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.

Comments (9)

  1. NellaLou wrote::

    Your summation includes all the reasons I could come up with too. There’s just such a basic sensibleness about what he says. There’s no hoopla and hype and also no false modesty about where he’s at. Just straight on. That appeals and is a bit of a relief.

    Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 1:02 am #
  2. c4chaos wrote::


    thanks for backing me up there 🙂


    Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 1:04 am #
  3. okir wrote::

    Great videos! Over the last month or so, I’ve been coming to pretty much the same conclusion. Even though I haven’t met him personally, his teachings have really begun to feel “right” for me in a way no other teacher has.

    Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 1:57 am #
  4. Diana wrote::


    I found your blog a couple of months back and it was YOU who introduced me to Shinzen and his work. I fell in love with your blog instantly,and want you to know that I am tremendously grateful for you sharing your experiences with Shinzen’s work. If “pimping him out” is what you’re doing than by all means, please continue to pimp away!

    Everyone once in awhile I come across a blog that bestows many gifts…yours is deffinitely one of them. I’ve been developing my own meditation practice even more now that I have found Shinzen–attending his retreats and doing my twice daily practice diving into the five ways.

    I especially appreciate recently when you wrote about combining a sitting practice with lying down. I was challenged in sitting for longer than 45 minutes (mostly due to physical discomfort) but I now too have begun sitting for 45mins and then moving directly into a lyind down posture for another 45.

    You are a blessing and a tremendously powerful resource for me…Thank you! And keep pimping away!

    Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 1:32 pm #
  5. c4chaos wrote::


    thank you, the pleasure is mine 🙂


    Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 1:43 pm #
  6. Diana wrote::

    I’m just starting the Focus on Positive Prt. 2 retreat right now! WOO HOO!!!!!!

    Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 1:58 pm #
  7. Mumon wrote::


    Not bad. I have been meaning to post something on my blog curmudgeonly about “spiritual beings” and what-not, but haven’t had a chance yet.

    But I think that guy can help people, and help is what people need to get through this life.

    Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 11:51 am #
  8. girasol wrote::

    I like this guy, Shinzen Young. Gets right to the point. I just watched about 12 of his videos and found them very useful and inspiring. Thanks for the tip (followed you here from OpenEnlightenment…)

    Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 8:03 pm #
  9. Eric Normand wrote::

    I just discovered Shinzen Young. Thanks for collecting all of these resources here. I’ll geek out on them all day!

    Monday, January 11, 2010 at 8:33 am #

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  1. […] belief system. I like Shinzen Young’s work, anyway, for a lot of the same reasons C4Chaos expresses. He also strikes me as geeky in a very good […]