Books to Get You Started
Every day we get dozens of letters asking questions about this or that topic on meditation, cultivation, spiritual paths and spiritual experiences. Sometimes people ask about health related questions, too. In no circumstances do we, or can we, address health or medical issues. If you have a medical question/issue or any question that touches on such an issue, please see a doctor. We are a publishing company that publishes books and offers free information on our site -- that's all we do, which is publish materials. By law we cannot and will not advise you on health matters. We are not a guru, master or teacher either. For that you must look elsewhere. We are simply a publishing company.
When people ask questions they are often seeking a teacher. Once again, we are a publishing company, period. There are no teachers or gurus here. We are not staffed to teach people meditation or answer personal questions either. There's not enough time in the day to provide answers to the emails we get and furthermore, most people are asking questions don't have enough background to understand the answers anyway because they haven't read and studied enough -- they are missing the necessary background information but don't want to study to learn it. Who can fill that in in one hour of typing ... assuming you had the time to do that for everyone? No one. There are no 2 minute soundbite answers -- you have to first know this and that and some other things before you can understand deep issues. People spend years studying these topics, which is why you must READ. That's why you need to read and study. Sorry, there is no other way but to teach yourself and you start by reading. You don't have to read our books. Go elsewhere, but read quality materials.
Then again, I cannot tell you the number of people who do read our site articles and come to 100% opposite conclusions/interpretations of what is presented. We often find that individuals come to some strange conclusion that we said this or that (because of other conclusions already in their heads) when we didn't write anything as to their interpretation at all. People come up with all sorts of strange conclusions we said X, Y or Z or have this or that view on topics when we don't. We get letters like this all the time stating we believe in this or that when we didn't even touch the topic.
This is truly strange and sad and yet makes me laugh at times about all the weird conclusions people come up with as to what they think we believe, or think we said. It's really strange. If you read our Inbox for awhile you'd end up shaking your head asking how did someone come up with that particular nonsensical conclusion? As a spiritual book publisher once told me, "This field attracts the top 1% of the super wisest and most intelligent people in the world, but also a large majority of individuals who are just crazy, unbalanced or abnormal, especially those individuals who have dropped deeply into religion. They are often the msot difficult to deal with." It's true!
A particularly frustrating situation used to commonly arise where people would write asking a question, presumably because they believed we knew the answer, and then start arguing against the answer once they received it (when we once had time for such things). Well, if you wrote us a question it is because you you presumed we knew the answer, and we would only address a qustion with an answer if we knew the answer, so why are you now arguing with an answer you wanted? Please go seek a teacher if you want to be that way.
Obviously no one has the time to respond to such things unless you have staff and money. Since this site makes far, far less than $10K per year, who can do that? Maybe Oprah can do that with her staff of dozens, but we have zero resources and cannot even pay the rent with the income from this. Furthermore it is depressing to read questions that have been answered over and over again in the free site articles, which were put up to answer the same issues that continually come up. So sorry, but we are publishers. We are not teachers. If you want a teacher, please seek one. Don't ask us where to look either because we couldn't tell you. The best preparation is to READ. Read Nisargadatta, Ramana Maharshi, Nan Huai-Chin, and others. Read good quality materials.
Many personal questions that come to us deal with gong-fu situations that touch upon various body experiences that arise during the course of cultivation, and those situations are FULLY covered in our books and site articles (everyone thinks their situation is unique but it is always covered in our books since the patterns are non-denominational). The two books, The Little Book of Meditation and Tao and Longevity are primers for this material -- no other books in existence explain what they do.
So while we cannot answer personal questions, the answers to most questions can usually be found in our free site articles or our books. That's why we wrote those books -- to help you. If you're not willing to read a book, then truly you don't really want to learn a topic. To find a topic on the site, use google and type in the following search pattern to find a topic on our site (you don't need to use the "[" or "]" because that's just to tell you how to do a search on a specific site):
site:meditationexpert.com [topic you're searching about]
We spent years writing these books and the free site articles (there are hundreds of such pages) because we cannot possibly answer all the questions that come our way. Sorry, but it's just not possible to answer questions such as "what does this mean" or "where can I find a teacher" and so forth. Therefore I would like to direct you to the few publications that might help you with your questions by covering your topic of interest.
HOW TO MEDITATE
We have published two books on this: The Little Book of Meditation and Twenty Five Doors to Meditation, both available on amazon.com. By far the best is The Little Book of Meditation which will teach you the 4-5 basic meditations you should practice, how to practice them correctly, how they work, and many other issues including how to set up an effective practice schedule. If you have a question on meditation, it is probably answered here regardless of your tradition. This is the one book you should get, study and use. It's the best thing out there. With so much information, unfortunately the book is not so "little."
If you just want a summary of more meditation methods including references for where to find more information, then Twenty-Five Doors to Meditation is up your alley. It is a brief book covering 25 meditations that teachers often used as a summary teaching text whereas The Little Book of Meditation has details for personal use. You can get started with this book, too, but The Little Book of Meditation is better. It links the meditation techniques of most spiritual schools to give you the basic techniques most religions use, and how to avoid practice errors. More exotic techniques are found in Twenty Five Doors to Meditation.
GONG-FU or PHYSICAL RESPONSES DUE TO MEDITATION
There are only two books in the world on this topic: The Little Book of Hercules and Tao and Longevity. The Little Book of Hercules goes through the many gong-fu experiences you will have over the years prior to a kundalini awakening, and the second half explains the various experiences, including delusionary realms and illusions, which you usually go through during a kundalini awakening and which have been recorded in various religions and cultural traditions. If you want to know the stages of opening the chi channels and chakras, or materials such as the real Tibetan generation and completion stage yogas, this is what you need.
This is the only book out there that links how to attain the dharmakaya (get the Toa/become enlightened) along with trasnforming the physical body (the sambhogakaya attainment) and projection body (nirmanakaya) attainments, and focuses on information not found anywhere in print in the Tibetan Buddhist canon, Taoism, western alchemy or tantric yoga schools that focus on body cultivation. It also shows that all these events are described in countless world spiritual paths and religions. If you have various experiences from meditation and wonder what they are, get this book. It shows where they fit into the overall path.
If you want more details in terms of chi channels and Taoist explanations, the standard text is Tao and Longevity by Master Nan Huai-chin which is only for advanced practitioners devoted to meditation and yoga practice. Once again this information is not found anywhere else (we never publish a book if the information is found elsewhere), but we can say the same for The Little Book of Hercules.
WHAT IS THE SPIRITUAL PATH
The two books on this are Spiritual Paths and Their Meditation Techniques and What is Enlightenment? If you want to know how to correctly cultivate practice in your religion, or want to understand the various spiritual schools of the world and where they are correct or go wrong, Spiritual Paths and their Meditation Techniques is your baby. If you want to see that all the world's genuine religions point to enlightenment and have the same stages of the path, and that doctrinal differences are due to artificial dogmas rather than real spiritual practics, What is Enlightenment? is your book (forthcoming).
We have one book on martial arts as an entryway into the Tao. Basically to attain the superpowers listed in martial arts legends, you need to attain the first or second dhyana. This book, Internal Martial Arts Nei-gong, explains how to do that using the entryway of martial arts and a Taoist set of explanations. However, it has both Taoist and Buddhist practices, and explains the tie-in between these practices and those of Tibetan Vajrayana. There is tons of material here not normally found in the martial arts tradition.It is a thin book that matches The Little Book of Meditation and The Little Book of Hercules.
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