Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 82 – Respect for All


This time on the Heart Wisdom Podcast, Jack examines the inner beauty and liberation that comes from cultivating respect for all beings.

Show Notes

Remembering Ourselves (Opening) – Jack opens by asking us to remember our true nature, which is the foundation for cultivating compassion and respect for all beings. He shares an Arthurian tale about Sir Gawain, who learns a priceless lesson about honoring the sovereignty and dignity of each person.

“A number of the Buddhist texts begin with this phrase. ‘Oh nobly born, oh you who are the sons and daughters of the awakened ones, the Buddhas and the bodhisattvas. Do not forget who you really are, do not forget your true nature.’ They begin with this beautiful expression of respect to you, that you were born with a basic goodness and a heart of compassion that is born into every child. You are born with a capacity to awaken and live in a wise and caring way in this world. Do not ever forget who you are.” – Jack Kornfield

RESPECT (15:15) – When the Buddha talks about sovereignty he is referring to a quality of love and respect for one’s self and others; and in a way, he also refers to the way we operate from a place of our innate nobility – our Buddha nature. Jack reflects on a lesson that his teacher, Ajahn Chah, gave him about how respecting the nature of things can deliver us from the bonds of afflictive emotions.

Listen to Jacks’s reflection on the life and teachings of his Ajahn Chah on Ep. 79 of the Heart Wisdom Podcast

Sitting with our Projections (37:00) – As we cultivate loving awareness we begin to develop the ability to be with our own suffering, which is often at the root of all the suffering we cause others. Jack looks at what happens when we loosen our attachment to our difficult experiences and shift to operating from a place of loving awareness, instead of a reactionary place of fear.

“We are unwilling as a society to admit that we too are vulnerable, that we are all interconnected. When we can’t deal with them we project them on others. People cling to their hate and ignorence so stubornly because they sense that once hate is gone, they will be forces to deal with their own pain.” – Jack Kornfield

Power of a Generous Heart (45:20) – Jack closes with a reflection on the way that respect can transform a situation when we give our full attention to another – so much so that it can even change the world.


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