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 023 –“Lucid Dreaming, Meditation, and Consciousness”– with guest Evan Thompson

      In this episode, philosopher, author, and meditator, Evan Thompson speaks with host Michael Taft. Topics include: the meaning of awakening; lucid dreaming and noticing the construction of the waking state; the 3-fold structure of Awareness, Contents of Awareness, and then Identification with Contents; The cosmopolitanism of Buddhism, and the myth of Buddhist exceptionalism; consciousness hacking and psychedelics; and much more.

      Evan Thompson, PhD, works on the nature of the mind,...



      DY 022 –“Are More People Achieving Stream Entry These Days?”– with guest Culadasa

      In this episode host Michael Taft speaks with meditation teacher, neuroscientist, and author John Yates, also known as Culadasa. Topics covered include: Are more people achieving stream entry these days?, a clear definition of stream entry, the Buddha’s concept of yathābhūtañāṇadassanaṃ or “seeing things as they really are,” reaching a tipping point of stream enterers to avert the coming world disasters, tips for meditation in action, using consciousness hacking an...


       2018-06-11  1h24m

      DY 021 –“Emotions, Stress, and Heartbreak” – with guest Eve Ekman

      In this episode emotions researcher and meditation teacher Eve Ekman speaks with Michael W. Taft about embodied emotions, the difference between suppression and healthy expression, impermanence of sensation and moment by moment contact with emotion, emotion-laden cognitions, HH the Dalai Lama, punk rock and Gilman St., surfing, being nice to cats, th Vagus nerve and kundalini, the epidemic of stress and burnout, modern dystopia,  what to do about stress, struggling with cynicism, the ...


       2018-05-29  1h31m

      DY 020 –“Why Good Teachers Go Bad”– with guest Shinzen Young

      In this special one-year anniversary episode, Shinzen Young talks with host Michael W. Taft about becoming a meditation teacher, de-fucking yourself and others, the unrealistic paradigm about what meditation delivers, Shinzen’s codependency disaster, Bill Hamilton, the great unsung hero of vipassana in the Western world, homology theory, how science can influence meditation in the West, sociopathic teachers, and what we can do to make sure that good teachers don’t go b...


       2018-05-18  1h30m

      DY 019 –“Deconstructing Dependent Arising”– with guest Leigh Brasington

      Leigh Brasington speaks with host Michael W. Taft about Dependent Arising. Dependent Arising, also called Dependent Origination, is a Buddhist theory of reality that is famously complex, arcane, important, and fascinating. In this episode they discuss early Buddhist metaphysics, the four noble truths version of Dependent Arising, the Vedic Hymn of Creation, Leigh’s model of SODAPI (Streams of Dependently Arising Processes Interacting), and how to use the teaching of Dependent...


       2018-04-29  n/a

      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...


       2018-04-15  46m

      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...


       2018-04-02  n/a

      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