Unlearning Meditation

What to Do When the Instructions Get In the Way

Unlearning Meditation

When we meditate, our minds often want to do something other than the meditation instructions we've been taught. When that happens repeatedly, we may feel frustrated to the point of abandoning meditation altogether. Jason Siff invites us to approach meditation in a new way, one that honors the part of us that doesn't want to do the instructions. He teaches us how to become more tolerant of intense emotions, sleepiness, compelling thoughts, fantasies—the whole array of inner experiences that are usually considered hindrances to meditation. The meditation practice he presents in Unlearning Meditation is gentle, flexible, permissive, and honest, and it's been wonderfully effective for opening up meditation for people who thought they could never meditate, as well as for injecting a renewed energy for practice into the lives of seasoned practitioners.

Learn Meditation

Learn Meditation


Thoughts Are Not the Enemy

An Innovative Approach to Meditation Practice

Thoughts Are Not the Enemy

In most forms of meditation, the meditator is instructed to let go of thoughts as they arise. As a result, thinking is often taken, unnecessarily, to be something misguided or evil. This approach is misguided, says Jason Siff. In fact, if we allow thoughts to arise and become mindful of the thoughts themselves, we gain tranquility and insight just as in other methods without having to reject our natural mental processes. And by observing the thoughts themselves with mindfulness and curiosity, we can learn a good deal about ourselves in the process.

Evolving Dharma

Meditation, Buddhism, and the Next Generation of Enlightenment

Evolving Dharma

Evolving Dharma is the definitive guide to the meditation revolution. Fearless, unorthodox, and irreverent scholar and activist Jay Michaelson shows how meditation and mindfulness have moved from ashrams and self-help groups to classrooms and hospitals, and offers unusually straight talk about the “Big E”— enlightenment. Michaelson introduces us to maverick brainhackers, postmodern Buddhist monks, and cutting-edge neuroscientists and shares his own stories of months-long silent retreats, powerful mystical experiences, and many pitfalls along the way. Evolving Dharma is a must-read for the next-generation meditator, the spiritually cynical, and the curious adventurer in all of us.

The Less Dust the More Trust

Participating In The Shamatha Project, Meditation And Science

The Less Dust the More Trust

The Less Dust, the More Trust presents the story of the author’s participation in the Shamatha Project, addressing Buddhism, shamatha mindfulness practices (concentration-calm), and meditation-research. With diary excerpts, dream log, and audio transcripts she gives the reader a feel for her personal experiences. The current research outcomes of this unique ongoing project are reported, focusing on the effects of the various practices in attention and emotion regulation, and on health. They include groundbreaking findings of effects down to the chromosome level. The practice ‘Settling the mind in its natural state’ invites wonder: what is this natural state? Each chapter includes a guided meditation. The book is structured in a way that it can provide the reader with various threads. It can be read as an overview of the Shamatha Project, meditation and science. Additionally, it can be read as an exploration into Buddhist studies, with a focus on psychological and scientific understanding of meditation. Most importantly: the book can support a personal journey for the reader in practicing shamatha meditations, and experiencing increasing well-being.

Choosing to Be

Lessons in Living from a Feline Zen Master

Choosing to Be

Drawn from the deeply personal reflections of a formerly depressed person, this uplifting story shows how a cat taught meditation and allowed the mind to heal. This lively, magical, and enlightening book revolves around a wise Maine Coon cat, his kitten muse, and the author Kat Tansey as they take the reader on a challenging and often amusing journey from the disorienting haze of depression to the freedom and clarity of the Buddha mind. The narrative is both inspiring and essential for gaining an understanding of the inner self, reducing stress, finding inner peace, and knowing the joys and comforts of answering to a cat master.

Into the Mountain Stream

Psychotherapy and Buddhist Experience

Into the Mountain Stream

The lived relation between Buddhism and psychotherapy finds expression in the Buddhist's practice, the therapist's stance and response to those who seek help. Paul C. Cooper has gathered papers that demonstrate through extensive autobiographical material the relationship between personal religious experience and clinical work. The contributing authors, without exception, confront psychoanalytic theory and religious teachings in highly personal ways through personal narratives and abundant clinical material.

Personal Vitality

Personal Vitality


Unlearning the Basics

A New Way of Understanding Yourself and the World

Unlearning the Basics

Unlearning the Basics challenges many of our commonsense understandings and offers a new way of seeing. Grounded in the Buddhist tradition yet completely free from the formulas of traditional presentations, this book examines concepts of love and grasping, as well as what happens when the need for love meets "the great unfixables". Also covered are how impermanence, vulnerability, and pain feed the "evolution of character", personal agency, and the necessity of experiential training in new ways of using the mind — and of returning to our true home and finding new ways to flourish.