The Wise Heart . read it?

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The Wise Heart . read it?

Postby jcsuperstar » Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:15 pm

has anyone read jack kornfield's The Wise Heart

any thoughts on it?
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: The Wise Heart . read it?

Postby bodom » Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:33 pm

Nah dont do much reading from Kornfield. I think the only thing ive ever read from him are introductions he's written in other books. Seems kinda generic to me. I could be wrong tho i might end up someday reading this book and loving it. Who knows?

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: The Wise Heart read it?

Postby Will » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:31 pm

Many years ago I read his Still Forest Pool about Ajahn Chan, but nothing by him since. But I got The Wise Heart as a gift, so I took a look and am about one third of the way through.

This is the Dhamma as therapy. One would think that no one comes to the Dhamma except the many psychological basket cases that Kornfield mentions. But his "attentiveness" therapy does help or cure them all and that is wonderful to see. He gives 26 universal principles of Buddhist Psychology and personal examples of how those principles heal & help. For example, Principle 8 is "Mindfulness of the body allows us to live fully. It brings healing, wisdom & freedom."

Yes, I would recommend it.
This noble eightfold path is the ancient path traveled by all the Buddhas of eons past. Nagara Sutta
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Re: The Wise Heart . read it?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:11 pm

Here is a critique of Kornfield's approach by Patrick Kearney:
Still Crazy after all these Years: Why Meditation isn’t Psychotherapy
http://www.buddhanet.net/crazy.htm

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Re: The Wise Heart . read it?

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:08 pm

Hi all

Several years ago I read most of 'After the ecstacy, the laundry' by Kornfield. I got about 4/5ths of the way through and I couldn't continue. Definitely not my cup of chai.
Metta

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Re: The Wise Heart . read it?

Postby upekkha » Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:21 am

A year and something ago I interviewed Jack Kornfield for an article I was writing,
My impression was that he is a very sweet man. His approach, which I understood from my conversation with him and his books, is more general or 'mixed', and I personally prefer to concentrate my efforts,

Though I would say his approach is suitable for a certain audience.. and he was very nice :)

I remember he asked me whether I had done a meditation retreat and with whom, I told him I did several Vipassana retreats as taught by Goenka and he replied something of the nature of "Very hard! very good but very hard!"..
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Re: The Wise Heart . read it?

Postby uslic001 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:42 pm

I have two of his books and would classify them as Buddhism "light". I prefer to read from the Sutras or from a master who has realized enlightenment.
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Re: The Wise Heart . read it?

Postby Ben » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:49 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Here is a critique of Kornfield's approach by Patrick Kearney:
Still Crazy after all these Years: Why Meditation isn’t Psychotherapy
http://www.buddhanet.net/crazy.htm

Metta
Mike


Thanks Mike

I didn't want to be negative in my earlier post with regard to Kornfield, but I was relieved to hear my concerns and more being expressed by Patrick Kearney, a highly respected (Mahasi) Vipassana teacher in Australia.
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Re: The Wise Heart . read it?

Postby Will » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:21 pm

I did not recommend the book be read because it was conventional Dhamma. It should be read because this is what many, many Occidentals do with the Dhamma (or Dharma), ie, they pick out one factor that they value and beat that one note for decades. If their motive is pure & wise then that fragment of the Dhamma will still be a help to themselves and others. We should be aware of these eclectic teachers so we can say, with some accuracy, this one is OK, this one is not - yet neither teach the Dhamma.
This noble eightfold path is the ancient path traveled by all the Buddhas of eons past. Nagara Sutta
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Re: The Wise Heart . read it?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:26 pm

That's a good point Will. Korfield has clearly done a lot of good things and helped a lot of people.

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Re: The Wise Heart . read it?

Postby genkaku » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:28 pm

mikenz66 wrote:Here is a critique of Kornfield's approach by Patrick Kearney:
Still Crazy after all these Years: Why Meditation isn’t Psychotherapy
http://www.buddhanet.net/crazy.htm

Metta
Mike


Mike -- That was very, very nice. Thank you.
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Re: The Wise Heart . read it?

Postby zavk » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:01 am

Yes, thanks Mike. A timely post. The article happens to address issues I'm considering in my research. :smile:

Best wishes,
Ed
With metta,
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Re: The Wise Heart . read it?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:20 am

Hmm, I posted this before really finishing what I meant to say...
mikenz66 wrote:That's a good point Will. Korfield has clearly done a lot of good things and helped a lot of people.

My take on Patrick Kearney's analysis is that the approach of Kornfield (and the others that he comments on) leaves out aspects of the Dhamma that Kearney (and presumably most members here) think are essential for "real Dhamma practise", as summarised in his closing paragraph:
Kearney wrote:Buddhism is not a collection of spiritual or therapeutic techniques. Buddhism is an ocean. If we want we are free to paddle on the edge of the shore, trying a technique here or a therapy there, occasionally getting our feet wet, but staying safely within our limitations. Or we can take the advice of Døgen Zenji, who said: "Arouse the mind that seeks the way, and plunge into the ocean of Buddhism." Ultimately the future of Buddhism in the West will be decided by those who take the plunge, because the paddlers will always draw back and, rather than adapt Buddhism to its new home, will develop new forms of Buddhised psychotherapy. For ultimately we must choose whom we will follow. We can follow Buddha or we can follow Freud; we cannot do both, because they are just not travelling in the same direction.

On the other hand, we should rejoice that Kornfield and others are making an effort to help people by introducing them to some Buddhist meditation techniques, just as we should rejoice any genuine attempt to alleviate suffering by non-Buddhists.

If I want advice on what I consider "Buddhist" practise, I read/listen to Kearney (among others), not Kornfield. However, Kornfield has certainly touched a large number of people.

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