Concentration: The Hammer

by Michael W. Taft “Never eat anything bigger than your head.” — B. Kliban A good friend of mine recently returned to school. As an adult learner, he set a goal for himself to do the best job possible, to ace every class he could. As someone with slight learning disabilities, however, school posed special challenges. There was a lot …

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Learning to Listen

by Michael W. Taft You’re having complex feelings about the things that happened with your partner yesterday. You feel upset and confused, there’s so much going on. You meet your friend at a coffee shop, hoping to talk about some of this. But as soon as you start, she digs out her iPhone and starts rubbing and poking the glass. …

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Meditation — Why “Deconstruction”?

by Michael W. Taft The name of this blog is “Deconstructing Yourself,” but what does deconstruction have to do with meditation? In short: everything. Deconstructing your experience—in the sense of analyzing or seeing through experience—is the essence of the meditative endeavor. Specifically, deconstructing your sensory experience, including the experience of being you, an ego. On first blush that can sound …

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Concentration: An Iterative Approach to Focusing the Mind

by Michael W. Taft Concentration is the eternal secret of every mortal achievement – Stefan Zweig There is an ancient story from India that tells of five young princes who were practicing archery in the woods with their teacher, named Drona. One day Drona decided to test the boys by having them shoot birds—an extremely difficult thing to do with …

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Multitasking Fail

by Michael W. Taft You’re working on a paper, and the kids need dinner. Music is playing in one room, and the tv is on in the other. You don’t want to miss tonight’s episode of Futurama, so you peek at that while you type in your notes, getting up every once in a while to stir the pasta. Maybe …