On this episode of Heart Wisdom, Jack talks about leadership, nobility, and love. American presidents George Washington and Lincoln are used as examples of men who showed true nobility of heart. There is a sense of justice in their words and a kind of integrity to their actions in the midst of unbearable suffering, which is a sign of real leadership. This is a quality of nobility which we can find ourselves in our own roles as leaders.
The Buddha says that wise leadership requires generosity, integrity, peace, and sacrifice among many other traits. These are all qualities that can be awakened in us. This is why we are given the practices of compassion, mindfulness, and equanimity. Jack teaches us to utilize these practices in an effort to awaken our inner nobility.
Jack also discusses the diversity of love and its many roles. Love brings happiness, heals, and even teaches through loss. We explore a few ways in which love can present itself and affect our lives.
00:35 – Jack discusses the early American presidents and their examples of extraordinary leadership. We hear about George Washington and the post-revolutionary war debate on whether Washington should be made a king. Abraham Lincoln’s memorial is enshrined in a marble temple that feels like a sacred place.
06:50 – The Buddha said, “the Dharma, or the teachings of awakening and compassion, welcomes all.” Nothing about birth nor cast or creed makes a person noble, but solely the nobility of heart. As a result, most Buddhist texts begins with, ” Oh Nobly Born”, which is a reminder to the reader who they really are. The quality of nobility that Washington and Lincoln carried was the quality of wise leadership.
12:55 – Wise leadership requires a myriad of characteristics which can all be honed with practice. Jack shares a regular practice of generosity. There is an innate connection between us as human beings. Empathy, love, and compassion are all things that can be trained and awakened
18:25 – Jack shares the teachings of Thích Nhất Hạnh on the subject of love. Thích Nhất Hạnh wrote of the love he felt in his heart as a young man for a young woman he knew in Vietnam. The love he felt was the kind that not only connects to another person but awakens us to something greater.
26:05 – Loving awareness allows us to become connected with the world. Jack tells a story of traveling in India with a friend with a strong connection to her brother. Her connection to him was so strong that she had a vision of his death on the day he died but did not hear of his passing until afterward.
30:55 – All the success around the study of mindfulness as now led science to study compassion. Which Jack feels is better than first spending their time understanding love, because the concept of love is so complex in our minds. Love has too many variations to study it as a whole. In many of the Buddhist texts, monks and nuns are taught the dangers of sexual desires. For lay people, however, the Buddha says the happiness we receive through the senses are there for us to enjoy.
40:00 – In these times of political divisiveness and hatred, we are able to rest in the heart of love. Jack tells the story of Richard Nixon returning to the White House for a gathering of ex-presidents during the Carter administration. Despite being shunned by everyone in attendance, Carter embraced Nixon with love and welcomed him back home. This act of loving kindness proved to be a turning point for Nixon. it gave him the hope that healing and forgiveness for his actions were possible.
43:35 – A final story about love. An African story about a sky maiden who leaves her husband when their love is betrayed by his possessiveness.
Photo via Flickr