Jack Kornfield – Ep. 84 – Tag Team Dharma with Sylvia Boorstein

Jack Kornfield shares a conversation with Sylvia Boorstein around taking the Bodhisattva vow and staying in touch with our Buddha nature as we navigate our journey of awakening.

Sylvia Boorstein, MSW, Ph.D. is the author of numerous books on Buddhist philosophy and meditation practice, including That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist and Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life. She is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. Sylvia has been teaching nationally and internationally since 1985. Her personal emphasis in teaching is the integration of mindfulness into everyday life. Learn more at sylviaboorstein.com.

Links from this episode: Climbers-New Yorker Magazine 

Show Notes

Rededicating Ourselves with Infinite Altruism (Opening) – Sylvia speaks about a recent experience she shared with H.H. The Dalai Lama during this year’s Kalachakra empowerment ceremony. She and Jack discuss the integral nature of altruism and nature, which are the two prerequisites for taking the Bodhisattva vow with full intention and capability. Sylvia looks at lessons around transforming our lives with a full heart that were inspired by the story of a dedicated group of post-apartheid Rwandan athletes.

“At the Kalachakra ceremony, The Dalai Lama said what you need to have in order to be able to take the vow to devote yourself to the wellbeing of others is two things – wisdom and a mind filled with altruism. I want to make the point that wisdom and altruism are more than just two companions, they are integral to each other. When wisdom fills the mind altruism is absolutely natural.” – Sylvia Boorstein  

Explore ways that kindness and wisdom transforms our lives with Sylvia Boorstein on The Awakened Heart Blog How Kindness Can Improve Your Life: Wisdom from Sylvia Boorstein

10,000 Joys and Sorrows (16:25) – How do we navigate the breadth and depth of our inner and outer worlds as they begin to open up along our journey of awakening? Jack shares stories from his life, along with words of guidance from The Buddha, about ways we can meet the karma that unfolds as we begin to sit.

“As you sit, the unfinished business of your life comes – you start to become mindful of the things that are held in your body as they start to release: the grudges, the sadness and longing, as does the love that has not been expressed. All that we hold in ourselves starts to open up as we sit. It turns out that we have within us the same 10,000 joys and sorrows that the world is composed of – what do we do with that?” – Jack Kornfield

The Rainbow of Practice (36:15) – Sylvia reflects on the many avenues of practice available to us – all of which bring us towards the same truth of our inherent Buddha nature.

“As the mind relaxes, it opens up and sees more and more of the truth. The mind does this sometimes because one is sitting quietly and sometimes it is because you are listening to wonderful stories. I want to put in a plug for all the different ways of practicing.” –  Sylvia Boorstein

None Despise Any Being (48:50) – We close with a reflection on a koan about our preference and judgment, looking at how we can engage with life from a place of emptiness – rather than carelessness or ego.