Jack Kornfield – Ep. 56 – The Joy of Virtue

Joy of virtue

This week on Heart Wisdom, Jack discusses the joy of virtue.

Virtue is one of the many qualities essential to the awakening of one’s true nature. Jack breaks virtue down to its most fundamental levels and shares the joy of virtue and living a life of integrity.

Show Notes

Qualities of Awakening (Opening) – Jack talks about the eternal qualities of awakening. Practicing qualities such as patience and wisdom in a way that anchors us amidst our chaotic and turbulent culture. He addresses virtue, one of the fundamental principles of conscious life.

The Joy of Virtue (10:50) – There is something in us that knows what it means to have a kind of fundamental care and integrity with what we do. Jack talks about the joy of virtue that is found through practice. Without this sort of integrity, the spiritual life is incomplete.

“There is no spiritual life worth anything. There are no insights, no great lists, no special states. They are worthless if they don’t grow out of a basis of integrity. Otherwise, they are kind of just fancy stuff that comes and goes.”

Do No Harm (17:35) – There are three levels of virtue, the first being to limit the harm we do to other beings. This means not to steal and to speak with integrity; to not harm others sexually or ourselves with intoxication.

Cultivating Compassion (26:50) – The next level of virtue is to not only refrain from doing harm but to also express and cultivate compassion. When we practice compassion, we begin to see that we are all in the same boat; just cells in the same living body. Jack discusses expressing compassion in every aspect of our lives.

“The world doesn’t need more food; it doesn’t need more oil. It needs less greed and less prejudice, it needs more love.”

Reverence (43:00) – Reverence is the level of virtue which sees that life is complicated, but underneath there is an intention of the heart to care for it all. Jack talks about the quality of reverence for all life and shares what the Buddha had to say on the subject.


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