View Post

Do Nothing Meditation

by Michael W. Taft The sages of many spiritual traditions have said that the highest state of spiritual awakening is present in our minds at all times. Total enlightenment has always been there, is there now, and always will be there. In Buddhism this is referred to as the Buddha nature, in Hinduism it is called the Self. It’s funny …

View Post

What Is the Self? An Interview with Thomas Metzinger

by Michael W. Taft Thomas Metzinger is a German philosopher. As of 2011 he holds the position of director of the theoretical philosophy group at the department of philosophy at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz and is an Adjunct Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies and on the advisory board of the Giordano Bruno Foundation. From 2008 …

View Post

Nondual Meditation: One Practice of Total Awareness

There are many pathways into nondual awareness. Most forms of meditation, if you push them to their farthest limit, will take you into a nondual experience. Which one(s) will work for you is a matter of practice and experience. In this post, I’ll lead you through one practice that I’ve found works well for people who’ve done a fair amount …

View Post

Meditation: The Cosmic Joke

by Michael W. Taft God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference. The lines of the famous Serenity Prayer (written by Reinhold Niebuhr) suggest that there are two types of situations in life: those we can change and those we cannot. If we …

View Post

Just Keep Meditating: Cultivating Acceptance in Meditation Practice

by Michael W. Taft Meditation works best if you do it every day. Establishing and maintaining that kind of steady, daily practice presents a challenge, even for people with a strong motivation to sit. For example, in the past, I’ve traveled to India for meditation intensives. These trips were expensive—both in time and money—and required engineering my entire life around …

View Post

Dimensions of Focus and Concentration

Want to learn how to focus and concentrate? Start here What do you think of when you think of focusing? For most people it means narrowing the attention to a single point. But actually there are several dimensions of focus or concentration that are relevant. We can think of concentration as having at least three important dimensions: Width (or “scope”) …

View Post

The Sensuality of Everyday Experience

How to Use Sensory Clarity to Deepen Your Mindfulness Meditation Practice—and Enliven Your Life by Michael W. Taft Once some friends of mine were trying to get pregnant, and were having a hard time. They went to all the usual doctors, but—even though everything was deemed to be in working order—no baby. Eventually, the doctors said there was only one …

View Post

What to Do Next

by Michael W. Taft I make my living as a meditation teacher. And in the last two months or so—as I’m sure you are perfectly aware—people have been freaking out. The election, the reality tv mogul, the surreal and terrifying descent of our country, has people profoundly worried and upset. As a teacher, they ask me what to do. How …

View Post

Meditation Will Wreck Your Life

by Michael W. Taft During the “Calvin and Hobbes” part of childhood, I had a very clear career goal. My grade school teacher asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up, and the other children raised their hands, saying things like fireman, doctor, and archeologist. I, on the other hand, ardently desired to become a Viking. I …

View Post

The Mindful Wisdom of Pokémon Go

by Michael W. Taft I have to admit it: Pokémon Go is one of the funnest games I’ve played in a long time. I’m old enough to have missed the Pokémon phenomenon when it first came around, but it’s easy to see why the game is taking the world by storm. (It’s been downloaded by more than 30 million people …

View Post

Follow the Threads — Mindful Awakening

by Michael W. Taft Mille viae ducunt homines per saecula Romam hen I started meditating in my teens, I believed in Enlightenment. I was going to get to the Big E, which involved having certain mind-blowing experiences. You’d see the Light, or God would open her kimono, or whatever, and after that you’d glow in the dark. I was super …