Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 197 – Cycles of Change

Navigating the body’s river of sensations, Jack helps us into the still-point of freedom amidst life’s cycles of change.

This Dharma Talk from Spirit Rock on 4/23/1989 was originally published on DharmaSeed.

“If our goal in spiritual practice is some state, some open state, it would be in spiritual life like buying already open flowers instead of buds, or like adopting an adult instead of a child. To awaken the heart of a Buddha requires us to find the deepest respect and compassion for things as they are, for they way things are. There isn’t anything you can hold onto in that because it’s always changing. There is no enlightened retirement. The way things are includes the cycles of stillness and action, the times of raising a family or being a renunciate, making money or retiring—and finding somehow a way to be with what is, with the truth of change.” – Jack Kornfield

In this episode, Jack mindfully elucidates:
  • The Dalai Lama’s view on the Big Bang Theory
  • How when we open deeply to our feelings, we recognize the body as a flowing river of sensation
  • The Buddha’s ‘Eight Worldly Winds’ and using mindfulness and Right Effort to navigate life’s cycles of expansion and contraction
  • Ram Dass, Be Here Now, and the “rollercoaster of highs and lows” of spiritual practice
  • Finding freedom in the still-point amidst the cycles of change
  • Trusting ourselves and the universe enough to let go into the mystery

“Life is a process of expansion and contraction. We breathe, and as we sit in meditation you notice there are long and short breaths, cool, fast, deeper ones and shallow ones. If you let it breath itself it has all these rhythms of the body opening and closing all the time. Then you pay attention to sensations in the body. At first it feels like tension, pain, hot, or cold, but the more deeply you listen with your inner-awareness, that which we call pain, tension, hot, or cold, becomes pulsing, throbbing, needles, pinpricks, swirling movement. The more deeply we feel, the more our body shows itself to be a river of sensation.” – Jack Kornfield

Grab an All-Access Plan for Jack’s growing library of online courses at jackkornfield.com/all-access-pass
About Jack Kornfield:

Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India, and Burma, studying as. a monk under the Buddhist master Ven. Ajahn Chah, as well as the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. Jack co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with fellow meditation teachers Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein and the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. His books have been translated into 20 languages and sold more than a million copies.

Dive into Jack’s ongoing dharma offerings and transformational online courses on the new JackKornfield.com
Listen to more from Jack:
Tune into Ep. 109 of Heart Wisdom: This Too Shall Pass
Learn about Living with a Peaceful Heart in Ep. 91 of Heart Wisdom
Check out Ep. 90 of Heart Wisdom to learn about Healing Through Loving Awareness
Tune into Ep. 102 of Heart Wisdom: The Wisdom of the One Who Knows
Check out Ep. 1 of Heart Wisdom to gain wisdom on Impermanence

Photo via Darkdiamond67