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Insights from neuroscience, non-dual mindfulness, and psychedelics to upgrade your awareness. For gigs or just to chat, get me at michaelpwriting@gmail.com.

Consciousness, Mindfulness, Neuroscience, Psychedelics.

Author

My 5 Best Stories:

What I Learned About Self-Care From 2 Grams Of Psilocybin

‘Waking Up’ Is The Most Important Book I’ve Read

Something Awaits On The Other Side Of Meditation

How Microdosing Psilocybin Detaches Your Ego And Reveals Your Peace

How To Handle Stress Like A Dzogchen Master Handles Panic

What I Write About

Our minds are all we have. They’re the filter through which we receive our reality. The thread of the cosmic fabric we’ll inhabit until the day we don’t.

It’s integral to a good life that our minds are pleasant places to be. Mental clarity shapes life quality.

But the fitness of our minds…


Don’t let dopamine distract you from processing pain.

Tumisu from Pixabay

I used to be bearish on platforms like Tinder. But since my ex dumped my single ass, my sentiment’s more mixed.

Tinder’s many things. On one hand, it’s objectification manifest — an online sushi belt with some dishes in high demand and others left to spoil.

But on the other, it’s a welcome digital space where you can meet people — even the love of your life — whom you’d never otherwise meet. During the Covid-19 era, especially, such digital spaces are more than welcome; they’re necessary.

But, as with other social media platforms, the prospect of an addiction to…


Satisfaction lies in giving up the search.

RENE RAUSCHENBERGER from Pixabay

Awareness is clear, calm, and open. And it’s with you, accessible, right now. It underlies your mind and underpins the tone of your world. If you can awaken to it, you’ll find relief from suffering, overthinking, and anxiety.

There are methods that help you shift from the small, darting, thinking mind to wide-open awareness. And while stabilizing that awareness can take time, making the shift doesn’t. It’s about asking the right questions.

Loch Kelly, in Shift Into Freedom, provides such questions. In his book, he provides a series of “glimpses”: practical exercises to raise your awareness. …


Or: advice on what to expect from your first psychedelic trip.

Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Many rank a psychedelic trip as one of their most significant experiences of all time. My own trips were no exception — islands of powerful meaning in the ocean of routine life. There’s a reason for it.

Imagine you lived in a small town your whole life. You knew nothing beyond it. You knew the same people, did the same things, and followed the same patterns, every day.

Now, imagine strapping to a rocket and circling the entire world in 80 minutes. Consider the explosion of consciousness this would produce, as you came to grips with:

  • how narrow your world…


2 concepts for effective meditation.

Photo by Isabell Winter on Unsplash

Open awareness is a beautiful thing. It’ll relieve your heartbreak. It’ll clarify your thinking. It’ll make you a more authentic and loving person. It’ll make you honest. It’ll bring you peace.

But how to actually do it? Not from the outside, but from the inside?

Okay, so you’ve sat down to meditate. You’ve closed your eyes or left them open. You take a few deep breaths to relax. Now what?

If you’re following a guided meditation, you’re probably instructed to “become aware of what you notice”. You’re told to ‘let go’ of all efforts.

But what does this mean? You’re…


The light shines brightest in the darkest of night.

Reimund Bertrams from Pixabay

In suffering is the opportunity for inner achievement. In guilt is the potential for self-improvement. And in death is the meaning of life.

In the finale of Man’s Search For Meaning, Victor Frankl makes the case for a ‘Tragic Optimism’: one which finds a home even in the neighborhood of great tragedy.

His account is compelling. So much so, I thought it’d be valuable to share it here, with an audience invested in living a profound life, from a clear mind, while facing reality for exactly what it is.

By Frankl’s account, each of the greatest tragedies of life —…


Proved by Victor Frankl in the worst of worlds.

Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Pursue meaning, cleanse your mind.

We all live between the four walls of our minds. It’s where Victor Frankl lived for 3 years as his body moved through four concentration camps during World War 2.

I’m reading Frankl’s Man’s Search For Meaning at the moment. It speaks to the resilience a human being can have under even extreme conditions. Because external conditions don’t determine a person’s resilience. Something inside does.

The difference between those who survived and those who perished in concentration camps was found in prisoners’ states of mind. Indeed, as goes Frankl’s favorite quote:

“He who has a…


No, but it’ll help.

AD_Images from Pixabay

Mindfulness can’t cure heartbreak. That, you do the old-fashioned way: by prioritizing self-care, adopting new habits, and cutting contact with she who once had your heart.

But, when you’re dumped and it feels like someone died, will mindfulness help? When you’re tumbled in wave upon wave of sadness, will awareness bring calm?

It’s been two days now since my girlfriend broke up with me. I’ve tumbled. I’ve felt a loss beyond anything I thought possible. And yet, I think the answer to these questions is yes. Mindfulness helps. Here’s how.

Pain and Awareness

I sat on the driveway of my apartment block, in…


It’s one disgusting pie-eating competition

Repeller

I’m just gonna say it: pie-eating contests are disgusting.

Maybe I missed something, but the idea of sticking my face in a pie to out-gorge the competition just doesn’t appeal.

There must be something to it, though. Wikipedia says there’s been a World Pie Eating Championships in England since 1992. And hilariously,

“in December 2007, in the competition, entries included a competitor’s dog, Charlie, who ate twenty pies and damaged a further ten the night before the competition, nearly jeopardizing the event.”)

Now, what’s the reward system in a pie-eating contest? What’s the incentive structure? There are two overriding principles:


Two stories from the Cape Town fire of 18 April 2021 to restore hope, in humanity and yourself.

Daniel Zuflucht from Pixabay

The fire crept closer as we rushed to Olli’s house. We needed to pack his valuables and return to my flat, and we were racing flames a block away to do it.

I had a friend on the mountain. My girlfriend was hurriedly packing her stuff as she prepared to evacuate to my place. There were many to worry for, many to help.

On the morning of Sunday, 18 April 2021, a fire broke out on the mountain slopes in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. By midday, it reached the University. …

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