Apr 20, 2022

The Messy World of Mindfulness w/ Dan Lawton



Dan Lawton is a mindfulness instructor and writer, with a specific interest in the adverse effects of meditation practice. Dan is a certified instructor in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) through Brown University and spent four years teaching meditation in New Orleans.

Dan spent a decade practicing meditation, primarily in the Vipassana and Western Insight traditions and completed roughly 15 silent retreats. He now mentors other meditators struggling with adverse experiences through the organization, Cheetah House. Before teaching meditation, Dan worked as a newspaper reporter in California and Louisiana. He has written about his own adverse experiences from meditation at:


In this first half of their two-part conversation, Dan provides some cultural and historical background on the Vipassana and Western Insight traditions explaining how these practices changed as they reached the west in the 1950s. Dan goes on to share with Rachel the details of experiencing what he calls non-referential terror as a result of intense meditation practice. Together they discuss the findings of Dan's deep examination of the structures that led to his previously inexplicable emotional terror.

Before You Go: Rachel gives insights into the response from the meditation community that Daniel and previous guest Dr. Britton have elicited and explains the relationship between meditation and executive functioning skills in the brain.

More about Dan's work with Cheetah House Here:


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