Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 222 – Self-Acceptance and Opening the Heart

In this lively session, Jack illuminates how we can begin to open the heart through the transformational power of self-acceptance.

This Dharma Talk from 10/16/1983 at Insight Meditation Society was originally published on DharmaSeed.

“Acceptance is the ground out of which true insight and understanding comes. It’s an essential aspect of our practice. If we don’t accept some aspect of ourself—some feeling, some physical sense of ourself aspect, some mental sense of ourself—then how are we to learn about it if we condemn it? How are we to discover it’s nature? How are we to become free in relationship to it? Self-acceptance is not all of the practice, but it’s a foundation and spirit which allows for attention and mindfulness to work.” – Jack Kornfield

In this episode, Jack mindfully illuminates:
  • Transforming ourself and our practice through self-acceptance
  • How true acceptance allows the practice of attention and mindfulness to work
  • Don Juan, attention, non-self, and “dissolving the world”
  • The power of accepting our non-acceptance
  • Practice as a process of opening the heart and mind
  • Dipa Ma as an embodiment of loving kindness, metta
  • The gradual transformational created through the careful continuity of ‘noting’
  • Overcoming and integrating doubt, anger, guilt, and pain
  • Resting in the present and the natural calming of the heart and the mind
  • Impermanence and the Five Aggregates
  • The spiritual question of ‘free will versus determinism’
  • Meditation and looking at our intentions
  • Moving poems by Thich Nhat Hạnh and Hanshan

“Practice is a process of opening both the heart and the mind. To open the heart is to allow ourselves to begin to experience whatever there is in our being—in our walking, in our moving, in our eating—with a kindness, with a softness.” – Jack Kornfield

“You can sit, and the intention to get up will arise, and if you really notice with continuity and care, you can notice maybe the attention to standup and walk because you’re uncomfortable, or the intention to go take tea, or the intention to go to the bathroom. And if you notice sometimes you’ll see the intention arise as that quality, ‘About to do something…’, and you note it, and it disappears, and there you are still sitting there. You watch the breath for a while and the intention comes again, and you begin to see how intention functions, and that it too is impersonal. It’s not something you can say is, ‘I, me, or mine.'” – Jack Kornfield

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
Listen to more Stories That Open the Mind, Mend the Heart and Lead to Joy with Jack Kornfield in Ep.92 of Heart Wisdom
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 jackkornfield.com