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Podcast-Shukman

Original Love with Henry Shukman

Host Michael Taft talks with meditation teacher and author Henry Shukman about love, original love vs. original sin, wellbeing intense enough to be called “blessedness,” seeing your original face outside of time, the four zones of love, experience as inseparable boundless space, and much more. 

peter mcewen

Practicing Tummo with Peter McEwen

Host Michael Taft speaks with meditation coach Peter McEwen about the traditional Tibetan Buddhist practice of tummo, deity yoga, the subtle body, ways that tummo practice can go wrong, bliss and semen retention, existential terror and staying with disturbing experience, and much more.

effortless

Effortless Nondual Awareness

Now, look carefully, right now, where is the awareness coming from? What’s its source? It’s boundless, timeless–the entire world is arising within it. The entire sense of self is arising within it. Where is it coming from? Look. Look again. Where’s its source? Is there a fountain of awareness in the center of the head, or some kind of awareness tube with awareness rays coming out of it? Where is it coming from?

Freedom

Vibrating Awake Space and Freedom

reathing right between the eyebrows, breathing in through a hole in the third eye. But this time, instead of relaxation or heart opening, we’re feeling wisdom and clarity in the third eye on the in-breath and on the out-breath, breathing out tremendous openness, brightness to our entire being, into the whole world. If you find yourself involved in thought also on the out-breath, the mind just dissolves into space. Again, we can see that the third eye spot is very bright. Soham hansa.

Chandra Easton

Embodying the 21 Taras with Chandra Easton

Host Michael Taft speaks with meditation teacher Chandra Easton about her new book Embodying Tara: 21 Manifestations to Awaken Your Innate Wisdom, the background of Green Tara, why there are 21 different manifestations, the inspirations for the book. Chandra’s lifelong relationship with Green Tara, and we take an especially deep dive into manifestation number thirteen, the so-callled “Demolition Tara.”

Resting

Resting as Awake Awareness

This practice in a way is completely trusting the always already wide awake, wide open nature of experience and that there’s nothing at all we do that can improve that. But, we can let go of the things that distract from it; let go of all the involvement with doing doing doing doing doing; the feeling of doing; the sense of taking control; or changing, or suppressing, or denying, or expanding, or all that stuff that distracts us from this already existing wide awakeness which has always been there.

Outside the Mind

Meditate Outside the Mind

I want you to look with a lot of curiosity, a lot of openness, and just see if you can notice exactly where that’s coming from. Where is the stream of thoughts arising from? Where is it arising, just in your own experience. This isn’t something you can figure out, you have to just listen, or look, or feel. Just keep trying to notice, where does that stream of thought originate? If you look very carefully, you’ll notice it’s not coming from anywhere. All that stream of thinking, all those thoughts that we spend so much time engaging with, it’s not coming from anywhere. Then look, and see if you can tell, again, without an idea, like, my head. Let’s see if you can tell exactly just in your own experience, without thinking about it at all, where is it happening? Clearly, thoughts are happening, there’s a stream of thought activity, but where is it located? You can have an idea, oh, it’s in my head, but where is it happening? They are there as an experience, but they don’t seem to be coming from anywhere, and if you look carefully, even though they appear to be happening, they’re not happening anywhere.

Freedom

Finding Space and Freedom

Good. Now allow awareness to come back into the body, but notice it like new. The feeling of body sensations, how they’re just kind of hanging out in that space. It’s not like there’s some space behind your body, it’s like this vast space has this tiny little bit of body sensation arising in it. Pleasant or unpleasant, but vivid and bright, various and interesting, all kinds of body sensations. Emotions, feelings, being nervous or joyous or disappointed or frustrated or whatever. Maybe all at once. That’s all bright and colorful and interesting and kind of weird because it’s just hanging out in this space. Where does it even come from?

Shinzen-AI

Can You Learn Meditation from an AI? – with Shinzen Young

Host Michael Taft talks with teacher Shinzen Young about Shinzen’s decades-long dream of computer-based meditation instruction, his current creation of a rule-based, expert system based on Artificial Intelligence, the upcoming major upheavals in science and culture that AI will bring, the problems inherent in AI, and Shinzen’s most positive vision for the future.

gratitude

Gratitude for Simply Being

Furthermore, you may notice that this expression of space as body and mind doesn’t stop there. It radiates outward. This joyous expression of beauty and profundity radiates outward touching all other expressions, and all those other expressions radiate back to you. So even as this wakefulness, this wide open clarity and presence, bubbles forth into a body and a mind and a person, that bubbling forth can look back at its own source and just say thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sorrows

Resource for All the World’s Sorrows

Tuning into this spaciousness that’s available, not only is it primordially pure, fresh and clean, notice that it is welcoming. It doesn’t say no to anything. It has this tremendous quality of welcoming whatever arises, whatever is there. The space says hello, yes, welcome, to everything. It’s fundamentally warm and welcoming in that way. 

Kripal

A Conversation with Jeffrey Kripal

Host Michael Taft speaks with author and professor Jeffrey Kripal about his early aspiration to be a Benedictine monk, the prophetic dimensions of the humanities, the sudden conversion, or “flip,” into a weirder worldview experienced by some materialist scientists, the phenomena of UFOs, alien abduction, altered states, Philip K. Dick, and how most breakthroughs into mysticism occur through trauma.