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Lions Roar : May 2016
Jack Kornfield: Combining psychology with my Buddhist practice was pro- foundly healing personally, and as soon as I started teaching, I realized the same issues were coming up for other medita- tors. They needed to learn the Buddhist truths of impermanence and compassion and emptiness, but they also had to learn, as I did, about how to work skillfully with their trauma, fear, and confusion. As Trudy said, that happens best in relationship. It takes two people—you can’t do it on your own. There’s a kind of paired meditation of attention that takes place, in which someone who’s wise and attentive, as a good therapist is, helps you pay deeper attention to what you’re expe- riencing. Often you start to pay attention to things that don’t even come up when you’re just sitting on your own. In ther- apy, there is this great, fruitful comple- ment between two people. Trudy Goodman: The synergy between Buddhism and psychology is so powerful. I used to wish that the people who came to see me in therapy would meditate. And I used to wish that my fellow meditators could have the chance to be in therapy. If the teacher looked at them sideways, they would be devastated. I remember feeling lucky that I got to work on my projec- tions in therapy, so I could see a bit more clearly. Sandra Oh: Speaking of relationship, how did you come to recognize each other as partners? Jack Kornfield: After my marriage ended— and I had expected I would be married for the rest of my life, so it was not particularly easy—I thought, “Well, who would I like to be with? Who do I feel a connection and love with and who brings to me a kind of a joy?” Well, of course, Trudy. Trudy Goodman: We were teaching together and working together. It was such a pleasure to discover we were on the same page. It happened very organically. Sandra Oh: Any shareable future plans? Jack Kornfield: Wow. I’m having a great time. Somehow in my seventies I feel freer than ever to create and teach and sit and play. I’m just finishing a new book on free- dom: inner freedom, outer freedom, freedom to love, freedom to create, free- dom to start over, freedom beyond the self. I’m also recording new online courses and helping start a new national training program for teachers of color. In Asia, I continue to work with folks in Burma. I support a project to bring young Bud- dhist leaders from across Asia together at Nalanda in India, and a project in China we call Returning the Treasure— working with Chinese Bud- dhists to bring dharma back alive after so much was lost in the Cultural Revolution. Bestofall,Igettodoall this as work and love and travel with Trudy. Trudy Goodman: One of the most astonishing projects I’m involved in at InsightLA is a canyon refuge in the still- ness of nature—right in the heart of Los Angeles. It’s currently very rustic, but I’m excited about creating a precious resource to serve the community. I’m planning to do a retreat there in March. We have a new Guiding Teacher Coun- cil at InsightLA that will give me more time for mentoring newer teachers, silent retreat, spending time with Jack and my grandkids, and swimming in the ocean! My shareable plans are: love. Love Jack. Love my family. Love InsightLA (my other family) and everyone who makes it come alive. I’m loving life in the form of this incarnation, right here, right now. ♦ LION’S ROAR | MAY 2016 75