#37: Daniel Ingram, M.D. - Meditation Mastery, Pragmatism & COVID-19

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Daniel Ingram, M.D. is a meditation master (and self-described Arahant, meaning one who has fully awakened) with decades of experience training and teaching around the world.

Daniel wrote Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha: An Unusually Hardcore Dharma Book, widely regarded as one of the most complete meditation books ever written. In this book, Daniel lays out in very rational terms the exact series of steps that can lead to the profound transformations that he has attained. He also criticizes current western meditation as often “hiding the ball”� about awakening and being too caught up in psychological material, rather than practical training.

An emergency room physician, Daniel co-founded the Practical Dharma Movement, with the objective of “stripping away dogma and unhelpful taboos, having people share with others in ways that are down-to-earth, helpful, and pragmatic, and the vision that it can be done, rather than a dharma world that is mysterious, artificially hierarchical, dogmatic, and secretive.” When secular meditation is more mainstream and developed in the West, Daniel will someday be appreciated as a true genius when it comes to training and understanding the mind.

In this episode, we discuss what it feels like to be in this awakened or self-actualized mental state, what's feasible for an everyday meditator in terms of meditation progress, more effortless Dzogchen and Mahamudra techniques, the evolution of meditation teaching, how to pragmatically navigate a meditation world that's full of dogma, and neuroscience studies being done at Harvard on Daniel's brain.

If you're thrown off by the Buddhist terms that get thrown around in this episode, you can think of Buddhism as a meditation system for training the mind. In fact, we talk about the different frameworks for pragmatically understanding the mind in this podcast interview.

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