In this latest addition to the Metadharma series, Vince Horn is joined by Michael W. Taft to explore the (meta)reasoning around Metadharma. Why do we need another Dharma? What does Metadharma respond to that Modern and Postmodern forms of Dharma haven’t? What do we need to jettison in order for a genuine Metadharma to emerge? And how does Metadharma relate to the very real social crises we face, including the ecological emergency, runaway capitalism, an over-dependence on rationality, growing racial resentments, and systems of oppression?
This is part 1 of a 2-part podcast series. Continue listening to the 2nd half of this discussion on Michael’s podcast Deconstructing Yourself: 🎧 Why Metadharma?, Part 2, with Vincent Horn
📅 Metadharma Daylong Retreat in San Francisco on 8/24/19 w/ Michael Taft & Vincent Horn
🎧 Kosmic Consciousness by Ken Wilber
📖 "The Science of Enlightenment” by Shinzen Young
📄 The Crumbling Buddhist Consensus: Overview by David Chapman
📖 “American Dharma” by Ann Gleig
🔗 Death Sangha with Michael Taft
📺 What Are the Four Quadrants? by Ken Wilber
📖 “Syntheism: Creating God in the Internet Age” by Alexander Bard & Jan Soderqvist
📖 "The Mindful Geek: Mindfulness Meditation for Secular Skeptics” by Michael Taft
"Climate change", as a term, no longer captures the real danger that climate scientists say that we as a species, along with our fellow creatures, face today. Already the impacts of climate change have turned into a genuine ecological crisis. A growing group of people are asking out loud, if the recent string of dire government-backed climate reports are too conservative to accurately describe the real dangers ahead of us. What if, in fact, we are on the fast track toward both an ecological & civilizational collapse, and it's already too late? What would it mean to practice dharma in "the spectre of collapse?"
Vince Horn is joined in this episode by a former team member of Buddhist Geeks, current monastic resident at the Monastic Academy, and host of the Emerge podcast, Daniel Thorson to discuss the dharma of collapse.
“It’s collapsing into certainty, in any case, that’s the real danger here, because then we foreclose on all kinds of possibilities and opportunities that we won’t see because we think we know what’s going on.” - Daniel Thorson
“If it’s true, everything needs to change. And if we can be uncertain about it then we can play with how things might change, in order so that it doesn’t have the worst impacts we fear it might.” - Daniel Thorson
“I wonder to what degree the spectre of collapse will be a kind of strange attractor that will pull people out of this deconstructive habit, into realizing that we need to make something that works, for the sake of our lives, for our children’s lives, for the sake of life on earth.” - Daniel Thorson
“The world is ending, but at least I can breathe through it.” - Vince Horn
“There are a lot of people and communities who are trying to retreat instead of retrieve.” - Vince Horn
📖 "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha" by Daniel Ingram
📖 "American Dharma" by Ann Gleig
📖 “The Listening Society” by Hanzi Freinacht
🎧 Dr. Jem Bendell - The Meaning and Joy of Inevitable Social Collapse
📄 Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy by Jem Bendell
🎧 Max Borders - The Coming Social Singularity
🎧 Zak Stein - A Metaphysics of Love for a Time Between Worlds
📖 “Education in a Time Between Worlds” by Zachary Stein
📄 From Western Marxism to Western Buddhism by Slavoj Žižek
🎧 Buddhism Unbundled by Vince Horn
📖 “Metamodern Leadership” by James Surwillo
🎧 Bonnitta Roy - A Source Code Analysis of Power
In this deep dive into the emerging territory of American Dharma, scholar-practitioner Ann Gleig joins with Buddhist Geeks host Vince Horn to explore a plurality of perspectives, some overlooked and marginalized, some debated for millennia. Over 2 hours of deep dialogical podcasting, Ann & Vince explore the larger territory of postmodernism in relation to American Dharma from multiple philosophical vantages, including the ‘post secular’, the ‘postcolonial’, and also in this conversation the ‘metamodern.’
"It can be challenging to mediate closeness with critique.” - Ann Gleig
“Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Evolving.” - David Loy
“In a way there’s no way around it, you kind of have to do the hard confrontational work of practice.” - Ann Gleig
📖 "American Dharma: Buddhism Beyond Modernity" by Ann Gleig
🎙 Metadharma: Set & Setting by Vince Horn
📄 Enlightenments Beyond the Enlightenment by David Chapman
📺 From Buddhist Hippies to Buddhist Geeks by Ann Gleig
📖 "Immunity to Change" by Robert Kegan
📄 "The Fourth Turning" by Ken Wilber
📄 "The Way of Tenderness" by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel
📄 Spiritual Bypassing: An Interview with John Welwood
📖 "Nonduality: In Buddhism and Beyond” by David Loy
📖 “Tripping with Allah” by Michael Muhammad Knight
In this episode Vince Horn kicks-off a new series on Buddhist Geeks on "Metadharma." Sharing his journey from working with integral philosopher Ken Wilber in the early aughts, to deconstructing grand metanarratives with inquiry meditation and developmental psychology, to returning back to a metaphilosophical orientation in recent years.
This series, on Metadharma, will explore the ways that the three jewels of the Buddhist contemplative tradition, the Buddha, Dharma, & Sangha, may be understood in light of the emergence of a Integral/Metamodern orientation.
"It's totally within the history of this Buddhist dharma tradition to transcend Buddhist dharma, to go meta on it." - Vince Horn
"Yet, we do we need to adapt, we do need to change, we can't just pull something out from the past and assume that we can make Buddhism great again." - Vince Horn
"What can happen if we make ourselves the middle way? What bridge might we become? And what does the world need from us right now?" - Vince Horn
📖 "Immunity to Change" by Robert Kegan
📖 "The Postmodern Condition" by Jean-Francois Lyotard
📖 "American Dharma" by Ann Gleig
📄 The mindfulness crisis and the end of Consensus Buddhism by David Chapman
📖 "The Birth of Insight" by Erik Braun
📺 The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
🎧 The Dharma of Collapse with Daniel Thorson
🔗 Metamodernist Manifesto by Luke Turner
In this episode, Vince Horn is joined by Kathryn "Kati" Devaney, one of the founders of the newly formed student-led sangha, SF Dharma Collective. In addition to being practitioner, and community organizer, Kati is also a neuroscience researcher who has specialized on studying human visual attention. In this discussion Kati describes the origin story of the SF Dharma Collective and talks about what makes it an entirely new kind of sangha-experiment.
A short note from Vince: After visiting the SF Dharma Collective in October 2018, where I met Kati, and offering a short teaching in their beautiful space in the Mission District, I knew it'd be fun to explore this new community-led model. It feels like an emergent form of community, and I love how their groping with questions about how to self-organize, and create healthier forms of community. I hope you enjoy learning more about this nascent project!
A note from the members of the collective: The SF Dharma Collective seeks to build a student-led sangha with you! If you’re in San Francisco come by for a morning silent sit, an evening guided sit and Q&A (almost every night at 7:30pm) or for sutra study on Sunday evenings. We are an all-volunteer student collective, and you can volunteer with us - host a sit, propose an event, or sit in on a Monday meeting. If you’re not in SF, you can livestream Michael Taft’s Thursday night sits on his youtube channel, and follow along for more on our twitter, facebook and instagram pages. We seek to make the dharma accessible to everyone, regardless of background, financial status, or prior experience. Come sit with us.
In this episode Ryan Oelke speaks with Judith Blackstone, a teacher in the contemporary fields of nondual realization and spiritual, relational, and somatic psychotherapy, about her new book, “Trauma and the Unbound Body: The Healing Power of Fundamental Consciousness”. They chat about the connection between embodiment, nondual realization, and healing, and how all three help deepen one other.
Ryan & Judith also discuss what fundamental consciousness is, how to attune to it in, the difference between being aware of our bodies and living in and as our bodies, and what it’s like shift from a top-down experience of ourselves, to living directly within the space of our bodies. They also explore how to heal and release patterns of constriction held in the body, so that we can allow ourselves to more deeply inhabit our physical experience, release the grip on ourselves, so that we have a more fluid experience of life.
“The more we let go of the protective constrictions throughout our body, the more we open to and realize ourselves as the disentangled ground of fundamental consciousness.” - Judith Blackstone
“Interdependence does not eradicate individuation, individuation does not eradicate interdependence.” - Judith Blackstone
I had the great delight of speaking with Oren Jay Sofer, just as he was fresh off a month-long silent retreat. The timing couldn't be better, as the bulk of what we discussed relates to silent retreat culture, both its strengths and limitations.
We ended up discussing communication and social practice quite a bit as well, including touching on some of the practices that he teaches in his new book, "Say What you Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication." I've known Oren now for a several years, through my wife Emily, and my respect for him as a teacher and human being continues to grow. I hope you enjoy our conversation on the limits of retreat culture.
What is the future of consciousness hacking? Organic molecules, blinky machines, good old fashioned meditation, or some combination of them all?
In this episode, recorded live in San Francisco on October 24th 2018, Michael Taft of Deconstructing Yourself, Vincent Horn of Buddhist Geeks, and host Mikey Siegel of Consciousness Hacking discuss the possibilities, the challenges, and the many ways forward in the transformation of human consciousness.
Audience dialogue and questions took center stage in this event, so you'll hear plenty of back-and-forth between the presenters and the audience on psychedelics, technology, and the future of meditation.
Watch the full video version here: https://youtu.be/4oE6UxGmQog
In this episode I'm joined in dialogue by David Gold to explore the path of Love. David shares the story of meeting his beloved, Juli Reeves, and how their meeting kicked off a process of being disrupted by Love. Listen in as we inquiry into Love, Life, Trust, Emergence, & Evolution.
This is part 2 of a two-part series.
“Whatever stands in the way of me loving her more, may it be removed.” - David Gold
“I will not have another God before Love. I don’t know what Gods will appear in Love, or reappear through Love, but I am not going to sacrifice Love.” - David Gold
“You can’t force yourself to trust life, but you can embrace life.” - David Gold
“The truth of life’s trustworthiness is revealing itself.” - David Gold
"If samsaric logic is 'if this than that' nirvanic logic is 'just this'." - Vincent Horn
“The practices arise from primordial wisdom rather than leading to it.” - Vincent Horn
"The vipassana master whose just sitting there noticing what is, is also loving what is." - Vincent Horn
Episode Links:🔗 Love Disruptors (David & Juli's Site)
During this episode I'm joined by an old friend and mentor, David Gold, to discuss, as he puts it, his "evolution from a non-teacher to a non-teacher." We talk about our shared history, going back to my time as college student at NC State, where he was a facilitator of the Self-Knowledge Symposium. He also shares his history with American mystic, Richard Rose, and with the fallen guru, Andrew Cohen. He shares the learnings that were borne out of working with those teachers, and the way that his path has opened into "a love unimaginable."
This is part 1 of a 2-part series.
“I decided I was going to stick around until I figured out how this man [Richard Rose] did what he did, and I was going to learn his tricks and go take it out into the world and make a lot of money with it, or whatever. Instead, I feel in love with the truth.” - David Gold
“The radical equality of unimaginable love is so intrinsic, so natural, and so liberating.” - David Gold
“When the truth and you and your deepest desires line up to be one thing that’s pretty much as close to heaven-on-earth as I could possibly imagine.” - David Gold
Episode Links:🔗 Love Disruptors (David’s Teaching Site) 🔗 Richard Rose 📖 “After the Absolute” by David Gold 🔗 Andrew Cohen
In this episode I'm joined by my old friend and colleague, Rohan Gunatillake. Rohan is the founder of Mindfulness Everywhere, a creative studio combining meditation, technology, & design. Mindfulness Everywhere is perhaps best known for it's popular meditation app buddhify, and for it's innovative-indie approach to developing digital mindfulness products.
In this conversation we talk about the importance of making mindfulness accessible, about the discontinuous changes that have happened to mindfulness as it enters a capitalist-based system, two different ways to scale mindfulness, Rohan's Designing Mindfulness manifesto, buddhify's new social meditation feature Transmission, and "the missing middle" of mindfulness between the for- and non-profit sectors.
“Meditation, mindfulness, Buddhism has always changed. It’s a history of innovation, from the Buddha’s awakening onward.” - Rohan Gunatillake
“Mindfulness & meditation has become a content business, as opposed to a wisdom business.” - Rohan Gunatillake
Episode Links:🔗Mindfulness Everywhere 📱buddhify📖"Modern Mindfulness" by Rohan Gunatillake🔗The Blogisattva Awards 🔗Designing Mindfulness 📱Headspace 🔗Center for Humane Technology 📰Why Transmission Matters 🔗Become a Buddhify Member 📰The First Alexa Board Game is Both Fun and Terrifying 🔗Siempo: Use your phone, not the other way around📰Google and the Rise of ‘Digital Well-Being’ 📰The Second Generation of Mindfulness
I discovered Christoper Vitale's writing after doing a google search on the "philosophy of networks." At the time I had recently started doing the Buddhist Geeks podcast again and had formulated a new tagline for the project: Dharma in the Age of the Network. I wanted to dive deeper into what networks are, not in a specific sense (of say a "computer network"), but in more general & philosophical terms.
What I discovered in Chris' writing was a clear philosophy of networks, and a generalized way to under what is common among all networks. I was also somewhat shocked to find that he had studied Buddhist philosophy in Nepal and had several articles on his personal site about dharma & networks!
In this episode, which was originally a prep call, we explore the very interesting relationship between Buddhist philosophy & networks, and discuss some of the topics related to his Networkologies project. Look for more from Christopher on Buddhist Geeks soon!
“All the binaries start coming down when you start thinking in terms of networks, because there’s nothing binary about a network, nothing dualist.” - Christopher Vitale
“Consciousness is just what happens when really complicated matter feels itself from the inside. That’s what a brain is.” - Christopher Vitale
Episode Links:📖"Networkologies" : A Philosophy of Networks for a Hyperconnected Age📰Buddhism Beyond Buddhism : Reimagining Tibetan Buddhism as Virtual Praxis for the Networked Age🔗The Santa Fe Institute🔗Pratītyasamutpāda ('interconnectedness')🔗Madhyamaka🔗Graph theory🔗Panpsychism🔗Sreedevi Bringi
In this episode I was joined by my dharma friend Lama Karma. During our time together we explored his time in Peru, using the native plant medicine ayahuasca. He said he couldn't help but relate to his experience through the lens of his vajrayana training, and shares some of how he makes sense of the experiences he had while using ayahuasca ceremonially.
We also get into a heart-felt conversation about Lama Karma's teacher, Lama Norlha, who recently passed away and who at the very end of his life was embroiled in a controversial storm with his community regarding widespread allegations of sexual misconduct. Karma shares his experience of being at the center of that storm, torn by paradox.
"For me it was this simultaneity of insanity and openness.” - Lama Karma
episode links:Milarepa Retreat CenterShanghai KagyuAyahuasca Lama Norlha Rinpoche, founding abbot of Kagyu Thubten Chöling, dies at age 79
This episode comes from a live event on "Waking Up with Psychedelics" that occurred in Los Angeles, co-hosted by InsightLA. I was joined in this dialogue by Trudy Goodman, Spring Washam, & Dr. Charles Grob. Ram Dass joined us at the end of this dialogue, and his talk is on available for Buddhist Geeks Patrons as a bonus episode.
"An untrained mind may go into panic, but a mind that's steeped in wisdom can start to say, 'Oh, this is the teaching right here.'" - Spring Washam
"It's a practice to be able to let the conventional self just dissolve into the not yet known." - Trudy Goodman
"Isn't it remarkable how we ingest plants in order to learn how to be human." - Ralph Metzner
Episode Links:Psilocybin: A Crash Course in Mindfulness with Dr. Roland GriffithsThe Utter Perfection of Everything with Trudy GoodmanCollective Wisdom Rising with Spring Washam"A Fierce Heart" by Spring Washam"Be Here Now" by Ram DassLotus & Vine JourneysEast Bay Meditation CenterMultidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)Ecstasy as a Remedy for PTSD? Your Probably Have Some Questions."Island" by Aldous Huxley
I’m joined in this raw & intimate conversation by meditation teacher & author Spring Washam, as we discuss the integration of Buddhist contemplative practice with the Peruvian plant medicine ayahuasca. We begin with Springs dharma journey and the way that silent practice no longer served her deeper healing journey, and how the ultimately brought her to the jungles of Peru. I share parallels on my path of working with psilocybin and healing ancestral trauma, and we go into how a deeper collective healing process underlies each of our personal journeys. Spring shares an interesting perspective on how these “medicines of the earth" can be understood as collective wisdom rising from nature itself at a crucial point in our time on this planet.
“For me insight and healing are one and the same.” - Spring Washam
“I think a big part of what we are unpacking collectively is our ancestral suffering, our community suffering, our collective karma.” - Spring Washam
“Yes, our lineages are alive! Your great-great-grandparents are alive in you.” - Spring Washam
Episode Links:🔗 Spring Washam📖 A Fierce Heart: Finding Strength, Courage, and Wisdom in Any Moment🔗 East Bay Meditation Center🔗 Lotus Vine Journeys
I don’t want to over-hype this episode too much, but listening back over it today and preparing these notes, I was left feeling that this was perhaps the most intimate, raw, & profound conversation I’ve had throughout the Meditating on Psychedelics series so far. It might have something to do with the fact that my guest is Trudy Goodman, who is also one of my teachers. My wife Emily & I had the great honor of being authorized to teach by Trudy last year, at her center InsightLA, where we lived for a short time so that we could train more closely with her.
I always describe Trudy as a living koan, because she demonstrates the teachings, lives the teachings, and in those moments of living them simply IS the teaching. Seeing someone be the teachings of kindness, wisdom, & generosity, as you've probably experienced, is much more impactful than hearing people talk about them. In Zen they call this, when it’s voiced through words, the difference between “live words” and “dead words.” I hope you enjoy these live words from one of my most favorite people in the world.
“Why do I have to be stoned to have this experience? This should be an experience that we can just have, we’re human beings, we have this capacity.” - Trudy Goodman
“I learned from all of those experiences, and yet the experiences themselves don’t exactly help you so much afterwards. I stopped doing them because I didn’t like the feeling of being kicked out of the garden of eden over and over again.” - Trudy Goodman
“What is it that brings us into a more committed engagement with the mystery?” - Vincent Horn
“Meditating can help the mystical experience, or the opening, that people have on psychedelics become not just a state, an experience that is after all only a memory, but can help make those insights and awakenings present in our everyday life.” - Trudy Goodman
“We ask our students to be vulnerable. And I don’t think we should ask our students to be doing things we aren’t doing.” - Trudy Goodman
Episode Links:Trudy GoodmanInsightLA“In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts” by Gabor MateRam DassMeditating on Mushrooms with Roland Griffiths"Psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience in combination with meditation and other spiritual practices produces enduring positive changes in psychological functioning and in trait measures of prosocial attitudes and behaviors”“Leopard Warrior: A Journey into the African Teachings of Ancestry, Instinct, and Dreams” by John LockleyThe 4 Unmentionables: Sex. Money, Power & Race Series Father Greg BoyleTristan HarrisCenter for Humane Technology Filter bubbles
On this episode I had the great pleasure of speaking with Buddhist teacher, Zen priest, anthropologist, and pioneer in the field of end-of-life care, Roshi Joan Halifax. One of my previous guests, Raghu Markus, recommended I speak with her as part of the Meditating on Psychedelics series, and so that's where the conversation began.
I think it's fair to say that by the end of our discussion it had expanded out quite a bit to include broader questions about the relationship between contemplation & action, and how the Mahayana emphasis on bodhicitta requires that we integrate our understanding with contemporary issues, of which psychedelics is just one.
"I wouldn't say that I'm ambivalent with regards to hallucinogens, I'd say I'm discerning." - Roshi Joan Halifax
"I have a lot of respect for entheogens. I have more respect for my mind." - Roshi Joan Halifax
"I want to live in a country that loves our children, more than they love our drugs." - Roshi Joan Halifax
Episode LinksUpaya Institute and Zen CenterBe Here Now FoundationMeditating on Mushrooms w/ Roland GriffithsBodhicittaStanislav Grof"The Human Encounter with Death" by Stanislav Grof & Joan HalifaxWilliam Richards on ErowidThe Dependent Co-Arising of Psychedelics & Meditation by Vanja PalmersJohn Dunne on Language and Non-Duality
In this episode I'm joined by one of my favorite productivity writers, Tiago Forte. Tiago is part of a new generation of productivity thinkers, whose exploring new ways of working in the digital age. I've found his writing both refreshing and insightful, and when I discovered that he also has a serious interest in meditation & spirituality I knew I'd have to invite him onto Buddhist Geeks.
The first part of our dialogue explores Tiago's background and work, and then we get into the relationship between network thinking, productivity paradigms, and different types of meditation.
"You can't understand a paradigm from within it." - Tiago Forte
"What we can borrow from, network metaphors, telecommunications, the theory of constraints, mindfulness & meditation, to make the way the world is going into an opportunity instead of a threat?" - Tiago Forte
Episode LinksTiago Forte (https://www.fortelabs.co)"The Untethered Soul" by Michael Singer"Design Your Work" by Tiago ForteBuilding a Second BrainRibbonFarm : experiments in refactored perceptionThe Throughput of Learning by Tiago ForteFrom Multitasking to Multiplexing by Tiago ForteThe Rise of the Full-Stack Freelancer by Tiago Forte"Networkologies" by Christopher Vitale"Deep Work" by Cal NewportMetcalfe's law
In this episode we speak with meditation teacher & author Michael Taft about his experience of meditating on LSD. Michael describes himself as someone who has likely done more LSD than anyone you've ever known, while also being a hardcore meditator, a skilled teacher, and one of the more high-functioning & well integrated adults that you're likely to meet.
In addition to discussing the potential dangers and downsides of using LSD, Michael also shares his unique experience of the 3 characteristics of the LSD experience, Impermanence, Suchness, & Meta-Rationality, each of which mirror what can be found through Buddhist meditative training.
"For this stuff to be powerful it has to be powerful." - Michael Taft
"It's like opening a door in your mind you did not know is there." - George Harrison
🔗 Deconstructing Yourself (Michael's Website & Podcast)
📖 "The Mindful Geek" by Michael Taft
📖 "Cosmic Trigger" by Robert Anton Wilson
📖 "Dharma Bums" by Jack Kerouac
📖 "The Doors of Perception" by Aldous Huxley
This week we speak with Albert Grabb, an LA-based radiologist & meditator, who was one of the 1st legal participants in a Johns Hopkins study of seasoned meditators using psilocybin (aka "magic mushrooms").