Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 61 – Letting Go

In this episode of Heart Wisdom, Jack helps us better navigate the mysteries of life and death by letting go of our attachments.

Jack teaches how letting go of our attachment and desire for control opens us to the vastness that this incarnation has to offer.

Show Notes

Death and Rebirth (Opening) – Jack reflects on Spring and its archetypal representation of rebirth and renewal of life. This leads to the question of how we go about navigating death and rebirth. With Jack, we examine how our mindfulness practice gives us the capacity to be with this change from a place of balance and wisdom.

“We must allow ourselves to turn our attention and our hearts to this mystery of ‘Who am I?”

Opening to it All (10:00) – If we open ourselves to the vastness that life has to offer, the good and the bad, we open ourselves to a vastness within. Jack explores the quality of love necessary to show up to this life and all it has to offer.

Our Attachment (23:00) – How do we go about opening ourselves completely to life and love? Jack explains how the practice of non-attachment opens us to the vastness that life presents. He relays the words of his teacher, Ajahn Chah, who, like the Buddha, taught that our suffering and isolation come from attachment.

“Non-attachment doesn’t mean that we are not relating, but it means to be present without the grasping or controlling.”

Letting Go (29:55) – If we give up all of our attachments, then what becomes of things like relationships, and social justice? How do we operate in this life after letting go of attachment? Jack explains the different capacities available to us beyond control and attachment. With dedication, commitment, and care we can bring our best selves to everything life has to offer without any attachment to the results.

“To not be attached doesn’t mean that you are not present, but you are present in a different way. The secret is to act well without attachment to the outcome.”

The Five Rivers (41:00) – The Buddha described our human incarnation as being Five Rivers: a river of sense experience, a river of feelings, a river of perceptions, a river of thoughts, and a river of consciousness. Jack explains how a liberated being experiences these same rivers but does not cling to them, which is true freedom.

“Freedom comes through this training of loving awareness where you notice the feelings and notice the thoughts, but you don’t take them personally.”

For wisdom from Ram Dass on letting go, check out this episode of Here and Now.
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