Deconstructing Yourself with Michael Taft

Interview summary: Host Michael Taft talks with neuroscientist and meditator Ruben Laukkonen about the phenomenology of the insight experience, how the sequence of deepening meditative practices maps onto the model of predictive processing in the human brain, the Eureka heuristic, what neuroscience can tell us about the deconstructive model of meditation, the science of cessations, and much more. 

Night Club with Andrew Holecek

Of the burgeoning number of great talks that I have watched/heard on awakening, dialogue between science and nonduality, etc., this is the best. Both men are brilliant and eloquent and have vast knowledge. This is the best meeting of minds in terms of the dialogue of science and nonduality I have seen, for both are exceptionally strong in both meditative experience and conceptuality.  


– Professor of Psychology and Perceptual Science

Interview Summary: Join the neuroscientist, contemplative, and poet Ruben Laukkonen on a breathtaking tour of the nature of mind and reality. Why is it so important to know the mind, and how does one do that? What is the role of deconstruction on the meditative path, and how do dreams fit into all this? Exploring Ruben’s seminal work on meditation and the plasticity of the predictive mind, this is a wide-ranging exploration into the science of meditation – both diurnal and nocturnal. Why does crises spark evolution? Why is “chaos extremely good news”? The conversation covers topics like predictive processing, how resting in the present moment is annihilation, the illusion of time and space, naïve realism and noncontextual realism, representationalism, and how the meditative path is death in slow motion. Is it even accurate to talk about “mind,” or is “minds” more appropriate? Is the brain a reducing valve, and how does mind relate to brain? How do dreams help us discover the power of “top down” (vs “bottom up”) processing, and why is it so important to discover all the “forces of the dark side” as embedded (almost literally) in the unconscious mind? Is reality radically relativistic, or does it bottom out somewhere? The conversation turns to what’s left after all the cutting, negating, and deconstructing. Are there wholesome constructs, and how can lucid dreaming help us work with “generation stage” meditation? Ruben shares a remarkable lucid dream, and the implications behind what he has discovered in the dream world. You will quickly see why Dr. Laukkonen is a shining star in the new and exciting field of contemplative science. This is one of the deepest and most comprehensive interviews to date, with a rare liminal being.

Musing mind with Oshan Jarow

Interview Summary: On this episode, I’m joined by Ruben Laukkonen to describe his new model that makes sense of what meditation does to the mind, through the lens of predictive processing. We cover:

  • Predictive processing, meditation, and counterfactual depth
  • How meditation affects precision weighting, leading to changes in phenomenology
  • How deconstructive practices like meditation need guiding frameworks to support reconstruction
  • The differences between meditation and psychedelics
  • How social institutions, like education, might change if we value things like cognitive flexibility


Interview Summary: A exhilarating tour through ‘ideas in the mind’. Where do ideas come from? How do we know if they’re true? In this brief podcast we discuss the nature of insight experiences and how they guide our understanding of what is true.