Articles

Do Not Despair

Do Not Despair

Many of us wrestle with our response to the sufferings of the country and the world. What can we do in the face of poverty, disease, war, injustice, and environmental devastation? With the torrent of news, it is easy to despair, to become cynical or numb. The Buddhist...

The Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program

The Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program

The two-year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach is a thorough training in mindfulness, lovingkindness, and compassion for those who want to teach. Next course begins February 2021. This Teacher Certification Program...

Awakening Self-Compassion

Awakening Self-Compassion

Hold yourself as a mother holds her beloved child. —Buddha We are so quick to judge one another. And just as we are hard on others we are even harder on ourselves. With mindfulness, our natural compassion grows. We can see that we are all carrying our own burden of...

The Bodhisattva’s Path

The Bodhisattva’s Path

  Bodhisattva is the Sanskrit word for a being who is devoted to awakening and to acting for the benefit of all that lives. The way of the bodhisattva is one of the most radical and powerful of all Buddhist forms of practice. It is radical because it states that...

Moral Action and the Dharma

Moral Action and the Dharma

As a nation and a globe, we are going through divisive and painful times. Now is the season to stand up for what matters. To stand against hate. To stand for respect. To stand for protection of the vulnerable. It is a misunderstanding to think that meditation and...

Buddhists Help Get Out the Vote

Buddhists Help Get Out the Vote

In this time of great fear, it is important that we think of the long-term challenges—and possibilities—of the entire globe. Photographs of our world from space clearly show that there are no real boundaries on our blue planet. Therefore, all of us must take care of...

When Fear Arises

When Fear Arises

  Little fears cause anxiety, and big fears cause panic.— Chuang TzuAlthough most of us have been deeply conditioned by fear, for the most part we have avoided directly exploring its nature. Because we are not aware of its workings, it is often an unconscious...

Audio: The Return Of Joy

Audio: The Return Of Joy

If we cannot be happy in spite of our difficulties, what good is our spiritual practice? There is an unquenchable human spirit born anew in each child. This spirit which has carried Nelson Mandella and so many others though hardship and storms can carry you. Inside...

Navigating Rough Waters

Navigating Rough Waters

  Every morning when the Dalai Lama wakes up, he begins his morning practices with a prayer from Shantideva: “May I be a guard for those who need protection; a guide for those on the path; a boat, a raft, a bridge for those to cross the flood; may I be a lamp in...

The Bodhisattva Response to Coronavirus

The Bodhisattva Response to Coronavirus

  Dear Friends,We have a choice.Epidemics, like earthquakes, tornadoes and floods, are part of the cycle of life on planet Earth.How will we respond?With greed, hatred, fear and ignorance? This only brings more suffering.Or with generosity, clarity, steadiness...

Calm, Clarity, Compassion

Calm, Clarity, Compassion

If we want to act wisely in the world, the first step is to learn to quiet the mind. If our actions are born from grasping or fear, they will perpetuate the problems. Only when our own minds and hearts are peaceful can we expect peace to come through the actions we...

Fear of Happiness

Fear of Happiness

Much of human suffering is caused by greed, hatred, fear and ignorance. When we let go of greed, hatred, fear and ignorance, and hold the world with compassion and tenderness, love, generosity and understanding follow, and this brings happiness. This is the way to be...

Compassion for Imperfection

Compassion for Imperfection

What if you could love yourself fully, including your imperfections? What if you could love others in the same way? You might fear that by loving your anger or laziness, your addictions or your anxiety, that you will never change for the better, that you will become...

The Wisdom of Not Knowing

The Wisdom of Not Knowing

Wisdom is not knowing but being. The Christian mystics instructed seekers to enter the Cloud of Unknowing with a trusting heart. The wise heart is not one that understands everything—it is the heart that can tolerate the truth of not knowing. Wisdom comes alive in the...

The Courageous Heart

The Courageous Heart

As children, many of us were taught courage in the form of the warrior or the explorer, bravely facing danger. In the Buddhist understanding, however, great courage is not demonstrated by aggression or ambition. Aggression and ambition are more often expressions of...

The World Needs Your Love

The World Needs Your Love

Guilt and anger and fear are part of the problem. If you want to save the world, save it because you love it! —Gary SnyderIt is easy to feel overwhelmed by global problems. Climate change. Conflicts across the Middle East. Racism. Homelessness. Economic injustice....

Identification with Self

Identification with Self

One of the deepest and most demanding aspects of Buddhist psychology is the experience of non-self. Ajahn Chah said, “You have to consider and contemplate this slowly, you can’t just think about this or your head will explode.” It turns out that it is not just our...

Blessings for the New Year

Blessings for the New Year

Dear ones, The year ends and we begin a new circuit around our own beautiful sun star, twirling amidst the galaxies. Take a breath, quiet your heart and listen deeply.There is so much coming and going, and yet…feel how underneath it all is a vast silenceand a...

Loving Ram Dass

Loving Ram Dass

  After I got the call that Ram Dass had died yesterday, I closed my eyes.He is still here.I could feel the vast field of love that was shining from Ram Dass when Trudy and I taught with him just a couple of weeks ago. And I always will.On the final day of this...

Family Peace: A Reconciliation Meditation

Family Peace: A Reconciliation Meditation

    If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family. —Ram Dass In Buddhist monasteries when conflict arises, the monks and nuns are encouraged to undertake a formal practice of reconciliation. They begin with this simple intention: “No...

Gratitude and Wonder

Gratitude and Wonder

  If we cannot be happy in spite of our difficulties, what good is our spiritual practice? —Maha GhosanandaGratitude is a gracious acknowledgment of all that sustains us, a bow to our blessings, great and small. Buddhist monks begin each day with chants of...

Awaken the One Who Knows

Awaken the One Who Knows

As your spacious heart opens, you can rediscover the vast perspective you’d almost forgotten. A spacious heart reveals the spacious mind. This is the mind that, after you’ve stubbed your toe, hopped around, and howled, finally laughs. The mind that, when you are upset...

Abundance and Gratitude

Abundance and Gratitude

  Mistakenly, some people think that Buddhism condemns all desire. But there is no getting rid of desire. Instead, Buddhist psychology leads us from desire to abundance.The Indian sage Nisargadatta, one of my teachers, challenged his students, saying, “The...

Freedom Amid Challenging Times

Freedom Amid Challenging Times

  Modern society is periodically rocked by upheavals, whether by pandemics, war, political turmoil, or powerful economic and environmental challenges. When upheavals happen, we can naturally feel angry or frightened. We worry for our future or for the fate of the...

Steady the Mind

Steady the Mind

  Who is your enemy? Mind is your enemy. No one can harm you more than a mind untrained. Who is your friend? Mind is your friend. Nothing can help you more that a trained mind, not even your loving parents. —Buddha What do we see when we look at our mind?...

Fear of Freedom

Fear of Freedom

People often prefer a very limited, punishing regime—rather than face the anxiety of freedom. — Jean-Paul Sartre Along with the joy of freedom is a fear of the unknown. Freedom can be both exhilarating and unnerving. The conflict runs deep. When a rabbit runs free, it...

Lead with the Heart

Lead with the Heart

  The mind creates the abyss, and the heart crosses it.—Sri Nisargadatta When we carefully observe our thoughts, we discover that they are not in our control—we swim in an uninvited constant stream of memories, plans, expectations, judgments, regrets. Observing...

You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

One of the most difficult things about hard times is that we often feel that we are going through them alone. But we are not alone. In fact, your life itself is only possible because of the thousands of generations before you, survivors who have carried the lamp of...

Stop the War Within

Stop the War Within

  We human beings are constantly in combat, at war to escape the fact of being so limited, limited by so many circumstances we cannot control. But instead of escaping, we continue to create suffering, waging war with good, waging war with evil, waging war with...

Fear and Anger

Fear and Anger

Aversion, anger, and hatred are states of mind that strike against experience, pushing it away, rejecting what is presented in the moment. They do not come from without. This insight is a reversal of the ordinary way we perceive life. “Usually,” says Ajahn Chah, “we...

The Practice of Forgiveness

The Practice of Forgiveness

Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed. This is the ancient and eternal law. —Buddha Without forgiveness we are chained to the past. Individually we remain caught in the hurt and pain of our history. Collectively, humanity needs to learn...

Learning from Doubt

Learning from Doubt

When we learn about doubt in meditation, we can then learn to face doubt wisely in our life. Here’s how to start: begin by looking at doubt carefully and with detachment. Have we ever really observed the voice that says, ‘‘I can’t do it. It’s too hard. It’s the wrong...

Let Go of Unhealthy Thoughts

Let Go of Unhealthy Thoughts

  Whatever a person frequently thinks and reflects on, that will become the inclination of their mind. —Buddha Speak and act from unwise thoughts, and sorrow will follow you as surely as the wheel follows the ox who draws the cart. Speak and act from wise...

Vulnerability and the Tender Heart

Vulnerability and the Tender Heart

“Ultimately it is on our vulnerability that we depend.”—Rilke As children, many of us were taught courage in the form of the warrior or the explorer, bravely facing danger. In the Buddhist understanding, however, the greater courage is not demonstrated by aggression...

The Colorings of Consciousness

The Colorings of Consciousness

Consciousness is colored by the states that visit it.—Buddha "Eh," my teacher Ajahn Chah would peer at me when I was having a hard time, “caught in some state again?” In the forest monastery we were constantly being directed both to look at consciousness itself and to...

Love: The Gateway to Freedom

Love: The Gateway to Freedom

  No matter where we are, we can see the world through the eyes of love. Without love, everything is constrained, if not false. With love, we stand in the presence of all of life’s mysteries. We can hold a golden apricot, a worn baseball glove, a photo of a...

Freedom to Make Mistakes

Freedom to Make Mistakes

Gandhi said, “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Step out. Fly. Even if you get burned, you can fall back to earth and start again. It is never too late to start over. Zen Master Dogen...

Freedom from Suffering

Freedom from Suffering

“In a world of tension and breakdown it is necessary for there to be those who seek to integrate their inner lives not by avoiding sorrow and anguish and running from their problems, but by facing them in their naked reality and ordinariness.” —Thomas Merton Anyone...

Find Peace

 

Sign up for a weekly message from Jack:

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This