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After the Ecstasy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path Paperback – October 2, 2001
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It's not just about dreams; it's about life. Inspiring stories from transparent hearts. Learn More
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— New Age Journal
Look for other Bantam Books by Jack Kornfield:
A Path With Heart
Buddha’s Little Instruction Book
From the Inside Flap
But even after achieving such realization -- after the ecstasy -- we are faced with the day-to-day task of translating that freedom into our imperfect lives. We are faced with the laundry.
Drawing on the experiences and insights of leaders and practitioners within the Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Sufi traditions, this book offers a uniquely intimate and honest understanding of how the modern spiritual journey unfolds -- and how we can prepare our hearts for awakening.
Through moving personal stories and traditional tales, we learn how the enlightened heart navigates the real world of family relationships, emotional pain, earning a living, sickness, loss, and death.
Filled with "the laughter of the wise," alive with compassion, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry is a gift to anyone who is seeking peace, wholeness, and inner happiness. It is sure to take its place next to A Path with Heart as a spiritual classic for our time.
Top Customer Reviews
Life is not easy. I don't think entering a spiritual practice will make it any easier. Work will still be work, family will still be family, and bills will still be bills. What we can hope to change is the constant chatter of our minds, and the worry of what tomorrow will bring.
I always thought that a spiritual life meant escaping the world and living in a monestary, or a small mountain community where I would meditate and live simply. I thought it meant giving up all of my earthly wants and desires. Now I'm faced with the odd realization that my life is perfect just the way it is. That I need only to slow down and appreciate what is around me.
I also thought a spiritual life would end suffering for me - the anxiety, and the avoidance of discomfort. That life would become stress free because I would be unattached to everything. That I would have no neurosis, and that I would be able to let everything slide off my back. Now I realize that that too isn't the purpose of spiritual practice. Spiritual practice doesn't help you escape your life, but helps you face it head on. The analogy I've begun to use is that enlightenment is like living with a great insult. The refusal to run away from that which is painful or cling to that which is comforting is what spirituality has become for me.Read more ›
The book is not tightly organized, but is written in a series of short sections, which variously touch on Kornfield's personal history, his current belief system, and his favorite authors, blending them into a coherent whole. I found the sections on T.S. Eliot and Walt Whitman to be among the most insightful commentaries on their work available to the lay reader.
At the same time that Kornfield is astonishingly well-read and deeply wise, he is never scolding or pedantic. As his title suggests, he is well aware of our human foibles and failings, and he displays a deep understanding and tolerance of the ways in which most of his readers will fall short of the example he sets.
This is Kornfield's finest work, and a book that be read for decades to come by those interested in exploring their spirituality.
"A Path With Heart" (1993) helped me to commit to a spiritual practice. "After the Ectasy, the Laundry" reminded me that my practice is at the core of my life and that so many others are aspiring for wholeness, and yes, enlightenment (there is actually such a thing).
I recommend it highly.
After the Ecstasy is generously sprinkled with the actual words, sometimes half a page or a page long, of people who have been meditating 15, 30, even 40 years. You'll find out what brought them to the meditative path to begin with, and what they've learned along the way. It's fascinating.
There are lots of good anecdotes in this book; interesting and illuminating anecdotes (most of them are true stories). In many Buddhist and Zen books, you read the same stories again and again in different books, but here you find fresh stories, some ancient, some modern, and all very good.
Jack Kornfield is first and foremost a meditation teacher, so woven throughout the book is plenty of good coaching. The meditative path is difficult, and good teaching is vital. I'm the author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, so I've specialized in knowing the difference between teachings that help and those that are merely interesting. In After the Ecstasy, you'll find interesting reading material AND coaching that will truly help you in your practice.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Jack Kornfield is such a gifted teacher. He truly connects with students on their level with great understanding and compassion.Published 3 months ago by Phlipp
What a catchy title for such a meaningful book! It is all about what comes after the good stuff which is appreciated and cherished but not the end in the overall journeyPublished 7 months ago by Louis Drew