383: Jack Kornfield: Finding Freedom and Joy Right Where You Are

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 Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a father, husband, and activist.

His books have been translated into 20 languages and sold more than a million copies including his most recent book, No Time Like the Present: Finding Freedom, Love, and Joy Right Where You Are.

Favorite Success Quote

“Look at every path closely and deliberately, try it as many times as you think necessary, then ask yourself and yourself alone one question: Does this path have a heart? If it does the path is good, if it doesn’t it is of no use.”

Key Points

1. Did You Love Well?

Most people live their lives focusing on all of the wrong things.

They spend their time caught up in the societal hamster wheel trying to keep up with the Joneses, get that next promotion, and finally “make it” … At least according to society’s standards.

But what they fail to realize is that society is broken.

We are operating under outdated and ineffective ideologies and philosophies that no longer serve humanity.

At the end of the day, there is only one question for which you will be held accountable for… How did you love?

How did you treat the most important people in your life? How did you care for your neighbor? How did you love the people who mattered most and the people who had no one else to love them?

When it is all said and done, it won’t matter what kind of car you drove, what sort of house you lived in, or what type of watch adorned your wrist.

All that matters is how you loved.

2. Seek Validation from Yourself and Yourself Only 

One of the biggest mistakes that people, especially men, make when it comes to living a happy and fulfilling life is that they search for validation outside of themselves.

Men, in particular, commonly seek external validation from the women in their lives.

They mistakenly believe that if they have a hot girlfriend with a tight body and an insane sex drive that they are somehow more of a man that they are worthy, that they have all the validation that they need.

The problem is that men stop valuing themselves and their own opinions and beliefs and start valuing only the approval and validation of women.

This makes it easy for men to compromise their character and value in order to feel like they are a “real” man.

And it’s total crap.

The only person from whom you should seek validation is yourself.

Are you happy? Are you pleased with the man you are becoming? Are you fulfilled?

Because at the end of the day, that is what matters, not the validation given to you by others.

3. Take Time to Quiet Your Mind 

We live in an age of incessant noise and distraction, yet despite our vast swaths of resources, no one has seen it fit to teach society how to quiet their mind and listen to their inner voice.

Instead, our lives are run by advertising, sitcoms, and viral YouTube videos that do little to make us better or help us align ourselves with our deepest desires and the true calling of our hearts.

Is it any wonder that depression, anxiety, and divorce rates are at an all time high?!

If you want to live a life that is more in tune with your life’s purpose, with your true mission, and with your deepest happiness, then you must learn to quiet your mind and listen to that inner voice on a daily basis.

This doesn’t have to be complicated.

Simply sitting in meditation, prayer, or contemplation for a few minutes a day will allow you to tap into your inner wisdom and find the guidance that you (likely) need.

Influential Books

1. Bury the Chains by Adam Hochschild

2. Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Coleman

3. Iron John by Robert Bly

4. Men and the Water of Life by Michael Meade


Connect with Jack Kornfield


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