Interview with Buddhist meditation teacher Shinzen Young explores different views of God.
Join Skeptiko host Alex Tsakiris for an interview with Buddhist meditation teacher Shinzen Young. During the interview Shinzen discusses letting go of our simplistic view of God:
Alex Tsakiris: Let’s talk about God for a minute and how that fits into meditation practice and the Buddhist spiritual path in a general sense.
Shinzen Young: I love talking about this but I’m curious about your own thoughts about it.
Alex Tsakiris: I guess I think it is important we don’t get too hung up on the language. We have to acknowledge our society is materialistic and atheistic. We have academics pulling us that way, and we have “science” pulling us that way. So, in the simplest form, when we’re talking about spirituality, we’re talking about God because we’re talking about something that transcends this materialistic, atheistic mindset.
Shinzen Young: Okay. Traditionally in Buddhism, the historical Buddha negated certain ideas about God. So what you have is more Fundamentalist Buddhist teachers tend to shy away from the G word but a lot of other modern Buddhist teachers have no trouble with it whatsoever.
But I’ve devoted my life to directing people to an experience that is beyond time and space and what I would call the source of consciousness, which is the source of experience and since self and world are known only through experience, I can point people to an experience that could be described as Source. And when a person contacts it, it fulfills all the things that people would want from God.
Alex Tsakiris: I was recently listening to the Dali Lama give a lecture. He said that he tells seekers to look to their own tradition before turning to Buddhism. He’s emphatic about finding Buddhist teachings in Christianity and that Christianity can be this vehicle for creating a good heart and for a compassionate, loving person. More importantly, he goes out of his way to contrast that with the atheistic position and his implication is atheism leads nowhere.
Shinzen Young: Well, it depends on what we want to call atheism. I think it is important to distinguish three things. One, becoming a better and better person, which might be described as improving the self. Two, realizing the source of the self. And three, the relationship between these two. I would say that the gold standard for mature spirituality is to see that the endeavor of going beyond the self, which is to attain an unlimited identity, and the endeavor of refining the small self.
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Today we welcome author, lecturer, and highly respected meditation teacher, Shinzen Young to Skeptiko. Shinzen, thank you for joining me today.
Shinzen Young: My pleasure.
Alex Tsakiris: Well, as you know, as a longtime meditation student—I really have to say student—and a longtime Yoga practitioner, I have a great respect for what you do and the importance of the teacher in this whole process we’re going to talk about today. So I of course want to start just by thanking you in general for the work that you do.
Shinzen Young: Thank you. It’s actually a privilege, you know. I tell people I’ve got the best gig in the world. It’s fun and interesting for me and it’s useful for other people, so you can’t beat that.
Alex Tsakiris: Now that’s the way it should be. Let’s start. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to meditation. I think it’s going to be interesting, particularly to our audience because you came to it really from more of an academic approach initially, I think.
Shinzen Young: Yeah. I was born in Los Angeles. I grew up in LA. My best friend, in what is now called middle school but was called junior high in those days, just happened to be a third-generation Japanese American.
So through that connection I started to go see Japanese period piece movies when it was not popular at all. I started at 14 years old and that was in the ‘50s. That was a long time before the whole interest in the general culture and respect in the general culture for Asia had happened. In fact, Japan was the enemy. I mean, WWII was not that far off, right? My dad had fought the Japanese in WWII.
So it was unusual for a non-Asian person to get interested in Japanese culture. Los Angeles has a Little Tokyo area and so I used to go with my friend’s family there and it was this big cultural adventure if you’re 14 years old and you’re the only white guy.
So I started to go to Japanese school and that was a big adventure. By the time I graduated from Venice High School, I had grown up bilingual and bicultural without leaving Los Angeles. I could speak, read and write Japanese. So that led to my actually going to Japan eventually and encountering Buddhism. That led to an academic interest in Buddhism, not a practicing interest.
So I went into graduate school in Buddhist Studies at the University of Wisconsin and completed my coursework. They sent me back to Asia to research a thesis topic, but when I got back to Japan the second time, ostensibly to study Buddhism, they wouldn’t teach me anything at the temple where I wanted to study unless I actually practiced it.
I can tell you that my genes and my upbringing both would move me in the direction opposite of meditation. The idea of sitting still and dealing with the scattered mind and the aching body, the idea of facing anger, fear and grief directly, was exactly the opposite direction of the orientation of my being.
Alex Tsakiris: Fantastic. You know, there’s so many different little eddies we could follow in that path and that stream that you just gave but I’m going to resist the urge and just come with a really basic question. At this point, can we make a statement like meditation is good for you in the same way we might say exercise is good for you?
Shinzen Young: I think that’s virtually a perfect metaphor. Now within the context of mindfulness meditation, which is the kind that I like to teach, we analyze those changes into three basic categories of effects. Concentration power, sensory clarity, and inner equanimity or inner balance. These get elevated because of the nature of the meditation technique and the nature of consciousness. Those two interact and with time you see these changes in the fabric of consciousness.
Now, the changes that take place in the physical body as the result of exercise, is good because it’s your body. When you elevate these desirable qualities in the fabric of consciousness, that’s a much bigger and deeper and more important effect than physical exercise.
Alex Tsakiris: Maybe. But part of the thing that I think that throws a lot of people, Shinzen, is that we all have this understanding that meditation is something more. That meditation is a spiritual practice. I appreciate where you’re coming from in terms of the very medical almost, secular kind of approach. I’m sure you could go on and one could check out the many videos you have and the books you’ve written and study that from a very mechanistic almost approach.
What I want to do is maybe draw the parallels that you did between that and modern cognitive psychology. You say, “Hey, look. Look what’s happening in cognitive psychology and they’re starting to gain an appreciation for some of the same things that we’re talking about in mindfulness meditation. Then they go down the same thing, this contemplative approach and being more aware of what’s going on, sensory perception, and its physical benefits.”
But here’s where we’re going on this show and what challenges me. At the same time you say all that, I have to wonder how far we can go with what is, at least when we cross into the psychology, a very materialistic, reductionistic, your mind doesn’t exist, you are just this biological robot thing. So where do we make the jump, the leap from the physical, the material, to the spiritual?
Shinzen Young: Deep question. So here’s how I address this. Because I am what you might call a logical skeptical person, I intellectually am in the mode of the hard-nosed scientist. Yet I’ve devoted my life to being a spiritual teacher.
I have an approach that I think is both intellectually scientifically sound and therefore can pass muster with the hard-nosed skeptical scientists of the world, yet at the same time, leads people to an experience that can only be described as transcending the sense of time, space, the somethingness of self and the materiality of the world.
And the underlying reality of the activity of the spirit whence all that comes and wither it returns. The “it” meaning the sense of materiality that you’re alluding to. So how do I as a rationalist skeptic lead people to these transcended experiences? It’s an interesting paradox, isn’t it?
Alex Tsakiris: It is and it raises the question of how do we deal with the different ways we approach the spiritual? I love the way you laid it out and the way that you’re so upfront about how your approach I’m sure ties back to your academic background. You know, what stirred this discussion for me and where I want to take you is to talk about God a little bit, but to talk about it from a walking meditation experience I had.
Just recently I had the chance to go to Deer Park Zen Monastery, close to my home here in San Diego, and Thich Nhat Hanh, who I’m sure you’re familiar with, gave a presentation. We went on a walking meditation and then he did a Dharma talk. It was fascinating; it was wonderful. One of the things that struck me was that the G word was all over the place. He had no problem saying “God,” and “God’s creation,” and all this, and yet to a lot of folks who approach meditation and Buddhism, it’s a stumbling block. This word “God.”
Shinzen Young: [Laughs] Yeah. Isn’t it interesting?
Alex Tsakiris: It is. So there’s a couple ways we can pull that apart but just in general, let’s talk about God for a minute and how that fits into meditation and how that fits into the Buddhist spiritual path in a general sense.
Shinzen Young: I love talking about this but I’m curious about your own thoughts about it.
Alex Tsakiris: I guess what I think is important is that we don’t get too hung up on the language and we don’t create too much of a stumbling block. And in our society that we have to acknowledge is a materialistic, Atheistic society with academics pulling us that way, with “science” pulling us that way. That in the simplest form, when we’re talking about spirituality, we’re talking about God because we’re talking about something that transcends this materialistic, Atheistic existence that we keep being told we are.
So I like when I encounter Thich Nhat Hanh, from another culture, Vietnamese, and he’s real comfortable saying, “Well of course we’re talking about God here because we’re not talking about this stuff that we normally worry about.” So I really like God and I don’t worry about any kind of religious connotations that come with it. What are your thoughts?
Shinzen Young: Okay. Traditionally in Buddhism, the historical Buddha negated certain ideas about God. So it’s interesting—you don’t have many Buddhist Fundamentalists, okay? But they can exist and in the Theravada world in Southeast Asia—Theravada is the form of Buddhism that in some ways is most similar to early Buddhism of about 2,500 years ago.
So in Theravada, most of the teachers are broad-minded but you do have some Fundamentalists there as elsewhere. The Fundamentalists don’t like the G word. They don’t like God because they say the Buddha said there is no God. So that’s already interesting. What the Buddha denied was the naïve notion of a creator God. So from a certain Fundamentalist—it’s sort of weird, right? Because in other religions the Fundamentalists like affirming God, right?
But in Buddhism, at least in the Theravada form of Buddhism, among a small group of Fundamentalists Buddhists in Southeast Asia, if you bring up the G word, you’ll get a very negative response. They’ll point to scripture. [Laughs] Just the reverse, right, of the Western world, to point to scripture. “Well, the Buddha said there is no creator God. So that’s it.”
Now I’m not saying that’s characteristic of all even most of Theravada. But you will actually find Buddhist Fundamentalists who quote Buddhist scripture to say there is no God because the Buddha was against a naïve notion of a creator God. I think we all know what a naïve notion of a creator God can be.
However, as you point out, well, guess what? You’ve got Thich Nhat Hanh who is a Buddhist leader and he uses the G word all the time. A contemporary Buddhist leader. And he’s not alone. There’s a very prominent Theravada teacher named S. M. Palanka. He teaches the Vipassana meditation all over the world and he sometimes will talk about nirvana and he’ll say that’s our goal and if you wanted to call this God, yeah, you could call this God.
Then you have my teacher, Hoshu Sasaki Roshi who is arguably the senior living Buddhist master in the world at 104 years old, a Japanese Zen Master, still fully active in teaching, and he lives in the United States, not too far from where you are relatively, in Mount Baldy, California just east of LA. He does not speak English much so he’s not really known or recognized in the United States but if he spoke English he would be recognized as one of the most important Buddhist teachers in the world. Anyway, he uses the God word all the time. All the time.
So what you have is more Fundamentalist Buddhist teachers tend to shy away from the G word but a lot of other modern Buddhist teachers have no trouble with it whatsoever. So you have to understand what they are talking about when they’re talking about God. They are not talking about a concept. They are not talking about a revelation because actually Buddhist scriptures reveal there is no naïve creator God, okay?
So what are they talking about? They’re talking about an experience. An experience that can be described many, many ways. Because it can be described many, many ways the descriptions may even seem paradoxical when you start to line them up. Remember I said that I’m a hard-nosed rationalist skeptic philosophically?
But I’ve devoted my life to directing people to an experience that is beyond time and space and what I would call the source of consciousness, which is the source of experience and since self and world are known only through experience, I can point people to an experience that could be described as Source. And if we want to call it the source of consciousness or the source of moment-by-moment experience. But when a person contacts it, it fulfills all the things that people would want from God.
Alex Tsakiris: Okay, Shinzen, let me approach this same topic from a slightly different angle or from a slightly different teacher, that being the Dali Lama because he is, of course, in the West the public figure for Buddhism. I think there’s a lot of confusion around this topic, around the topic of God and around the topic of Atheism. We did a show a while back with Alan Wallace about “Is the Dali Lama an Atheist?” I thought it was a very popular show and a very good show but I digress.
I was recently listening to the Dali Lama give a lecture on the four noble truths and he said a couple of things I thought I wanted to get you to comment on. First he said that he tells seekers over and over again to look to your own tradition before you turn to Buddhism. He’s emphatic about that you can find the Buddhist teachings in Christianity and that Christianity can be this vehicle for creating a good heart and for a compassionate, loving person and that that is really the goal. More importantly, he goes out of his way to contrast that with the Atheistic position and his implication is that that really leads nowhere.
So what are your thoughts on a couple of things: 1) a revisit on this God and is it the experience we want or is it this spiritual transformation that maybe even transcends talking about it in these very experiential kinds of ways? 2) And then in real practical terms how does that tie back to Christians who are looking at Buddhism and saying, “Oh, that’s an Atheistic tradition.”
Shinzen Young: What did Alan think about the Dali Lama in terms of is he an Atheist or not?
Alex Tsakiris: I’m sure you’re familiar with Alan and I love his very direct kind of approach. He said the mere phrasing of the question points out how ethnocentric we can be.
Shinzen Young: Ah. That’s a brilliant answer.
Alex Tsakiris: But I think the important thing that he said that a lot of people missed was that the mere concept of Atheism would be completely off the table for a Buddhist. They wouldn’t even think of things in the way that we in the West think of Atheism and Dawkins and Dennett and Sam Harris.
That is completely at odds with Buddhism and I think that’s what the Dali Lama is saying here. He’s saying stick to the traditions that you know you can generate this loving compassion that is the source of this experience but don’t turn to this idea of Atheism. That is really the wrong path. I mean, that’s what I hear him saying.
Shinzen Young: Well, it depends on what we want to call Atheism but I think it is important to distinguish three things. One of the things is becoming a better and better person, which might be described as improving the self.
Now the second thing is realizing the source of the self, which in Buddhism is also called “the experience of no self,” but in Hinduism is called “the experience of true self.” So on one hand you have the notion of improving the small self. On the other hand you have the notion of transcending or getting over the small self.
And then the third thing is what is the relationship between these two? I would say that the gold standard for mature spirituality is to see that the endeavor of going beyond the self, which is to attain an unlimited identity, and the endeavor of refining the small self.
Those two endeavors are complimentary and reinforce each other. Both are necessary for a mature spirituality or for the most mature spirituality. The Dali Lama has decided to primarily emphasize the improving of the small self in his ministry to the Western world, to primarily emphasize that. Whereas a lot of other Buddhist teachers primarily emphasize the emptiness or no self for enlightenment and so forth. Of course, both are necessary.
I think he probably decided early on that the way to reach large masses of people would be to go for the common denominator that anyone can understand, which is the becoming a better person, more compassionate, more loving, more ethical.
I can’t speak for him but I can imagine what his thinking was. “Here I am, I’m the Dali Lama and I’m now an international celebrity in the Western world. What am I going to hit on over and over and over again for these great masses of people that appear to be interested in what I have to say, amazingly?”
So I think what he did is he knows what I just said. I do not doubt that for a moment. It’s like, “What am I going to emphasize? Well, they can all understand being a better person because their own religions are already about that. I’m not sure that the great masses are quite ready for the message that there really is no self and that the optimal improvement of the small self takes place when you realize that.” That’s pretty subtle.
So I think he has chosen to emphasize a certain aspect. But since I’m not having to deal with masses of people, I have the luxury to give a more complex and more balanced picture in my teachings. So I would say that to improve the small self is certainly good but not nearly as good as to go beyond the small self and then use that as the place to stand to improve the small self.
Alex Tsakiris: Interesting. I want to return to that in a minute with talking about the variety of spiritual experiences and how we understand those from a Buddhist perspective. But I first want to pull apart a point that keeps coming up again and again in this discussion.
I think in meditation practice and Buddhism again and this contradiction or the paradox between the process-oriented nature of Buddhism–Sit down and do it. Be here now—and the goal-oriented nature of it that seems to creep in a lot, too. We have to achieve. We have to improve. We have to get better. We have to get someplace. Do you want to talk about that?
Shinzen Young: It’s huge. You used two words, paradox and contradiction. I definitely don’t think it’s a contradiction but I definitely think it’s a paradox. And you’re right—these are philosophical issues. When you actually get down to practice, they start to weigh less, okay? But if you’re sitting there conjugating about things, then yeah, these seem like big deals.
Here’s my way of thinking. It’s not a contradiction; it’s just the fact that you have to be clear where you’re allocating your energy at a given instance. This notion that, “Well, if I just observe then I’ll never be improving. And if I just work on myself then I’ll never do anything in the world.” Well, that’s what you don’t want to fall into, okay?
But people tend to get very one-sided about things and they think you can only do one of these shots. If you are clear about where you’re allocating your energy moment-by-moment, then you realize that over a lifetime you can do all three of these jobs better and better and better. Does that answer your question?
Alex Tsakiris: I think it does and it’s very interesting and it’s, of course, just like you said it’s not exactly contradictory but it is paradoxical as all complex things—just about everything that’s really complex is paradoxical one way or another.
Shinzen Young: Actually you’re quite correct about that. Physics has gotten very weird, okay? Mathematics, when it started to get really powerful with the development of set theory then it started to get paradoxes, okay? So I think you’ve got a point there. But as I would point out, when you do actual practice it doesn’t seem so paradoxical. When you speculate that’s another issue.
Alex Tsakiris: Right. So we have to approach it both ways. We have to approach it experientially but we also have to have this intellectual understanding of it, I think. And I think I’m going to keep pushing towards this intellectual understanding. One of the things we’ve tried to do on this show is use the first part of what you’re talking about, this understanding that we are more than these material bodies. That there is this mind even to contemplate which of course is out of bounds to a certain extent to the mainstream scientific paradigm that still wants to deny that there is such a thing as a mind and that we’re just this biological robot.
But once we get past that, and as I like to say, once we’re on the other side of the chasm and we’re able to explore what it might mean, this consciousness thing, one of the problems I have with Buddhism, one of the challenges is the confidence with which it—I don’t know any other way to say it. It seems to dismiss a broad range of different spiritual experiences and just says, “No, no, no, no, don’t worry about any of those. Keep going past those. There’s more, there’s more, there’s more.”
Which maybe there is, but can we really be that confident when we start talking about experiences that don’t fit into our normal consciousness? So if we’re going to talk about someone who’s had a profound spiritual near-death experience or a profound out-of-body experience or even a profound hallucinogenic experience and come back. Or spirit communication experience, right? “I saw my spirit guide and they told me this and they told me that.”
I’ve heard you say in some of your lectures that these kinds of experiences may be at a right angle to the spiritual path.” I guess what I want to explore with you a little bit is how can we be so sure, to kind of blow past these what seem to be very transformative spiritual experiences with the confidence to say, “You know, they don’t really matter. There’s something more.”
Shinzen Young: I think it’s important in this domain to address specifics rather than speak in generics. So I think we have to take it item by item. You talk about out-of-body experiences; you talk about encountering a spirit guide or you talk about encountering a memory of a former life or a certain type of psychic power. It’s dangerous to address this in generics. It leads to misunderstandings. So then…
Alex Tsakiris: I think that’s valid but I’d also draw it another way. I just had an interview in the last week or two with near-death experience researcher PMH Atwater, who has really been at this for a long time, like 40 years. She’s both a near-death experiencer and someone who’s interviewed close to 4,000 other near-death experiencers.
One of her interesting insights is that really we need to start looking at the parallels between, for example, the near-death experience and a kundalini experience or a profound spiritual Christian experience. The dimension that she looks at the similarities is in the long-term transformative effects that they have. She goes into both physiological effects but of course psychological effects, spiritual effects, and how they’re feeling. So I guess there might be merit in both looking at each experience individually but also in saying generally there are…
Shinzen Young: Well, no. By individual I mean let’s look at individual categories of experiences.
Alex Tsakiris: So there could be some usefulness in looking at the types but there could also be some usefulness in saying, “What’s up with these profound spiritual experiences that seem to transform people in very significant ways over a long period of time?” And should we maybe not be so quick to say to keep going past that, there’s something more, there’s something more?
Shinzen Young: First of all, it’s important to be clear about what we mean by “going past,” to define what that means. Now, everybody is free to define that as they wish but let me tell you how I define “going past.” How I define going past any of these altered states is to have a complete experience of that altered state. End of story.
Now how do I define “complete experience?” I define it as an experience characterized by three things. You’re in a state of high concentration, a state of high sensory clarity with regards to the experience, and a state of non-push and pull with regards to the moment-by-moment unfolding of that experience. We’re talking about escaping into rather than escaping from.
Alex Tsakiris: Let’s talk about near-death experience for a minute because I think that kind of breaks the mold a little bit. We can’t hope to have the same sense of control and awareness in such a spontaneous experience. We lack the control, you know?
Shinzen Young: That’s a very interesting point. I somewhat disagree. It goes back to how I define the goals of mindfulness. I define the goals of mindfulness as elevating the base level of concentration, clarity and equanimity, which I then defined as how clear, equanimous, and concentrated you are when you’re not particularly intentionally trying to be that way.
So if you develop a momentum of habitual mindfulness, then when you’re in some state that is so altered or intense that there’s no you to control things, that concentration, clarity and equanimity will still be there on auto-pilot. So I would somewhat subtly but significantly disagree with your statement.
Alex Tsakiris: Do we have any cases of that happening? Of folks returning from a near-death experience who are experienced meditators or mindfulness practitioners that have had a different kind of experience?
Shinzen Young: I don’t know that it’s a different kind of experience but I just say that if you’ve developed a momentum of mindfulness, that stays with you no matter how wiped-out you are.
Alex Tsakiris: But you’re not aware of any published accounts of that?
Shinzen Young: No, but I’m aware of my own experiences with that.
Alex Tsakiris: With a near-death experience?
Shinzen Young: Sure. Many times, actually.
Alex Tsakiris: Were you clinically dead?
Shinzen Young: Oh. Now, that I can’t claim. No. There’s a wide range of experiences. No, I’ve never had that one where I died on the—but I had one that was induced. But this is a whole story. Medically induced. But I don’t know how near death it really was. Definitely not clinical death, that’s for sure. No. So I cannot claim that. That’s right.
Alex Tsakiris: Let me approach it from a different topic that I think also brings it into focus. If we take the accounts of some of these people who have had these transformative spiritual experiences, we run into another possible paradox/contradiction like we’re talking about and that is this sense of knowing. Over and over again you’ll hear from these folks accounts of this sense of knowing—of just knowing, knowing, knowing everything. Before they can even formulate the question, the question is answered and they understand everything.
But here’s the paradox/contradiction: when they come back into this physical plane or into their body, they lose the knowledge. They still have a sense, a memory that they had this ability to know but they no longer know. So if we take that more-or-less at face value, what does that say about this entire exercise of trying to know and experience in this dimension, on this Earthly plane, given that it seems to be that we’re just so limited here that we will never know. We’ll never approach that knowing in this body. Any thoughts on that?
Shinzen Young: This is pretty hard to speak to with confidence. Let’s be honest. They report a kind of knowing that’s highly significant but then goes away after the near-death experience. It’s very difficult for me to speak with any confidence as to what that may be because no, I’ve never actually had the clinically dead deal.
However, I can tell you this: there is the experience of enlightenment in Buddhism. One of the facets of that experience is a change in the way that your mind thinks in general. The phrase that we use is that “the wisdom function has arisen.” The languaging around that is more-or-less identical to the languaging around the near-death deal. In other words, it’s like the really important things you just know. It’s just automatic and it’s just there. There’s a kind of spiritual IQ boost.
So I think it would be virtually impossible to distinguish the descriptions of the knowingness in near-death and the knowingness in enlightenment. Does that mean that they’re referring to the same thing? Well, that may or may not be the case. I don’t like to conjecture or BS or claim that I know things that I don’t. So I don’t really know. The descriptions are very similar.
Alex Tsakiris: Shinzen, what else do we want to try and fit into this dialogue in talking about meditation and its relationship to where things are going with our scientific understanding of consciousness?
Shinzen Young: Well, there’s probably a gazillion things. I’m satisfied that we’ve covered some pretty substantive issues. I’m willing to call it a day.
Alex Tsakiris: [Laughs] Okay. I am, too. Can you briefly tell folks what’s coming up for you? I know you do a lot of workshops and trainings. Also any books or anything like that coming up in the near future?
Shinzen Young: If people are interested in what I have to offer, I’m pretty easy to find with a Google search. Probably the best way to go is to go to basicmindfulness.org. That is an international telephone-based conference call-based training program in mindfulness and also how to teach mindfulness.
It was an innovation of mine. How do we reach the people of the world? Most people can’t get away, not even for one day, to do a meditation retreat. How can they have a structured practice that will bring the classical results without leaving their home? I came up with a sort of delivery system that both allows people to do retreats and eventually, if they wish, will train people in teaching others. We deliver the entire thing right to their homes.
And at very low cost or zero cost. The business model is so good that it can actually be zero cost forever and yet it’s the real deal. So if they go to basicmindfulness.org, that is probably the best way to see what I’m doing. Then they can go to the YouTube links from there, which are just hours and hours and hours of me answering people’s questions and talking about stuff. That’s probably the best way to get involved.
Alex Tsakiris: Terrific. Well, totally integrated with modern technology in terms of distributing this information, which is tremendous. Why would we expect otherwise? We have to disseminate it.
Thanks so much for joining me today. I really enjoyed the conversation.
Shinzen Young: Me, too. Totally enjoyed and the questions were great.