Esteemed Mindfulness Teacher Shinzen Young Launches Brightmind
New mindfulness application leverages advanced data analytics and cues that will evolve with users’ practice
For nearly 40 years, esteemed mindfulness teacher and neuroscience researcher Shinzen Young has been doing R&D on meditation techniques and this is now available to the public in an app called Brightmind. Google’s former Chief Happiness Officer, Chade Meng Tan, has described Shinzen as ‘one of the very best meditation teachers I have ever worked with’ and ‘a unique visionary who embodies the essence of science’.” Shinzen’s research has been conducted at Harvard Medical School, University of Vermont, and Carnegie Mellon University, along with years of teaching meditation and retreats. “When I leave retreats it is always bittersweet,” says Shinzen. “As group and individuals, the participants each grow a great deal during our time together, but I know that if I could split myself into pieces and help each of them on a daily basis, their practices would grow with great rapidity and be incredibly transformative.” While the Brightmind application does not offer quite the same experience as 1 on 1 or group sessions, the application helps users to establish an effective meditation practice through tailored instruction, a personal relationship, and a systematic approach. With the addition of advanced data analytics and planned incorporation of artificial intelligence, the cues in the application will evolve with the user and expand the boundaries of human potential through tailored meditation instruction and human support. With this functionality, there may be additional prompts that get cycled out so that no meditation is ever the same twice and the application will be able to adjust which sessions users receive based on the previous techniques that have been selected.
Shinzen began his journey by attending a Japanese ethnic school when he was 14 years old in his hometown of Los Angeles. He went on to study Asian languages at UCLA and then began a PhD program in Buddhist Studies at the University of Wisconsin. As a part of his thesis research, he lived as a Shingon (Japanese Vajrayana) monk for three years at Mount Koya, Japan, where he received the name Shinzen. When Shinzen returned to Los Angeles to teach meditation, he replaced the religious explanations with conceptually clear explanations inspired by modern math and science. Shinzen then carefully tracked which explanations helped his students and which didn’t, and used this information to iterate and improve his teaching approach. Shinzen trained eventual Brightmind CEO Christian Stiller in Vermont. Stiller was introduced to meditation originally through his father, who had always extolled the virtues of meditation to his son, then brought in Shinzen for their company meditation session. After continuing for years of practice with Shinzen, meditation completely changed Stiller’s life, from troubled and unfocused youth to being a leader in corporate marketing. When Christian read an article in the New Yorker about the growth of meditation apps, he realized that meditation instruction – something that had profoundly changed his life – could scale. Developing technology to make his research and methods available to people around the world had been something Shinzen had considered for many years and he introduced Stiller to Toby Sola to collaborate on the project. The two worked together to develop Brightmind, along with Shinzen and CEO-coach/meditation teacher, Julianna Raye. Brightmind is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA.
Brightmind is like having a master meditation teacher in your pocket. The meditation application provides users with an advanced tool to practice Unified Mindfulness from esteemed mindfulness teacher Shinzen Young. Brightmind is unlike most other meditation applications in that it leverages advanced technologies to evolve cues to each user’s practice and it offers a truly disciplined, systematic approach with the potential to be profoundly transformative. To learn more, go to www.brightmind.com.