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Nonduality, Freud, and the Oceanic Feeling

by Michael W. Taft Western psychology has also described something that seems to be the nondual state, although it appears to have been a direct import from India. Freud first discussed what he called the “oceanic feeling”—which is apparently nondual experience—in what is perhaps his most important book, Civilization and It’s Discontents (1929). How this came about is interesting. Freud’s …

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DY 027 – “Feminism, Sexual Misconduct, and the Guru in Buddhism” with Chandra Easton

In by Michael W. Taft5 Comments

Chandra Easton and Michael Taft talk about gender and sexual misconduct in Buddhism, why compassion must be a part of spiritual practice, and the place of the guru in modern culture. Chandra shares her personal story of dealing with sexual misconduct at the hands of her teacher, tantric practices as a technology for awakening, internalized patriarchy, and how love and …

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Deconstructing Michael — an Interview with Michael Taft

(This is a transcript of a podcast interview. If you notice any mistakes, please let me know.) Michael: Welcome to Deconstructing Yourself, the podcast for modern mutants interested in mindfulness, meditation, awakening, hardcore dharma, consciousness hacking, emptiness, and more. My name is Michael Taft, your host on the podcast. And in this episode, we’re gonna turn the usual host and …

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Engaging with the World as it Is

Healthy Contact with the Present Moment by Michael W. Taft These are terrifying and triggering times. Most sane commenters and political analysts, as well as futurists, climate scientists, and visionaries are converging on one obvious conclusion: we as a species are in deep shit. We are likely headed towards a social, economic, and ecological collapse of epic proportions, including war, …

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What Is Emptiness? An Interview with Rob Burbea

by Michael W. Taft (The following is a (fairly) verbatim transcript of a podcast interview I conducted with Rob Burbea. Please let me know if there are any errors in the text.) Rob Burbea is a meditation teacher, musician, and author who teaches at Gaia House in Devon, England. Rob is the author of the groundbreaking meditation practice book entitled …

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

In by Michael W. Taft6 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

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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

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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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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

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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 …