February 11, 2009

~C4Chaos's Kind of Kick-Ass Dharma Teacher

~C4Chaos meditating in an exotic spot in Washington state.
I love ~C4Chaos because he jumps into life with extreme passion and extreme compassion. And since he is also extremely brilliant, extremely productive and extremely exuberant [as well as being a hyperWilberian], all the lights in the room I'm in double their brightness when his webpages glow on my monitor.

In his latest blogblast, "The Science of Enlightenment is Paving the Way for the Enlightenment of Science," C4 sings the praises of "The Science of Enlightenment" a 14-disc CD package written by Shinzen Young.

Shinzen Young is a Vipassana meditation teacher, but also a lot else, having emersed himself in Buddhism diciplines other than Theravada, including Shingon and Zen. We also learn from wikipedia, that he has extensively studied and practiced Lakota Sioux Shamanism. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL, FOLKS ... he also is a geeky science-interested fellow, "integrating meditation with scientific paradigms." It says that Shinzen "frequently uses concepts from mathematics as a metaphor to illustrate the abstract concepts of meditation." Hmmm. I'd surely be interested in THAT leap; math to meditation. The calculus of deep non-thought.

Shinzen Young, as pictured at his webspace Meditation in Action.
Anyway, between C4's post and Shinzen Young's main webspace, Meditation in Action, there is lots to be found about the idea of the integration of science and meditation, of the synergy of the Post-modern Age and True Enlightenment. C4 and Shinzen believe, as I must, that only a major uptick in our leaders' thinking and actions [and, thus, necessarily, in the general population, as well] will we be able to thread our way through the dangers and challenges that the testy future holds for us all. And, thus, "tread our way to liberation" using an alloy of ancient and modern wisdom.

Writes C4 in his post,
Shinzen Young's is one the most-sane voices paving the way for the enlightenment of science. Since the publication of The Science of Enlightenment ten years ago [Yep, TSoE was originally issued as a bunch of cassettes 10+ years ago, but was reissued and modestly updated in CD format in 2005.] , there already are promising signs that the cross-fertilization of Western science and Eastern meditative technology have been gathering momentum. One of the leading voices in the field is B. Alan Wallace (a Buddhist practitioner and scientist). See Wallace’s talk at Google: “Towards the First Revolution in the Mind Sciences.” On the more mainstream end, Sam Harris (a neuroscience researcher) is making noises about such integration. See Harris’s essays on the Huffington Post: “A Contemplative Science” and Shambhala Sun: “Killing the Buddha.”
Let me end things by kiping a poem, written by Shinzen, that is currently on the homepage of Meditation in Action. I have to say that the poem is controversial, even to me. Can the Path be so all-encompassing? But, mustn't it be!?:

The Path

If anybody asks you what the Path is about,
It's about generosity.
It's about morality.
It's about concentration.
It's about gaining insight through focused self-observation.
It's about the cultivation of subjective states of compassion
   and love based on insight.
And it's about translating that compassion and love into
   actions in the real world.

UPDATE: In C4's prior post, he has a couple Shinzen viddies and a link to a three-part audio talk with Shinzen at Buddhist Geeks, and MORE.


~C4Chaos said...


your introduction to this post really cracked me up. thanks for making me laugh :)

also, thanks for spreading the word on Shinzen. i hope that more people benefit and groove with his geeky(Buddhist) approach to teaching.

just want to add this. the more recent version of Shinzen's approach, "the 5 Ways", is up at BasicMindfulness.org i recommend that anyone who's interested check out the audio of his interview and all the supporting documents at http://www.basicmindfulness.org/ (reading and audio section).

that's all for now. take care of yourself and godspeed.


P.S. would you please stop using that damn photo of mine. it looks ridiculous :)

Anonymous said...


Are you going to be making any blogisattva nominations and awards this year?


Tom said...

Yes, VT -- but they will be greatly delayed.

I will post a message at the blogisattva webspace as soon as I can.