November 8, 2004: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Buddhism: Tricycle: Jack Kornfield says in 1967 I asked the Peace Corps to send me to a Buddhist country so I could go and find a monastery, and ended up in Thailand

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Thailand: Peace Corps Thailand: The Peace Corps in Thailand: November 8, 2004: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Buddhism: Tricycle: Jack Kornfield says in 1967 I asked the Peace Corps to send me to a Buddhist country so I could go and find a monastery, and ended up in Thailand

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-36-89.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.36.89) on Friday, November 12, 2004 - 9:02 pm: Edit Post

Jack Kornfield says in 1967 I asked the Peace Corps to send me to a Buddhist country so I could go and find a monastery, and ended up in Thailand

Jack Kornfield says in 1967 I asked the Peace Corps to send me to a Buddhist country so I could go and find a monastery, and ended up in Thailand

Jack Kornfield says in 1967 I asked the Peace Corps to send me to a Buddhist country so I could go and find a monastery, and ended up in Thailand

Roundtable: Through Good Times and Bad


Over thirty years ago, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, and Jack Kornfield returned from South Asia to American shores bringing the ancient Buddhist meditation technique that was to become one of the most popular contemplative practices in the country. The first Western students of some of the most renowned Theravada teachers of their lifetimeóMunindra-ji, Dipa Ma, Ajaan Chah, and othersóSalzberg, Goldstein, and Kornfield separately, but almost simultaneously, learned the meditative practices of Vipassana, often translated as "insight meditation" or colloquially as "mindfulness practice." Returning to America, they met in 1974 at the first session of Naropa Institute, catching the great wave of interest of a generation hungry for spiritual guidance. Although there were many who wanted to practice, institutions to support this rigorous mind-training practice, with its emphasis on residential retreats, were nonexistent. So in 1976, Salzberg , Goldstein, and Kornfield founded the Insight Meditation Society (IMS), in Barre, Massachusetts. A decade later, in 1986, Kornfield co-founded Spirit Rock Meditation Center, in Woodacre, California. IMS and Spirit Rock are now the largest and most active Vipassana centers in North America. This past spring, Tricycle editor James Shaheen traveled to Barre to take advantage of the rare opportunity to meet with all three teachers together, and to ask them about the past, present, and future of American dharma.

Did it ever occur to the three of you that youíd still be teaching after thirty-plus years?

Joseph Goldstein: I never thought about it, although there was nothing else I really could do. [laughs]

What about you, Jack?

Jack Kornfield: You know, it just happened, and actually, thatís probably the best description of the entire process. Maybe the most gracious way you could put it is to say it was karmic.

Sharon, did you ever have any training in anything other than meditation practice?

Sharon Salzberg: I went to nursing school, although nothing came of it. I would echo Jack and Joseph. People say about our early teaching, "You mustíve been so brave," or "You mustíve had such vision." But it was more like, "Oh, letís do this, letís give it a try." We took it one step at a time and it just happened.

JG: I think we really caught a wave of interest in this country, so it was largely a function of good timing.

You all went to Asia when you were very young. Did you have high hopes for enlightenment then? Do you have the same aspirations now?

JK: I donít think I even knew what high aspirations were at that time. It was much more of an organic process. There were really two reasons I went to Asia: First, Iíd read books about Zen and studied Buddhism at Dartmouth. In 1967 I asked the Peace Corps to send me to a Buddhist country so I could go and find a monastery, and ended up in Thailand. I had a deep spiritual longing, and there seemed to be something magical about finding a temple or a teacher. The other reason was that I was quite unhappy, and had experienced a lot of suffering in my life and in my family. I was just looking for some way to deal with my own suffering. The notion of aspiration in some grand way wasnít there. I think itís the same for a lot of seekers: You look at your own life and say, "Thereís some potential for living in a wiser and more conscious way," and you go looking for that. It wasnít about enlightenment initially.

What about you, Joseph? Was there this notion that you could become enlightened?

JG: Yes, for me there was. I was also in the Peace Corps in Thailand from 1965Ė67. I later went back to Asia to look for a teacher because of an experience Iíd had while I was in Thailand. A friend had been reading from a Tibetan text on the empty nature of the mind, and just by listening I suddenly understood things in a very different way. It was a powerful moment, and afterward, I wanted to learn a way of developing or deepening that understanding. So, yes, I definitely had an aspiration for awakening.

To read the rest of this interview, please see the Winter 2004 issue of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.





When this story was posted in November 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Charges possible in 1976 PCV slaying Charges possible in 1976 PCV slaying
Congressman Norm Dicks has asked the U.S. attorney in Seattle to consider pursuing charges against Dennis Priven, the man accused of killing Peace Corps Volunteer Deborah Gardner on the South Pacific island of Tonga 28 years ago. Background on this story here and here.
Volunteer Death in Morocco Volunteer Death in Morocco
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers mourn the loss of Peace Corps Volunteer Melissa Mosvick who died as a result of a public bus accident on Saturday, November 6, 2004, in Ouarzazate, Morocco.
Your vote makes a difference Your vote makes a difference
Make a difference on November 2 - Vote. Then take our RPCV exit poll. See how RPCV's are voting and take a look at the RPCV voter demographic. Finally leave a message on why you voted for John Kerry or for George Bush. Previous poll results here.
Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers
The Kerry campaign wants the RPCV vote. Read our interview with Dave Magnani, Massachusetts State Senator and Founder of "RPCVs for Kerry," and his answers to our questions about Kerry's plan to triple the size of the Peace Corps, should the next PC Director be an RPCV, and Safety and Security issues. Then read the "RPCVs for Kerry" statement of support and statements by Dr. Robert Pastor, Ambassador Parker Borg, and Paul Oostburg Sanz made at the "RPCVs for Kerry" Press Conference.

RPCV Carl Pope says the key to winning this election is not swaying undecided voters, but persuading those already willing to vote for your candidate to actually go to the polls.

Take our poll and tell us what you are doing to support your candidate.

Finally read our wrap-up of the eight RPCVs in Senate and House races around the country and where the candidates are in their races.
Director Gaddi Vasquez:  The PCOL Interview Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview
PCOL sits down for an extended interview with Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez. Read the entire interview from start to finish and we promise you will learn something about the Peace Corps you didn't know before.

Plus the debate continues over Safety and Security.


Read the stories and leave your comments.






Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Tricycle

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Thailand; Buddhism

PCOL14735
81

.


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: