Shinzen Young is an American meditation teacher and neuroscience research consultant.
His systematic approach to categorizing meditation has resulted in collaborations with Harvard Medical School, Carnegie-Mellon University, the University of New Mexico and other prestigious institutions. As a teacher, he’s known for his interactive and algorithmic approach, which helps his students overcome challenges and take advantage of opportunities in their meditation practice.
After majoring in Asian languages at UCLA, Shinzen entered a PhD program in Buddhist Studies at the University of Wisconsin. As a part of his thesis research, he lived as a Shingon (Japanese Vajrayana) monk for three years at Mount Koya, Japan. It was then that he received the name Shinzen (真善).
Also during that time, he became friends with Father William Johnston (author of Christian Zen). Fr. Johnston helped broaden Shinzen’s interests to include comparative world mysticism and the scientific study of meditative states. Upon returning to the United States, Shinzen’s academic interests shifted to the dialogue between Eastern meditation and Western science.
Shinzen is the author of The Science of Enlightenment, Natural Pain Relief, and numerous audio offerings. Shinzen leads residential retreats throughout North America and the world.
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