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Jack Kornfield's Dharma Talks
Jack Kornfield
Over the years of teaching, I've found a growing need for profound lovingkindness and compassion--a transformation of the heart--to underlie the insights and understandings that come out of the practice. An opening of the mind needs to be supported by compassion from the heart if the practice is to be integrated, fulfilled, and lived in our lives.
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2022-07-25 Guided Lovingkindness Meditation | Monday Night 28:09
There’s no wrong way to do metta or lovingkindness. Sometimes the practice of cultivating lovingkindness is simply to radiate love without words. Sometimes it’s to begin by holding yourself with kindness. Lovingkindness can be an antidote to anxiety and fear. We become more gracious with the difficulties of life as we open the heart.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2022-06-27 Centering Meditation | Monday Night 26:30
Rest in the reality of the present with mindful, loving awareness. Sit like a Buddha, steady and kind, with heart open, gracious and wise in the midst of it all. You are the loving witness; you are the steady one.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2022-06-27 Mindful Respect | Monday Night Talk 54:10
In India, when people greet one another they put their palms together and bow, saying namaste, “I honor the divine within you.” It is a way of acknowledging your Buddha nature, who you really are. When I was training as a Buddhist monk, I witnessed an aura of straightforwardness, graciousness, and trust around my teacher Ajahn Chah. Here was a community dedicated to treating each person with respect and dignity. In the monastery, the walking paths were swept daily, the robes and bowls of the monks were tended with care. We learned to value ourselves and others equally. Whether practiced in a forest monastery or anywhere else, mindfulness practice begins by deliberately cultivating respect, starting with ourselves. When we learn to rest in our own goodness, we can see the goodness more clearly in others.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2022-05-16 The Most Basic Truths: Gateways to Freedom | Monday Night Talk 53:39
When I first entered the monasteries in Thailand and Burma, I was taught everything is anicca (impermanent), dukkha (unsatisfactory), and anatta (no-self). The reason these were repeated over and over again is because if you see these, you see with the eyes of wisdom. Because everything is changing, the more you cling and hold on, the more you suffer. To free ourselves, we need to quiet the mind through some mindfulness in meditation. Then, instead of identifying with the changing conditions, we learn to release them and turn toward consciousness itself, to rest in the knowing. My teacher Ajahn Chah called this pure awareness, "the original mind," or resting in "the one who knows." As the Jiddu Krishnamurti said, “It is the truth that liberates, and not your efforts to be free.” With practice, we discover the selflessness of experience; we shift identity. We can be in the midst of an experience, being upset or angry or caught by some problem, and then step back from it and rest in pure awareness. We let go; we release holding any thought or feeling as "I" or "mine." We release the whole sense of identification, and the conditioned world is just anicca (impermanent), dukkha (unsatisfactory), and anatta (empty of self) -- it has nothing to do with our true nature. We learn to trust pure awareness itself. This is one of the ways Ajahn Chah taught about liberation. Awakening is always here and now. Practicing this way, your life is transformed.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2022-05-16 Here and Now Meditation | Monday Night 28:20
Let yourself be settled. Turn your attention to here and now, and the present experience. You can rest on the Earth with ease and trust in this moment. With this embodied presence, begin to notice the experiences here and now. There will be sensations of the body, sounds, emotions, feelings. A parade of images and thoughts will come and go. You can take your seat just where you are, in the midst of these rising and passing experiences.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2022-04-25 Opening the Heart Meditation | Monday Night 26:56
Let yourself settle here on the Earth. Feel how the Earth can completely support you. You can let go. Let the heart be soft to receive whatever arises with compassion. Invite presence. Acknowledge the waves of experience.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2022-04-25 Tending the Garden of the World, Tending the Garden of the Heart | Monday Night Talk 55:26
What kind of seeds are you planting and tending with your words and your deeds? Every seed watered can become something that changes the world. If you want to practice, take a walk and look at the buds on the trees in the spring. Each bud is an answer to despair or apathy. You start to sense you are part of something so much bigger. Feel the survival of thousands of years of ancestors in your bones supporting you. “Though I do not believe a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”—Thoreau
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2022-03-28 Open, Spacious Awareness Meditation | Monday Night 27:27
Reflect on the value of a peaceful heart. What is it like to have a peaceful heart among the worldly winds of praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, fame and disrepute. These are the worldly winds that constantly change. It's important to stop, take a pause, and feel that we are part of something so much greater than the individual life that we live. Our awareness is big enough to hold all of this, because we are awareness itself.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2022-03-28 Peace is Possible | Monday Night Talk 45:38
We are in a time of great transition. The climate crisis, the pandemic, war, injustice, racism: they're all pressing on us to live in a different way. And if you live with a peaceful heart, the point is not to let your heart get hardened. Don't turn your gaze away. But see another possibility—see with the great heart of compassion. My teacher Ajahn Chah said, "We human beings are constantly in combat, at war to escape the fact of being so limited by so many circumstances we cannot control. But instead of escaping, we continue to create suffering, waging war with evil, waging war with good, waging war with what is too small, waging war with what is too big, waging war with what is too short or too long, or right or wrong, courageously carrying on the battle. It's time to stop the war. " The sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson said, "The real problem of humanity is the following: we have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions, and god-like technology." The first response is tend the wounds, feed the hungry, and stand up for peace in whatever way you can. But there is also an inner response needed. We know where war starts—it starts in the human heart. We must make the heart a zone of peace. Set your compass to your highest intention. Something in us knows there is another way.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2022-02-28 Compassion in a Time of War Meditation | Monday Night 25:27
May your struggles and sorrows be eased. May you hold yourself in great compassion. May you be safe and protected. May your heart be at peace. May your life be at peace.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks

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