Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 154 – Awakening In The Midst Of Life

Jack Kornfield offers wisdom on awakening in the midst of life, sharing insight on navigating life's joys and sorrows with a fearless heart.

Jack Kornfield offers wisdom on awakening in the midst of life, sharing insight on navigating life’s joys and sorrows with a fearless heart.

In this Dharma Talk stemming from January 4th, 1991, Jack Kornfield speaks to the process of awakening in the midst of life. Exploring the cycle of return, life’s 10,000 joys and sorrows, and what role time and the present moment play in relation to Bodhisattvas and enlightenment, Jack elucidates the intricacies of life, death, fearlessness and the heart.

“To make one’s activity sacred is to do it for that which is your deepest love, for that which you most deeply value.” – Jack Kornfield

This talk from Jack Kornfield was originally published on DharmaSeed.org
Cycle of Return // Life’s 10,000 Joys & Sorrows

Opening the podcast by talking about the cycle of return, Jack reflects on his humble time in a forest monastery in Asia, compared to the intense hustle and bustle surrounding him back in the United States. From here, he shares a story of the Green Beret Army forces going on a meditation retreat, and poses the question: how do we deal with life’s 10,000 joys and sorrows?

“It’s easier to fight for one’s principles than live up to them.” – Jack Kornfield 

Jack offers perspectives on working with suffering in the modern world, on Ep. 122 of Heart Wisdom
Time & The Present // Bodhisattvas & Enlightenment (18:01)

Speaking from an eastern spirituality perspective on the massive periods of time we are living within—Yugas & Mahakulpas—Jack brings it all back to the moment, sharing how the entire past and future is in one place: the timeless present. Next, he discusses the path the Buddha outlined as the way of the Bodhisattva. Through this lens, he reflects on how there are no enlightened people, only enlightened activity.

“You can take care of the whole past and future in only one place: just now in the present moment. And if you actually live in the present moment—moment to moment in this timeless present—you take care of all of the past and all of the future.” – Jack Kornfield

Jack & Raghu explore how there is no time like the present, on Ep. 196 of Mindrolling

Death & Life // Heart & Fearlessness (38:01)

Jack reads passages pointing to the fact that we don’t know when death will come knocking on our door—helping imbibe the existential contemplation: what really matters? Noting the true preciousness of life, Jack reminds us that this is why we meditate. From here, he offers a story of fear and honesty on a harrowing drive with his teacher, Ajahn Chah. To close, he reads a moving poem from Rumi, and leads a powerful group chanting of the mantra “Namoh.”

“Part of our practice here is to discover that our heart can face death, sorrows, and all of life. And that the heart is greater than all of them.” – Jack Kornfield

Dying expert, Ram Dev (Dale Borglum), discusses fearlessness, on Ep. 76 of Healing at the Edge
Art via Yuliya Chsherbakova