In this episode I host part 2 of a dialogue between Shinzen Young, meditation teacher and neuroscience research consultant, and Chelsey Fasano, a Columbia University neuroscience student.
We get a front row seat for what Shinzen calls ‘early science’ as Chelsey consults Shinzen on her current research project, a review of the neuroscience literature that examine states of self-identification and non-dual awareness.
In the course of the discussion, we discuss different paradigms of enlightenment, including gating of attentional abilities, reducing self-referential activity, the neuroscience of clinging, top-down processing and more.
Chelsey shares her own meditation experiences and Shinzen reveals a detailed account of how he experiences the world after a lifetime of extreme meditation and hard-nosed science.
Audio version of this podcast also available on iTunes and Stitcher – search ‘Guru Viking Podcast’.
0:00 – Intro
0:51 – The three stories of self and reality
6:23 – Gating attentional abilities vs reducing self-referential activity
7:59 – How the modern influences traditional teachers
8:27 – Integrating hard data and subjective experience
9:11 – Chelsey’s meditation experiences
11:23 – Antonio Damasio’s theoretical framework and other theories
14:14 – Decrease in identification with the body in advanced practitioners
16:50 – Is it possible to grade levels of enlightenment?
19:34 – How Shinzen proves someone is not an arhat
22:32 – Enlightenment in the body
26:28 – Clinging and the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC)
35:27 – Reconfiguring top-down processing via meditation
40:12 – What is early science?
43:22 – Integration of liberation
49:40 – Shinzen’s experience after a lifetime of meditation and science
1:05:22 – Does theism have a place in science?
1:08:54 – Is enlightenment really about raw data?
Previous episode with Shinzen and Chelsey:
Previous Interview with Shinzen Young:
To find out more about Shinzen, visit:
To find out more about Chelsey, visit:
For more interviews, videos, and more visit:
Music ‘Deva Dasi’ by Steve James