All posts tagged: Michael Taft

Can You Make Friends with Entropy?

By Michael W. Taft // One time as a little kid, I burned my hand on a hot stove. My mom gave me a towel with ice cubes in it to hold. Tears poured down my cheeks as I sobbed. I remember looking at my palm, which was extremely painful, and thinking, “Why me?” Suffering is an integral part of being alive. Nobody likes it. We’d all want to get completely rid of it if we could. As I said, suffering is just the way it is. But why? Why is suffering such a central aspect of our lived experience? In short: entropy. The universe is entropic, meaning that all things fall into disorder and decay eventually. Life in the universe does just the opposite, however. The physicist Erwin Schrödinger famously described life as an anti-entropic system—that is it creates order within itself. But eventually, each life, too, must succumb to the travails of entropy. We age and grow old, and this is the result of entropy. We die and our bodies decay, which is also …

Michael W. Taft

5 Reasons Your Mindfulness Practice Has Stalled & How to Reboot It

By Michael W. Taft // It happened to me, and it’s happened to many people I know. You have learned to sit still and follow your breath. You can directly contact the reality of the present moment. You can go deep. The power of meditation practice has made itself manifest, you’ve experienced real benefit, and it’s given you a significant edge on life. But year after year, you’re practice is not developing any further. You’re not gaining new insights and it’s not engendering new and positive behaviors anymore. The wind has gone out of your sails, and you’re in the doldrums. This is the definition of being “stuck in a good place.” Don’t get me wrong: it’s much better than not having a meditation practice at all, but now you’re treading water. If you don’t change something at this point, you’ll probably remain trapped on this plateau for a very long time, even the rest of your life. I’ve seen it happen to lots of people. I’ve taught meditation to thousands of people, and in my …

Follow the Threads — Mindful Awakening

By Michael W. Taft // Mille viae ducunt homines per saecula Romam When I started meditating in my teens, I believed in Enlightenment. I was going to get to the Big E, which involved having certain mind-blowing experiences. You’d see the Light, or God would open her kimono, or whatever, and after that you’d glow in the dark. I was super enthusiastic and worked really hard to do whatever I believed it took have those experiences. Months in caves in India. Pilgrimages to rivers, glaciers, and to the tops of mountains. Celibacy. Studying at the feet of masters wreathed in garlands of flowers. Mostly lots and lots of meditation. This setup for an article usually now transitions into saying that all that was a waste, and that Awakening is always available in every moment without any of that stuff. But that’s not at all how I would describe what I’ve found. Instead, I feel like, Yes, awakening is available in every moment, especially if you’ve done lots and lots of meditation. Even all those rituals, …