The Heart Of Spiritual Practice with Jack Kornfield, Ph.D.

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What does it mean to be on a spiritual path? So many of us associate it with withdrawal from personal and worldly concerns. Far from it, says Jack Kornfield, respected and long-time teacher of Buddhist meditation. He emphasizes that the spiritual path must take us into the darkest parts of our own nature as well as into community and political action in the greater world. The key to moving in both of these directions is developing compassion and kindness. "It's only with that kindness," he says, "that we can go into those depths, that we can heal the most deeply wounded places in ourselves, or that we can bring ourselves to the great political, economic problems of the world and make a genuine difference." With humor and humility, he illustrates these points through stories--of his experiences as a monk in Asia, of his return to American life, and a very moving story of how the Dalai Lama was confronted by Buddhist women with the patriarchalism of traditional Buddhism. (hosted by Michael Toms)


Jack Kornfield, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned meditation teacher and one of the leaders in introducing Buddhist practice and psychology to the West. After graduating in Asian studies from Dartmouth College, he joined the Peace Corps and later trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma, and India. Kornfield is a cofounder of Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. A husband, father, and activist, he also holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and regularly gives seminars to mental health professionals.

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Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 5/7/1993      Program Number: 2383