Monday, April 13, 2009

Reflections from Jack Kornfield's 'The Wise Heart'



My vocarious appetite for Buddhism psychology continues.

I recently rediscovered Jack Kornfield's 'The Wise Heart' - Buddhist Psychology for the West. I had read it a few months back, lent it out to a friend, and only got it back in my hands a few days ago. The Wise Heart is clear, concise, and explains concepts and ideas in a no-bullshit manner. There is no arrogance or overuse of jargon in his language. No ambigious terminology. A real person speaking real language.

But this is not a book review.

I wanted to go through the 26 principles that he describes in the book - for both my benefit, and for you, the reader: whoever you may be. It may apply to you. It may not. As I have stated before, Passenger is mainly for my personal reflection. Writing for yourself has a certain mediative quality to it. You don't get caught up in seminatic or grammatical errors, as often happens when I write. You just write. In however shape or fashion, you see fit. Anyway, here are the principles from the Wise Heart:

1. See the inner nobility and beauty in all human beings.
2. Compassion is our deepest nature. It arises from our interconnection with things.
3. When we shift attention to experence the spacious consciouness that knows, wisdom arises
4. Recognise the mental states that fill consciousness. You need to shfit from unhealthy to healthy states
5. Our ideas of self are created by identificaiton. The less we cling to ideas of self, the freerier and happier we will be.
6. Our life has an universal and personal nature. Both dimensions must be respected if we are to be happy and free.
7. Mindful attention to any experience is liberating. Mindfulness brings perspective, balance and meaning
8. Mindfulness of the body allows us to live fully. It brings healings, wisdom and freedom.
9. Widsom knows feelings are present without being lost in them
10.Thoughts are often one sided and continue. Learn to be mindul and not get caught in it.
11. There is a personal and universal unconsciouness. Turning awareness to unconscious beings brings understanding and freedom.
12. The unhealthy patterns of personality can be recognised and transformed into healthy expression of natural temperant.
13. Both healthy and unhealthy desire know differences. Then find freedom in their mindset.
14. If we clint to anger and hatred, we will suffer. It is possible to respond strongly, wisely, and with compassion without hatred.
15. Delusion misunderstands the world and forgets who we are. Delusion gives use to unhealthy states. Free yourself from delusion and see with wisdom
16. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is not. Suffering arise from grasping. Release grasping and be free of suffering.
17. Be mindful of intention. Intentions is the seed that creates our future.
18. What we repeatly visualise changes our body and consciouness. Visualise freedom and compassion.
19. What we repeatly think shapes our world. Out of compassion, substitute unhealthy thoughts for healthy ones.
20. The power of concentration can be developed through inner training. Concentration opens consciouness to profound states of healing and understanding.
21. Virtue and integrity are neccessary for genuine happiness. Guard your integrity with care.
22. Forgiveness is neccessary and possible. It is never too late to find forgiveness and start again.
23. There is no separation between inner and outer, self and other. Tending ourselves, we tend the world. Tending the world, we tend ourselves.
24. The middle way is found between all opposites. Rest on the middle and find well-being whenever you are.
25. Release opinions, free yourself from views. Be open to mystery.
26. A peaceful heart gives birth to life. When suffering meets love, it turns to compassion. When it meets happiness, it turns to joy.

Each principles provoked something in me, even if I couldn't describe it in words. I just trust that somewhere in my unconscious mind, these principles are incubating. I enjoy my life. I like where am I at. But still I crave something, something more? Happiness. Yes. Contentment. Yes. Enlightement. Ambitious Ed, Ambitious.

So, if you are one of the unfortunate readers who stumbled across this blog, I ask of you: which principles provokes something within you? Print out the list. Put it on your board. Let the ideas sit within and grow. You never what could happen.

Mr Jack Kornfield - Absolute Legend

1 comment:

cjrada said...

Very very good Eddie!!! The princibles are very good and very well worded too. I look forward to reading the book.

Question: do you have any readings which go into the 4 noble truths and the 8-fold path and all that sort of buddhist stuff? Does this book go into it?