Nineteenth century author and minister Ian Maclaren once famously said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” It’s a message that rings true in a story shared by renowned mindfulness expert and clinical psychologist Jack Kornfield, about the power of mindfulness to help keep us grounded. Here, he shares how we can train our minds and hearts to become more patient and compassionate.

As Kornfield notes, therapists have an integral role to play in helping our society heal right now. They’re the “heart-holders” of our culture, he says, helping wounded people overcome fear, pain, and confusion, keeping in mind the possibilities for growth as they move through it.

“As therapists, you’re not just in the role of tending to individual spirits,” he says in his Networker article, “you’re carrying something that the culture needs to survive and flower.”

Jack Kornfield

Jack Kornfield, Ph.D., trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma, and India and has taught worldwide since 1974. He is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practices to the West. He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and is the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society and of Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. He has written more than a dozen books including The Wise Heart; A Path With Heart; After the Ecstasy, the Laundry; and more.