Why Shinzen Young is My Main Dharma Teacher

In the beginning of this year, 2009, I’ve made a connection to a geeky dharma teacher. Since then I’ve made significant progress in my meditation practice and still going strong. In fact, as a result, I’ve made meditation as an integral part of my lifestyle. I owe a lot of this to my main dharma teacher, Shinzen Young.

Shinzen once said that, “When the teacher is ready, the students appear.” I guess Shinzen is ready for me. For those who are wondering why I picked Shinzen as my main dharma teacher, here’s a welcoming video wherein he summarized the reasons.

Another reason is that I like his geeky approach to the dharma and his unique interactive meditation style. But most importantly, he’s a no non-sense teacher who’s not afraid to talk about enlightenment and his first-hand experience as a “liberated” person (Shinzen never calls himself liberated or enlightened, but I believe him to be, otherwise I won’t pick him as a dharma teacher. but that’s just me.).

Finally, on top of it all, his humility and honesty is disarming and he laughs like a geeky kid.

Most you of who are following this blog, my (hyper)stream, and tweets are probably sick of me pimping out Shinzen. But what can I say? I find tremendous value in his teaching so I’m just paying it forward. I hope you find value in them as well. And if you do find value in them, please pay it forward. It’s good karma 🙂

May you be safe, be healthy, live with ease… and may Happiness be.

P.S. As of this writing more videos of Shinzen Young are being added to his YouTube channel (big thanks to HPK for recording and uploading these videos). There’s also another YouTube channel with Shinzen’s up-close interviews conducted by Stephanie Nash. Collectively, these videos contain all the up-to-date version of Shinzen’s teachings condensed from his four decades of experience. As an example, here’s the technical foundation of Shinzen’s contemporary reworking of the Buddha’s five aggregates – see The Human Sensory (TSSFIT) System.

I’m glad that Shinzen is doing this “brain dump” online so that many more people will benefit from his style of teaching (which in my opinion is the best that I’ve encountered out there). The best part is that, from what I know, whatever Shinzen talks about in those videos are the same things he teaches in his home-based retreats. This means that Shinzen is making his teachings available as “open source”. You don’t have to pay him anyting to get the gist of his teachings. You don’t have to buy any of his books (though I highly recommend The Science of Enlightenment). You don’t have to pay him squat to benefit from his teachings. You can basically just watch all the available videos and implement it in your daily practice. That’s essentially what I’ve done. I have never met Shinzen in person. I have never attended (yet) any of his residential retreats. Yet, I feel that he’s provided me with all the information I need through his free videos. If that is not Open Source Enlightenment, then I don’t know what Open Source Enlightenment is.

Thank you, Shinzen for your teaching, generosity, humility, and openness. May you live long and kick more ass.

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