Presented by Shinzen Young. The purpose of this talk is threefold: (1) to describe how senior adepts use mindfulness to reduce suffering and gain insight into selfhood and emotions. (2) To point out how the method they use in many ways parallels what scientists do when confronted with a complex and inscrutable system in nature. (3) To discuss how this fundamental parallelism between the two endeavors can become the basis for a productive collaboration in the future.
Bio: Shinzen Young became fascinated with Asian culture while a teenager in Los Angeles. Later he enrolled in the 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 meditative traditions: Vajrayana, Zen, and Vipassana. Upon returning to the United States, his intellectual interests shifted to the burgeoning dialogue between Eastern internal science and Western technological science. In recognition of his original contributions to that dialogue, the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology has awarded him an honorary doctorate. Shinzen’s innovative techniques for pain management derived from two sources: The first is his personal experience dealing with discomfort during intense periods of meditation in Asia, and during shamanic ceremonies with tribal cultures. The second is some three decades of experience in coaching people through a wide spectrum of chronic and acute pain challenges. Shinzen leads meditation retreats in the mindfulness tradition throughout North America, and has helped establish several centers and programs.