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The Illumined Mind by Upasaka Culadasa (John Yates)

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New book by Upasaka Culadasa coming out 6 Oct 2015 looks really good:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Mind-Illuminated-Meditation-Integrating/dp/0990847705

Has got some pretty good praise from a bunch of big names and an awesome recommendation from Daniel Ingram:

“Essential reading for anyone interested in meditative development from any tradition. At once comprehensive and also very easy to read and follow in practice, this is the most thorough, straightforward, clear, and practical guide to training the mind that I have ever found. A remarkable achievement.”  —Daniel Ingram, M.D., author, 
Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha


More of his work:

RE: The Illumined Mind by Upasaka Culadasa (John Yates)
Answer
9/1/15 12:48 PM as a reply to Andrew K.
Andrew K:
New book coming out by Upasaka Culadasa:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Mind-Illuminated-Meditation-Integrating/dp/0990847705

I am considering buying it and am interested to hear anything from people who know anything about it, or have read pre-release versions or studied with him. I'm also creating this thread in hopes of collecting information about the book.

In the praise section of the Amazon page there is a quote by Daniel Ingram that says:

“Essential reading for anyone interested in meditative development from any tradition. At once comprehensive and also very easy to read and follow in practice, this is the most thorough, straightforward, clear, and practical guide to training the mind that I have ever found. A remarkable achievement.”  —Daniel Ingram, M.D., author, 
Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha


I know Upasaka Culadasa personally and have followed his writings since I first became acquainted with his explanation of instruction back in 2005, although I haven't spoken to him recently. I can tell you from personal experience that you will not find anything else as clearly and concisely described about the process of awakening and training the mind as you will find in his writing. While I haven't read the book referenced, I can certainly vouch for Culadasa's comprehension of the practice and ability to transmit that experience and comprehension to those who choose to use his descriptions as a guide. There can be no higher praise than that.

Are you realistically saying that after having read Daniel's brief opinion about the book that you would seriously consider not purchasing it? If so, perhaps you are not ready for enlightenment just yet.

RE: The Illumined Mind by Upasaka Culadasa (John Yates)
Answer
9/1/15 2:31 PM as a reply to Ian And.
Hi Ian, maybe you can ask him to release an ebook format - much faster to order and have at hand.

RE: The Illumined Mind by Upasaka Culadasa (John Yates)
Answer
9/1/15 4:08 PM as a reply to Ian And.
Ian And:

Are you realistically saying that after having read Daniel's brief opinion about the book that you would seriously consider not purchasing it? If so, perhaps you are not ready for enlightenment just yet.

I'm actually enthusiastic about the book, hence why I started this thread

---

Amazon.co.uk isn't taking pre-orders yet, but I found a place that ships in Europe, for anyone interested: http://www.bookdepository.com/Mind-Illuminated-Jeremy-Graves/9780990847700

RE: The Illumined Mind by Upasaka Culadasa (John Yates)
Answer
9/2/15 1:42 AM as a reply to Andrew K.
Andrew K:
Ian And:

Are you realistically saying that after having read Daniel's brief opinion about the book that you would seriously consider not purchasing it? If so, perhaps you are not ready for enlightenment just yet.

I'm actually enthusiastic about the book, hence why I started this thread

---

Amazon.co.uk isn't taking pre-orders yet, but I found a place that ships in Europe, for anyone interested: http://www.bookdepository.com/Mind-Illuminated-Jeremy-Graves/9780990847700
Right but I'd need to be enlightened to see that emoticon

RE: The Illumined Mind by Upasaka Culadasa (John Yates)
Answer
9/2/15 8:34 AM as a reply to Mark.
I see what you guys mean now. I must've been in a weird state of mind when I wrote that. Edited out the cruft now

RE: The Illumined Mind by Upasaka Culadasa (John Yates)
Answer
9/2/15 9:38 AM as a reply to Ian And.
[quote=Are you realistically saying that after having read Daniel's brief opinion about the book that you would seriously consider not purchasing it? If so, perhaps you are not ready for enlightenment just yet.]

I've read most of the books that Daniel posts on his IntegratedDaniel site.  I've found them all great.  So his recommendation is enough for me.  I've bought some books he didnt recommend ang sometimes regretted it.  

So, with all due respect to Ian, I appreciate Andrew's post and will propbably pick this one up later this year.  

RE: The Illumined Mind by Upasaka Culadasa (John Yates)
Answer
9/6/15 11:17 PM as a reply to Andrew K.
Andrew K:
New book by Upasaka Culadasa coming out 6 Oct 2015 looks really good:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Mind-Illuminated-Meditation-Integrating/dp/0990847705
Got my copy on August 27th, the U.S. Amazon has been shipping since August 24.  But enough of the logisitics.

The Mind Illuminated is good, very , very good.  It describes almost exactly how my personal practice is and has been unfolding.  The writing is at the same time detailed, yet summarized.   Culadasa explains the practice, the methods, the hows , the whys , and the results.  And, of course, it is still up to the practioner to actually do the work, daily, continuously.

Ehipassiko!

Psi

RE: The Illumined Mind by Upasaka Culadasa (John Yates)
Answer
9/7/15 1:06 PM as a reply to Psi.
I'm trying to figure out what practice is taught in the book. 

Is it a complete practice, that takes one to stream entry (and beyond)?  Like concentration and insight practice yoked together.
Or is it about a foundational set of concentration and awareness skills, that one would master and then move on to insight practice?

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts,
Thanks,  

RE: The Illumined Mind by Upasaka Culadasa (John Yates)
Answer
9/7/15 5:10 PM as a reply to chris mc.
What is taught in the book is how to understand, control, tame, direct, harness and cultivate attention, concentration and insight. It is an exceedingly meticulous yet very accessible and straightforward guide to getting the mind to stay on target and to see clearly thereby. The book is at once very traditional, being grounded in an old map and tradition, and yet very contemporary, being practical, at times scientific, and at all times helpful. There is nothing quite as detaled and thorough out there that I have seen to date.

He is sort of like Shinzen Young in ways, in his emphasis on being contemporary and non-sectarian, but he is yet a bit more traditional and vasly more thorough, sort of like the way the best 50's college-level electronics and practical chemistry textbooks are: they just get to the point clearly and keep doing that.

He doesn't wander or stray at all. He is not political. He has no apparent axes to grind. You will notice little of the personality of the author beyond his consistent clarity and desire to explain the exact mechanics and methods of what he is topic. The illustrations and diagrams are very helpful. I really think that the fundamental skills, terms, concepts and frameworks taught cut across meditative traditions, staying grounded in How To rather than some sectarian something. His blend of contemporary and traditional elements is fluid and easy, and never seems in tension but instead comes across as symbiotic and harmonious, reinforcing rather than contradictory.

Again, a remarkable work by a remarkable guy. I was lucky enough to meet him at the recent Dharma Teacher's convention in New York this June, and the maturity, depths and stability of his practice was clear.

RE: The Illumined Mind by Upasaka Culadasa (John Yates)
Answer
9/10/15 12:18 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks Daniel for that thorough review.

> What is taught in the book is how to understand, control, tame, direct, harness and cultivate attention, concentration and insight. It is an exceedingly meticulous yet very accessible and straightforward guide to getting the mind to stay on target and to see clearly thereby.

The actual practice though - for MCTB I could say that one of the paths it describes is to develop concentration enough to get to the first jhana, then move to insight practice, here are all the stages, up to stream entry, then keep going etc.
Is it possible to describe Culadasa's book in those terms, ie. split into concentration---insight---[combination of both at the same time?] baskets?

> The book is at once very traditional, being grounded in an old map and tradition

Is this map part of one tradition, like theravada or tibetan?

Thanks again,

RE: The Illumined Mind by Upasaka Culadasa (John Yates)
Answer
9/16/15 8:01 PM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:
Hi Ian, maybe you can ask him to release an ebook format - much faster to order and have at hand.


looking at Amazon the other day i noticed there was kindle version (with available reader?) available for $7.50 USD with auto delivery Oct 6.  It was seemed too good to pass up so i didnt.

RE: The Illumined Mind by Upasaka Culadasa (John Yates)
Answer
10/5/15 5:38 PM as a reply to Rednaxela.
I'm a student of Culadasa's and have read multiple drafts of the book. It's the most comprehensive and systematic guide to meditation I've ever read. I might be slightly biased because I recently completed seven months of retreat with Culadasa. For what it's worth, I don't think he's awesome because he's my teacher; I sought him out as my teacher because I thought he was awesome.

Daniel, I'm curious for your take on so much in the book that I don't even know where to start. Hmmmm, how about: what did you think about Culadasa's taxonomy of the jhanas? I.e. having multiple access portals for jhana across the various stages of shamatha, each one permitting a different overall depth of absorption but each also allowing for all the form and formless jhanas?