Jack Kornfield was trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma, and India and has taught meditation worldwide since 1974. His primary teacher was the Thai forest monk and meditation master, Venerable Achaan Chah (1918-1992) of Wat Ba Pong in north-east Thailand. Kornfield was one of the key teachers to introduce Theravada Buddhist practice to the West. A clinical psychologist, he currently lives north of San Francisco at Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California, where he was one of the founding teachers.
In 1972 Kornfield co-founded the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) in Barre, Massachusetts, with fellow meditation teachers Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg (1952- ). Goldstein and Salzberg, in turn, founded the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in 1989 and initiated the Forest Refuge, a long-term retreat center secluded in a wooded area on IMS property. All three are prolific and popular writers on meditation and Buddhism.