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23 January, 2009


The science of mantra is very ancient and was once widely practised in all parts of the world. Reference to mantra is found in the oldest Vedic scriptures, which are claimed to be more than 5,000 years old.

Literally, the word mantra means ‘revealed sound’. According to the ancient texts, mantra means a sound or a combination or sequences of sounds which develop spontaneously. These sounds were revealed to rishis and other pure beings in psychic states or in very deep meditation, when all consciousness of the self was lost and when nothing but inner light shone in front of them.

Mantra do not have any specific meaning. Their power is not in the words themselves, but in the sound vibrations created when the mantra is uttered verbally or when it takes form in the mind and is not expressed in the voice.

Mantra brings about state of resonance between the individual and the depths of his inner being. They allow the individual to unleash inner cosmic powers, forces and knowledge. The sound patterns of the mantra stimulate a certain effect on the mental and psychic nature of an individual. Each mantra will create, or draw out, a specific symbol within one’s psyche.

There are two important points regarding mantras that should be taken into account. Firstly, mantra should never be misunderstood to be the name of a particular god of a particular religion. There should be no conflict between your religion and mantra. Many people think they cannot repeat Om Namah Shivaya because they would be reciting the name of a Hindu god when they are Christian or Muslim.

Secondly, a mantra cannot be translated. Translation alters the sound. Even though mantras are found in Hinduism, in Buddhism, Catholicism, in Islam and among the Parsis and other religions and sects, they are never translated. If you change the succession and order of the sounds, the mantra ceases to be a mantra. If you translate the words you may have a very beautiful prayer, but not a mantra.

There are thousands of mantras, stemming from a variety of cultures, languages and religions. Some common ones are: Om, Shreem, Hreem, Kreem, Aim, Dum, Hum, Om Namah Shivaya and Om Mani Padme Hum to name just a few. Everyone has a mantra of his own, and just as your personality is the represents your outer self, similarly the mantra represents your inner personality. It is through mantra that we realize our own psychic personality and it is this personality which we really are.

In tantra there are all kinds of mantras; some are personal mantras for use in japa and other meditation practices, and some serve a specific purpose. So, before seeking a mantra it is important to know what you are seeking it for. If you are undergoing some problem in life, then the mantra you employ to get rid of it will be a temporary one, not your personal mantra. When the problem subsides, the mantra will be of no further use to you. On the other hand, if you are trying to awaken the kundalini or psychic powers, then you must have the correct personal mantra.

It is said that a child should receive his first mantra when he is eight years old. He should not practice mantra as we older people do it, but he should repeat his mantra at sunrise and sunset along with breath awareness – five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening. This mantra will create a reorientation in his disturbed subconscious contributed by his parents. He should receive his second mantra at marriage or when a great change in his life or a transition in his personality is taking place. This mantra should be an introduction to spiritual life, and also to responsibility and steady mindedness. When he becomes spiritual he should receive his third mantra. It will help him on the spiritual path and enable him to withdraw his mind and to switch of his consciousness from the external world to within. Hindus are given a fourth mantra at the time of death or just before. When a man’s pranas and consciousness are being withdrawn, and all the lights are being extinguished, when his consciousness is functioning only a fraction, this is the ideal time to put the fourth mantra into his ears. This mantra leads his soul to the next birth.

According to tradition, initiation into mantra is given by the guru, one’s mother or revelation. A mantra received in a deep dream or through intuition, which you constantly feel a strong attraction for, may also be taken as your mantra. A mantra can never be bought or sold. When a guru gives a mantra it is never based on a monetary transaction. A mantra obtained in such a way will never have any power.

Once you have a mantra do not change it, it is not something to play with. You can change your home, your religion, your husband or your wife, but you should not change your mantra or your guru. Both mantra and guru are symbols of your consciousness and to change them will create confusion in your psychic body. Once created, that confusion can never be corrected. Sometimes people hear about another mantra and believe it to be more powerful than their own and so they want to change. The mind can so easily influence one into rejecting his own mantra and adopting another.

The following are the only valid reasons for changing your mantra:
Your guru gives you another mantra.
For therapeutic purposes or for some specific problem you temporarily accept another mantra that has the power to help you over the obstacle. In this case the guru should give the mantra, as correct pronounciation is essential and this cannot be revealed in any book.
You realize another mantra which is so overwhelming and compelling that you know it is definitely your mantra.

When one takes a mantra, it must be accepted with absolute faith and with final decision. The mind should be fully impressed by the mantra. A mantra is absolutely personal and must be kept secret. When you keep the mantra secret, it becomes more powerful. This is true with everything. A seed will grow in the earth if it is covered, in secret, but it will never grow into a tree if it is left uncovered and exposed for all to see.

Mantras for spiritual evolution must be practiced for a set amount of time every day. If the mantra is repeated too much, it will affect the whole system, and those who are very psychic, sensitive, unstable, or subject to hallucinations, may not be prepared for that at all. If you regularly repeat the mantra for ten minutes daily, within a few days you will know if you are oversensitive and whether the mantra is impressing your mind to a larger of lesser extent.

Mantra repetition should not create tension in the mind. The mind becomes tense if there are conflicts present due to various mental obstructions. To avoid mental tension, do not try to concentrate while practicing mantra. Simply repeat the mantra as you would spontaneously carry on a conversation. If you talk and try to concentrate on how you are talking and what you are saying, tension will be created. When the mind is very distracted you should never try to concentrate. Concentration (dharana) can only come when sense withdrawal (pratyahara) has been achieved. The purpose of mantra repetition is not to develop concentration but to withdraw the senses and still the mind.

The mantra can be utilized in different ways: it can be practiced in conjunction with the breath, the psychic pathways, concentration on the eyebrow centre and so on. Mantra is a very powerful method of healing.

There are specific mantras for a wide range of ailments and complaints, but these must be given by someone well versed in the therapeutic use of sound and mantras. As well as these, there are bija mantras which anyone can self-prescribe for healing purposes. Each chakra (psychic centre in the body) has a bija mantra and if you have a physical complaint which is located in the region of one of the chakras, you can use its mantra to strengthen and heal. For example, Ram is the mantra for manipura chakra (navel centre) and if it is chanted in kirtan or repeated in japa, it will stimulate the abdominal area benefiting complaints such as peptic ulcer, constipation, diarrhoea and other digestive disorders.

The bija mantras of the main chakras are given in the following table:
Mantras Chakra Location
(1) (2) (3)
Lam Mooladhara Perineium
Vam Swadhisthana Base of the spine
Ram Manipura Navel centre
Yam Anahata Heartcentre
Ham Vishudhi Throat
Om Ajna Eyebrow centre

It is the strength of the sound, the colour of the sound, the frequency, the velocity and the ‘temperature’ of the sound which are responsible for the revitalization that mantra brings. The effect of the Ram mantra on the mind is very soothing and tranquilizing; the Shiva mantra usually develops a sense of detachment, a feeling of ectasy and absolute indifference.

Every mantra has a colour, an element, a devata or a divine form and also a method of recitation. In determining an appropriate mantra, astrology is taken into account, with reference made to the science of elements, colour and the predominant guna (tamas, rajas, sattwa). According to the birth sign the major element decides the mantra.

Some mantras are for the earth element, others for water, fire, air and ether elements. Om belongs to the ether element; Ram to the fire element; Gam to the earth element; Klim to the water element and Ham to the air element. Each mantra possess two divisions – sound and form. For instance, Klim is the sound, a bija mantra, and it has an image which is revealed by a simple mantra. Klim is the bija mantra and Krishna is the mantra which exposes the form. Om is the symbolic sound of the cosmic being; Haum – Shiva, Dum - Durga; Kreem – Kali; Hreem – Mahamaya; Shreem – Lakshmi; Aim – Saraswati; Gam and Glaum – Ganesha. Om is the universal mantra and it can be used by everyone at any time without restriction as can its equivalents – Amin and Amen.

Once you have a personal mantra which has been charged by the guru, it will immediately start to change the course of your life. Naturally, this will only happen if you accept your mantra with your heart and mind and utilize it regularly. The mantra is so powerful that it will start to immediately explore the Karmas from the unconscious mind. These karmas could manifest in your moods and feelings or in your dreams which may be pleasant, or even terrifying. Whatever changes you experience will only be positive, anything unpleasant is probably only part of the temporary purification.


Source: The Sure ways for Self-Realisation by Swamy Satyananada Saraswati of Bihar School of Yoga.

20 January, 2009


IT IS an axiom with the scientists that every effect is related to a cause. Apply this to the realm of human conduct, and there is revealed the principle of Justice. Every scientist knows (and now all men believe) that perfect harmony prevails throughout every portion of the physical universe, from the speck of dust to the greatest sun.

Everywhere there is exquisite adjustment. In the sidereal universe, with its millions of suns rolling majestically through space and carrying with them their respective systems of revolving planets, its vast nebula, its seas of meteors, and its vast army of comets traveling through illimitable space with inconceivable velocity, perfect order prevails; and again, in the natural world, with its multitudinous aspects of life, and its infinite variety of forms, there are the clearly defined limits of specific laws, through the operation of which all confusion is avoided, and unity and harmony eternally obtain. If this universal harmony could be arbitrarily broken, even in one small particular, the universe would cease to be; there could be no cosmos, but only universal chaos.

Nor can it be possible in such a universe of law that there should exist any personal power which is above, outside, and superior to, such law in the sense that it can defy it, or set it aside; for whatsoever beings exist, whether they be men or gods, they exist by virtue of such law; and the highest, best, and wisest among all beings would manifest his greater wisdom by his more complete obedience to that law which is wiser than wisdom, and than which nothing more perfect could be devised.

All things, whether visible or invisible, are subservient to, and fall within the scope of, this infinite and eternal law of causation. As all things seen obey it, so all things unseen - the thoughts and deeds of men, whether secret or open cannot escape it.

"Do right, it recompenseth; do one wrong – the equal retribution must be made." Perfect justice upholds the universe; perfect justice regulates human life and conduct. All the varying conditions of life, as they obtain in the world today, are the result of this law reacting on human conduct.

Man can (and does) choose what causes he shall set in operation, but he cannot change the nature of effects; he can decide what thoughts he shall think, and what deeds he shall do, but he has no power over the results of those thoughts and deeds; these are regulated by the overruling law. Man has all power to act, but his power ends with the act committed. The result of the act cannot be altered, annulled, or escaped; it is irrevocable.

Evil thoughts and deeds produce conditions of suffering; good thoughts and deeds determine conditions of blessedness. Thus man's power is limited to, and his blessedness or misery is determined by his own conduct. To know this truth, renders life simple, plain, and unmistakable; all the crooked paths are straightened out, the heights of wisdom are revealed, and the open door to salvation from evil and suffering is perceived and entered.

Life may be likened to a sum in arithmetic. It is bewilderingly difficult and complex to the pupil who has not yet grasped the key to its correct solution, but once this is perceived and laid hold of, it becomes as astonishingly simple as it was formerly profoundly perplexing.

Some idea of this relative simplicity and complexity of life may be grasped by fully recognizing and realizing the fact that, while there are scores, and perhaps hundreds, of ways in which a sum may be done wrong, there is only one way by which it can be done right, and that when that right way is found the pupil knows it to be the right, his perplexity vanishes, and he knows that be has mastered the problem.

It is true that the pupil, while doing his sum incorrectly, may (and frequently does) think he has done it correctly, but he is not sure; his perplexity is still there, and if he is an earnest and apt pupil, he will recognize his own error when it is pointed out by the teacher.

So in life, men may think they are living rightly while they are continuing, through ignorance, to live wrongly; but the presence of doubt, perplexity, and unhappiness are sure indications that the right way has not yet been found. There are foolish and careless pupils who would like to pass a sum as correct before they have acquired a true knowledge of figures, but the eye and skill of the teacher quickly detect and expose the fallacy.

So in life there can be no falsifying of results; the eye of the Great Law reveals and exposes. Twice five will make ten to all eternity, and no amount of ignorance, stupidity, or delusion can bring the result up to eleven. If one looks superficially at a piece of cloth, he sees it as a piece of cloth, but if he goes further and inquires into its manufacture, and examines it closely and attentively, he sees that it is composed of a combination of individual threads, and that, while all the threads are interdependent, each thread pursues its own way throughout, never becoming confused with its sister thread. It is this entire absence of confusion between the particular threads which constitutes the finished work - a piece of cloth: any inharmonious commingling of the thread would result in a bundle of waste or a useless rag.

Life is like a piece of cloth, and the threads of which it is composed are individual lives. The threads, while being interdependent, are not confounded one with the other. Each follows its own course. Each individual suffers and enjoys the consequences of his own deeds, and not of the deeds of another. The course of each is simple and definite; the whole forming a complicated, yet harmonious, combination of sequences.

There are action and reaction, deed and consequence, cause and effect, and the counterbalancing reaction, consequence, and effect is always in exact ratio with the initiatory impulse. A durable and satisfactory piece of cloth cannot be made from shoddy material, and the threads of selfish thoughts and bad deeds will not produce a useful and beautiful life - a life that will wear well, and bear close inspection.

Each man makes or mars his own life; it is not made or marred by his neighbor, or by anything external to himself. Each thought he thinks, each deed he does, is another thread - shoddy or genuine - woven into the garment of his life; and as he makes the garment so must he wear it. He is not responsible for his neighbor's deeds; he is not the custodian of his neighbor's actions; he is responsible only for his own deeds; he is the custodian of his own actions.

The "problem of evil" subsists in a man's own evil deeds, and it is solved when those deeds are purified. Says Rosseau:

"Man, seek no longer the origin of evil; thou thyself art its origin."

Effect can never be divorced from cause; it can never be of a different nature from cause. Emerson says:

"Justice is not postponed; a perfect equity adjusts the balance in all parts of life."

And there is a profound sense in which cause and effect are simultaneous, and form one perfect whole. Thus, upon the instant that a man thinks, say, a cruel thought, or does a cruel deed, that same instant he has injured his own mind; he is not the same man he was the previous instant; he is a little viler and a little more unhappy; and a number of such successive thoughts and deeds would produce a cruel and wretched man.

The same thing applies to the contrary - the thinking of a kind thought, or doing a kind deed - an immediate nobility and happiness attend it; the man is better than he was before, and a number of such deeds would produce a great and blissful soul.

Thus individual human conduct determines, by the faultless law of cause and effect, individual merit or demerit, individual greatness or meanness, individual happiness or wretchedness. What a man thinks, that he does; what he does, that he is. If be is perplexed, unhappy, restless, or wretched, let him look to himself, for there and nowhere else is the source of all his trouble.



06 January, 2009


In undertaking a spiritual life, what matters is simple: We must make certain that our path is connected with our heart…

It is possible to speak with our heart directly. Most ancient cultures know this. We can actually converse with our heart as if it were a good friend. In modern life we have become so busy with our daily affairs and thoughts that we have forgotten this essential art of taking time to converse with our heart. When we ask it about our current path, we must look at the values we have chosen to live by. Where do we put our time, our strength, our creativity, our love? We must look at our life without sentimentality, exaggeration, or idealism. Does what we are choosing reflect what we most deeply value?

Buddhist tradition teaches its followers to regard all life as precious. The astronauts who leave the earth have also rediscovered this truth. One set of Russian cosmonauts described it in this way: ‘We brought up small fish to the space station for certain investigations. We were to be there three months. After about three weeks the fish began to die. How sorry we felt for them! What we didn’t do to try to save them! On earth we take great pleasure in fishing, but when you are alone and far away from anything terrestrial, any appearance of life is especially welcome. You see just how precious life is.” In this same spirit, one astronaut, when his capsule landed, opened the hatch to smell the moist air of earth. “I actually got down and put it to my cheek. I got down and kissed the earth.”

To see the preciousness of all things, we must bring our full attention to life. Spiritual practice can bring us to this awareness without the aid of a trip into a space. As the qualities of presence and simplicity begin to permeate more and more of our life, our inner love for the earth and all beings begins to express itself and brings our path alive.

Appreciating Moments of Goodness

To understand more deeply what evokes this sense of preciousness and how it gives meaning to a path with heart, let us work with the following meditation. In Buddhist practice, one is urged to consider how to live well by reflecting on one’s death. The traditional meditation for this purpose is to sit quietly and sense the tentativeness of life. After reading this paragraph, close your eyes and feel the mortality of this human body that you have been given. Death is certain for us – only the time of death is yet to be discovered. Imagine yourself to be at the end of your life – next week or next year or next decade, some time in the future. Now cast your memory back across your whole life and bring to mind two good deeds that you have done, two things that you did that were good. They need not be grandiose; let whatever wants to arise show itself. In picturing and remembering these good deeds, also become aware of how these memories affect your consciousness, how they transform the feelings and state of the heart and mind as you see them.

When you have completed this reflection, look very carefully at the quality of these situations, at what is comprised in a moment of goodness picked out of a lifetime of words and actions. Almost everyone who is able to remember such deeds in this meditation discovers them to be remarkably simple. They are rarely the deeds one would put on a resume. For some people a moment of goodness was simple the one who they told their father before he died that they loved him, or when they flew across the country in the midst of their busy life to care for their sister’s children as she was healing from a car accident. One elementary school teacher had the simple vision of those mornings when she held the children who were crying and having a hard day. In response to this meditation someone once raised her hand, smiled and said, “On crowded streets when we get to a parking space at the same time, I always give the parking space to the other person.” That was the good deed in her life.

Another woman, a nurse in her sixties who had raised children and grandchildren and had lived a very full life, came up with this memory: She was six years old when a car broke down in front of her house, steam sprouting from under the hood. Two elderly people got out and looked at it, and one went off to the corner pay phone to call a garage. They returned to sit in the car and wait for much of the morning for a tow. As a curious six-year-old, she went out to speak to them, and after seeing them wait for a long time in a hot car, she went inside. Without even asking them, she prepared a tray of iced tea and sandwiches and carried the tray out to them on the curb.

The things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are the moments when we touch one another, when we are there in the most attentive or caring way. This simple and profound intimacy is the love that we all long for. These moments of touching and being touched can become a foundation for a path with heart, and they take place in the most immediate and direct way. Mother Teresa put it like this: “In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love.”

Some people find this exercise very difficult. No good deeds will come to their mind, or a few may arise only to be rejected immediately because they are judged superficial or small or impure or imperfect. Does this mean that there are not even two good moments in a lifetime of one hundred thousand deeds? Hardly! We have all had many. It has another more profound meaning. It is a reflection of how hard we are on ourselves. We judge ourselves so harshly, only an Idi Amin or a Stalin would hire us to preside over their courts. Many of us discover we have little mercy for ourselves. We can hardly acknowledge that genuine love and goodness can shine freely from our hearts. Yet it does.

To live a path with heart means to live in the way shown us in this meditation, to allow the flavor of goodness to permeate our life. When we bring full attention to our acts, when we express our love and see the preciousness of life, the quality of goodness in us grows. A simple caring presence can begin to permeate more moments of our life. And so we should continually ask our own heart, What would it mean to live like this? Is the path, the way we have chosen to live our life, leading to this?

In the stress and complexity of our lives, we may forget our deepest intentions. But when people come to the end of their life and look back, the questions that they most often ask are not usually. “How much is my bank account?” or “How many books did I write?” or “What did I build?” or the like. If you have the privilege of being with a person who is aware at the time of his or her death, you find the questions such a person asks are very simple: “Did I love well?” “Did I live fully?” “Did I learn to let go?”

Letting Go

These simple questions go to the very centre of spiritual life. When we consider loving well and living fully, we can see the way our attachments and fears have limited us, and we can see the many opportunities for our hearts to open. Have we let ourselves love the people around us, our family, our community, the earth upon which we live? And, did we also learn to let go? Did we learn to live through the changes of life with grace, wisdom and compassion? Have we learned to forgive and live from the spirit of the heart instead of the spirit of judgment?

Letting go is a central theme in spiritual practice, as we see the preciousness and brevity of life. When letting go is called for, if we have not learned to do so, we suffer greatly, and when we get to the end of our life, we may have what is called a crash course. Sooner or later we have to learn to let go and allow the changing mystery of life to move through us without our fearing it, without holding and grasping.

I knew a young woman who sat with her mother during an extended bout of cancer. Part of this time and her mother was in the hospital hooked up to dozens of tubes and machines. Mother and daughter agreed that the mother did not want to die this way, and when the illness progressed, she was finally removed from all of the medical paraphernalia and allowed to go home. Her cancer progressed further. Still the mother had a hard time accepting her illness. She tried to run the household from her bed, to pay bills and oversee all the usual affairs of her life. She struggled with her physical pain, but she struggled more with her inability to let go. One day in the midst of this struggle, much sicker now and a bit confused, she called her daughter to her and said, “Daughter, dear, please now pull the plug,” and her daughter gently pointed out, “Mother you are not plugged in.” Some of us have a lot to learn about letting go.

Letting go and moving through life from one change to another brings the maturing of our spiritual being. In the end we discover that to love and let go can be the same thing. Both ways do not seek to possess. Both allow us to touch each moment of this changing life and allow us to be there fully for whatever arises next.

There is an old story about a famous rabbi living in Europe who was visited one day by a man who had traveled by ship from New York to see him. The man came to the great rabbi’s dwelling, a large house on a street in a European city, and was directed to the rabbi’s room, which was in the attic. He entered to find the master living in a room with a bed, a chair and a few books. The man had expected much more. After greetings, he asked “Rabbi, where are your things?” The rabbi asked in return, “Well, where are yours?” His visitor replied, “But Rabbi, I’m only passing through,” and the master answered, “So am I, so am I.”

The Gift of Life
To love fully and live well requires us to recognize finally that we do not possess or own anything – our homes, our cars, our loved ones, not even our own body. Spiritual joy and wisdom do not come through possession but rather through our capacity to open, to love more fully, and to more and be free in life.

This is not a lesson to be put off. One great teacher explained it this way: “The trouble with you is that you think you have time.” We don’t know how much time we have. What would it be like to live with the knowledge that this may be our last year, our last week, our last day? In the light of this question we can choose a path with heart.

Sometimes, it takes a shock to awaken us, to connect us with our path. Several years ago I was called to visit a man in a San Francisco hospital by his sister. He was in his late thirties and already rich. He had a construction company, a sailboat, a ranch, a townhouse, the works. One day when driving along in his BMW, he blacked out. Tests showed that he had a brain tumour, a melanoma, a rapid-growing kind of cancer. The doctor said, “We want to operate on you, but I must warn you that the tumour is in the speech and comprehension centre. If we remove the tumour, you may lose all your ability to read, to write, to speak, to understand any language. If we don’t operate, you probably have six more weeks to live. Please consider this. We want to operate in the morning. Let us know by then.”

I visited this man that evening. He had become very quiet and reflective. As you an imagine, he was in an extraordinary state of consciousness. Such an awakening will sometimes come from our spiritual practice, but for him it came through these exceptional circumstances. When we spoke, this man did not talk about his ranch or sailboat or his money. Where he was headed, they don’t take the currency of bank books and BMWs. All that is of value in times of great change is the currency of our heart – the ability and understanding of the heart that has grown in us.

Twenty years earlier, in the late 1960’s, this man had done a little Zen meditation, had read a bit of Alan Watts, and when he faced this moment, that is what he drew on and what he wanted to talk about: his spiritual life and understanding of birth and death. After a most heartfelt conversation, he stopped to be silent for a time and reflect. Then he turned to me and said, “I’ve had enough of talking. May be I’ve said too many words. This evening it seems so precious just to have a drink of tap water or to watch the pigeons on the windowsill of the medical centre fly off in the air. It’s magic to see a bird go through the air, I’m not finished with this life. May be I’ll just live it more silently.” So he asked to have the operation. After fourteen hours of surgery by a very fine surgeon, his sister visited him in the recovery room. He looked up at her and said, “Good morning.” They had been able to remove the tumour without losing his speech.

When he left the hospital and recovered from his cancer, his entire life changed. He still responsibly completed his business obligations, but he was no longer a workaholic. He spent more time with his family, and he became a counselor for others diagnosed with cancer and grave illnesses. He spent much of his time touching the people around him with love.

Had I met him before that evening, I might have considered him a spiritual failure because he had done a little spiritual practice and then quit completely to become a businessman. He seemed to have forgotten all of those spiritual values. But when it came down to it, when he stopped to reflect in these moments between his life and death, even the little spiritual practice he had touched became very important to him. We never know what others are learning, and we cannot judge someone’s spiritual practice quickly or easily. All we can do is look into our own hearts and ask what matters in the way that we are living, what might lead us to greater openness, honesty and a deeper capacity to love.


Jack Kornfield was a trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma, and India and has taught meditation worldwide since 1974. He is one of the key teachers to introduce Theravada Buddhist practice to the West. For many years his work has focused on integrating and bringing alive the great Eastern spiritual teachings in an accessible way for Western students and Western society. He holds a Ph.D., in clinical psychology and is the founding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society.
Source: Excerpt from the Book on “A Path Heart” by Jack Kornfield.