Shinzen Young joins us to speak about meditation, pain relief, and science.
We encounter this practice in so many ways. Often through suffering. Sometimes through disciplines like the martial arts, or from an interest in fixing some issues we’re having with concentration. And sometimes, we come to it through a fascination with a culture that holds more interest to us than the one into which we’ve been born.
However we get here, it’s what we do with this teaching that allows it to truly come to fruition. That path may be particularly religious, or not. It may even be a fairly secular approach, but taking new expression within the context of a traditional framework. Things are not always as they seem; we should continue to question, and we should consider that our first impressions may not always prove to be quite as constrained as our minds may be.
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. He leads meditation retreats throughout North America and has helped establish numerous mindfulness centers and programs. He also consults widely on meditation-related research, in both the clinical and the basic science domains. Special thanks to Emily Barrett from the Home Practice Program for her help in coordinating today’s interview.
So, sit back, relax, and have a nice vanilla frappuccino.
“If you can’t be disciplined, be clever.” — Shinzen Young
Music for This Episode
Chikuzen Shakuhachi Series
The music heard in the middle of the podcast is from the Chikuzen Shakuhachi Series, Volume 1, courtesy of Tai Hei Shakuhachi. The tracks used in this episode are:
- Track 6 :: Esashi Oiwake