The Meditative Path - Forward

by Jack Kornfield

IT IS A PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE THIS EXCELLENT book to you. In it, John Cianciosi, a Buddhist monk for over twenty years, offers the tools for a wise life, heartfelt teachings gained by his own long training and commitment to inner understanding. John explains with great clarity the teachings and path of Buddhism. He shows us the simple and immediate practices carried by the Tradition of the Elders and by our beloved teacher, Venerable Ajahn Chah. John, like Ajahn Chah before him, makes it clear that meditation and a peaceful heart are not goals for monks and nuns alone, but are available to anyone who sincerely undertakes to follow the path of awakening.

The path must begin where we are. It is easy to see that we are out of balance. We begin our new millennium engulfed in an increasingly speedy and complex world, still fraught with war and conflict. Surrounded by materialism run rampant, with twenty-four-hour commerce and new modern possibilities, we can easily lose our way. For no one with a computer seems to have more free time. Instead, we see ourselves raising hurried children and ourselves caught in the addictions of modern consumer society, perpetuating our human struggles even in the midst of prosperity. Yet the Buddha and the Elders of the forest tradition teach that wherever we are, a life of serenity and wisdom is possible. We can find it in ourselves as a deep human longing, as our own true nature.

How is this done? The Meditative Path offers us a way, through the systematic trainings for inner peace that are found in the great monasteries of Asia. It teaches us how to settle the body and skillfully use our breath to calm the mind. It offers guidance on how to work with difficult emotions and thoughts. It shows how pain and conflict can be met with a wise and compassionate heart. It teaches us mindfulness in daily life.

What John offers here is the Buddha's teaching, not as a philosophy, but as a treasury of practices. These are gifts carried by the Elders to help every generation quiet the mind and open the heart. Take them in hand. Read them slowly, and undertake these practices step-by-step. Let them lead you back to your own body, heart, and mind. Let them bring you compassion and peace.

May the teachings offered here bring blessings to all who read.

Jack Kornfield
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
Woodacre, California 94973





Copyright © 2001 by John Cianciosi
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