Meet Shinzen Young, a long-time instructor of mindfulness, author of The Science of Enlightenment, and now co-director of the “Science Enhanced Mindful Awareness” or “SEMA” Lab at the University of Arizona. Shinzen is Jeff’s OG meditation teacher. He is both a scholar of comparative mysticism, and a highly creative designer of strange and beautiful (and practical) meditation techniques.
In this episode, instead of trying to banish thoughts, we drop into a "global unfixated state," and allow creative images and words and associations to spontaneously unfold. Both Shinzen’s exposition and his guided practice are quite precise – so much so that Tasha kind of bristles against them, which makes for a lively discussion afterwards. But if you’re patient, and able to trust what Shinzen is pointing to, it can lead to genuine insight. Thinking can shift from something rigid and constrained, to something more free-flowing and intuitive and even wise.
This matters. For Shinzen, the best of humanity comes through via our creativity and intuition. In his words, we can train ourselves to “let nature take over.” Shinzen himself demonstrates this at the end, when he comes apart during an emotional discussion of Japanese Noh theater. Much good stuff on the “deep mind,” subconscious processing, and the better angels of our nature.
So: here we go … like “seaweed in a tide poodle”!
Shinzen’s website: https://www.shinzen.org/His YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/expandcontractHis original “Science of Enlightenment” audio series from the 90s. In Jeff’s opinion, this series – NOT his more recent book of the same title – is one of the smartest things ever created on the subject of meditation.Shinzen’s “Unified Mindfulness” training program: https://unifiedmindfulness.com/His “Science Enhanced Mindful Awareness” Sema Lab at the University of Arizona: https://semalab.arizona.edu/Support the show