doing is working, so keep at it.

One area of study that has been very transformational for me is investigation of the self - "who am I?" - "what is this?" and so on.

The skandhas have been an amazing area of investigation for me. Basically there are five skandhas or aggregates that make up human beings. When I looked I could not find anything in my experience that was not included in these five things. When I looked (in deep meditation and in life) at each of these five things individually I could not find a self in anyone of them - yet when I look at them all together I felt some sense of self - weird right?

There is another area of study called anatta or no-self which explains the whole ordeal.

These are Buddhist terms and practices, but have been very helpful in my investigation.

When I ordered my first zafu this koan was included:

>The Human Route

>Coming empty-handed, going empty-handed – that is human.

>When you are born, where do you come from?

>When you die, where do you go?

>Life is like a floating cloud which appears.

>Death is like a floating cloud which disappears.

>The floating cloud itself originally does not exist.

>Life and death, coming and going, are also like that.

>But there is one thing which always remains clear.

>It is pure and clear, not depending on life and death.

>Then what is the one pure and clear thing?

P.S. if you want another take on the whole thing the Bhagavad Gita presents another message, one that is absolutely fascinating.

u/veragood · 3 pointsr/Psychonaut

In my opinion, Western philosophy is almost entirely useless and impractical for understanding altered states of consciousness because it has no interest in truth beyond language. Western philosophers are obsessed with words, with concepts - so obsessed, indeed, that the mere idea of looking beyond them has never crossed their minds for more than a second. The best you can do with Western philosophy is Aldous Huxley. His most famous work that deals directly with psychedelics and states of consciousness beyond language is The Doors of Perception. But his Perennial Philosophy may be even better as far as deep philosophy goes. Plus, it blends together teachings from West and East into one coherent whole.

If you are interested in intellectually digesting a psychedelic experience, you really need some eastern philosophy. The best of the best, the crown jewel, is the Bhagavad Gita. Also look into the Buddha's life and teachings, for digesting enlightenment is very similar to digesting a psychedelic experience. My recommendation here is the Dhammapada. This is less spiritual, more intellectual than the Gita, and the copy I linked has a beautifully written introduction on the Buddha's life and his own dealing with enlightenment. If you are spiritually inclined, start with the Gita. If you are more intellectually inclined, I would start with Huxley or the Dhammapada. Either will help you process a psychedelic experience in a way that mainstream Western philosophy could never match.

u/OpportunityBox · 3 pointsr/Psychonaut

There are tons of free single lectures available on YouTube. This is one of my favorites .

HOWEVER, I strongly suggest you splurge on the Out Of Your Mind lecture series audiobook. It ties many thing together in ways that the individual snippets on YouTube can’t come close to.

u/smegma420 · 3 pointsr/exjw

I love listening to Alan Watts. His Out of Your Mind lectures were very eye-opening for me, and gave me a foundation upon which to start questioning my own beliefs and self.

I will check this book out and report back :)

u/prettycode · 3 pointsr/Meditation

There's a 2,000 Buddhist map for attaining awakening. And, as I've come to experience first-hand, it's one legitimate model for understanding the progression toward liberation.

See Mahasi Sayadaw, Kenneth Folk, Daniel Ingram, Ron Crouch, and others:

u/Up2Eleven · 3 pointsr/RedditForGrownups

It's basically about mindfulness but is very focused with techniques to deal with distractions, emotions, and other stuff. The best "manual" I've ever read about it is this:

u/MilkAndJam · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

I just finished this book,


I strongly recommend it!

u/Megananda_ · 3 pointsr/streamentry

Check out Culadasa's take on it:

The book does NOT focus on "what to do" with energy flows, but is very clear on when and why they occur, what meditation practices lend to them, and offers (the beginning of) a physiological theory.

u/chrisgagne · 3 pointsr/Meditation

Wonderful! This is 100% normal. When your mind gets quiet, all of this will come up naturally.

You've got it. Just let it come, let it be, let it go.

If it becomes too much, try easing off sitting meditation and weave in some walking or loving-kindness meditation. Mindful yoga would be good too.

Here is an interview my teacher that may give you insight into how meditation and therapy come together.

If you have a history of trauma, you might like this book.

u/robrem · 3 pointsr/TheMindIlluminated

This kind of mind-induced somatosensory pain when meditating is often associated with trauma. I've worked with similar issues myself, though what you're describing sounds markedly more pronounced than what I've worked with.

If you know yourself to be a trauma survivor, then I would suggest finding a teacher that has some kind of background in trauma-sensitive mindfulness, and ideally some kind of professional mental health background.

One book (that I have not read myself), but gets mentioned a lot in this context is Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness by David Treleavan.
Another one (that I've partially read) is The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van der Kolk. That last one is very informative but also difficult as many of the case studies that are described are pretty harrowing to listen to - just a warning.

I meet with a teacher twice per month, and much of what we do, besides meditation, and discussing practice, is essentially talk therapy. She also prescribes me a number of non-meditation exercises that are pretty standard in working with grief and trauma. I've found it very helpful and beneficial to my practice.

Incorporating some metta, or what Shinzen Young calls Nurture Positive would likely also be beneficial. If you can cultivate some practices that plain just make you feel good, that you can depend on as a resource, it can provide a sense of security that lets you navigate more painful sensations and associated memories/emotions/thoughts with a much needed felt sense of grounding.

u/FakeWalterHenry · 3 pointsr/politics

I'd recommend reading the Bhagavad Gita, maybe start with a modern translation to familiarize yourself with the contents before diving into a more literal translation. I don't really have anything on tap for Buddhist or Shinto literature. Usually I start with the history of the religion and follow-up with any mentioned texts.

u/quinientos_uno · 3 pointsr/getdisciplined

Sure. Offer the fruits of your actions to whatever supreme being you happen to believe in.

It's literally one of the oldest tricks in the book.

u/ubermensch8 · 3 pointsr/hinduism
u/abruptmodulation · 3 pointsr/ashtanga

I hear you. I like to explore philosophy with a number of teachers in the lineage; one of my favorite weekend workshops was with Harmony Slater. She’s a joy and a wealth of knowledge.

I am lucky that I get to practice with Eddie. I may be a bit biased, but I really don’t know of any other books that so succinctly ties it all together at the right level of information blending both Eastern and Western schools of thought.

Book recos:

Here is my favorite translation of the Bhagavad Gita.

I also really like this interpretation of the Yamas and Niyamas.

And my favorite Yoga Sutras.

The closest I can think of in terms of modern day explanations is the Yamas and Niyamas book by Deborah Adele. It really is a nice, practical read.

u/MolecularGenetics · 3 pointsr/internal_arts

Zhan Zhuang might be the best option for you. Check out The Way of Energy by Master Lam Kam Chuen. It's a simple and detailed book on Zhan Zhuang and how to start training by yourself. Remember to follow the book instruction precisely to get any result. I think the book fits your criteria of postures, feelings, visualizations, and explanations.

It's only $13 on amazon. If you want the over $25 free shipping, buy it with his other book Chi Kung: Way of Power, which teaches you how to apply power.

Good luck.

u/megadp25 · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

I don't think there's anything wrong with being a Christian and practicing Buddhism. Lots of people see Buddhism as more of a philosophy than a religion. The resources are definitely out there though. As far as books go, my personal favorite and the only book I have on the subject is Awakening the Buddha Within by Surya Das. I'd highly recommend it!

As far as feeling down about where you're at in life, don't beat yourself up. We're all on our own journeys and we all strive to better ourselves the best way we can. Be well, brother!

u/lenniebaby · 3 pointsr/TwoXChromosomes

Probably not what you were looking for, but that kind of mindset is exactly what Buddhists train to eradicate through meditation. I'm reading Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World right now, and it breaks Buddhism down into everyday language really nicely. A lot of it is about abandoning recognition or validation from the outside world, and keeping a perspective on what's important - including appreciating yourself and what you have. Great read, and might help guide you on your own path to self-improvement, Buddhist or not :)

u/aandrewc · 3 pointsr/KingOfTheHill

It's included in this book which has a lot of good stories that anyone could benefit from reading and thinking about.

u/My_Final_Incarnation · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

If you are looking to dip your toes into koan practice I suggest Zen Flesh Zen Bones it isnt exactly koan practice but begins to introduce the idea and feel of koan study. Personally, unless you have already been meditating with a teacher for some time now I wouldn't expect too much progress in this area, but still best of luck!
Best wishes and i hope this helped

u/pahool · 3 pointsr/yoga

Iyengar's book Light on Yoga is good for giving a progression of easy to difficult poses.

u/neodiogenes · 3 pointsr/yoga

It is. So is this by B.K.S. Iyengar.

And of course, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: here for an overview, and here for text with commentary.

Or here, without the interpretive commentary.

Anyway, the Iyengar book will give you an intro to what you seek. There are, of course, thousands of schools of yoga in India, each with their own particular disciplines. So don't get too wrapped up in any one as being The Way of yoga.

u/SohrabJamshid · 3 pointsr/yoga

Light on Yoga has what you're looking for, and it's really great, but it shouldn't be a substitute for a well trained teacher who can help you progress into advanced poses in a safe way.

u/Jhana4 · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha's Path

Written by the author of "Mindfulness In Plain English" ( a life long Buddhist monk ) this book is basically "The Noble Eightfold Path In Plain English" and focuses on how ordinary people can apply the Eightfold Path in daily life.

u/RogerEast · 3 pointsr/TheMindIlluminated

I'd add Bhante Gunaratana's 8 Mindful Steps to Happiness to this recommendation.

Not quite as concise, but one of the best "plain English" outlines of the Eightfold Path I've had the pleasure of reading. I regularly revisit it.

u/velocity_of_time · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

OK - just threw that in there due to your comment about talking to girls and negative thoughts.

You should certainly consider meditation, and give it an honest shot. Even when divorced from the religious teaching of the Buddha, many forms of meditation have proven stress-relieving effects, and (anecdotally) can help with cognition, patience, and compassion. For a primer I recommend Mindfulness in Plain English, a wonderful book that is available for free here. I think you'll find the first chapter very helpful in answering your question "why meditate?" As for how long, I fully intend to meditate daily for the rest of my life. Once you really get going and start to see the benefits, I can't imagine you'd one day say "alright, my work here is done."

Bhante Gunaratana also has a very helpful, detailed book about applying the Noble Eightfold Path to daily life: Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness. Here's an article about it by the Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, but I'm not sure how accessible it will be to a beginner.

OK, I see. So the point of your practice will be to help others as much as yourself? Look into metta (loving kindness) meditation; it can help you with your ability to forgive and also make compassionate thought and action more "automatic." Keep in mind from the beginning, though, that nothing you do will "improve others." You can only change your attitude to other people. Of course, if you're more compassionate, positive, and forgiving, it may very well rub off on them. And even if it doesn't, you'll be happy. It's a no-lose scenario.

I hope this has helped.

u/improbablesalad · 3 pointsr/Catholicism

> My closest friend just became a Zen Buddhist

Watch out for new-convert enthusiasm (people get a little bit overexcited sometimes)...this might be what's going on.

If you want to lure her closer to Catholicism by way of Zen, the book I recommend to people whose Christian friends are attempting to wander off in the direction of Zen (to haul them back on course) is Christian Meditation (Finley).

> She says that I should just live in the present and not worry about sinful behavior.

I would be like "girl, what about the Eightfold Path?" because Buddhists do have some notion of "you should live a virtuous life and not just have fun all the time" (granted everything I know about this came from reading a while ago.)

I would rather see her become Catholic but if she's going to do Zen Buddhism in the meantime, she oughta at least do it right. It is more ascetic than she makes it sound (and also less concerned with "what YOU are doing makes ME sad.")

u/visceralcumtyphoon · 3 pointsr/ADHD

Daily routine of meditation. Just keep going back to it even if you miss a day. After a month of a steady practice you'll start to surprise yourself with all the new mental kung fu you can do. I recommend this book highly:

For me, that book was life changing, only reading I did on meditation that didn't sound like "hippy-dippy nonesense". You don't even need to read the whole thing to get what you need out of it.

Excercise. I lean towards doing light consistent excercise everyday instead of lifting heavy three days a week.

Coffee, Nicotine, high protein/low-sugar diet.

I'm in the middle of my final year of undergrad and I'm totally without any medication (by choice). So I know exactly how frustrating it is. Do these things and do some research on how ADHD affects your mind, and you should make it just fine :)

u/rathskellar · 3 pointsr/Buddhism
u/Sawagurumi · 3 pointsr/TheRedPill

OK, let's keep this simple and focussed. There are apps out there for subscription services, like Headspace or Calm, but I would strongly advise downloading 'Insight Timer' This is free (there is some paid content for extra ambient sounds or other bells, but those also are extremely cheap, like a couple of dollars, and you don't need to spend anything to get full use of the app), and is an excellent timer, everything you need. But it is much more than that. It also has loads of guided meditations and extra content for free, it tracks your sessions, includes a log for you to make notes, has groups for you to join, ask questions of, or encourage each other. You can't go wrong with this, it is extremely popular, and deserves to be.

If you don't know what it is all about, and don't have a teacher, then I highly suggest getting a copy of a new book called The mind illuminated: A complete meditation guide integrating buddhist wisdom and brain science by Culadasa, Matthew Immergut, and Jeremy Graves (Amazon lists Graves as the author) This will take you step by step through the process from the very beginning to advanced training in vipassana and samatha. You may also like A path with a heart by Jack Kornfield, an old classic in the field. There are of course books about specific traditions within Buddhism, like those by the Dalai Llama, or Zen Training by Katsuki Sekida, but those first two are very good.

You may want to invest in a Zafu and Zabuton, but many westerners prefer a chair anyway.

Basically, meditation is taking your mind to the gym. Even without all the other benefits (and it does change the structure of your brain), even just the increase in self-discipline and stress reduction makes it very worth while.

u/theLiftedMind · 3 pointsr/Meditation
u/chiubaka · 3 pointsr/Meditation

I'd have to agree with /u/TheHeartOfTuxes, the more you advance, you will reach a point where you need a teacher to help you uncover your blind spots in your practice. Doubt is one major and difficult hinderance to remove. You need to acquire experiential wisdom instead of intellectual wisdom.

In anycase, here are some scientific papers that might satisfy your intellectual itch:

Effects of mindfulness (Eberth 2012)

Why it pays off to be mindful (Fogarty 2013)

Mindfulness and self esteem (Randal 2015)

They might help you generate interest and motivation to practice.
If you are stuck, one highly recommended book is The Mind Illuminated by Culadasa. This is truly an amazing meditation bible that could help you get unstuck, if you don't have access to a teacher or if you are a DIY kind of person. This book is a gem, praised by several enlightened teachers and practitioners.

u/DestinedToBeDeleted · 2 pointsr/TheMindIlluminated

The Body Keeps The Score is a fantastic book. Also, check out Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness.

u/efiltseb18 · 2 pointsr/CPTSD

Yes I have experienced this. I feel like stopping and listening to my thoughts/feelings can be a slippery slope to having a flashback. As a trauma survivor, it’s as if a movie is continuously playing scenes in the background of my mind related in some way to my past trauma. It’s as though I cannot or don’t have the will/way to stop playing the scene(s). Almost like a tv in another room, I can hear and see it, but mostly avoid going all the way into that room. When a flashback happens for me, I’m “in the tv room” and it consumes my thoughts completely. Along with these intrusive memories, I feel floods of intense emotions related to the memories followed by body sensations starting with shivering then excessive sweating, more shivering, and I feel like everything is wrong and I need to do something but there’s no way to decide what to do since the trauma happened in the past and is not currently occurring. That run-on sentence is a great example of how my mind starts just going haywire. I have conversations, fights and arguments with my violators, I replay the trauma trying to figure it out or remember more, and I start twisting situations in my current life to be worse than they are and find signs that I’m perpetually doomed. I let my thoughts totally victimize me, shame me, and give me the feeling like I’m worthless in the same way my violators did at the times of the trauma.

I can ignore “the tv” well and avoid being consumed by it by going through daily life distracting myself as much as possible. This manifests in over-working at work and at home. I read The Tao of Fully Feeling by Pete walker and he talks about how we become Humans Doing rather than Human beings when we try desperately to avoid our traumatic memories. With all of this said, meditation practice puts you in the position to fully focus on yourself, your thoughts, and feelings mentally and physically. Confronting this is very uncomfortable for someone with trauma because you cannot avoid the reality of how you feel and what the contents of your mind and personal experiences are during meditation. Or at least it seems this way. I haven’t read it yet, but there’s a book that promises to provide alternative way(s) to meditate. It’s called Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness

u/Agrona · 2 pointsr/Christianity

They're actually right, though probably not for the reasons they think.

>mindfulness meditation―practiced without an awareness of trauma―can exacerbate symptoms of traumatic stress. Instructed to pay close, sustained attention to their inner world, survivors can experience flashbacks, dissociation, and even retraumatization.

The research into potential unintended effects of mindfulness meditation is growing.

u/brainmindspirit · 2 pointsr/askscience


The F&F response definitely causes an increase in arousal, which is associated with a decrease in motor latency. People and animals that are in a high state of arousal do tend to have an excess of spontaneous movement. They can seem fidgety and twitchy.

Awareness of body sensations during the F&F response definitely tags memories, making them more vivid and hopefully helping the organism not make the same mistake again in the future.

Shivering itself though would not likely give on an evolutionary advantage *during* the stressful response. Combat veterans will tell you there's a certain ideal level of arousal that allows you to think quickly and act quickly. It's possible to go off the deep end, to be hyper-aroused to the point where you can't. At the extreme, you freeze (which does have an evolutionary advantage under some circumstances).

I'm currently reading a book on recovery from trauma (Treleaven, Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness) that quotes literature suggesting that shivering is how an animal *discharges* the F&F response, that shivering is seen in the recovery period. Which may well have an evolutionary advantage, raising the question of how humans do it.

We do shiver, we also have verbal behaviors and emotional behaviors (such as weeping). Humans often suppress the discharge phase. We keep a stiff upper lip, keep on going, don't let anybody know what just happened. Theory is, that makes it more difficult to deal with the trauma later on. Hence the idea that trauma therapists might should get to the scene right away.

As for what to do after the fact, that's less clear. We know that reliving the trauma makes things worse (even though some people do precisely that, over and over). But we also know that dissociating from trauma -- pretending that it didn't happen, just not thinking about it -- doesn't work either.

Humans have a tendency to want to think it through (which sometimes -- not always -- involves talking about it), with the challenge being, to be able to think about it without re-traumatizing yourself.

u/theseshoesarewalkin · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Are you aware of any trauma in your life? It’s possible meditation is bringing up some repressed emotions. Meditation can be practiced safely if that’s the case, but it’s good to be aware of the potential pitfalls. Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness is a good book for this.

u/shamelessintrovert · 2 pointsr/Schizoid

> It directly addresses all these somatic symptoms which are really at the core of the schizoid condition.

No, it actually doesn't. But it can't hurt.

[Edit] Further thought correction: meditation can actually be problematic for people with trauma history. This book discusses the how and why & had a few good nuggets (tho not enough to be worth buying):

u/SleeplessBuddha · 2 pointsr/insomnia

Hey /u/Vlad_is_love, something to consider: There's been studies recently indicating that meditation can damage sleep and actually contribute to mental distress. Don't get me wrong, I've been a practitioner for 7 years and have practice / receive instruction from a monk who studied with Ajahn Chah along with Jack Kornfield in Thailand - but need to keep in mind that it isn't a cure-all.

I'd recommend reading -

u/Dannyboi93 · 2 pointsr/Documentaries

Would recommend Dr Lams book The Way of Energy and Moontagu's video on The Complete Basics of Bagua to give you some extra information to help. In the video he goes into really good detail about how to position yourself, which helped me as I had no mentor.

Good luck with your exercises :) and reach out if you need help!

u/johnhadrix · 2 pointsr/TheMindIlluminated

I have repeated rocking during meditation. Pretty much every monk I talked to told me to ignore it and just focus on the meditation. No one seemed concerned that it was dangerous. One monk told me that if I set a strong intention to not move, that could stop it, but he didn't say that I needed to stop it.

I have done some Qi Gong and it might be helping, not sure yet. The Qi Gong can be very spastic, like an exaggerated rocking of what happens in meditation, but maybe it will calm things down eventually. I like the simplicity of Qi Gong. If you're interested, this is a good book .

u/erickaisen · 2 pointsr/Semenretention

You should check out the book from the host of that series video, if its the same guy I'm thinking of. by Lam Kam-Chuen, I've seen this come highly recommended from several Qi gong practitioners

Good luck

u/garrettrinpoche · 2 pointsr/Buddhism
u/dosFool · 2 pointsr/philosophy

great thanks so much - The book that really got me hooked for good on Zen is "zen flesh Zone bones" I've been reading that since like 4th grade it's easy simple beautiful, thought provoking, maybe even enlightening :P

u/mal5305 · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Zen Flesh Zen Bones

was watching TV with some friends at their house, picked it up off their shelf and just got lost in it for a while.

u/McMa · 2 pointsr/climbing

My best exercise for that is called Zen. This over here is a good introduction and this guy has some very good reflections about it.

Just to clarify: this is a totally serious answer.

u/gnique · 2 pointsr/zen

You are free to think that I am shallow. I believe that myself. I found two books that were meaningful to me.They appealed to my American mind:

There are enough stories that surely one or two will be meaningful to YOUR American. My own personal favorite was the one about "Attention"

This book tells you how to sit. Be warned it is difficult (for me anyway) to read. But it DOES tell you how to sit. Suffice it to say that one can not write, talk or even think about Zen. It just does not work that way. I believe it is said in this book that there are 8000 books written about Zen but not one word has ever been uttered that is Zen. Sekida directs us to sit. Sekida knows what he is talking about. Sit. Now this is where the bad marketing slogan comes in: It is hard work and it hurts. The only way to train the mind is to train the mind. Training the mind is hard work and it hurts. Sit. I once read: The mind commands the body and it obeys; the mind commands itself and it meets resistance. One must sit and feel the resistance. It is real, it is difficult and it hurts. Read and talk and write all you want to but the mind is trained only once it has been quieted.

Try something other than a koan. Try counting to ten. Sekida explains that quite well. Since I am an American, I found that the alphabet helped my just about the most. But that is me. Just remember that only those things that you can touch and feel and smell and hear and taste really matter. That means that only YOU can do the hard work. You can't listen or read your way out of the hard work and pain of training your own mind. A master can only guide you. It is, in the end, you and you alone who can train your mind.

You should sit simply because those who came before you said that you should sit. I will not be easy and you will fail many times and there is not one person in this world who can help you. And in the event that you should see the smallest amount of something that glimmers you will feel a slip of the ropes that bind you. But, PLEASE!!keep your mouth shut about it!! People stink who would tell others about the WONDERS of Zen. They STINK! I know because I wallowed in it for a time. Just sit and sit some more and keep it to yourself because this most valuable thing in the world can never be given away. It doesn't work that way. Sit.

u/my_man_krishna · 2 pointsr/Fitness

I used yoga to rehabilitate my shoulder after I injured it lifting weights. Since then, I've more or less gone over exclusively to yoga to maintain my strength, since its the only strenuous indoor exercise I can do that doesn't cause chronic pain of one kind or another. The results have been unexpectedly favorable; I look better and feel stronger now than I was doing weights and HIIT.

This has been my main source of information, BKS Iyengar's Light on Yoga.

u/SpankmasterS · 2 pointsr/Fitness

read this:

Yoga is fantastic when done correctly. Iyengar method is more rigorous and while adding flexibility it also causes muscular fatigue.

Iyengar classes tend to be rather expensive.

Unless you live in the middle of the woods in Alabama there are yoga classes everywhere these days. Personally, I find the mental effect of yoga of greater value then the physical.

u/generalT · 2 pointsr/Fitness

yea definitely, i've been dealing with this for almost 20 years, been to physical therapy twice, avoided surgery thus far. but standard disclaimer that i'm not a doctor, physical therapist, etc, etc, just a dude on the internet.

like you mentioned, i would start with posterior chain mobility. stretch your hamstrings like this or this. lower back with some cat/cow. add in some IT band stretch. don't forget about those illiopsoas!

maybe, if your back will handle it, add in some light supine twists. and, as always, planks for core and lower back strength.

regarding yoga, i would recommend just showing up to a beginner's class. teachers know that everyone's flexibility is different, and (if they're worth their salt) will offer modifications to poses, or offer props to assist with the pose. honestly, a lot of yoga classes i've attended just flow through sun a and/or sun b, which aren't too hard. maybe you could try them at home? but, be careful and modify as you see fit! with yoga, like with anything, consistency is important. i used to go once a week and didn't see much improvement. attending class more frequently, and doing some work at home, has improved my practice tremendously.

some books:

u/shrlzi · 2 pointsr/yoga

Good for you! Many libraries participate in Inter-Library Loans, so I hope yours can find it for you.

BTW, Amazon has it for $6-$8; plus a PDF of random pages so you could get an idea of it.

u/hunkerdown · 2 pointsr/yoga
u/Axolotlable · 2 pointsr/helpme

Third everything this guy said. A lot of this reply is mainly reiterating his words; because they are important! Also thrown at the end is random little things that help me through bad days.
This might be a little rushed because I have to take off; but I'll edit it in a bit. Hopefully it's not a garbage post, I've never commented on anything like this.

I went through a similar stage. I'm 25, I took off several years from school before finally going back for electrical engineering. I had to start everything from scratch (because I really didn't care until I was 21). I'm still exhausted and burnt out, and everyday has been challenging to drag myself through. But now I'm a senior and I am truly confident for the first time ever that the future is bright.

Do whatever you think is best for you; but realize (and remind yourself daily) that you are in a good spot!
Just by being here and addressing how you feel, you're taking a step in the direction that is best for you.

If being a teacher is something you really want, you're closer than you think. Power through. You're doing a good thing.

To reiterate what TrynaBeFunny said; drop the excessive alcohol abuse, and drop the pot. In my experience it depressed me, and I know very few people function well on it.

As for the exercise. Do it, but do something fun for you; whatever it is. If lifting and an elliptical isn't for you, it wont work. Find something that constantly challenges you and makes you happy. Rock climbing and cardio lend a lot of clarity to my life; find your thing.

Lastly, if you have any time; read. If you dont have time, try to read anyway.

Here's a great link that really changes your outlook on life.

This is a link to a yoga book. The intro is fantastic and really helped me.

An Aesop Rock that makes me feel like I'm doing the right things in life.

Anyway, sorry for ranting. Hang in there reddit person

u/Amokokins · 2 pointsr/yoga

Light On Yoga has been enormously influential for me. A wonderful resource even for non-Iyengar people.

Yoga Anatomy has some of the most detailed illustrations of asanas I've ever seen and includes a huge amount of alignment information.

Lastly, my personal favourite is The Power of Ashtanga Yoga. It could be argued that other books have more asanas or more detailed descriptions (see above), but this book is my favourite because it helped me figure out what it means to be a young westerner practicing an ancient tradition from India. It also helps that the author is very open about the challenges she faced in her practice, which is refreshing and encouraging when I work on mine. Highly recommended.

u/Thisbuddhist · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

Eight Mindful Steps by Bhante Gunaratana is about that.

u/Cloudhand_ · 2 pointsr/TheMindIlluminated
u/greenlightofdeath · 2 pointsr/Buddhism
u/DifferentDoor · 2 pointsr/NoFap

Good question -- here's one book you might find useful in getting an understanding of what the Buddha's teachings focus on:

u/torfirion · 2 pointsr/microdosing

Recommended book, "the art of meditation" by Matthieu Ricard ( ) and if you like it and if you want to go deeper: Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana
and then directly the Pali Sutta(the teachings by Buddha himself) : you may even reads it now but you maybe a bit confused if you don't read more easier text before :)

u/bobbaphet · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

One of his other books. Eight mindful steps to happiness. Very good.

u/EmperorXenu · 2 pointsr/OpiatesRecovery

Right, I don't do the whole nomenclature thing, but labels are sometimes useful for describing exactly what "system" someone is using. Living in the now, so to speak, and not identifying with the mind are definitely great skills to cultivate. If you don't already utilize some form of cognitive behavioral therapy, like REBT, you should look into that because the two complement each other very well.

I'm waiting on:

Mindfulness in Plain English

Focused and Fearless: A Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity

Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator's Handbook

They were from the /r/meditation book recommendation thread, and I've been trying to develop mindfulness skills more.

u/mkpeacebkindbgentle · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

You should check out Mindfulness, Bliss, and Beyond: A Meditator's Handbook by Ajahn Brahm. It's a complete guide to meditation, from the basics into and including the deepest states. First ~50 pages available here.

>I recently called a tibetan buddhist center to ask about the various non-mind, non-body states I’ve been experiencing, because I wanted to compare notes and see how others maneuver through them, as the states can’t be willed I’ve found, unlike any normal out of body experience, they’re independent and the more one tries to move it the more one remembers the “self,” and the desire to move.

Yes, if you use will that ruins the meditation. You're supposed to let go of will completely :-)

What sort of out of body experience are you describing here? Is it that the five sense have disappeared completely? (All notions of body, space, time are gone; a serious deviation from "normal consciousness").

Are you left only with a bright white/colored light?

u/macaronisalad · 2 pointsr/kratom

This might be of some insight:*Version*=1&*entries*=0

As someone who has been down the rabbit hole and has no idea how the hell I came out on the other side, just know that some of us identify with your pain and you aren't alone in your struggle. You're like a chronic pain patient, but the brain's version. Then again, suffering in the conscious center of our bodies is hard to transcend even by thinking of it that way (see: mindfulness), but it provided me some solace once I grasped it. I hope you will continue to hang on and fight and keep reaching out. I've heard of treatment-resistant depression having some root in gut bacteria even (they have a role in manufacturing neurotransmitters), so please don't give up--antidepressants only do a few dynamic things with the brain's chemistry and the drugs you mentioned flood the brain's receptors and sometimes make things worse in the rebound period. I basically have a stress disorder so I don't drink alcohol anymore because the rebound after even drinking a little boosts my stress levels needlessly. I don't personally have ADHD or anhedonia so I can't understand your exact experience but as someone who has ridden a rough road for over a decade until just recently, I hope that you reach a turning point soon that gives you some hope.

u/gorpie97 · 2 pointsr/cfs

I've barely started reading it, but someone here suggested the book "How to be Sick" by Toni Bernhard.

I didn't have any long-term friends when I got sick, because I'd gotten sober just 3 years earlier and had to stop seeing pretty much all the friends I still had. Then I moved to a rural area 1300 miles away.

What helped most was (accidentally) finding a forum with people who had a similar interest. I made a post about a problem I had, and stuck around to read other posts because I found it interesting. Because I went regularly, I ended up becoming friends with several other regulars. We don't chat much, but they are available if I need them (which is both less than I want, and less than I used to need).

u/beast-freak · 2 pointsr/BipolarReddit

I got diagnosed with chronic fatigue prior to getting the bipolar dx and so can relate to your account. Even now I am unsure if the bone crushing depression hasn't a physical cause.

The following book was useful

How to Be Sick by Toni Bernhard


In retrospect, I wish I had sought government assistance sooner. I assumed I would soon be working and then felt to exhausted to advocate for myself.

I wish you all the best and hope that you are surrounded by loving people.

u/Halorien · 2 pointsr/Meditation

It sounds to me like you're unsure of what you're supposed to be developing in your stage of the meditative path.

Just remain consistent, and continue daily practice. There will be days where you cannot find your focus. Bring it back to the breath. Not the breath itself, mind you, but that most prominent sensation on the nostril. That is what is meant by the breath, that point. Trust in the process, and with time 5 minutes will seem like nothing.

To expect such rapid progress when you've only just begun is the equivalent of the newgoers at the gym (especially around New Years); after two weeks of sporadic or far too intense daily exercise, they become disenchanted when they aren't already rippling with muscles, and burn out and quit. They feel they could be doing better things with their time than exercise. Sound familiar?

The prescription book for you, I think, would be The Mind Illuminated. What this book holds over Mindfulness in Plain English is that it has very clear stages for each level of your practice with very specific goals for progression, all with VERY helpful, and much more detailed techniques and advice. Sometimes, in order to let go and progress, all you need is a simple change in perspective. Isn't that wonderful?

I hope you stay diligent in your practice. Make it a daily habit, you'll be very thankful you did. Keep us updated!

u/ohchaco · 2 pointsr/Meditation

You're welcome! It is a book: The Mind Illuminated and there is a subreddit community for it as well: /r/TheMindIlluminated/. It's a really great guide to deepening your meditation practice. I only got the book a month or so ago and it has already changed my practice in so many positive ways.

u/IlluminatiMind · 2 pointsr/Meditation

The Mind Illuminated is a huge upgrade to anything other that I have read. It has clear instructions tailor made for each of the 10 steps, with interludes in between and some additional information in appendixes and introductions, the first step being establishing a practice, working all the way up to quite high level. This plan is being estimated as taking anything from some months to seven years, given a serious practice regime that is suitable for laymen. All of a sudden a lot of advice that I have heard or read from other teachers make sense, while earlier it all just seemed like an unstructured mess of loosely defined ideas. If you're approaching this from the Sam Harris side (which I also am), this book is right on the mark.

From the first pages I knew that this was it, a book that doesn't undersell meditation as some relaxation exercise, and still approaches it from a scientific viewpoint that relaxes all of my skeptic alarm bells. Having said that, it is still very true to meditation as it is taught in Buddhism, but purely secular.

I will be posting about a Skype discussion group for this book after I have posted this message, I hope you're interested enough to join us!

u/damaged_but_whole · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

There's some new book about meditation that's supposed to be, like, the most thorough book on meditation ever, I guess. Buddhist meditation, anyway. I read some reviews that said it was extraordinarily difficult reading, so I took a look at the "look inside" preview on Amazon and I could tell right away that I would never get very far with this book, but some people who find this thread might want to check it out:

It seems like it would certainly help you master your own mind.

u/Amiracle56 · 2 pointsr/CasualConversation

Lol whatever you're doing sounds pretty odd. The Mind Illuminated will teach you the best way to meditate. I could give you a guide on how to meditate, it's heavily influenced by The Mind Illuminated.

Here's a link to the guide:

tl;dr: Out of all the super long comments on reddit, this one is truly worth the read. But nevertheless, I guess I should still give a tl;dr.

Sit down, set a timer, breathe in and out, focus on the sensations of the breath. Don't get discouraged by mind wandering, as this is inevitable. Counting is a good method for stabilizing attention, this is explained below.

First off, I highly reccomend The Mind Illuminated by Culadasa. It's written by a (retired?) neurology professor with over 40 years of experience in meditation. He goes in-depth and gives clear advice for meditation at any stage of the journey. He's also pretty down to earth, and if there's an unfamiliar term he'll always explain it.

But I understand that not everybody has the money to go out and buy a book at their heart's desire, so I'll give you some basic instructions just to get you started, but please note that I am nowhere near an expert so my advice isn't a "be-all end-all".

Sit down somewhere and get yourself comfortable and relaxed. If you notice any tension, release it. Meditation is something that should be enjoyed and relaxing, not like a pill that you take every day, not because you like it, but because you know it will be good for you.

Set a timer for however long you want to meditate. When I first started to meditate, I meditated for 15 minutes, and now I'm meditating for 45 minutes. Whatever works for you, but try to increase it gradually as you go.

Close your eyes and breathe normally. Focus on the sensations of the breath -- the cold air coming in when you inhale, the warm air going out your nostrils when you exhale, whatever sensation you feel.

Inevitably, your mind will wander. That's okay. It's literally impossible to consciously make your mind wander, so why blame yourself for something you didn't even do? Instead of beating yourself up when you realize that your mind wandered, bring your focus back to your breath and be happy that you woke up. This repeated conscious intention will become a mental habit with persistence.

I recommend counting, too. On the beginning of each exhale, count, starting with 1 and ending with 10. If you get distracted, just start over and count back from 1. If this is too hard, count to 5 . After you achieve counting to 10 or 5, do not count anymore. Your mind will already probably count automatically anyway.

And finally I want you to remember: the only bad meditation session is the one you didn't do!

u/poega · 2 pointsr/entp

I think OP should look into meditation as well. For me the thought of having better control of your brain etc is exciting so I got this book. Meditation is now one of the things im most excited about doing/learning and it feels great.

u/9qop · 2 pointsr/Meditation

> Who here believes in chakras? Serious question

The thing is, the term "chakras" has been abused and misused. But the energy body of a human is verifiable and does exist within Buddhist and meditation teachings, among others. Culadasa, a former neuroscientist and long time meditator wrote [The Mind Illuminated] ( for example; [here's an illustration from the book] (

I'd say, when one has greater but also more subtle awareness, the energy body is pretty obvious. But many people can't even watch their breath for 5 minutes, let alone be aware of the energy. I guess one would then ask, are the points on the body significant and I'd say this can also be experienced with authentic practices.

u/knilchmitmilch · 2 pointsr/Meditation

there is so much information in books, youtube, websites etc. that I (without knowing what TM has to offer) wouldn't recommend spending 900 bucks on it.
I also find it beautiful to develop my own practice and not go strictly after a certain system.

I feel like this book alone can give you years full of food for your thought and practice when you just start off. And some point you might wanna add a personal teacher though.

u/TheSpasticSurgeon · 2 pointsr/summonerschool

There really are a lot of places to start, but since I'm not sure which one to suggest to you I'll just give you all of them. I've been meaning to type out a post that I can copy paste for those who want to get into meditation, so this is the perfect place.

As you go down the list it gets more in-depth:

  • Headspace is an app that you can look up, it has several different kinds of meditation. I've never used it, but it seems to tailor it's stuff specifically to what you want out of meditation, so it might be perfect for this. You'd have to tell me if you try it because I've never used it, but it's very beginner friendly because it has a lot of guided meditations to walk you through it as you meditate.

  • /r/meditation is a nice board. People there are generally very helpful if you are looking for a specific kind of practice or something.

  • has a good meditation guide for beginners.

  • If for some reason you really want to get into meditation seriously, check out The Mind Illuminated. It's based on buddhist practice, but it's written by a neurologist and based in science, so it's secular.

    And I'll actually just give you a very basic guide for meditation right here.

    People define meditation in lots of different ways, but I think the simplest way to explain it is concentration and awareness training. It might sound... intense? at first, but it's actually quite relaxing at times. The idea is to focus on the meditation object (the breath, most often) while staying aware of your surroundings.

    So, there are more steps to ease into this process, so if you try this and it's and you won't more help, that's normal and I would be happy to give you a more extended/complete guide. Keep in mind I am basically paraphrasing from The Mind Illuminated.


    Get into a comfortable sitting position and just become sort of attuned to the present moment. Even if your thoughts are in the future or the past, try and become aware that all of the sensations and thoughts you are having are happening in the present.

    Then, just focus on the breath (if you want to be more specific, try and focus on the feelings of the breath as it goes in and out of the nose). Anytime you find that you are not focusing on the breath, whether it be other sensations or thoughts, just bring your attention back to the breath gently. Don't be upset that you lose concentration, because that's just a part of the process. While focusing on the breath, if you can go a bit without getting distracted, try and open your awareness to your surroundings (sounds, sensations, thoughts) while still maintaining focus on the breath. This is akin to CSing or auto-attacking someone while still being aware of the mini-map or the rest of the fight. Try and do this for 5 minutes at first. I really wouldn't recommend much more at first, because most people get frustrated. If you are having trouble keeping focus on the breath, which is totally normal, see if you can make it to 10 breaths without losing focus, and if you mess up just start over again. No biggy.

    The purpose of this simple practice is to train awareness (basically perception of everything happening around you) while maintaining concentration (focus on the object of attention) to better improve your life, and especially activities requiring focus. If you think about it, all of life is basically just a sea of awareness (stuff happening) and us choosing to focus in on one thing at a time, so it's very practical to train these two skills.


    So that's basically what a practice would look like, and you would do something like that every day. There are a lot more steps and methods, and honestly it can be a bit tricky to find one that suits you, but I think the resources I listed are great starting points, and really there is no wrong way to do it, and it can't really be harmful. I find it quite relaxing a lot of the time, and my life is a lot better when I keep up my habit of meditating.

    I know I've kinda given you a ton of information here, but I wanted to cover all the bases so I could use this for future reference. Hope you found this helpful, and if you have any questions let me know! :)
u/gcross · 2 pointsr/Meditation

I think you would enjoy reading The Mind Illuminated by Culdasa as it gives you metrics you can use to gauge how much progress you are making at a given stage on the meditative path (as well as an overview you can use to figure out where you are currently at) and instructions on the skills you need to work on at that stage in order to make progress. It also has a lot of interesting material on models of the mind and of consciousness.

I can't recommend this book enough because it brought a clarity to my practice that I was sorely in need of, and it sounds like you might be looking for something similar.

u/filecabinet · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Rob Burbea's book Seeing That Frees has been the most helpful book for me concerning meditation. It has simply clarified meditation without using fluffy or poetic language. It does use some pali words but they're not overwhelming and the author is not preaching any set of religious beliefs.

This is a different book that I haven't read but looking forward to read after it arrives in the mail :

u/mindful_amp · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Not sure if this book fits the bill (I honestly haven't read it myself) but I've heard it does a good job of explaining both the science behind meditation, as well as going into details about specific techniques.

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/QuirkySpiceBush · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Here are some of my favorite popular books by academic researchers about consciousness:

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/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/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/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/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/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/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/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/Tells_only_truth · 2 pointsr/Drugs

do you do anything besides sleep or have sex in your bed? if so, first step is to stop. if you only get in bed to fall asleep, eventually your brain will get the idea that bed=sleep, which will make it much easier.

also, try to avoid any blue light like from computer screens etc for an hour before you go to sleep (good time to read a book!). normally your brain produces melatonin to help you sleep when it's dark out and something something circadian rhythm, idk, but blue light tricks your brain into thinking it's daytime so you won't produce as much and consequently it'll take longer to fall asleep. as I understand it, supplemental melatonin totally works but you can build a tolerance, so a good long-term solution is to improve your natural levels by practicing sleep hygiene.

I believe research has suggested that replacing a habit is much easier than removing one, especially if you can get the same reward. It would probably be even easier if the reward you get from the new habit - slowing down your mind, in this case - is the same as the reward you got from the old. (this is based off what I remember from skimming this guy's book).

to calm the mind, meditation has been shown to have a lot of benefit. a lot of people speak highly of this book, and it's free which is nice. This one takes a more cut-and-dry step-by-step approach, and is much more detailed, both of which some might find helpful, but it's not free.

lastly, I've heard exercise a little while before bed will make it easier to fall asleep. also weed. if anyone knows more about this stuff than I do or I said something wrong, please correct me. OP, I hope you find this useful and best wishes in dealing with the drinking. You can do it. Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.

u/MasterT1 · 2 pointsr/Meditation

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

u/consci0 · 2 pointsr/streamentry

TMI refers to The Mind Illuminated.

u/dharmadoor · 2 pointsr/zen

Unlocking the Zen Koan: A New Translation of the Zen Classic Wumenguam has been helpful. Also, reading Red Pine's translations and commentary on the The Platform Sutra: The Zen Teaching of Hui-neng, Heart Sutra and Diamond Sutra. Although many people speak of the influence of the Lankavatara on Zen, I find it very difficult to read, even Red Pine's fairly approachable translation. But, the idea of "no views" and "no perceptions" was helpful, and "to speak of [this] to to speak of not [this]". Those themes come up often in koans. And studying Lao Tsu helps. Despite what the "not zen" crowd says, a background in Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism, and some historical background really does help a lot. Currently reading Ordinary Mind as the Way: The Hongzhou School and the Growth of Chan Buddhism and The Hongzhou School of Chan Buddhism in Eighth- through Tenth-Century China to get some background on Mazu's lineage. Like many westerners, I used to think koans were just about derailing rational thought. While that is useful, now I also see some patterns, a certain amount of "sense", and more experiences of "of course". Easier koans like, it is your mind that moves help with the more difficult ones. Another helpful one is What are you doing? What are you saying?.

u/Coraticum · 2 pointsr/JordanPeterson

I really like Red Pine's translation:
It seems to be that the popular Stephen Mitchell translation has a lot of embellishment and is not true to the original (among the Taoist scholars I have talked to). But there are many translations! So perhaps buy a few and see for yourself.

u/DeathAndRebirth · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

Uhm.. it all depends on what you want to write about!

  1. Buddhism for Beginners

  2. This may help too

  3. This is a classic

  4. Another good book

    Im sure google would help in your search as well
u/silentbob583 · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

Personally, I am of the mind that violence begets violence. In this situation, as someone else mentioned, for each person you kill, several more are likely to take their place.

However, I found this story to be interesting (from Chapter 15 in Buddhism for Beginners):

>In a story of one of Shakyamuni Buddha's previous lives as a bodhisattva, he was the captain of a ship. He knew that the oarsman was going to kill and rob the five hundred merchants on board. He had intense compassion not only for the victims, but also for the oarsman, who would experience the torturous karmic results of killing so many people. In addition, he was willing to take upon himself any negative karmic effects of killing. He thus decided to take the oarsman's life, but because his motivation was pure, the karmic effect of killing was minimal, and he created great positive potential that propelled him on the bodhisattva path.

I can understand the logic here, though I would not be willing to undertake that karma myself. The determination of what situation justifies killing is very subjective. It seems like a slippery slope.

u/FelixFelis · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

Buddhism for Beginners by Thubten Chodron

Tibetan Buddhism From the Ground Up by B. Alan Wallace

The World of Tibetan Buddhism by the Dalai Lama

u/monkey_sage · 2 pointsr/Buddhism


u/QubeZero · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

I'm not currently sure how best to approach this interest. My advice is based a lot on research and science, and on my own experience. So take this with a grain of salt. I do however, want to volunteer with Camphill, and I'll report and share when I have my own observations.

I'm not sure what sources to share, as I have done a lot general reading and my own meditation practice. But for example, here's a study I just found after few seconds of googling: "meditation and autism"

Diet and meditation, when done properly I believe is the most transformative tools, and our efforts should be concentrated in these areas.

There's TOO much misinformed advice on nutrition, the only authoritative source I can honestly point you to is and his book How To Not Die. Basically, humans are designed to eat purely a plant-based diet. The more you read, the more you will see the connection between these disorders and how nutrition helps with improving dysfunctional pathways in the body.

For meditation, what helped my cognitive, severe depression, social dysfunction, mania problems etc (and recent cancer in my early 20's)... is connecting to the breath. No other meditative technique really worked other than concentrating and connecting with my breathing. I practice during the day, but started off lying down on my back as I found that to be the most effective, perhaps because of my postural problems.

Then there's metta , where I know people who has had great success with this. This is a good book. But I personally struggle with this.

There is so much information and advice on things that can tremendously help people with specific problems, but the solution always comes down to universal principles and a holistic approach.

You can be your own scientific investigator and see your own observations. You can go as far as you like, or just help a little in these areas. In any case, even just a little extra nutritional support and 10 minutes of daily meditation, will at least do some good

u/WanderingJones · 2 pointsr/Meditation

I haven't done it a whole lot, but I wouldn't recommend just cycling through people close to you. Try concentrating on strangers, people you've been having issues with, genders (i.e. all males/all females), directions (I used to do 8 directions of the compass plus up and down), the entire planet, the entire universe etc. And of course yourself... but hopefully you're doing that already.

And Loving Kindness is a good book to read on the topic if you haven't already.

u/Taxyback · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

Having struggled deeply with this myself, I have found the practice of metta to be hugely powerful. By FAR the best explanation of the practice and the theory for me has been Sharon Salzberg's book "Lovingkindness."

If you're interested but don't have the resources to purchase it yourself, I would be SO happy to send a copy your way. And don't you dare say you don't deserve it! ;)

u/psyyduck · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

That sounds like anger. You cant let go of it without a degree of acceptance, because aversion towards anger is still clinging to it. So yes it causes a lot of harm, but seeing the good in anger makes it easier to look at it mindfully, find a place for it, and let go. Sharon Salzburg writes:

>If we look at the force of anger, we can, in fact, discover many positive aspects in it. Anger is not a passive, complacent state. It has incredible energy. Anger can impel us to let go of ways we may be inappropriately defined by the needs of others; it can teach us to say no. In this way it also serves our integrity, because anger can motivate us to turn from the demands of the outer world to the nascent voice of our inner world. It is a way to set boundaries and to challenge injustice at every level. Anger will not take things for granted or simply accept them mindlessly.

>Anger also has the ability to cut through surface appearances; it does not just stay on a superficial level. It is very critical; it is very demanding. Anger has the power to pierce through the obvious to things that are more hidden. This is why anger may be transmuted to wisdom. By nature, anger has characteristics in common with wisdom. [From here]

u/RangerPretzel · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Take a class/course on Metta meditation to help you cultivate Loving-Kindness (sometimes called Loving-Friendliness)

or read Sharon Salzburg's book on Loving-Kindness:

I highly recommend it.

u/Devoid_ · 2 pointsr/Psychonaut

Yeah I would agree with that as long as meditation is also a tool for enjoying the bounties of life as well, it has its own positives besides enduring suffering.

As for books I'd read in this order

Be here now -Ram Dass

The Bhagavad Gita - get the translation Eknath Easwaran he provides great insight in the intro and the introduction before each chapter.

The Upanishads- translated by the same author.

After this I read writings by Neem Karoli Baba, but at this point you'll be on your way down the path and it's a different path for anyone. Reading through the writings of saints is helpful.

I'm currently reading the Vedas and they're a source of endless inspiration, read them too but they can be a little confusing because of the references of Vedic gods, but once you have a footwork of the philosophy you can interpret the meaning

u/Fukitol13 · 2 pointsr/hinduism

The as it is iskcon version is fine for gaudiya vaishnavas,but for those who arent initiated into that school,i prefer recommending the eknath easwaran translation.

i'd recommend buying it,or the cheaper essence of gita for one's first read of the gita for a better understanding,after all one gets a first time only once and i want you to have the best possible time reading it

u/Aeon108 · 2 pointsr/hinduism

The Bhagavad Gita centers mainly around Krishna, one of Vishnu's most popular avatars. It takes place during a war. The family of Arjuna, who is a king, betrays him. Both sides ask Krishna for aid in the war. To remain neutral, Krishna gives his army to Arjuna's family and Krishna becomes the personal Charioteer of Arjuna. As they are about to enter the war, Arjuna becomes conflicted. Krishna reveals to Arjuna that he is an avatar of the god Vishnu. The entire text is the conversation between Arjuna and Krishna. Krishna gives Arjuna advice on how to live a spiritual life on all accounts. Devotees of Krishna place an extremely high value on the Bhagavad Gita.
Here is a link to an English translated version of the text:
And here are links to Krishna sites:

Kalki is said to be the last avatar of Krishna. He has yet to be born. At the end of the Kali-yuga (which is the time period we are in,) Kalki is said to be born ina hidden paradise called Shambhala. He will ride across the Earth on a white steed and cleanse the Earth of evil, returning us to a golden age of peace.
here are some links to pages about Kalki:

Although this next one is more controversial, a lot of people believe Buddha to be an avatar of Vishnu. There isn't really a specific book or site to go to for this one, but there are several books on Buddhism and documentaries on the Buddha.

Another popular Vishnu avatar is Rama. Rama is said to be the perfect man. His story is told in an epic called the Ramayana, in which his wife is kidnapped and he must rescue her.
English version of Ramayana:
Sites for Rama:

There are a lot more avatars of Vishnu, but these ones are the main ones. For a bigger list, they are links to all of the major ones here:

It's also good to keep in mind that beliefs on who the avatars of Vishnu are vary from region to region and from tradition to tradition.

u/the-electric-monk · 2 pointsr/occult

It seems a little weird to want to buy books to try and discredit some random person online who will forget all about this conversation in a couple of days, but sure, whatever.

Nag Hammadi Scriptures



Baghavad Gita


And this volume of the Vedas, though as I said I haven't read through it yet.

I also have this copy of the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which I haven't gotten around to yet.

Now, once again, please tell me where in the Nag Hammadi scriptures it says that you spend 1000 years in a Devachan before reincarnating.

u/CivilBrocedure · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

A great primer for the core tenets and historical context is "What The Buddha Taught" by Walpola Pahula. It provides a wonderful explanation of the thought process and is very clearly written; a lot of colleges use it in their comparative religion courses.

I also think that reading the "Dhammapada" is particularly vital. I prefer the Eknath Easwaran translation; I feel like he did an excellent job translating it into modern laguage while retaining the meaning of the text and providing excellent discussions of each sutra without being to neurotically overbearing, like so many religious commentaries can be. He also did excellent versions of the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads if you are interested in broader Indian spirituality.

u/Kali_Durge · 2 pointsr/hinduism

Thank you for your reply, I am becoming very aware of the charlatans going around, Tantra is intriquing but I think I am a long way from exploring that and would probably wait until I can actually visit India, I just want to get the core basics of it all before I figure the path I want to take, Shiva has had a lot of presence in my life too for example. For the Gita the version I am reading is this one which I saw mentioned on here.

u/nomi_nomi · 2 pointsr/india

Supposed to be a good translation. Contains all that one needs to know.

u/RomanOrgy69 · 2 pointsr/occult

I'd start with the book that played a large role in the revival of the modern occult: H.P. Blavatsky's The Hidden Doctrine, which is a synthesis of occult philosophies from all over the world.

Then, I'd go over the text on which all hermetic knowledge derives from; The Corpus Hermeticum by Hermes Trismegistus

I'd also reccomend looking into The Pistis Sophia, which explains the philosophies of early Gnosticism.

Another important text would be The Vision and the Voice by Aleister Crowley, which is an account of 30 visions that document how one may attain enlightenment, had by Crowley while he was performing a series of Enochian rituals out in the desert.

The Cosmic Doctrine by Dion Fortune is a book that was channeled by Dion Fortune, which she believes explains the hidden secrets and doctrine of the universe.

The Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune is a great book that explains the Qabalah, the system of philosophy which is the backbone of the occult.

This list would be incomplete without also including Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, which was written by a Renaissance occultist named Henry Agrippa and is a foundational text to all branches of occult philosophy and knowledge.

The Dhammapada, The Questions of King Milinda, THE TÂO TEH KING, The Bhagavad Gita, The Upanishads, and The I-Ching are all also important philosophical texts to the occult. While they are not necessarily "occult" themselves, they all had a huge influence on the modern occult today, as well as many famous occultists such as Aleister Crowley, Dion Fortune, H.P. Blavatsky, etc.

u/BlankNothingNoDoer · 2 pointsr/hinduism

You're welcome. If you need a starting point, just pick one. I personally recommend this as a good starting point:

u/shmkys · 2 pointsr/Psychonaut

Alan Watts: Out of Your Mind


The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is a wonderful book that is heavily involved in mind and consciousness. I recommend it to so many people, and have heard so many stories of how impactful it has been from other friends.

If you're more inclined to the literary, Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre and Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky are both literary examinations of mind and self. Both are written in the first person as a stream of consciousness, the former as a series of diary entries, and the latter as the unbroken rambling notes of the narrator. Dostoevsky's other work, though I personally have not read it yet (though it is high on my list), is definitely worth looking into for those interested in literature. From the wiki article for The Brothers Karamazov:

>The Brothers Karamazov is a passionate philosophical novel set in 19th century Russia, that enters deeply into the ethical debates of God, free will, and morality. It is a spiritual drama of moral struggles concerning faith, doubt, and reason, set against a modernizing Russia

Crime and Punishment also touches on moral issues, but I don't know if it's particularly in the same vein as BK and NFU.

Personally, I find literature to be the most effective path of exploration. Blogs and webpages tend to be highly unprofessional, raw, unedited, unreviewed, and unclear. Science is limited in its examination of the subjective experience, and can tell you how something works, but nothing higher. It is concerned purely with the physical, not the metaphysical or philosophical. Literature carries refinement and clarity, while maintaining the artistry required to examine the subjective and philosophical.

That said, I do sometimes enjoy Russell Brand's Trews series on YouTube.

u/vilennon · 2 pointsr/Ayahuasca

Like Terence McKenna, I prefer Alan Watts' speaking to his writing. His lecture series Out of Your Mind had an extremely powerful impact on me (transcript available in book form).

u/will42 · 2 pointsr/philosophy

I know Watts isn't as rigorous as some people would like, but I still feel that he does a good job explaining many fundamental concepts. I really like Watts' lectures--I can't recommend him enough. He speaks with a certain clarity, humor, and lucidity that's difficult to find when looking for lectures on similar topics.

This is one of my favorites from YouTube. I'm sure you already know that Trey Parker and Matt Stone made a few videos using some of his recordings. A few of the animations in that video were done by them.

Out of Your Mind is, by far, one of the best collections of his lectures. I've given copies to friends to serve as an introduction to human religious and social practices, Eastern/Western religious philosophical concepts, etc.. The lectures start with providing a good background for the nature of consciousness, how humans tend to perceive the world, and how past religious and political practices have shaped modern society.

They're also good to share with religious/Christian individuals, as he introduces many ideas using traditional Judeo-Christian mythological figures, and doesn't come off as being unabashedly Atheist--something that tends to be a turn-off when trying to introduce philosophy with religious folks.

u/Locke005 · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

I became interested in Zen not through books but through audio clips. I listened to Alan Watts "Out of Your Mind" and this had a huge impact on me. Dharma talks by Gil Fronsdal at have also been incredibly influential. I'd also recommend Free Buddhist Audio for some great, free talks. Give your friend some audio to listen to on their ipod during long car drives. Great to see you and others spreading the Dharma.

u/Fluffy_ribbit · 2 pointsr/Meditation

There are lots of different methods defending on the school. One of the more straightforward free sources on it is Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha. Some people have argued that Mahasi's book is better, but I don't think it's free.

In either case, they only describe a few different methods for one school. Other schools have their own way of doing things. Many of those are secret. What isn't secret is often conveyed in abstruse terms to laymen.

u/beets_or_turnips · 2 pointsr/AmItheAsshole

I think this is a common misconception about meditation, and it frustrated me when I was getting started too. I got a much better understanding of what the task of meditation is at different stages by reading Culadasa's book The Mind Illuminated. Now when distractions come up and I become aware of them, I acknowledge them and savor that moment of insight before returning to the meditation object. I also recommend r/meditation and r/themindilluminated and r/streamentry if you want to take your meditation further.

u/NoMarkeu · 2 pointsr/india

How I got started is not very useful as it took time to get to the right resources. So I will answer the question as if someone where to ask me "How do you recommend someone should get started on meditation?".

The main resource to use is the book The Mind Illuminated, by Culadasa. You would need to read about 1/10th of the book to get started. But you can try some simple meditations while you are on that. You will also need some extra readings later to bring clarity to some ideas. So here's the course of action I recommend.

  • Download the Insight Timer app. It has got guided meditations and an excellent timer - you can set starting and ending sounds and interval sounds, many pleasant ones. Pick a short guided meditation, mindfulness is the best choice I suppose. This will get you started on getting used to sitting for a while. Once you read the book, you can shift practice.

  • Read The Mind Illuminated till the details of First Step. You will need as much to get started. You don't need to read the whole book. It will just be a waste of time. Take notes where you think necessary. Read to understand and take your time. Here's an ebook version. Some key points to understand - peripheral awareness, attention and how they differ, and 'relaxed intention'. And the book also gets into how to establish a meditation practice.

  • Once you have done it a couple of times the book way, read these two discussions to understand those concepts better: Discussion 1, Discussion 2.

    If you have any doubts, you can google it with the book name. There is a good online community around it. Also, don't hesitate to ask me if you have any questions as well.
u/jwarner95 · 2 pointsr/Stoicism

Second this.

Great guide for meditating, whether a beginner or an adept.

Also check out /r/meditation , /r/themindilluminated , and /r/Taoism for you more eclectically inclined folks.

u/sooneday · 1 pointr/Buddhism

Also not a teenager. My advice is to seek out a local priest or monk and learn from them. Being part of a group of Buddhists (sangha) is important. You need support from others.

I also recommend you do some self-studying. It's likely your teacher gave you some misinformation either out of ignorance or time constraints. I think "Buddhism for Beginners" is a good coverage of the key points, but there are many other good books. Be careful not to be trapped in pursuing intellectual knowledge of Buddhism. You need some knowledge, but practicing the path is more important.

If you run into Zen I want to caution you that many people know very little about Zen, but think they know a lot. Not many people are going to pretend to be experts in other variants like Pure Land, but quite a few will talk about Zen like they are an expert, but they are actually quite ignorant. This goes back to why I recommend you find a priest. Learn from an expert.

Beyond finding a sangha and following the advice of your teacher, the other important step is to follow the precepts. The Five Precepts were explained to me as the minimum someone needs to do to be able to practice Buddhism. Not as a divine law that you are mandated to follow, but in the sense that not following them makes practicing the path very difficult or impossible.

u/thekassette · 1 pointr/Buddhism

Well, I recently picked up this book from my local Zen center. I haven't read it yet, but I think I'm going to add some self-compassion meditation to my practice starting this morning, actually.

u/freeland4all · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Medications will put you in a slightly different mindset. If you expect that the new mindset will allow you to change, then you can change. But if you view the use of medication as a way of suppressing part of yourself that you wish to get rid of because certain feelings are simply unacceptable, then you won't really be dealing with your depression or anger issues. As someone who tried 7 different depression medications basically unsuccessfully and finally settled on meditation, I believe that it all has to do with the way you view your life. If you are trying to feel satisfied with an unsatisfactory life, no medication will ultimately make you feel good. I would suggest working on developing your talents - whatever it is that you're good at which also connects you with other people through loving expression. Any sort of "art," performative or physical, will help you come to terms with the totality of yourself and how you can be of use to others. I don't think it's useful to convince yourself that you aren't in control of your own emotions. Our minds can get stuck in depressed ruts when we convince ourselves that the "truth" is that we are disconnected from everyone else. But we can force ourselves into happier and more productive tracks by focusing on our fundamental connections and how we can be encourage one another and simply enjoy closeness. Try reading books about meditation and loving acceptance. I really enjoyed this one.

u/TongueDepresser · 1 pointr/depression

I think you're onto your problem.

You're still you, with or without praise.

Sure, I get it. It feels good to be praised. It's confirmation that you're doing something right.

But if your sense of self-worth is based on what everyone else thinks, then your entire world, your entire happiness will be predicated on what other people think (or what your brother thinks.)

Instead, you need to love yourself and trust what YOU think.

That's the tricky part, though, because it sounds like you've conditioned yourself to hate yourself. And that's a bummer. How can you start to love yourself if all you hear is an inner dialogue of self-hate?

So baby steps.

And this is where therapy comes in. This is where self-forgiveness comes in. This is where loving-kindness meditation comes in.

Check out this book:

It's a meditation of cultivating loving-kindness towards yourself and others. You need a lot of it right now.

internet hugs

u/book_worm526 · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

The Bhagavad Gita because it greatly influenced my youth but I've never owned my own copy.

u/m_awesomeness · 1 pointr/atheism

I agree, there is no comparison. All I was saying is that our rationality matters more than text. By the way if you like Buddhism try read Bhagvad Gita

The philosophy is very similar and much more practical in nature.

u/ynagar · 1 pointr/offmychest

Cool then, the name of the book is Bhagavad Gita. Read it without any biases! :)
The Bhagavad Gita, 2nd Edition

u/HandstandsMcGoo · 1 pointr/Stoicism
u/LGAMER3412 · 1 pointr/hinduism

Eknath Eswaran version is my favorite since it gives a synopsis before every chapter and a really long introduction which is good. Check it out The Bhagavad Gita, 2nd Edition

u/ricky1030 · 1 pointr/Meditation

If I can make a recommendation on the Gita, get the Easwaran translation. Its the best selling version on amazon and also the version my Asian philosophy professor uses in his course. Here's an Amazon link to it The Bhagavad Gita (Easwaran's Classics of Indian Spirituality

u/ArchyNoMan · 1 pointr/mentalhealth

I read the (Bhagavad Gita by Eknath Easwaran)[] and found his writing style very approachable, logical, and something I could actually implement in my daily life.

The point is, never get excited = never getting disappointed. Now, you can look forward to something and enjoy it when it happens. Read the book; he explains it a lot better than I.

u/Hyacin75 · 1 pointr/TheGita

The Bhagavad Gita by Eknath Easwaran

u/IllimitableMan · 1 pointr/TheRedPill

>(Do not read the translation by Prabhupada, founder of ISKCON)

How's this one? :

u/obscuroaborae · 1 pointr/leaves
u/WIDE_OPEN_BEAVERS · 1 pointr/QuotesPorn
u/zigzagzig · 1 pointr/hiphopheads

I love Alan Watts. I have this on CD! I'm only on Disc 4 right now, but he's a great speaker.

So you meditate while listening to the videos? I've been doing it in silence.

u/zanzibarmangosteen · 1 pointr/AlanWatts
u/BrainsAreCool · 1 pointr/videos

> You don't seem to know much about Alan Watts to begin with and that's fine that just means you don't know much about Alan Watts.

On the contrary, in addition to listening to over 24 hours worth of audio lectures I've also read several of his books, including "The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are", "The Wisdom of Insecurity", and "Still the Mind". It's not uncommon for Watts to preface his musings with a disclaimer that what he's saying is merely entertainment. That's all it really is to him. It's merely entertaining to project your consciousness onto the universe. After all, we're the only animal on the planet that can do that, it's an amusing exercise. But, in the end, saying that the universe is God or conscious is meaningless. Saying so carries no additional meaning; it's still more accurate to say that the universe is simply the universe. Why project our consciousness onto the universe? Isn't our consciousness, in fact, the chemically induced hypnotic suggestion of consciousness? Something necessary to keep life going? They say that life on Earth began about 4 billion years ago and that our sun has 4 billion years left in it. We already know humanity isn't powerful enough to survive the death of our star. Already man knows that he is obsolete. For man did not fly to the moon.. a machine did. Man will not remain on the forefront layer of life for long. The face. The forefront layer that will gaze at its ruined sun and home planet is not the face of man. Not a face comprised of cells. It is a face comprised of men and machine. Man will cross over and become this thing and it will scour the galaxy. Drink your ecstasy and let it take you under as Alan Watts did. Or see the point in overcoming man and overcoming life's obstacles.

u/IAMAnuttysquirrel · 1 pointr/zen

You're correct, it's from one of his sessions. I listened to it just yesterday on Alan Watts - Out of your mind

u/chansik_park · 1 pointr/Buddhism

I suspect that if you haven't already, you'd get a lot of mileage out of a 10-day Vipassana course from

The ñāṇa-system you reference, imu, comes from the Burmese Vipassana tradition, in particular from Mahasi Sayadaw. A short translated version can be found here. I've also been given to understand that a full translation has recently been published on Amazon. The short version indicates that a brilliant light is involved in the fourth ñāṇa.

The twitching, jerking and blockage, IMO, are defilements of concentration. Also, IME, there is a steady-state pīti/rapture that comes with the dissolution of such defilements; the "will"ed type of pīti/rapture can be distracting from the task of dissolving defilements, IMO.

Finally, I don't know what this vipassana-jhana business is all about, but the Paṭhama Jhāna of the Pāḷi Canon, is when pīti & sukha permeates and pervades, suffuses and fills the body such that there is nothing of the entire body unpervaded, and one is able to remain like that for however long is desired.

u/xabaddonx · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

So glad you found this helpful. I would say that the book mentioned above is better suited for very advanced meditators. I found it very interesting but am not yet in the position to take advantage of the maps it provides, although it explains the difference between concentration and insight very well. It has maps of each path and how they interplay.

There are a few books that I have found quite helpful. I tend to divide them into 2 categories, motivation and instruction.

I read the motivation books first. These books, along with my LSD experiences, really helped motivate me to establish a daily meditation practice. I read quite a few but these are my top 2 by a good margin.

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle : This was the first book I read and really set me off on this path. It is somewhat surface level but to a former athiest it was enough to make me realize that there is something real there. It is explained in a way that anyone can appreciate and won't scare anyone off.

Be Here Now by Ram Dass : This completely blew me away. If I had read this first without any psychedelic experience, I might have dismissed it as the ravings of a mad man. This really opened me up to possibilities that I never would have considered as a life long atheist. After I read this, I had to let go of my atheism.

You may have had enough experiences that you don't need any more motivation (I would still read Be Here Now for fun because it is a trip in and of itself). As far as instruction, the best book hands down that I have found is "The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science" by Culadasa. It takes you through the process step by step, shows you the theory behind what you are doing and what you need to work on at each stage. It is a balanced approach between concentration and insight. I believe this is the best approach for most people. Straight insight as advocated by the noting method in "Mastering the Core Teachings" seems to be the fastest path to enlightenment but one is more likely to get stuck in a long "dark night of the soul" period without sufficient concentration power.

Some other very good books:

Tao Te Ching

The Science of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young

The Way of Zen by Alan Watts

The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley

> Lastly, on a side note, I had always thought that the final attachment is to ourselves, and that is what keeps us alive. In a rudimentary way, keeping us from killing ourselves, or letting ourselves die passively from lack of taking care of ourselves. Maybe perception is the second attachment? Just a thought and wondering if anyone else had ever considered this.

As you progress along this path, you begin to understand that the "self" is not a "thing". It is an "activity" that we do, and you can learn to stop doing it. A common misperception is that we would want to kill ourselves without this. The reason for this misperception is that people equate "attachment" with care or love. One of the results of the process is that you realize that you can be unattached to something but still care for it. So we may become unattached to the idea of the self as a separate thing, but that doesn't mean that we wouldn't care for ourselves.

During the "dark night period" people often get this feeling that nothing has meaning, because they have picked everything apart with insight until they are left with nothing. Every sensation has been stripped of its conceptual meaning until it is just a blur of moments of perception. But beyond this feeling of "nothing has meaning", one gets to the point where they realize that "everything has meaning" and this shift in perception marks the exit of the dark night. I believe that the ultimate paradox that you can understand once you are enlightened is that determinism and free will are both true and are not mutually exclusive. That is just my own personal theory but my intuition is that this is the crux of it.

I know I am not explaining this well, it's very difficult to explain in objective logic. You can probably get a better idea by reading "The Way of Zen". There are a lot of paradoxes involved that can only be truly understood from an enlightened viewpoint but the way he explains it you can kind of see what they are talking about. Because certain truths cannot be explained in objective logic, they sort of "point a finger at it" but the student has to look at where they are pointing instead of at the finger itself. In the end one has to let go of trying to understand it with the thinking mind and just practice.

u/autumnwolf27 · 1 pointr/Meditation

I'm really sorry to hear that.

In addition to meditation practice, I would also suggest cultivating the right thoughts/mindset; Enjoying with family, and friends. I found this book really good: the mind illuminated

u/MeatFloggerActual · 1 pointr/Meditation

This is a C+P of a response I made to a similar question:

>You have an emotion that you are calling anxiety (this works with any of them, though). When you first notice that emotion, acknowledge it. Even if it's days, months, or years afterwards. Label it. The more you consciously do this, the more you will unconsciously do it. It will become easier and easier to recognize Anxiety closer and closer to the triggering point. As you do, explore the physical manifestations of this Anxiety. Just because they're subjective and mean different things to different people: What I label as anxiety has a deep, throbbing pain feels just below heart. This could be very different for you, but the important thing is that you start to understand the body's reactions to the emotion, because they always precede their conscious counterparts. This skill will progress, and as it does, you'll be able to pick up on ever-more subtle manifestations that allow you to understand that anxiety is rising within you before it has the ability to take over completely.
>It's the same basic idea behind the breath meditation that we are practicing with TMI. In the first stages, you get distracted and can only notice it retrospectively. So you return to your breath with the intention of noticing it earlier and earlier. And over time it works until the Gross Distractions have become Subtle. In the same way, labeling and resolving to understand the manifestations of an emotion go from enveloping us and taking over our thought-stream and actions, to a more subtle understanding that the emotion is there, but we don't have to engage with it.

There are a few terms that I reference from The Mind Illuminated, but that's the only vocabulary I have to discuss these things. If you would like any further clarifications about any of it, though, please don't hesitate to ask

u/flowfall · 1 pointr/Meditation

Okay, life has sickness, aging, death and a load of pain in it, these are all inevitable. The suffering/dissatisfaction attached to these and the rest of the "negative" things in life we'd like to avoid( but have no control over what lot we get) can be dissolved, one can get very good at dissolving it, so good the brain stops producing it and experience takes on the form of relaxation. non-reactivity, and ever expansive awareness as its natural state resulting in a powerful consciousness and a deep sense of peace and well-being imbued into your entire experience.

This is made possible by the brain's neuroplasticity and it's cognitive feedback, the brain can learn and optimize itself to be more efficient, use less energy, and produce significantly less stress for this experience.

Now all of these changes happen on a progressive spectrum of time/experience, the greater the amount of this time/experience that is spent practicing the more deeply influenced the proceeding time/experience of ones life becomes by this.

You've tasted the very surface. One can get to complete and utter relaxation. A state of non-reactivity or equanimity in which one can observe experience impersonally and learn to see reality without the conceptual overlays of negativity, to be able to take life on as what it is rather than what our thoughts say what it is.

To get directly to this state one must learn to completely let go of all effort. On the progressive journey towards mastering concentration meditation one develops all of the mental skills necessary to be able to let go of all effort. More time spent in this stillness grants one compoundingly greater insights which allow jumps in ones progress, shifts in perspective that slowly show you how all of your internal reactions and conceptual overlays on experience were absolutely unnecessary, completely optional and the source of all your perceived problems/suffering.

It really doesn't take more than a few months to be able to get access(with proper guidance) to these states and start exercising them and increasing time being able to be spent in them in daily life. This is when life becomes meditation and it just does itself. The fast track to enlightenment. I've personally experienced virtually a complete loss of dissatisfaction with any part of experience and a deep lasting peace that began gradually and started expanding and solidifying into the permanent part of my experience it is now. There are still the products of my previous conditioning, bad habits and reactions that on occasion pull me in and fool me for a few minutes till I realize the silly mental prison I compulsively created. The clarity of perception allows much more efficient corrections as I become more aware of these habits and my brain will simply weed them out and continue relaxing into what it previously tensed up against. The process of learning and expanding is said to be endless. Life has become a smooth enjoyable ride in which I can delight in the ups and downs as my only job is to learn, adapt and most importantly relax.

The best guide around on developing concentration is "The Mind Illuminated" by Culadasa. It outlines the entire journey from beginning to complete mastery of concentration taking all the guesswork out. /r/streamentry is a community of people on their own journey to complete contentment with a growing number people that have achieved similar or greater results than me. The sidebar there is chockfull of info.

For a slightly longer and more detailed explanation of the path check out my other comment:

You can go as deep or as shallow as you want with this to get however much benefit you like, but it becomes an effortless passion as you reap more and more benefits.

Lastly no, don't set silence of the mind as a goal. That comes as a natural side-effect of getting better at letting go of effort. No effort means no reactivity. Your breath will guide you deeper and deeper into states of less effort. Make sure you have at least 20 good minutes in/beyond those deep relaxed states as thats when the really productive meditation happens. You'll get better and faster at getting to this stillness as well. Once you can engage it like a muscle for momentary bursts of stillness you can practice using it and expanding your time in it in waking life. A place holder for this is the attempt to relax and pacify the mind on the breath during difficult times, it's increasingly more helpful as you get better on the mat. Also as you suggested in your other comment, maintaining awareness of breathe/footsteps (active meditation), helps you learn to extend these abilities to your life by helping you remain calmer and less reactive. You can soon find it's effortless and automatic. If you can understand this you can see there is no difference on or off the mat, only how much stimuli there exists to pull is into reactivity, the habit of non-reactivity dissolves the difference as you can be internally still and speak interact and work anywhere your mind is.

Also this video and the following 2 parts may be helpful.

You asked for how to work on the real problem, this is the only problem which spawns everything else you see. Practice, patience and a radical confrontation and relaxation into every aspect of life is the only solution.

u/SilaSamadhi · 1 pointr/TheMindIlluminated

Thanks for the comment. For what it's worth, I heard that there are two versions of the ebook: the one that came out shortly after the original 2015 publication, and a newer edition that came out on January 2017, without many changes to the content, but with much improved format for the ebook.

The fact that a new version of the ebook was released is already a telltale sign that many technical publication improvements have been made. That's the usual reason they re-release ebooks not too long after the original, and without many content differences.

u/BrandoTheNinjaMaster · 1 pointr/Meditation

You may want to consider some (in)formal instruction to help you maximize your practice for those sessions.

When I first started, I started with 15 minutes (20 is also not outside the realm of reason) and then added 5 minutes each successive week until I hit about 35 minutes per session; that's my personal limit for right now. During these sessions, I'm normally trying some kind of technique (labeling, checking in, noting, etc) to maintain focus on the meditation object (in my case the breath). By the end of these sessions, I wouldn't say that I am exhausted, but I have definitely spent effort to train my mind and I do notice it afterward.

While I personally use the book The Mind Illuminated as my means of instruction, you could also look into others like Mindfulness in Plain English or even an introductory program to help guide you along.

u/ignamv · 1 pointr/samharris

Also check out The Mind Illuminated ( /r/TheMindIlluminated ). It emphasizes finding joy in the practice and is supposedly more stabilizing than the dry insight Ingram used to advocate.

u/mazewoods · 1 pointr/Mindfulness

Hey there,

Have you been diagnosed as having experienced trauma? Or are you currently experiencing traumatic stress?

From what I've read so far that may be the case. If that's so then I'd really recommend approaching mindfulness / Buddhism (I assume you learned impermanence there) with resources/teachers that are trauma-informed. Mindfulness can aggravate traumatic stress and in some cases cause retraumatization. You can still benefit from it, but only if you do it through trauma informed resources/teachers. I'd recommend having a look at Trauma Sensitive Mindfulness by David Treleaven:

u/relbatnrut · 1 pointr/Drugs

Frankly, I'd want to have an in depth conversation with your doctors before accepting that what they say is true. I have trouble believing they actually know much about meditation. While certain types of meditation can be destabilizing (though ultimately rewarding), simple mindfulness of the breath, a lovingkindness (metta) practice is far less likely to do so.

It's not surprising that being mindful brings up those feelings. The next step is to simply observe the feelings in your body without reacting to them. The feelings themselves can't hurt you, even though it feels like they can. Speaking from experience, eventually you will come to see them as simply empty vibrations with no significance beyond what they are in the body.

This book is very helpful for learning how to work with trauma in a gentle way that won't retraumatize:

While I'm here, maybe you will find something of your experience in this: I know it helped me frame my bad trip as not simply an aberration, but as something that thousands of people have gone through before as the Dukkha Ñanas when meditating (albeit much more forcefully since I was tripping).

u/inahc · 1 pointr/DID

I ended up getting back into meditation when the pain was bad and I had a useless doctor. A lot of standard meditation advice doesn't work for me (btw there ARE dangers, especially with trauma), so I had to throw out a lot of it and sorta flail about until I found what worked for me. There' a book that I suspect might overlap a lot with what I worked out, but I haven't got around to reading it yet:

My own approach was... ugh words are hard... I often thought of it as "balancing on a knife edge in a hurricane". it was partially.. um.. the one where you don't try and control your attention, you just try and be aware of where it is (which would quite easily settle on the pain, because pain). also part insight meditation. and it was like the pain was behind a giant dam, and I was letting just a tiny trickle through and figuring out how to process that and sorta.. surf/float on top of it instead of being sucked in.

What really helped was getting a better doctor and finally finding medication that worked, that got the pain down to a level where I could process it faster than it came in, and start draining that massive backlog. a couple of years of that and I actually got off the pain meds in the end :) :) although I do still have to be careful and I'm still not well enough to work.

Oh, and there were also times I focused more on teaching my muscles to relax, since their tension seemed to be causing the pain, and I had to retrain them to not do that.. but my laundry alarm went off minutes ago, I should go.

edit: oh, as a bonus my pain management seems to work on emotional pain too! yay!

as for the muscles... well, pain would make them tense and tension would cause pain. aren't feedback loops fun? :P I didn't start training them out of it until I found out I had a bladder problem ruining my quality of sleep (omg sleep is important) and had to retrain muscles to cure that. then I just sorta... applied what worked on them to the rest of my body a bit at a time. when one finally started to relax it'd go through a twitchy phase that felt kinda creepy... but if I could get through that, then it was a much happier muscle and if I could avoid pissing it off for a while it'd be much less likely to join in the spasms. The hardest have been the neck and jaw muscles; I'm still working on those even now, with the help of a physiotherapist (finally found one that's not a quack, yay). they are fucking stubborn, and when I do relax them they'll tense back up again, faster if I'm trying to focus at all. trying to think while relaxing them is like trying to walk in two different directions at once. :/ but hey, not being in constant pain is still pretty awesome. :)

u/anteaterhighonants · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon


thanks for the contest!

u/TeamKitsune · 1 pointr/zen

For #3 I like to refer back to the Bhagavad Gita. Arjuna essentially asks Krishna "what is the meaning of my life." Krishna gives a long treatise that basically comes down to "suck it up and do what you have to do."

Beautiful language though. I like the Stephen Mitchell translation.

u/wjbc · 1 pointr/Christianity

Moral realism. Indeed, I consider religion a mythopoeic way to express the philosophy of moral realism.

I am a pluralist, so I don't dismiss any religion out of hand, but I know more about philosophy than about any religion outside of Christianity. However, I enjoyed Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Bhagavad Gita. He has also translated Gilgamesh, Tao Te Ching, The Book of Job, poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, A Book of Psalms, and Genesis.

u/lodro · 1 pointr/StackAdvice

Ah yeah. Address the posture and see if you still feel bad. It's likely you'll feel way better.

There are a lot of different things called qi gong. The kind I'm thinking of is stuff like that explicated in this fantastically 80s looking book. All jokes aside, that book works really well as a standalone guide to the basic practice, which works wonders if you do it for 15 minutes daily.

u/VamanaP · 1 pointr/energy_work

Hey buddy, I wholeheartedly recommend this book for ZZ. It breaks everything down very clearly making it safe for those who do not have a teacher who specialized in ZZ.

u/rygnar · 1 pointr/leaves

You need to learn to cope with your natural emotions, thoughts, and desires without the aide of any substance. You're not addicted to weed, it's your emotional crutch. This book has helped me a lot. Give it a try. Personally, I find inspirational helpful words on every page of this book. First, you will learn that it is pointless to dwell on thoughts, emotions, or desires. Then, you will learn how to actually control yourself enough to not dwell on those things. That's all there is to it. You're not broken. You're not an addict. You're not a bad person. You simply were not taught self-discipline by your parents or society, and now you're dealing with the fallout of being an adult without an emotional foundation to stand on. It's up to you to build that foundation, or you can do the typical thing and medicate yourself with something legal.

u/texasin4red · 1 pointr/Buddhism
u/TibetanBookOfNapping · 1 pointr/Buddhism
u/Franks2000inchTV · 1 pointr/stopdrinking

That's a great book! Another really good one is Zen Flesh, Zen Bones although it's more for people who already know a bit about Zen.

Zen and recovery mesh really well for me.

u/doctechnical · 1 pointr/AskReddit

"What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

First there is a mountain. Then there is no mountain. Then there is.

I think you want to look into Zen Koans, which are little stories or parables that don't make sense to the rational mind.

I had a book called "Zen Flesh, Zen Bones" which was a collection of koans like this. One of my favorites:

When the nun Chiyono studied Zen under Bukko of Engaku she was unable to attain the fruits of meditation for a long time.

At last one moonlit night she was carrying water in an old pail bound with bamboo. The bamboo broke and the bottom fell out of the pail, and at that moment Chiyono was set free!

In commemoration, she wrote a poem:

In this way and that I tried to save the old pail

Since the bamboo strip was weakening and about

to break

Until at last the bottom fell out.

No more water in the pail!

No more moon in the water!

u/cyberpsych · 1 pointr/philosophy

Whole hearted agreement.

Also try Zen Flesh Zen Bones.

u/Arlieth · 1 pointr/bestof

I recognize this story, it's an adaptation of a Zen parable about a man who asks a Zen roshi to paint (with Chinese calligraphy) an auspicious (good luck) saying to hang in his house. Though I guess a Zen roshi is kind of a priest.

There's a lot of great stories like this in a book called Zen Flesh, Zen Bones.

u/wordsfail · 1 pointr/zen

It can be useful to come in contact with words and letters especially when they "point" to consciousness beyond words and letters, without desires, aversions, and delusions. If words were altogether useless, those masters would have said nothing on the subject. It seems that many of the old masters did just that a lot of the time (said nothing). The words are the opening gambit, it's all changing experience.

u/rockytimber · 1 pointr/zen

here is a collection of zen stories that include some zen dialogue. Some people call it "combat dharma" because it appears to be like a masterful sword fight to some. Later it become institutionalized into something called "encounter dialogue", and standard questions and answers evolved. Some call that pseudo zen, and once zen is formalized like that the spontaneity and life of it is gone. It can become like any other religion when priests are just officials who have studied and are connected to a line of succession.

With zen, study or any other "practice" is not enough. You have to "get it". How some people get it and others don't remains a mystery. Succession has little to do with it.

u/realshushisandwiches · 1 pointr/zen

I am reading Zen Flesh Zen Bones right now - really enjoying it. Includes the Gateless Gate.

u/Yoga_Burn · 1 pointr/yoga

A lot of that healing comes from the yoga philosophy. Most people are taught patanjali's 8-limb path that has philosophy as well as physical practices. Yoga ideals are not so much about the thought process, but they are about doing the actual actions. For example cleanliness is one of the 10 philosophies but it's not the idea of being clean that makes you happy it's the actual work of doing the dishes, washing your car, keeping good hygiene, and fixing your diet that makes you happy. Here is a book that everyone reads that will get you started. The first 50 pages are all about the background of yoga. I also imagine that Patanjali's sutra's will help too. And there is Buddha's 8-fold path that is very similar to what Patanjali says.

u/moncamonca · 1 pointr/yoga

Try a copy of Light on Yoga.

u/Capdindass · 1 pointr/yoga

Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar. He goes over all poses step by step and includes some philosophy in the text. My studio has a copy in every room, so people can reference it while they practice

u/jmilloy · 1 pointr/bodyweightfitness

I'm using Light on Yoga by Iyengar at home. I'm not sure how this differs from modern "Iyengar yoga" -- it does seem to focus on single postures and alignment. The postures are described and shown in detail. The back section of the book has a weekly progression of postures that starts very basic and extends into the hundreds of weeks. I am able to do it 5 to 7 times a week, and it appeals to me that every week or two things change up and increase in difficulty, but I don't have to spend a lot of time figuring out on my own what I should be doing.

Previously, I was doing Bikram's beginner yoga series (26 asanas), first at a studio and then at home. It does not have to be hot. It really is a great series and can be quite strenuous, and I still do it from time to time.

u/nordr · 1 pointr/Buddhism

Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness has become my new “intro” book that I recommend to newcomers.

Mindfulness in Plain English is an equally lucid and clear guide to meditation by the same author.

u/fiveifrenzy6 · 1 pointr/atheism

Not so much incompatible i just prefer the truths of science to some of the mysticism that Buddhism holds like the belief that once you reach enlightenment or nirvana you are one with everything and completely at peace, there is nothing but absolute bliss. I find that hard to believe along with the cycle of reincarnation where you basically repeat the same mistakes for eternity until you reach Nirvana which is again making this life seem like a hell instead of a wonderful thing that you should cherish.

You could certainly combine the two to follow the morals and ethics of the Buddhist religion but saying your a Buddhist implies you believe in the above mentioned things. Which i don't believe so i stick with calling myself an Atheist though i do connect and accept most of what the 4 noble truths and the 8 fold path preach. I just don't feel i should call myself a Buddhist if i am not fully committed to the religion.

Is that clear? i know there are reasons i left out like it takes some serious dedication to become always conscious of your thoughts and keep them in control. Its not an easy religion to take on but if you are seriously interested I suggest reading this book. it was recommended to me by a Buddhist friend when i became interested. It was a good read to help me understand what the religion was about. It's a short book, though you might need to reread some parts to fully understand some of the concepts but it basically lays out Buddhas path to enlightenment in an easily understood manner.

u/2DogDay · 1 pointr/Nootropics
u/thywy · 1 pointr/Meditation

someone else in this post linked to this book that i bought right away

i think it's a buddhist book, but it speaks of attaining bliss through deep meditation too. is this the same thing as what yoga is trying to accomplish?

also it's kind of odd that you'd mention Christ. Does believing in jesus really lead to bliss? or is this just because you're a christian?

u/grumpalicious · 1 pointr/IFchildfree

Definitely not reveling in others' misfortune. More like becoming more empathetic to others' struggles and realizing that suffering is universal, and most importantly, realizing that it doesn't have to break you. I am not religious, but Buddhism has some really great things to say on this topic. Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh was really helpful to me, along with a few other Buddhist books. How to Be Sick by Toni Bernhard has a lot of great tools and practical advice. I read it with someone else in mind but found it invaluable for myself.

u/Buddhamama42 · 1 pointr/Buddhism

This may help :

Also, how do you do with mega high potency probiotics like VSL#3 ? I know probiotics are better for the colon than the small intestine, but I've read of a couple of people that megadoses of probiotics helped their SIBO enormously - the trick is to avoid those with FOs in them....

u/loudflower · 1 pointr/ChronicPain

There is a book, "How to be Sick" by Toni Bernhard that was helpful, comforting and a little validating:

She has another called "How to Live Well".

The first helped me while I was in a dark place about being ill.

u/ToniBernhard · 1 pointr/Health

I'm the author of "How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers." This is my first blog post for Psychology Today. I hope you enjoy it. Here is a link for my book:

u/peacechicken · 1 pointr/Buddhism

> How does one not form attachment when one is physically dependent on another person for their basic needs? For example, if one is physically disabled and their spouse has to provide for their care, how does the disabled person's dependence not cause fear of loss, fear of abandonment, etc?

I'm a caregiver to my wife who has physical disabilities. Coming from that perspective, I agree with Zeniues' advice to watch all of those thoughts you brought up. In my limited experience with this technique, almost all emotions lose their power when you acknowledge and watch them.

Fear and worry in general are a result of your mind residing in the future. Staying in the present moment is essential. As is recognizing and accepting your limitations and the results of those limitations. Accept that you need help/care. I don't think the dependency is bad, so long as the fear is removed from that dependency, if that makes sense. I am dependent on my job in order to pay our rent, and that by itself is fine, in my opinion. It's when I jump in to the future and worry about losing my job that the dependency becomes harmful.

I bought this book a while back but have yet to read it. However, I think it may have some good insights for you, "How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers":

u/shinymetalass · 1 pointr/Invisible

I can truly empathise with you and I'm so sorry that it has been so rough. I'm 23/f with fibromyalgia and the the past year and half of the 8 years I've had it have been the worst. Fact is your life has changed, maybe not permanently, but in the here and now, it's different. Is it fair? No. But you can adjust to this life change and still be happy or at least, happier. I found this book very helpful in changing the way you think and interpret your sickness.

Have you thought about changing therapists if the therapy isn't working? I go to pyschotherapy and have been diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I also need antidepressants to keep my mood and depression in check ALONG with therapy. Since it is so severe, you could talk with your GP and see if he would prescribe anything or have suggestions.

In terms of work, I'm working part-time at home for a family business so I get a bit of occupation and some cash. Have you tried a part-time job or maybe helping out a close friend or family's shop if possible?

Friends may come and go. I realised who my real friends are when I got sick. Lost one very close one and other friends and solidified some others. It's hard. They may never get it. Don't feel afraid to go to them for support nevertheless. Friends are supposed to be there for you, though thick and thin, good AND bad times. Feel free to PM if you want to vent or talk. I'm on reddit everyday and throughout. You may not be able to go out with friends or bf but you can still keep in touch over the phone or online video chats. It's not the same but at least you can have a good convo.

What are your hobbies? Indulge yourself in them since you are unhappy. Do those things that bring a smile to your face.

I really hope things turn out better for you and soon. Don't give up. It can get better.

u/deathofregret · 1 pointr/ChronicPain
u/pornpompornpomporn · 1 pointr/Showerthoughts

/r/meditation has good resources. they often recommend this book

u/lukievan · 1 pointr/Meditation

+1 to this. You are doing quite a lot of "self-improvement" lately and that challenge/goal mindset can actually undermine your meditation practice. Most of the time when we apply ourselves to something, there is a more-or-less linear response in terms of positive results. I think meditation is different - because it deals with the mind itself, 'progress' can be much more subtle and slippery. I'm a relative newcomer to daily meditation myself and I'm struggling with a similar dynamic - a lot of "progress" at first, and now it seems like I'm going backwards. Letting go of expectations and returning to the breath, and trying to not judge myself for mind-wandering helps. I'm reading Culadasa's book The Mind Illuminated and it's very helpful in presenting a methodical, reasoned approach to meditation practice. It outlines stages ands goals, which I like, though it can also play into the achievement trap that may be responsible for self-judgement and impatience. But I think it's worth it. I'm going to continue meditating because I know it's the right thing to do and let the 'results' come or go as they may.

u/Thotality · 1 pointr/milliondollarextreme

Yes! This book really helped me improve. A problem with meditation I've found is there's no real plan besides just sitting. This helped me realize how I can get better.

u/becomingmanofsteel · 1 pointr/Meditation

Honestly, the answer is Your Mileage May Vary. :)

There are people who have lived alone for 12 years doing meditation, growing their own food etc.

The Vipassana course structure certainly makes a lot of things easier. Primarily food, removing distractions of all kinds and guidance from an experienced meditator.

A home retreat with all the above attributes would certainly be good. And it would make the meditator quite self sufficient in their practice.

Meanwhile just to share, a reference guide and a more tactical approach to tackling meditation, check out the book Mind Illuminated by Culadasa

Edit: Formatting

u/exit_eu · 1 pointr/edefreiheit

Das hier ist momentan so die Go-To-Empfehlung, so weit ich weiss. Das ist eigentlich eine Meditationsanleitung, man kann aber auch die Praxis-Kapitel überspringen und nur die Theorie-Kapitel lesen, damit wird das ganz gut erklärt.

Sam Harris hat glaub ich in Waking Up auch darüber geschrieben, allerdings weiss ich nicht wie tief er reingeht, da ich es selber noch nicht gelesen hab.

Du kannst auch mal bei Gary Weber reinschauen, der hat gute Videos zu dem Thema, obwohl ich nicht weiss, wie viel man da rausnehmen kann, wenn man nicht schon weiss, wovon er redet.

u/p4nx · 1 pointr/Meditation

Excuse me, but did you read The Mind illuminated: a complete Meditation Guide or did you read The Illuminated Mind by June D'Estelle? And is this the right book to read when I want to improve my concentration meditation to someday reliable reach jhana? Sorry if this question is dumb or already answered. Anyways it was a good read about your achievements. I wish you and your wife the best of luck.

u/soutioirsim · 1 pointr/Mindfulness

Body scans are brilliant for this type of situation.

I've got a presentation to do at a conference in roughly one hour and last night I slept terribly. My thoughts just kept on jumping to the presentation, which got me worked up, and therefore couldn't sleep (which obviously stressed me out more). It wasn't until 3am when I decided to do a guided body scan mediation that I finally fell asleep.

I find that when I have a super scattered and jumpy mind, the breath as a meditation object is simply not strong enough to pull me out of the thought stream. I need to sink into the sensations of the body in order to help break the cycle of getting caught up in my thoughts.

Specifically, I would recommend the body scan meditation by Mark Williams (his book comes with a CD).

When I'm not stressed, then I go back to using The Mind Illuminated.

u/hurfery · 1 pointr/Meditation

Sounds like a very normal first experience. :)

What were you focusing on?

If you're aiming to make meditation a part of your life you should consider following a book such as The Mind Illuminated

u/jonathan_bart · 1 pointr/Meditation

The Mind Illuminated really helped me to ground into a particular method. Read some reviews and see if it resonates for you. Can't hurt to try :-). It certainly gave a giant boost to my practice (frequency, duration, and results).

u/Singulis · 1 pointr/Meditation

I would recommend seeing a therapist to get yourself on a more stable level so that you can meditate. You can also feel 'safe' when meditating because you have that security, someone who can help you through experiences that you might come across while meditating.

Now about my experiences.

I reasoned around half a year ago that since life is all process, it's meaningless and had the thought of committing suicide. I lived with misery and panic attacks every so often for a few weeks after having this thought as my instincts were wanting me to live, but my intellectual mind saw no point to it.

After my third panic attack, I decided to make an appointment with a therapist.

He was cool, drugs were last resort and he wasn't religious. My perfect match on the first try!

He suggested I look up 'mindfulness meditation' which led me to this guided meditation by Sam Harris.

As a secular person new to meditation who had assumptions about the practice, this guy gave me consolidation about the practice, as well as a professional psychologist suggesting it to me lol. I can't remember what the first session was like, but I know i kept doing it and saw results in the first week. Hell yea!

I wanted to explore more when it came to meditation and got this app. It's a guided meditation app that got me into the idea of working on certain aspects of meditation, developing certain muscles to become a better meditator and around this time I was making good progress with overcoming depression.

After about a month of using the app I started to get into the 'roots' of meditation and seeing where these practices come from.

In short, Buddhism.

I was now seeking knowledge about meditation in the realm of buddhism and came across Mindfulness in plain english.
This book showed me a glimpse into how the mind worked and how meditation was more of a philosophical/empirical way of overcoming suffering and such. It's a good book.

After some time, maybe a few weeks, I came across another book called The Mind Illuminated which has been my sole resource of guiding my meditation practice for six months now. This book dives deeep into the practice of meditation, in a secular manner, from the perspective of past skilled meditators and neuroscience. From learning how to start a habit of practicing meditation to creating a mind prone to Awakening or Enlightenment, which is not mystical, the book covers it.

Again, I would really suggest seeing a therapist to help you stabilize a bit but if you can't, start out with the guided meditations NOT stoned (lol) I mentioned and see for yourself the benefits of meditation.

Meditation is a whole other world my friend.

Have a good one.

If anyone has any questions or concerns, hit me up.


u/mahlzeit · 1 pointr/europe

Behind all the religious bullshit and the old-fashioned language in Buddhism there's actually a very nice psychological model of the mind. So I'd argue that this is a bit different, and I don't think anybody who likes to meditate daily would see himself as a convert to anything, I certainly don't, I'm still just as atheistic as before I started meditating.

There are several religions that share the label "Buddhism", you can recognize them by their shaved heads and orange/brown robes. And people subscribing to those religions are just as zealous as other followers. Thankfully they are more or less harmless to outsiders (not to insiders, though; for example different Buddhist sects are fighting with and murdering each other in Tibet, which nobody in the west seems to know about).

In the end there are different degrees of harmfulness, but swallowing any ideology (with or without a god) without skepticism and reason is kind of always a bad idea.

> buddhist may use "traditional medicine" for their children or other things like that.

Yeah, there's a new religion that has developed in the west, which is called "New Age" and has combined a lot of feel-good-bullshit from various sources. It's time we recognized this as an actual religion, but we're probably not far enough removed from it historically to see it for what it is. People who read "The Secret" or base life decisions on astrology may not blow themselves up at military checkpoints, but they can do a lot of damage to their social group too.

u/waketech_student · 1 pointr/Meditation

Online meditation course ?
Whats the difference between it and between books, or being on the or any other meditation forum or one of the meditation Sub Reddit for that matter?


A lot of people here seem to like this, it looks pretty good.

u/CptDefB · 1 pointr/TheRedPill

> Requesting the equivalent of 5x5 or starting strength, for meditation.

[The Mind Illuminated, Culadasa (aka, John Yates)] (

u/_pope_francis · 1 pointr/eldertrees

We all wish we could start at a 10-day retreat, but truth is you can just sit and focus on your breathing. The Mind Illuminated is a great how-to manual.

u/MeditationGuru · 1 pointr/LifeProTips

The meditation that I learned was Vipassana meditation at a retreat. You can go on a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat at
I can tell you from personal experience it is hugely beneficial to attend a full course. Meditation has improved my life in every aspect.

Now of course for some people that is a huge commitment, but you can still start meditating daily without attending a 10-day course and it will still be very beneficial.

If you cannot attend a 10-day course, I suggest doing mindfulness meditation of the breath. (Anapana)
The basic instructions are this:

  1. Set a timer for 10 minutes to an hour and sit with your spine and neck straight, try to get as comfortable as possible, but try to sit up straight. Perfect posture is not important when you are first starting out

  2. Begin following the sensations of the breath at the tip of your nose.

  3. Whenever you notice that you are lost in a thought, return to the breath. Don't be hard on yourself for losing focus on the breath, it is totally normal.

    Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the duration of your sit. Do this everyday, it must become a priority to sit every day. Only miss a sitting if it is completely unavoidable.

    "The secret to success is continuity of practice" -S.N. Goenka (The teacher that created the Vipassana course that I attended and linked above)

    Those are the basic instructions, the practice goes deeper, if you are interested in learning more about meditation I suggest reading The Mind Illuminated (A guide that will take you through all of the stages on the path of meditation)

u/mimmergu · 1 pointr/Meditation

It's called Piti in Pali. Also chi, prana, etc. Check out this book, it will give you more details than you want on sensations during meditation

u/elnoxvie · 1 pointr/Meditation

I would recommend to check this book out. It is a complete meditation manual by cudalasa.

You will find a stage by stage instructions. Thus, you know how far you have progress.

u/Feritix · 1 pointr/Meditation

I highly recommend The Mind Illuminated by Culadasa. I've recommended it so many times it may seem like I'm getting paid to suggest it, (trust me, I'm not) but that book was incredibly helpful along my path. It cuts through a lot of the nonsense you might read by some of these "teachers" one sometimes find on the Internet and establishes a clear guide on how to progress in meditation.

u/bigskymind · 1 pointr/Meditation
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/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/Theguywhodreams · 1 pointr/Meditation

Metta and mindfulness will probably help you out a lot. This will get you started with mindfulness:

If you're looking for something really substantive then check out the book The Mind Illuminated (not an easy read but totally worth it) and follow the practices in that book.

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/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/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/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/procgen · 1 pointr/conspiracyundone

No joke, this book is fantastic. There might be something in it for you.

u/On32thr33 · 1 pointr/askphilosophy

For Eastern thinkers, a good place might be Red Pine's translation of the Taoteching . He offers a lot of commentary from different sources next to each verse

u/mostlygaming · 1 pointr/taoism

I recommend Lao-Tzu's Taoteching by Red Pine multiple perspectives on each passage.

u/ForestZen · 1 pointr/taoism

The red pine edition is excellent and has extended interpretations.

u/ludwigvonmises · 1 pointr/taoism

Hi and welcome. I'm not a religious Taoist, so I can't answer those specific questions.

> Is Taoism necessarily apolitical? I’m an anarchist communist, and while I’m interested in Taoism, I don’t think my political views are likely to change. In fact, my politics are part of why I’ve become attracted to Taoism, but it seems like that might be discouraged.

Not necessarily political one way or the other. I'm a market anarchist and I see the fluid movement and expression of society as the functioning of the Tao. To me, any kind of government is an ugly and violent imposition.

> What is meditation? What are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to gain anything from it, and if so, what?

Meditation is awareness. There are many forms of meditation practices. With some of them, you concentrate specifically on a thought, or sound, or feeling, or some "seed." With others, you reject grasping onto anything and maintain what Krishnamurti calls "choiceless awareness," picking up and letting go whatever is moving through your mind. Both of these (concentration and insight meditation), among others, are cultivated to allow one to see himself and into his own nature. Ostensibly, this is to support eliminating useless and destructive mental, emotional, and psychological habits and to reintegrate oneself back into the seamlessness of Reality, whereas in our typical lives, we reify our egos as real existing things and we separate ourselves from "the outside."

> Do you believe that humans have agency or free will?

There is no Taoist answer to this. To suggest that humans have agency is to suggest they are somehow outside the causal nexus, outside karma, outside the Tao. To suggest they are determined is to suggest that they are nothing but causes, nothing but karma, nothing but Tao. Both are problematic philosophical perspectives, and Taoism tends to eschew complex philosophy in appreciation for the subtle, mysterious, and feminine nature of Reality.

> Why are Taoists so concerned with longevity if they believe in an afterlife?

Taoists are interested in longevity because some of them believe in immortality of some kind, and others are interested in simply leading long, healthy lives. The practice of Qigong and Taichi do actually promote good health.

> Are Taoists moral relativists even if given the context of an ethical dilemma?

Not moral relativists - just unconcerned with morality. The Confucians and Mohists and other ancient Chinese philosophical schools were interested in justice and righteousness and all that. To the Taoists, this was all just mental frothing. Their ideas of right and wrong were products of their culture, biology, etc. and ideas don't map on to Reality. Another person in here mentioned virtue ethics - that's probably a better way to look at it. They held that there were better and worse ways to live, but not any hard-line "right" or "wrong" actions. To a contemporary Westerner, this might sound like moral relativism, but it's deeper than that - it's a rejection of the brain's ability to accurately conceptualize the nuance and complexity of everyday life. Applying moral labels to actions would stultify a person, limit them, and prevent them from acting in uncontrived and naturally spontaneous ways. I am sometimes reminded of Nietzsche's concept of being "beyond good and evil."

> I’m reading through the Tao Te Ching now. Is there a specific place on here or in real life where I should go to ask questions as I read?

Think about picking up Red Pine's version of the Tao Te Ching. He introduces lots of ancient and medieval Chinese commentary on each verse (and his own..) which really brings the context into subtle and mysterious things Lao-tzu says. It was very helpful for me.

u/somlor · 1 pointr/taoism

Consider the classic Daodejing. There are many, many translations. My personal favorites are Liu Ming, Red Pine and Ellen Chen.

u/FelixFaller · 0 pointsr/pcmasterrace

Can I recommend meditation? I do about 30 minutes every day and I can see the world and peoples actions more clearly and I feel overall more stable. Here is a grate book to start you off:

u/katsuhira_nightshade · 0 pointsr/DebateReligion

Fascinating insight, if you want to read some literature that's more inline with those views you should check out the Bhagavad Gita. It's an ancient Hindu text that talks about how we are all, at the core, parts of--or rather the same--divine whole that's beyond truth and simple religion. In the same vein, you can pick up Rumi's poetry; to give an example from Rumi (trans. by Coleman Barks) that kind of fits with what you're saying:
"Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu
Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion

or cultural system. I am not from the East
or the West, not out of the ocean or up

from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not
composed of elements at all. I do not exist,

am not an entity in this world or in the next,
did not descend from Adam and Eve or any

origin story. My place is placeless, a trace
of the traceless. Neither body or soul.

I belong to the beloved, have seen the two
worlds as one and that one call to and know,

first, last, outer, inner, only that
breath breathing human being."

u/r271answers · -1 pointsr/scientology

A book I often recommend to Christians (or those with a strong Christian background) you may find worth checking out is A Course in Miracles its kind of like if the Scientology upper OT levels were written in a Christian context.

The backstory is kind of sketchy I think, but if you can ignore that and just take the text for what it is then its well worth the read. It can be rather dense and can take a long time to get through, especially if you do all the exercises, but it's worth the time and effort in my opinion. I'd generally skip the organizations and such that promote it and go with just the text itself and your own interpretation of it.

Another book worth checking out is Zen Flesh, Zen Bones which was almost like a Bible for me for many years.

It's also worth reading The Principia Discordia for a bit more humorous take on religion - but a religion that many people actually take seriously. Hard-core Discordians throw the best parties, btw.

Religion doesn't have to be the solemn or overly serious thing that its often made out to be. The idea of 'truth' is often thrown around as being objective but there are very few objective truths in my honest opinion and experience. Find out what's true for you and if nothing is true for you then, well, make up something new that is.