Deconstructing Yourself: Non-Dualism, Neuroscience, and Meditation

Michael W. Taft

June 12–17, 2020

Tuition $350 + 5 nights

Note: This program has been cancelled for 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Please see updates about SMC’s response to the pandemic here.

When we release belief in the ego, we release our suffering as well—an insight which is the essence of liberation. Experience the wisdom of this truth directly as Michael W. Taft guides you in meditation techniques for carefully revealing the constructed nature of selfhood. Consisting of guided meditations, dharma talks, and Q&A sessions, as well as time for individual practice and reflection, this silent retreat is both powerful and rejuvenating. Each retreatant will have the opportunity to discuss their practice 1:1 with Michael. Backing up these traditional practices with insights from neuroscience and psychology, nondualism, and Buddhist wisdom, you will learn the methods of what Michael calls “deconstructing yourself.”

Retreat Objectives
  • Learn specific techniques for pointing out and uncovering the constructed nature of self
  • Understand traditional teachings on no-self, as well as modern neuroscientific viewpoints
  • Learn to contact nondual awareness, the “natural mind”
  • Benefiting from personal guidance in meditation practice
  • A powerful weekend of deep practice, peacefulness, and community


Practices to share:


  • Mindfulness
  • Nondual Awareness
  • Mahamudra-inspired meditations

Note: students should be able to sit still in meditation for one hour.


Proposed Schedule:


First Friday Night:
6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Dinner
7:30 – 8:00 p.m. SMC Orientation
8:00 – 9:30 p.m. Program

Daily Schedule:
5:00- 5:45 a.m.  Silent Meditation
6:00- 6:45 a.m.  Silent Meditation
7:00 – 7:30 a.m.  Silent Meditation
7:30 – 9:00 a.m.  Breakfast
9:30 – 12:30 p.m.  Teaching, Q&A
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.  Lunch
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.  Free time/Silent Meditation
3:30 – 6:30 p.m.  Teaching, Q&A
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.  Dinner
7:45 – 9:00 p.m.  Teaching, Q&A
9:05 – 10:00 p.m.  Silent Meditation

Final Wednesday Day:
7:30 – 8:30 a.m.  Breakfast
9:00 a.m.  Lodging Checkout
9:30 – 12:30 p.m.  Program
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.  Lunch
1:30 p.m.  Departure

Michael W. Taft

Michael W. Taft is a meditation teacher and bestselling author. As a mindfulness coach, he specializes in secular, science-based mindfulness training in groups, corporate settings, and one-on-one sessions. Michael is the author of several books, including the bestselling The Mindful Geek, and Nondualism, as well as the founding editor of the popular blog “Deconstructing Yourself.”

Program Details

Registration takes place from 2– 5 pm on your program start date. All participants and volunteer staff must check in at our Guest Registration house. Please arrive before 5 pm to check in and settle into your accommodations. Your program begins with dinner, followed by an orientation. The Guest Registration house closes at 5 pm after which no one is available to provide information or orient you to your accommodations. All programs usually end at 12:30 pm on the program's departure date, followed by lunch. Further specifics regarding your program's schedule will be available upon arrival. If applicable, you will receive an email from the program coordinator in the week prior to your program with any additional information you may need.