Meditation is the science and art of living, says Culadasa, a meditation master with over 40 years of experience and author of The Mind Illuminated A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science.

The book is a systematic and nuanced journey through the stages of meditation as presented in traditional Buddhist texts, and a parallel voyage through models of consciousness presented by cognitive psychology and neuroscience. As a modern yogi, I respect and rely on ancient and cutting-edge wisdoms, and Culadasa is well qualified to deliver both, with his background as a professor of physiology and neuroscience, and decades of study and practice with teachers of the Mahayana and Theravada Buddhist traditions.

A manual useful for beginners through experts, this book can be read from front to back or used as a reference guide with the reader choosing chapters based on their current practice. Mingled in with the text (with its wise but friendly tone) are numerous helpful charts to organize the information and evocative illustrations of the mind in meditation.  

The book both helps us master deep states of insight and also allows us to improve our lives, as we live and act from a greater understanding of ourselves and the way our minds work. Yoga and meditation teacher Elena Brower expresses it well, Culadasa reminds me of the art of meditation as the art of living consciouslyI’ll be glad to have it as a reference for many years to come.

The Mind Illuminated / BOOK

By Culadasa (John Yates, PhD)

and Matthew Immergut, PhD with Jeremy Graves

Dharma Treasure Press


Reviewed by Claire Thompson, LA-based yoga and meditation teacher who is the co-creator of Yoga of Bass.  ClaireThompson.com;  YogaofBass.com.