Category: Jack Kornfield

Heart Wisdom – Ep. 127 – Seeing the World with the Heart of Wisdom

In this dharma talk, we explore seeing the world with the heart of wisdom and what it means when we rest in The One Who Knows. This is who you are, consciousness itself. The One Who Knows sees life is short, that human incarnation is a realm of paradox, that we really need each other. The One Who Knows understands happiness, and sees with the eyes of the beloved. This is the radical hospitality of the One Who Knows.

The post Heart Wisdom – Ep. 127 – Seeing the World with the Heart of Wisdom appeared first on Jack Kornfield.

Emotional/Physical/Spiritual

Everyday Mindfulness

Exercise Right.

Exercise and Physical Fitness New Links: MedlinePlus RSS Feed

Jack Kornfield

Live Learn Evolve

Mindful

Positively Positive

Success Consciousness

Tiny Buddha

The Charge Blog

The Emotion Machine

The Unbound Spirit

Audio: A Meditation on Grief

Audio: A Meditation on Grief

 

When after heavy rain the storm clouds disperse, is it not that they’ve wept themselves clear to the end? —Ghalib

Grief is one of the heart’s natural responses to loss. When we grieve we allow ourselves to feel the truth of our pain, the measure of betrayal or tragedy in our life. By our willingness to mourn, we slowly acknowledge, integrate, and accept the truth of our losses. Sometimes the best way to let go is to grieve.

It takes courage to grieve, to honor the pain we carry. We can grieve in tears or in meditative silence, in prayer or in song. In touching the pain of recent and long-held griefs, we come face to face with our genuine human vulnerability, with helplessness and hopelessness. These are the storm clouds of the heart.

Most traditional societies offer ritual and communal support to help people move through grief and loss. We need to respect our tears. Without a wise way to grieve, we can only soldier on, armored and unfeeling, but our hearts cannot learn and grow from the sorrows of the past.

To meditate on grief, let yourself sit, alone or with a comforting friend. Take the time to create an atmosphere of support. When you are ready, begin by sensing your breath. Feel your breathing in the area of your chest. This can help you become present to what is within you. Take one hand and hold it gently on your heart as if you were holding a vulnerable human being. You are.

As you continue to breathe, bring to mind the loss or pain you are grieving. Let the story, the images, the feelings comes naturally. Hold them gently. Take your time. Let the feelings come layer by layer, a little at a time.

Keep breathing softly, compassionately. Let whatever feelings are there, pain and tears, anger and love, fear and sorrow, come as they will. Touch them gently. Let them unravel out of your body and mind. Make space for any images that arise. Allow the whole story. Breathe and hold it all with tenderness and compassion. Kindness for it all, for you and for others.

The grief we carry is part of the grief of the world. Hold it gently. Let it be honored. You do not have to keep it in anymore. You can let it go into the heart of compassion; you can weep.

Releasing the grief we carry is a long, tear-filled process. Yet it follows the natural intelligence of the body and heart. Trust it, trust the unfolding. Along with meditation, some of your grief will want to be written, to be cried out, to be sung, to be danced. Let the timeless wisdom within you carry you through grief and awaken a tender, open heart.

Keep in mind that grief doesn’t just dissolve. Instead it arises in waves and gradually, with growing compassion, there comes more space around it. The heart opens and in its own time, little by little, gaps of new life—breaks in the rain clouds appear. The body relaxes and freer breaths appear. This is a natural cycle you can trust—how life and the heart renews itself. Like the spring after winter, it always does.

 

The post Audio: A Meditation on Grief appeared first on Jack Kornfield.

Heart Wisdom – Ep. 126 – Freedom, Gratitude, & the Buoyancy of Hope

What is freedom? Nelson Mandela—when he got out of 27 years in prison and stood up in front of the newly remade nation of South Africa with such magnanimity, graciousness, and wisdom he spoke of freedom and said: “You are not yet free, you merely have the freedom to be free.” No matter what the situation, we are offered the freedom to choose our highest intention, to choose to be free. When we understand intention, we are given the opportunity to set the compass of our heart. This is what will transform our world.

The post Heart Wisdom – Ep. 126 – Freedom, Gratitude, & the Buoyancy of Hope appeared first on Jack Kornfield.

Video: Joy (Mudita) Dharma Talk

“Live in joy, in love, even among those who hate. Live in joy, in health, even among the afflicted. Live in joy, in peace, even among the troubled. Look within, be still. Free from fear and attachment, know the sweet joy of the way.” —Buddha From suffering, greed, hatred, and fear we can shift our whole identity and find well-being, release, & freedom. This is possible for us and those around us.

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

This talk was originally livestreamed by Spirit Rock on 4/12/21.

The post Video: Joy (Mudita) Dharma Talk appeared first on Jack Kornfield.

Video: Joy (Mudita) Meditation

Let yourself think of someone you care about. Picture them, remember them, see them in your mind’s eye or hold them in your heart. Imagine their happiest moment as a child. Then begin to wish them well: “May you be joyful. May you remember that child of spirit that was born in you. May your joy increase. May the causes for happiness and joy grow stronger in your life.” Then imagine this person wishing the same for you.

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

This meditation was originally livestreamed by Spirit Rock on 4/12/21.

The post Video: Joy (Mudita) Meditation appeared first on Jack Kornfield.

Natural Joy

Natural Joy

When Harvard psychologist Jack Engler was doing his research with my teacher Dipama, he asked her about one of the common misunderstandings of Buddhist teachings. “This all sounds very gray,” he said. “Getting rid of greed, getting rid of hate, getting rid of ignorance. Where’s the juice?” “Oh, you don’t understand!” Dipama burst out laughing. “There is so much sameness in ordinary life. We are always experiencing everything through the same set of lenses. Once greed, hatred and delusion are gone, you see everything fresh and new all the time. Every moment is new. Life was dull before. Now, every day, every moment is full of taste and zest.”
 
When love meets pain it becomes compassion. When love meets happiness, it becomes joy. Joy is an expression of the awakened heart, a quality of enlightenment. When we live in the present, joy often arises for no reason. This is the happiness of consciousness that is not dependent on particular conditions. Children know this. Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, describes how enthusiastically children write to him. “One day a little boy sent me a charming card with a drawing. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters – sometimes very hastily – but this one I lingered over. I sent him a postcard and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, ‘Dear Jim, I loved your card.’ Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said ‘Jim loved your card so much he ate it.’ That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

We have seen how joy can come in deep meditation. Students describe trembling, tears of laughter, cool waves, ripples of ecstasy, floating joy, joy like turquoise water, bodily thrilling, grateful joy, playful, delighting joy and ecstasy of stillness. They describe joy in the body, heart and mind, joy in the beauty of the world and joy in the happiness of others.

Sometimes people mistake Buddhism for a pessimistic view of life. Certainly the Noble Truths teach about suffering and its causes and in Buddhist countries there are a few very serious, grim–duty style meditation masters. I, myself, like many other Westerners, sought them out. I was so determined to transform myself and attain some special realization that I went to the strictest monasteries and retreats, where we practiced 18 hours a day and sat unmoving in the face of enormous pain. And at these monasteries I learned many important things.

But somehow in the seriousness of my quest, I failed to notice the extraordinary buoyancy of the Buddhist cultures around me. Seeking austerity, we serious Westerners failed to notice that most Buddhist temples are a riot of colors, filled with paintings and statues and images of fantastic stories of angels, devas, bodhisattvas and Buddhas. We ignored the community life that centered around the temples, the cycles of rituals, dances, celebrations, feasts and festivals. In our ardor, we did not appreciate how many of our greatest teachers, Ajahn Chah, Maha Ghosananda, Ananda Maitreya, the 16th Karmapa, Anagarika Munindra, had marvelous, easy laughs, and an infectious sense of joy.

Read Natural Joy, Part 2.

 

 

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

The post Natural Joy appeared first on Jack Kornfield.

Video: Seeing the World with the Heart of Wisdom Dharma Talk

We have the capacity to be awake and to see the world as it is with a graciousness and an understanding. As the poet 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.” This is our dance, our human incarnation: to tend and love that which is ephemeral.

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

This talk was originally livestreamed by Spirit Rock on 2/8/21.

The post Video: Seeing the World with the Heart of Wisdom Dharma Talk appeared first on Jack Kornfield.

Heart Wisdom – Ep. 125 – ‘Just Like Me’ Guided Meditation

How do we relate to people who are different? In truth, we are all strange and unique through the very nature of our differences within separate human incarnations; yet despite this slew of personal variance, we actually have more in common than we have in contrast. Through this lens, we can peer through the eyes of wisdom, we can transcend our games and ideas of differences, trading them for similarities, understanding, and oneness.

 

 

The post Heart Wisdom – Ep. 125 – ‘Just Like Me’ Guided Meditation appeared first on Jack Kornfield.