Jack Kornfield – Ep. 71 – The Essence of Buddhist Psychology: Cultivating Loving Awareness

Jack Kornfield - Ep. 71 - The Essence of Buddhist Psychology: Cultivating Loving Awareness

Jack continues with part two of his Essence of Buddhist Psychology series by examining the quality of compassion necessary to cultivate mindfulness and loving awareness.

If you missed part one of The Essence of Buddhist Psychology series listen here: Part One – A Living Practice

Show Notes

Invitation to Approach (Opening) – Are you trying to rush your dharmic development? Jack discusses the need to allow our practice to unfold organically, rather than striving for more than what we are experiencing. He shares how in doing so, we open ourselves to the experience of loving awareness.

“There is not something that is supposed to be happening, what is happening is the subject of your attention.”

Cultivating Loving Awareness (7:05) – It turns out that mindfulness has to be married to compassion and loving-kindness in order to function properly. Jack explores the quality of loving awareness that arises through the integration of mindfulness and compassion.

“From the beginning in Buddhist psychology, compassion and awareness are what went together. In order to be present for experience there has to be some element of kindness, otherwise, you are judging it. But, if you bring them together, as loving awareness, then you are able to be present without manipulating or being in conflict with the experience the way that it is.”

Practices of Compassion (22:15) – Jack speaks to the innate compassion within us all that is waiting to be uncovered. He shares different practices that we can utilize to cultivate this natural loving awareness.

“If you want to learn how to be wise and present, the first step is an intention to not harm yourself or others. The not harming yourself is equally important. I get people who are using, cutting and doing all kinds of self-destructive things because that is the only way they can tolerate their pain. So, it is not judging, but rather it becomes an invitation – does this lead to happiness or suffering? All of it, underlying, is to hold the vulnerability, the hurt, the pain and confusion in compassion.”  

Resting in Loving Awareness (31:00) – Jack leads a meditation which aims to cultivates compassion for others and the self in a way that allows us to truly rest in loving awareness.

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