Arrive where You Started
Shinzen Young is a well-known and respected teacher of mindfulness, utilizing scientific and mathematical approaches in his teaching. Being exposed to Japanese culture at age 14, Shinzen found a clear path to finding meaning and purpose in his life.
Today I have someone very special on the show, one of the most respected and well-known teachers of mindfulness and meditation. His name is Shinzen Young, and his recent book, The Science of Enlightenment, immediately caught my attention because I've never thought of enlightenment in scientific terms before, and of course what really turned me on to meditation was how neuroscience has captured what happens in the brain. Given that the word enlightenment is even hard for some people to say without feeling they've gone full on new-aged hippy, talking about it more practically, like an everyday occurrence, that can even be measured, well...sign me up!
Shinzen is an intriguing guy, and I wanted to know what makes him tick. Taking this path took root early in life, but also required a powerful sense of curiosity and determination. Come to find out, for Shinzen it also involved feeling a little miserable and anxious trying to fit in to the conventional aspirations of our Western society.
So in this two-part interview, we spend a considerable amount of time exploring the motivations and events that led Shinzen down this path. It is a very personal, honest, and revealing account of his pain, endurance, and the eventual peace of mind he experienced in becoming a Buddhist monk.
We discuss enlightenment, what it means, whether it's important for us to strive for, and how it just might be at the core of our very being. We also dive into meditation techniques we can employ not just in seeking enlightenment, but also to feel a little better in our day to day lives. Shinzen even takes time to evaluate and coach me in part 2 on my own practice, and it sounds like I'm doing pretty well. So enlightenment must be right around the corner!!
To summarize, not only am I speaking with a master-teacher of mindfulness and meditation, I'm talking to someone who feels meaning and purpose in every ounce of his body. When he discovered this path at the young age of 14, he never looked back and knew, without a shred of doubt, this was what he would dedicate his life too. So there's plenty to learn here about life, meaning, purpose and of course, enlightenment that only a master of his trade can teach.
Please welcome my guest today, Shinzen Young.
Thanks for listening,