Reddit mentions: The best meditation books

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u/tLoKMJ · 2 pointsr/Christianity

> I merely confused the concepts, I'm not Hindu.

No worries. Plenty of Hindus would view that as straight-up dharma. Spiritually, I view carrying out the functions of one's occupation as artha first & foremost, but since everything in one's life should be motivated by dharma... they will naturally intersect.

eg, a police officer who makes a ton of arrests compared to his fellow officers could be viewed as very efficient and potentially 'good' at his occupation..... but that is not automatically the sign of a righteous individual. But a police officer who forgives every criminal offense he comes across and lets the perpetrators go by the grace of God isn't nessecarily upholding his dharma either.

So it is a bit of a cosmic & divine balancing act if that makes any sense?

> But we seem to be talking about roughly similar things. I believe in Natural rights, that people are born with inalienable rights that cannot be infringed upon by any human power. This you might say is Dharma or is at least for our purposes similar enough in idea.

Yes, I would have to agree with this for all practical purposes. I also believe that anytime faiths can unite over a shared universal truth that God and humanity are always the victors.

> Its more than just a set of principles that we follow because Natural rights are innate, they do not come from following a set of doctrines nor are they given to us by any human power. Any law that infringes upon these rights is intrinsically unjust and cannot even be seen as legitimate. All legitimate authority must be within the bounds of Natural law, in my eyes.

This is why I find dharma both wonderful as well as wonderfully perplexing. It is not a list of divine commandments or laws to follow... Dharma in and of itself is divine law.

> I phrased my second question that way because I was aware that it is generally considered moral to disobey laws that are unjust- such as laws aimed at the extermination of jews. But if it is shown that a law that may be politically contentious or divisive does not violate the natural rights of those affected in either its ends or its implementation, then it is a moral imperative to obey the law.

Yes, obeying a moral law is perfectly fine the vast, vast majority of the time.

> Because the deportation of illegal immigrants is not, in my view, a violation of the illegal immigrants human rights I believe it is a moral imperative of the country's citizens to obey the law. If they disagree with the law, they are to voice their disagreement lawfully through the political process. That's my contention.

That's where we would disagree. I can and do accept that you honestly think & believe that the law is not specifically immoral. I can also understand that a convoluted immigration process, while perhaps excessively bureautcratic, could be viewed as somewhat neutral (as often is bureacracy's goal) in terms of morality. But even if I can come to view the law itself as neutral, I have to view the enforcement of it as immoral. I could not willingly support sending a person or family back to an unsafe environment they escaped from, simply to uphold a law that is 'not nessecarily immoral'.

> It might of been a mistake to use Hindu terms since I'm far from an expert in Hindu theology.

Neither am I! Very often we learn unexpected knowledge and gain new perspectives when we take chances with our communication, so I commend your effort!

> Who ordained Dharma? How do you know whether something dharma or not? You said it was "divine law", but what does that mean exactly? Did Shiva/Vishnu/whoever give someone tablets engraved with the law? Is it something defined through jurisprudence, as in Sharia?

Short answer: God. Long answer: Hinduism is not a revealed faith, so no one has 'the answer' to any question(s) nessecarily. Whereas Christianity has prophets whom God specifically delivers messages and decress to, Hinduism has rishis who instead 'hear' God and the divine.

> I know that no matter what answer you give on the above I could find someone else who gives a totally different interpretation. How do you reconcile the many divergent and often conflicting views of Hinduism as a whole?

Honestly? I follow the stuff that I believe in my heart & mind to be true and disregard the rest. Same deal with myself and Christianity. Agree with some, ignore some. I don't try to reverse engineer conflicting beliefs systems, for me it's just more important to follow and do what is right.

> What kind of Hindu are you?

The very liberal kind. Even though he's not my hero or source of inspiration or anything, a lot of what Gandhi said and believed is in-line with many of my beliefs.

> Are you a member of a specific denomination, Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Shaktism etc.

Nope! I am specifically non-denominational. I do not believe that there is one supreme manfestation of God. God is God, and defies our understanding and comprehension. The aspects (Shiva, Vishnu, Christ, the Trinity, Krishna, Allah, Durga, Yahweh, etc, etc.) we worship help us to begin to wrap our heads around the very concept of God in practical ways that we can apply to our lives.

> How did you become Hindu? Where you born a Hindu, did you convert etc.

I first tried to become a Christian. Baptism, Nicene Creed, classes on how to be a super-good Christian... and so on. It didn't stick. I really tried... like, really. It made less and less sense, and the more I tried to understand the more distant I found the Christians around me. I had always had a general interest in Hinduism from an early age and began reading more about it... and once I devoted the same amount of study to Hinduism that I did to Christianity... it was like my mind & soul both exploded. Suddenly all of the divine zeal that all the people around me in Church felt about Jesus Christ.... I felt too! (Just via Christ specifically.)

> Would you recommend any books or English translations on this subject?

If you want to really feel dharma... then I would, without a doubt, recommend The Bhagavad Gita. I have the copy by Eknath Easwaran, which does a good job without formatting, commentary and so on. Whereas I loved the message of Christianity (love God, love thy neighbor) I always struggled with how to apply this (and the Christians I was surrounded by weren't much help). The Bhagavad Gita taught me how to live. Not just for myself, but for God and God's cause. A day has not gone by that I have not been actively grateful for having read its words. So, obviously, I highly recommend it! and it's only, like, $6!

> What's your favorite Ice-cream flavor?

Pistachio! (Yours??)

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/jplewicke · 9 pointsr/slatestarcodex

> If this goes on for days, I progressively end up in a more depressed/helpless state. Making decisions gets difficult, even something as simple as picking an item off a menu. Confidence at work or with any other hobbies gets low enough that I stop doing or achieving much of anything.

This is a very classic "freeze" response, also known as dissociation. Basically, if you're pushed into fight/flight long enough or persistently enough, you'll start freezing up. That makes it difficult to concentrate, difficult to connect to other people, and even difficult to take concrete actions like picking something up. It's one end of trauma-related emotional disregulation, with the other being fight/flight/anxiety/anger. It's very common for unchecked verbal aggression to put people into a state like that. It's also decently likely that you have some form of trauma history that made you more vulnerable to freezing up like that, and that made it difficult for you to get angry enough to push back when she becomes verbally aggressive with you. I'd suggest reading In An Unspoken Voice to learn more about how we get stuck in these fight/flight/freeze responses.

> The only consistent recommendation I see, besides medication, is DBT. What does that mean, for someone without good access to medical care? Buy her a workbook and tell her to read it?

You could try to do that, but it doesn't sound like she has either a lot of insight into how her behavior is harmful or a strong motivation to change. Most likely the best thing that you can do is to focus on improving your own ability to advocate for yourself, to understand what's happening in this situation, and to get clarity about your own conscious and unconscious patterns of thinking and reacting that keep you stuck in this situation. This is unfortunately a "put your own oxygen mask on first" kind of situation.

On another note, DBT might actually be really helpful for you. One area it covers is emotional regulation, or learning to work on your emotional responses so that you can respond in a way that fits the situation. That includes learning about the different basic emotion types (Anger/Shame/Fear/Guilt/Envy/Happiness/Sadness/Love/Jealousy), learning when they fit the facts of a situation, and also learning to recognize when you're skipping past the appropriate emotional reaction and jumping to another one. For example, it sounds like when your wife gets angry at you over nothing, you skip right past anger and into fear/shame/sadness. If you can afford it or are covered, it might be worth finding a DBT therapist to help you work on that. If you can't, this is the workbook that my therapist used with me.

> What can a person like me do to be more resilient to verbal aggression/abuse?

Learning to set boundaries for yourself is probably the key skill to get started with. There's a lot of confusion about boundaries out there. Sometimes it sounds like it's something that other people are responsible for ("they should respect my boundaries"), or that they're responsible for enforcing them once we communicate them. Instead, a boundary is an action that we commit to take ourselves in order to maintain our self-respect and ability to function. It could be something like "If someone is yelling at me or calling me names, then I will leave the area." Frequently, it's helpful to have a series of planned boundary-maintaining actions so that you don't have to take drastic action off the bat -- so in that example, you could plan to first ask the person to stop yelling, then leave the room if they won't stop, then leave the house if they follow you and keep yelling, then stay somewhere overnight if they keep yelling when you come back, then move out temporarily if they won't stop when you come back, then end the relationship if you can't come back without being yelled at.

Other times when people talk about boundaries it sounds like we should just already know what our boundaries are, when in reality it's a really messy difficult heart-breaking process to discover first that something is unacceptable to you and then that you're willing to enforce a boundary to prevent it. There may be significant new emotions or memories of past situations that you have to become comfortable with in order to -- for example, you may be deeply uncomfortable with the idea of being alone or seeing someone else suffering when they claim that it's your fault, and it may be related to difficulties in your childhood or past that seem similar.

There's also a significant chance that you've internalized at some level that you're responsible for your wife's emotional reactions, or that you've done something wrong, or that this is normal. So there's a significant ongoing rediscovery aspect where you'll revisit past relationship conflicts and go "Wait, that's not my fault at all!"

The other thing you can do is to look into whether you might be exhibiting codependent behaviors or in a trauma bond. No More Mr Nice Guy is a decent guide to working on this, although it's a little bit much to handle if you're still in the thick of it emotionally. You can also read When I Say No I Feel Guilty.

> What's the healthy approach towards me getting some kind of support system/network?

Keep on posting here regularly, for one. You can also take a look at /r/Divorce (I've been assuming from the comments from your friends that you're married -- apologies if I'm getting that wrong). I assume you've seen /r/BPDlovedones/ , but it might be worth reading their recommended resources. Work on exercising regularly, see a therapist or couples therapist if you can, try talking to any friends you have that haven't been dismissive before. A light 10-20 minute/day meditation practice might be helpful with learning about your thoughts and emotions, but there can be complications with large amounts of meditation if you have a trauma history or are in a stressful situation (see this book and this guide if you want to pursue that route).

Also just spend time with friends and social groups even if they're not resources for talking about your relationship. It can be important to remember that social relationships can just be fun/light and to provide a counterbalance.

> So... is there any healthy middle ground between "suffer through it, don't talk about it, relationships take work" and "run away, AWALT, borderlines are crazy"?

The middle ground is to work on asserting your boundaries, understanding and accepting your emotions, building a healthy set of activities and friends, and getting clear on what's acceptable to you. If it turns out that you have a trauma history, then something like somatic experiencing or EMDR can help you start to heal from that and become more confident. As you become more confident and assertive, set more boundaries, and work for the kind of relationship that you want, then you'll see w

Do you have kids together? If you don't, the standard answer to just go ahead and leave is probably "right" -- there doesn't sound like there's much good happening for you here. But the problem with "just leave" is that it's all or nothing, and doesn't provide you with an incremental path to building the skills and self-knowledge that will allow you to actually leave.

If you do have kids together, then "just leave" is definitely a bit tougher. This sort of situation can be a kind of crucible that allows for immense personal growth, or can just beat you down.

A couple resources that may help with clarifying the stay/leave question are:

  • Too Good To Leave, Too Bad To Stay. This is a workbook with diagnostics for what relationships can be fixed vs should be ended. If you read it and your answers come out as overwhelmingly leave, then do your utmost to just leave, even if you have to move out while she's not there, text a breakup note, and ask your friends to help you.

  • Wired For Love discusses attachment theory and adult relationship dynamics.

    Good luck and we'd love to keep on hearing how you're doing!
u/TheRedBaron11 · 4 pointsr/LucidDreaming

I get excited by this question, but I don't want to type a bunch out again since I feel like I just did :)

I posted this (re-edited a bit) as a comment to my own thread a bit ago, so read it then if you have any questions about my opinions on the topic, please let me know!


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


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

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


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

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


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

Instead of trying to be aware of everything and focused on nothing (the silence that we talk about), it is sometimes good to be aware of everything and focus on nothing but a meditation object. Something specific is best, such as the sensations of the breath passing the tip of your nose. This allows you to essentially do a "zoom", where you notice subtler and subtler sensations of the breath (sensations it would normally be impossible to feel because there is so much else going on to steal away your attention.) I'm sure you can imagine the benefits such controlled concentration can bring to whatever world you're in.

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

u/xabaddonx · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some other very good books:

Tao Te Ching

The Science of Enlightenment by Shinzen Young

The Way of Zen by Alan Watts

The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley

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

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

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

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

u/snoozyd87 · 7 pointsr/getdisciplined

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I leave you with this song: Get up! Be good. PM me if you need anything.
u/Brixes · 3 pointsr/multiorgasmic

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

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

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

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















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

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










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





u/duffstoic · 7 pointsr/streamentry

Welcome! Several suggestions:

  1. The Mind Illuminated. The main author Culadasa just went through a sex scandal, so don't expect it to make you a saint. But that said, it's an amazing manual for developing concentration ("shamatha"). And it is body based in that the main object of focus is the sensations on the breath. Many people have used this approach with great results. Once you build sufficient concentration on the breath at the nostrils, it becomes much easier to feel other body sensations. At the point you are at now, you lack sufficient "sensory clarity" to notice them.
  2. Try a 10-Day Vipassana course. It's like meditation bootcamp, very hard core, but sometimes can be just what the doctor ordered. I was also a stuck in their head intellectual (philosophy major in undergrad). Vipassana courses start with meditation on the breath for 3 days, then it's all feeling the body head to toe for 7 days. Really helped me get into body sensations. Donation based, so you don't need to be rich to attend. Very painful if you don't have at least 1 hour a day sitting practice already though.
  3. Autogenic training. Another great body based technique that induces deep relaxation. Needs about 2-3 months of daily practice to start kicking in. 15 minutes or so twice a day is best. More "self hypnosis" than "meditation" but really does work given enough time and (letting go of) effort.
  4. Standing meditation aka zhan zhuang. This is probably the fastest way to get sensations of buzzing, tingling, etc. ("qi") in the body. Requires less time commitment too, only 20-30 minutes a day, but don't just stand there also relax deeply and feel into each part of the body one by one while keeping the form/structure. Can help to have a teacher, but not strictly required if you really work on having a long spine and relaxing into the posture.
  5. Tense and release exercises. This is often found in "progressive muscle relaxation" but the best way to do it IMO is slowly. Try lying down and relaxing for a minute or two, then very slowly tense all the muscles in your right leg from your toes, foot, calf, shin, quadriceps, hamstring, inner thigh, and glute. Take 30-60 seconds to go from totally relaxed to 90% maximum tension, then hold for 10 seconds, then slowly release the tension taking 30-60 seconds to return to relaxation. Compare how your right leg feels versus your left leg for a minute. Then do this with your left leg. Repeat for right arm and left arm. Then whole body. Now do a body-based meditation, feeling into the muscles and relaxing them--it will be much easier. When you are tensing or relaxing, it should be continuous, not static, so it should be very slowly getting more tense or getting more relaxed. That will build incredible muscle control and mindfulness. Once you get the hang of arms and legs and whole body, you can do specific muscle groups too which can be quite interesting.

    Best of luck!
u/TheSpasticSurgeon · 2 pointsr/summonerschool

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

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

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

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

  • has a good meditation guide for beginners.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

    I know I've kinda given you a ton of information here, but I wanted to cover all the bases so I could use this for future reference. Hope you found this helpful, and if you have any questions let me know! :)
u/QubeZero · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

Although many people, even spiritually advanced always say look within, I'll sympathize and say it's a lot more difficult to grow in this consumerist society, and a lot of people don't recognize that. If you feel you might get a headstart in a better environment, then go for it. It's like starting meditation. It's better to find a teacher and absorb loving and joyful qualities with advanced meditators than trying to go all the way by yourself. So that's an external factor. It is indeed possible to become enlightened by yourself, but it will be a lot more confusing and difficult at the start. It's a bit naive to say "no it's all within", although I think I understand why people are commenting that since you may indeed find peace within this society, but I don't see them really addressing what you (and many others perhaps) are concerned about for external factors to nourish self transformation.


Check out this article by bhikkhu bodhi, association with the wise

A sutra from the Buddha,

>"With regard to internal factors, I do not envision any other single factor like appropriate attention as being so helpful for a monk in training, who has not attained the heart's goal but remains intent on the unexcelled security from bondage. A monk who attends appropriately abandons what is unskillful and develops what is skillful.
Appropriate attention as a quality of a monk in training: Nothing else does do much for attaining the superlative goal. A monk, striving appropriately, reaches the ending of suffering & stress." — Iti 16
"With regard to external factors, I do not envision any other single factor like admirable friendship as being so helpful for a monk in training, who has not attained the heart's the goal but remains intent on the unexcelled security from bondage. A monk who is a friend with admirable people abandons what is unskillful and develops what is skillful.
A monk with admirable people as friends, — who's reverential, respectful, doing what his friends advise — mindful, alert, attains step by step the ending of all fetters." — Iti 17

I think this may help:

>I don't know what it means to be a person, a human in this world, what my potential for love or sharing is

I think you will greatly appreciate the book, it's highly recommended from advanced metta practiotioners, Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness

Try to find the intention of love and not so much the feeling. Even if you have not found the practice benefiting you, there is some good advice in that book. She explains it very nicely how our selfish desires and our current society reinforces a lot of conflict and separation between people. And also what you might found helpful is some of her stories, for example she mentions a story of how a kid who in a terrible environment (had to be forced to block all emotion and love), was adopted by a kind father, and the child found what love again feels like by seeing into the eyes of the father, his eyes showing how this child is deserving of so much love.

Such is the power of Metta

u/Tells_only_truth · 2 pointsr/Drugs

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

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

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

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

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

u/theravadin · 9 pointsr/Buddhism

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

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


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

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


Other resources:

Mindfulness In Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana.

Mindfulness, Bliss and Beyond by Ajahn Brahm.

Wings to Awakening

Kind regards,


u/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/Throwbahlay · 5 pointsr/microdosing

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish you the best of luck in your journey.

u/Ludakrit · 1 pointr/MGTOW

So, I have major depressive disorder. I did the whole psychiatrist route. Didn't do shit for me. Hated how the meds made me feel. (I didn't know it then, but medication only has a 30% success rate for patients.)

I recommend the following; The Depression Cure; (This has good guidelines on supplementation, exercise, light therapy, etc...)

The Mind Illuminated;

This is the most comprehensive meditation book I've read. Developing a meditation practice has been the single most helpful change for me. (The others are very important too.) Being able to meditate is like a super power. The vast majority of people today cannot sit alone in a room for more than 15 minutes without entertainment without totally freaking out. Plus it can lead to extremely joyful states called the Jannas. Also, Buddhism is an awesome philosophy and the neurological benefits of meditation are both real and being actively studied intensely right now by neuroscientists.

Finally, I'd recommend getting your diet right. I've tried alot of different diets. Quite a few people seem to do really well with Keto, but I didn't really enjoy it overall. My current setup is a "Whole Foods Plant Based Diet." Basically just fruits, vegetables, beans, starches, and nuts. It's easy to make meals, you can eat a large volume of food, (I enjoy eating, and the caloric density of vegetables is very low.) and it's extremely cheap.

Depression is a manageable issue. (It just makes itself very hard to manage because you don't feel like doing anything.) With some dedication you can get yourself functional.

P.S: There have been some recent studies on using Magic Mushrooms to treat depression that have had great success. I'm not sure if you'd be able to access that in your situation, but if you are able to certainly give them a shot. Start with 1.5-2g for your first trip and do some research ahead of time and make sure you have a babysitter and a good positive setting.

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/BaconMeTimbers · 1 pointr/BettermentBookClub

You're the one that needs to find yourself again then. I'd recommend daily meditation to accompany this meditation book:

(1) Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening

This paying attention to yourself will help you gather your pieces of yourself.

And then I guess you're trying to be someone you're not, to gain the approval and validation of others. Maybe this is from childhood trauma, or how your parents showed you love only when you "acted" in a certain way, but my next recommendation will dive into all that:

(2) No More Mr Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex, and Life

Then I'd recommend taking these courses created by Jordan Peterson to find out who you are at a deeper level, and then reconstructing you and building you up again but authentically and not as a "character":

(3) 2017 Personality and Its Transformations (watch all these lectures):



Put in the work with what each material recommends and you'll grow into your true self. And just to let you know, I used to do the same thing and was a character until I unlocked my true being. My sister even said a few years back I had a "different" personality and it freaked her out, but she could tell from my authenticity and happiness that this is the real me now. The previous me was a character, and looking back, a depressed one at that even though I always seemed "happy".

What helped me also besides the introspective journey I recommend above, is talking to strangers. I'd meet people in bars and what not, and this was during a time when I was trying to learn how to meet girls, but an interesting thing happened: I started noticing how I act around people I don't know, and with the pressure gone of who I "should" be, I had the freedom to be who I am.

Another thing that's helping me to this day, is to get into a relationship that loves you for the real you. This comes after you've discovered yourself, but old habits may come up when you don't even realize it, and with my girlfriend she keeps me honest with myself.

Realize that this isn't a light switch, this is a hero's journey towards finding and unlocking who you are as a person, the peeling back the layers as you gain a deeper and deeper understanding of your true self. Change only happens to those that want it, and the fact that you took the time to read all this, and write what you wrote.. that means you want it.

See you on the other side.

u/Zossimov · 3 pointsr/LucidDreaming

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

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

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

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

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

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

u/velocity_of_time · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

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

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

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

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

I hope this has helped.

u/Sawagurumi · 3 pointsr/TheRedPill

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

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

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

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

u/LarryBills · 5 pointsr/Buddhism

Sounds like you are making great progress. Here's a couple of things to try:

  • Generally, Metta meditation starts with extending loving kindness to a Benefactor, yourself, a loved one, a neutral person and then a "difficult" person. The idea is to build up Metta so that it can push through any mental boundaries we may have. In your case (and in the case of many others), you can try putting yourself last or second to last. See if that helps.
  • The other tip is to visualize yourself as a young child. (Might help to look at a reference photo prior to sitting.) Then you connect with the fact that that little being wants love, kindness and peace just like every other being. You work on extending loving kindness to that young child free from personal narratives and some interesting stuff may happen. Note: in this case, you are working on extending the love, not accepting it. Just focus on the extending of it.


    *If you are interested, there are two other books that may be of use on your journey. Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach and Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzburg
u/En_lighten · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

You say,

>When I notice activity which creates a self I try to stop it

I think you are sort of fundamentally misunderstanding, and you are essentially encouraging aversion.

It's not that you 'stop' self, it's that the self never ultimately existed in the way that we might have thought. There's nothing to stop other than delusion, and that is not 'stopped' from a volitional act but rather through insight. In general, this wrong view of self is overcome with stream entry. The 4 factors related to stream entry are,

>Association with people of integrity is a factor for stream-entry.
Listening to the true Dhamma is a factor for stream-entry.
Appropriate attention is a factor for stream-entry.
Practice in accordance with the Dhamma is a factor for stream-entry.

If you think that there is a self and then you are trying to destroy the self, this is mistaken, and generally speaking leads to results like what you are saying.

In general, regarding the quote above, if you don't cause harm, then generally speaking you will find that you have less obstacles, both 'inner' and 'outer'. If you are open to the aspect of virtue, you will find that meaning, richness, etc become more and more profound, pronounced, and life will be rich in a wholesome way that is in line with the Path.

You might specifically consider the 4 immeasureables.

The Metta Sutta says,

>"Monks, for one whose awareness-release through good will is cultivated, developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken, eleven benefits can be expected. Which eleven?

>"One sleeps easily, wakes easily, dreams no evil dreams. One is dear to human beings, dear to non-human beings. The devas protect one. Neither fire, poison, nor weapons can touch one. One's mind gains concentration quickly. One's complexion is bright. One dies unconfused and — if penetrating no higher — is headed for the Brahma worlds.

>"These are the eleven benefits that can be expected for one whose awareness-release through good will is cultivated, developed, pursued, handed the reins and taken as a basis, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken."

I have heard very good things about the book Loving Kindness by Sharon Salzberg, which is sort of a practical book, not just theory.

Best wishes.

u/TamSanh · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

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

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

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

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

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

u/Axolotlable · 2 pointsr/helpme

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway, sorry for ranting. Hang in there reddit person

u/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/attunezero · 7 pointsr/progresspics

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

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

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

Hope that helps!

u/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/Share-Metta · 9 pointsr/streamentry

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Jhana
  2. Choiceless Awareness

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

u/jormungandr_ · 10 pointsr/TheMindIlluminated

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

First Impressions

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

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

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

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

Key Points

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

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

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

  • Both samatha and vipassana are necessary for Awakening.

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

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

u/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/dharmadharmadharma · 554 pointsr/IAmA

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

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

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

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

Edit part deux: Holy Inbox Batman!

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

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

    PM me if you want more details.
u/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/fiveifrenzy6 · 1 pointr/atheism

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

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

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

u/r271answers · -1 pointsr/scientology

A book I often recommend to Christians (or those with a strong Christian background) you may find worth checking out is A Course in Miracles its kind of like if the Scientology upper OT levels were written in a Christian context.

The backstory is kind of sketchy I think, but if you can ignore that and just take the text for what it is then its well worth the read. It can be rather dense and can take a long time to get through, especially if you do all the exercises, but it's worth the time and effort in my opinion. I'd generally skip the organizations and such that promote it and go with just the text itself and your own interpretation of it.

Another book worth checking out is Zen Flesh, Zen Bones which was almost like a Bible for me for many years.

It's also worth reading The Principia Discordia for a bit more humorous take on religion - but a religion that many people actually take seriously. Hard-core Discordians throw the best parties, btw.

Religion doesn't have to be the solemn or overly serious thing that its often made out to be. The idea of 'truth' is often thrown around as being objective but there are very few objective truths in my honest opinion and experience. Find out what's true for you and if nothing is true for you then, well, make up something new that is.

u/will42 · 2 pointsr/philosophy

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

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

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

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

u/citiesoftheplain75 · 8 pointsr/Buddhism

I know of people for whom the Mahasi approach has worked well and whose insights achieved through that system have held up over time. I know others who kept practicing Mahasi noting for years without progress, growing increasingly frustrated until they gave up on meditation.

People who can reach stream-entry via Mahasi noting, without any formal concentration practice, probably have naturally concentrated or powerful minds. This is great for them, like winning the lottery, but it isn’t the case for everyone. If your mind is not concentrated enough to reach awakening without formal samatha practice (or your behavior doesn’t meet the ethical standard for developing concentration), no amount of noting will get you to stream-entry.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have those who claim that it’s absolutely necessary to reach a depth of concentration in which the five senses are absent in order to reach stream-entry. This is not borne out by reality. Probably most people who attain stream-entry in this world don’t possess that depth of concentration. See Thanissaro’s essay Silence Isn’t Mandatory for more information on this topic.

On both sides of the underlying issues--whether jhana is necessary before insight practice, and the question of what constitutes jhana--I have seen inappropriate universalization of personal meditation experiences. If a certain individual was able to reach stream-entry without formal concentration practice, they may believe this is true for everyone. If someone couldn’t reach stream-entry without attaining a state of concentration in which the five senses are absent, they may become convinced that this is the minimum standard for all people.

Without recourse to supernormal abilities, to discover what meditation experiences are possible under particular conditions would require the dispassionate study of many people’s accounts. Trying to reverse-engineer reality from texts doesn’t always work, because the investigators--including academic experts--can read their biases into the texts.

I feel that the level of concentration described in The Mind Illuminated is sufficient for stream-entry and very much desirable for improving the quality of one’s life and capacity to serve others. In the suttas, the Buddha recommends the development and mastery of at least the first jhana before attempting stream-entry.

If you're looking for balanced approaches to awakening, Dharma Ocean has great teachings and retreat programs. I also see people having success with Open Heart. These are both tantric Vajrayana systems.

u/ludwigvonmises · 1 pointr/taoism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

u/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/EmperorXenu · 2 pointsr/OpiatesRecovery

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

I'm waiting on:

Mindfulness in Plain English

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

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

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

u/wingsdyedblack · 3 pointsr/occult

Raziel is probably most famous for the book he gave to Adam. There are many versions of the story, including one where angels steal the book back from Adam out of jealousy. It supposedly passed through the hands of Enoch, Noah, and Solomon, inspiring the Book of Enoch, teaching Noah how to build the Ark, and granting Solomon great knowledge and power in magic respectively. Source

The origin of this story is pretty interesting: "The myth of the Book of Raziel grows out of a midrash attempting to explain the verse, This is the book of the generations of Adam (Gen. 5:1)." Source, also a good read

Raziel is mentioned in Targum Ecclesiastes 10:20 - "Do not speak evil of the king in thy conscience, nor in the secret of thy heart, nor in the most hidden place in thy house, curse not a wise man; for Raziel calls daily from heaven upon Mount Horeb, and his voice goes through the whole world; and Elijah, the great priest, goes, flying through the air like a winged eagle, and publishes the words which are spoken in secret by all the inhabitants of the earth." The Targumim are pretty old - they date back to the 1st to 7th centuries. This page offers an interesting theory about Raziel's early role in Jewish mysticism - not as the keeper of secrets but rather the revealer.

According to Maimonides (1135-1204) in his Mishneh Torah, Raziel is the chief of the order of Erelim, also the herald of God and preceptor of Adam.

Now, there is a 13th century medieval grimoire known as "Sefer Raziel HaMalakh". The true author is unknown, but it's commonly attributed to Eleazer of Worms or Isaac the Blind, medieval writers of the time. It draws heavily on Sefer Yetzirah and Sefer Ha-Razim, the former being the oldest and probably the most important Qabalistic text.

As for the Sefer Raziel itself, you can read it online here. Steve Savedow's translation is unfortunately not great, the amazon reviews sort of speak for themselves, but it's better than nothing. You may find something interesting there.

tl;dr Raziel is a very old and important angel, considering he derives from Genesis 5:1. If you are trying to connect to angels in a Qabalistic context, I'd highly recommend starting with the books they originated from, like Sefer Raziel and its predecessors. Hope this helps.

u/Amiracle56 · 2 pointsr/CasualConversation

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

Here's a link to the guide:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

u/Supernumiphone · 9 pointsr/exredpill

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

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

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

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

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

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

u/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/veragood · 3 pointsr/Psychonaut

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

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

u/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/Bizkitgto · 2 pointsr/conspiracyundone

--> Start here: Watch this and this...and then let your mind wander. I still watch these and walk away with new insights and some glimmer of hope of a better future. I hope you feel better!


this is just for fun, but equally thought-provoking.


Sometimes this or this helps...there is beauty in the world.

They say learning and working on your craft breeds mindfulness and keeps you centered. What is your craft? Computer programming is a modern craft that requires no money to start...just open up text editor and the terminal and away you go. Try this or this, lifelong learning can keep your mind clean and clear.

The Bhagavad Gita helps me as well.

Our minds are like a prison...but there are no locked doors. Only you can find your way out. Good luck.

u/smm97 · 1 pointr/AMA

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

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

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

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

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

u/CivilBrocedure · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

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

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

u/generalT · 2 pointsr/Fitness

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

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

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

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

some books:

u/FraterAVR · 3 pointsr/occult

One of the oldest and most fundamental books for students of the Kabbalah is the Sepher Yetzirah. This text has literally been used for centuries by Jewish mystics, and it was one of the primary sources for the Kabbalistic elements of modern western occultists (e.g. the Golden Dawn and affiliated individuals like Crowley, Case, Waite, etc.). You can't go wrong with any of the books listed thus far -- Duquette, for example, is a great author -- but they are all second hand accounts of Kabbalistic sources like the Sepher Yetzirah.

One of the best modern versions of the Sepher Yetzirah is by Rabbi Kaplan. His book has received praise by both students of the occult and the Kabbalah. It has everything you are looking for (e.g. the cube of space is discussed in 5:2 on page 203) and more (e.g. gematria, the 231 gates, astrological associations, anatomical associations, planetary rulers and their seals, etc.). On top of that, you should be able to find a free PDF version online with a little Googling, but it's so comprehensive that it's worth having a physical copy.

u/armillanymphs · 5 pointsr/streamentry

Seconding /u/gilbertgotweed's recommendation and would also highly recommend Bruce's book called Energy Works. There is some occult-oriented material in there but it consists of dozens of really practical, clearly written exercises without any window dressings.

I've re-read The Art of Chi Kung recently and it's two introductory practices produce a ton of energy. The Way of Energy and Stand Still Be Fit are resources I recommend time and time again, and for good reason. Rob Burbea's instructions on the energy body are fantastic as well. Twelvefold lower-belly breathing is easy to integrate into a seated practice as warm up too.

> Do you see the various different energy teachings as compatible?

For sure, though I'm wondering what you mean by compatible and if you had any particular practices and concerns in mind.


u/Locke005 · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

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

u/[deleted] · 1 pointr/zen

zen flesh zen bones - it's a compilation of four books - 101 zen stories, the gateless gate, 10 bulls and centering. if you can get the book, good - else, just search for online versions of the four books.

it's kinda hard for me to talk about zen because i'm not the most stable person in the world - still chaos on two legs. but the most peaceful i felt was when i used to study chemistry at 3 am back in high school. losing myself in it, asking questions. i think it's more about learning as you go and learning to let go. i've been hoarding a lot of physical and mental clutter for the past few years but i'm slowly giving a lot of stuff away to charities. and dropping preconceived notions, popular beliefs and self-defeating things in general :3. /r/zen is a great place to look around. and like others have said, if you can find a mediation center or zen center - it's awesome as well.

u/LGAMER3412 · 1 pointr/Bible

Thank you for the kind words. You are correct the setting of the Bhagavad Gita is a battle between the Pandavas and the
Kuruvas and the 2 main characters are Lord Krishna and his noble devotee Arjuna who is a prince and is fighting against his own family and friends (who are in the Kuruvas side.) One thing to note is that in the beginning you will be introduced to Sanjaya who is a messenger to a blind King and he is telling him what is going on in the battlefield with his special vision.
Throughout the Gita Krishna teaches Arjuna about many concepts that are presented in Hindu philosophy.

To be honest I tried my best to read many versions of the Bhagavad gita but the best version I read was this one :

The Bhagavad Gita (Easwaran's Classics of Indian Spirituality)

If you are a first time reader of the Gita the translator gives a brief description before each chapter of what you are going to read about. It even has a glossary in the back for terms that might seem new. Just a tip skip the few 50 pages, its a long intro about the authors life and etc.

Sorry for making this too long but I wish you the best in everything and may your God bless you.

u/sacca7 · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

I find it very good to read both original texts as well as modern teachers.

For example, Thanissaro Bhikkhu is one of the worlds foremost translators of Pali texts, considered the most original sources for what the Buddha said and did. One of my favorites from him is Wings to Awakening, in e-format here, but you can get it directly from his monastery, The Metta Forrest Monastery.

In just that book's introduction he gives a basic background of the Buddha and popular beliefs of that time. This helps me understand the context of why the Buddha emphasized what he emphasized. If you've ever read the Majjhima Nikaya's Dog Duty Ascetic it's obvious that to me, at least, in the US, and most in Western cultures, there is no context in my experience to understand why the Buddha would even talk like that.

More popular writers, such as Joseph Goldstein and Mindfulness where he discusses the Sattipatthana Sutta at length, give me insights into the sutta that may not have occured to me on my own.

Then, reading some of Robert Thurmon's works, I can begin to understand some of the Tibetan perspective on the Buddha's teachings. I am strongly rooted in the Theravada practices of Vipassana, and to learn more about other facets of Buddhism enriches my understanding.

Very basically, others can help me understand the Buddha through their modern perspectives on his teaching and life. I'm ever so grateful for their writings, talks, and any meditation courses or retreats they may offer.

May we receive all blessings.

u/MeditationGuru · 1 pointr/LifeProTips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

u/peroperoname · 6 pointsr/taoism

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

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

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

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

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

u/Darkstar7175 · 3 pointsr/TheMindIlluminated

I agree with everything u/Dr_Shevek said. I think it would be best to find a good tai chi or qigong instructor to work with. I haven't been able to find many helpful how-to guides online, and energy work seems to be more of an art than a science in a lot of ways. I personally don't have much money to spare, so I've been using the free Zhan Zhuang videos Dr_Shevek mentioned. Before my first sit of the day, I'll do a few minutes of the warm-up exercise, 5-10 minutes of the posture, and a couple minutes of the cool-down exercise. I feel like it's helping so far!

As I mentioned in response to another comment, I've also been practicing ashtanga yoga for a while now. I don't see as much of a correlation between my yoga practice and these energetic phenomena, but I've also been practicing ashtanga since I was in stage 4, so maybe the energy stuff I'm dealing with now would be a lot worse if I hadn't haha. Ashtanga in particular seems to have a pretty steep learning curve wherein you're just trying not to pass out and/or fall over before you can actually "flow" through the poses with your breath, which is the main goal of the practice. I've gotten a lot better at this over the past couple of months, and have felt some energetic stuff happening during my practice and more relaxation/groundedness after my practice during this time. But I'm not sure if this is an effect of the yoga itself, or just my increased perception leading to me noticing what has been happening all along.

In terms of books, here is the book written by the gentleman who made the Zhan Zhuang videos. I've heard good things about it. I've also seen Energy Work recommended quite a few times.

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/My_Final_Incarnation · 3 pointsr/Buddhism

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

u/proverbialbunny · 4 pointsr/streamentry

There are multiple kinds of meditation, not one, and not secret.

Becoming aware of when you're not focusing on your anchor (the breath in this case) grows awareness of 'not focusing'. Every time you do this, you become aware when you are not focusing a little bit quicker. The more you do this, the less you will fall victim to stressful thoughts.

Notice, there is something subtle but very important here: It isn't about increasing awareness of the breath. It is about increasing awareness of when awareness goes away. In this way, every single time you catch awareness away from the breath, you've automatically grown a little. This is a good thing. Yes, catching the mind wandering is a good thing. (Too many people beat themselves up over it, when it isn't a bad thing. It's showing growth.)

Eventually you'll automatically become aware of what your mental state was like before starting a meditation session and how that plays out into the session itself. Likewise, you'll learn multiple kinds of meditation that are ideal for those different mental states, so you can be productive every time you meditate, instead of only sometime.

But to do that, you'll start meditating without even realizing it. That is, your awareness will increase. Just by being aware of a lack of awareness, awareness of awareness itself slowly becomes automatic. It's really nice and effortless. Is this the secret you are looking for?

edit: Checkout The Mind Illuminated. It will give you everything you're looking for and then some.

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/DormiensVigila108 · 3 pointsr/Psychic

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

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

u/Dogbert12 · 4 pointsr/changemyview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

u/Ash-Animus · 3 pointsr/Tulpas

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

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

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

u/abruptmodulation · 3 pointsr/ashtanga

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

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

Book recos:

Here is my favorite translation of the Bhagavad Gita.

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

And my favorite Yoga Sutras.

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

u/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/NoMarkeu · 2 pointsr/india

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

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

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

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

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

    If you have any doubts, you can google it with the book name. There is a good online community around it. Also, don't hesitate to ask me if you have any questions as well.
u/Yoga_Burn · 1 pointr/yoga

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

u/Unreasonably-High · 10 pointsr/Buddhism

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

  • The Schools of Buddhism
  • Differences between the schools

    >Who was The Buddha?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Also, here are some books:

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


u/reccedog · 6 pointsr/hinduism

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

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

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

Wishing you peace and love on your journey.

🙏 Namaste 🙏

u/zuckokooo · 1 pointr/GetMotivated

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

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

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

u/prettycode · 1 pointr/streamentry

Will do! This one'll be a five-day residential retreat, and have a seven-day one coming up in April. Both are are Cloud Mountain, where I went on a short four-day retreat last November. Great center in the forests of WA state. Hoping there'll still be snow to trape around in.

The practice will be Mahasi-style insight for both retreats. Lots of noting. Won't get the schedule until I'm there, but imagining it will be 45-minute to hour-long sits with shorter walking practice periods between each sit. The teachers for both retreats worked on Mahasi's Manual of Insight (re)publication that came out last year. Steve Armstrong, the editor of the Manual of Insight, will be teaching the second retreat, and his colleague from the same sangha, Kamala Masters, will be teaching the immediately upcoming one.

Would love to do longer retreats but the wife wants me to save some vacation days for actual vacations. :)

u/Peloria · 4 pointsr/depression

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

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

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

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

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

u/bristiancale · 1 pointr/Meditation

Thanks for the reply. That definitely helps clarify what I've experienced, I can't say I fully understand it at the moment but it will be great to know if/when I achieve it again. I'll look into Reggie Ray, there are some concepts in his book that seem really interesting. I'm currently making my way through [this book] ( which is providing a lot of insight.

> In particular, the body could perhaps be seen as a kind of inverted fractal image of all of space.

Being interested in Maths, this sounds very interesting, is this something you've read or from your own experiences?

u/ferruix · 1 pointr/zen

> The fact that the inside of a cauliflower head exists is something that amazes me and that I cannot understand in a useful way.

Causality/Karma just means that the state of the universe right now, in which you, me, and the head of cauliflower all exist, is one universal state, one function. Actions that change the state change the one state. Thus everything is causally related; everything interdependently exists with everything else. No one thing can be isolated and stand on its own.

Every action that changes the one state arises from that one state. Thus there is both causality and no causality.

> Having read mostly zen texts, you saying it almost assumes quality samadhi relaxes me a little. That kind of skill I suppose the teachers would impart to their students in everyday interactions. "Look what I do with my mind, young fellow, do you see?"

Honestly, my reading is that they didn't have great methods for teaching this in the first place. Any meditator that dozes off is an extreme beginner, barely able to sustain focus at all, so you can see just how difficult it was getting people out of the beginner state given the prevalence of dozing.

But yes, this was done in-person. Methods included whacking people with sticks and asking people randomly to observe what they were thinking of at that moment, with the intention of getting them to be more inwardly aware in general.

Things are actually better these days. Lay people have more free time and Buddhism is moving away from the monastic model. As a result we're getting better descriptions for self-study by a Western audience all the time.

> I have also started reading some of the Pali canon, and I know information about it can be found there, so I will learn about it when the Buddha thinks it proper, but what good texts do you personally know of that teach samadhi-vipassana?

The best text for this in the Pali canon is the Anapanasati Sutta. It is completely worthless for you to read it, because it is written in such highly coded language that you won't be able to get any meaning out of it unless you already know what it means.

The absolute best text for samadhi is The Mind Illuminated. There is also a subreddit for it at r/themindilluminated. It explains the Anapanasati Sutta in a secular way for a Western audience that is self-studying. This is what I'm following now.

For vipassana, pick a koan. But this is not worth doing until you can maintain mindfulness. The Progress of Insight Map is also a useful reference outside of the Zen tradition; it's talking about the same thing.

u/freeland4all · 1 pointr/AskReddit

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

u/anteaterhighonants · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

most oh god, I would never be seen with this in public - books list

most phallic SFW (but it's way too expensive)


most geeky I guess?

item which would most help you achieve a goal (want to start running, but I can't do it without music...I've tried) - default list

Best item to bring on a deserted island, assuming the island has a cd player - cds list

Thanks for the awesome contest!

u/mynameis_wat · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

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

There are a few resources:

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

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

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

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

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

u/JohnnyZampano · 3 pointsr/Meditation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When I ordered my first zafu this koan was included:

>The Human Route

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

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

>When you die, where do you go?

>Life is like a floating cloud which appears.

>Death is like a floating cloud which disappears.

>The floating cloud itself originally does not exist.

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

>But there is one thing which always remains clear.

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

>Then what is the one pure and clear thing?

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

u/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/dosFool · 2 pointsr/philosophy

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

u/5baserush · 2 pointsr/awakened

Each chakra has a color associated with it. Might research that. Your experiences seem very visual. Have you noticed a buzzing sensation on that spot? Have you tried focusing on multiple chakras at once?

What does your normal practice look like?

Back when I meditated reguraly and could feel my chakras I had spent time developing the crown, anja, throat, and heart chakra. I would often use the anja as a prime anchor into the jhanas but would occasionally practice concetration on all chakras at once. One time, one of the last times i really meditated, on a whim i decided to light up my usual chakras and then i did the micro cosmic orbit for about 30 minutes. Towards the end I felt my 8th chakra about 4 inches above the top of my head. Really weird, really cool, one of my favorite experiences ever.

Point is, you can go deeper - that is to say BUILD CONCENTRATION and use that chakra to silence the mind as much as possible and reach for the concentration absorption states, or you can go wider - develop the other chakras and try to simultaneously keep them active.

Also I want to say if your at the point where you are seeing these phenom your practice has developed enough that you should seek help from a quality tome.

The Mind Illimunated

Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha

Both are world class texts, go with whatever feels more intuitive. I recommend these because meditation is something you can spend a lifetime doing and without focus you are just wasting your time.

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/dharmadoor · 2 pointsr/zen

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

u/pour_some_sugar · 3 pointsr/Meditation

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

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

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

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

u/KRex228 · 3 pointsr/Meditation

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

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

u/Chizum · 11 pointsr/Buddhism

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

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

u/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/autopoetic · 23 pointsr/Buddhism

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

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

u/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/SohrabJamshid · 3 pointsr/yoga

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

u/Fizkizzle · 1 pointr/streamentry

I think the Buddhist principle you're thinking of is satipatthana, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness or Four Ways of Establishing Mindfulness. This is a super important practice in Theravada Buddhism and the basis for the modern vipassana movement.

The Four Foundations are (1) mindfulness of body, (2) mindfulness of vedana (pleasantness, unpleasantness, or neutralness, sometimes called "feeling" or "feeling tone"), (3) mindfulness of mind (referring to the presence or absence of various mental states), and (4) mindfulness of dhammas (a sort of catch-all covering a huge range of phenomena discussed in the Buddha's teachings).

You can read an English translation of the original Buddhist scripture on this topic, the Satipatthana Sutta, here. I also recommend Joseph Goldstein's new-ish book, Mindfulness, which is a rich and comprehensive exploration of the whole body of Theravada-style Buddhist practice, with an emphasis on meditation practice, through the lens of the Satipatthana Sutta.

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/lysergico · 9 pointsr/microdosing

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

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

If you have another 26, listen to this:

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

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

u/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/Dannyboi93 · 2 pointsr/Documentaries

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

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

u/yumbuk · 1 pointr/slatestarcodex

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

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

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

u/freddielizzard · 3 pointsr/cfs

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

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

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

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

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

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

u/RelevantIAm · 1 pointr/confessions

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


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

u/CaseyAPayne · 4 pointsr/taoism

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

u/fattkid4sale · 1 pointr/IWantToLearn

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

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

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

u/RomanOrgy69 · 2 pointsr/occult

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

u/shmkys · 2 pointsr/Psychonaut

Alan Watts: Out of Your Mind


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

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

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

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

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

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

u/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/Theguywhodreams · 1 pointr/Divorce

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

u/Aeon108 · 2 pointsr/hinduism

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

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

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

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

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

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

u/heartsutra · 1 pointr/Buddhism

I don't want to dissuade you from doing a meditation practice that resonates for you, but have you read "The Mind Illuminated" by Culadasa? It provides detailed instructions for reaching the higher stages of meditation and attaining Insight (including stream entry). Culadasa says that this is all doable while leading a normal, non-monastic life: maybe 1-2 hours of meditation per day, and occasional retreats lasting a week or so.

Here's an early version of the overview chapter, which describes the 10 stages of meditation. Note that the book itself goes into about 50x more detail!

Many people have succeeded with his methods while holding a normal job, etc. Check out r/themindilluminated and r/streamentry to learn more.

Good luck!

u/NomadicVagabond · 5 pointsr/religion

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


  1. A History of God by Karen Armstrong

  2. The Great Transformation by Karen Armstrong

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

  4. Natural History of Religion by David Hume

  5. Beyond Tolerance by Gustav Niebuhr

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

  7. The Evolution of God by Robert Wright


  8. Tales of the End by David L. Barr

  9. The Historical Jesus by John Dominic Crossan

  10. Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography by John Dominic Crossan

  11. The Birth of Christianity by John Dominic Crossan

  12. Who Wrote the New Testament? by Burton Mack

  13. Jesus in America by Richard Wightman Fox

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

  15. Remedial Christianity by Paul Alan Laughlin


  16. The Jewish Mystical Tradition by Ben Zion Bokser

  17. Who Wrote the Bible? by Richard Elliot Friedman


  18. Muhammad by Karen Armstrong

  19. No God but God by Reza Aslan

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


  21. Buddha by Karen Armstrong

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

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

  24. Introduction to Tibetan Buddhism by John Powers

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

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


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


  28. Atheism by Julian Baggini

  29. The Future of an Illusion by Sigmund Freud

  30. Doubt: A History by Jennifer Michael Hecht

  31. When Atheism Becomes Religion by Chris Hedges

  32. Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith
u/Amokokins · 2 pointsr/yoga

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

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

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

u/JeffWright123 · 5 pointsr/TrueQiGong

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

u/Markovicth45 · 6 pointsr/TheMindIlluminated

Yes. Watch from 1 hour and 17 min in:


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

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

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