Through catalysts of compassion and acceptance, Jack Kornfield guides us into a life of lasting transformation.
This dharma talk was originally published on DharmaSeed.org
How does spiritual life change us in a lasting way? Jack Kornfield describes the changes he first noticed when beginning his meditation practice. He began to notice that the roots of greed, delusion, and attachment, come from a deep level of misunderstanding and fear and are not inherently bad in themselves. The Buddhist view of life is very dynamic; there are patterns but there are also many transformations within the flow of the universe.
“We are a pattern, a process, that is never the same. In this process of our life, the patterns that continue for us flow out of our intentions.” – Jack Kornfield
Tune into another episode of Heart Wisdom to learn about Navigating Change with Equanimity & Compassion
Moment to Moment Intention // The Catalyst of Love (11:01)
Frequently, we may make a commitment to change. However, having our minds, bodies, or feelings, actually follow through with this commitment does not always happen. When we practice mindfulness we can begin setting intentions or re-setting intentions from moment to moment. When we move beyond our habitual nature and start paying attention and opening our awareness, we expand the possibilities of life. Love is often a catalyst for this openness to real transformation.
“In loving something or someone very deeply we become almost a different person. We become flexible, forgiving, caring, and sacrificing. And in our joy and caring we step beyond our old, small sense of self.” – Jack Kornfield
Holding onto Transformation (23:46)
Other stimulants for change are inspiration, suffering, or witnessing some form of divine beauty. Yet, all of these sensations are temporary. We must figure out how we can hold onto the transformation that has been awakened in us. How can we keep it alive? Jack Kornfield suggests carefully focusing on bodily sensations. Feel what it feels like to stay the same, and feel what it feels like to transform. Where in your body do you sense these nuances of change?
“In some way the spiritual path, just the sitting meditation that we do, has a dimension of physical transformation – of bodily change, of healing the places that we have held closed.” – Jack Kornfield
To learn more about focusing on the body check out Ep. 71 of Healing at the Edge: Inhabiting the Body as a Path to Awakening w/Chris Britt
Who We Are (42:24)
We know ourselves through our senses and the stories they tell. Real transformation happens when we shift who we are or become more aware of what matters to us. This happens often when people are on their deathbeds. Do not wait until death. This is the point of spiritual practice. Be still in wisdom and love, notice your truth, and continue to come back to that truth when the flow of life takes you away.
Art via Christina Georgieva