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Meditation and Religion

by Michael W. Taft ere’s the thing about meditation: it’s hard. Anyone who says it isn’t hard is trying to be kind, like when the doctor says, “This won’t hurt a bit.” Anyone who thinks spending ten thousand hours sitting on their ass, locked in a wrestling match with their demons, is fun is either crazy or lying. Sure, there …

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Freshness

by Michael W. Taft   I remember how painful boredom used to feel as a teenager. It was crushing. New television shows, movies, and music just felt like rehashes of old ones. New people reminded me of people who I already knew. Life felt like an endless rerun of the same stale old patterns, and nothing was interesting or new. …

Meditation and Pain Reduction Link Found

Meditating over the years, I have experienced the pain reduction effects of meditation personally. This applies to the discomfort of illness, the soreness or sharp pains of injury, or  even extremely chronic pain. Shinzen Young’s techniques, in particular, have been designed with pain reduction specifically in mind. But no matter how many experiences and stories of pain relief we as …

Nondualism: The History of an Idea

In November, I spoke about the history of non-dualism at the Science and Non-duality Conference, in San Rafael. I decided to give this talk because although a lot of people talk about nondualism, Advaita, and related concepts, I find that very rarely are they aware of the historical background and development of nondualism as a concept. This video moves through …

Concentration: Light as a Feather

by Michael W. Taft I was in Paris recently, and visited the Rodin museum. I’ve always loved his work, and some of the best pieces are at this gorgeous 18th century hotel-cum-museum. In the garden outside sat the French sculptor’s most well known piece, the Thinker, atop a tall granite plinth. As I gazed at this masterpiece, I noticed that …

Concentration and Silence

by Michael W. Taft Yesterday I was deep inside a website, working on a project that took my full attention. Just as I was getting really focused, a neighbor busted out his leaf blower and started making a terrible racket. I have pretty good concentration skills, so I could continue working, but I noticed how much mental effort it took …

Meditation Bench DIY — How To

Want a nice meditation bench but don’t want to shell out the cash? No problem. You can build one yourself with this meditation bench DIY. Meditation benches are a tradition in Japanese Buddhism. The are called seiza benches, because they help you to sit in the traditional way, kneeling on the floor with your knees in front, which is called …