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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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DY 010 – “Attention, Awareness, and the Great Adventure” – with guest Culadasa

In by Michael W. Taft9 Comments

Culadasa talks with Michael W. Taft. After decades of Buddhist practice, Culadasa exploded on the scene a few years ago with his groundbreaking book The Mind Illuminated, an incredibly comprehensive guide to meditation. It’s an erudite mixture of neuroscience, traditional Buddhist practice, and Culadasa’s own ideas about how to gt the most out of practice. In this episode we talk …

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The Long Road to Good Sex

I write to you on the day of my book launch. Good Sex: Getting Off without Checking Out is now available wherever books are sold. I have to tell you it feels good, really good. I’ve been alternating between a dizzying happiness and an almost anxious excitement. Along with a slew of other emotions I’m also feeling a double-wide truck …