While some people might dismiss meditation as some hippy fad entailing nothing but long hours wasted in silence, scientists and practitioners of the practice themselves, like Upsaka Culadasa, see solid benefits to it. Culadasa (John Yates, PhD) is a meditation master ordained in the Buddhist tradition with over 40 years of experience and a neurophysiologist with years of teaching neuroscience and physiology at the University of Calgary and the University of British Columbia under his belt, too.
His knowledge of the structure of the brain helped build the unique foundation of what is being called TMI meditation on social media. The critical approach is named after the groundbreaking book Culadasa published with two of his students back in 2015 called The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Using Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science. The book outlines a 10-step process to achieving ultimate peace and mindfulness through a structured daily meditation practice.
So, what are the benefits of taking up a daily meditation practice? For one, Culadasa has claimed that it could help you potentially deal with past traumas in a healthy way, although that may not happen until you get to some higher stages in the TMI 10-step system.
There has been some debate on how meditation does this on The Mind Illuminated’s subreddit, especially after Culadasa’s latest podcast interview with meditation teacher and writer, Michael Taft.
Is meditation the process of suppressing negative emotions and traumas? This was one of the concerns of many Reddit followers after listening to the interview. Culadasa was prompt to dispel this idea of unhealthy suppression in a candid and thorough response post.
Culadasa’s interview on Michael Taft’s podcast isn’t the only place where you can hear about his thoughts on meditation on the internet, though. You can learn more about Culadasa and meditation on his YouTube channel, where he regularly posts Patreon Q&A videos, personally answering the questions of meditators old and new, as well as educational videos where you can learn how to get started meditating today and how to overcome common obstacles.
Culadasa is now the director of Dharma Treasure Buddhist Sangha in Tucson, Arizona, where he shares his knowledge with a community of Buddhist and meditation journeyers.
If you’re serious about meditation and changing your life, you can join him on either a personal or group retreat at Conchise Stronghold Retreat Center, where he also lives with his wife. A retreat at the stronghold offers opportunities to attend classes, go hiking and, of course, have plenty of time alone for peace and quiet.