Chôshin Blackburn

Belleville, Ontario Canada
Unified Mindfulness L2 Coach

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 34+ years ago, grew into managing them for the sangha now known as the Community for Mindful Living – CML in Canada.

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. 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 20+ years, she has continued to organize and manage over 100+ 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, manages the audio recordings, disseminates meditation and retreat information, and/or directs inquiries to other resources. With the pandemic environment shutting down the number of people in locations, Chôshin was able to move residential retreats to virtual retreats fairly smoothly. She attributes the confidence in doing that to attending the first Unified Mindfulness Immersion retreat and experiencing that success. She has now organized and managed 7 virtual retreats for Shinzen in the past year.

 

 

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’ in Jerusalem with him.

For over 4 years, Chôshin has also been managing the Home Practice Program that Shinzen offers each month which includes co-piloting the scheduled weekend. One of the workshops led by Shinzen in Chôshin’s home town of Hamilton at that time generously seeded the Mindfulness Hamilton organization which brings mindfulness to that city. Chôshin has since relocated but was a member of the Executive Core Committee of Mindfulness Hamilton since its inception 7 years ago. Events and workshops with invited meditation teachers (including Shinzen Young) are its main mandate to this day.

In helping to facilitate her grandmother and mother’s deaths, plus attending Death Cafés in the local area, Chôshin has a growing interest in end of life issues and began courses in Thanatology early this year. She specifically wants to integrate mindfulness meditation in her Thana Doula work, so to deepen her practice and to teach the techniques with more confidence, she prepared by graduating as an L2 Coach through Pathways last year.

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