Discover What Is Asking for Acceptance
This may sound like a very complicated and busy way to meditate, but in practice it is very simple. The general rule is simply to sit and be aware of what arises. If there are repeated patterns, expand the field of awareness. Then sense what is asking for acceptance. This is the third principle. Repeated patterns remain because of some level of resistance: an aversion, fear, or judgment locks them in. This contraction is built out of fear. To release it, we must acknowledge what is present and ask our heart, “How am I receiving this?” Do we wish it to change? Is there a difficult feeling, belief, or sensation we have contracted around that we want to be over or go away? Is there some attachment, some fear?
The Dalai Lama has pointed out that communism worldwide did not work because it was not based on compassion and love; it was based on class struggle and dictatorial control, which in the end just doesn’t work. Struggle and dictating doesn’t work in our inner life either. So we must inquire what aspect of this repeated pattern is asking for acceptance and compassion, and ask ourself, “Can I touch with love whatever I have closed my heart to?” This doesn’t mean solving it or figuring it out—it is simply asking, “What wants acceptance?” In difficult patterns of thought, emotion, or sensation, we must open to feel their full energy in our body, heart, and mind, however strongly they show themselves. This includes opening to our reactions to this experience as well, noticing the fear, aversion, or contraction that arises and then accepting it all. Only then can it release.
In my earliest practice as a celibate monk I had long bouts of lust and images of sexual fantasy. My teacher said to name them, which I did. But they often repeated. “Accept this?” I thought. “But then they’ll never stop.” But still I tried it. Over days and weeks these thoughts became even stronger. Eventually, I decided to expand my awareness to see what other feelings were present. To my surprise I found a deep well of loneliness almost every time the fantasies arose. It wasn’t all lust, it was loneliness, and the sexual images were ways of seeking comfort and closeness. But they kept arising. Then I noticed how hard it was to let myself feel the loneliness. I hated it; I resisted it. Only when I accepted this very resistance and gently held it all in compassion did it begin to subside. By expanding my attention, I learned that much of my sexuality had little to do with lust, and as I brought an acceptance to the feeling of loneliness, the compulsive quality of the fantasies gradually diminished.
This excerpt is taken from the book, “A Path With Heart”
Meditation for Beginners
Have you ever thought about trying meditation, but didn’t know how to get started? With Meditation for Beginners, trusted teacher Jack Kornfield shows you how simple it is to start-and stick with-a daily meditation practice. “Insight” or vipassana meditation is the time-honored skill of calming the spirit and clearing the mind for higher understanding. Now, in this course created especially for beginners, Kornfield offers a straightforward, step-by-step method for bringing meditation into your life. Using the meditations included in this book, you will discover how easy it is to use your breath, physical sensations-and even difficult emotions-to create tranquility and lovingkindness in your everyday life. These simple, elegant practices are so easy to learn that you will begin enjoying the benefits immediately-while laying the foundation for a lifetime of inner discovery and awakening.
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A Path With Heart
In undertaking a spiritual life, we must make certain that our path is connected with our heart, according to author and Buddhist monk Jack Kornfield. Since 1974 (long before it gained popularity in the 1990s), Kornfield has been teaching westerners how to integrate Eastern teaching into their daily lives. Through generous storytelling and unmitigated warmth, Kornfield offers this excellent guidebook on living with attentiveness, meditation, and full-tilt compassion.
Part of what makes this book so accessible is Kornfield’s use of everyday metaphors to describe the elusive lessons of spiritual transformation. For example, he opens with “the one seat” lesson taught to him by his esteemed teacher. Literally it means sitting in the center of a room and not being swayed or moved by all the people and dramas happening around you. On a spiritual level it means sticking “with one practice and teacher among all of the possibilities,” writes Kornfield; “inwardly it means having the determination to stick with that practice through whatever difficulties and doubts arise until you have come to true clarity and understanding.” The same could be said for this “one book.” Among all the spiritual self-help books, this is a classic worth sticking with and returning to–a highly approachable teacher that can only lead to greater clarity and understanding.
The Wise Heart
You have within you unlimited capacities for love, for joy, for communion with life, and for unshakable freedom-and here is how to awaken them. In The Wise Heart, one of the leading spiritual teachers of our time offers the most accessible and illuminating guide to Buddhism’s transformational psychology ever published in the West.
The Wise Heart is the fruit of a life’s work that includes such classics as A Path with Heart and After the Ecstasy, the Laundry. Filled with stories from Kornfield’s Buddhist psychotherapy practice and portraits of remarkable teachers, it also includes a moving account of his own recovery from a violence-filled childhood. For meditators and mental health professionals, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, The Wise Heart offers an extraordinary journey from the roots of consciousness to the highest expression of human possibility.
The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace
To remember the transforming power of forgiveness and lovingkindness. To remember that no matter where you are and what you face, within your heart peace is possible.
In this beautiful and graceful little book, internationally renowned Buddhist teacher and meditation master Jack Kornfield has collected age-old teachings, modern stories, and time-honored practices for bringing healing, peace, and compassion into our daily lives. Just to read these pages offers calm and comfort. The practices contained here offer meditations for you to discover a new way to meet life’s greatest challenges with acceptance, joy, and hope.
A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times
When the path ahead is dark, how can we keep from stumbling? How do we make our way with courage and dignity? “Inside each of us is an eternal light that I call ‘the One Who Knows,'” writes Jack Kornfield. “Awakening to this wisdom can help us find our way through pain and suffering with grace and tenderness.” For anyone seeking answers during a time of trial, he offers A Lamp in the Darkness, a book-and-CD program filled with spiritual and psychological insights, hope-giving stories, and special guided meditations for skillfully navigating life’s inevitable storms.
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After the Ecstasy, the Laundry
When does enlightenment come? At the end of the spiritual journey? Or the beginning? On After the Ecstasy, the Laundry, Jack Kornfield—author of the modern classic on American Buddhism, A Path with Heart—brings into focus the truth about satori, the awakened state of consciousness, and enlightenment practices today.
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Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are
If you want to find inner peace and wisdom, you don’t need to move to an ashram or monastery. Your life, just as it is, is the perfect place to be. Jack Kornfield, one of America’s most respected Buddhist teachers, shares this and other key lessons gleaned from more than forty years of committed study and practice. Topics include cultivating loving-kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity; conscious parenting; spirituality and sexuality; the way of forgiveness; and committing ourselves to healing the suffering in the world. Bringing Home the Dharma includes simple meditation practices for awakening our buddha nature—our wise and understanding heart—amid the ups and downs of our ordinary daily lives.
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Seeking The Heart Of Wisdom
In Seeking the Heart of Wisdom Goldstein and Kornfield present the central teachings and practices of insight meditation in a clear and personal language. The path of insight meditation is a journey of understanding our bodies, our minds, and our lives, of seeing clearly the true nature of experience. The authors guide the reader in developing the openness and compassion that are at the heart of this spiritual practice. For those already treading the path, as well as those just starting out, this book will be a welcome companion along the way.
Teachings of the Buddha
This treasury of essential Buddhist writings draws from the most popular Indian, Tibetan, Chinese, and Japanese sources. Among the selections are some of the earliest recorded sayings of the Buddha on the practice of freedom, passages from later Indian scriptures on the perfection of wisdom, verses from Tibetan masters on the enlightened mind, and songs in praise of meditation by Zen teachers. The book also includes traditional instruction on how to practice sitting meditation, cultivate calm awareness, and live with compassion. Jack Kornfield, one of the most respected American Buddhist teachers, has compiled these teachings to impart the essence and inspiration of Buddhism to readers of all spiritual traditions.
Jack Kornfield and Christina Feldman serve up a delicious banquet of wise tales from the world’s greatest spiritual guides, including Jesus, the Buddh, Ramakrishna, and the Taoist sages. They offer contemporary readers a feast rich with wisdom and filled with timeless moral and spiritual lessons. Gathering lively and inspiring parables from both Eastern and Western traditions, from Christian, Buddhist, Sufi, Jewish, Native American, African, and Zen teachings, Soul Food illustrates the eternal truths: the greatness of the human spirit, the endless wonder and possiblity of live, the necessity of courage, love and laughter, and our quest for wisdom and virtue. Each story offers a glimpse of revelation, an example of virtue, or a moment of truth that will sustain travellers as they traverse the road to a more spiritual life.
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The Buddha Is Still Teaching: Contemporary Buddhist Wisdom
When the Buddha set in motion the wheel of Dharma, he knew that the teaching he gave was inexhaustible—that every future generation would find its own skillful ways to convey it to the hearts and minds of those ready to hear. The Buddha Is Still Teaching is testimony to the fulfillment of that promise today. The selections it contains, from today’s most highly regarded contemporary Buddhist teachers, bring the Dharma eloquently to life for us in our own time, place, and culture. They demonstrate that two and a half millennia have done nothing to diminish the freshness of the Buddhist teachings, or their universal applicability to our lives.
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A Still Forest Pool
Buddhist master Achaan Chah spent years meditating in a forest monastery of Thailand. This remarkable book reflects his simple and powerful message as well as the quiet, joyful Buddhist practice of dhudanga, or “everyday mindfulness,” with profound insights for the West.
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In this book (previously published under the title Living Buddhist Masters), Jack Kornfield presents the heart of Buddhist practice as taught by twelve highly respected masters from Southeast Asia, Here, renowned teachers such as Mahasi Sayadaw, U Ba Khin, Mohnyin Sayadaw, and Achaan Maha Boowa describe a rich variety of meditation techniques-practices that can lead to the dissolution of a limited sense of self, an awakening of insight, compassion for all beings, and the realization of Nirvana. In other chapters, Achaan Chaa, Achaan Buddhadasa, and Sunlun Sayadaw offer practices clarifying the essential attitude that will allow each person to discover the truth of the Buddha’s teaching here and now-the living Dharma. The book also provides an introduction to the basic tenets of Buddhism and a look at the Buddhist tradition as taught in Burma, Thailand, and Laos.
Buddha’s Little Instruction Book
Just as the serene beauty of the lotus blossom grows out of muddy water, Buddha’s simple instructions have helped people to find wholeness and peace amid life’s crisis and distractions for more than 2,500 years. For this small handbook, a well-known American Buddhist teacher and psychologist has distilled and adapted an ancient teaching for the needs of contemporary life. Its practical reminders and six meditations can infuse smallest everyday action with insight and joy.
After The Ecstacy, The Laundry
“Enlightenment does exist,” internationally renowned author and meditation master Jack Kornfield assures us. “Unbounded freedom and joy, oneness with the divine … these experiences are more common than you know, and not far away.”
But even after achieving such realization – after the ecstasy – we are faced with the day-to-day task of translating that freedom into our imperfect lives. We are faced with the laundry.
Drawing on the experiences and insights of leaders and practitioners within the Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Sufi traditions, this book offers a uniquely intimate and honest understanding of how the modern spiritual journey unfolds – and how we can prepare our hearts for awakening.
Through moving personal stories and traditional tales, we learn how the enlightened heart navigates the real world of family relationships, emotional pain, earning a living, sickness, loss, and death.
Filled with “the laughter of the wise,” alive with compassion, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry is a gift to anyone who is seeking peace, wholeness, and inner happiness. It is sure to take its place next to A Path with Heart as a spiritual classic for our time.