Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 52 – Inspired Leadership

Inspired Leadership

On this episode, Jack speaks about the different aspects of inspired leadership and how to cultivate them in our lives.

Jack explores the natural perfections of the heart and how to listen to the leader inside you. We also hear three stories of inspired leadership expressed through dedication, love, and equanimity.

Show Notes

Inspired Leadership (Opening) – What is bodhisattva leadership? This wise leadership is the result of living a life committed to justice, compassion, and a universal goodwill.

Inner Leadership (7:45) – When we come to meditate we become the witness to our own life, our own inner leader. In doing so, we shift from identification with our fear and confusion to a place of the heart.

Jack shares wisdom on the paramitas, the six perfections of the heart. These natural perfections of the heart include generosity, morality, patience, energy, meditation, and wisdom. All of which grow and flourish naturally as we sit and become quiet enough to listen inside.

“Practice is a willingness to quiet and sense what you really value from a place of stillness and then develop the capacities to live from that understanding.”

Outer Leadership (14:45) – We hear a story of Aung San Suu Kyi activist and Burmese politician. Aung San Suu Kyi spent years under house arrest away from her family as a sacrifice to her people. Her sacrifice, courage, and depth of compassion for the people of her country is a moving example of outer leadership.

“It is only Metta (loving-kindness) that is strong enough to keep together people who face such repression, who are in danger of being dragged away to prison and tortured any minute. The longer we work together, the greater our bond of Metta grows. From there, these ties of friendship and affection spread outward to include the family and colleagues. From there, it spreads further and with it the feeling of family grows. A family with a love of justice, freedom, peace, and equality for all the people of this nation and all the people of the world.” – Aung San Suu Kyi

Leadership Through Love (33:15) – Ram Dass is another living example of outer leadership. Jack tells stories of Ram Dass’s leadership to the next generations. When Ram Dass was sent back to America from India by his guru, Maharajji, he did not have the faith in himself to lead and teach others. Maharajji looked at Ram Dass and after a few moments said, “I see no imperfections.” In the years since Ram Dass has fulfilled that obligation to lead. He has filled many roles and lived many lives. But through it all, he has been an example of love, compassion, and leadership.
Courage and Equanimity (49:40) – Jack tells the story of Nainoa Thompson, famous Hawaiian navigator. Nainoa practiced a nearly dead tradition of sailing and navigating that relies on the senses and awareness of the natural world. He persevered through personal tragedy to lead a legendary expedition. His leadership inspired his people, who had lost so much of their culture and identity.

“When you don’t know what to do next, go inside and feel the boat at the center of the world.” – Nainoa’s teacher


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