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Five Amazingly Powerful Secrets of Concentration

by Michael W. Taft Are you having trouble staying focused on your tax return? Is texting so fascinating that you can’t keep your eyes on the road? Concentration can be difficult for all of us, but it doesn’t actually have to be so hard. With just a few simple tricks and hacks, you can drastically improve your concentration. Here are …

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Four Ways that Mindfulness Can Enhance Your Yoga to Make You Feel Awesome

by Michael W. Taft Does anything in the world feel as good as yoga class? Think about the slow, deliberate way you get worked into a posture, adjustment by adjustment, through a brand of practical magic—like cooking a meal or assembling a car engine—that is so deliciously irresistible. There is a kind of inevitability to the miracle, the way water …

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What Is the Self?

This is a video of me speaking at the Portland Float Conference last October (2012). I’m adapting Shinzen’s ideas about how to deconstruct the ego to the environment of a flotation tank. Thanks to the guys at Float On for inviting me up to Portland, and for putting on such a fun and interesting conference.    

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Make Yourself Some Chai

by Michael W. Taft A hot cup of spicy chai is a fabulous way to start the day: allow no substitutes. It’s also makes a great support to meditation. Getting hopped up on tea before meditating is a traditional practice. Some swear by green tea, which I like, but my favorite by far is Indian chai. Yet chai-making—the real way—is …

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Five Easy Ways of Undoing Distraction

by Michael W. Taft If you cannot focus on one thing at a time, or cannot maintain attention on one thing for as long as you want to, that is distraction. Distraction dilutes brain power, frazzles the nerves, and results in non-optimum outcomes. You end up stressed out and spun around, and don’t even have the satisfaction of a job …

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Tuning Into the Body with Mindfulness

by Michael W. Taft I really like to go dancing. In the Bay Area, where I live, there are a lot of rave-inspired dance events, where I go and dance for hours. The DJs are incredible, the music made for movement, and the scene is really friendly and fun. It allows me to let go and move my body in …

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The Body as the Direct Path, Part 2

Welcome to the second installment of Mike Zittel’s amazing graphic mindfulness instruction series. In this part he starts right up where he left off in Part One, talking about various ways of meditating on sensory experience in the body. (In case you missed it,here’s a link to Part One.)

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Mindfulness of the Body

by Michael W. Taft When I first started meditating in the early 1980s, I had a very hard time sitting still. I had read some books on Zen and whatnot, and had a fantasy of myself remaining motionless for hours at a time, probably in full lotus posture, feeling bliss. Upon attempting to sit, I was shocked to discover that …

Five Proven Ways to Get Your Meditation Practice Back on Track

by Michael W. Taft We all know by now that mindfulness meditation can create positive changes in your life. It works, but you pretty much have to practice it every day to really reap the benefits. Establishing and maintaining that kind of steady, daily practice presents a challenge, even for people with a strong motivation to sit. Understanding some basic …

Alone Bad, Friend Good – Emotional Intelligence and Mindfulness

by Michael W. Taft I used to have a hard time relating to people. As a bald-headed punk, my personality was so intense that my friends jokingly nicknamed me “Toxic Mike.” I felt that I was  different from everyone, and that the world was sort of out to get me. That was almost thirty years ago now, and since then …

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Meditation and Religion

by Michael W. Taft ere’s the thing about meditation: it’s hard. Anyone who says it isn’t hard is trying to be kind, like when the doctor says, “This won’t hurt a bit.” Anyone who thinks spending ten thousand hours sitting on their ass, locked in a wrestling match with their demons, is fun is either crazy or lying. Sure, there …

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Deconstructing Yourself Reconstructed!

  As you no doubt have already noticed, Deconstructing Yourself is undergoing a design change. We’re very sorry to see the Miro go, but we’re hoping that this new layout will make it easier to find all the great material we have on the site. This may take a few days to get right, so please bear with us as …

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Freshness

by Michael W. Taft I remember how painful boredom used to feel as a teenager. It was crushing. New television shows, movies, and music just felt like rehashes of old ones. New people reminded me of people who I already knew. Life felt like an endless rerun of the same stale old patterns, and nothing was interesting or new. It …