Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 116 – Equanimity and the Heart of Compassion


Jack Kornfield leads an equanimity meditation to help us be steady and balanced in the midst of constant change, then follows with a meditation that goes straight into the heart of compassion.

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Steady and Balanced Amidst It All

Jack talks about why equanimity is taught as a complement to Loving Kindness and compassion practices. He begins his equanimity meditation with a reflection on the constant nature of change, and offers some phrases to help cultivate equanimity, steadiness, and balance.

“Recite these well wishes for yourself: ‘May I see the arising and passing of all things in life with equanimity and balance. May I be steady and balanced amidst it all? May I live with a caring and peaceful heart.’ And let the sense of balance and equanimity expand like space to become vast, like the sky itself.” – Jack Kornfield

Joseph Goldstein explores the role equanimity plays on the spiritual path in Insight Hour Ep. 73
The Space of Vastness (9:50)

Jack continues the meditation by having us enter the space of vastness created by equanimity, allowing us to work with difficult emotions such as sadness or anger. He guides us to further expand our field of equanimity so it reaches out in every direction. Jack ends this meditation with a reminder that not all practices are for everyone and to find the ones that serve us best.

“And then notice when you allow experiences to expand wider and broader and become vast, they begin to dissipate, become translucent and transparent. They lose their power. They become like a wave in the ocean or a cloud in the sky that arises for a time and then passes away.” – Jack Kornfield

The Heart of Compassion (21:02)

Jack’s next meditation guides us directly into the heart of compassion. He begins by having us cultivate compassion for ourselves and body, then expands that out from our friends and family to the entire world. As we enter the heart of compassion, we can gaze at the world with the medicine of love.

“Compassion, it’s said, is the quivering of the heart, the tenderness of the heart when it encounters suffering in ourselves or in the beings around us, because we can’t help but vibrate with all those around us.” – Jack Kornfield

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