In this episode of the podcast, I talk with Upasaka Upali. Upasaka Upali (Paul Peterson) is a meditation teacher from a style that combines ancient meditation techniques with modern cognitive science. He studied meditation first with Tucker Peck, Ph.D. and currently studies with Upasaka Culadasa. He lives in the Southeastern United States where he teaches meditation locally and over video chat. We explore his practice, his insights and what ‘The Mind Illuminated’ is.
Deeper and deeper
It might seem like a simple thing. Just sitting, watching the breath and doing that for whatever time you set. The experiences that can result from the practice are anything but simple, however. In fact, there have been many traditions who started to document and track a system of experiences and what they mean for us. You have probably heard about enlightenment, but what really is enlightenment? What comes before it and where can you go if you meditate for long enough? We look into these topics together with Upasaka Upali.
The Mind Illuminated
The Mind Illuminated is a step-by-step guidance through the stages of meditation. Dr. John Yates (Culadasa) aims to combine the latest in neuroscience with the ancient teachings on meditation and mindfulness and as a result wrote this book. For both beginners and experts, this is supposed to be an insightful read and a real help on the meditative path.
Wait, is this science or meditation?
The more you will read up and listen to models, theories and teachings about meditation… the more it can seem like a scientific pursuit. Wilhelm Wundt, universally seen as the first official psychologist, taught a research technique called introspection. With introspection, Wundt trained people to carefully and as objectively as possible analyze the content of their own thoughts. There is however a lot of criticism to this approach, due to the fact that it can be incredibly subjective. Yet, time and time again, we see a scientist approach the mind in ways of introspection. Culadasa and Upali can be seen as representatives of this movement.
Want to know more?
If you’d like to know more about Upasaka Upali, take a look at his website: https://upalimeditation.com/
Friday the 15th at 19:00 CET / 13:00 EST Upasaka Upali will guide a 45 minute class on meditation in our online community.
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With warm regards,
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