Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 149 – Tending the Garden of the World, Tending the Garden of the Heart

Jack Kornfield reflects on dynamic Buddhist stories highlighting how we can tend the garden of the world by tending to the garden of our heart.

Jack Kornfield reflects on dynamic Buddhist stories highlighting how we can tend the garden of the world by tending to the garden of our heart.

O’ Nobly Born…

‘O Nobly Born…’ in this flowing Dharma talk Jack shares potent Buddhist stories exemplifying how we can tend to the garden of the world while tending to the garden of our heart. Opening with a tale of a Rabbi who relayed to a monastery of monks that the Messiah was amongst them, Jack helps us recognize the inner Buddha Nature within everyone, including ourself. From here, he shares the garden-tending story of the Buddha and the plowman.

“Here we are at this time on the earth – what kind of seeds are we planting and tending? There are unhealthy seeds of ignorance, greed, fear, hatred, and delusion—when we plant these seeds and allow them to grow they bring enormous suffering… But there are other seeds, there are seeds of generosity, clarity, gratitude, compassion, and mutual respect. As Thich Nhat Hanh says, ‘Consciousness has all these seeds imbedded in it. Which ones will you water? For those are the ones that will grow.'” – Jack Kornfield 

Plant beautiful seeds in the garden of the heart with Jack Kornfield, on Ep. 99 of Heart Wisdom
Quiet Mind, Soft Heart, & A Sense of Wonder (13:33)

After acknowledging all of the divisive turbidity and suffering within the modern world, Jack reads a story about snowflakes, a snow finch, and a wild dove, reminding us all to take a moment to quiet ourselves, let our hearts soften, and open to a sense of wonder.

“If you want a practice, take a walk and look at the buds on the trees in the springtime, or look closely at the grass and the weeds that push themselves up through the cracks in the sidewalk. Each bud is an answer to despair or apathy, each springing up of life is an answer.” – Jack Kornfield

“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” – Henry David Thoreau

Krishna Das takes us on a stroll through the inner-garden, on Ep. 95 of Pilgrim Heart

Grief, Care, & Intention (28:01)

Through the scope of these rather daunting times, Jack invites us to feel into the deep grief that resides underneath our anger, rage, and fear. Laying a path to the heart, he helps us go beyond even the grief and into the care within us that holds it all. Opening us to the recognition that our pain and grief isn’t actually “our” pain and grief, but “the” pain and grief—Jack helps us realize that despair isn’t personal. To close, he shares on intention before offering a garden-themed reflection and an empowering poem.

“Stay connected to the best of these seeds. Take a moment to reflect: What is your highest intention—in your love relationship, in raising children, in doing your work? Your intention is part of the seed. Come back to it again and again to water it. What is your intention for this world?” – Jack Kornfield

Jack invites you to dig a little deeper into the garden of the heart, on Ep. 73 of Heart Wisdom
Photo via Kanjana Kawfang