Amidst Russia’s war on Ukraine, Jack Kornfield applies spiritual wisdom to remind us that peace is possible.
This talk was originally live-streamed by Spirit Rock Meditation Center on 3/28/22
The Best of Times, The Worst of Times
Starting with Charles Dickens’ extraordinary sentence, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” Jacks speaks to the current world political climate in regards to Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine. Through this lens, Jack offers Buddhist perspectives and shares stories of his teacher, Ajahn Chah, pointing to how we can deescalate our own inner tensions and begin to heal the deep suffering in our lives and the world.
“We human beings are constantly in combat, at war to escape the fact of being so limited by so many circumstances we cannot control. But instead of escaping, we continue to create suffering, waging war with evil, waging war with good, waging war with what is too small, waging war with what is too big, waging war with what is too short or too long, or right or wrong, courageously carrying on the battle. It’s time to stop the war.” –Ajahn Chah
Jack shares a guided meditation for compassion during a time of war, on Ep. 145 of Heart Wisdom
Peace is Possible (12:22)
Sharing a story of being in Vietnam during wartime, Jack speaks to the peaceful message of the unique statue he came across of Buddha and Jesus standing with their arms around each other’s shoulders. Relaying Thich Nhat Hanh’s sentiment that a centered, calm way of being can stifle the contagious fire of panic, he opens us to the deep acknowledgment that peace is possible. Next, he explores the illusions of impermanence, ownership, and sustained pleasure.
“That’s where we could weep—because the world itself is sacred and beautiful, and yet we can’t hold onto it.” – Jack Kornfield
Krishna Das shares a talk on how peace comes from practice, on Ep. 102 of Pilgrim Heart
Vast Compassion & Loving Awareness (29:00)
Speaking to the importance of meeting life in vast compassion from the space of loving awareness, Jack shares stories and insight into how we can stop perpetuating the war inside ourselves. From here, he reflects on how war-torn children in places like Darfur and Syria are actually our children, before bringing the episode home and discussing how ‘we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.’
“Don’t forget who you really are. You are loving awareness itself. Don’t get caught in the dramas of the wars and keep them going.” – Jack Kornfield