Deconstructing Yourself

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



DY 012 –“Consciousness, Spirituality, and Intellectual Honesty”– with guest Thomas Metzinger

Thomas Metzinger and I 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 and virtual reality, mortality denial, the simulation hypothesis, and a whole bunch more.

Thomas Metzinger is full professor and director of the theoretical philosophy group and the research group on neuroethics/neurophilosophy at the d...



DY 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 both ancient spiritual teachings and modern depth psychology theories. Almaas has authored eighteen books about spiritual realization, including the Diamond Heart series, The Pearl Beyond Price, The Void, The Unfolding...



DY 010 –“Attention, Awareness, and the Great Adventure”– with guest Culadasa

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 neuroscience, traditional Buddhist practice, and Culadasa’s own ideas about how to gt the most out of practice. In this episode we talk about his definitions of attention and awareness, how his system compares to that of his friend teacher Shinzen Young, how the meditative br...



DY 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. In this episode Jud and I talk about his brain biofeedback machine, the neurophenomonolgy of effort vs. non-effort, the feedback loop of reward-based learning, working with the black hole of anxiety, self-referential thinking as a kind of addiction, and much more.

Judson Brewer is an...



DY 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 and visionary experiences, Daniel’s wizarding worldview, and much more. We also discuss the second edition of his classic work Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, as well as his new book on the Fire Kasina.

Daniel Ing...



DY 007 –“Enlightenment’s Evil Twin”– with guest Shinzen Young

In this session, host Michael W. Taft and meditation teacher and neuroscience consultant Shinzen Young talk about what mindfulness teachers are getting wrong, Shinzen’s Periodic Table of Happiness Elements, informed consent for awakening, effective strategies for dealing with the Dark Night of the Soul, and the phenomenon that Shinzen calls “Enlightenment’s Evil Twin.” Learn more about Shinzen Young at Also read his new book, entitled,...



DY 006 –“Pattern and Nebulosity”– with guest David Chapman

In this episode I talk with scientist, programmer, and author David Chapman about metarationality, emptiness and form, nihilism, tantrism, dzogchen, Kegan’s stages of development applied to meditation, vampire romance novels, and the importance of being able to switch reality tunnels.

David Chapman is a writer, computer scientist, engineer, and Buddhist practitioner. He’s been practicing Vajrayana Buddhism in the Aro Ter tradition for 20 years. David is a leading proponent o...



DY 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 sense of experimentation, the Great Unbundling of the Dharma, ways the mindfulness and awareness practices complement each other—which is turning out to be something of a theme on the show lately—, the perhaps greatly exaggerated reports of ...



DY 004 –“Feather Light & Paper Thin”– with guest Shinzen Young

In this session, host Michael W. Taft and meditation teacher Shinzen Young 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 relates to focusing on awareness itself, micro-sessions & nano-nirvanas, the thinness and lightness of the screen of awareness and much more. Learn more about Shinzen Young at

Show Notes



DY 003 –“Masters of Oblivion”– with guest Kenneth Folk

In this session, we 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 Folk is an instructor of meditation who has received worldwide acknowledgement for his innovative approach to secular Buddhist meditation. Learn more about him and his work at Kenneth Folk Dharma.

Show Notes

0:25 – Introduction and overview
2:20 – Pre...