shinzen young

DY 020 – “Why Good Teachers Go Bad” – with guest Shinzen Young

In by Michael W. Taft2 Comments

DY 020 – “Why Good Teachers Go Bad” – with guest Shinzen Young
Deconstructing Yourself

00:00 / 1:30:35

In this special one-year anniversary episode, Shinzen Young talks with host Michael W. Taft about becoming a meditation teacher, the unrealistic paradigm about what meditation delivers, Shinzen’s codependency disaster, Bill Hamilton, the great unsung hero of vipassana in the Western world, homology theory, how science can influence meditation in the West, sociopathic teachers, and what we can do to make sure that good teachers don’t go bad. Who is a teacher? What’s the family test? These questions and more.

Shinzen Young is an American mindfulness teacher and neuroscience research consultant.His systematic approach to categorizing, adapting and teaching meditation, known as Unified Mindfulness, has resulted in collaborations with Harvard Medical School, Carnegie-Mellon University, and the University of Vermont in the burgeoning field of contemplative neuroscience. You can learn more about Shinzen on his website




  1. The discussion on the master’s ego was great. Definitely not something which gets much attention often. But isn’t the primary problem with having constructive dialog regarding contemplative practice that it is inherently about subjective experience (until neuroscience gets much better)? How do you have informed dialog about something between peers when your red is my blue? Even the Undergraduate vs a Nobel Laureate are on the same “framework” of understanding with the undergrad having put in years of effort in mastering math and science, but getting a similar dialog with vast differences in experience for a non-objectively measurable thing, much less something that can be communicated easily, is pretty tough.

    1. Yes, it’s a tough thing to talk about. That’s why Shinzen said that you might spend a long time just working on the vocabulary to begin talking. Yet it’s still something that’s very worth doing, IMO.

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