Psilocybin isn’t some ‘happy drug’. It doesn’t heal neuroses, change life-paths, and cure addictions because it makes people feel good. Rather, it’s a vehicle of ego-disruption. The calm mind, open heart, and clear awareness produced by psilocybin are symptoms of ego-detachment.
And this means openness, calm, and clarity are your pre-existing conditions. They’re how you actually are before the ego attaches and becomes your world.
Last week, I microdosed psilocybin, meaning I kicked off my day with a tenth of a ‘hallucinogenic’ dose — about 0.2 grams.
And, as in the past, I experienced emotional openness, mental calm, and crisp…
You’re living two lives right now. One’s real, the other is made up. Yet most people take their made-up lives more seriously than reality. They don’t see that the world they thought was a drama is actually a comedy — a game.
If you contain the paradox of the double life, you see the game. If you see the game, you can play. And nothing’s better for freedom and stress-relief than playing the age of life.
There are two types of characters in any video game — playable characters (PCs) and non-playable characters (NPCs).
A playable character is one you control. You decide what it does in the game, where it goes, and the choices it makes. You code its responses to the world in real-time.
An NPC is a piece of code. It has no ability to decide its response to what happens to it. All it can do is react according to its programming.
Humans think of themselves as PCs. You think you act out rational goals when, really, you just react to the…
Soon after his birth to a small village at the border of Tibet and Nepal, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche began to meditate.
His lessons commenced when he was nine. His father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (the great master who taught Sam Harris), taught Mingyur the fundamentals of Dzogchen and Mahamudra.
Far in the future, at an event in 2019, Tulku’s students met to have a live conversation. Even listening to the audio, you can sense Mingyur’s joy. He is relaxed, wide open, and seemingly untouched by negative emotion.
Yet he wasn’t born like that. Mingyur began meditating so early because, as a…
Rowing is a sport that requires relaxation, focus, and heightened awareness to go fast. It looks easy for eight oarsmen to keep perfectly in sync, but the opposite is true. It takes years of training the body and mind to create the synchronicity you see in that video.
Maintaining a smooth, powerful, yet relaxed stroke for 12 non-stop miles is a challenge that, more than a strong body, requires a focused mind.
So, back when I was still rowing seriously, I’d focus hard on producing the technically perfect stroke. My attention was narrow, my effort intense, my fatigue high.
Yesterday, a buddy and I crashed a rowing boat worth $17,000 head-on into a sailor. We’d borrowed the boat from a school rowing club run by a friend, and it wasn’t insured for collisions of this kind. Shit-Show.
I’ve crashed boats before, and when we crashed yesterday was grim as ever. The consequences are dire. A boat I don’t own is out of action because of me and the repair is going to cost a lot of money.
But my reaction to the crash was calm — so calm even I was surprised. And I wasn’t calm because I didn’t…
To be a narcissist is to have an inflated sense of self-importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.
The imagination need not stretch to see that narcissism is unhelpful. If you’re narcissistic, you won’t connect with others, since vulnerability — not self-absorption— fuels relationships. You’ll push people away, miss social and professional opportunities, and live an isolated life devoid of anything deeper than your own self-obsession.
That’s a recipe for discontent. …
It lasted only a minute before the dream devoured me once again. It happened last night, as I meditated:
I woke up.
It snuck up on me — in one sudden moment, I was pure awareness and completely without thought. It was the most profound experience in recent memory.
Imagine being dead drunk, taking a pill, and getting instantly sober. Consider the sudden difference in clarity you’d feel snapping out of drunken haziness into clear sobriety. Think of that first clear moment afterward — the clarity, calmness, and focus you’d experience in that instant. Now, remove any distracting thoughts.
Boredom gets a bad rep. We hate it more than some tortures. Indeed, we see it as torture itself.
But what about boredom makes us flee it so? What drives us to distraction and escape? What explains the constant scrolling and email-checking that shields us from boredom’s grasp?
Here’s a theory:
When we’re bored, a specific part of the brain’s hardware is switched on. It’s called the Default Mode Network (DMN), made up of the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Medial Parietal Cortex.
The point of meditation is to learn to check into awareness at any moment. This is what you do when you close your eyes and watch your breath. You check into awareness in a quiet, peaceful environment. It calms and clears.
Yet the same ‘check-in’ can calm and clear any part of your routine — driving, walking, eating. You can punctuate moments of the day with bursts of awareness. This is to live ‘spiritually’. It’s simple, it’s sublime, and it’s better living.
Mindfulness and secular spirituality for personal growth.