View Post

The Liberating Practice of the Fire Kasina – with Daniel Ingram

In by MWT4 Comments

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

In by Michael W. TaftLeave a Comment

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

DY 032 – “Embodying Awakening” – with Mukti

In by Michael W. Taft1 Comment

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

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

In by Michael W. Taft4 Comments

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

DY 030 – “Robert Anton Wilson, High Weirdness, and Buddhist Meditation” – with Erik Davis

In by Michael W. Taft2 Comments

Michael Taft speaks with Erik Davis about author Robert Anton Wilson, anarchism in the 1970s, Terrence McKenna, P.K. Dick, psychedelics, cultures of awakening now and then, Zen practice, and more.  Erik Davis is an author, podcaster, award-winning journalist, and popular speaker based in San Francisco. He is probably best known for his book TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the …

View Post

DY 029 – What Can AI Tell Us about the Human Mind?” – with Joscha Bach

In by Michael W. Taft3 Comments

Host Michael Taft speaks with Joscha Bach about artificial intelligence; the sense of self; building a civilizational intellect; what it is like to be a mind?; the relationships between motivation, emotion, and behavior; the “cargo cult” model of civilization; what is learning?; how artificial minds may be different from human minds, the enlightenment industry, the Tower of Babel myth; and …

View Post

DY 028 – “Doubt, Faith, and Fun in Meditation Practice” – with Daniel Ingram

In by Michael W. Taft3 Comments

Daniel Ingram and Michael Taft talk about the Fire Kasina practice, how making mental objects the focus can lead to deep awakening, balancing wisdom and faith, processing trauma with meditation practice, and how beauty can be a great support and inspiration on the path. Daniel shares about his experiences and spiritual development with Fire Kasina work, co-teaching with Culadasa, the …

View Post

DY 027 – “Feminism, Sexual Misconduct, and the Guru in Buddhism” with Chandra Easton

In by Michael W. Taft12 Comments

Chandra Easton and Michael Taft talk about gender and sexual misconduct in Buddhism, why compassion must be a part of spiritual practice, and the place of the guru in modern culture. Chandra shares her personal story of dealing with sexual misconduct at the hands of her teacher, tantric practices as a technology for awakening, internalized patriarchy, and how love and …

View Post

DY 026 – “Deconstructing Michael” – with guest Erik Newton

In by Michael W. Taft6 Comments

Turning the tables on the usual show format, host Michael Taft gets interviewed by Erik Newton. They talk about the meaning of awakening, the paradox of suffering, the end of seeking, the value of personal experience vs. scriptural understanding, Erik’s awakening experience, new technologies of awakening, the genesis of the Deconstructing Yourself podcast, and more. Erik Newton is a lawyer …

View Post

DY 025 – “Emptiness, Liberation, and Beauty” – with guest Rob Burbea

In by Michael W. TaftLeave a Comment

In this episode host Michael Taft speaks with Rob Burbea about Rob’s book, Seeing That Frees, the power of perception (ways of seeing), his creative methods of working with meditation practice, meditating with a more analytical vs more phenomenological focus, how analytical meditation works, Rob’s “soulmaking dharma,” the emptiness of conceptual frameworks, facing the end of life, and the meaning …

View Post

DY 024 – “Walking, Nature, and Engaged Buddhism” – with guest Christopher Titmuss

In by Michael W. Taft6 Comments

In this episode, host Michael W. Taft speaks with senior dharma teacher Christopher Titmuss about yatra—meditative pilgrimage without a destination—the power of nature, the importance of deconstructing the self, the psychedelic 60s, Vietnam, engaged Buddhism, the role of spiritual practice in the current world crisis, and the central role of liberation in meditation. Christopher Titmuss is an insight meditation teacher, …

View Post

DY 023 – “Lucid Dreaming, Meditation, and Consciousness” – with guest Evan Thompson

In by Michael W. TaftLeave a Comment

In this episode, philosopher, author, and meditator, Evan Thompson speaks with host Michael Taft. Topics include: the meaning of awakening; lucid dreaming and noticing the construction of the waking state; the 3-fold structure of Awareness, Contents of Awareness, and then Identification with Contents; The cosmopolitanism of Buddhism, and the myth of Buddhist exceptionalism; consciousness hacking and psychedelics; and much more. …

View Post

DY 022 – “Are More People Achieving Stream Entry These Days?” – with guest Culadasa

In by Michael W. TaftLeave a Comment

In this episode host Michael Taft speaks with meditation teacher, neuroscientist, and author John Yates, also known as Culadasa. Topics covered include: Are more people achieving stream entry these days?, a clear definition of stream entry, the Buddha’s concept of yathābhūtañāṇadassanaṃ or “seeing things as they really are,” reaching a tipping point of stream enterers to avert the coming world …