90 Best Jack Kornfield Quotes (Author Of A Path With Heart)

Looking for great quotes and words of wisdom by Jack Kornfield? We have rounded up some of the best Jack Kornfield quotes, sayings, phrases, captions. (with images, pictures, wallpapers) to inspire you about love, life, kindness, letting go, meditation, and more.

Jack Kornfield is an Author, Buddhist practitioner, Spirit Rock Meditation Center founding teacher, and one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness to the West.

He is one of the 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.

Don’t forget to read our post on Buddha Quotes to inspire you with spiritualism, awakening, peace, and letting go.

Jack Kornfield Quotes

  1. “We can always begin again.”                                                                                                             
    Jack Kornfield Quotes
    Jack Kornfield Quotes

  2. “You must be present to win.”

  3. “There is no higher happiness than peace.”

  4. “Every individual has a unique contribution.”

  5. “The waves do keep coming, so learn to surf.”                                                                             
    Quotes By Jack Kornfield
    Quotes By Jack Kornfield

  6. “Live in joy, in love, even among those who hate.”

  7. “Forgiveness is giving up all hope of a better past.”

  8. “Life is so hard, how can we be anything but kind?”                                                   
    Jack Kornfield Life Quotes
    Jack Kornfield Life Quotes

  9. “Equanimity arises when we accept the way things are.”

  10. “Peace requires us to surrender our illusions of control.”

  11. “Much of spiritual life is self-acceptance, maybe all of it.”

  12. “Indifference is a misguided way of defending ourselves.”

  13. “As surely as there is a voyage away, there is a journey home.”

  14. “It is not about you. It is about us. Life is difficult for everyone.”

  15. “If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”                             
    Jack Kornfield Quotes Images
    Jack Kornfield Quotes Images

  16. “No matter how difficult the past, you can always begin again today.”

  17. “Can we not turn on one another but can we turn toward each other?”

  18. “We have only now, this single eternal moment, unfolding before us.”

  19. “Think of yourself as a beacon spreading the light of loving-kindness.”

  20. “By making your heart a zone of peace, it affects every day you touch.”

  21. “Be mindful of intention. Intention is the seed that creates our future.”                     
    Inspirational Jack Kornfield Quotes
    Inspirational Jack Kornfield Quotes

  22. “The unawakened mind tends to make war against the way things are.”

  23. “We can plan, we can care for, tend and respond. But we cannot control.”

  24. “Part of the art of quieting yourself is also to honor the tears that you carry.”

  25. “The courageous heart is the one that is unafraid to open itself to the world.”                                                                                                                                                 
    Jack Kornfield Quotes Pictures
    Jack Kornfield Quotes Pictures

  26. “There is a web of life into which we are born, from which we can never fall.”

  27. “Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch with compassion.”

  28. “We need to learn how to honor and use a practice for as long as it serves us.”

  29. “Do not scratch when itched, nor shift when cramped, nor pause when tired.”

  30. “As you become more intimate with your suffering, your heart grows tender.”

  31. “The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle.”

  32. “The path of awakening begins with a step the Buddha called right understanding.”

  33. “The only place you can love or heal or awaken is here and now, the eternal present.”

  34. “Acceptance is not passivity. It is a courageous step in the process of transformation.”

  35. “If we cannot be happy in spite of our difficulties, what good is our spiritual practice?”

  36. “Compassion is our deepest nature. It arises from our interconnection with all things.”

  37. “Weigh the true advantages of forgiveness and resentment to the heart. Then Choose.”

  38. “We do not have to improve ourselves; we just have to let go of what blocks our heart.”

  39. “With wise understanding we can live in harmony with our life, with the universal law.”

  40. “Like a sandcastle, all is temporary. Build it, tend it, enjoy it. And when time comes let it go.”

  41. “Wisdom says we are nothing. Love says we are everything. Between these two our life flows.”

  42. “To live fully is to let go and die with each passing moment, and to be reborn in each new one.”                                                                                                                   
    Jack Kornfield Quotes Let Go
    Jack Kornfield Quotes Let Go

  43. “Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.”

  44. “Have respect for yourself, and patience and compassion. With these, you can handle anything.”

  45. “The entire teaching of Buddhism can be summed up in this way: Nothing is worth holding on to.”

  46. “Do not be afraid of your difficulty. Turn toward it. Learn to lean into the wind. Hold your ground.”

  47. “Never hurts to think too highly of a person; often they become ennobled and act better because of it.”

  48. “Everybody needs to take some time. In some way, to quiet themselves and really listen to their heart.”

  49. “Anger shows us precisely where we are stuck, where our limits are, where we cling to beliefs and fears.”                                                                                                     
    Jack Kornfield Quotes On Anger
    Jack Kornfield Quotes On Anger

  50. “There are many ways up the mountain and each of us must choose a practice that feels true to our heart.”

  51. “Since death will take us anyway, why live our life in fear? Why not die in our old ways and be free to live?”

  52. “With mindfulness, we are learning to observe in a new way, with balance and a powerful disidentification.”

  53. “It is not enough to know that love and forgiveness are possible. We have to find ways to bring them to life.”

  54. “The basic principle of spiritual life is that our problems become the very place to discover wisdom and love.”

  55. “Through practice, gently and gradually we can collect ourselves and learn how to be more fully with what we do.”

  56. “In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?”

  57. “The willingness to empty ourselves and then seek our true nature is an expression of great and courageous love.”

  58. “To begin to meditate is to look into our lives with interest in kindness and discover how to be wakeful and free.”

  59. “To open deeply, as genuine spiritual life requires, we need tremendous courage and strength, a kind of warrior spirit.”

  60. “True love and prayer are learned in the hour when love becomes impossible and the heart has turned to stone.”

  61. “The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?”                                                                                         
    Jack Kornfield Heart Quotes
    Jack Kornfield Heart Quotes

  62. “The present moment is really all that we have. The only place you can really love another person is in the present.”

  63. “The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are the moments when we touch one another.”

  64. “When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another – and ourselves.”

  65. “Love is based on our capacity to trust in a reality beyond fear, to trust a timeless truth bigger than all our difficulties.”

  66. “We need a warrior’s heart that lets us face our lives directly, our pains and limitations, our joys and possibilities.”

  67. “The past is gone. The future is not yet here. You can be present for this moment. What you do now will create your future.”

  68. “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.”

  69. “When there is no judgment and no blame, we seek not to perfect the world but to perfect our love for what is on this earth.”

  70. “In the end, just three things matter: How well we have lived. How well we have loved. How well we have learned to let go.”

  71. “In the end, the aim of spiritual life is to awaken a joyful freedom, a benevolent and compassionate heart in spite of everything.”

  72. “Wherever we are, we can take a deep breath, feel our body, open our senses and step outside the endless stories of the mind.”

  73. “To let go does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let be with compassion, things come and go on their own.”

  74. “When we feel anger toward someone, we can consider that he or she is a being just like us, who has faced much suffering in life.”

  75. “When we take time to quiet ourselves, we can all sense that our life could be lived with greater compassion and greater weakness.”

  76. “Being on a spiritual path does not prevent you from facing times of darkness. But it teaches you how to use the darkness as a tool to grow.”

  77. “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

  78. “Forgiveness is the act of not putting anyone out of your heart, even those who are acting out of deep ignorance or out of confusion and pain.”

  79. “When we stop running away from what presents itself in each moment, our loving care for ourselves and one another can flow unimpeded.”

  80. “Love in the past is a memory. Love in the future is a fantasy. To be really alive, love – or any other experience – must take place in the present.”

  81. “Let go of the battle. Breathe quietly and let it be. Let your body relax and your heart soften. Open to whatever you experience without fighting.”

  82. “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.”

  83. “Healing comes from our innate capacity for deep listening. This deep listening or seeing is not through our ears or eyes, but with our heart and our soul.”

  84. “Compassion for ourselves gives rise to the power to transform resentment into forgiveness, hatred into friendliness, and fear into respect for all beings.”

  85. “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.”

  86. “We must look at ourselves over and over again in order to learn to love, to discover what has kept our hearts closed, and what it means to allow our hearts to open.”

  87. “This life is a test – it is only a test. If it had been an actual life, you would have received further instructions on where to go and what to do. Remember, this life is only a test.”

  88. “We each need to make our lion’s roar – to persevere with unshakable courage when faced with all manner of doubts and sorrows and fears – to declare our right to awaken.”                                                                                                         
    Famous Jack Kornfield Quotes
    Famous Jack Kornfield Quotes

  89. “When we let go of our battles and open our hearts to things as they are, then we come to rest in the present moment. This is the beginning and the end of spiritual practice.”

  90. “Letting go does not mean not caring about things. It means caring for them in a flexible and wise way. In meditation, we pay attention to our body with care and respect.”

  91. “Most of us have spent our lives caught up in plans, expectations, ambitions for the future; in regrets, guilt or shame about the past. To come into the present is to stop the war.”

  92. “The knowledge of the past stays with us. To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clinging’s and disappointments of the past that bind our spirit.”

  93. “When we come into the present, we begin to feel the life around us again, but we also encounter whatever we have been avoiding. We must have the courage to face whatever is present.”

  94. “Even Socrates, who lived a very frugal and simple life, loved to go to the market. When his students asked about this, he replied, “I love to go and see all the things I am happy without.”

  95. “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.”

  96. “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.”

  97. “If we are engaged in actions that cause pain and conflict to ourselves and others, it is impossible for the mind to become settled, collected, and focused in meditation; it is impossible for the heart to open.”

  98. “In our charade with ourselves we pretend that our war is not really war. We have changed the name of the War Department to the Defence Department and call a whole class of nuclear missiles Peacekeepers!”

  99. “You hold in your hand an invitation: to remember the transforming power of forgiveness and loving kindness. To remember that no matter where you are and what you face, within your heart peace is possible.”

  100. “True emptiness is not empty but contains all things. The mysterious and pregnant void creates and reflects all possibilities. From it arises our individuality, which can be discovered and developed, although never possessed or fixed.”

  101. “When we take the one seat on our meditation cushion we become our own monastery. We create the compassionate space that allows for the arising of all things: sorrows, loneliness, shame, desire, regret, frustration, happiness.”

  102. “To bow to the fact of our life’s sorrows and betrayals is to accept them; and from this deep gesture we discover that all life is workable. As we learn to bow, we discover that the heart holds more freedom and compassion than we could imagine.”

  103. “As we encounter new experiences with a mindful and wise attention, we discover that one of three things will happen to our new experience: it will go away, it will stay the same, or it will get more intense. whatever happens does not really matter.”

  104. “Our life is shaped and determined by our thoughts. Usually we are only half conscious of the way thoughts direct our life; we are lost in thoughts as if they are reality. We take our own mental creations quite seriously, endorsing them without reservation.”

  105. “Peace requires us to surrender our illusions of control. We can love and care for others but we cannot possess our children, lovers, family, or friends. We can assist them, pray for them, and wish them well, yet in the end their happiness and suffering depend on their thoughts and actions, not on our wishes.”

  106. “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.”

  107. “Compassion arise 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.”

  108. “Within the mystery of life there is the infinite darkness of the night sky lit by distant orbs of fire, the cobbled skin of an orange that releases its fragrance to our touch, the unfathomable depths of the eyes of our lover. No creation story, no religious system can fully describe or explain this richness and depth. Mystery is so ever-present that no one can know for certain what will happen one hour from now.”

  109. “If you want to love, take the time to listen to your heart. In most ancient and wise cultures it is a regular practice for people to talk to their heart. There are rituals, stories, and meditative skills in every spiritual tradition that awaken the voice of the heart. To live wisely, this practice is essential, because our heart is the source of our connection to and intimacy with all of life. And life is love. This mysterious quality of love is all around us, as real as gravity… Yet how often we forget about love.”

Jack Kornfield Books

These are some of the best selling and most popular books by Jack Kornfield on meditation, forgiveness, love, life, ego, gratitude and spiritual path.

In 1975, he co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein, and subsequently in 1987, Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California.

  1. The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology
  2. A Path With Heart: The Classic Guide Through The Perils And Promises Of Spiritual Life
  3. After the ecstasy, the laundry : how the heart grows wise on the spiritual path
  4. Teachings of the Buddha
  5. Meditation for Beginners 
  6. The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness and Peace
  7. No Time Like the Present
  8. Living Buddhist Masters
  9. Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are
  10. The Path of Insight Meditation
  11. A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times
  12. Buddhism for Beginners 
  13. The Roots of Buddhist Psychology
  14. A Year of Living with More Compassion: 52 Weekly Quotes and Compassion Practices Tara Brach

Kornfield has organized teacher training and led international gatherings of Buddhist teachers including the Dalai Lama and has worked as a peacemaker and activist.

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