Jack Kornfield

Meditations invite us, then, to not only turn toward what’s difficult that we’re carrying, but teach us how to allow them to open and be held in the great field of compassion and understanding. And then it allows us to do our work, to love one another, to engage in the world, but in a much different and freer way. And in the stillness there comes knowing and intuiton and connecting with deeper wisdom that we all have when we listen. So meditation isn’t just about quieting yourself, but it’s quieting yourself so you connect to something deeper, to the source of life and to the inherent wisdom and love that’s who you really are.”

December 10, 2020

As 2020 draws to a close, Wendy speaks with Buddhist teacher, author, and psychologist Jack Kornfield in a special episode. Their conversation covers a wide range of topics, including:

Jack Kornfield, PhD
  • how he’s interpreting our current moment, and what’s needed most;
  • his path into Buddhism & psychology, reflecting on family and coming of age in the 1960s;
  • the value of going on a meditation retreat;
  • links between Buddhism and psychology in terms of healing and self;
  • the problem of spiritual bypassing;
  • how to work with difficulties through allowing and gratitude;
  • the role of Buddhist ideas in activism and social justice work;
  • and the most important thing researchers can measure as an outcome of meditation practice.

Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in the monasteries of Thailand, India and Burma. He has taught meditation internationally since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. After graduating from Dartmouth College in Asian Studies in 1967 he joined the Peace Corps and worked on tropical medicine teams in the Mekong River valley. He met and studied as a monk under the Buddhist master Ven. Ajahn Chah, as well as the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. Returning to the United States, Jack co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with fellow meditation teachers Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein, and the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. Over the years, Jack has taught in centers and universities worldwide, led International Buddhist Teacher meetings, and worked with many of the great teachers of our time. He holds a PhD in clinical psychology and is a father, husband, and activist.


Website & Free Meditations
Jack’s books have been translated into 20 languages and sold more than a million copies. They include:

View or download a transcript of this episode