Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 168 – The Wisdom of Ajahn Chah

Sharing the wisdom of beloved Buddhist teacher Ajahn Chah, Jack Kornfield describes experimenting with life and accepting things as they are.

This Dharma Talk from Jack Kornfield was originally published on DharmaSeed.org
Experiment with Life 

Ajahn Chah taught people about the spirit of graciousness, and open-heartedness. He showed us that a willingness to experiment with life is a path to liberation in itself. Meditation is not the only way to be Buddhist. Engaging with life and all that happens in our reality with an open heart is a true Buddha nature. 

Check out Ep. 197 of Here and Now to hear about Ram Dass’ experiences with Ajahn Chah: A Deep, Quiet, Dharmic Existence
Ajahn Chah’s Forest Monastery (17:20)

The monastery where Ajahn Chah lived was nestled in the forest and filled with wildlife. Jack Kornfield retells a story from his stay there. He was questioned by his friends about what being a monk really does for the world. What would sitting in meditation fix in times of war? There is, however, power for social change in monastic communities. Eventually, those friends came to realize that monasteries are examples of the generosity, integrity, and respect that the world desperately needs. 

“What my friends saw of this temple was a living library of another possibility for the way human beings can conduct their lives.” – Jack Kornfield

Tune into another episode of Heart Wisdom for a meditation on Compassion in a Time of War Meditation
This is the Way Things Are (29:33)

A lot of our suffering in life comes from not accepting the way things are. Ajahn Chah had a phrase: ‘It’s like this’. No matter what we are experiencing (frustration, joy, pain) we can stop and say ‘it’s like this’. We do not need to change our emotions to be perfect Buddhists, instead, we can just acknowledge our emotions and what experiencing them feels like.

“What he was pointing to was that we can see with great honesty our circumstance, with great compassion, and in the middle of it laugh. This too is a part of our humanity…there is a wisdom that is so much greater than the things we get caught up in.” – Jack Kornfield 

Photo via ForestSangha.org