DY 001 – “Am I Mindful Right Now” – with guest Kenneth Folk

In by Michael W. Taft13 Comments

In this first session, Kenneth and I discuss what it means to be mindful, and get into the world’s mildest fight about enlightenment.

Kenneth Folk is an instructor of meditation who has received worldwide acknowledgement for his innovative approach to secular Buddhist meditation. Learn more about him and his work at Kenneth Folk Dharma.

Show Notes

0:48 Introduction and overview
4:00 Deconstructing “mindfulness”
11:47 Kenneth’s new mindfulness practice
15:02 Mindfulness vs. checking the box; auditor vs. meditator
23:58 Is mindfulness enlightening?
30:03 Defining engagement and the problem with prescriptions
31:52 Sense doors and applying mindfulness to thoughts
36:06 Alternatives to meditation for experiencing mindfulness and awakening
42:37 Is there a “right” way to experience awakening?
47:25 Getting to a 100 percent attention
52:45 Liberating working memory from the feeling of being the observer
55:06 Concentration hacking: making experiences sufficiently interesting
59:27 Flow and how it relates to mindfulness
1:06:23 How important is the ability to concentrate?
1:12:04 Do you need clarity, concentration, or both?

Theme music entitled Crossing the Abyss by Peter Baumann from his LP Machines of Desire.

Comments

  1. What a fascinating and challenging conversation. Something that came to mind for me though was, if extinction of consciousness is really what we’re aiming for, why not just commit suicide? If one presupposes rebirth, the answer is simple: killing oneself will only shift the problem onto the next life; you won’t actually get the cessation you’re seeking. If you don’t accept rebirth, or at least are highly skeptical of it AND you embrace extinction as the apex of spiritual practice, how is suicide not a rational response? What am I missing here?

    1. I think that we make that clear, Jason. The good part about extinction is the reflection on it or memory in the seconds as you are coming back from it. Obviously, that is not available after death.

  2. Argh. My comments above were related to the third podcast “Masters of Oblivion.” Off to practice mindfulness of reading.

    1. No problem, Jason. I knew you must be referring to Session 3, given the subject of your comment.

  3. Hi Michael, thanks for taking the time to reply. I can appreciate the distinction now.

  4. RE: DY001. Is this a repudiation of Kenneth’s previous noting instructions, instructions that led many people to stream entry and beyond? Is Kenneth’s new technique the same as Shinzen Young’s soaking? That is, note the itch, for example, and stay with it 3-4 more seconds.

    These podcasts would be much more useful if I could download them so I could listen anywhere. I don’t have a smart phone.

  5. Thanks for the response. Usually there is a little box on the soundcloud site that says download.
    I couldn’t find it on your page above. Each author can tell soundcloud whether their work can be downloaded.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out. I’ve set the download permissions on all three now. Let me know if you can’t download them now.

    1. I assume you mean DY4 even though you’re writing it here. It is downloadable now, I promise.

  6. Download works now. You click on the 3 dots to the right of the talk and then click on download. Thanks

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