Culadasa (John Yates, Ph.D.) is the founder of Dharma Treasure Buddhist Sangha in Tucson, Arizona, over which he presided as the spiritual director from 2008 to 2019. He is the author of The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Using Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science (Dharma Treasure Press, October 6, 2015). A meditation master with over four decades of experience in the Tibetan and Theravadin Buddhist traditions, Culadasa was ordained as an Upasaka (dedicated lay-practitioner) in 1976 and received ordination in the International Order of Buddhist ministers in Rosemead, California in December 2009.
His principle teachers were Upasaka Kema Ananda and the Venerable Jotidhamma Bhikkhu, both trained in the Theravadin and Tibetan Karma Kagyu traditions with lineage to the Venerable Ananda Bodhi (later recognized by the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa as the tulku Namgyal Rinpoche).
For many years, Culadasa taught physiology and neuroscience and worked at the forefront of the new fields of complementary healthcare education, physical medicine, and therapeutic massage. His unique lineage allows Culadasa to provide his students with a broad and in-depth perspective on the Buddha Dharma. He combines the original teachings of the Buddha with an emerging, scientific understanding of the mind to give students a rich and rare opportunity for rapid progress and profound insight.
In 1996, Culadasa retired from academia and moved with his wife Nancy into an old Apache stronghold in the southeastern Arizona wilderness to live a contemplative life and deepen their spiritual practice together.
The Mind Illuminated is the first comprehensive guide to Buddhist meditation for a Western audience. Written with clarity and detail, this user-friendly meditation manual provides the reader with in depth knowledge of meditation, Buddhism, and science of the mind. The Mind Illuminated is for mediators of all levels with step-by-step guidance for every stage of the path – from the very first sit all the way to mastery of the deepest states of peace and insight.
Culadasa is also the author of the groundbreaking book, A Physician’s Guide to Therapeutic Massage and served as the founding president of the Physical Medicine Research Foundation.
The Buddhist Lineage of Upasaka Culadasa
Upasaka Culadasa’s Dhammacariya (Dhamma teacher) was Jotidhamma Bhikkhu, who was trained by Namgyal Rinpoche (Ananda Bodhi).
Ananda Bodhi (Namgyal Rinpoche) was also ordained by U Thila Wunta Sayadaw, ordained by
Bodaw Aung Min Gaung, ordained by Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta, whose lineage is traced to the Buddha.
Ananda Bodhi (Namgyal Rinpoche) was also trained by U Narada (Mingun Jetawun Sayadaw), Sayadaw U Ariya, and Sayadaw U Pyin Nyein Da.