The Archaeology of the Self
Robert A. Schmidt, Ph.D., Meditation Teacher and Archaeologist
Original Date: Thursday, April 14, 2011

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Living with ourselves day after day, we naturally assume that we know ourselves, until something fractures this assumption. Perhaps strong words come out of our mouths that we had vowed never to speak, or we act in ways we had "forever" repudiated. At such moments, the heart and mind crack open a little. Into that opening we can wedge the spiritual truism that the Self we thought we knew is an elaborate, gripping illusion. It's a constantly evolving story we tell ourselves, but the illusion is far more than just a story told in words, because the illusion is supported by non-discursive mechanisms within the body and the heart. Within this tectonically unstable inner landscape, we can seek what is reliable only through relentless interrogation of the evidence of personal experience. But what questions ought we ask, and how should we ask them? Archaeology provides a guide. Archaeologists make inferences about the lives of people in the past by examining the material remains produced by their behaviors. In the same way, the spiritual seeker makes inferences about invisible aspects of the makeup of the Self through examination of the contents of consciousness of the body, mind and heart. Join us for a practical introduction to the art and science of the Archaeology of the Self.

Robert A. Schmidt, Ph.D., has practiced to embody and teach Tayu meditation since 1977. He received apprentice and master-level training in the alchemical transformation of human consciousness from Tayu Meditation Center founder Robert Daniel Ennis. He has also been a practicing anthropological archaeologist at the University of California, where he co-edited the award-winning Archaeologies of Sexuality, the first anthology of archaeological research to focus upon sexual behavior in the past as an object of knowledge.

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