Christopher Quang Zobrist
Christopher was first exposed to meditation at the age of 3 by his grandmother, who is a devout Buddhist practitioner from Vietnam. He established a daily practice and has been a student of Shinzen Young since May 2015, when he attended his first one week silent retreat led by Shinzen in Southern California.
Born with a rare genetic condition known as Autosomal Dominant Optic Atrophy, Christopher has been legally blind since birth. Despite his disability, he has led an extraordinary life, having obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees from UC Berkeley and UC Davis, respectively, as well as living abroad in Vietnam for almost ten years. He has completed over 40 weeks of silent meditation retreats, with teachers including Shinzen, Dan Brown, Mingyur Rinpoche, Ram Dass, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzburg, and Jon Kabat-Zin. Thanks to his lifelong vision challenges, he brings a unique perspective to Mindfulness Practices, especially for people with vision impairments or other disabilities. He is especially interested in exploring the worlds of Dark Retreats and Dream Yoga.
Christopher’s professional background and expertise is in the integration of Mindfulness Practices into the domains of leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurship. He has started five businesses of his own, as well as advised, mentored, and invested in many other entrepreneurs over the last two decades. Through these experiences, he has developed a “collaborative ecosystem” approach for co-creating new ventures for social change, based on principles such as user-centered design, effectuation, systems thinking, disruptive innovation, and gift economics.
Chris currently resides in Berkeley, California, but also spends a significant part of his time traveling and working in Asia and Hawai’i. He travels with his guide dog, Carter, and they are both passionate about, and diligently strive towards realizing a more peaceful and compassionate world.