354: The Science of Meditation with Shinzen Young

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Shinzen Young

Have you ever had the opportunity to talk with a true master in the realms of mindfulness and meditation? Over the years, I’ve read books and learned from various experts, but none with today’s level of mastery. 

Today’s guest, Shinzen Young, has practiced and taught meditation for over 50 years and is considered to be a true master. He is the co-director of the SEMA (Sonication-Enhanced Mindfulness Acquisition) Lab doing neuroscience research at the University of Arizona, and author of one of the most practical books I’ve ever read on the subject: The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works.

In a conversation I’ve been looking forward to for a long time, Shinzen and I dive deep into what makes a mindfulness practice so valuable, overcoming limiting beliefs and setbacks, and what you should do to make your next practice even better.


  • How to develop the fundamental attention skills that allow us to succeed not just in meditation, but in life.
  • Why it’s so important to establish and maintain goals to have an effective, meaningful, lifelong meditation practice.
  • Why meditation is not the whole story for human happiness – and the negative effects it can have on people. 
  • What happened when Shinzen procrastinated and had to return an advance to a major publisher after failing to deliver his first book. 
  • Why Shinzen recommends you do more of what you’re already doing in your mindfulness practice – and do it better.


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