Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 110 – Death, Identity, and the Heavenly Messengers


Jack Kornfield elucidates the mysteries of death, birth, identity, and awareness in this episode of the Heart Wisdom Podcast.

Keep up with Jack’s at-home Monday Night Dharma Talks and find resources for dealing with the Novel Coronavirus pandemic at JackKornfield.com


Facing the Mystery of Birth and Death

The term “Amravati” translates to “the deathless.” It is that which goes beyond birth and death. We, like the Buddhist monks, have the ability to go out and offer a different vision of the world of birth and death. Jack tells a story of a meditation practitioner who was making great strides and decided to share his insights and visions with a master. The master told him he had missed the point, and that even his samadhis were simply just experiences. The only real question is, “To who do they happen?”

“Turn your attention back to the one who knows, to the knowing, to the consciousness itself, because this is the gateway to the deathless, the gateway to liberation.” -Jack Kornfield

To find out what death can teach us about life check out
An Interview with Frank Ostaseski on our Awakened Heart Blog
The Mirror of Awareness (11:16)

Deep down, we are always resting in awareness itself, in loving awareness. You are the awareness that knows the experience. Like a mirror, awareness can reflect a myriad of beautiful and horrible visions, but the mirror is not to be confused for reflections. The mirror simply knows what’s there.

“Consciousness does not exist in time. The body is born and dies, and exists in time, but awareness itself is timeless, deathless, unborn, undying, and transparent like the sky, like a mirror.”

For a further dive into the inquiry of ‘Who Am I?” visit  Ep. 67 of The Heart Wisdom Podcast
The Emptiness of Identification (40:00)

Identification has the quality of emptiness to it, for our identifications change over time. When we are young we identify as youthful, as we age we identify as old. We can identify as conservative or liberal, as parent or child, as boss or worker. We switch roles and change our identities all of the time. You die and are reborn in every moment. So, what does this say about our identification with this body, with being a separate entity?

“There is some way in your own experience that you know you are not just your body. You know you are not limited in this way… Remember who you really are. As you do, you begin to trust that you can die and be reborn over and over. I mean, every morning you are reborn at breakfast.” -Jack Kornfield

For an in-depth view into the topic of emptiness check out Ep. 1 of The Insight Hour

Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away: Teachings on Impermanence and the End of Suffering by [Ajahn Chah, Paul Breiter]      

Subscribe to Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom: iTunesRSS

Image via marukopum