Jack Kornfield talks about the mystery of human life and the topic of redemption in relation to having the right livelihood. How will you live if it’s short?


In his talk on ‘Right Livelihood and Redemption,’ Jack Kornfield explores the topic of the end of life – of death. In his typical fashion, he shares poems and stories related to death, calling us to reflect upon the impermanence of life. Despite the uncertainty of our lives, contemplation of death draws us deeper into the mystery of this human experience and asks us to consider how we will use our time while we are here.

The Right Livelihood

More important than what we do is how we do whatever it is that we do – what energy, attention, and spirit do we bring to the way we live? Kornfield explains how it’s the “spirit that you bring to what you do” that informs right livelihood. This might call us to reflect as we inquire within ourselves: how am I showing up to my work today? How can I redefine and revalue what it is that I do? Can I learn to live right rather than to do right? Can I awaken right where I am, as I am?

Living with Presence

We can deepen our inquiry into life and death through a variety of meditation and mindfulness practices. Any practice that draws us deeply into our present moment experience heightens our experience of this life. We begin to value the time we have on this earth through our rising consciousness. Living with presence can help to enhance our time on this earth, heightening our sense of inner peace, acceptance, and contentment.

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