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Best Meditation Books 2019

by Michael W. Taft There are zillions of books on meditation, but there are very few I would recommend, especially for somebody just starting out. Below you’ll find just the books I feel are the most helpful and clear; the best meditation books in 2019. Mindfulness Meditation Books Currently, by far the best book for learning to meditate in the …

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Transcript – Culadasa on Meditation and Therapy

Note: you can listen to the original podcast interview here. Michael: Welcome to Deconstructing Yourself, the podcast for modern mutants interested in mindfulness, meditation, awakening, Mahamudra, and much more. My name is Michael Taft, your host on the podcast. And in this episode, I’m speaking with meditation teacher, neuroscientist, and author John Yates, known to the world as Culadasa. Culadasa …

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Allowing Vast, Open Awareness to Do Vipassana

Michael Taft leads a guided meditation at the San Francisco Dharma Collective, demonstrating how to contact vast, spacious awareness. Then using that awareness to do vipassana. This technique completely flips around the usual method of doing vipassana, bringing an experience of crisp, clear, bright, vivid, equanimous that is utterly effortless. Meditation lasts one hour, ending at about 1:01:00 Then dharma …

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Deconstructing the Sense of Self – Feb, 2019

In this program at the San Francisco Dharma Collective, Michael Taft leads a guided meditation (approx 43 min long) on the “focus in” technique (aka “Deconstructing the Sense of Self”) . Then a talk on how to deconstruct the sense of self, followed by a Q&A session. Subscribe to Michael Taft’s Youtube channel to get more great videos as they …

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Meditation, Psychedelics, and High Weirdness

A Conversation with Erik Davis Note: This is a transcript of a podcast episode. If you find any mistakes, please let me know. Michael: Welcome to Deconstructing Yourself. My name is Michael Taft and in this interview I’m delighted to be speaking with the one and only Erik Davis.  Erik Davis is an author, podcaster, award-winning journalist and popular speaker …

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Awakening & Psychological Growth

by Michael W. Taft Awakening and psychological growth are largely orthogonal. While one can definitely help the other, they are entirely different things. You can be very awake and still be a total asshole (as well as anxious, depressed, conflicted, avoidant, etc.). From my viewpoint, awakening is just the beginning of the path, and nothing like the end. Waking up …

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Awareness and Attention

Michael Taft leads a guided meditation (about 40 minutes) and then answers questions from students. Topics center around aspects of attention in practice, using Zoom In and Zoom Out techniques — i.e. narrowly focused attention vs. broadly focused awareness.

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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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Fire Kasina Hints for Shinzen Meditators

by Michael W. Taft I recently went to the Fire Kasina retreat on Denman Island, in British Columbia. The group was hosted by Lama Shannon Stein, at a tiny Tibetan Buddhist retreat center on the island, called The Hermitage, and the practice was taught by Daniel Ingram. I had only done the Fire Kasina meditation (FK) a couple of times …

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Nonduality, Stace, and the Analysis of Mystical Experience

by Michael W. Taft Walter Stace was a British civil servant who became an important author and a pioneer in the philosophy of mysticism. While serving in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) for many years, including as the mayor of Colombo, Stace became interested in the Hinduism and Buddhism practiced in Ceylon. Stace wrote a number of serious books on philosophy, …

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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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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 …