View Post

A Universal Theory of Awakening

by Michael W. Taft Full-blown awakening means to notice clearly that everything you experience is a brain-generated virtual representation arising in working memory. This is known in various traditions as nondual awakening, understanding the nature of mind, and so on. Your senses gather data about the world around you, as well as your internal state. This data streams to the …

View Post

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

In by Michael W. TaftLeave a Comment

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 …

View Post

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

In by Michael W. TaftLeave a Comment

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 …

View Post

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

In by Michael W. Taft2 Comments

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 …

View Post

Accepting The Gift of Kindness and Love

By Jessica Graham The strongest of us are those that are spiritually strong, and a spiritual warrior is one of vulnerability.  –  Chogyam Trungpa I recently spent a little over a month in silence at the Insight Meditation Society’s Forest Refuge facility. It wasn’t always easy because I’m dealing with some health issues. One of the consequences of that is …

View Post

The Snow Globe

by Michael W. Taft One metaphor I often hear for meditation is that it’s like a snow globe. Let’s say it’s a Buddhist snow globe, with a meditating figure in the middle of a glass globe filled with water and something that looks like snowflakes. The normal mind, it’s said, is like a snow globe when it’s shaken up: thoughts …

View Post

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 …

View Post

DY 013 – “Enlightened Sexuality” with guest Jessica Graham

In by Michael W. TaftLeave a Comment

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 …

View Post

Mindful Sex: Embodied Consent

by Jessica Graham There’s no mindful sex, no good sex, no sex at all as far as I’m concerned, without consent. Consent comes first in my safe sex regimen. But the kind of consent that I’m talking about isn’t the antiquated “No Means No” model. I’m talking a clear-of-mind, sober, full body, “Hell Yes!” kind of consent. Radical and embodied …

View Post

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 …

View Post

You Don’t Exist — and Neither Does this Post

by Michael W. Taft There is a classic story about the Indian monk Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen, that goes like this: One day while Bodhidharma was facing a wall (i.e. meditating), the monk Huike came and said, “My mind is not yet at peace. Please pacify my mind.” Bodhidharma said, “Bring me your mind and I will pacify it …

View Post

DY 011 – “Reality Let Loose”—with guest A. H. Almaas

In by Michael W. Taft8 Comments

In this episode, I speak with spiritual teacher and author Hameed Ali, more often known by his pen name, A. H. Almaas. Almaas is the creator of the Diamond Approach to Self-Realization, which is a contemporary teaching developed within the context of both ancient spiritual teachings and modern depth psychology theories. Almaas has authored eighteen books about spiritual realization, including …

View Post

Culadasa Interview: Attention, Awareness, and the Great Adventure

A transcript of episode 10 of the Deconstructing Yourself podcast. Taft: Welcome to Deconstructing Yourself, the podcast for modern mutants interested in mindfulness, meditation, awakening and more. My name is Michael Taft, your host on the podcast. In this episode I’m speaking with meditation teacher, neuroscientist, and author John Yates, also known as Culadasa. Culadasa has the honor of being …