Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 57 – Surprising Delights of Renunciation


On this episode of the Heart Wisdom podcast, Jack shares the surprising delights of renunciation.

Although it may be difficult to equate happiness and renunciation, Jack illuminates the complexity of renunciation and where in our life we can already find this happiness.

Show Notes

Invitations to Happiness (Opening) – In Theravada Buddhism, one of the recipes for human happiness is known as the Ten Perfections. Jack discusses these perfections and the invitation to the happiness they offer us.

“None of these are saying, ‘You are supposed to be virtuous, or you need to be generous,’ they are actually invitations to happiness. This is a way for you to have a profound wellbeing of heart, spirit and mind.”

Surprising Delights of Renunciation (7:45) – Renunciation and happiness might not seem like they go together. Especially from a society that is oriented towards accumulating things, as opposed to letting them go. Jack reminds us of the times in our life when it is what we do not have that makes us happy.

“When by knowing impermanence, one sees the world as it actually is and proper wisdom forms. That all things are impermanent, ungraspable, not to find satisfaction that is lasting in them and thus great joy arises. Such joy is the joy based on deep understanding and renunciation.”

Stepping Back (14:45) – Renunciation points to the capacity we have to step back from desires and not be enthralled by them. That capacity in the heart allows us to be present for all of life but not to get lost in it.

Possession of Others (31:30) – Another form of renunciation is the renunciation of the possession of others. Jack discusses the importance of not having a love that is possessive or grasping – which really isn’t love at all.

Renunciation of Views (40:30) – The Buddha said, “Those who cling to their views go about the world annoying others.” We tend to walk about with a sense of self-righteousness; knowing the way things are supposed to be. We start to carry our anger and grudges into our perspective. Jack shares wisdom on how to loosen the grip on being right and lighten up.

“Half of our opinions are really based on fear and misunderstanding anyway, and they change periodically.”

To listen to more teachings on the Ten Perfections from Jack Kornfield, click HERE.
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