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

All the mental skills needed in meditation are innate abilities we can selectively choose to cultivate.

Although pain and pleasure are an inevitable part of human life, suffering and happiness are entirely optional.

A regular sitting practice has been shown to enhance concentration, lower blood pressure, and improve sleep. It is used to treat chronic pain, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive

As you progress, you will discover a profound truth: in life, as in meditation, physical pain is unavoidable, but suffering of every kind is entirely optional.

attention translates our raw experience of the world into terms we can more easily understand, which we then organize into a picture of reality.

Direct knowledge of the true nature of reality and the permanent liberation from suffering describes the only genuinely satisfactory goal of the spiritual path.

obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Of course, it’s much harder to stay mindful when it matters most, in difficult situations. That’s why we need to intentionally practice mindfulness in everyday life, especially when it’s easy, like when you’re driving a car or eating a meal. Then, you’ll build up the skill and the “mental muscle” to stay mindful in the face of greater challenges.

Practice Goals for Stage One There are two goals for Stage One. First, you’ll learn how to prepare for practice, and to use a simple method to enter meditation gradually. Second, and more important, is to establish a consistent daily practice where you meditate to the best of your ability throughout every session. To succeed, you’ll need to recognize the obstacles that stand in your way and create solutions. Mastering this Stage provides you with the strong foundation you need to progress rapidly through the Ten Stages.

The person you are today was shaped by your past. Imprints of past experiences exert a powerful but unconscious influence on your thoughts, emotions, and behavior in the present.

true happiness comes from within, which means we can always find joy, in both good times and bad. Although pain and pleasure are an inevitable part of human life, suffering and happiness are entirely optional. The choice is ours.

What we make of our life—the sum total of thoughts, emotions, words, and actions that fill the brief interval between birth and death—is our one great creative masterpiece.

whenever you have trouble bringing yourself to meditate, you can recall all the benefits that will come if you keep practicing.

When our speech and action comes from a place of wisdom and compassion, they will always produce better results than when driven by greed and anger.

Yet, these are only incidental benefits.