Jack Kornfield: The Interview
As some of you know, I've been on a big Buddhist meditation kick lately, including two retreats with Jack Kornfield at Spirit Rock. This weekend I even visited Abhayagiri Monastery way up in Redwood Valley. Ajahn Brahmavamso, visiting from Australia, gave a great lecture there on Saturday night. His new book is called "Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?"
There's an interview with Jack Kornfield in the San Francisco Chronicle today (linked to title above). Here's an excerpt:
What would you say is the most practical spiritual advice you can offer?
Relax. That's my first instruction. We have all of these things that we are in the middle of, you know, whether it's tending to an emergency at work, or a relative is in the hospital, or some great thing has just come up that occupies your mind. Relaxation allows for our natural response, rather than the kind of tension and fear that can often control our lives.
My second instruction is, especially when things are difficult, try to hold your experience with compassion. Whether a crying child is keeping you up all night, or a car accident has just happened, or you are trying to get along with someone who is difficult, you can respond appropriately if you hold all of it -- your own body, mind and those around you -- in compassion. And your life becomes much wiser as a result.
That sounds simple enough, but how easy is it to do?
Well, the beautiful thing about compassion or mindfulness, the things that we are talking about, is that they are innate to us. Even the most hardened criminal would reach to pick up a child who'd fallen in the street in danger. Something in us knows what compassion is, but it gets covered over by our busy lives and our fear. Link