Deconstructing Yourself podcast

Deconstructing Yourself

Michael W. Taft

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, 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 Deconstructing Yourself 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.

67 Episoder

  • Deconstructing Yourself podcast

    Vision, Visualization, and Vajrayana, with Chandra Easton.

    1:06:20

    Host Michael Taft speaks with Dorje Lopön Chandra Easton about her recent work with the 21 manifestations of the Goddess Tara, some aspects of Green Tara, and especially the role of vision and visualization in Vajrayana, and Buddhism more generally. Beginning with the somewhat negative role of the eyes in early Buddhist practice, moving through the Mahayana sutras talking about "enlightened eyes," and the "Eye of the Buddha," and culminating with the rainbow light practices of Vajrayana and Dzogchen. Topics include: Nagarjuna's vision metaphor of emptiness, the esoteric subtle channel from the heart to the eyes, meditation on kasinas, and much more.Chandra Easton has taught meditation and yoga since 2001. She has had the good fortune to study with many Tibetan and Western Buddhist teachers such as H.H. Dalai Lama, H.H. Karmapa, Lama Tsultrim Allione, B. Alan Wallace,Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, and Jennifer Welwood. She is currently the Assistant Spiritual Director & Head Teacher at the Tara Mandala Retreat Center. You can learn more about Chandra's work at:http://www.shunyatayoga.com/ andhttps://www.taramandala.org/See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
  • Deconstructing Yourself podcast

    Talking about Zen Koans with Henry Shukman

    39:56

    Zen teacher, author, and poet Henry Shukman talks with host Michael Taft about Mountain Cloud Zen Center, Henry’s series on the Waking Up app, meditation for awakening vs. meditation as a “band aid,” the role of psychotherapy in spiritual practice, the power of working in the “old way,” the path of working with Zen koans as the journey of a lifetime. Henry Shukman is a teacher in the Sanbo Zen lineage, and is the Guiding Teacher of Mountain Cloud Zen Center, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Henry is an award-winning poet and author of several books, including One Blade of Grass, which details his spiritual journey. And is excellent. His struggles and traumatic experiences as a youth, combined with a spontaneous awakening experience at age 19, paved the way for Henry to develop a well-rounded approach to spirituality and meditation – one that includes love for self and the world as its foundation.Henry Shukman at Mountain Cloud Zen CenterContribute to Michael’s Patreon or directly to help fund the creation of more of these podcasts.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
  • Deconstructing Yourself podcast

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    Vajrayana as a Living Practice, with Ken McLeod

    1:14:30

    Host Michael Taft talks with teacher and author Ken McLeod about his insights into Vajrayana, spiritual practice as "choosing a way to live," the Tibetan idea of lam khyer, the power of prayer as a kind of raw, naked stance, why the seeds of spirituality need to be nurtured in secret, difficulties Westerners face when attempting to work within traditional Asian religious systems, and the true meaning of spirituality.Ken McLeod began his study and practice of Buddhism in 1970 under the eminent Tibetan master Kalu Rinpoche. After completing two three-year retreats, he was appointed as resident teacher for Kalu Rinpoche’s center in Los Angeles, California, where he developed innovative approaches to teaching and translation. After his teacher’s death in 1989, Ken established Unfettered Mind, a place for those whose path lies outside established institutions. His published works include The Great Path of Awakening, Wake Up to Your Life, An Arrow to the Heart, Reflections on Silver River, and A Trackless Path. Ken's website: Unfettered MindContribute to Michael’s Patreon or directly to help fund the creation of more of these podcasts.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
  • Deconstructing Yourself podcast

    Dimensions of Nonduality with Tina Rasmussen

    58:02

    Host Michael Taft talks with meditation teacher and author Tina Rasmussen about ways to understand nondual awareness and the progress of nondual meditation, including her own unique comparison between the Formless Realms of early Buddhist meditation and the Boundless Dimensions taught by Hameed Ali (aka Almaas) of the Diamond Approach.Tina Rasmussen, Ph.D., began meditating at age 13, and has practiced in the Theravada and Tibetan Buddhist traditions for over 30 years. In 2003, she completed a year-long solo retreat, was later ordained as a Buddhist nun and became the first Western woman authorized to teach by renowned meditation master Pa Auk Sayadaw. Tina has been studied by the Yale Neuroscience Lab, and is the co-author of Practicing the Jhanas, as well as several books on human potential.Tina Rasumussen’s website: luminousmindsangha.comContribute to Michael’s Patreon or directly to help fund the creation of more of these podcasts.Show Notes00:44 - Intro03:30 - Thecore four practices of Buddhism that help us with the current crisis: shamatha,vipassana, heart, and self-transcending practices06:19 - HowTina teaches shamatha (the Theravada way: anapanasati and brahmaviharas)09:08 - The difference between anapanasati and pranayama11:45 - The similarities and differences between the Theravadan and Tibetan practices16:18 - How Tina teaches a hybrid set of Theravadan and Tibetan practices on retreat18:44 - Shamatha is needed for stability20:44 - Thedifferent flavors of nonduality (unity/emptiness)24:37 - The Buddhist map of the realms of existence (form/material realm:physical/brahmaviharas; formless/immaterial realms: 1) boundless space; 2) boundless consciousness; 3) no-thingness/void; 4) neither perception nor non-perception; 5) the Deathless/Absolute/Nameless mystery)28:53 - How ‘awareness’ is more fundamental than ‘consciousness’30:55 - Comparison of the formless realms in Buddhism and in the Diamond Approach(Ridhwan); how different spiritual traditions focus on different formless realms35:35 – Differing views in Theravada and Vajrayana 37:51 - Integrating boundless love and shamatha practices in Tina’s teachings43:00 - The non-personal practices of the Eastern traditions and the personal practices ofthe Western traditions44:08 - The synergy between spiritual and psychological technologies; the ‘inquiry’ practice46:27 - Tina’s birth trauma and the importance of trauma work53:10 - The inquiry way of working with aversion55:46 - Suffering is optional58:00 - OutroSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
  • Deconstructing Yourself podcast

    Meditation and Communication with Shinzen Young

    54:53

    Shinzen Young talks with host Michael Taft about his new ideas around applying the systematic mindset of mindfulness meditation and the scientific method to the many challenges of human communication and miscommunication. Topics include the coming of Unified Mindfulness to China, the new phenomena of online retreats, training the spirit of science into mindfulness and communication, and much more.Shinzen Young is an American mindfulness teacher and neuroscience research consultant. His systematic approach to categorizing, adapting and teaching meditation, known as Unified Mindfulness, has resulted in collaborations with Harvard Medical School, Carnegie-Mellon University, and the University of Vermont in the burgeoning field of contemplative neuroscience. Learn more about Shinzen at his website: Shinzen.orgContribute to Michael’s PatreonSee Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
  • Deconstructing Yourself podcast

    Spiritual Bypassing and the Spiritual Friend

    23:04

    Host Michael Taft talks about the phenomenon of spiritual bypassing, what it is, what it means for our practice, and whether it is as big of an issue as many seem to think, as well as the importance of having a meditation buddy, and the ageless tradition of the “soul friend.” Michael Taft’s websiteContribute to Michael’s Patreon See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
  • Deconstructing Yourself podcast

    Meditation and Healing Trauma with Thomas Hübl

    1:04:51

    Host Michael Taft speaks with spiritual teacher and author Thomas Hübl about trauma and healing, aspects of collective and cultural trauma, Jungian psychology, meditation, spirituality, and much more.Thomas Hübl is a contemporary mystic, international spiritual teacher, and author whose work seeks to integrate the core insights of the great wisdom traditions with the discoveries of modern science. Thomas’ teachings combine somatic awareness, advanced meditative practices, and analysis of multigenerational and collective trauma with transformational processes that address trauma and shadow issues. Since 2004 Thomas has been leading workshops, multi-year training programs, events and festivals, and is the author of the book Healing Collective Trauma.Thomas Hübl's Website You can support the creation of future episodes of this podcast by contributing through Patreon.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
  • Deconstructing Yourself podcast

    A Conversation with Spring Washam

    50:39

    Host Michael Taft speaks with meditation teacher and shamanic practitioner Spring Washam about the "dharma of Harriet Tubman," the inner vs. the outer journey of finding liberation, how the "meditation bubble" can actually block spiritual growth, bringing the wisdom of meditation to activism, the role of plant medicines in healing ourselves and our world, and much more.Spring Washam is a well-known meditation teacher, author, and visionary leader based in California and Peru. She is the author of A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage, and Wisdom in Any Moment. Spring is considered a pioneer in bringing mindfulness-based healing practices to diverse communities. She is one of the founders and core teachers at the East Bay Meditation Center, located in downtown Oakland, CA.  She received extensive training from Jack Kornfield, is a member of the teacher’s council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in northern California, and has practiced and studied Buddhist philosophy in both the Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism for the last 20 years. In addition to being a teacher, she is also a shamanic practitioner and has studied indigenous healing practices for over a decade. She is the founder of Lotus Vine Journeys, an organization that blends indigenous healing practices with Buddhist wisdom. Her writing and teachings have appeared in many online journals and publications such as Lions Roar, Tricycle, and Belief.net. She has been a guest on many popular podcasts and radio shows. She currently travels and teaches meditation retreats, workshops and classes worldwide.Spring Washam's websiteYou can support the creation of future episodes of this podcast by contributing through Patreon.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
  • Deconstructing Yourself podcast

    Talking with People about Things, with David McRaney

    1:02:27

    Host Michael Taft speaks with science journalist, author, and podcaster David McRaney about how people do (and do not) change their minds, how brains form their view of reality, conspiracy theory, the method of "technique rebuttal" vs. "topic rebuttal,' QAnon, motivated reasoning, the psychology of belief, and much more.David McRaney is a science journalist and an internationally bestselling author, podcaster, and lecturer who created You Are Not So Smart.David began a blog writing about the psychology of reasoning in 2009. That blog became an internationally bestselling book published by Penguin in 2011, now available in 17 languages. His second book, You Are Now Less Dumb, released in July of 2013, and his third book, How Minds Change, all about how people do and do not update their beliefs and attitudes as indiviudals and cultures, will be released by Penguin in 2021. David currently hosts a bi-weekly, top-100 podcast about human judgment and decision-making, and travels around the planet giving lectures on the topics he covers in his books, blog, and podcast. In 2015, David appeared as himself in a national ad campaign for Reebok which he co-wrote. His writing has also been featured in campaigns for Heineken, Duck Tape, and others. He is currently working on a documentary about IQ and genius and a television show about how to better predict the impact of technological disruption.- youarenotsosmart.com- medium.com/@davidmcraney- twitter.com/davidmcraney- davidmcraney.comYou can support the creation of future episodes of this podcast by contributing through Patreon.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
  • Deconstructing Yourself podcast

    Soulmaking Dharma, with Catherine McGee

    49:58

    Host Michael Taft speaks with meditation teacher Catherine McGee about Soulmaking Dharma; her journey into meditation practice; using the word “soul” in a Buddhist context; working with the energy body; connecting with the imaginal in meditation; what sort of person thrives in the Soulmaking Dharma practice; and expanding beauty and sacredness in our lives. CATHERINE McGEE has been teaching Insight Meditation at Gaia House and internationally since 1997. Her teaching emphasises working with perceptions of the body on the path of awakening and in the healing of the individual and collective crises of our times. She is an advisor to One Earth Sangha and a long term student of the Diamond Approach and collaborated with Rob Burbea in shaping and teaching a Soulmaking Dharma. Listen to Catherine McGee on DharmaseedYou can support the creation of future episodes of this podcast by contributing through Patreon.See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

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