I’ve gone through quite a few periods of meditation everyday, but usually something happens and I tend to off the rails stop for a long period to bad effects.

I started learning with Headspace and went through all the Pro lessons and now I meditate without a timer or guide.

I’m not really into the religious side of things (sorry if I’m posting in the wrong place.)

I’m wondering if I am missing something that is preventing me from furthering my practice.

I don’t know where to look or ask.

I saw The Mind Illuminated being recommended but then later on being unrecommended due to controversy.

I find it hard to trust anyone that says they are on any particular path these days.

  • While your question is entirely relevant, I recall going through restless periods where I would jump from one concept to another, from one book to another, and from one teaching to the next. I noticed your tag said meditation hindrances.
    – user17652
    Feb 25, 2023 at 10:15

4 Answers 4


Mind Illuminated is an excellent book regardless of what you think of Culadasa and his indiscretions. Read it. Practice it. It will take you very far along the path of samatha or “calm” meditation. If you’re more interested in insight meditation, sign yourself up for a 10 day vipassana retreat. They’re offered all over the world and they might even be free. It’s been ages since I’ve checked. Lastly, find people to sit with. This alone will take your practice further than any book or retreat. It will teach you commitment and accountability for your practice. This, more than anything, is the hardest thing to develop.

  • Culadasa doesn't teach Vipassana? How does meditating with people help? Seems like it would be a distraction.
    – Lowbrow
    Feb 27, 2023 at 21:41
  • No, he teaches samatha. Most of his source material is Tibetan with some Visudhimagga and Vimuttimagga thrown in. It’s really good stuff. Very well systematized. I was actually quite impressed with it. Oh and absolutely. There are my sits alone and my sits with my zen sangha. I enjoy sitting alone, but there is nothing like being in a room full of determined people doing exactly what you’re doing. The energy is palpable. Causes and conditions, man. Use them to your advantage when you can!
    – user24505
    Feb 27, 2023 at 22:40

If you're not into the religious side of things that poses a problem for the quality of your meditative practice. Studying meditation without a visceral understanding of Buddhism, or more specifically Zen Buddhism, is like trying to become a cook by studying allrecipes.com.

You'll get a bunch of vague and incomplete references to different practices, but have no deeper understanding of why you're doing certain things or where the practices came from. You might still derive some small benefit from the meditation you're doing, but you'll be missing the true beauty of Buddhist meditation, which can only come via a thorough understanding of Buddhism.

So after meditation apps I'd recommend putting the work in and studying Zen Buddhism from a variety of sources ~ internet, D.T. Suzuki, Dogen, etc. Until you do you'll only be experiencing the surface level of meditation.


💚The Dhamma isn't religion, it's reality, moment by moment. Yes, there are wild & redundant teachings in Buddhist scriptures but a good teacher with a good approach will find it useful to pick the diamonds from the BS that we humans are known for. The core teaching of the Buddha that he taught over and over again in many different ways is a very effective way away from suffering for individual & society. You have to use your head and be careful when approaching the Dhamma.

You don't think there is a chance that you may discover more if you transcend your beliefs? I did. I gained confidence in the Dhamma. I can't understand how a meditator would have aversion to some kind of Dharma approach somewhere just because it appears to be a religion. Religions have shallow ends and deep ends. Have you seen the Abhidhamma? I mean, that alone gave me confidence in the Dhamma when I first started.

My advice to you is to find out how to find a good teacher of meditation and maybe don't worry as much about the weird things they believe.


Where to go after Meditation apps

You could sign up for an intensive meditation retreat. That will definitely get you going. The Goenka retreat is world wide and well known for its Vipassana meditation practice. I did it many years ago and it was a great experience. I highly recommend it. Everything is free but consider donating any amount after the retreat so new students can also benefit from it. Here's their website. They are in pretty much all countries.

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