The Mind Illuminated by John Yates



  • This book is remarkably straight to the point
  • It's very valuable to have things you suspect but are unsure about confirmed by just reading a little bit ahead. For example, I was getting frustrated that in my attempts to observe the breath I was influencing it, making the breaths longer or deeper. Reading ahead in here though, it explicitly called out that this happens and tells you not to worry about it, and recasts it as unconcious action, not actions you're doing unintentionallly.
  • I really like the definition of mindfulness as the optimal interaction between attention and peripheral awareness. A definition that leaves out the attention piece feels incomplete as awareness without intention seems pointless to me.


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