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 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 experience of being held, digging into illusory egoic material, and how to see your own blind spots.

      Kelly Boys is a consultant with the United Nations Foundation where she helped to create and works to deliver a mindfulness...



      DY 017 –“Popping the Bubble of Projection”– with guest Daniel Ingram

      Michael W. Taft and Daniel Ingram talk 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.

      Daniel Ingram is an emergency medicine physician and long-time dharma practitioner. He famously exploded the Buddhist world when he declared himself to be an arhat and published the seminal text Mastering the Core Teachings of the...



      DY 016 –“Standing at the Edge” with guest Roshi Joan Halifax

      In this episode I speak with Roshi Joan Halifax 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, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care. She is Founder, Abbot, and Head Teacher of Upaya Institute and Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A Founding Teacher of the Zen Peacemaker Order and ...


       2018-03-15  48m

      DY 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 of attention, why Buddhist aggressiveness is not an oxymoron, and, of course, ewoks.

      Rick Hanson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times...


       2018-03-01  1h48m

      DY 014 –“Diving Deep into the Jhanas” with guest Leigh Brasington

      Michael W. Taft talks with concentration master Leigh Brasington 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 states, how the jhanas relate to vipassana practice, ways to work through major challenges that may arise, the so-called “powers” that are often attributed to concentration practice, and much more.

      Leigh Brasington...


       2018-02-05  1h19m

      DY 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 meditative way to work with “love drugs,” and much more.

      Jessica Graham is a spiritual teacher, sex and intimacy guide, and author. Jessica began studying meditating in earnest a decade ago and started teaching soon ...


       2018-01-22  1h5m

      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 ...


       2017-12-29  1h33m

      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...


       2017-12-14  1h18m

      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 med...


       2017-12-04  1h8m

      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...


       2017-10-25  1h9m