Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 159 – Practice in Daily Life: Walking the Eightfold Path

In this dharma talk from 1985, Jack Kornfield speaks to the heart of meditation by posing a series of frequently asked questions about bringing our spiritual practice into daily life.

This Jack Kornfield talk was originally published on Dharma Seed
Questions About Practice in Daily Life

Starting a meditation practice can be quite a lot. Jack begins his series of questions on practice in daily life with some of the basics: What is the essence of meditation practice? What is the dharma that we can awaken to? What are the laws which govern life in this world? And what does this all mean for our daily lives?

“So we sit to awaken, and we awaken by coming into our bodies and our senses and starting to see the laws which govern life so we can come into a wiser relationship with it. What does this mean for our lives? Well, this kind of teaching really teaches a way of wholeness and awareness, of bringing our body and mind together, and our heart and our action, being conscious with our speech, conscious with our eating, conscious with walking, making it a part of what allows us to grow and live.” – Jack Kornfield

Krishna Das explores practice on the spiritual path in: Pilgrim Heart Ep. 110
The Heart of the Inner Way of Practice (15:45)

Jack’s questions continue: Does meditation fragment us away from the world? What about social responsibility? Doesn’t meditation make people withdraw from the world and run away to some secret cave? What is the heart of this inner way of practice?  

“But, fundamentally, for spiritual practice to be alive in our life, it has to be that in which we can use it in the supermarket, while we drive, when we’re walking, when we’re dealing with our family; to make all of it a part of it, and not to escape.” – Jack Kornfield

Dr. Robert Svoboda talks about spiritual practice and social action in: Living With Reality Ep. 4
Practice and Hindrances (29:45)

How does one work with the hindrances that arise during meditation and spiritual practices? What if those hindrances are too strong and difficult to work with? What about different kinds of meditation practices? What’s the particular value of intensive retreats? What to do if one actually attains something in meditation? What can we learn that’s of the most value from all of this?

“Pick a practice, use it, work with it every day. Work with a teacher, if you can, or in circumstances where you sit with other people. And in doing it over and over again it starts to develop your capacity to open, it starts to train one to be more in the present moment, it starts to develop this sense of patience that brings a kind of compassion when you sit and you really feel what’s in there, all these things.” – Jack Kornfield

Joseph Goldstein sheds light on the five hindrances in Insight Hour Ep. 65
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