Deconstructing Yourself
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, Vajrayana, nondual Hindu Tantra, 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.
Jhanas, Technology, and Tradition with Stephen Zerfas
Host Michael Taft speaks with entrepreneur and meditator Stephen Zerfas on using technology to potentially enhance the learning of the jhanas, Zerfas’ background in meditation and jhana practice, and the vision of scaling adoption of the jhanas on a global scale.
May 1
41 min
Embodying the 21 Taras with Chandra Easton.
Host Michael Taft speaks with meditation teacher Chandra Easton about her new book Embodying Tara: 21 Manifestations to Awaken Your Innate Wisdom, the background of Green Tara, why there are 21 different manifestations, the inspirations for the book. Chandra's lifelong relationship with Green Tara, and we take an especially deep dive into manifestation number thirteen, the so-callled "Demolition Tara."
Mar 5
52 min
Can You Learn Meditation from an AI? - with Shinzen Young
Host Michael Taft talks with teacher Shinzen Young about Shinzen's decades-long dream of computer-based meditation instruction, his current creation of a rule-based, expert system based on Artificial Intelligence, the upcoming major upheavals in science and culture that AI will bring, the problems inherent in AI, and Shinzen's most positive vision for the future.
Feb 6
1 hr
A Conversation with Jeffrey Kripal
Host Michael Taft speaks with author and professor Jeffrey Kripal about his early aspiration to be a Benedictine monk, the prophetic dimensions of the humanities, the sudden conversion, or "flip," into a weirder worldview experienced by some materialist scientists, the phenomena of UFOs, alien abduction, altered states, Philip K. Dick, and how most breakthroughs into mysticism occur through trauma.
Jan 22
49 min
Transgression with Erik Davis
Host Michael Taft speaks with author and journalist Erik Davis about the power of partaking in the forbidden and the loss when formerly forbidden things become normalized, particularly in the case of psychedelics; Tantric and Christian modes of transgression, power relationships and the guru, hedonism, rule-breaking, the desire for having safe spiritual practice environments, and the role of risk in spiritual development.
Dec 31, 2023
1 hr 9 min
A Conversation with Sam Harris
Host Michael Taft speaks with author, philosopher, and neuroscientist Sam Harris about aspects of meditation, the fusion of vipassana and nondual practice as the “gold standard” for practitioners, insights into selflessness through mindfulness and concentration,The distinction between moment-to-moment experiences and peak experiences, personal experiences with MDMA and psilocybin, the role of psychedelics in initiating spiritual introspection, concerns about the misuse of psychedelics and potential pitfalls, and more.
Dec 2, 2023
1 hr 1 min
The Power of the Imaginal with Stephen Aizenstat
Host Michael Taft talks with “Boss Jungian of Planet Earth” Stephen Aizenstat about diving into the depths of our authentic creativity, finding purpose in the imaginal, the perils and promise of AI with regards to the human imagination, and asks the question: is working with the imagination simply a narcissistic bourgeois indulgence in this time of unprecedented worldwide existential peril, or might the imaginal actually be a source of our salvation?
Nov 4, 2023
1 hr 7 min
Nondual Love with A. H. Almaas
Host Michael Taft speaks with teacher, author, and founder of the Diamond Approach to Self-Realization A. H. Almaas on the topic of Nondual Love, the qualities of awareness itself, the five dimensions of our fundamental nature, the differences between individual love and nondual love, the importance of being human, and how to know yourself as a “boundless ocean of nectar.”
Oct 30, 2023
46 min
Tantra and Embodied Awakening with Christopher Wallis.
Host Michael W. Taft speaks with Tantra scholar and teacher Christopher Wallis about the word “enlightenment” in English and the words in Sanskrit it is typically the translation for; the differences between awakening and liberation; karma, samskara, and the deep unconscious; Shiva-oriented practice and the importance of including Shakti, the teachings of Abhinavagupta, and the centrality of embodied awakening.
Sep 29, 2023
53 min
Reverse Meditation with Andrew Holecek
Join host Michael Taft as he speaks with meditation teacher and author Andrew Holecek about “reverse meditation,” the Mahamudra-based practice of using difficult experiences as the focus of our meditation, how this moves us through our perceived limits and allows us to recognize the perfection of the moment, and allows us to make any situation a profound and excellent meditation.
Aug 23, 2023
48 min
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