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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/S_K_I · 6 pointsr/Meditation

Don't worry I got a million answers.

First 3 months were spent with frustration for lack of results, and not doing it properly. The following 3 months were spent finding my groove, staying consistent, and staying consistent. I'm quoting myself from /r/ADHD months back, at the challenges I faced during my learning process but here is what I said basically:

Have you ever heard of Om Mani Padme Hum?

It can't be translated into a simple phrase or sentence because it varies in English. But the general phrase is:

>"Behold! The jewel in the lotus!"

When meditating, I repeat this mantra over and over again, but overtime I progressively slow down between each word till my brain completely goes quiet. It's a great technique to use if you have a lot of racing thoughts, distractions, especially in your case the eye movement. I'm just fascinated with the entire history of meditation and its origins which has led me to understanding and appreciating this mantra. I know it sounds like hippy bullshit and even I was skeptical of course, but you don't have to believe in the Buddhist philosophy behind the mantra to gain its benefits. In fact, it doesn't matter what the words in the mantra even are. You can recite the recipe for sushi if you want. It's the repetition:

rice fish wasabi rice fish wasabi.

All you're doing is repeating the same tone repeatedly and over time your brain gets tired to the point where you notice your thoughts begin to slow down. You follow up with this by pausing momentarily between the words, a few seconds and maybe up to a minute between the words. The ultimate goal of course is utter and complete silence in your brain, which may take years to accomplish And yes, this process is slow. I've been meditating for a little over a year and it's been a long and arduous process because naturally I'm not consistent with meditation and sticking with it, but I have definitely noticed insight and introspection within myself. I notice I'm patient with individuals and I'm significantly calmer. And dare I say, I'm even happy sometimes. All I'm doing is literally sitting fucking still for 10 minutes a day thinking about jack shit.

I can only speak from my experience, so take this anecdotally. But meditation is perhaps the best thing for my adhd brain. It calms my thoughts, gives me clarity, and most importantly it tackles of the other co-morbid issues that plague my life. But you have to remember, your brain is just like any other muscle, you don't go to the gym one week and expect to get muscular; it takes discipline, consistency, and time to accomplish. But don't take my word for it, studies are already showing how meditation:

  • increases brain matter,

  • treats anxiety and depression,

  • And because I love creativity there's a great TED talk discussing how meditating actually improves that as well.

  • Look up Eckhart Tolle - The Power of Now. It's even on audio book whch is what I used, and trust me the audio version is way better for ADHD'ers who hate reading. I might have to listen up on it again to refresh my memory, but I highly recommend that if you want to truly learn more.

    I highly encourage for you to learn as much as you can before you get started. I was extremely dismissive and cynical at meditation in the beginning, but it wasn't until after I exhausted every option I had left from therapy and medication, before I decided that I'd give it a shot. Cuz hey, what else did I have to lose.

u/JohnnyZampano · 2 pointsr/Meditation

>Is it better to choose one and be consistent or choose one randomly everyday?

Depends on what you want out of practice really. It's my opinion you can skim the surface of a bunch of different methods or go much deeper into one or a few. If you want to strengthen loving kindness / metta listen to those guided meditations more, if you want to develop concentration listen to those more.

>Do i need the guided audio meditation all the time or should I try to meditate without them?

I highly recommend getting comfortable with sitting without them. They are great to get started, and can continue to be great for all of practice but I think they can become somewhat of a crutch. Personally I think of meditation as a practice for life, it's something that is intended to be done and benefit life off the cushion, and you can't exactly go around listening to guided tapes all day.

Guided meditations are a great tool, and just that - a tool. Use them until they are no longer needed then move on. Try sitting without them for a sit or two and see what it's like. You may like it or not. In the end it's all up to you and the style of practice that benefits you best.

>Which websites/books would you recommend for meditation for beginners ?

I personally benefited from Mindfulness in Plain English which is in the sidebar. Wherever you go, there you are is an amazing book that points very directly. I read it when I first started sitting and was blown away, read it a few months ago and was blown away again by the level of depth he is communicating that I did not pick up on previously. is a great resource for more Buddhist themed talks and guided meditations.

Kenneth Folk is a teacher who's style has greatly benefited me, his noting practice has been very transformational for me.

Shinzen Young has a bunch of great videos on youtube that are good for all levels of practitioners.

And lastly if you're up for it finding a local sitting group can be really helpful. It's really amazing to sit with a group of people, it can really strengthen your practice. Depending on where you are there are most likely a few Buddhist Sangha's which can be interesting to check out, and possibly a few secular meditation groups if you're not into the whole Buddhism thing.

u/Geovicsha · 1 pointr/Meditation

> First I don't agree that the sense of self is a feeling. I'd rather use "phenomenon of the mind" o maybe "construct" for lack of a better expression.

This is really just semantics, no? We can definitely supplant the word 'feeling' with words such as phenomenon, construct, sense, belief etc. I would argue that mind is a lot more encompassing than self, and it would be fallacious to conflate the two. The mind clearly exists, thoughts clearly exist.

The sense of self is encompassed in the mind, but the mind encompasses mental phenomena which we don't usually associate with the volitional self/ego, like dreams (funnily, though, the sense of self still exists in dreams). Thoughts are like dreams. Pay close attention, and they come in and out of consciousness without our volition. But the sense that there is some "controller" of these thoughts is illusory -- and we can see this if we meditate effectively, or take psychedelics. Indeed, since you seem to be a materialist, it would follow for you then that thoughts are a manifestation of the brain itself -- and we do not choose the construct of our brain, or how our innumerate amount of neurons inter correlate.

Indeed, the paradox that we think our thoughts becomes apparent in any beginners meditation practice. Beginners invariably complain that they can't meditate since they can't stop thinking (which is actually great they can observe this!). But, the phenomenon of the self (to use one of your words) is defined as being the controller of thoughts. If we were this controller of thoughts, wouldn't we just decide to stop thinking without any difficulty whatsoever?

> Second, because you can "turn it off" or detach yourself from it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

One facet of this illusory sense of self is the belief that it is always there and stable. The fact that there are significant moments in one's consciousness where it doesn't exist at all completely counteracts our conceptual understanding of the ego/self.

> Third, and this is a very complicated matter, what does it mean "to exist"? Would you say that a cultural value does not exist? That a convention does not exist?

To exist means to be real. Cultural values and conventions surely have conceptual truth, but they don't exist in objective reality. Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris had a really interesting podcast where they debated truth for over two hours. Maybe check out Buddhist ideas on relative truth and ultimate truth as well?

> Would you say that a magic trick is not real or does not exist just because it's not what it appears to be?
> The magic trick is indeed real, even if your perception makes you see beyond the actions of the magician.

Hmmm. No. The illusion of magic can appear real, but that doesn't mean the magic is real. I feel this analogy, if anything, just substantiates my point.

I cannot stress enough I am not making these claims based on religious dogma or pseudo science, but on scientific inquiry and experiential observation. They are increasingly investigated in scientific realms.

You seem like an intelligent and thoughtful individual, and I'm not explaining these points as clearly as I can (I'm very sleep deprived) or, indeed, as others do far better. Do check out Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion by prominent nueroscientist Sam Harris and/or Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment by evolutionary psychologist Robert Wright.

If you ever end up doing so, I'd be really curious in your reflections -- especially if you still disagree that the self is an illusion. :)

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/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/carsonmcd · 19 pointsr/Meditation

This is favorite subject! Meditation and exercise are a fantastic combination, they feed off each other and you'll see improvements in both.

Running has been mentioned already, and it's a great practice especially for distance. Might I recommend this book, Running with the Mind of Meditation. The author goes over the practice of meditation on its own, and then delves into multiple ways you can carry it over into your running practice. It's a wonderful read -- if you'd like a more extensive guide than you can find online, this is the book for you.

Also, meditation has helped me tremendously with weight training, if you're interested in that (which I also recommend! Besides the obvious physical benefits, research has shown that resistance training benefits include increased self-efficacy, memory, cognitive abilities and muscle relaxation while reducing risks of anxiety and depression). I haven't stumbled across much literature on it, but it's a great opportunity to practice mindfulness since your body is undergoing tremendous stress and is reacting to it. One note, don't listen to music like so many people do at the gym; it hinders the meditative experience. Between sets, you can ask yourself, how do my muscles feel? Am I in pain? Or you can lay back and visualize or practice the form for the lift you just performed, focusing all your mental energy on mastering the form. While you lift, focus entirely on form and breath, nothing else. Make sure you are entirely under control, as many people swing weights to cheat out reps or try and lift too much and don't use the proper form. Feel your muscles, are you actually working the muscles you are intending to target? It also makes you appreciate and come to love the "pain" that resistance training puts you through. You'll note how exercise makes your body and spirit feel good, strong and full of life.

Whew, okay. My point is, YES! Try it out for yourself, though, and find a form of exercise that you truly enjoy.

u/broomtarn · 1 pointr/Meditation

My main practice is based on The Mind Illuminated. It provides a gradual, progressive roadmap for developing one's mindfulness muscles. There's also r/TheMindIlluminated for getting questions answered and offering and receiving support and encouragement. Several teachers hang out there, so questions often get very insightful and precise responses.

As far as your stress level around your clients, that's kind of a hard one, especially in the short term. If I were in your shoes, I thing that *trying* to appear stress free would just ramp up my stress level.

There are things you can affect and things you cannot. You want to facilitate a good experience for your clients, but that's not just up to you. Reality and happenstance will also play a role. Do everything you can to make their experience as pleasant and productive as possible, but recognize that some things are going to be outside your control and do your best to let go of those.

Regarding guided meditations, I don't know of any that I'd recommend specifically, but you might try an app called Insight Timer. It has a bunch (like 15k) of free guided meditations and I bet you could find some in there that would help you relax and calm yourself. I use it mostly for timing my meditation sessions and occasionally dip into the guided meditations.

I hope some of this is helpful and I hope your trip goes smoothly and you and your clients have a good time. I hope your reboot of your spiritual journey goes well too.

u/amk2707 · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Honestly, just focusing on the breathe, and noticing when the mind wanders and re-focusing on the breathe is really it. As you continue to meditate, over time, years even, your perception of how to do that will change. You will notice how to catch your mind wandering quicker. You will also see what causes your mind to wander. You just start to get a better idea of how your mind works, and that can be pretty eye opening. Basically, it sounds simple, however, it is anything but, as your practice is always evolving. You also have to deal with the different "distractions" your mind and body throw at you.

I suppose the point of meditation could be to calm the mind. I don't know, I don't really think of it in those terms. That said, if you "try to calm the mind", I doubt you will be able to. Your mind is always working, wandering, planning ect. Meditation gives you a bit more awareness of this, and at times, though meditation, you will be able to calm it quite a bit. Don't think of it in black and white, IMO. It'll probably never be calmer, but you may fine when meditating, or after, that your mind is calmer. I wouldn't make that a goal though. There's a lot of benefits from meditating, and there's a lot of ways of thinking about it, so just try to keep an open mind about what could happen.

In terms of how is any of this going to help, well, there are a few different trains of thought. The most convincing is that doing this actually does change your brain chemistry. I don't know the specifics off hand, but you can google this and find answers pretty easily. The other trains of thought are more meta-physical or spiritual. I've definitely had some of those, but that's something you just have to experience yourself, as it'll be different for everyone.

If you really want to get into the nitty gritty of how to do it, check out this book:

I have it, didn't finish it, but it had a lot of good info.

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/CoachAtlus · 2 pointsr/Meditation

> So I observe the feeling like I've been instructed to do but nothing really happens... I can never bring myself to be at ease with these emotions.

It happens naturally if you just keep practicing and keep observing, without getting wrapped up in the emotion. Based on your comments, I suspect that what you really want is for the emotion to go away by observing it. But that desire for the emotion to go away is a form of aversion and a pushing away of the emotion, which is different than really just observing and accepting it.

It's a difficult practice, and there are no shortcuts or neat tricks to get around the shitty parts. You just have to immerse yourself fully in the crap, and keep feeling it, until eventually you actually accept it (and don't just try and fake accept it to get it to go away).

Metta meditation -- loving-kindness meditation -- however is a nice practice you can incorporate to generate some positive feelings, just to make yourself feel a bit better. Additionally, focusing more on calming concentration practices, like basic breath concentration, can help you to ease into these sorts of difficult emotions in a way that makes them easier to confront (my favorite vulgar metaphor for this: concentration practice is like using lube for the instruments required for an anal exam).

In Culadasa's new book, the Mind Illuminated, he outlines his meditative path, which includes a nice balanced mix of insight and concentration practice, which may be more suitable for you. You might want to check it out. It's the best meditation manual I've read in a long time. (And I've read quite a few at this point.)

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/KRex228 · 3 pointsr/Meditation
  • Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana. Probably the best beginner's introduction to what mindfulness is, why it is important, and how to practice.

  • [10 Percent Happier] ( by Dan Harris. More of a memoir than a how-to guide (he also has a new how-to guide called Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics), but I personally loved this book for its honesty about what mindfulness can and cannot do for you. It's also hilarious and entertaining, so it's usually the number one place I recommend people start if they are at all interested in meditation.

  • Waking Up by Sam Harris--Although not explicitly about mindfulness, some excellent, realistic background information on the practice and what to expect.

  • Lots of other great books out there, but a lot of this comes down to personal preference: Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, and Jon Kabat Zinn are all names to look into to see whose materials speak to you. Some of them put more emphasis on the Buddhist side, whereas the others are more science-based and interested in the mental health implications of the practice.
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/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/PsiloPutty · 2 pointsr/Meditation

(I wrote this a few minutes ago for another person, but it totally fits for you as well!) Yep, I was that way too. Didn't know how to gauge my meditation progress and didn't know what pitfalls to watch out for. One thing I did know was that I was motivated to make some deep changes in my life, and I knew intuitively that meditation could help. A friend suggested a book called The Mind Illuminated, so I spent $18 and started with Stage 1 in the book. Almost a year has passed, and I've been doing it daily since then. It was/is EXACTLY what I was looking for and needing. It gives you very detailed instructions for each of the 10 stages, and there's a sub-reddit forum just for it. You can ask questions on any of the stages and there are friendly people there to answer them.

Might be just what you need as well. Check it out. Take care! :-)

u/Th334 · 1 pointr/Meditation

I think you mean that you cannon not engage with your thoughts and emotions when you observe them. This is perfectly normal as well. It's not typically something you're expected to be able to do consistently in daily life without significant training. :) You should try to do this during your meditations though.

The meditation manual I'm using has a very useful chapter on how to establish a daily practice. From my memory:

  • You have to practice every day to maintain and develop your skill, even if it is for 10 minutes. Ideally and eventually you're looking for at least one 45-minute practice a day (but give it time, it will be easier for you to do with more experience).

  • You cannot fit a dedicated practice into your "free time". You must make time for it. Give it higher priority and fit your other tasks around it. This is very important. If you let meditation compete with all the other tasks and desires you have, it just won't happen.

  • Fixed schedule is very helpful. For example, I meditate first thing every morning. Beware thought that middays and late evenings are typically harder because your mind is tired / ready for sleep. Same with right after you've had a meal.

  • "Just do it" is the antidote to procrastination. Do it first, then do everything else. Just make yourself get into your meditation chair/cushion, set an intention to meditate diligently, and the results will happen.

  • Boost your motivation before every sit by reminding yourself why you're doing this. You can have different reasons to meditate from day to day.

  • Remember that creating a daily practice is the most difficult and the most important step. You will really have accomplished something once you're able not to miss a single day, and this will have the greatest effect on everything else you do in the long-term.
u/Tollrir · 1 pointr/Meditation

I haven't used it for weight loss, but meditation has been the most important tool for overcoming sexual addiction. In fact, mindfulness in particular has a lot of research behind its value for working with addiction.

Stress eating may not be a full blown addiction, but you can be sure it's in the same ball park.

Regular mindfulness meditation, in my experience, helps you to be more aware throughout the day, aware of your physical needs, like hunger, thirst, the need for solitude and quiet, and more subtly, aware of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

When you start getting into the habit of mindfully asking yourself "What am I feeling right now? Is there something I could do to make my situation better right now?", you will certainly start to notice the thoughts and feelings that spring up right before your craving for food.

With time, you start to recognize the triggers, and as you become more familiar with them, you start to learn how to counteract them.

I would recommend Jon Kabat-Zinn's Wherever you go, there you are if you want to learn more about mindfulness specifically.

A good way to start would be to just sit down in a quiet place, if only for five minutes, and become aware of the sensations of your breath. Don't count, don't expect anything. Just be aware.

Awareness of breath is the most basic mindfulness meditation of all, but its power for transformation is incredible.

I hope this helps, good luck!

u/BassOfTheSea · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Here is a link to a good beginners meditation book. Costs about $11, but would probably be very helpful to someone like you.

  • Mindfulness in Plain English - Book

    This is a very straightforward, no bullshit meditation that I really enjoy. There is a short version and a long version. This is the shorter version.

  • Sam Harris - Meditation

    This is more of a general discussion of meditation, Buddhism, and philosophy by Alan Watts. The track is old and some of his advice is outdated (like making a gong out of the bottom of an oxygen tank, haha), but his general points are great.

  • Alan Watts - Meditation

    There are many guided meditations on youtube, just try some out and see what you think.

    If you have a smartphone, I recommend the Insight Timer app. It has some useful timer features and a bunch of guided meditations. You are going to find a lot of mumbo jumbo ones, but that can be part of the fun too. Good luck!
u/TheHeartOfTuxes · 6 pointsr/Meditation

>THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT because any book that talks about meditating to reach a higher being, to see pretty things is not what I'm looking for.

That is wonderful! Because, despite what some people imagine, that's not what real meditation is about.

Meditation addresses the cause-and-effect of the thinking; in particular, how to get out from under the false ideas we make or that are implanted in us by parents, society, and other conditioning factors, and how to instead be able to see things plainly and accurately — before opinion filters the view.

You are very fortunate to have this yen for simple, observable effects; and you are very fortunate to understand that you need to reset. Furthermore, it is good that you can see some of your own patterns and how they might get in the way of your success. Resetting is indeed the practice: coming back to zero.

Zen Master Seung Sahn used to talk about "pressing the Clear button". When you use a calculator, you need to be able to return to zero in order for the calculations to come out correctly. If you keep entering calculations without resetting, they go further and further from the accurate result. Similarly, if we are to function correctly we need to be able to clear away the previous results and start from zero. So meditation means we press the Clear button. Then, how that clear point functions in life is the next step.

I think you may like some of Zen Master Seung Sahn's writing, and you may dislike some of it. His teaching is very well organized. He also often appealed to the scientific mind (he would sometimes teach by using mathematics, for instance). But also some of his writing includes points that you may not have the patience for, and includes deep teaching you probably won't understand (not until you have practiced for several years); so you may not like that part of it.


But this raises an important point for you. Despite the fact that you seek very clear, no-nonsense teaching — which is, I think, commendable — there is also a sort of selfish, demanding, entitled tone to your post. You have to realize that nothing is perfect. Your situations become satisfactory or unsatisfactory based on your own mind and your own relationship to things. So if you keep a demanding and entitled attitude, there is no teaching that will help you.

Right now, you are saying that you are going to stay where you are, and that all the teaching should come to you, in exactly the way you want it. Sure, we all want things our way; but that's not really a mature approach. You have to come at least half way. If you take down some of the unnecessary doubt and armoring, and take some steps toward the teachers, then naturally the teachers will respond and the teaching can be assimilated by you. If you only stand where you've always stood, holding on to your narrow view out of fear of entering new territory, then nothing will change for you.

This is also cause and effect.


One writer you may appreciate — I don't know, you'd have to check him out — is John Kabat Zinn. He offers meditation practices in a non-religious context. Probably his most famous book is his first bestseller, Full Catastrophe Living, which looks at meditation for stress relief and treatment for illness. The follow-up book Wherever You Go, There You Are is more focused on meditation itself, and may be a good start for you. He has several books, videos, and mp3s available.

Here's an excerpt from a user review on Amazon:

>A family member bought this book. I found it sitting on a shelf, glanced at the cover and involuntarily thought to myself "uh oh, granola time," and came within a heartbeat of dismissing the book out of hand. Luckily, I did not. Instead, I read the introduction, and then found myself -- almost in a state of disbelief -- reading on and on. I was amazed to find that the book is not just one more new age book muttering away about a world none of us really lives in. To the contrary, the book is written by someone with a profound understanding of everyday reality, who is astonishingly good at sharing that understanding.

u/elphabaloves · 2 pointsr/Meditation

I'm not sure what you're asking with "how did you learn to just meditate?" Do you mean, who taught me or what instructions do I follow?

I was first taught to meditate over 20 years ago with 1-on-1 instruction, and over the past two decades I've been on several retreats and received additional instructions.

Having said that, some people aren't able to find 1-on-1 instruction from a qualified teacher or go on a retreat, but there are several good resources out there you can use. First, I recommend the free guide I link to in this comment - it's easy to follow, and thorough. Next, I recommend "Mindfulness in Plain English" - it's a classic that is often discussed on the forum. Finally, I recommend Sam Harris' "Waking Up" - not so much for meditation instructions, but for a better understanding of your compulsive mind (which will help when trying to meditate).

u/citiesoftheplain75 · 2 pointsr/Meditation

The emergence of repressed emotion is actually a sign that the meditation is working. If repressed emotion isn’t allowed to emerge and release itself in this way, it will physically tire you and decrease the level of positive emotion you can experience, among other negative effects. Although the raw experience may be negative right now, it’s very, very good that you’re able to bring up these emotions through meditation. From a Buddhist perspective, this is a critical part of meditation that cannot be skipped.

The 10 points practice and other practices on that page will help you to heal these emotions and relax the body and mind regardless of what you’re feeling. For more meditation techniques that work with emotion as it’s stored and expressed through the body, Your Breathing Body is a great resource. I recommend these techniques for all Buddhist practitioners whose meditation lacks a body awareness component, and they may be especially useful in your case.

To supplement your meditation practice, I strongly recommend that you try one of the therapeutic modalities that work with emotion stuck in the body, like EMDR, Hakomi, or Somatic Experiencing. I personally found EMDR effective. A therapist can guide you in ways that you wouldn't be able to figure out yourself. Your quality of life will improve as the therapy heals these emotions and helps you create positive mental habits.

Never harm others in response to emotional pain. If you feel overwhelming anger, it’s very wise to exit the situation as you have done. If you can’t escape the situation for whatever reason, you can focus on relaxing your body or focus on the breath. To release anger in general, you can scream into a pillow if it’s possible to do this without disturbing others--this may provide significant relief.

If the emotions you feel are overwhelming, you can take a break. Seek professional help if you’re thinking about harming yourself or others. Safety is paramount.

If you want to better understand the relationship between trauma and the body, The Body Keeps the Score is a classic guide.

The amount of repressed emotion stored in the body is finite. Once it’s exhausted, life will still have its challenges, but you will experience positive emotions and a sense of freedom most of the time. You will also be better disposed to serve others.

u/podophyllum · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Personally, I'm not on board with the "meditation is whatever feels good to you" school. In the more than two thousand year history of meditation just about every possible permutation has been tried and the less efficient methods have been cast aside (edit: but many survive on r/Meditation).
Yes, you can lay down but it is generally not recommended unless you have some medical issue that prevents you from sitting. As u/AltcoinsBattle noted laying down tends to lead to at least some measure of dullness or sleepiness for most people. There is a good guide to meditation postures here.
Having a window open is fine as long as you don't find it too distracting. Beginners are often very easily distracted so you may find that you initially prefer or require as much quiet as possible but ultimately you'll need to learn to deal with the distractions of daily life and less protected environments.
Twenty minutes a day is excellent for a beginner but the main thing is to practice every day. If setting a goal of 20 minutes becomes a barrier that inhibits regular daily practice then shorter sessions are fine but eventually you'll want to aim for 20 minutes or longer.
I recommend Bhante Gunaratana's Mindfulness in Plain English as one of the very best introductory guides to meditation.
(edit: I strongly urge you to find a teacher or a practice group. You'll probably make your progress much more efficient.)

u/Fleezo · 3 pointsr/Meditation

Yes. Woo Woo answer: There are no fears to overcome, there are only things which hurt your idea of "you" and when "you" are being challenged it is very unsettling. Meditation allows you to see the difference between reality and all your preconceived bullshit. More applicable answer: Constantly smashing your ego will allow you to become more free flowing and able to read social queues more effectively by worrying less on your problems and focusing more on what is actually going on in front of you. Continual dedicated meditation practice will make you very comfortable approaching anyone. I've been practicing meditation for about a year and a half now, I do it for 45min a day without fail. It has been the best thing I picked up to help in my game and social interactions in general. I recommend learning more about it and making it habit because it makes life so much better in every way. A great place to get started is this book . I got it about 2 months ago and I wish I had it when I first started.
P.S. A great book to read to force yourself to continue a practice is : "Mastery" by George Leonard.

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/omapuppet · 1 pointr/Meditation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

u/Mayath · 4 pointsr/Meditation

Not OP but I would use this book: The developers of Mindful based cognitive therapy wrote it. MBCT has been proven to be really effective on recurring depression. It's an eight week course. The one thing it's missing that I think is really effective for depressed individuals is a loving kindness meditation. Just search YouTube for a video teaching you how to do Loving Kindness. It's about cultivating positive feelings for yourself. I did MBCT and it really worked for me. Try the book I linked you. Here's the audio practices for mindful based cognitive therapy. You could nearly get by just listening to them and doing them for eight weeks and finding a meditation that suits you.

u/allthehobbies · 1 pointr/Meditation

Sorry for the slow reply.

First, I can't really explain everything in a comment - I recommend picking up a book like

I don't know if you are atheist,theist,agnostic, religious,non-religious etc, but that book contains very little supernatural topics and mostly speaks about the psychological techniques involved in Vipassana practice in a straightforward manner.

What I mentioned about characteristics was a bit shallow.

Here is a good definition of vipassana/mindfulness:

"Vipassana is the realization that all mental and physical phenomena are Impermanent (Anicca), Suffering (Dukkha) and Non-self (Anatta). These three Characteristics of all Phenomena (Tilakkhana) are the marks of Insight wisdom and are the main objects of Vipassana Meditation."

Dukkha is better translated as unsatisfactory, unsatisfying, lack of satisfaction, etc.

Observing the aspects of mind that I mentioned earlier, the sense and feeling tones is a step towards realizing the above statement about the three characteristics.

That is, all things in the mind and outside the mind arise and pass away, are inherently unsatisfying (you can't find anything that satisfies you wholly) and don't represent a true you or "self".

A technique within vipassana and other meditative traditions for helping you identify what is going on in your head when it is very busy is noting or labeling.

u/r3dd3v1l · 0 pointsr/Meditation


The method of this one retreat was Mahasi

The method induces stages of insight as with any other Vipassana technique

It leads to Nibbanna(cessation), which happened to me on this and several other methods. It won't make sense unless you experienced it because the mind will try to conceptualize it.


Vipassana is one method of leading to cessation. As with lying down it does not necessarily lead to passivity. If you’re already passive/sleepy it doesn’t matter what posture you're in.

The tendency to experience fullness is probably because lying down is associated with sleep.

Though the best way to understand any technique is to go to a retreat. To limit meditation to a posture is limiting oneself.

These are the ones that I've done and they have all mentioned lying down as an appropriate form of practice. However, if you find yourself falling asleep you can sit, stand, or walk. The goal is not to fall asleep or do dream yoga.

Mahasi - look up manual of insight with his name.
same with Goenka but this time the mind settled on one object for an hour without wondering. I did not make this happen. It happened on its own.

Goenka - during one retreat as I lay down I continued the practice. the mind was awake, calm, and relaxed. It was was aware as the physical system shutdown and went into a deep sleep as well as went it came back online. Awareness was there the whole time. Awareness is not thinking or identification with anything per say.

U Tejanyia - experience Samadhi during lunch and at work after a retreat.

Shinzen Young - the system was very open and emotional arisings were experienced flowing through the body like electricity.

Again the lying down does not necessarily induce sleepiness. But if awareness is strong one can be very present with the sleepiness and watch how it changes. How it changes into a clear and awake mind. Having goals or how meditation should be is limited and goal-oriented.

I would prefer to be in a meditative state in any posture/condition then limiting it to any one posture. Look up Vipassana and Tibetan (Reginald Ray) practices. The problem is that a lot it is a bit watered down and if not done consistently enough the purification process is not experienced.

There's a lot of good info here too:

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/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/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/rebble_yell · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Yes, classical yoga was designed to bring a person beyond the ego (so are basically all meditation systems and even religions for that matter!

So classical yoga has a great introduction in the book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda.

It does not deal with the ego so much as it sets out the background of classical yoga. Paramahansa has lessons for the techniques to take one to soul consciousness beyond ego consciousness. The great thing about this path is that you can easily meet the monks and nuns who have used the techniques to go beyond ego consciousness, and so you can get in-person first-hand guidance from them.

Also, Michael Singer's book The Untethered Soul is an amazing book, and very clearly describes the process of going beyond the ego in daily life.

I would start with Michael Singer's book if you are more intellectually inclined, and the first one if you are more spiritually inclined.

In this context the soul is the "real you" as opposed to the ego or the acquired identity that masquerades as you and creates your problems and difficulties.

u/mynameis_wat · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Consider the idea that you have both attention and awareness and they can both be active while you meditate. Your attention can be on the breath while maintaining peripheral awareness. Think of it like talking with a friend in a coffee shop or cocktail party. You can focus on them but you are still aware of the sounds, sights, and smells around you.

If you are sitting in meditation and you get distracted/shocked by a sound, it means your peripheral awareness was low and the sound pulled your attention. Most teachers will probably tell you to not use earplugs because developing awareness is a step in developing strong mindfulness. And, this helps you develop equanimity towards your present situation.

FWIW, QuietMind is built off the ideas presented in The Mind Illuminated- a pretty incredible manual on meditation I would highly recommend and can help you answer these types of questions.

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/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/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/RagingSynapse · 1 pointr/Meditation

I haven't read Mindfulness in Plain English either, but I've heard good things. I found Zen Meditation in Plain English by Buksbazen to be a helpful intro. For more inspiration than instruction, I liked Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Suzuki.

u/[deleted] · 8 pointsr/Meditation

Sit, preferably legs crossed. Close your eyes. Breath in and breath out. Try to focus on your breath and notice how much calmer you get with each breath.

Whenever your mind wanders, note it, appreciate it and come back to the breath. Keep doing this for about 10 or 15 minutes. As the days become weeks, increase your time to 20 minutes or 30 minutes.

If you feel soreness or tightness in your body, try your best to note it and accept it as it is then come back to your breath. If it is too much pain, then by all means stop. Try stretching and exercising a little more during your free time.

This, IMO, is a great book and it is often recommended on this site:

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/FrozenVision · 1 pointr/Meditation

Just another person who's new to meditation/mindfulness, but after researching about it for a while I'm really interested in learning more about being the master of my own thoughts and actions.

Are there any books worth reading that are suited towards beginners?


EDIT: Found these two books - Mindfulness in Plain English and The Mind Illuminated. Has anyone happened to have read these and can recommend which one is great to start of with?

u/GNU_RIDA · 3 pointsr/Meditation

I recommend reading "The Mindful Way through Depression." Even if you wouldn't describe yourself as depressed, it is a fascinating book written by 3 psychologists and a mindfulness teacher that describes how thoughts, emotions, physical sensations, and behavior all interact. It teaches you how to use mindfulness to break free of the endless loop between thoughts and emotions and live mindfully in the present moment.

It also comes with a CD of excellent guided meditations that can help you as a beginner. The best $12.40 I have ever spent.

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/Iamfindingmyself · 3 pointsr/Meditation

I visited various groups which did different things. I found the variety ibteresting and learned a little from each. I'd definitely recommend if they're free. Chdck meetup or Google. I was able to find Zen, buddhist, and Tibiten groups.

Also... When you're done with that book, get this one and be prepared for your mind to be blown

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

u/Teejaflu · 8 pointsr/Meditation

Ok, I can tell you that that sounds exactly like kundalini awakening. I've had symptoms too, but not that severe. It's going to be a wild ride for you, let me tell you, but at the end of it all you will be enlightened and be in constant bliss. Make sure you try and aim the energy up your central channel called the sushumna. it can be really bad if it gets forced up the left or right sides. I'd recommend getting in contact with some kind of kundalini yoga teacher to help guide you through this. Usually only advanced yogis attempt to raise their kundalini. The goal is to get the kundalini to go to the top of your head where the energies will merge and change your whole body and consiousness. I'd recommend reading these books:

These sites will also give you a good idea:

YOU'RE NOT CRAZY. This is very real and serious and you have to educate yourself. Send me a pm if you ever have any questions. I've read a lot about this and can give you advice. If you could find some kind of spiritual teacher that would be great. This can be very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. Read the Gopi Krishna book. He gives his account of how he accidentally had a kundalini awakening and it totally fucked him over for 10 years. He almost died, but that's because he didn't know what it was and had no info available to him. God speed bro.

u/armillanymphs · 1 pointr/Meditation

Zen is super confusing at times, which might frustrate the inquirer. Also, there's a lot of seemingly contradictory information, and a lot of the zen masters actually admonished meditation. Without context it's a little unclear as to why, aside from the fact that they didn't want their disciples to meditate for the sake of blissing out. That said, I'd wholly recommend this book, since it's very lucid:

Foyan is featured in it, and his book is fantastic as well:

For something a little more challenging but great, go with:

Have fun!

u/napjerks · 2 pointsr/Meditation

That's the exact practice. You're already doing it right. Sitting down, seeing a thought, trying not to get involved in it.

You can label it if you wish, especially if the same thought comes back a lot. Say, "That's having an expectation." Take a moment to remember, "It's just a thought." Go back to what you are meditating on. That's it. That is the exercise.

There are different ways to meditate. I am assuming we are talking about Buddhist meditation, for example on an object like the breath, a mantra or something you are looking at or visualizing.

So we are practicing staying with the object. Thoughts come up, back to the object. That's it. Anything else is a distraction. But we want to remain calm, be kind and patient with ourselves. That is also the practice. Having compassion for ourselves while doing the exercise. That's also a core part of it.

A book like Mindfulness in Plain English helps. It also helps to visit a meditation group for a few months until you get the hang of it so you can ask questions in person.

u/nwv · 1 pointr/Meditation

GTD...if I could get my shit together. Same as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People if you haven't read it is excellent.

Running with the Mind of Meditation by Sakyong Mipham changed my life last summer.

It's also an intro into Shambhala, which is an organization that while obviously rooted in Buddhist principles, presents itself as non-sectarian and even secular in some descriptions. The author of the book I suggested runs the organization, but his father started it as I understand:

“Although the Shambhala tradition is founded on the sanity and gentleness of the Buddhist tradition, at the same time, it has its own independent basis, which is directly cultivating who and what we are as human beings. With the great problems facing human society, it seems increasingly important to find simple and non-sectarian ways to work with ourselves and to share our understanding with others. The Shambhala teachings or “Shambhala vision” as this approach is more broadly called, is one such attempt to encourage a wholesome existence for ourselves and others.” – Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, author of Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior."

u/snickerpops · 2 pointsr/Meditation

There is not really such a thing as 'ego death', just the quieting of the egoic mind.

Most people have no conception of who they really are, so they assume that they are the egoic mind that just keeps chattering away at them like a neurotic roommate, essentially driving them crazy with all it's fears and worries and thoughts and desires.

When that mind is calmed down and quiet, for however long, then that egoic mind has been transcended until you return to the noisy world of thoughts and ideas.

The ego cannot 'die' because otherwise there would be no way for 'you' to interact with the everyday world anymore -- any time you have a sense of 'self' that relates to others or other things, you are referring to your ego.

It is the stresses of the egoic mind that hides your essential nature of bliss and love from yourself, the way the clouds hide the sun.

So when a person's level of perception rises above the egoic mind, then they can perceive their own essential inner 'sun' of peace and joy and love while still using their egoic mind as a vehicle to interact with the world.

However when you go beyond the egoic mind in meditation and are freed of all it's stresses and worries and thoughts and desires, it's quite a blissful place to be.

If you wish to learn more about the ego, the book The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Singer is an excellent place to start.

Edit: Here is a video of Oprah interviewing Michael Singer about the ego.

u/tufflax · 1 pointr/Meditation

> professionals

I think meditation teachers know meditation better than "health professionals" or therapists, to be honest.

> scientifically validated methods

I don't think you are going to find much. If you want some kind of validation, here at least is one video about a scientific study on meditators

As for a method that is at least thoroughly explained, I recommend

Why don't you try for yourself? At least you can have my word it works. :)

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/3rdUncle · 3 pointsr/Meditation

Meditation is amazing. Usually instructions for beginners say that it's best to start by focusing on your breathing. Watching every in and out breath as if it were the most important thing in the world. Since you can watch your body, it can not contain you-the-watcher. You discover, as you already have, that you can watch your thinking mind and again, since you can watch it, it can not contain you. So where and what are you? Some meditation guides, like zen, suggest you keep your eyes a tiny bit open, without focusing on anything, because if you close your eyes, you get drift away from reality and according to zen, the purpose of meditation is to experience pure reality prior to conceptualization. It's important to remain grounded and to avoid abstraction. Watching the breath is a good technique for remaining grounded in reality. Congrats on a great beginning. Check out Shunryo Suzuki's Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. In this book, he calls the thinking mind "small mind" and the observer mind "big Mind". It provides a good starting point but you can read it over and over and get more out of it every time.

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/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/ludwigvonmises · 1 pointr/Meditation

From The Zen Teaching of Huang-Po: On the Transmission of Mind

> It is pure Mind, which is the source of everything and which, whether appearing as sentient beings or as Buddhas, as the rivers and mountains of the world which has form, as that which is formless, or as penetrating the whole universe absolutely without distinctions, there being no such entities as selfness and otherness.

> This pure Mind, the source of everything, shines forever and on all with the brilliance of its own perfection. But the people of the world do not awaken to it, regarding only that which sees, hears, feels and knows as mind. Blinded by their own sight, hearing, feeling and knowing, they do not perceive the spiritual brilliance of the source-substance. If they would only eliminate all conceptual thought in a flash, that source-substance would manifest itself like the sun ascending through the void and illuminating the whole universe without hindrance or bounds.

> Therefore, if you students of the Way seek to progress through seeing, hearing, feeling and knowing, when you are deprived of your perceptions, your way to Mind will be cut off and you will find nowhere to enter. Only realize that, though real Mind is expressed in these perceptions it neither forms part of them nor is separate from them.

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/under_the_pressure · 6 pointsr/Meditation

You may have C-PTSD and as a sufferer of this, I would highly recommendThe Body Keeps the Score and Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving. Pete Walker's website is also a good, free reference. I have been fortunate to have access to a great counselor as a grad student and have recently gotten into the C-PTSD work, and meditation (mindfulness of breath and body scans) is an essential tool for my recovery.

u/singham · 1 pointr/Meditation

Gopi Krishna (yogi)
> "The illumination grew brighter and brighter, the roaring louder, I experienced a rocking sensation and then felt myself slipping out of my body, entirely enveloped in a halo of light...I felt the point of consciousness that was myself growing wider, surrounded by waves of light...I was now all consciousness, without any outline, without any idea of a corporeal appendage, without any feeling or sensation coming from the senses, immersed in a sea of light simultaneously conscious and aware of every point, spread out, as it were, in all directions without any barrier or material obstruction...bathed in light and in a state of exaltation and happiness impossible to describe."

His book Kundalini: Evolutionary Energy in Man is recommended.

Print it out and read. You will benefit a lot. Specially the precautions to take and what things could go wrong. Advice on diet, etc.

u/balanced_goat · 1 pointr/Meditation

You helped me. Great insights. If you haven't caught wind of it yet, I recommend checking out Culadasa's The Mind Illuminated. In my patchwork quilt of things that are working, this is the stitches. All the best on your journey.

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/theLiftedMind · 1 pointr/Meditation

I tried to send a PM, but reddit crashed.

Simply put, use this book as your ultimate guide to walk you through the practice of meditation. Its over 500 pages long and will guide you from the very first meditation to mastering deep levels of jhana. It'll help you love meditation immensely !

u/Disintiorde · 3 pointsr/Meditation

The best advice I can give you is to read "Mindfulness in Plain English"

The meditation that this book teaches of is primarily to improve focus, concentration, and attention. I have ADD and thought for sure that I wasn't made for meditating because my mind was way too scattered and I couldn't sit still. After reading this book, I have only been meditating for 20 minutes every day for 7 days, and my concentration and attention span has improved significantly. I no longer get impatient. You can get these results too. This won't come without dedication though, that's for sure. May the force be with you on this journey brother.

u/Benmjt · 1 pointr/Meditation

Have you tried any courses or books on meditation? I would suggest a couple if you haven't.

First, download the 'Headspace' app for your smartphone, you get a 10 day course for free, which you can repeat again and again; really good intro to mindfulness mediation.

Secondly i'm currently reading/using 'Mindfulness' and this also gives you an excellent intro to the practice along with an 8 week course of meditations, all for less than £10.

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/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/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/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/Qeltar_ · 2 pointsr/Meditation

I started my journey with this book. I highly recommend it:

It says "depression" but helps with anxiety as well and most people (like you, like me) have both anyway.

Talk with your therapist about it. See what she thinks.

It sounds like you are going about this the right way. It does take time and there are no shortcuts or simple answers. Also, it can be rough at the beginning -- strong emotions, even panic attacks like you said, can occur. It may take a few tries. Work with the therapist and do what feels right for you, going as slowly as you need to.

u/goobenheim · 1 pointr/Meditation

I appreciated Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana

I would also recommend diving into Pema Chodron a bit. This book has a nice collection of much of her work.

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/srbarker15 · 9 pointsr/Meditation

I would read his book Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, it's fantastic, especially as a follow up to 10% Happier. Also check out his meditation app, Waking Up. It's really good. Sam has years of experience meditating in the east, so his app tends to be more focused on an in-depth approach to meditation and mindfulness.

u/ItsAConspiracy · 16 pointsr/Meditation

> the more you practice, the closer you get to the (maybe unattainable) ideal goal of never wandering off your object

This is accurate. A great book on the subject, well grounded in both traditional practice and neuroscience, is The Mind Illuminated.

It says don't think of mind wandering as a failure, but think of it like you're learning to throw darts. If you miss the bullseye, that's fine, it's just part of the process of learning to hit the bullseye.

This is different from your weightlifting analogy, because you can always lift to exhaustion, it's just a matter of whether you decide to put in the effort. You can't always hit the bullseye, especially when you're a beginner, but that doesn't mean you failed or didn't try hard enough, it just means you haven't learned the skill yet.

The book goes further, and says you should feel a happy sense of accomplishment when you notice that your mind wandered. Then your brain will try to do more of that, and you'll naturally gain more control. If you have negative emotions instead, your brain will just try to stop noticing.

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/theMrDomino · 1 pointr/Meditation
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/YoungOldMan · 1 pointr/Meditation

From way down deep in the article:

> ... practical training in mindfulness [that] teaches the basics of meditation.

And you can buy the book:

Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace).

u/heliotropedit · 2 pointsr/Meditation

I tend to use them in addition to my regular sessions. If you have a smartphone, I believe you can get free guided meditations through the [Insight Timer app] ( The paid version of the app is well worth it, by the way. A teacher recommended the guided meditations on the CD that comes with Jon Kabat Zinn's[The Mindful Way Through Depression] (

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/jty87 · 1 pointr/Meditation

This is the book that got me started 10 years ago. I've read a lot of books since then, but I still think it's the best.

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/fidelityastro · 11 pointsr/Meditation

Mindfulness in Plain English is a fantastic book that answers pretty much every "how to" question about meditation. Can't recommend it enough!

u/BasilBrush1234 · 1 pointr/Meditation

> Severe and clinical depression is marked by the inability to enjoy these things.

I think that even a clincally depressed person can enjoy the small things I listed. You said yourself that you experience pleasant body sensations during meditation, so you don't have a complete inability to enjoy such things. I think it would be worthwhile for you to investigate why you can enjoy the pleasant body sensations but not the view outside. You could try meditating to the view instead of attending to your breath.

Have you read a book that specifically discusses meditation as a way to treat depression? I'd recommend this, as it is backed by peer-reviewed scientific studies:

u/godsdog23 · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

really a good book and very easy to read

u/im14 · 1 pointr/Meditation

Thanks, that is correct. The earlier edition is available for free online as e-book while latest edition can be purchased as e-book or physical copy.

u/prepping4zombies · 1 pointr/Meditation

I recommend reading Sam Harris' book "Waking Up" - the entire book is about this subject, and it's an excellent resource.

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/dereksurfing · 1 pointr/Meditation

Read the book, "Mindfulness in Plain English" Amazon link

This book is what gave me a practical perspective on how to actually meditate. It will help regardless of your intentions or goal. It helped jumpstart my practice.

You will become more compassionate and connected by default through meditation.

u/NowHerePresent · 1 pointr/Meditation

Simple: Read below book, Meditate on it twice a day for atleast 10 mins, ReRead as needed, truly study and take it as homework or your medicine to live. :D GL :D

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/AfterJet · 3 pointsr/Meditation

I agree! It is a total rip-off!


I would recommend that you try reading this book


It contains a 8 week meditation programme with different techniques. There is also an app if you dont want the book, it is for 5 USD (one time fee). The programme is designed by actual professors and is tried and tested.

u/incrediblemonk · 1 pointr/Meditation

It's written by a layperson. He's trying his best to explain the concept, but you should read some books on the subject.

I recommend The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.

u/AntDogFan · 1 pointr/Meditation

I used the audio CD from

I've found it extremely useful. I'm sure there are ways and means of obtaining this through the internet if you so wished.

u/Gullex · 2 pointsr/Meditation

I'd recommend reading Huang Po, he's one of my very favorites. (PDF here.)

He had some very lucid thing to say about the nature of awakening.

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/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/ivebeentohellandback · 1 pointr/Meditation

Probably the best book for beginners is "Mindfullness in Plain English". Give it a read.

u/heartsutra · 5 pointsr/Meditation

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

u/MasterT1 · 2 pointsr/Meditation

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

u/mindful_island · 1 pointr/Meditation

Mindfulness in Plain English is a great book. Simple and straightforward. Very much an instruction manual after the first chapter.

u/mimmergu · 1 pointr/Meditation

It is not uncommon at all for meditators to have various sensations course through their body. Different traditions call it different things - chi, prana, piti, kundalini. It's very often a mark that your concentration is increasing. To learn how to cultivate it, why it happens, and other interesting meditative experiences, check out

u/battleship_hussar · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Please do link it, I read some interesting stuff about gamma waves and their relation to meditation, especially long term meditation in this book

Basically they found that long term mediators experience gamma waves on the regular compared to non-meditators

u/chiguires · 3 pointsr/Meditation

You might want to look into Jon Kabat-Zinn's book, [The Mindful Way Through Depression] ( I went through a mindfulness-based therapy called Dialectical Behavior Therapy. I meditate daily, but learning mindfulness and incorporating it throughout my whole life was absolutely key. I'm not totally fixed, but I'm much better than I was.

u/GunshyJedi · 5 pointsr/Meditation

Hi, I'm one of the newest! So I've been into lucid dreaming for over a decade. Another r/LucidDreaming member commented on one of my posts there talking about his jhana experiences. I've listened to several talks by Ajahn Brahm since then and ordered this book. I log into reddit tonight and y'all are trending.

I would say the timing couldn't have been better. I'm very excited to join in and get started.

u/i_have_a_gub · 1 pointr/Meditation

A few of my favorites:

u/huldumadur · 7 pointsr/Meditation

And, if you want, you can also buy a physical copy. I definitely don't regret the purchase.

u/yoghurt · 17 pointsr/Meditation

It seems to be sloppy reporting--the 2013 PLOS ONE study cited by the author, did not measure the subjects brains before and after a mindfulness program--it just measured correlation between their amygdala volume and their self-reported mindfulness (they filled out a test/questionnaire to measure this).

That paper, however, cites another 2011 paper which did measure increases in grey matter density in certain brain regions (not amygdala) in 16 subjects before/after they completed an unspecified 8-week MBSR program.

As they refer to it as MBSR in the original abstract (full article is behind a pay wall), I'm assuming it's one of the many programs based on John Kabat-Zinn and others' work. If you are interested in that, then his book Full Catastrophe Living is a good place to start--it's a self-guided version of the program and introduces techniques he uses/teaches.

u/TheZoneHereros · 1 pointr/Meditation

His book Wherever You Go, There You Are was my introduction to meditation. I would recommend it, though I am not sure exactly how much it would bring to the table that would be fresh to you, since you already have a practice in place. Maybe someone else who has read it can chime in on that.

u/autognome · 1 pointr/Meditation

Yoga, Thai Chi and Qigong are all different forms of meditation. These are different forms than Vipassana, Shamatha, or Metta. There are a lot of forms of meditation. I would recommend you get out and get instruction. Find a local temple, yoga studio, thai chi/qigong instructors and TRY THEM ALL. Having new experiences (aka living) is never a waste of time.

If you want to read science around meditation read Altered Traits,

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/einherjer · 3 pointsr/Meditation

I was in a similar situation and I found that reading stories of others (non-fiction) helped me get a better understanding of the world. By reading someone else's story, you get insight on that person's view on things which allows you to re-evaluate your own thinking.

One book that changed my life (and talks about meditiation too) is this one.

u/AlwaysEndingWithADot · 1 pointr/Meditation

A good book by Goldman/Donaldsson: Altered Traits. Also talks about effects on really experienced meditators:

u/tinybird · 3 pointsr/Meditation

The author of the article, Chade-Meng Tan, who works for Google, also has a book out. I've read it and liked it a lot. I passed it on to my boss after I read it.

u/ToastPop · 10 pointsr/Meditation

Check out The Power of Now, it's wildly popular and exactly along the lines of what you're describing.

u/whitesoxsean · 1 pointr/Meditation

I would highly recommend the book "The Untethered Soul" by Michael Singer. Talks about almost the exact same concepts in the video and goes into a lot more depth. Really mind-blowing read

u/OneMoreSecond · 1 pointr/Meditation

I'm sorry but this is a just really low quality article which only purpose it seems to be capturing users for your mailing list. For people who are genuinely interested in doing some form of meditation while exercising, I've been recommended the book Running with the Mind of Meditation. Haven't yet been able to read myself though.

u/root_z · 2 pointsr/Meditation

Mindfulness In Plain English. I think everyone beginning a mindfulness practice should read this book.

Another author and teacher I would recommend would be Jon Kabat-Zinn