Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 96 – An Homage to Goenka


In this special episode of the Heart Wisdom Podcast, Jack Kornfield honors the life and wisdom of his early Vipassana teacher, S.N. Goenka.

S.N. Goenka was a pioneer in making Vipassana meditation widely available to a secular audience. Over 170 meditation centers have been established around the globe in his honor. Goenka was an inspiration and teacher to thousands of students from around the world, including Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Ram Dass, Daniel Goleman, and many other western spiritual leaders. Discover the legacy of S.N. Goenka: vridhamma.org

The Dharma of Mindfulness

What does it mean to bring attention to this life? Jack examines the heart of Goenka’s teachings, Vipassana meditation. He looks at how this approach to meditation offers awareness of our small sense of self and a path to our true nature.

“In every generation, there are a few visionary and profound masters who hold high the lamp of the Dharma to illuminate the world. Like the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh,  S.N. Goenka was one of the great world masters of our time.” –  Jack Kornfield

Experimenting with the Science of Mind (10:25)

Jack explores the way that Goenka viewed Vipassana as a science, rather than religion or philosophy. He discusses the recent explosion of scientific evidence that demonstrates the incredible potential of mindful awareness training – just as Goenka taught.

“Come to relieve your mind of tension and suffering; the physical benefits will automatically follow.” – S.N. Goenka

Beginner’s Mind (30:15)

What did Goenka mean when he talked about purifying one’s self through practice? Jack Kornfield discusses the state of awareness, known to some as the beginner’s mind, that allows us to see the true nature and beauty of all living things.

“What comes as purity is not that you become pure. That others are impure. Rather, it is a kind of purity of one’s perception – innocence. The child of the spirit. Sazuki Roshi called it, most famously, ‘beginner’s mind” – Jack Kornfield 

Explore the teachings of another of Jack’s Buddhist teachers, Ajahn Chah, on Ep. 79 of the Heart Wisdom Podcast    


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