View Post

Directly Investigating Awareness

In this guided meditation, Michael Taft leads practitioners at the San Francisco Dharma Collective through a progressive series of shamatha exercises, followed by vipashyana on awareness itself. Often we think of vipashyana (vipassana) as applying to sensations only. For instance we might investigate a body sensations phenomenologically. However, we can also investigate awareness itself. Often this takes the form of …

View Post

Awareness Has No Center

Guided meditation (about 55 min) on emptiness by Michael Taft at the San Francisco Dharma Collective. Noticing that awareness has no center, and that every part of awareness is equally aware. From the viewpoint of Mind, all content arises in awareness. Self and world arise in the field of awareness. This means that awareness has no center point, no place …

View Post

The World Is Inside You

Guided Meditation with Michael Taft The world of our perceptions is a fabrication of the mind. We do not perceive the external world directly, but rather through the inputs of our sense organs. This input is then assembled (i.e. fabricated) in the brain (based on memory, best-guesses, unconscious biases, etc.) and then projected into the conscious mind. Most nondual meditation …

View Post

Discovering Sky-like Mind

Michael Taft leads a 55 minute guided meditation at the San Francisco Dharma Collective. Relaxing attention until awareness is even in all directions, and the mind appears like sky. Interested in nondual meditation? Click here sky photo by Bill Tyne

View Post

Let Go of Grasping – Guided Meditation

Michael Taft leads a 50 minute guided meditation on not grasping onto anything (essentially a variation on shikantaza). Followed by Q&A about pain, suffering, grasping, the 4 Noble Truths (actually just the first two), and the importance of being the kind of dog who drops the ball More on Letting go. photo by Ashtyn Warner

View Post

Meditation for the End of Civilization, with Rick Hanson, Ph.D.

Host Michael W. Taft speaks with bestselling author and meditation teacher Rick Hanson about how to maintain resilience in the face of the coming potential collapse of civilization, the problem with agriculture, meditation methods to build inner strengths, Rick’s upcoming book Neuro-dharma, and more. Rick Hanson, PhD, is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC …

View Post

The Liberating Practice of the Fire Kasina – with Daniel Ingram

Author and meditation teacher Daniel Ingram speaks with host Michael W. Taft about how the Fire Kasina practice can be used as an insight practice. Subjects include: the background of kasina practice in the Thervada tradition, using kasinas to go into jhana, how vipassana practice interacts with jhana practice, meditation on the Three Characteristics, and detailed instructions for doing the …

View Post

Meditation, Madness, and Psychology, with Tucker Peck

Tucker Peck, meditation teacher and clinical psychologist, talks with host Michael Taft about how whether awakening (both in the traditional “stream entry” sense or in other definitions) actually “fixes” a person’s psychology or not. Topics include: the validity of the Progress of Insight model, Tucker’s hellacious Dark Night experience and the dukkha ñanas in general, when to switch from shamatha …

View Post

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 …

View Post

DY 032 – “Embodying Awakening” – with Mukti

Nondual spiritual teacher Mukti talks with host Michael Taft about the debate between the Direct and Progressive paths of realization, working with energetics and embodiment, her childhood background in the Self Realization Fellowship of Paramahansa Yogananada, pointing out the sense of space in realization, her own experience of awakening, and more. Mukti is a spiritual teacher, whose name originates in …

View Post

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 …

View Post

DY 031 – “Deconstructing the Heart Sutra” with Jayarava Attwood

Buddhist scholar Jayarava Attwood speaks with host Michael Taft about the history of the Pali Canon, how ideas about karma & dependent arising contradict each other, the shifting grounds under the apparent solidity of the suttas, monism vs. pluralism, meditation as a subjective or objective practice, and the fact that the Sanskrit Heart Sutra is a forgery, Jayarava is a …

View Post

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 …