show episodes
 
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, consciousness, 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, ...
 
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show series
 
Depth Psychologist Steve Aizenstat speaks with host Michael Taft about dreams, the living image of dreams and their innate intelligence, the healing and creative power of the deep imagination; how dreams relate to meditation and spiritual practice, and the way that we are "all cyborgs now." Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., is the Founder of Dream Tending,…
 
Spiritual teacher A. H. Almaas speaks with host Michael Taft about the centrality of love to our spiritual nature, how to tell the difference between emotional love and spiritual love, how the wounds of love can become openings for awakening, various “flavors” of love, and the necessity of love to approach truth. A. Hameed Ali, whose pen name is A.…
 
Buddhist Teacher and author Lopön Chandra Easton talks with Michael Taft about Vajrayana, her own pilgrimage and experiences in India, the struggle to bring motherhood, sexuality, the feminine, and the female voice into spiritual life, the power of yidam or deity yoga, how Westerners relate to deity yoga, and a look into the practice of the 21 Tara…
 
Host Michael Taft speaks with Rin’dzin Pamo and Jared Janes about their new project, entitled “Evolving Ground,” which is a community of practitioners that seeks to reinterpret and revitalize Vajrayana practice in a contemporary Western context. Topics include: the failure of Tibetan Buddhism to adapt to Western culture, the importance of the world…
 
Writer, translator, teacher, and business consultant, Ken McLeod speaks with host Michael Taft about the chaos unleashed by new forms of communication, dedicating your whole life to meditation and spiritual experience, what evokes a deep sense of the sacred?, how teachers point out awakening to students, what is it that epitomizes the essence of Va…
 
Author, podcaster, award-winning journalist, and cultural historian Erik Davis speaks with host Michael Taft about QAnon as a new religion, Gnostic psychology and the power of the secret truth, new narrative warfare exploiting human psychology, technologically-sophisticated divination techniques, the “disenchanted paranormal,” taking responsibility…
 
Neuroscientist and mindfulness expert Jud Brewer speaks with host Michael Taft about his research into the four steps of Rigpa (with teacher and psychologist Dan Brown), effortlessness in meditation and the feeling of openness vs. closedness, the neurochemistry of reward, the historical Buddha's insight into the results of exploring gratification "…
 
Psychologist, author, translator, and meditation teacher, Dan Brown talks with host Michael Taft about the three levels of practice from a taste of awakening to "full buddhahood," the details of what a taste of awakening entails, the path to complete liberation, his neuroscience of nonduality studies with Jud Brewer, whether dzogchen is a complete …
 
Writer, translator, teacher, and business consultant, Ken McLeod speaks with host Michael Taft about Coronavirus, social distancing, nature doing what it does, overcoming cultural conditioning, enlightenment as a "system change," practices for overcoming cultural conditioning and developing compassion, the importance of the teacher-student relation…
 
Nondual teacher and psychotherapist Stephan Bodian and host Michael Taft discuss how and why narcissists rise to the top of spiritual organizations, the ways that nondual traditions like Zen may be especially prone to teacher misbehavior, the problem with “crazy wisdom” teachers, as well as exploring Stephan’s own spiritual journey with Suzuki Rosh…
 
Evan Thompson discusses his new book, “Why I Am Not a Buddhist” with host Michael Taft. Topics include the myth of Buddhist exceptionalism, how Buddhist modernism presented a false picture of Buddhism as a value-neutral “mind science” rather than a religion, his own lifelong journey with Buddhism, and much more. Evan Thompson, PhD, works on the nat…
 
Nondual teacher and psychotherapist John Prendergast speaks with host Michael Taft about the heart area as an opening to infinite space, contacting the “dark matrix” of the ground, the body as a vibrant expression of emptiness, moving out of the cycle of reactivity into the creative life, working with energy in meditation, and much more. John J. Pr…
 
Nondual teacher and psychotherapist Loch Kelly speaks with host Michael Taft about what nondualism is, schools of effort vs. non-effort (and those in between), the five foundations of effortless mindfulness, awake awareness and rigpa, stabilizing nondual awareness, balancing the brain's default mode network, and more. Loch Kelly is an author, medit…
 
Host Michael Taft speaks with Michael Owens, a Buddhist teacher and author, about being a monk in Taiwan, Buddhist sutras as portals to alternate realities, understanding dependent origination, the nondual ground and extreme psychedelia of the Mahayana sutras, the Vimalakirti Nirdeśa Sutra, explaining the "inconceivable," Suchness as the opposite o…
 
In this episode, host Michael Taft remixes his map of deconstructing sensory experience, and talks about how to use it to work in nondual traditions. Essentially the idea is to reverse the stack by starting out with Stage 4 (pure awareness) and then working your way up to stage 3, etc. Michael also spends some time talking about maps of meditation,…
 
Host Michael Taft speaks with Dream Yoga expert Andrew Holecek about how the dream state (and dreamless sleep) can effect meditation practice. Topics include: the fantasy-filling model of lucid dreaming vs. spiritual awakening; dream yoga, sleep yoga, and Bardo yoga; the love of napping, meditation in a dream or in dreamless sleep; reification as t…
 
In this episode, host Michael Taft shares a map of deconstructing sensory experience. This is intended to help orient you to your vipassana meditation practice; helping you to understand where you’re at, where you’re going, and what to look for next. A basic map of vipassana. Note: this is only a map, only a model. Just like a menu is not food, thi…
 
Host Michael Taft speaks with Vajrayana teacher Rin’dzin Pamo about Vajrayana meditation practice currently, adapting practices for our times, their practice of The Mind Illuminated, the role of the guru in practice, how meditation practice is like engineering (and Jiu Jitsu), and much more. Rin’dzin Pamo (also known as Charlie El Awbery) is a Brit…
 
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