“The ultimate personal goal of meditation is to achieve happiness independent of conditions.”
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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Hal Elrod: Shinzen, it is such a pleasure to finally connect with you face-to-face.
Shinzen Young: Yes. Thanks so much. I am totally looking forward to this.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. I say, of course, virtually face-to-face. We have a couple of people in common, Julianna Raye, who has been on the podcast I think twice now and she's worked with you for how long, by the way, you and Julianna?
Shinzen Young: Oh, a long, long time. Decades actually.
Hal Elrod: One of your star students, right? Star pupils if you will.
Shinzen Young: I have many students that I am proud of and she's right up there. She's taken my ideas. I'm more of an idea guy, kind of big picture guy, and she's more of an implementer but also very, very deeply intelligent. So, it's been a great match with her.
Hal Elrod: Beautiful. Beautiful. Yeah. She is the founder of Unified Mindfulness and she's been a mentor of mine and been at our live events. Then the other is Brianna Greenspan.
Shinzen Young: Yes.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. You know Brianna. So, both of them recommend that, "You've got to have Shinzen on the podcast,” and it was before they got the Zen out of their mouth from Shinzen, I said, “Yes. Yeah, please, let's make this happen.” Because I got your book, The Science of Enlightenment, right when it came out and it is arguably my favorite book on meditation because, for me, I like practicality but really you combine the science of meditation and the science of enlightenment with really practical application and that's what I love about it. Why did it take you so long to write that book, by the way? That's your first book, yeah?
Shinzen Young: Well, thereby hangs a very interesting tale. So, I like to think of meditation, mindfulness, contemplative practice, I tend to use those words synonymously. Some people distinguish but generically, these kinds of practices can be summarized with the phrase, "Develop the skills, optimize the happy.” So, the skills in this case are fundamental attention skills. They're the skills that are at the base of acquiring all others skills, the ability to concentrate, generically, the ability to detect subtle sensory phenomena, which is a form of clarity, the ability to untangle the strands of experience. What part is objective sight, sound, and touch? What part is a subjective mental image, mental talk, body emotion? Clarity in the sense of discrimination, or detection of subtle events. That's a focusing skill. Concentration, the ability to attend to what you deem relevant at a given time. It could be broad. It could be narrow depending on the circumstance. Then a quality that we call equanimity, which is essentially, deep non-self-interference. Wow, what a concept.
So, self-interference is like friction in a system. The pistons are grinding against the cylinder. You know that's happening in a car because it makes heat, it wastes energy fuel, and then it can actually damage the engine. There's something analogous to that, deep down something analogous to friction or the piston of consciousness grinding against the channel of consciousness, metaphorically speaking. It's deep and it's subliminal, and people don't notice it until you start to meditate, and then you do because now, you're starting to no longer be the fish in water that doesn't know they're in water. You realize, "Oh,” in subtle ways all the way down to the primordium, the first moment of inner or outer see, hear, feel in the senses, there is a subtle self-coagulation in the natural flow of those sensory circuits. So, in meditation, you learn how to get rid of that subtle self-interference, or put alternatively, you discover a level of your being so deep that it has never been subject to that subtle self-conflict. So, it's a combination of training away the surface friction and then discovering a primordial fluidity that's always there.
So, I call that developing these fundamental attentional skills that will allow you to develop all the other skills that will then allow you to be successful along every dimension that you would possibly say, this is success, this is happiness, this is well-being, this is what I want for me, the people around me, my world, broadly, all worlds, however broad you want to think of it. We'll just call that happiness in the broadest and deepest concept that a person, an individual may have. Well, it turns out that if you systematically train these skills, then that gives you a handle on all aspects of success and happiness every single one of them at a very deep level. Just like if you master math, you can pretty much ace science courses. Math takes a long time and it's hard work for most people. It certainly was for me, oh, my God, but it pays off if you want to do science. Because once you sort of got it, it's like, oh, so many things fall into place in science, once you've got math. If you don't get math, you'll always be just a layperson with an interest in science but you'll never really get the essence of it. But it's a big investment to learn the math.
I was given a very good piece of advice when I said to a scientist, “I would like to be a scientist.” He said, “Don't worry about chemistry, don't worry about physics. Just get very, very good at math and you'll be able to walk into all these classes and you'll be ahead.” So, it turns out that for life, there are these fundamental attentional skills that can be systematically trained or we can learn to find them in their primordial completeness, that they're already there, actually. Then they're not the whole picture for happiness but they're relevant to every part of the picture and then other things are relevant. So, to get back to your question, why did it take me so long to write my first book? It is because these practices are relevant but not the whole story. You need other things besides meditation to optimize all dimensions of happiness. So, I like to summarize happiness or success. So, you can call it whatever you want, well-being, human flourishing, personal actualization, call it what you want. Basically, there's relief. If you're in a situation or you're having a sensory experience that's uncomfortable or the situation is not to your liking, you'd like relief. Change the situation. Get rid of the discomfort or in some other way deal with it.
Relief, the flip side of relief, fulfillment, small pleasures, or neutral experiences. We'd like them to yield enormous fulfillment, not just the occasional intensity, variety, and duration of interesting but trenchant pleasant states. We'd like elevation of fulfillment to be across the board in daily life.
Hal Elrod: Those positive states.
Shinzen Young: Yeah. So, fulfillment, relief, fulfillment insight. We'd like to understand ourselves and how consciousness works. Mastery, we would like to change behaviors. We can use mindfulness for behavior change, insight into who we are including the deepest level of who we are, and then service, ultimately a call to service. So, we find that develop the skills, optimize the happy, if you establish daily meditation practice, periodic retreat practice, if you get support from competent coaches like you have Julianna to work with, would be a perfect example of a highly competent coach. You get support. We like to teach people to be coaches as soon as they learn how to practice. So, if you went to Julianna's website, UnifiedMindfulness.com, you'd find actually training to give support. So, if you establish and maintain goals, you're likely over a period of a lifetime. That's a lifelong endeavor. It's like exercise, dental hygiene, whatever, you're going to do it. You're going to do it every day. It's part of your life. Well, it's going to have a long-term, positive effect on all five of those dimensions of well-being.
However, mindfulness practice, meditation, contemplation, call it what you want, it's not the whole story for human happiness. It has limitations. It can cause negative effects in people. You have to know how to prevent those or treat those if you're a mindfulness teacher. It's not the whole picture and it's not without its own problems. So, when it comes to behavior change, we can use mindfulness skills and techniques to deconstruct negative urges and that can help people make behavior change. We can also use mindfulness skills and techniques to do what we call nurture positive, which I think you and people that listen to your show might call more affirmations, that kind of thing. We call it nurture positivity but you're holding a positive direction in the inner system, mental image, mental talk, body, emotion, one or two or all three of those, and that could help make a positive behavior change. So, it is definitely the case that mindfulness skills and techniques are relevant to behavior change but they're not the whole picture. Let’s say that there's a behavior change that you would like to make and you're a pretty good meditator but year-after-year, it's just not happening. Your practice isn't allowing you to make that behavior change.
Well, what we do then is we come in and we say, "Keep doing your mindfulness. That's going to help but there's other things.” One of the other things is what I like to call a behaviorally-oriented accountability and support structure. So, let's say that you're in recovery from alcohol, drugs, or any of the gazillion things that we humans have to recover from. What is that? Well, if you go to a 12-step program, AA, offshoot, or things that are along those lines, those programs actually work quite well for many people, not everyone, but I would call it a behaviorally-oriented accountability and support structure. There's a structure, you have a sponsor, you go into meetings, and it's all about behavior. Are you maintaining your sobriety or abstinence? Now, if you have a meditation practice, you can use your meditation practice along with that behavioral and behaviorally-oriented accountability and support structure. Now, another form of a behaviorally-oriented accountability and support structure would be a behaviorist therapist, that you're paying to help you make that behavior change. I guess a life coach could do the same thing if they knew how to do that.
Hal Elrod: Shinzen, let me…
Shinzen Young: Let me just complete it.
Hal Elrod: Oh, sorry.
Shinzen Young: Because I'm almost done. I know it's a long build-up but it was worth it. The fact is I am an inveterate procrastinator. My earliest memories are putting off responsibilities. I would hoodwink my parents into doing my homework for me. I would malinger illness to avoid school. One thing after another, I never got my Ph.D., completed all my coursework in record time, couldn't discipline myself. I just put it off, put it off, put it off, put it off. So, I was approached by a big New York publisher, “Hey, Shinzen, we like your work. You got some originality. We'll give you a contract, two books, and a huge advance.” Well, lucky for me, I didn't spend that advance because even, I mean, this is like laid at your doorstep, right?
Hal Elrod: Yeah.
Shinzen Young: You can't get these publishers to look at your proposal, a senior editor comes to me unknown at that time and says, "Kid, you have talent. We're going to give you a big contract.”
Hal Elrod: And this was when? How long ago?
Shinzen Young: At least 30 years ago I would think.
Hal Elrod: Okay.
Shinzen Young: So, a while ago. But the thing is I couldn't do it. All that money and all of the Benny's that I knew would come to me because I'd seen all my colleagues write their books, that's the books that everyone reads. They were first to market, but not me, because I put it off and put it off. So, I realized I had to return that advance. Lucky, I didn't spend it and my reputation really took a hit among publishers because this person is irresponsible. So, at some point, I had another responsibility. It was for some educational software and I could see it was the same goddamn thing. I just cannot effing do this. Pardon my French. But I knew what I needed. I needed the behaviorally-oriented accountability and support structure. I needed something outside of mindfulness that was going to potentiate with my mindfulness and hopefully, allow me to change a pattern that was very, very deep. Now, when you think about behavior change, well, there are things we're not doing that we'd like to start. There's things we are doing that we like to do less of, etcetera. Some of them are big, some of them are small. Some of them we're committed to, some of them we’re merely willing to consider.
So, at this point, I realized I had to commit to a behavior change and that I needed an accountability and support structure. So, I found the best psychiatrist I could find by recommendations in the small New England City where I was living who didn't have a huge amount, but I asked around, and I asked around, "Who's good? Who's good?” And I found a doctor, a psychiatrist, and I said, “I don't need to understand myself better. I'm fine. I don't need anything except I need to not procrastinate. And can you help me with a behavioral intervention?” Although he was actually more of a depth psychologist, I think he said, “Yes, I can probably help you.” Eighteen months of small, manageable tasks reporting to a psychiatrist on successes and failures plus my own practice applying, I wrote my first book. So, it's a long story but it tells a lot about both the power and limitations of these practices.
Hal Elrod: Well, I love that story. It also shows that it's never too late to pursue a dream that you may have given up on it at some point. I think that that's a really powerful lesson for all of us. Because as I mentioned, this is arguably my fate. I can't think of a book that I have enjoyed or gotten more value from than yours, The Science of Enlightenment, when it comes to meditation. There's so many things that you said that I really want to unpack and create some lessons for people that they can apply to their practice. One of the things you said and I love this from the book. It really resonated. You said the ultimate personal goal of meditation is to achieve happiness independent of conditions. That’s kind of the ultimate goal of life, right, is to be able to get to a place where you can experience any emotion that you want, that would serve you, independent of your circumstances or your conditions. Now, what you talked about earlier is those three skills that they're really foundational in your practice, right? It's the concentration power, the sensory clarity, and equanimity. As you mentioned, those are the fundamental skills to achieve or experience or just to really get the most out of yourself and out of life, right, the more you can concentrate on whatever you deem to be important or significant or relevant in the moment, the more effective that you can be.
So, I love the premise of what you're talking about. You make a bold claim in the book, and I want to dive into this about concentration power, specifically. You said meditation is the most fundamental study that any human being can undertake because concentration power is the base of all human endeavors. So, can you just explain what you mean by that and expand on that? What is concentration power? How can that be the single most important thing to study in all of human endeavors?
Shinzen Young: I might have a different opinion now, actually.
Hal Elrod: I love that in you.
Shinzen Young: But let me defend the first opinion and maybe we'll get into an alternative opinion. What I was thinking of with that is the following. First of all, we want to be clear about definitions as clear as we can be, in general, although sometimes there are limits to how well we can define things. In this context, concentration power will be spoken of as the ability to focus on what you deem relevant at a given moment. So, the reason that we want to talk of it that way, as opposed to other ways is if we just say the word concentration, you might think that we're talking about narrowing attention to something small. Well, if what's relevant in the moment is small, then yes, it will be small. But if what's relevant in the moment is large, your concentration will be large. Also, I described it as an ability. Often, people will confuse the exercise that develops an ability with the ability. So, let's say that your meditation entails sitting with your eyes closed, focusing on your breath, for example. That's a common meditation. Well, you have decided at that moment that what's relevant is the small sensation at the tip of my nose. Yes, within that context, then your ability to hold the attention there, unbroken, for a long period of time. Well, that's concentration.
Now, when you're training concentration, you have to work very, very hard. When you train muscle, you work very, very hard but the goal is not to just be exercising all day. You exercise for a short period of time and then the muscle strength that you develop, that is an elevated baseline that's there for you all day and grows day-by-day. So, you're not just strong when you're in the gym. In fact, the strength comes on after you leave the gym. You've improved a basic quality in the fabric of the body. So, likewise, with concentration and clarity and equanimity, all three of the skills we'd like to explicitly train. You're not going to be walking around all day trying to be concentrated. Maybe in a retreat, you're going to do that, but not in daily life. In daily life, you're going to be taking care of business but the elevated focus power that you developed, that's not going to go away just because you're taking care of business. That's sort of the whole point. There's carryover. When we say something like concentration, people will often think, "Well, I don't want to do that then I'll just be working all day to concentrate. I won't be working to work.”
But you work during an exercise period to concentrate and that builds the kind of muscle that then is with you and grows as the months and years and decades of your life and, yes, this is a decades-long training but it grows exponentially. Good thing about COVID, everyone now knows what an exponential curve looks like. Well, it's not just bad things that grow with a hockey stick. Mindfulness practice at some point, five years, 10 years, 15 years, I can't say when, could be more, at some point, it becomes an, “Oh my God.” But the other thing is when you say concentration, people, as I mentioned, think, oh, narrow. Now, concentration just means focus on what's relevant, which can sometimes be quite broad. As I think you know, for example, unlike most meditation organizations, we don't typically and Unified teach breath first. I mean, it's great and there are two dozen ways to do it, and we'll happily teach you but that's not actually the first technique we're going to give you. We're going to give you a technique that you're familiar with, see, hear, feel. There are many reasons why we start with that but one of them is we're householders. We don't have five years to sit in a cave to develop some state. We have to get in the car and go to work and take care of business.
So, see, hear, feel, drive. You focus on all and only the visual, auditory, and somatic experience needed to safely drive your car. You will quickly discover that there is an enormous amount of material that doesn't come under that category that is constantly distracting you from being in the moment of driving your car. So, we teach you concentration on careful driving and you can go very, very deep. You can arrive after an hour of LA traffic with see, hear, feel, drive. I can many times remember arriving at a location and it's like I just came off of a retreat, even though it was rush hour in smog in Los Angeles but it was see, hear, feel the drive. So, I just wanted to say there are some preconceptions that people often have about these terms. So, you're not going to have to just concentrate all day and concentration is not necessarily limiting. So, the goal of meditation practice, one of the goals is to elevate your base level of concentration so you'll be more focused in daily life on what's relevant. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that's going to improve how you feel, subjectively, and how you perform objectively. If you don't believe me, just reflect back on your own life. Any human being has noticed, at least occasionally, I was really present and really focused. If you ask them, "Did you feel better and did you do better?” they'll say, “Yeah, I felt better and I did better.” Or if they haven't noticed that, they have noticed that when they can't focus, they don't feel good and they don't do good, at least not as good as they would wish or would expect of themselves.
So, the great discovery of Asia, what they did more systematically, let's be honest than any of the other cultures, they figured out that these basic attentional skills, concentration is one of them but equanimity is also very important. So, in any event, these skills are cultivatable. They're actually innate. They're both cultivatable and innate. If you develop the skills, you'll discover that they're applicable everywhere. So, I wanted to be a scientist. Someone told me, “Learn math. It's going to be hard, it's going to take a long time, but that's the best way to start. The rest will be relatively straightforward.” Fortunately, I, at that time, was already a meditator. So, I knew that I could apply my concentration, clarity, and equanimity skills to getting good at math even though I had been very, very bad at math in school. In fact, I had gotten all Ds and Fs in high school geometry and algebra, and trigonometry. I don't even think I took trigonometry. I think junior high is when I started to fail every class in math and the math of junior high in high school is pretty elementary. It’s arithmetic really. Well, I couldn't do it. My dad was good at it. I don't know if you've ever, there's an expression, getting a C grade, a C is a Jewish F. Yeah, that's great, isn't it?
Hal Elrod: Yeah. That's great.
Shinzen Young: Imagine if you actually get an F and you're Jewish and your dad is good in the subject. That was not, I mean, my parents were fantastic. They really, really nurtured my intellectual growth but it was not a pretty scene. So, I had some, I mean, my early years got really good later on. But early, not so nice.
Hal Elrod: You and I have a lot in common.
Shinzen Young: Well, I had some emotional scarring around this and, of course, I had the conviction, “Who are you kidding? You can't do this sh*t. I mean, you could never do this. Who are you kidding?” I would have that kind of self-talk. I had the mental images of past failure and I had fear and sadness and agitation, flavors in my body, my emotional body, at the prospect of learning math. So, I had this strong belief that came up as a sensory experience in see, hear, feel, mental image, mental talk, body emotion that's reminding me of past failure and convincing me that I'm kidding myself to think I could ever understand this topic. Because look how many times you failed and look at what happened when you failed. Fortunately, though, by this time, I knew how to meditate. So, what does that mean? That means when those limiting beliefs came up, I could break them down sensorially. Here's the clarity skill. This is just a mental image. This is just mental talk. This is just body emotion. That's clarity. Then I could have equanimity. I could just let those things come and go without coagulation, and they came and went and came and went and came and went. I also had the ability with pure concentration to focus on a person and sort of internalize their feng shui. I don't know how else to put it, just internalize something from them.
So, what I would do is I would place myself in front of mathematics. I would physically put myself in front of a mathematician and allow them to talk math at me, at their level. Now, I couldn't even understand the junior high level. So, why am I just listening to math? Well, what I was doing, I wasn't trying to understand the math. I mean, that was way beyond. I wouldn't have known what even one of the words would mean. I mean my mentor was saying, "Oh, someday you'll appreciate the beauty of a homomorphism,” and I said, "Well, what's a homomorphism?” And he said, “Well, that's like a homeomorphism in topology, except it's in abstract algebra.” “Oh, that helps. Not.” So, I didn't even try to understand it. I just merged with him. See out, hear out, and touch physically, but through sight and sound, until I had the waveform called mathematician inside me. So, now I am using the mindfulness to not immediately buy into the limiting beliefs and emotions as they come up over and over again, plus I'm using the mindfulness to merge with the doing called mathematician and internalize that at some point, I start to be able to do high school mathematics, and then I go to calculus, and then I go to advanced calculus, and then I go to differential equations, and then I go to functional analysis, and then I go to algebraic geometry and homotopy theory.
And the furthest reaches that the human intellect has seen, the cutting edge of mathematics, the fundamental complementarity of emptiness and form, I kid you not, Isbell duality. If you want the term, you can look it up on Wikipedia. The furthest vision that math has seen, as far as I know, is in the homotopy type theory, fancy-sounding stuff. It's all about the oneness of space and form. It's the same thing we talk about in Buddhist practice. Is that a coincidence? I don't know. It's fascinating. Point is, at this point, I've gotten really, really good at this and I know I have no ability at all and I know that I conspicuously failed. Therefore, I know the power of mindfulness.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Wow. I know we've only got a couple of minutes left and I really would love to leave our listeners with some really practical application. What can they do tomorrow or today when the next time that they are meditating or the next time that they're right now maybe closing their eyes, next time they're driving? I know you really teach meditation as you explained earlier.
Shinzen Young: Well, they better watch out what kind of meditation they're doing when they're driving, because most meditations…
Hal Elrod: Vipassana.
Shinzen Young: Huh? No. Vipassana means whatever that teacher says it means. These words are not officially defined. It's not a controlled vocabulary. Well, I'm just saying the best meditation when you're driving the car is to drive the car, see, hear, feel the drive. Under other circumstances, there might be other things. It's just do the technique is whatever the techniques will develop these skills. Whatever your technique is, try to notice how it is developing a tangible taste of concentration, how is it developing a tangible taste of equanimity meaning a non-coagulating around the flow of experience, how is this helping me detect the subtle or untangle the maelstrom of the senses? So, I can give you 1,000 techniques, but each one, they all have their technique. It's just use that technique, assuming it's appropriate, don't do mantras while you're driving. So, use that technique, but maybe try to experience how it is fostering those skills as you're implementing the technique.
Hal Elrod: For a sitting practice, let's just say tomorrow morning at 6 AM, if somebody's sitting down to meditate for 10 minutes, what would be one skill or one technique that they can incorporate into their meditation?
Shinzen Young: I know what you want and I know what your audience wants. So, this is where I'm going to be a little bit stubborn. It's not that way. Don't be thinking, please, in terms of some teacher is going to slip you something. I know people want something they can use, but it's not something new. It's what you're already doing, just do more of it and better. I can give you 1,000 techniques, the really quick way. I mean, the quick piece of advice is go to UnifiedMindfulness.com and learn, see, hear, feel for free in 10 lessons with tests. So, either just do the technique you're doing, but more so. But if you say, “Hey, can I tell you something in 30 seconds that will dramatically improve your practice?” Sure. Take that free course and see, hear, feel that will dramatically improve your practice. But any teacher could say that if they've got a decent course and they've got their stuff together.
Hal Elrod: Sure. So, obviously, UnifiedMindfulness.com is where people can learn more from you. Then where can they get your book, The Science of Enlightenment?
Shinzen Young: Off the internet, I would assume like people usually get things.
Hal Elrod: Amazon.com probably the place?
Shinzen Young: I would assume. I mean, that's where they started to sell it. That's where I looked.
Hal Elrod: That's where I got my copy.
Shinzen Young: Yeah. That'd be where it came out. It’s like what are people saying, that's where I went.
Hal Elrod: Well, as we wrap up, what's next for you? What can we look forward to from Shinzen Young?
Shinzen Young: You really want to know? You'll be the first.
Hal Elrod: I think I do.
Shinzen Young: Well, be careful what you ask for. I guess this will be the first that I've ever said it in public. It's what I'm working on. So, how much time do we have? I mean, literally, 30 seconds?
Hal Elrod: Negative three minutes.
Shinzen Young: Okay. Well, another fundamental skill to complement concentration, clarity, and equanimity is what I'm working on. Yeah. I'm looking at the world and I'm seeing some bad sh*t. I don't know if you allow that word on your program.
Hal Elrod: Yeah.
Shinzen Young: Okay. Seeing some bad sh*t and I'm asking myself, well, of course, if everyone meditated, this would improve, but clearly, not everyone's meditating or not enough. So, is there something else, something more immediate, a skill that we could analogously train that would manifest the help for happiness dependent on conditions? Long-term happiness independent of conditions, I don't know anything other than mindfulness that will deliver that. But short-term, let's take care of sh*t, and let's get our act together so the world stops laughing at us. Maybe there's some secret sauce that someone hasn't seen yet. I'm looking.
Hal Elrod: Well, I appreciate the beauty of everything you just shared. You are not only looking but you're looking and you're actively sharing with other people. Your work has made a significant difference in my life, The Science of Enlightenment. I'm rereading it right now. Read it once, I'm reading it again. It really enhanced not only my formal sitting practice, but the Vipassana, as I gathered from your book practice of meditating while I am doing the dishes and while I am driving, and even while I'm in conversation. That was really valuable is what I learned from you about how to meditate while you're in the middle of a conversation with the three approaches of focus in, focus out, and you mentioned earlier, nurture positivity. I want to thank you for your work, Shinzen. It's been so impactful for me and countless other people.
Shinzen Young: Well, this was delightful. From you, I believe it spreads to many and this is good. Yeah, this is good.
Hal Elrod: It is good. Good. I appreciate you, my friend. Goal achievers, members of the Miracle Morning Community, I hope you will take the spirit that Shinzen brought to today's podcast into your own life, into your own spirit, into your own daily meditation practice. Remember that I love what Shinzen teaches that the ultimate objective of meditation is to achieve happiness independent of conditions. I've called that inner freedom and I think that for all of us, that may be indeed the most valuable pursuit that we can take on in our lives. So, I wish you an abundance of happiness independent of your conditions, and I love you and I will talk to you all next week.