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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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2022-02-28 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
2022-02-28 A Peaceful Heart In A Time Of War And The Legacy Of Thich Nhat Hanh | Monday Night Talk 54:40
Tonight I had planned to talk about Thich Nhat Hanh, the great and wise Zen master and teacher who died recently at age 95. But it seems critical to also acknowledge the grief of the war in Ukraine. As it says in the Buddhist teachings (and in other wisdom teachings), in this world, hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed. There has to be a better game than war for human beings. We have to look at the war within ourselves as well. Thich Nhat Hanh’s instruction was to stop—stop making enemies. Make prayers. Make blessings. This is our moral task.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2021-12-20 Setting An Intention Of The Heart Dharma Talk | Monday Night Talk 50:13
When we sit quietly and face the stillness, we start the feel the grief that we carry—and the immense beauty of life. When we get quiet we can see in a new way. Make of yourself a light. It’s never too late to start over and set an intention of the heart. It could be as simple as “I vow to be kind.” By aligning our dedication with our highest intention, we chart the course of our whole being. Then no matter how hard the voyage and how big the setbacks, we know where we are headed.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2021-12-20 Nourish And Connect Meditation | Monday Night 27:23
Release whatever wants to be let go of in this moment. Let yourself become loving awareness itself. Feel yourself relax with each breath. You can nourish, connect, and come to rest. As you feel the breath come and go, there will likely be a stream of thoughts. Bow to your thoughts and say to yourself, “I love it when they come, and I love it when they go.” You can rest here and now in the reality of the present.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2021-11-22 Gratitude and Generosity Meditation | Monday Night 27:23
Like the waves of the ocean, the breath rises and falls. Bring loving awareness to the breath. Shift your attention from the breath to all the sensations in your body. With mindful loving awareness, notice the whole field of sensations. If there are areas of pain or stiffness, bow to them and hold them with kindness. Hold them as you would a child who is going through a hard time. Notice how this kind loving awareness allows for the tension and knots to soften in their own way. Now as an expression of gratitude, say thank you to your own body for caring so much, for holding so much as you move through the days and nights. Tell your body, “I’m ok just now—you can relax. You can rest.” Now bring your attention to your heart that carries so much. Notice all that your heart has been holding: longings, fear, love, worry, frustration, excitement, sadness, appreciation, doubt, deep love. Say thank you to your heart for caring so much, for trying to help and protect you. Tell your heart, “I’m ok just now—you can relax. You can rest.” Let your heart be at ease. Now bring your attention to your mind that produces a stream of thoughts, images, pictures, plans, memories, ideas. Feel the energy of the mind, creative, sometimes obsessed, analyzing, exploring, opening. Say thank you for working so hard to take care of you, to protect you. Tell your mind, “I’m ok just now—you can relax. You can rest.” Notice that you’re not your body, feelings, thoughts. You are the loving witness, you are consciousness itself. You are the loving awareness that acknowledges the body, heart and mind. Relax into loving awareness. You are the silent, vast witness to it all.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2021-11-22 Gratitude and Generosity Dharma Talk | Monday Night Talk 46:36
Gratitude is a gracious acknowledgment of all that sustains us, a bow to our blessings, great and small. Gratitude is the confidence in life itself. In it, we feel how the same force that pushes grass through cracks in the sidewalk invigorates our own life. Gratitude does not envy or compare. Gratitude receives in wonder the myriad offerings of rain and sunlight, the care that supports every single life.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2021-10-11 Mindful Loving Witness Meditation | Monday Night 24:39
Gently acknowledge any strong waves of thought or emotion that pull you away from the breath. Let them rise and fall, then return to breath. Become the mindful loving witness of each breath.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2021-10-11 On Death | Monday Night Talk 58:46
We live in a culture of denial and youth. How can we find a freedom of heart in this world of birth and death? We can start by acknowledging that everything is subject to change. Death is an advisor that can give us clarity about what really matters. We can be the loving witness of this life, yet not cling to it. We can cherish life, yet in the end we will have to let go. As Mary Oliver writes: To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2021-09-20 Forgiving Heart Meditation | Monday Night 25:26
If it’s helpful, you can whisper in the back of your mind “ease” or “calm,” as suggested by Thich Nhat Hanh. Try to meet every breath with lovingkindness and loving awareness. Wish calm and peace for beings everywhere, far and near. Rest in stillness and love.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks
2021-09-20 Forgiving Heart | Monday Night Talk 53:08
There’s a truth and reality deeper than conflict. We are not the stories we tell ourselves. How do we touch our measure of suffering? With a forgiving heart. Step out of the tyranny of self-judgment. Forgive yourself for being a learner in this life. Three principles of wise forgiveness of others: 1. Forgiveness is not weak, naïve. It’s not "forgive or forget." It takes real courage. Forgiveness does not condone what happened nor allow it to continue. 2. Forgiveness is not quick. It is often a long, difficult, tender process of the heart digesting the pain of what happened. 3. Forgiveness is not for them—it’s for you. It’s about our own heart not being chained to the past. Sometimes it's your loving heart that opens your broken heart. We can let go. We can put down the burden of resentment. We can live with a gracious heart.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center Monday and Wednesday Talks

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