Chôshin Blackburn

Chôshin was one of the participants in the first retreat hosted by co-workers who invited Meditation Teacher, Shinzen Young and his teachings to Canada.  What began as a participant in those retreats 32 years ago, grew into managing them for the sangha now known as the Community for Mindful Living (website in the works).

In 2000, her organizational skills and years of experience managing the retreats led Shinzen to ask her to manage Vipassana Support International – his retreat support organization. (http://www.vsiretreats.org)  Chôshin feels that participants are often arriving at retreats after stressful planning or hectic travel (from work or just life in general), so strongly believes a peaceful, calm environment welcoming each person is extremely important and something she strives to attain.  With that accomplishment in mind, for the past 17 years, she has continued to organize and manage some 90+ retreats onsite at various venues, plus many one-day workshops or evening talks. As Shinzen’s student numbers increase, she also responds to a growing number of emails, handles the audio recordings (http://www.shinzen.org), disseminates meditation and retreat information and/or directs inquiries to other resources.  One of Chôshin’s most memorable retreats is accompanying Shinzen to Israel to participate in, but also help facilitate students. A highlight of sightseeing after will always be walking the ‘Via Dolorosa’ with him.

Chôshin recently began managing the Home Practice Program that Shinzen offers each month through 01Expert, which includes co-piloting the scheduled weekend. (http://www.basicmindfulness.com).

One of the workshops led by Shinzen in Chôshin’s home town generously seeded an organization which brings mindfulness to the City of Hamilton, Ontario.  Chôshin has been a member of the Executive Core Committee of Mindfulness Hamilton (http://www.mindfulnesshamilton.ca) since its inception 4 years ago.  Events and workshops with invited meditation teachers (including Shinzen Young) are its main mandate.

In helping to facilitate her grandmother and mother’s deaths, plus attending Death Cafés in the local area, she has a growing interest in end of life issues and Thana Doula work specifically integrating mindfulness meditation.

Personally, she’s an avid gardener, music and cat lover, is a voracious reader and loves to dance, but family will always come first.  Although she has studied and enjoyed teachings from other teachers, she is happily and gratefully addicted to meditation as taught by Shinzen Young.