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Masters of Oblivion, with Kenneth Folk

kenneth folk

Pragmatic dharma teacher and host Michael W. Taft feel the power of the dark side, talk about nirvana, deconstruct the concept of nirvana, dive deep into the reality of death, look at the denial of death, and probably scare away all listeners.

Kenneth Folk is an instructor of meditation who has received worldwide acknowledgement for his innovative approach to secular Buddhist meditation. Learn more about him and his work at Kenneth Folk Dharma.

Show Notes

0:25 – Introduction and overview
2:20 – Preferring to be conscious or not conscious
5:28 – Avoiding eternalism and entertaining the possibility of death…or immortality
11:33 – The enjoyability of oblivion/nirvana (and establishing a definition of both)
19:15 – The Buddha presents a life extinction program, not a life improvement program
25:28 – Fear and denial of death, and rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic
33:15 – The relief of accepting the reality of death
34:48 – Enlightenment as a real-time report about what’s arising in experience
37:52 – The limitations of coming to meditation as a life improvement program
41:10 – Kenneth’s current practice assessing mindfulness, checking for tightness and temporarily suspending the self model
48:45 – The preposterousness of eradicating the self
53:41 – The Dharma Overground forums and posters having bad days after attaining some level of enlightenment
58:31 – How do know anything? Does Kenneth feel like he has any special or ultimate knowledge?
1:03:53 – Certitude is just another feeling on a level playing field with all others
1:12:10 – Awakening experiences invalidating each other: the second awakening erodes some of the truth of the first
1:14:10 – The universe is under no obligation to make sense to you

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7 thoughts on “Masters of Oblivion, with Kenneth Folk”

  1. Brilliant again. Thanks. I loved the Neil DeGrasse Tyson quote “The Universe is under no obligation to make sense to you.” How wonderful.

  2. Discovering Michael Taft and his way of understanding the meditation experience is, for me, the highlight of 50 years of practice and study. The many approaches to practice I have investigated are summarized in Michael’s approach. It’s a pity that many people will still search for “far out” goals, expectations and explanations. This conversation with Kenneth Folk is genius. It was great to hear you discuss obscure concepts like Nirvana in simple understandable language. I’m sure this is how to proceed into the future, “he who has ears, let him hear”.

  3. Brilliant podcast
    I just have to quote Leo Gura here

    “The goal of this work is immortality. Once you are fully conscious that you are immortal, you’ve won the game. Everything else is the cherry on top of the sundae.”

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