Blog Posts

Yoga, Jung and the Journey through the Self — Why Do I Practice Yoga?

“Yoga is the journey of the Self, Through the Self, To the Self.” –The Bhagavad Gita Why do I practice yoga? It’s a question to which I regularly return, less out of a sense of doubt than from a desire to clarify my intentions. We’ll never reach our destination if we’re unsure of what we’re...

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Lost Connections: How our Modern Lifestyle is Undermining our Physical & Mental Health

Recently I’ve read two books that have compelled me think to about the idea of “tribalism” is a very different way: Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression: and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari and Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastien Junger Tribalism is a word that usually carries negative connotations and not without good...

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The Morning Routine that Keeps Me Calm & Centered throughout the Day

I’m a big believer in the power of routines, especially a well structured morning routine that’s adapted to your lifestyle and temperament. As someone who’s not naturally high in orderliness routines are particularly important to give structure and coherence to my life: physically and psychologically. The following morning routine, including breakfast, usually takes 2-3 hours....

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What I’ve learned from Maps of Meaning: a course by Dr. Jordan Peterson

Over the last month I’ve been watching a series of lectures entitled “Maps of Meaning,” which is the title of both a book and a university course delivered by psychology Professor Jordan Peterson. These lectures were for a course that Peterson taught at the University of Toronto. I’ll share my thoughts on the lecture I...

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How Jordan Peterson and Bret Weinstein have changed the way that I think about human behavior

Jordan Peterson and Bret Weinstein are two renegade college professors who are making a splash in larger discussions of interest to many modern, Western societies, from challenges to free speech to what evolutionary biology can teach us about human behavior. This latter point is of direct consequences to the topics that I’d like to explore...

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The Power of Right Intention and Radical Acceptance

Right Intention and radical acceptance are two of the most important qualities of living a life filled with great purpose and inner peace. However, if we want to find happiness we have to hack our biology because we’re not hardwired for happiness: we’re hardwired for survival. Modern scientific breakthroughs from fields such as positive psychology...

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Religious Devotion for Skeptics

Religious Devotion for Skeptics  For many years I harbored serious qualims with organized religion. In all honesty, I still do. But when I moved to Thailand in 2010 I began to study various Eastern religions, particularly Buddhism, which has had an incredibly positive impact on my life and which helped me to view religion in...

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Announcement: Changing the Name to Hacking the Self

 I’m sure some of you have already noticed that the name of the website and podcast recently changed from Hacking Consciousness to Hacking the Self. I’m writing this post to explain the reasons for the change of the name.   The main impetus for the name change was to avoid confusion with the organization, Consciousness...

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Altered Traits, Not Altered States

This post was inspired by my conversation with Dax DeFranco, co-founder of the Altered Conference in Berlin, Germany. This year’s theme for the conference is: “Altered States, Crisis, and Opportunity.” In thinking about how the three aspects of the conferences’ presentations might come together–altered state experiences, conscious practices, culture and society–I wrote the following piece....

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Ayahuasca: Divine Doorway or Augmented Reality?

Image Source: Alex Grey Since participating in my first Ayahuasca retreat in Peru in May I keep returning to a simple question: What exactly is Ayahuasca? Is it truly a “plant teacher?” What does that even mean? Is it a plant with consciousness? Is it a spirit? In other words: does Ayahuasca grant us access...

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Unleashing the Scream

Image source: “The Scream,” by Edvard Munch, 1893. In my previous post “The War on Drugs is a War on All of Us” I talked about how the drug war has reached a new low: it designates veterans as criminals for the crime of seeking alternative, natural solutions, such as Cannabis and Ayahuasca, to the...

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The War on Drugs is a War on All of Us

On the podcast this week Ian Benouis shared with us the power of plant medicines such as Cannabis, Ayahuasca, Ibogaine, and 5MEO-DMT to heal PTSD and other traumas. These plant medicines are literally providing a lifeline for some veterans returning home from war, many of whom find the predictable, pharmaceutical solutions to PTSD and depression...

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How we breathe and how we feel are deeply interconnected

In the first podcast episode of the Hacking Consciousness, founder of Yoga Elements Adrian Cox spoke about the power of pranayama (breath control exercises) for entering into expanded states of consciousness. As he put it in our conversation:  “Pranayama truly is the gateway to higher yoga and by yoga I mean expanded consciousness. It is the...

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