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Free books that I recommend highly

Daniel P Brown, Mahamudra Meditation-Stages and Contemporary Cognitive Psychology (Dissertation 1981)

This dissertation is a free download. It is a massive 700 pages, highly technical volume that nevertheless gives an unparalleled insight into the education of a yogi.

It also contains a few daring hypotheses and conceptualizations. One of the most fascinating ones is the definition of meditation.

Deep yogic meditation in parts "is analogous to the process of pattern recognition in cognitive psychology, but in reverse." (Brown, 1981))

See also my blogpost.

It draws on the knowledge of cognitive science as of the late 1970s, so it is not the newest in this regard.

As compensation, Daniel P Brown gives some insight into the experiments with tachiscopy, and how it relates to processing speed in meditation.

But be aware: this a book for aficionados.

Culadasa, The Mind Illuminated

This fundamental book, which convinced me of the value and feasibility of meditation, has the German title "Meditation Handbook", and that is what it (nearly) is: a step by step guide for beginners and advanced meditators to concentration meditation (shamata) . The "nearly" refers to the exclusion of insight meditation (vipassana). Unfortunately Culadasa died before being able to complete a second volume.

The special thing of this book is its close link to neuroscience / cognitive science. In particular, Culadasa implicitly uses the "Global Workspace Model of the Mind" to explain what he calls the Buddhist mind model.

One other thing about his approach is the neuroscience based definition of the terms awareness, attention and mindfulness.

His unusual definition of mindfulness is "an optimised balance of awareness and attention".

Thus, the book is known as "meditation for nerds". It has its own Reddit.

The book is read by a wonderful human voice.

I recommend to purchase the full book for its illustrations and the long appendices which are not included in the Audible version.

Robert Glover, No More Mr Nice Guy

This originally free e-book (still available everywhere) is probably a bit controversial, it is definitely not in line with current language regulations around gender.

It is written simple, with practical things to do.

I had read it only because of the outrageous and somewhat simplistic title, but became intrigued by the idea of the "caretaking moratorium", an action to take for over-carers. It helped me a lot!

In particular, it helped me with one aspect of transforming (in the language of Jayson Gaddis, see (Gaddis, 2021)) from a "helper" to a "guide" (taken from a video about his training courses for relationship coaches).


  1. You help people that don´t take action

  2. If they don´t improve, you blame yourself

  3. You struggle with boundaries

  4. Self care is hard

  5. You overfunction


  1. You are ok if someone doesn´t take your advice

  2. Your help is free of resentment

  3. You expect mutual relationships

  4. You hold firm and consistent boundaries with toxic people

  5. You allow people to fall down / fail / fall on their face

  6. You invest time, money, energy into the practice of being a guide

  7. You don´t project your values onto them

  8. You stop trying to change people

Here he appears on Jayson Gaddis' podcast

David Carse, Perfect Brilliant Stillness

This is a 2005 book by a British author on a mystical "awakening" insight through an Ayahuasca ceremony. It is a wonderful deep dive into how "non-dual" feels. For most it will feel like a lot of gibberish, for sure. But the book has its fascination of only through the voice of Terence Stamp, who reads it.

Thus, I recommend to listen to it on Youtube, or buy it from Audible.

As book

Carse, D. (2017, July 31). Perfect Brilliant Stillness. Perfect Brilliant Stillness. Retrieved 6 October 2022, from


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