Jack Kornfield – Ep. 46 – The Stories We Tell

Jack’s timeless wisdom leads the way as he responds to a handful of questions concerning some of the common struggles encountered on the human plane.

How can we be present with difficult situations without indulging our emotions? The problem often lies more in the narratives we tell ourselves and about others that perpetuate suffering. We must be willing to allow the energies of life to rise and fall as they do while expanding our capacity to feel without necessarily believing the storyline. Our stories are often biased and untrue to begin with. In learning to be with our emotions we are better able to respond from a place of wisdom rather than an expectation of “how it should be.”

Taking time to recognize the distinction between wise and unskillful desire is a practical and effective method for addressing the root causes for much of our suffering. Through examining our impulses, we gain the perspective necessary to determine if the associated actions will ultimately increase our joy or our sorrow.

Jack reminds us that we don’t need to get rid of anything. We just have to remember who we really are and operate from that deeper self. The seeds we plant in the garden of the heart are not separate from us in their origin or their blossoming.



Show Notes

00:35 – How do we stay present when feeling unpleasant emotions without giving in to them?  Perhaps it is not the emotions we are indulging, but the stories we tell ourselves that allows us to stay present.

03:50 – Jack tells the story of a Harvard study about human perception.

06:50 – Why is desire considered a cause for suffering when it can be an impetus for joy, creativity, or satisfaction? Jack explains the confusion some have with the term desire.

10:20 – Jack touches on feelings of jealousy and how to work through or deal with them in meditation.

11:55 – A question is asked about working with the ego. Jack reminds us to just remember who we are.

17:05 – Tending to our spiritual life is a lot like gardening. We are planting the seeds in the garden of our heart. These are the seeds of presence and openness that are part of who we are.