Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 62 – Energy to Awaken


In this episode, Jack helps us find the energy to awaken by exploring the practice of Right Effort.

Show Notes

Coming to the Temple (Opening) – With Jack, we reflect on the fruits of taking a pause in our lives to take notice of that which is outside of time. He discusses the act of coming together in sacred places to awaken what lies in these states of reflection.

“We come here amidst the turning of the seasons to quiet the mind, tend the heart and find some inner freedom.”

Energy to Awaken (9:15) – Jack looks at the inner development needed to address some of our species’ biggest issues like warfare, racism, and addiction. To do this we must practice Right Effort to direct our attention and energy inward to affect the roots of these issues.

“We have an innate amount of energy, an innate life force, and the question is how will we use it?”

Wise Effort (15:00) – The first aspect of Right Effort is simply the effort to be mindful, to be present with loving awareness.

 “This is the first and most central capacity of your Buddha nature, that it is possible to live in an awake way and not be lost as much as we are.

Mindful Response (23:05) – Mindfulness has two sides to it; one is to see what is so and the second is our response.  The next aspect of Right Effort is this mindful response.

“Mindfulness has two different dimensions to it. One is to see what is so, to be connected with the present with clarity and kindness. The second is the mindful response. What do we do? How do we respond mindfully to the circumstance of our life?”

Willingness (35:50) – The third dimension of Right Effort is the willingness to practice. Jack explores the innate difficulty for us to face our challenges head-on and the readiness to meet them with a practice that we must cultivate.

Balance (45:15) – The final aspect of Right Effort that ties everything together is balance; both in our inner and outer lives. We are given examples of how to bring balance to our life and practice.

“This takes a kind of attentiveness to our lives; to see with loving awareness what is the right way to marshal our energy, use it and see what is a mindful response.”

For more teaching on Right Effort, check out this episode of Joseph Goldstein’s Insight Hour.

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