In the face of these divisive times, Jack Kornfield offers some timely wisdom on equanimity, karma, maintaining a vast perspective and planting the seeds of goodness.
Equanimity and Vastness
Jack begins with some thoughts on uncertainty and a story about the mysterious nature of incarnation. He invites us to understand equanimity, and to look beyond the problems of our everyday lives, take the long view, and plug into our sense of vastness.
“One of [Ajahn Chah’s] most frequent responses would be to smile and say, ‘It’s uncertain, isn’t it?’ He wouldn’t give us an answer, he wanted us to rest in the mystery. With the election, with racial justice, with the pandemic, with all the things that we’re facing, climate change, how are we gonna fix it? How will we get through it? It’s uncertain, isn’t it?” – Jack Kornfield
Karma and Intention (16:41)
It’s important to remember our vastness, but we can’t look past the minute particulars of this incarnation. Jack explores the concept of karma, taking a look at the laws of cause and effect. He talks about how the key to karma is intention, and that karma is like the planting of seeds.
“Don’t think that the seeds that you plant won’t make a difference. With equanimity, with a peaceful heart and a vast mind, then you water the seeds that matter; you plant beautiful things, you tend to things.” – Jack Kornfield
Ram Dass offers a series of stories on karma in Here and Now Ep. 170
Seeding Goodness in the World (32:00)
Jack talks more about planting seeds in this mystery of life, and how the secret is to act well and plant seeds of goodness. Do not become attached to the fruits of those seeds, and don’t think that even little things can’t make a difference. Jack closes the talk with a discussion of aligning ourselves with the billions of acts of goodness in this world.
“It’s so amazing to just step out and look at the stars, to feel yourself a part of this web of life, carried by it, the web of goodness. And then to offer that goodness in your seeds, in your best intention, in what you plant. And to trust.” – Jack Kornfield