Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 54 – The Seat of Awakening

In this episode of Heart Wisdom, Jack explores what it means to take the seat of awakening.

Jack tells the story of the Buddha’s literal and figurative seat of awakening. The seat of awakening is the place from which our spiritual path begins. Jack prepares us for the trials and temptations along the path and offers a look at the rewards that await us.

Show Notes

Take a Seat (Opening) – Jack talks about what it means to take the seat of awakening, to take a seat in the midst of our human incarnation. He recounts the temptation of Mara and the words of the Buddha that remind us all of our capacity to awaken the mind and heart.

“The earth is my witness, that I have a right to sit here. That I have earned through eons of countless patience and compassion. That I and all beings have a right to sit here and remember who we really are.”

Mara Will Come (13:45) – In setting out on our spiritual path, we have taken our own seat of awakening. Like with the Buddha, Mara will come. Fear and discouragement will inevitably present themselves along the path. Taking a seat in the midst of all things requires a kind of fearlessness. This fearlessness doesn’t mean getting rid of all fear but taking on enough suffering to break open our hearts of compassion.

Dispelling Demons (19:40) – What do we do each time we are presented with our own moments of temptation from Mara? Jack gives insight into resisting Mara when she comes. He teaches us techniques to still the body and calm the mind.

“Practice, to begin with in this seat of awakening, is just to bow to what happens and say, ‘Ah yes, this too,’ and feel your life breath breathing itself in the midst of it all.”

Fruits of the Path (33:30) – In taking our seat of awakening, our only instruction is to keep our senses open and not get off the seat. Everything else will come to us when we meet all that arises with a spacious heart. As we do this, profound healing starts to take place.

Jack asks us to explore within ourselves that which needs to be healed. When we can sit with our suffering with a sense of loving awareness, there will come a sense of renewal and goodness.


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