Wystan Bryant-Scott

Toronto, Canada
Certified UM Trainer/Teacher

Ever since I picked up a copy of Shinzen Young’s book, The Science of Enlightenment, I’ve been continually impressed by the conceptual clarity and practical utility of his style of teaching. I’m thrilled to carry it forward as a Teacher of Unified Mindfulness.

Before training in Unified Mindfulness I was intent on ordaining as a Buddhist monk. My aspiration was rooted in philosophical conviction and brief experiences of self-transcendence following a long period of severe depression and anxiety in adolescence. Seeking relief from my own suffering while despairing at the present state and projected trajectory of the world, actualizing the Bodhisattva ideal appeared the appropriate response.

I trained in monasteries in Thích Nhất Hạnh’s lineage as a lay-person and briefly an anagārika dedicated full-time to Buddhist practice, after which I turned to monasteries in Ajahn Chah’s lineage. However, it eventually became clear ordained monastic life was not my path. Nonetheless, monastic life and ideals continue to greatly influence me. Subsequent to certification as a Unified Mindfulness Teacher I completed a year of intensive practice and service in residence at Zen Mountain Monastery.

I continue to explore various traditions and practices all the while integrating a secular life with all its complications and joys within continuous and committed practice. 

I teach grounded in Shinzen’s secular system of attention training; my competency and certification therein is my primary qualification. That being said, my ongoing experience in several Buddhist traditions’ conceptual and practice paradigms combined with Unified Mindfulness’ universal applicability and adaptability afford traction and enthusiasm discussing and advising any and all attentional practices spiritual, religious, or otherwise identified. 

In my own practice I’ve been greatly fortunate to be supported by Shinzen Young and Unified Mindfulness’ teacher training program, Leigh Brasington’s instruction in jhāna, Rob Burbea’s writing and recorded retreats, The Mind Illuminated, Stephen Snyder’s work, innumerable other teachers’ texts and recordings, and broadly what’s been called Pragmatic Dharma. Finally, and especially as my practice has matured, I’ve been humbled and helped by teachings and teachers of Vajrayana, Dzogchen, and Zen.

Some of my other interests include philosophy of mind, morals, and metaphysics, cognitive and neuro-science, qualia computing, psychedelics, and any art which poignantly depicts the homeostatic activity of autopoietic agents eliding entropy. 

I intend to realize, research, and make available the benefits of dedicated contemplative practice for all. To that end, in addition to furthering my own practice and teaching, I am studying philosophy and cognitive science at the University of Toronto. 

I teach within the guidelines, ethics, and professional standards of Unified Mindfulness, which I encourage you to read about here: https://unifiedmindfulness.com/ethical-guidelines-2/.