The Four Essentials for Healthy Living

Sounds True
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Sounds True's Awakening a Joyful Heart with Meditation

Jack Kornfield on How Mindfulness, Love, and Compassion Can Change Your Life

03:03:46 of on-demand video • Updated

  • Understand what it takes to awaken your heart and allow joy to enter your life.
  • Use a variety of meditative practices to change the way you think about yourself and the world.
English I'm really pleased to be in this beautiful space it feels like a keeva like you would go descend in New Mexico underground into some sacred space. Quite remarkable. We will work with what are the Buddhist teachings of the awakened heart. Now if it were not Han teaching who I love very much he would probably teach you one thing very slowly and you would sink into the present moment and leave here just present which is all you need really . But because people are different and my temperament is different as well rather than one simple thing it will be an overview of the treasure chest of the practices of the heart. For us to work with together and then for you to take to use in your own life or to pass on to other people which is also fine as long as you're doing it you know it's fine to teach them to other people but you've got to be doing them yourself. Let me ask you if I may. How many of you are health professionals or mental health professionals just to know about half. It looks like sort of the others are your clients that you brought along right. How many of you artists great educators scientists fabulous business people good let's see politicians . I keep Oh gosh I wish. Let's see how many of you are relatively new to meditation practice virgins even in Oregon. That's great. OK welcome to you. How many of you have done a residential retreat of a week or more at some point. Probably half of you how many are connected with Portland insight meditation community. Great thank you. And how many have a deep spiritual path that's not based on Buddhist practice but Christian or Sufi or some other Hasidic also welcome. Wonderful. And with that spirit I'd like also to welcome as the gates of the teachings of Dharma which means the path of what's true and welcoming and liberating are open to everyone regardless of and including every age and every ability and every sexual orientation in every race and class and ethnicity and however weird you are which I'm speaking as a weird person. I just have to include myself in this whatever your uniqueness it is treasured and valued your inherent dignity and nobility and worth is welcome here in this community that we make together in the practices that we do. So this morning I want to do some introduction and then we'll work our way toward a couple of practices of loving kindness and the ways to work with them. In the afternoon we'll shift toward compassion. I really want to start with the mystery of our life and human incarnation. Someone said that the question is not the future of humanity but the presence of eternity that really matters to us. And here we are born into this world of unbearable beauty and some terrible tragedies as well that we all know continuing in many ways and they're wedded together in this human life and they all arise and are held. We've taken birth in this human body and consciousness and experience pleasure and pain and gain and loss and fame and disrepute and love and hate. If not in ourselves yes in yourself. Never mind. And others but how did you get here. How did you get born into this human life. I mean here you find yourself in this human body with wiggly things at the end and the remnants of claws right and a little vestigial tail if you want to look right at a hole at one end into which you stuff dead plants and animals regularly and grind them up and push them down the tube till they come out the other side. Right. And you ambulate by falling one direction and catching yourself and then you follow the other direction catch yourself. It's bizarre. It is. Have you taken a look and you get little patches of fur. Right except sometimes you lose the fur. And if you don't think that's weird pay attention the next time you're making love which is a wonderful thing to do. It's fantastic but it's really strange. I mean this is how we make people you know. Come on. How did you get in there. And who are you really what was born with the spirit that came into this human life. All right a different way to approach it. When you look into the mirror you'll notice you've aged it right. Face it we are drooping here little wrinkles there you know how it works right. But the weird thing is that you don't necessarily see older and do you know why that is because it's only the body that has aged as you look in the mirror. Take a look at the physical body of your incarnation. There's some part of you that's going hmmm losing its ferde drooping over their wrinkling their and so forth. And you know in this very deep and intuitive way as the witnessing that you are not just your body you understand this is it makes sense. There is in us spirit a consciousness that is connected to this bodily incarnation but it's not who you really are. Of course we get so busy in this culture speedy and complicated and all the things that we're supposed to do you know and keep track of that we kind of lose this sense of awe and mystery how we got here who we are. The beauty of spirit that gets to be here for only a short while a poem from Ellen Bass she writes. If you knew what if you knew you'd be the last to touch someone. If you were taking tickets for example the theater tearing them and giving back the ragged stubs you might take care to touch that palm for the last time. Brush your fingers along the lifelines crease. When a man pulls his wheeled suitcase slowly through the airport when the car in front of me doesn't signal when the clerk at the pharmacy won't say thank you. I don't remember. They're going to die. A friend told me she'd been with her and they just had lunch and the waiter a young gay man with plum black eyes joked as he served the coffee kissed her and powdered chii when they left. Then they walked half a block at her and dropped dead on the sidewalk. How close does the Dragons spume have to come. How wide is the crack in heaven. Have to split. What would people look like if we could see them as they are soaked in honey stung and swollen reckless pinned against time and so we live with this mystery of time of this body it has a certain arc the mystery of death and this life. And what do we do with it. And so to meditate isn't so much a self-improvement project. Florida Scott Maxwell Well no matter how old a mother is she looks at her middle age children for signs of improvement. And you know you can undertake spiritual practices if it's it's a self-improvement project. You know you go to therapy and you go to the gym and you jog watch or die. Do all these things. And maybe if you meditate too you'll get better. I hope so but it's really not about that. It's an invitation to step back or open to some greater sense of mystery to see where it is. So let's just take a breath for a moment. Be present maybe you will do a little one syllable chant as we start by sitting in Sanskrit. They say that there is a word that sums up the Buddhist texts on complete and perfect wisdom in one syllable. Saves you a lot of reading because the main text is 800 or eight thousand verses you know and it's summed up in the seed syllable Ah because it's considered the first sound in life and the last sound. But most importantly it's the syllable for letting go. So let's just sing it together also we'll see what the acoustics are like in this sacred space. And then after we're just sit for a moment in the presence of being alive in the presence of being surrounded by others and the with white ears. Your tears in your poignancy and your longing and your love and your joy and your aching back and itches and pleasant sensations and warmth and cool and all that stuff just your humanity. Keep it going. That harmony ah ah ah ah ah ah ah