100+ Best Jack Kornfield Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Jack Kornfield is a bestselling American author and teacher in the vipassana movement in American Theravada Buddhism. He trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma and India, first as a student of the Thai forest master Ajahn Chah and Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. Profoundly inspirational Jack Kornfield quotes will brighten up your day and make you feel ready to take on anything.

If you’re searching for inspiring quotes from great authors that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of amazing Jen Sincero quotes, powerful Jeremy Clarkson quotes and profound Jiddu Krishnamurti quotes.

Famous Jack Kornfield Quotes

Use whatever has come to awaken patience, understanding, and love. — Jack Kornfield

When you rest in presence and pure awareness, sometimes everything is experienced as love because you’re connected with all that is, and love is simply the nature of being. — Jack Kornfield

Some other people think that awakened consciousness is really about fullness or presence, being completely present for every moment, but these experiences are only one of the dimensions of awakened consciousness. Understanding these different dimensions as facets of awakening can help with the confusion surrounding the different spiritual paths. They’re not leading to different places, but rather reflect the luminous and liberated aspects of consciousness itself. These qualities are not far away; in fact, they are right here. — Jack Kornfield

In this world there are two great sources of strength. One rests with those who are not afraid to kill. The other rests with those who are not afraid to love. — Jack Kornfield

Virtue and integrity are necessary for genuine happiness. Guard your integrity with care. — Jack Kornfield

Built on the foundation of concentration is the third aspect of the Buddha’s path of awakening: clarity of vision and the development of wisdom. — Jack Kornfield

With mindfulness, we are learning to observe in a new way, with balance and a powerful disidentification. — Jack Kornfield

It does not matter whether you have religion or are an agnostic believe in nothing, You can only appreciate (without knowing or understanding) the mysteries of life. — Jack Kornfield

It is hard to imagine a world without forgiveness. Without forgiveness life would be unbearable. Without forgiveness our lives are chained, forced to carry the sufferings of the past and repeat them with no release. — Jack Kornfield

No one knows how this world came into being. It is a creation of consciousness itself. It’s extraordinary, a mystery. — Jack Kornfield

Westerners, more than most Asians, are prone to feelings of fear, self-hatred, and unworthiness. — Jack Kornfield

As desire abates, generosity is born. When we are connected and present, what else is there to do but give? — Jack Kornfield

Life without forgiveness is unbearable. — Jack Kornfield

Refraining from stealing: care with material goods. Undertake for one week to act on every single thought of generosity that arises spontaneously in your heart. — Jack Kornfield

How did we get into this funny-looking body that has a hole at one end in which we regularly stuff dead plants and animals? It’s bizarre that we got here, incarnated into this world with these bodies. — Jack Kornfield

Yet I knew that spiritual practice is impossible without great dedication, energy, and commitment. — Jack Kornfield

Taking the one seat describes two related aspects of spiritual work. Outwardly, it means selecting one practice and teacher among all the possibilities, and inwardly, it means having the determination to stick with that practice through whatever difficulties and doubts arise until you have come to true clarity and understanding. — Jack Kornfield

The Sufis have a saying: Praise Allah, and tie your camel to a post. This brings together both parts of practice: pray, yes, but also make sure that you do what is necessary in the world. — Jack Kornfield

We must especially learn the art of directing mindfulness into the closed areas of our life. — Jack Kornfield

Skill in concentrating and steadying the mind is the basis for all types of meditation. — Jack Kornfield

The purpose of a spiritual discipline is to give us a way to stop the war, not by our force of will, but organically, through understanding an gradual training. — Jack Kornfield

Everyone and everything is in some degree or other our teacher. — Jack Kornfield

In any moment we can learn to let go of hatred and fear. We can rest in peace, love, and forgiveness. It is never too late. Yet to sustain love we need to develop practices that cultivate and strengthen the natural compassion within us. — Jack Kornfield

Nobody knows why they were born or where they come from. — Jack Kornfield

The first level of practice is illuminated by the qualities of courage and renunciation. — Jack Kornfield

You are the mystery incarnating itself, and it’s beautiful when you remember. It’s also painful and awesome and it contains unbearable beauty and unfathomable pain – the ocean of tears and galaxy of bliss. I don’t say that lightly, but it’s what we have. — Jack Kornfield

We can bring our spiritual practice into the streets, into our communities, when we see each realm as a temple, as a place to discover that which is sacred. — Jack Kornfield

Expressing gratitude to our benefactors is a natural form of love. In fact, some people find loving kindness for themselves so hard, they begin their practice with a benefactor. This too is fine. The rule in loving kindness practice is to follow the way that most easily opens your heart. — Jack Kornfield

There is no higher happiness than peace. — Jack Kornfield

Great spiritual traditions are used as a means to ripen us, to bring us face to face with our life, and to help us to see in a new way by developing a stillness of mind and a strength of heart. — Jack Kornfield

Where we tended to be judgmental, we became more judgmental of ourselves in our spiritual practice. — Jack Kornfield

Yes, there are troubles in the world. There’s war and hatred, there’s sickness and difficulty. And there is also an undying spirit, an inviolable consciousness that is born in each of us. It is who we are, and it’s everything and it’s nothing. — Jack Kornfield

Only a deep attention to the whole of our life can bring us the capacity to love well and live freely. — Jack Kornfield

It is our commitment to wholeness that matters, the willingness to unfold in every deep aspect of our being. — Jack Kornfield

In Buddhist practice, the outward and inward aspects of taking the one seat meet on our meditation cushion. — Jack Kornfield

The grief we carry is part of the grief of the world. Hold it gently. Let it be honored. You do not have to keep it in anymore. You can let go into the heart of compassion; you can weep. — Jack Kornfield

Each moment of every day is new and then it vanishes. Where is that day? Where is that moment? — Jack Kornfield

What would we have to hold in compassion to be at peace right now? What would we have to let go of to be at peace right now? — Jack Kornfield

What we seek is what we are. — Jack Kornfield

It is not enough to know that love and forgiveness are possible. We have to find ways to bring them to life. — Jack Kornfield

We need a warrior’s heart that lets us face our lives directly, our pains and limitations, our joys and possibilities. — Jack Kornfield

To let go in the deepest recesses of the heart, to release all struggle and wanting, leads us to that knowing which is timeless. — Jack Kornfield

An honorable spiritual practice recognizes the losses we have suffered, tells our story, and sheds our tears to free us from the past. — Jack Kornfield

The path of awakening begins with a step the Buddha called right understanding. — Jack Kornfield

Compassion arises naturally as the quivering of the heart in the face of pain, ours and another’s. True compassion is not limited by the separateness of pity, nor by the fear of being overwhelmed. When we come to rest in the great heart of compassion, we discover a capacity to bear witness to, suffer with, and hold dear with our own vulnerable heart the sorrows and beauties of the world. — Jack Kornfield

Gratitude is confidence in life itself. In it, we feel how the same force that pushes grass through cracks in the sidewalk invigorates our own life. — Jack Kornfield

Without integrity and conscience we lose our freedom. — Jack Kornfield

When we take time to quiet ourselves, we can all sense that our life could be lived with greater compassion and greater weakness. — Jack Kornfield

To learn to concentrate we must choose a prayer or meditation and follow this path with commitment and steadiness, a willingness to work with our practice day after day, no matter what arises. — Jack Kornfield

Whatever you believe cosmologically, we all know the tears of the world. We each carry a certain measure of those tears in our hearts. — Jack Kornfield

Samadhi doesn’t just come of itself; it takes practice. — Jack Kornfield

As long as you are trying to be something other than what you actually are, your mind wears itself out. But if you say, ‘This is what I am, it is a fact that I am going to investigate and understand,’ then you can go beyond. — Jack Kornfield

We need energy, commitment, and courage not to run from our life nor to cover it over with any philosophy—material or spiritual. — Jack Kornfield

Two qualities are at the root of all meditation development: right effort and right aim—arousing effort to aim the mind toward the object. — Jack Kornfield

Anger shows us precisely where we are stuck, where our limits are, where we cling to beliefs and fears. — Jack Kornfield

A factor that greatly supports the opening of energy in practice is exercise and care of the physical body. — Jack Kornfield

Sense the blessings of the earth in the perfect arc of a ripe tangerine, the taste of warm, fresh bread, the circling flight of birds, the lavender color of the sky shining in a late afternoon rain puddle, the million times we pass other beings in our cars and shops and out among the trees without crashing, conflict, or harm. — Jack Kornfield

It is the basic principle of spiritual life that we learn the deepest things in unknown territory. Often it is when we feel most confused inwardly and are in the midst of our greatest difficulties that something new will open. We awaken most easily to the mystery of life through our weakest side. The areas of our greatest strength, where we are the most competent and clearest, tend to keep us away from the mystery. — Jack Kornfield

We can easily become loyal to our suffering … but it’s not the end of the path. — Jack Kornfield

If grief or anger arises, Let there be grief or anger. This is the Buddha in all forms,Sun Buddha, Moon Buddha, Happy Buddha, Sad Buddha. It is the universe offering all things to awaken and open our heart. — Jack Kornfield

True love is not for the faint-hearted. — Jack Kornfield

Be mindful of intention. Intention is the seed that creates our future. — Jack Kornfield

There are many good forms of meditation practice. A good meditation practice is any one that develops awareness or mindfulness of our body and our sense, of our mind and heart. — Jack Kornfield

Through practice, gently and gradually we can collect ourselves and learn how to be more fully with what we do. — Jack Kornfield

As we step out of the way new things are born. — Jack Kornfield

Great pain, when it is honored from the heart, opens into great understanding. — Jack Kornfield

When repeated difficulties do arise, our first spiritual approach is to acknowledge what is present, naming, softly saying ‘sadness, sadness’, or ‘remembering, remembering’, or whatever. — Jack Kornfield

Everybody needs to take some time, in some way, to quiet themselves and really listen to their heart. — Jack Kornfield

No amount of meditation, yoga, diet, and reflection will make all of our problems go away, but we can transform our difficulties into our practice until little by little they guide us on our way. — Jack Kornfield

Breathing meditation can quiet the mind, open the body, and develop a great power of concentration. — Jack Kornfield

Meditation practice is neither holding on nor avoiding; it is a settling back into the moment, opening to what is there. — Jack Kornfield

Know that the freedom you seek can be found right here where you are. — Jack Kornfield

The way I treat my body is not disconnected from the way I treat my family or the commitment I have to peace on our earth. — Jack Kornfield

To understand ourselves and our life is the point of insight meditation: to understand and to be free. — Jack Kornfield

We each have been betrayed. Let yourself picture and remember the many ways this is true. Feel the sorrow you have carried from this past. Now sense that you can release this burden of pain by gradually extending forgiveness as your heart is ready. — Jack Kornfield

Of course, you play the game of life because you got to be incarnated. — Jack Kornfield

Every individual in the world has a unique contribution. — Jack Kornfield

In my experience, psychotherapy at its best is like dual meditation – it’s like a container in which you can be compassionate and mindful toward yourself. — Jack Kornfield

The unawakened mind tends to make war against the way things are. — Jack Kornfield

As we follow a genuine path of practice, our sufferings may seem to increase because we no longer hide from them or from ourselves. When we do not follow the old habits of fantasy and escape, we are left facing the actual problems and contradictions of our life. — Jack Kornfield

How well we have learned to let go — Jack Kornfield

For most of us, generosity is a quality that must be developed. We have to respect that it will grow gradually; otherwise our spirituality can become idealistic and imitative, acting out the image of generosity before it has become genuine. — Jack Kornfield

We must look at our life without sentimentality, exaggeration or idealism. Does what we are choosing reflect what we most deeply value? — Jack Kornfield

Whenever we forgive, in small ways at home, or in great ways between nations, we free ourselves from the past. — Jack Kornfield

We have so many ideas and beliefs about ourselves. We told ourselves story about what we want and who we are, smart or kind. Often these are the unexamined and limited ideas of others that we have internalized and then gone on to life out. — Jack Kornfield

The longing for initiation is universal and for modern youth, it is a desperate need. When nothing is offered in the way of spiritual initiation to prove one’s entry into the world of men and women, initiation happens instead in the road or the street, in cars at high speed, with drugs, with dangerous sex, with weapons. However troubling, this behavior is rooted in a fundamental truth; a need to grow. — Jack Kornfield

In all practices and traditions of freedom, we find the heart’s task to be quite simple. Life offers us just what it offers, and our task is to bow to it, to meet it with understanding and compassion. — Jack Kornfield

Buddhism talks about the possibility of transforming greed, hatred, and delusion. But sometimes need turns into greed. — Jack Kornfield

Compassion is our deepest nature. It arises from our interconnection with all things. — Jack Kornfield

To meditate is to discover new possibilities, to awaken the capacities of us has to live more wisely, more lovingly, more compassionately, and more fully. — Jack Kornfield

Spiritual practice should not be confused with grim duty. It is the laughter of the Dalai Lama and the wonder born with every child. — Jack Kornfield

You have to accept the way things are before you can move on. — Jack Kornfield

Equanimity arises when we accept the way things are. — Jack Kornfield

A bulging portfolio of spiritual experiences matters little if it does not have the power to sustain us through the inevitable moments of grief, loss, and change. Knowledge and achievements matter little if we do not yet know how to touch the heart of another and be touched. Wisdom is alive only as long as it is lived, understanding is liberating only as long as it is applied. — Jack Kornfield

The focusing of attention on the breath is perhaps the most universal of the many hundreds of meditation subjects used worldwide. — Jack Kornfield

The awakened heart and mind can be experienced as clarity itself, pure knowing. — Jack Kornfield

Meditation takes discipline, just like learning how to play piano. If you want to learn how to play the piano, it takes more than a few minutes a day, once a while, here and there. If you really want to learn any important skill, whether it is playing piano or meditation, it grows with perseverance, patience, and systematic training. — Jack Kornfield

In sitting on the meditation cushion and assuming the meditation posture, we connect ourselves with the present moment in this body and on this earth. — Jack Kornfield

The wholeness and freedom we seek is our true nature, who we really are. — Jack Kornfield

When attachment arises in the place of love, it sees the other as separate; it grasps and needs. Attachment is conditional; it seeks control and it fear loss. Ask your heart if attachment has replaced love. If we speak to our heart, it will always tell us the truth. — Jack Kornfield