Jack Kornfield is a bestselling American author and teacher in the vipassana movement in American Theravada Buddhism. He trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma and India, first as a student of the Thai forest master Ajahn Chah and Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. He has taught meditation worldwide since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist Mindfulness practice to the West. In 1975, he co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein, and subsequently in 1987, Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. Kornfield has organized teacher training and led international gatherings of Buddhist teachers including the Dalai Lama and has worked as a peacemaker and activist.Read about Jack Kornfield in Wikipedia
Acceptance does not mean inaction. We may need to respond, strongly at times. . . From a peaceful center we can respond instead of react. Unconscious reactions create problems. Considered responses bring peace. With a peaceful heart whatever happens can be met with wisdom. . . Peace is not weak; it is unshakable.
The near enemy of love is attachment. Attachment masquerades as love. It says, “I will love this person because I need them. ” Or, “I’ll love you if you’ll love me back. I’ll love you, but only if you will be the way I want. ” This isn’t love at all - it is attachment - and attachment is rigid, it is very different from love.
Meditation takes discipline, just like learning how to play piano. If you want to learn how to play the piano, it takes more than a few minutes a day, once a while, here and there. If you really want to learn any important skill, whether it is playing piano or meditation, it grows with perseverance, patience, and systematic training.
Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone one question. This question is one that only a very old man asks. My benefactor told me about it once when I was Young. And my blood was too vigorous for me to understand it. Now I do understand it. I will tell you what it is: does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use.
It is possible to speak with our heart directly. Most ancient cultures know this. We can actually converse with our heart as if it were a good friend. In modern life we have become so busy with our daily affairs and thoughts that we have lost this essential art of taking time to converse with our heart.
Whatever your difficulties - a devastated heart, financial loss, feeling assaulted by the conflicts around you, or a seemingly hopeless illness - you can always remember that you are free in every moment to set the compass of your heart to your highest intentions. In fact, the two things that you are always free to do - despite your circumstances - are to be present and to be willing to love.
The unawakened mind tends to make war against the way things are. To follow a path with heart, we must understand the whole process of making war within ourselves and without, how it begins and how it ends. War’s roots are in ignorance. Without understanding we can easily become frightened by life’s fleeting changes, the inevitable losses, disappointments, the insecurity of our aging and death. Misunderstanding leads us to fight against life, running from pain or grasping at security and pleasures that by their nature can never be satisfying.