Jack Kornfield is a bestselling American author and teacher in the vipassana movement in American Theravada Buddhism. He trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma and India, first as a student of the Thai forest master Ajahn Chah and Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. He has taught meditation worldwide since 1974 and is one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist Mindfulness practice to the West. In 1975, he co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein, and subsequently in 1987, Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. Kornfield has organized teacher training and led international gatherings of Buddhist teachers including the Dalai Lama and has worked as a peacemaker and activist.
Kornfield is one of four boys born to Jewish parents. He is a fraternal twin.
After graduating from Dartmouth College in Asian Studies in 1967, Kornfield joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Thailand. There he met and became a monk under the renowned forest master Ajahn Chah, and later practiced with Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma and Dipa Ma. Upon returning to the United States, Kornfield co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein in 1975. In 1974 he became a founding faculty member of Naropa Buddhist University. In 1987 he co-founded Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California.
Kornfield has trained many of the Vipassana teachers in America, and hosted and led gatherings for Buddhist teachers together with the Dalai Lama and worldwide. Trained with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Saybrook Institute, Kornfield has written extensively on the bridge between Eastern and Western psychology.
His daughter Caroline is a graduate of Berkeley Law and practices Asylum Law. His ex-wife Liana is an artist and therapist. His wife Trudy Goodman is also a renowned meditation teacher and the founding teacher of InsightLA.