Jack Kornfield

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Fast Facts
jack kornfield.jpg
Spiritual Teacher
Theravada Buddhism, Vipassana
Main Countries of Activity: 
Date of Birth: 
16 July 1945
Place of Birth: 
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Other Related Gurus: 
Ajahn Chah - his Buddhist teacher


Jack Kornfield is an American author and teacher in the Vipassana movement in American Theravada Buddhism. He was 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.

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. Upon returning to the United States in 1972, Kornfield co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein.

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


Kornfield has worked to make Buddhism accessible for Westerners.

He deals a lot with the continuous striving for spiritual realization within the chores of day to day life.

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.

- From Jack Kornfield's book "After the Ecstacy, the Laundry"


Spirit Rock Meditation Center
Meditation Center

Jack Kornfield teaches mainly here and also around the US and the World.

5000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd,
Woodacre, CA 94973,

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Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

Meditation for Beginners

by Jack Kornfield Ph.D.


For readers who have thought about trying meditation but weren't sure how to get started, Meditation for Beginners presents a complete introduction to "Insight" meditation with bestselling author and trusted teacher Jack Kornfield. Through step-by-step instruction in everything from breathing, posture, and attention to working with difficult emotions and physical discomfort, readers from any spiritual tradition will learn the essentials for creating a daily meditation practice. CD includes five guided meditation sessions to help cultivate the inner tranquility, natural joy, and mental clarity that are just some of the fruits of meditation.