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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Warning: More than You Ever Wanted to Know about the Meaning of Concentration and Focus

by Michael W. Taft The Oxford English Dictionary defines the meaning of concentration as: The keeping of the mental faculties fixed on one object or set of objects. Keeping your mind on one subject at a time, in other words. One way to paraphrase this definition is to describe concentration as bringing all your efforts (whether mental, physical, emotional, etc.) …

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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 …