Create a Shinzen Young DhO section?

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Tarver , modified 12 Years ago at 3/31/12 7:52 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 3/31/12 7:52 AM

Create a Shinzen Young DhO section?

Posts: 262 Join Date: 2/3/10 Recent Posts
I would like it very much if a section were created somewhere on DhO specifically to discuss the practices taught by Shinzen Young.

Shinzen deliberately spans and integrates numerous traditional categories along several axes, most notably Vipassana and Zen. I am finding his approach very pragmatic and accessible, but hard to classify when I go to ask specific questions. Also, as he has introduced a lexicon of specific technical "lingo" within his system, it would be simpler to discuss in a dedicated section.

Searching DhO on "Shinzen" right now turns up 187 results. Not an enormous number, but not an insignificant number either.

To argue against my own point, Shinzen has come out lukewarm at best on the question of the value and quality of the available maps (all of them) and the significance of the Dark Night. To counter this argument, I am one -- and I am sure there are others -- who does see value in maps and considerable practical significance in dealing with the Dark Night, and have turned to Shinzen's teachings because of this, the gestalt of which situation is, I think, exactly in the spirit of DhO as I grok it.

Hard to say what the best place for the section might be... "Third floor: sporting goods, lingerie, Shinzen."
m m a, modified 12 Years ago at 3/31/12 9:36 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 3/31/12 9:34 AM

RE: Create a Shinzen Young DhO section?

Posts: 153 Join Date: 6/9/11 Recent Posts
hi again tarver

I seem to be clicking on all your posts.

 Tarver:

Shinzen deliberately spans and integrates numerous traditional categories along several axes, most notably Vipassana and Zen. I am finding his approach very pragmatic and accessible, but hard to classify when I go to ask specific questions. Also, as he has introduced a lexicon of specific technical "lingo" within his system, it would be simpler to discuss in a dedicated section.

It seems reasonable to introduce a shinzen section, but i want to address two things that stuck with me in your post.

Since you seemed to like my last bit of cliche/canonical advice, I find it apropos to remind you that these are all just fingers point at the same moon. Shinzen's system is not so special as to deviate in any significant way from the kind of things you would encounter in MCTB.

He says 'Hear-In', MCTB encourages to note 'mental thought'
It doesn't matter what we call these things, in essence shinzen IS vippassana. Just because the man trained with zen masters doesn't mean that there's some zen infused vipassana magic.



 Tarver:

To argue against my own point, Shinzen has come out lukewarm at best on the question of the value and quality of the available maps (all of them) and the significance of the Dark Night. To counter this argument, I am one -- and I am sure there are others -- who does see value in maps and considerable practical significance in dealing with the Dark Night, and have turned to Shinzen's teachings because of this, the gestalt of which situation is, I think, exactly in the spirit of DhO as I grok it.


Shinzen is kind of lukewarm on everything. He talks slowly, considers heavily and shows great interest in people and topics in everyday conversation, but he will not decry or laud anything deeply. I think the true value in his system is the incredibly simple instructions that avoid using everyday english words that could perhaps lead to over-analysis (and yet, here we are nonetheless overanalyzing).

I think you're over-invested in the differences between shinzen and whatever. In this light, I suppose I recommend that you reconsider your interest in moving posts about shinzen. It really is basic and true vippassana practice.

Shinzen keeps it simple.
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Tarver , modified 12 Years ago at 4/2/12 9:02 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 4/2/12 9:02 AM

RE: Create a Shinzen Young DhO section?

Posts: 262 Join Date: 2/3/10 Recent Posts
m m a:
Shinzen keeps it simple.


That he does, sort of. Once the system is grasped, it is simple. I imagine that some people look at it and balk at memorizing a dozen (or few dozen) items of technical vocabulary, because they don't associate the encapsulation of complexity with simplicity.

It does matter what we call these things.

Look, I have been trying to learn noting for months using MCTB, DhO, Mahasi manuals, retreat time, and every link I could follow doing this essentially full time, and frankly thrashing. I kept thinking maybe my concentration wasn't strong enough, so back up and do that for a while. Maybe others can look at those instructions and just "get it", but I was struggling. One month with Shinzen's structure, and I am sailing. The irony is that I am re-reading MCTB in light of that, and it is making more sense than ever. I can't tell how much is just me practicing more (of anything) and just getting better, and exactly how much is timing, and how much is Shinzen's system freeing me to actually do vipassana. All of the above, probably.

Also, Shinzen's 5 Ways is more encompassing than just vipassana. Do Nothing is an analog of Mahamudra/Dzogchen, whereas Focus on Positive is a kind of updated jhana practice, with aspects of metta, depending on how it is slanted. Various combinations and options allow one to practice vipassana in either essentially U Ba Khin or Mahasi style, for example, but very quickly and fluidly zeroing in on (or back out of) whichever variant is most effective for a given practitioner at a given time. Yes, one can say that this or that slice is like this or that other practice (or entire tradition) but the whole system has a generality and coherence unlike any other I have yet encountered.

So, obviously I am a fan, but I don't think I am over-analyzing or over-invested. On the contrary, I think I am being pragmatic. If the Goenka approach worked for me (by which I mean that I could with a modicum of motivation and sustained effort actually do it off-retreat) then I would have stuck with that. If I could have read MCTB and, as recommended, followed up a few of the sources like Mahasi in particular, and found a practice that I could do, I would have done that. Once I get good at this I might well be able to drop back into, say, a Goenka-style practice for a while, but that feels to me like worlds apart from "marrying" a tradition like that and assiduously avoiding any cross-contamination of "other techniques" which is an aspect of the Goenka tradition that I would like to un-bundle from the actual technique. Another way of looking at it is that I am doing exactly what MCTB suggests, and figuring out what works for me.

Upon reflection, it seems to me that Shinzen's system articulates protocols that facilitate the implementation of exactly the kind of pragmatic flexibility that is recommended, for example, in the hierarchy of vipassana practice thread, but the implication there is that the practitioner kind of assembles their own toolkit from exposure to various approaches. In contrast, the 5 Ways offers a toolkit that aims to be adequately comprehensive by design from the get-go.

The catch is, the technical vocabulary.

Maybe I will run into the converse problem at the Shinzen retreat I am hoping to attend: maybe nobody will know what I mean if I use words like "reobservation."

Whatever, it's all good. At the highest levels of practice, apparently, all this discussion fades away and one just holds up a flower and smiles. I'm not quite there yet.

P.S. There is no need to move posts; all I am suggesting is to set aside a corner where I wouldn't have to explain what I mean by Feel-Image-Talk when asking future technical questions.
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 12 Years ago at 4/2/12 11:46 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 4/2/12 11:45 AM

RE: Create a Shinzen Young DhO section?

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
m m a: thank you for these points. I also went through a "shinzen" phase and recommended a few of his talks. However, he is teaching and I see no reason to elevate/isolate his teaching more than others.

Tarver: it could be interesting to make a dedicated thread. I would just caution that what is expected to result (perhaps something along the lines of a thread of pleasing resource) may not result; its antithesis may result: criticisms, unpleasing and legitimate attention to specific talks/words. I am not saying, "don't do it"; I am saying, "the result may not actually be (as) pleasing as it seems now." (And that kind of all-encompassing dialogue can be very insightful, develop wisdom).
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 12 Years ago at 4/3/12 12:28 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 4/3/12 12:28 AM

RE: Create a Shinzen Young DhO section?

Posts: 3275 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Sure, why not? A Shinzen section: fiat section! And there was section...
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 12 Years ago at 4/3/12 12:30 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 4/3/12 12:30 AM

RE: Create a Shinzen Young DhO section?

Posts: 3275 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Want to have a wiki section on Shinzen's stuff? If you know it, care to create it? I'll give you permission there if you wish...
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Tarver , modified 12 Years ago at 4/3/12 7:36 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 4/3/12 7:36 AM

RE: Create a Shinzen Young DhO section?

Posts: 262 Join Date: 2/3/10 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:
Want to have a wiki section on Shinzen's stuff? If you know it, care to create it? I'll give you permission there if you wish...


Sure, thanks. More than that: yes please, I would love to help with that.

I am a relative newcomer to Shinzen's stuff, but I am getting up to speed pretty quickly. Last night I buttonholed a friend who casually asked about meditation, and didn't let him get away until I had explained the Shinzen-eze classificatory vocabulary for sensory experience. I am just in the process of making arrangements to get to a Shinzen retreat, and I have my eye on the facilitator training, whatever that consists of. Now that I've told the world my secret plan, I guess I am going to have to go through with it...
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Tarver , modified 12 Years ago at 4/3/12 7:29 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 4/3/12 7:29 AM

RE: Create a Shinzen Young DhO section?

Posts: 262 Join Date: 2/3/10 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:
Sure, why not? A Shinzen section: fiat section! And there was section...

That rocks! Thanks! There is already a post there this morning. emoticon

You know, I was trying to remember the spell for creating sections, going through all my spell books, trying to channel Harry Potter... "Fiat section!" Of course... how silly of me to forget.

Thanks again.

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