Category: Jack Kornfield

Heart Wisdom – Ep. 134 – On Death

How can we find a freedom of heart in this world of birth and death? We can start by acknowledging that everything is subject to change. Death is an advisor that can give us clarity about what really matters.
We can be the loving witness of this life, yet not cling to it. We can cherish life, yet in the end we will have to let go.

 

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Compassion is Our Nature

Compassion is Our Nature

From the perspective of Buddhist psychology, compassion is natural. It derives from our interconnection, which Buddhism calls “interdependence.” This can be readily seen in the physical world. In the womb, every child is interdependent with its mother’s body. If either of them is sick, the other is affected. In the same way we are interdependent with the body of the earth. The minerals of the soil make up our wheat and our bones, the storm clouds become our drinks and our blood, the oxygen from the trees and forests is the air we breathe. The more consciously we realize this shared destiny, the more compassion arises for the earth itself.

The human community is equally interconnected. Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu puts it simply: “In Africa when you ask someone ‘How are you?’ the reply you get is in the plural even when you are speaking to one person. A man would say, ‘We are well’ or ‘We are not well.’ He himself may be quite well, but his grandmother is not well and so he is not well either. . . . The solitary, isolated human being is really a contradiction in terms.”

Fortunately, we are becoming more and more aware of our global interconnection. Every meal we eat is intertwined with the sweat of farm workers and long-haul truckers. It depends on the global climate and the earthworms in our soil, centuries of experiments in crop rotation, and scientific breakthroughs in seed selection. Its roots extend from the earliest agriculture in Mesopotamia and China.

In Buddhist psychology, compassion is not a struggle or a sacrifice. Within our body, compassion is natural and intuitive. We don’t think, “Oh, my poor toe or finger is hurt, maybe I should help it.” As soon as it is injured, we instantly respond because it is a part of us. Through meditation we gradually open the boundaries of consciousness to compassion for all beings, as if they were part of our family. We learn that even when our compassion is lost through fear and trauma, it can be reawakened. We all have moments when the openness and beauty of our Buddha nature shines. Caring floods through us like an inner angel of mercy, like green shoots forcing their way through cracks in the sidewalk.

This excerpt is taken from the book, “The Wise Heart

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The One You Feed – Ep. 442: Inner Freedom Through Mindfulness

In this episode we discuss:

  • The first step to dealing with difficult emotions is seeing and accepting what’s there
  • How practicing mindfulness expands your window of tolerance
  • Tools to help us remember the vastness
  • Remembering that our story is always changing
  • How we are bound to experience both the beauty and pain in life
  • The importance of compassion
  • How there are many simple practices to transform our heart and mind
  • Choosing the best spiritual practices based on what we’re drawn to
  • The possibility of seeing the Buddha-nature in every human being
  • The refuge in community and how we need each other
  • Trusting that we’re part of something bigger than ourselves
  • Learning to trust our inner knowledge, heart, and body
  • Accepting our fear and understanding that growth comes after fear
  • The doubting mind and our capacity to recognize it
  • Learning to not judge the thoughts that come up in meditation
  • How we all have the seeds of awakening within us

 

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SoulTalk with Kute Blackson Ep. 199: “How To Heal From Pain & Trauma Through The Art of Compassion”

Mindfulness is that spacious attention that says, “Yes, this is what’s here and who I am as the loving witness of it all.”

Episode Summary: ‘Love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at it’s best is love.’

In This Episode You Will Learn: How to let go of the pain and traumas of life. A key practice to help you forgive yourself, and others. How to develop compassion and tenderness even in the most difficult times. What is the real meaning of mindfulness and of meditation and the difference between. How to navigate through an overwhelming impulse or addiction. The role of plant medicine in spiritual development and the healing process. A few misconceptions and myths about the term enlightenment and where to find your true internal bliss.

 

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Video: Dharma Talk on Death

How can we find a freedom of heart in this world of birth and death? We can start by acknowledging that everything is subject to change. Death is an advisor that can give us clarity about what really matters. We can be the loving witness of this life, yet not cling to it. We can cherish life, yet in the end we will have to let go.

As Mary Oliver writes:
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones
knowing your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

For more teachings like this, please subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE.

This talk was originally livestreamed by Spirit Rock on 10/11/21.

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Video: Mindful Loving Witness Meditation

Gently acknowledge any strong waves of thought or emotion that pull you away from the breath. Let them rise and fall, then return to breath. Become the mindful loving witness of each breath.

For more teachings like this, please subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE.

This meditation was originally livestreamed by Spirit Rock on 10/11/21.

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Video: The Forgiving Heart Dharma Talk

There’s a truth and reality deeper than conflict. Who we really are is not the stories we tell. How do we touch our measure of suffering? With a forgiving heart. Step out of the tyranny of self-judgment. Forgive yourself for being a learner in this life.

Three principles of wise forgiveness of others:
1. Forgiveness is not weak, naïve. It’s not “forgive or forget.” It takes real courage. Forgiveness does not condone what happened nor allow it to continue.
2. Forgiveness is not quick. It is often a long, difficult, tender process of the heart digesting the pain of what happened.
3. Forgiveness is not for them—it’s for you. It’s about our own heart not being chained to the past.

Sometimes it’s your loving heart that opens your broken heart. We can let go. We can put down the burden of resentment. We can live with a gracious heart.

 

For more teachings like this, please subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE.

This talk was originally livestreamed by Spirit Rock on 9/20/21.

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Video: The Forgiving Heart Meditation

If it’s helpful, you can whisper in the back of your mind “ease” or “calm,” as suggested by Thich Nhat Hanh. Try to meet every breath with lovingkindness and loving awareness. Wish calm and peace for beings everywhere, far and near. Rest in stillness and love.

For more teachings like this, please subscribe to my YouTube channel HERE.

This meditation was originally livestreamed by Spirit Rock on 9/20/21.

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Heart Wisdom – Ep. 133 – Training The Inner Child

We need to give attention, love, and energy—it’s called Wise Attention in Buddhist practice—to our inner child, just as we need to give attention to any child we’re trying to raise. It’s important to mindfully tend our inner growth, learn how to heal/grieve our childhood wounding, love, and let go.

*This dharma talk was recorded on January 1, 1988 at Spirit Rock Meditation Center,

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