Shinzen Young is one of my two top Buddhist teachers (along with the inimitable Gil Fronsdal). It was Shinzen’s vision of the Buddha Way that first got me interested in Buddhism in 1989 (!), and his teachings are still, to this day, the most compelling and resonant vision of the Dharma for me out of all that I have encountered. Much of what I teach in my meditation class (techniques, theories, and analogies) comes directly from Shinzen’s teachings. I have joked with him that, after a took lay ordination in the Soto Zen lineage, I secretly realized to myself that I am actually not a Soto Zen Buddhist, and I am not a Zen Buddhist, I am even not a Buddhist full stop – I am a Shinzen Young-ist.
I consider him a genius and an inspiration, and I love his heart. He’s a former physics professor and non-dually philosophical. He works into his lectures high-level information from physics, mathematics, neurobiology, history, anthropology, linguistics, psychology, poetry and literature, and all the world’s religions. He is also the most precise technique-oriented Buddhist teacher, alive or otherwise, that I know.
I am excited to, in a couple weeks, go and sit my sixth seven-day meditation retreat with him.
These are two excellent interviews with Shinzen that I read recently. If you check them our and are interested in learning more about his Dharma teaching, you can check out his video lectures here or here, and some of his written articles here.