October 3, 2023

Jack Kornfield | Healing Trauma Through Collective Meditation

Thomas is joined by writer, trained Buddhist monk, and meditation teacher, Jack Kornfield. They discuss how Buddhist meditation and mindfulness practices, in combination with more traditional forms of therapy, can help to heal individual and collective trauma. Jack explores how his own traumatic experiences led him to Buddhism, and how the relationships in his adult life both brought his trauma to the surface and gave him the opportunity to heal.

Early in Jack’s spiritual journey, he spent extensive time in highly traumatized environments, including a refugee camp for those displaced by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. There, he learned the importance of creating safe, ritual containers where people can come together to share and process their trauma. He believes that mindful, loving awareness is a skill that anyone can learn, and it’s an essential practice for anyone seeking to heal their own trauma or have the capacity to be a compassionate witness to the trauma of others.

Ultimately, Jack believes that love is our most powerful tool to address the world’s most dire problems.

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“Everything is imbued with a sense of the sacred because that’s what it is. And what we are is love, loving awareness.”

- Jack Kornfield

Guest Information

Jack Kornfield

Jack Kornfield trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, India, and Burma. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a founding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts and Spirit Rock Meditation Center in California. He is one of the key teachers to introduce mindfulness practice to the West, has taught internationally since 1974, and is the author of 16 books which have sold 2 million copies.

For more information, visit jackkornfield.com

Notes & Resources

Key points discussed in this episode include:

  • How every great spiritual tradition emphasizes the need for community, and how being witnessed is critical to healing
  • Using LSD and other mind-altering breathwork practices to open up dimensions of consciousness in a powerful and transformative way
  • How meditation teaches us to become comfortable with the whole domain of emotions
  • The need to work through and honor our pain and suffering rather than transcending or bypassing them
  • Reconciling the all-encompassing spiritual dimension with the necessities of our individual incarnations
  • How meditation creates a shift in our identity and allows us to recognize that our traumas don’t define us

Episode Transcript