By Michael W. Taft
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Dedicated to liberation in all its forms, Deconstructing Yourself is passionate about fearlessly investigating, attempting, and questioning all things to do with awakening, meditation, mindfulness, brain hacking, neurofeedback, and more. Your host Michael W. Taft interviews some of the most interesting thinkers, authors, and teachers around, as well as other offerings. In this hard-hitting, radical, and fun podcast we look at secular post-, non-, un- Buddhism, Advaita Vedanta, Hindu Tantrism, philosophy, the neuroscience of the sense of self, neurofeedback and the consciousness hacking movement, aspects of artificial intelligence, entheogens, and much more. If you’re looking for fresh directions, free from dogma and conformism, think of the DY podcast as the radical cafe where you can hear from the most interesting luminaries either from the outside edges of dharma, or a fresh take from more traditional teachers. If you’re interested in more, check out the Deconstructing Yourself website at https://deconstructingyourself.com.
||CleanDY 027 – “Feminism, Sexual Misconduct, and the Guru in Buddhism” with Chandra Easton||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||10/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 026 – “Deconstructing Michael” – with guest Erik Newton||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&#||9/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 025 – “Emptiness, Liberation, and Beauty” – with guest Rob Burbea||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 phenomenolog||8/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 024 – “Walking, Nature, and Engaged Buddhism” – with guest Christopher Titmuss||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||8/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 023 – “Lucid Dreaming, Meditation, and Consciousness” – with guest Evan Thompson||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||6/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 022 – “Are More People Achieving Stream Entry These Days?” – with guest Culadasa||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&#||6/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 021 – “Emotions, Stress, and Heartbreak” – with guest Eve Ekman||In this episode emotions researcher and meditation teacher Eve Ekman speaks with Michael W. Taft about embodied emotions, the difference between suppression and healthy expression, impermanence of sensation and moment by moment contact with emotion, emo||5/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDY 020 – “Why Good Teachers Go Bad” – with guest Shinzen Young||In this special one-year anniversary episode, Shinzen Young talks with host Michael W. Taft about becoming a meditation teacher, the unrealistic paradigm about what meditation delivers, Shinzen’s codependency disaster, Bill Hamilton, the great unsung||5/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 019 – “Deconstructing Dependent Arising” – with guest Leigh Brasington||Leigh Brasington speaks with host Michael W. Taft about Dependent Arising. Dependent Arising, also called Dependent Origination, is a Buddhist theory of reality that is famously complex, arcane, important, and fascinating. In this episode they discuss e||4/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 018 – “Seeing Your Blind Spots” – with guest Kelly Boys||Kelly Boys talks with Michael Taft about integral restoration, nondual awakening, the work of Kahneman, spiritual bypassing, gendered aspects of awakening and spiritual teaching, when knowing less is better, engaged Buddhism, Christianity and the experi||4/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 017 – “Popping the Bubble of Projection” – with guest Daniel Ingram||Daniel Ingram talks with Michael W. Taft about teacher-student models, graduate school models of practice, creating meditation peer groups, working with “co-adventurers” on the spiritual path, overcoming projection as a teacher, and more. Dan||4/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 016 – “Standing at the Edge” with guest Roshi Joan Halifax||Roshi Joan Halifax speaks with host Michael W. Taft about her new book, Standing at the Edge, the shadow sides of altruism, empathy, integrity, respect, engagement, and rays of hope in current times. Roshi Joan Halifax, Ph.D. is a Buddhist teacher, Ze||3/14/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 015 – “Eddies in the Mind Stream” – with guest Rick Hanson, Ph.D.||Rick Hanson and I discuss the tension between accepting how you’re feeling and changing how you’re feeling, spiritual bypassing, how to cultivate positive states of mind, the quivering potentiality at the front edge of now, the three branches||3/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 014 – “Diving Deep into the Jhanas” with guest Leigh Brasington||Concentration master Leigh Brasington talks with Michael W. Taft about the jhanas, a Buddhist system of eight altered states of consciousness that arise in states of high concentration. The conversation dives deep into practicing each of these eight sta||2/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDY 013 – “Enlightened Sexuality” with guest Jessica Graham||In this episode, I talk with Jessica Graham about her book Good Sex, the #MeToo movement, the power of self love and acceptance, a beginner’s guide to spiritual awakening through sexuality, mindful masturbation, aspects of puritanism in Buddhism, the||1/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 012 – “Consciousness, Spirituality, and Intellectual Honesty” – with guest Thomas Metzinger||Thomas Metzinger and Michael W. Taft discuss having moral integrity with yourself, intellectual honesty in the pursuit of spirituality, the overlapping goals of science and spirituality, the possibility of a fully secularized spirituality, neurofeedback||12/28/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 011 – “Reality Let Loose”—with guest A. H. Almaas||In this episode, I speak with spiritual teacher and author Hameed Ali, more often known by his pen name, A. H. Almaas. Almaas is the creator of the Diamond Approach to Self-Realization, which is a contemporary teaching developed within the context of bo||12/14/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 010 – “Attention, Awareness, and the Great Adventure” – with guest Culadasa||Culadasa talks with Michael W. Taft. After decades of Buddhist practice, Culadasa exploded on the scene a few years ago with his groundbreaking book The Mind Illuminated, an incredibly comprehensive guide to meditation. It’s an erudite mixture of neur||12/4/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 009 – “The Craving Mind” – with guest Judson Brewer||What do the neurocorrelates of enlightenment, the activation of the posterior cingulate cortex, and the extinction of craving all have in common? They relate to the work of Judson Brewer. Jud talks with Michael W. Taft about his brain biofeedback machin||10/24/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDY 008 – “Meditation, Magick, and the Fire Kasina” – with guest Daniel Ingram||In this session, host Michael W. Taft and radical dharma author and practitioner Daniel Ingram discuss the Fire Kasina practice, meditation and magick, working with archetypal forces and entities, Daniel’s description of a fruition experience, siddhis||9/27/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 007 – “Enlightenment’s Evil Twin” – with guest Shinzen Young||Meditation teacher and neuroscience consultant Shinzen Young and host Michael W. Taft talk about what mindfulness teachers are getting wrong, Shinzen’s Periodic Table of Happiness Elements, informed consent for awakening, effective strategies for d||9/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 006 – “Pattern and Nebulosity” – with guest David Chapman||Scientist, programmer, and author David Chapman talks with Michael W. Taft about metarationality, emptiness and form, nihilism, tantrism, dzogchen, Kegan’s stages of development applied to meditation, vampire romance novels, and the importance of b||8/7/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitDY 005 – “The Great Unbundling” – with guest Vincent Horn||In this episode I talk with mindfulness teacher and co-founder of the Buddhist Geeks project, Vincent Horn. Vince is part of new generation of teachers translating age-old wisdom into 21st century code. In this session, Vince and I discuss the radical s||7/14/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 004 – “Feather Light & Paper Thin” – with guest Shinzen Young||Meditation teacher Shinzen Young and host Michael W. Taft talk about the relationship between mindfulness practice (as it is usually defined) and nondual-type practices (or non-practices, if you like), the way that focusing on the details of experience||6/13/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 003 – “Masters of Oblivion” – with guest 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 F||5/21/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 002 – “The Cosmic Joke” – with guest Kenneth Folk||Pragmatic dharma teacher Kenneth Folk and host Michael W. Taft look at suffering machines, ways to suspend the necessary conditions for suffering, The Terminator, state chasing, and getting the cosmic joke. Kenneth Folk is an instructor of meditation wh||5/21/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDY 001 – “Am I Mindful Right Now” – with guest Kenneth Folk||Pragmatic dharma teacher Kenneth Folk and host Michael W. Taft discuss what it means to be mindful, various definitions of being mindful in the moment, the trouble with remaining mindful during an entire sit, and more. Kenneth Folk is an instructor of m||5/21/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
You'll like his style.
Catnip for Mindful Geeks
If you're into discussions of mindfulness, consciousness, practice, awakening, Westworld, the transformation of suffering, then this is the spot.
Michael and Kenneth engage in delightfully civil, funny and authentic discussions. They even sometimes disagree, and then model collaborative conversation and integration.
I have learned a great deal in the first three. More please!
Lovely (and dense)
I'm still slowly making it through the first three episodes but have been following Michael Taft for a while and have enjoyed his writing. This show has been a nice dive into some psychology (e.g valence theory) and has been making me ask more questions about what meditation is (and isn't)