The mission of the Shinzen Young Foundation is to ensure that the teachings of meditation master Shinzen Young are widely available in perpetuity. The organization will also support the advancement of research examining meditation modalities, and will incubate social entrepreneurship projects that include contemplative practice.


About Shinzen

Shinzen Young is an American mindfulness teacher and neuroscience research consultant.

His systematic approach to categorizing, adapting and teaching meditation, known as Unified Mindfulness, has resulted in collaborations with Harvard Medical School, Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Vermont in the burgeoning field of contemplative neuroscience. Currently, Shinzen serves as Co-Director of the Science Enhanced Mindful Awareness (SEMA) Lab at the University of Arizona.

Contributions to Mindfulness in the 21st Century


Applying neuromodulation modalities to test theories of mindful awareness and to augment mindfulness-based interventions.

Shinzen's website for original content and programs.

Unified Mindfulness

The official place to train for coaches in Shinzen's system.


Viewed a whole, Shinzen’s endeavors represent an unwavering commitment to applying analytic rigor to the contemplative space, for the purpose of creating meditation practice systems that will foster human flourishing.

The core aim of The Shinzen Young Foundation is to preserve and promulgate Shinzen’s work, and moreover, to contextualize this work in a manner that will serve to advance human civilization.

Meet our Team


Chris Trani, President

Chris has studied with Shinzen since 2008 and in 2021 began collaborating directly with him on various projects. In addition to being a dedicated practitioner & certified trainer of the Unified Mindfulness System, she brings decades of professional experience as a conversation coach & facilitator for business leaders & teams across multiple industries. She is known for her consistent commitment to design conversations focused on both results and relationships. Her degree is in counseling psychology.

Ralph Andradez, Secretary

Ralph began meditating in 2003 while pursuing a degree in philosophy. His life took a transformative turn in 2013 when he discovered the teachings of Shinzen Young. Now a certified Unified Mindfulness teacher/trainer Ralph devotes much of his time to teaching meditation, driven by a passion for helping others experience the profound benefits of mindfulness practice that so deeply transformed his own life. When not teaching, Ralph is a musician, avid surfer, and small business owner in Brooklyn, NY.

Carol Houst, Treasurer

Carol is a lifelong organic gardener and real estate investor with a 40+ year career as a commercial real estate investment broker and loan officer. She has been retreating and practicing meditation with Shinzen Young since 2001, and considers his "industrial strength" training and practice to be one of the most significant influences in her entire life. Carol is a mother to 2 grown children and a lover of poetry, Shakespeare and dogs.

Rakhel Shapiro, Director

Rakhel has been meditating regularly since 2007, and began meditating with Shinzen in 2013. Rakhel is a PhD candidate in clinical psychology, a Level 2 Internal Family Systems Practitioner, and creates content integrating meditation and psychology for the new meditation app Madrona Meditation. Rakhel also brings a background in nonprofit fundraising, with a focus in grant writing. Rakhel lives in her hometown of NYC with her sweet pup Sila.

Todd Mertz, Executive Director

Todd has filled a number of roles in working closely with Shinzen since 2011. Chief of Staff may be most accurate as a single title throughout that time. His degree in counseling psychology and work experience in various fields have contributed valuable experience to a number of projects supporting Shinzen's work and developing this community.