If you’ve ever wondered about the brain science of meditation, and how to begin, then do we have The Mind Illuminated show for you!

Today I’ll be talking with Culadasa, also known as John Yates, PhD, a meditation master in the Tibetan and Theravadin Buddhist traditions, a former professor of psychology and neuroscience and the author of an amazing book on Meditation, The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness.

And that’s just what I want to talk with him about today, about integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science to dive deep into meditation!





Culadasa (John Yates, Ph.D.) is the director of Dharma Treasure Buddhist Sangha in Tucson, Arizona and author of The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Using Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science (Dharma Treasure Press, October 6, 2015). A meditation master with over four decades of experience in the Tibetan and Theravadin Buddhist traditions, Culadasa was ordained as an Upasaka (dedicated lay-practitioner) in 1976 and received ordination in the International Order of Buddhist ministers in Rosemead, California in December 2009.

His principle teachers were Upasaka Kema Ananda and the Venerable Jotidhamma Bhikkhu, both trained in the Theravadin and Tibetan Karma Kagyu traditions with lineage to the Venerable Ananda Bodhi (later recognized by the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa as the tulku Namgyal Rinpoche).

For many years, Culadasa taught physiology and neuroscience and worked at the forefront of the new fields of complementary healthcare education, physical medicine, and therapeutic massage. His unique lineage allows Culadasa to provide his students with a broad and in-depth perspective on the Buddha Dharma. He combines the original teachings of the Buddha with an emerging, scientific understanding of the mind to give students a rich and rare opportunity for rapid progress and profound insight.

In 1996, Culadasa retired from academia and moved with his wife Nancy into an old Apache stronghold in the southeastern Arizona wilderness to live a contemplative life and deepen their spiritual practice together. Culadasa leads retreats on his land in Arizona and across the United States.

The Mind Illuminated is the first comprehensive guide to Buddhist meditation for a Western audience. Written with clarity and detail, this user-friendly meditation manual provides the reader with in depth knowledge of meditation, Buddhism, and science of the mind. The Mind Illuminated is for mediators of all levels with step-by-step guidance for every stage of the path – from the very first sit all the way to mastery of the deepest states of peace and insight.

Culadasa is also the author of the groundbreaking book, A Physician’s Guide to Therapeutic Massage and served as the founding president of the Physical Medicine Research Foundation. A lifelong sitar player and an amateur woodworker, with several hand-carved canoes hanging from the ceiling of his workshop, Culadasa and his wife run Cochise Stronghold Canyon Nature Retreat, a nationally recognized B&B featured in the travel section of The New York Times.


Culadasa (John Yates, PhD) Online: Website| Facebook| Twitter| Youtube

Key Topics:

  • What’s the importance of our connection to the land?
  • What did he learn from his early childhood that affected his spiritual growth and desire to later learn about the brain?
  • What did he learn from his mother about different world views?
  • How did he end up in and out of seminary – and later on to a PhD for the brain?
  • What did Maharishi and the Beetles have to do with anything?
  • Why do we meditate?
  • What is the higher goal of meditation?
  • What do monkeys and elephants have to do with meditation?
  • What exactly is meditation doing for the brain?
  • What are the ten stages of meditation?
  • What is a meditation object?
  • How does a meditation object help the mind?
  • What is the true meaning of mindfulness?
  • What does mindfulness do for the brain?
  • What is the essence of mindfulness?
  • How does mindfulness help one’s life?
  • How do we move past the difficulty of beginning to meditate?
  • How do we make it easier to meditate?
  • What are the changes going on to the brain throught he process?
  • What is the problem of forgetting and mind-wandering?
  • How do we overcome impatience and cultivate joy?
  • What does it meant to develop mental power?
  • What in the world’s the zen lurch?
  • What is meditative joy?
  • What is a cessation event?
  • What are insight experiences?
  • What does compassion have to do with anything?
  • For more Info Visit:

Related Podcasts:

INSPIRE #409: HOW TO RELIEVE PAIN & STRESS THRU MINDFULNESS!!! + Meditation! (Vidyamala Burch,”You Are Not Your Pain”)

INSPIRE #332: How to Lose Weight through Mindfulness! + Meditation! (Ruth Q. Wolever PhD, “The Mindful Diet”)


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