Tagged: Jack Kornfield

Mindfulness of Breath by Jack Kornfield

 

 

Having found a posture that is stable and comfortable. Again with your eyes either gently closed, or relaxed and slightly open, but not looking around.

Begin to pay attention to your body.

Allowing it to relax.

And noticing the sensations that are here — as you pay attention.

If you notice any obvious areas of tightness you can soften them.

Let the eyes and ears be soft.

The shoulders drop.

The hands rest easily.

Let the belly be soft and the breath natural.

Let yourself just rest for a moment. being aware of what you notice here.

As you feel your body, as you rest on the earth.

 

As you sit quietly, you’ll notice that there are different thoughts, feelings, and sounds that arise and pass — including these words.

Let the sounds and thoughts arise and pass easily. Like waves in the ocean. And let your mind and heart be soft, and open, and at peace.

Notice the waves as they come and go.

And simply be present with the feelings and the experiences that pass each moment as you sit.

 

In this space of a kind and relaxed attention:

Now let yourself become aware of the fact of your breathing.

In the midst of the thoughts, sounds, and feelings that come and go.

You can sense your life breath.

You can sense the feeling or the sensation of this rhythm of breath.

It might be coolness in the nose,  tingling in the back of the throat.

Or you might feel the breath as a movement of the chest or the rise and fall of the belly.

Let the breath have its natural rhythm. And as you feel it — rest your attention in the breathing.

Sense the breath carefully.

Focusing on the breath is our beginning. It is our way of connecting the mind, heart, and body together in the present.

If it’s helpful to you you can take 1 or 2 deeper breaths — and feel what place in the body the breath is most apparent to you.

 

And even if the breath is quite soft, see if you can let your attention become careful and notice the coolness, the tingling, the movement or vibration, the expansion of the belly.

Notice whatever you can of the breath and rest your attention in it.

As you feel each breath, let there be a sense of relaxation.

Both a presence or alertness, and at the same time an ease — relaxing in the sensation of breath.

After several breathes, you will probably notice that your mind wanders.

After several breaths, often a wave of thought, or feeling, or sound will come and carry you.

As soon as you notice this wave, you can acknowledge it very simply, “theres’ been thinking” “imagining” or “sound”…and release it — let it go when you notice it.

Coming back gently and directly to feel the breath again.

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Open Awareness by Jack Kornfield

 

This morning I’d like to do a guided meditation for the instructions working with the sense of sound and space.

If the way that you’re practicing the skillful means of your practice is most helped by staying in your body, connected to the breath very closely, or the sensations and you have a sense that sound and space is not necessarily the right focus that’s also fine.

But as we’ve talked about and as I’ve talked about, even last night, the sense of resting in awareness.

This is a meditation that invites that possibility for you.

So letting yourself sit comfortably and at easy

It’s helpful for this practice that the body be still, allow your eyes to be closed gently, and just as you have initially paid attention to breath or body sensations, for the establishment of awareness.

In this practice let go o the initial focus of breath and body sensations and instead bring your awareness to the play of sound. To the door of the ear which receives vibrations and sounds and in a relaxed and easy way begin simply by listening.

 

There are soft sounds in the room.

Distant sounds.

The sounds of these words appearing and disappearing.

The sound of bells.

And as you listen, relax into the space of listening.

Into the space of awareness itself.

The bells arise and vanish.

The words appear and disappear.

Listen as well to the silence between sounds.

 

And as you listen, let yourself begin to sense or feel or imagine any way you can that your mind is not limited to the size of your head.

That the mind is open and vast like space or sky.

Let yourself feel or imagine that the mind is as big as this room.

As big as the whole sky.

And the sounds that you hear.

These words.

The soft sounds in the background.

The silence and bells.

Arise and pass like clouds or bubbles in the vast open space of mind.

 

Relax into spaciousness in its true state.

The mind is transparent.

Timeless.

Open like the sky.

Allowing for everything.

Containing all things yet not limited by them.

Timeless.

Being of the voids.

To know if this is so or not, rest in the space of awareness.

Relax into it.

Trust it.

The sounds come easily appearing and disappearing like clouds.

And the sky remains at ease.

 

And as you relax I spacious awareness.

Just as sounds appear and disappear.

Notice too how images and thoughts arise.

Word thoughts.

Picture thoughts.

Appear like clouds.

Arise for a moment.

Display themselves.

Images. Sentences.

And then vanish leaving no trace.

The mind is like space.

Vast, open, uncompounded, untroubled by what arises and passes.

Receiving all things as awareness itself.

The space that knows.

Completely at rest.

Vast and silent.

 

Words appear and disappear.

And thoughts and images arise like clouds and then vanish.

Rest in the space of awareness.

Relax into it.

Trust it.

 

Sounds appear and disappear.

Arising like clouds and passing away.

Thougts and images arise in the same vast sky.

Appearing for a time and dissolving leaving the sky open, vast, and silent.

Notice too emotions and feelings that may arise like weather, joy, or ease, delight, calm.

Sadness, fear, frustration, longing, love.

Like weather appearing in the sky.

Emotions too arise, are felt and known, exist for a time, and pass away.

Just as sounds come and go.

So too emotions.

Like clouds or bubbles arise for a time.

Rest in the vast sky of awareness.

Trust it.

Relax into it.

 

Sounds come and go.

Thoughts and images appear and disappear.

Moods and emotions like weather arise for a time and pass away.

The mind is vast like space without boundaries — transparent, open.

Allowing for all things yet not limited by them.

Rest in this innate awareness.

Silent and vast.

Notice too, that within the vast sky of mind, the space of awareness, while there are sensations of the body there is no solid body.

 

No head.

No limbs or torso.

Just a field of sensations that float and slowly change in the sky of mind.

Warm and cool areas of vibration and pressure.

Of hard and soft.

Tingling. Pleasure, painful sensations, tensions.

If you’ve sense the body from the sky of awareness.

It is a field of vibration, pulsing, tingling.

With space in and around it.

Nothing solid.

A flow of sensations and experience.

And the breath itself moves like a breeze in space.

No inside or outside.

Just a slow dynamic change of sensations of breath.

Floating in the vast space of mind.

 

Sounds come and go.

Sensations float and slowly change.

The breath moves like a breeze.

Thoughts and feelings arise like clouds.

Appear for a time and vanish.

Rest in the vast space of mind.

Silent, transparent.

Awareness itself.

Trust it.

It is your own true nature.

It is home.

 

Open, silent.

And allow a sense of compassion to fill the vast space.

For all the times you forget who you really are.

Get contracted to small. To self. Frightened. Worried.

And know that this vast mind and heart is just a breath, a moment away.

Relax into it.

Trust it.

Let it become a compassionate and loving awareness to hold all the troubles of your life.

With graciousness and space.

And feel how this loving awareness spreads out vast like the sky

To receive all that arises and passes with the natural awareness and the great heart of metta.

You sit as the Buddha.

Wise and loving.

And know that this is your home.

 

And even as you open your eyes, allow the vast sense of space with appearances of sights.

Arising, remain with the vastness.

And the stillness.

Of loving awareness.

Vast as space.

Forgiveness by Jack Kornfield

 

 

Let your eyes close gently and we’ll do one of the forgiveness trainings in 3 directions.

 

So first with your eyes closed.

Just bring your attention here to the reality of the present.

Feel your body.

On this morning, spring morning in May, 2010.

Here you are, in this auditorium, Zeller Bach.

Let the shoulders drop.

The eyes and face be soft.

Let the breath breathe easily and trust yourself.

Seated on this earth.

You are seated under your own tree of enlightenment.

You are the Buddha here sitting here learning the great art of forgiveness.

 

And then the first of these 3 directions — and don’t worry this is also written out so you can  practice this easily afterward. There’s a handout for you with this.

 

Here’s the reflection — follow along with your eyes closed.

There are many ways in which I have harmed others.

Knowingly and unknowingly.

Betrayed them.

Abandoned them.

Caused them pain.

So many times.

I remember these now.

And feel the sorrows I still carry.

And let yourself remember the ways you betrayed, abandoned, harmed others.

And feel what you still carry.

 

And in the many ways that have hurt or harmed, you, betrayed others, caused you suffering, out of my own fear and confusion.

Out of my own pain and anger and hurt and misunderstanding.

In this moment, I ask your forgiveness.

I ask your forgiveness.

Please forgive me.

May I be forgiven.

 

And as you remember and ask — feel the movement of the heart that’s willing to ask forgiveness and perhaps to receive it.

Even as we do this practice, the tears and the regret.

All those things may come.

 

Now include yourself in the second direction.

Just as I have caused pain and hurt and suffering to others.

So too — I’ve hurt myself.

Betrayed myself.

Abandoned my own deepest values and love.

Just as I’ve hurt or harmed others.

So too I’ve judged and betrayed myself.

So many ways.

I remember these now too.

And let yourself feel all the ways you have caused suffering to yourself.

To your body.

Mind and heart.

As you caused sorrow to others.

I remember these now too.

 

And feel the sorrows you carry from this.

 

And now, again, breathing gently the same practice of forgiveness in the second direction.

Just as I have hurt or betrayed or harmed others, so I’ve done so to myself.

Betrayed and harmed myself — caused myself suffering.

In body or mind.

In so many ways, out of my own confusion and fear.

Out of my pain and frustration and hurt.

And in this moment, I offer myself forgiveness.

 

I hold myself with mercy and tender forgiveness for my own humanity.

For all the ways that I may have hurt and messed up and caused pain.

Breathe gently, just now, I forgive myself.

I forgive myself.

And feel what it’s like — the image from the Buddha is a mother holding her most beloved, only child — to hold yourself with a tender compassion and forgiveness.

All these ways, I hold myself with forgiveness and mercy.

I forgive myself.

 

And then finally, the third direction:

There are many ways in which others have hurt and harmed me.

We’ve all been betrayed.

We’ve all had suffering and pain visited on us by others.

Every one one us has been hurt.

I remember these now too — the  ways I’ve been abandoned, betrayed, hurt by others.

And feel the sorrows I still carry.

And let yourself feel and sense.

 

And in the many ways that others have hurt me, betrayed, abandoned me, caused me pain, that I remember now.

To the extent that I”m ready.

And this is a process that can’t be hurried.

To the extent that I’m ready.

I turn my heart in the direction of forgiveness.

To the extent that I am ready, I forgive you.

 

I offer you forgiveness.

I release you.

I will not carry the pain of hating you in my heart.

To the extent that I’m ready, I forgive you.

 

And let yourself feel either the lightening of the heart in the forgiveness.

Or the understanding that you’re not yet ready to forgive.

And so you know the work of the heart that is ahead of you.

 

And keeping in mind these three directions, let yourself come back to this room and your eyes open.

Gratitude by Jack Kornfield

884814.jpgLet yourself sit quietly and at ease.

 

Allow your body to be relaxed and open, your breath natural, your heart easy.

 

Begin the practice of gratitude by feeling how year after year you have cared for your own life.

 

Now let yourself begin to acknowledge all that has supported you in this care:

 

With gratitude I remember the people, animals, plants, insects, creatures of the sky and sea, air and water, fire and earth, all whose joyful exertion blesses my life every day.

With gratitude I remember the care and labor of a thousand generations of elders and ancestors who came before me.

I offer my gratitude for the safety and well-being I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the blessing of this earth I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the measure of health I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the family and friends I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the community I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the teachings and lessons I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the life I have been given.

 

Just as we are grateful for our blessings, so we can be grateful for the blessings of others.

 

Continue to breathe gently.

 

Bring to mind someone you care about, someone it is easy to rejoice for.

Picture them and feel the natural joy you have for their well-being, for their happiness and success.

 

With each breath, offer them your grateful, heartfelt wishes:

 

May you be joyful.

May your happiness increase.

May you not be separated from great happiness.

May your good fortune and the causes for your joy and happiness increase.

Sense the sympathetic joy and caring in each phrase.

 

When you feel some degree of natural gratitude for the happiness of this loved one, extend this practice to another person you care about.

 

Recite the same simple phrases that express your heart’s intention.

 

Then gradually open the meditation to include neutral people, difficult people, and even enemies- until you extend sympathetic joy to all beings everywhere, young and old, near and far.

— From, The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace