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DY 026 – “Deconstructing Michael” – with guest Erik Newton

In by Michael W. Taft4 Comments

Turning the tables on the usual show format, host Michael Taft gets interviewed by Erik Newton. They talk about the meaning of awakening, the paradox of suffering, the end of seeking, the value of personal experience vs. scriptural understanding, Erik’s awakening experience, new technologies of awakening, the genesis of the Deconstructing Yourself podcast, and more. Erik Newton is a lawyer …

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Culadasa on Stream Entry

(A transcript of Deconstructing Yourself podcast episode DY 022. Please let me know if there are any errors in the text.) Michael Taft: Welcome to Deconstructing Yourself, the podcast for modern mutants interested in mindfulness, meditation, awakening, Rick and Marty and more. My name is Michael Taft your host on the podcast and in this episode I’ll be speaking with …

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Roshi Joan Halifax on Standing at the Edge

(A transcript of Deconstructing Yourself podcast episode DY 016. Please let me know if there are any errors in the text.) Michael Taft: Welcome to deconstructing yourself, the podcast for modern mutants interested in mindfulness, meditation, awakening, compassion and much more. My name is Michael W. Taft, your host on the podcast and in this episode I’m very happy to …

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DY 025 – “Emptiness, Liberation, and Beauty” – with guest Rob Burbea

In by Michael W. TaftLeave a Comment

In this episode host Michael Taft speaks with Rob Burbea about Rob’s book, Seeing That Frees, the power of perception (ways of seeing), his creative methods of working with meditation practice, meditating with a more analytical vs more phenomenological focus, how analytical meditation works, Rob’s “soulmaking dharma,” the emptiness of conceptual frameworks, facing the end of life, and the meaning …

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

In by Michael W. Taft6 Comments

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

In by Michael W. TaftLeave a Comment

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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Your Kindness Matters

by Jessica Graham As spiritual warriors we can run into many traps along the path. One of these is the trap of meaninglessness. It is often triggered after one has seen the inherent emptiness of self. If there is no self, what is the point of any of this? If our likes and dislikes are just waves of impermanent phenomena, …

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

In by Michael W. TaftLeave a Comment

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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Can You Make Friends with Entropy?

by Michael W. Taft One time as a little kid, I burned my hand on a hot stove. My mom gave me a towel with ice cubes in it to hold. Tears poured down my cheeks as I sobbed. I remember looking at my palm, which was extremely painful, and thinking, “Why me?” Suffering is an integral part of being …

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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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Planning Your Own Meditation Home Retreat

by Jack Walker In nearly every tradition of meditation, periods of retreat are a key component of training. Retreat lets you invest the bandwidth of your attention into meditation practice, free from the distractions of daily life. Residential retreats (i.e. at a retreat facility) can be expensive and logistically challenging. Other complicating factors include how to choose a retreat you …