Episode 176 :: Shinzen Young, Vince Horn, Mark Knickelbine :: Creating Community in the Virtual World

| July 5, 2013 | 0 Comments


Shinzen Young, Vince Horn, and Mark Knickelbine join us to speak about the opportunities and challenges of creating Buddhist virtual community with digital technology.

As Buddhism takes root in the relatively new soil of the Western mind and culture, like other traditions it is encountering modernity. If that wasn’t difficult enough, digital technology opens new doors for teaching and practice, but at what cost? Is Buddhism not just getting reshaped in the process to some unrecognizable form, but are the delivery mechanisms further damaging the dhamma? Or is it providing the nourishment needed for it to flourish in our cultural context?

Shinzen Young

Shinzen Young became fascinated with Asian culture while a teenager in Los Angeles. Later he enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Buddhist Studies at the University of Wisconsin. Eventually, he went to Asia and did extensive training in each of the three major Buddhist traditions: Vajrayana, Zen and Vipassana. Upon returning to the United States, his academic interests shifted to the burgeoning dialogue between Eastern meditation and Western science. Shinzen is known for his innovative “interactive, algorithmic approach” to mindfulness, a system specifically designed for use in pain management, recovery support, and as an adjunct to psychotherapy.


Vince Horn

Vince Horn is a Buddhist Geek and digital innovator. In addition to being an experienced meditation practitioner and teacher, he co-founded the popular media company Buddhist Geeks where he currently serves as Chief Geek. His work focuses on the fusion of nascent technology and contemplative wisdom, and has been featured on the pages of Wired, Fast Company, Tricycle, and the Los Angeles Times. Along with his wife Emily, he makes his home in Boulder, Colorado.


Mark Knickelbine

“Buddhism Without Beliefs” and “The End of Faith” led me Mark Knickelbine to seek out a dharma practice without the religious trappings of Buddhism. He found it at a local health clinic, where he learned mindfulness in the manner of Jon Kabat-Zinn. Mark has continued to study texts from the Pali, Chan, and Zen traditions, and practices with a secular mindfulness group in Madison, Wisconsin. Mark is a writer, editor, political activist, has a masters in English, and as Practice Director for the Secular Buddhist Association, leads our Practice Circle sessions.

So, sit back, relax, and have a nice plain old Earl Grey tea.


Web Links

Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez

The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. The track used in this episode is “Sagariha” from his CD, The Road of Hasekura Tsunenaga: Music for Shakuhachi Flute.

Category: The Secular Buddhist Podcast

Ted Meissner

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

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