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DY 024 – “Walking, Nature, and Engaged Buddhism” – with guest Christopher Titmuss

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In this episode, host Michael W. Taft speaks with senior dharma teacher Christopher Titmuss about yatra—meditative pilgrimage without a destination—the power of nature, the importance of deconstructing the self, the psychedelic 60s, Vietnam, engaged Buddhism, the role of spiritual practice in the current world crisis, and the central role of liberation in meditation. Christopher Titmuss is an insight meditation teacher, …

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DY 023 – “Lucid Dreaming, Meditation, and Consciousness” – with guest Evan Thompson

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In this episode, philosopher, author, and meditator, Evan Thompson speaks with host Michael Taft. Topics include: the meaning of awakening; lucid dreaming and noticing the construction of the waking state; the 3-fold structure of Awareness, Contents of Awareness, and then Identification with Contents; The cosmopolitanism of Buddhism, and the myth of Buddhist exceptionalism; consciousness hacking and psychedelics; and much more. …

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DY 022 – “Are More People Achieving Stream Entry These Days?” – with guest Culadasa

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In this episode host Michael Taft speaks with meditation teacher, neuroscientist, and author John Yates, also known as Culadasa. Topics covered include: Are more people achieving stream entry these days?, a clear definition of stream entry, the Buddha’s concept of yathābhūtañāṇadassanaṃ or “seeing things as they really are,” reaching a tipping point of stream enterers to avert the coming world …

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DY 021 – “Emotions, Stress, and Heartbreak” – with guest Eve Ekman

In by Michael W. Taft1 Comment

In this episode emotions researcher and meditation teacher Eve Ekman speaks with Michael W. Taft about embodied emotions, the difference between suppression and healthy expression, impermanence of sensation and moment by moment contact with emotion, emotion-laden cognitions, HH the Dalai Lama, punk rock and Gilman St., surfing, being nice to cats, the Vagus nerve and kundalini, the epidemic of stress …

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DY 020 – “Why Good Teachers Go Bad” – with guest Shinzen Young

In by Michael W. Taft2 Comments

In this special one-year anniversary episode, Shinzen Young talks with host Michael W. Taft about becoming a meditation teacher, the unrealistic paradigm about what meditation delivers, Shinzen’s codependency disaster, Bill Hamilton, the great unsung hero of vipassana in the Western world, homology theory, how science can influence meditation in the West, sociopathic teachers, and what we can do to make …

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DY 019 – “Deconstructing Dependent Arising” – with guest Leigh Brasington

In by Michael W. Taft2 Comments

Leigh Brasington speaks with host Michael W. Taft about Dependent Arising. Dependent Arising, also called Dependent Origination, is a Buddhist theory of reality that is famously complex, arcane, important, and fascinating. In this episode they discuss early Buddhist metaphysics, Pratītyasamutpāda—the “curious old rune”, the four noble truths version of Dependent Arising, the Vedic Hymn of Creation, Leigh’s model of SODAPI …

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DY 018 – “Seeing Your Blind Spots” – with guest Kelly Boys

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Kelly Boys talks with Michael Taft about integral restoration, nondual awakening, the work of Kahneman, spiritual bypassing, gendered aspects of awakening and spiritual teaching, when knowing less is better, engaged Buddhism, Christianity and the experience of being held, digging into illusory egoic material, and how to see your own blind spots. Kelly Boys is a consultant with the United Nations …

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DY 017 – “Popping the Bubble of Projection” – with guest Daniel Ingram

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Daniel Ingram talks with Michael W. Taft about teacher-student models, graduate school models of practice, creating meditation peer groups, working with “co-adventurers” on the spiritual path, overcoming projection as a teacher, and more. Daniel Ingram is an emergency medicine physician and long-time dharma practitioner. He famously exploded the Buddhist world when he declared himself to be an arhat and published …

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DY 016 – “Standing at the Edge” with guest Roshi Joan Halifax

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Roshi Joan Halifax speaks with host Michael W. Taft about her new book, Standing at the Edge, the shadow sides of altruism, empathy, integrity, respect, engagement, and rays of hope in current times. Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D.  is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of …

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DY 015 – “Eddies in the Mind Stream” – with guest Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

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Rick Hanson and I discuss the tension between accepting how you’re feeling and changing how you’re feeling, spiritual bypassing, how to cultivate positive states of mind, the quivering potentiality at the front edge of now, the three branches of attention, why Buddhist aggressiveness is not an oxymoron, and, of course, ewoks. Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of …

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DY 014 – “Diving Deep into the Jhanas” with guest Leigh Brasington

In by Michael W. Taft3 Comments

Concentration master Leigh Brasington talks with Michael W. Taft about the jhanas, a Buddhist system of eight altered states of consciousness that arise in states of high concentration. The conversation dives deep into practicing each of these eight states, how the jhanas relate to vipassana practice, ways to work through major challenges that may arise, the so-called “powers” that are …

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DY 013 – “Enlightened Sexuality” with guest Jessica Graham

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In this episode, I talk with Jessica Graham about her book Good Sex, the #MeToo movement, the power of self love and acceptance, a beginner’s guide to spiritual awakening through sexuality, mindful masturbation, aspects of puritanism in Buddhism, the meditative way to work with “love drugs,” and much more. Jessica Graham is a spiritual teacher, sex and intimacy guide, and …

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DY 012 – “Consciousness, Spirituality, and Intellectual Honesty” – with guest Thomas Metzinger

In by Michael W. Taft4 Comments

Thomas Metzinger and Michael W. Taft discuss having moral integrity with yourself, intellectual honesty in the pursuit of spirituality, the overlapping goals of science and spirituality, the possibility of a fully secularized spirituality, neurofeedback and virtual reality, mortality denial, the simulation hypothesis, and a whole bunch more. Thomas Metzinger is full professor and director of the theoretical philosophy group and …