Jack Kornfield

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Jack Kornfield
Jack Kornfield.jpg
Jack Kornfield, 2005
School Theravada
Born (1945-07-16) 16 July 1945 (age 69)
United States
Senior posting
Title Vipassana instructor
Religious career
Website spiritrock.org

Jack Kornfield (born July 16, 1945) is an American author and teacher in the vipassana movement in American Theravada Buddhism.[1] He trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma and India, including as a student of the Thai monk Ajahn Chah. He has taught meditation worldwide since around 1974. 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.


After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1967, Kornfield joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to the Public Health Service in northeast Thailand, where there are several Buddhist forest monasteries. Here he met Ajahn Chah, who became his teacher, besides Mahasi Sayadaw, Burmese Theravada Buddhist monk.[2] Upon returning to the United States in 1972, Kornfield co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein in 1975.

Kornfield holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Saybrook Institute.[3] He is also a founding teacher of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center (1987) in Woodacre, California, where he currently lives.


Spirit Rock Meditation Center founded by Kornfield in 1987

Kornfield has worked to make Buddhism accessible for Westerners.[4]

In Jack Kornfield's book After the Ecstasy, the Laundry, he writes about the continuous striving for spiritual realization within the chores of day-to-day life; for instance "amid all the Western masters and teachers I know, such utter perfection is not apparent. Times of great wisdom, deep compassion, and a real knowing of freedom alternate with periods of fear, confusion, neurosis, and struggle. Most teachers will readily admit this."

Books published[edit]

His books include

Kornfield lectures were featured by Joe Frank on his radio series "The Other Side."


  1. ^ Elliott, William (1 March 1996). Tying rocks to clouds: meetings and conversations with wise and spiritual people. Image Books. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-385-48191-5. Retrieved 6 June 2011. So before my interview with Jack Kornfield, who is a well-known Vipassana meditation teacher, I was concerned about not 
  2. ^ "About". Jack Kornfield. Retrieved 2013-12-21. 
  3. ^ Palmer, Helen (28 December 1998). Inner knowing: consciousness, creativity, insight, and intuition. J.P. Tarcher/Putnam. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-87477-936-3. Retrieved 6 June 2011. Regardless of its level of complexity, every practice relies on steadiness of concentration. Jack Kornfield, psychologist and meditation teacher, describes the practice that forms a cornerstone of ... 
  4. ^ Grof, Stanislav (June 2006). When the Impossible Happens: Adventures in Non-Ordinary Reality. Sounds True. p. 235. ISBN 978-1-59179-420-2. Retrieved 6 June 2011. Coleader of the workshop was Jack Kornfield, dear friend, psychologist, Vipassana teacher, and Buddhist monk, who taught participants the principles of insight meditation, gave lectures on Buddhism, offered personal darshans, ... 

External links[edit]