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How to Deconstruct Yourself

by Michael W. Taft The next time you’re talking to yourself, in your mind, ask yourself this question: Who or what is talking to whom? Are there two people in your head, one that is talking and one that is listening? If not, then it’s kind of weird that you would need to have a conversation with just yourself in …

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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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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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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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Effort vs. Effortlessness in Meditation Practice

by Michael W. Taft started out trying way too hard in meditation practice, and continued to practice like that for a very long time. Waking up was serious business, the most important thing in life, and I threw myself into practice with almost comedic fervor and dedication. The Indian scriptures I was reading at the time tended to reinforce that …

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Guided Sleep Meditation – Relaxation

Enjoy this sleep meditation, guided by Michael W. Taft Press play to listen now. Download audio using Right Click here.                       Duration: 33:53 Play this audio when you want to go to sleep. It’s a 34 minute long free guided meditation for deep sleep that will allow you to drift …

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Do Nothing Meditation

by Michael W. Taft The sages of many spiritual traditions have said that the highest state of spiritual awakening is present in our minds at all times. Total enlightenment has always been there, is there now, and always will be there. In Buddhism this is referred to as the Buddha nature, in Hinduism it is called the Self. It’s funny …

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What Is the Self? An Interview with Thomas Metzinger

by Michael W. Taft Thomas Metzinger is a German philosopher. As of 2011 he holds the position of director of the theoretical philosophy group at the department of philosophy at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz and is an Adjunct Fellow at the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies and on the advisory board of the Giordano Bruno Foundation. From 2008 …

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Nondual Meditation: One Practice of Total Awareness

There are many pathways into nondual awareness. Most forms of meditation, if you push them to their farthest limit, will take you into a nondual experience. Which one(s) will work for you is a matter of practice and experience. In this post, I’ll lead you through one practice that I’ve found works well for people who’ve done a fair amount …

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Meditation: The Cosmic Joke

by Michael W. Taft God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference. The lines of the famous Serenity Prayer (written by Reinhold Niebuhr) suggest that there are two types of situations in life: those we can change and those we cannot. If we …

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Just Keep Meditating: Cultivating Acceptance in Meditation Practice

by Michael W. Taft Meditation works best if you do it every day. Establishing and maintaining that kind of steady, daily practice presents a challenge, even for people with a strong motivation to sit. For example, in the past, I’ve traveled to India for meditation intensives. These trips were expensive—both in time and money—and required engineering my entire life around …

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Dimensions of Focus and Concentration

Want to learn how to focus and concentrate? Start here What do you think of when you think of focusing? For most people it means narrowing the attention to a single point. But actually there are several dimensions of focus or concentration that are relevant. We can think of concentration as having at least three important dimensions: Width (or “scope”) …