801 Meditation with Krishnamurti

Are you interested in meditation? Yes, you may say, I’m doing five minutes every day. That’s great, and it may give you everything you expect or hope for. You may do mindfulness meditation or Vipassana, you may concentrate on your body and bodily functions, like your breathing. Your meditation may help you with your daily stresses; it may help you to concentrate; you may even find it helps with your work, with relationships and that you generally gain and retain an equilibrium that otherwise is hard to obtain. Meditation is great for all those things, and many teachers, or “systems” say five, ten or twenty minutes, even three minutes of sitting in meditation is enough. I have a page on meditation.

When I first learnt to meditate, in 1987, we were told to do two and a half hours every morning, from three thirty to six am. Did you say twenty minutes is hard?

Now allow me to guide you - once more - to Jiddu Krishnamurti (I have many blogs on K). K is the greatest teacher of all, the one who doesn’t want to be referred to as a teacher. He has become my guide through the vagaries of life that I had a hard time coming to terms with. Being and living within K’s world of thought has given me a perspective on life full of understanding, love and peace.

One most important aspect of K’s philosophy is that meditation means to still, to empty the mind “… the mind with all its chattering, disturbances and gropings must come to an end.” (Guru Maharaj Charan Singh Ji said "meditation is to fight the mind." See my essay Q & A in my book en.light.en.ment). You can learn all about this in K's book Freedom From The Known … where what you know, what you have learnt, is identified as the root of your prejudices and biases. Be free! says K. And don’t be misguided and disillusioned by those teachers & meditation systems that aim much lower; they even may say to still the mind is impossible. Admittedly it is hard … but that is your goal, and the striving for that goal is a way of life.

This week we were sent three of K’s articles on meditation; for thoughts on meditation you will not find better:

Meditation is not the mere control of body and thought

Meditation is not the mere control of body and thought, nor is it a system of breathing-in and breathing-out. The body must be still, healthy and without strain; sensitivity of feeling must be sharpened and sustained; and the mind with all its chattering, disturbances and gropings must come to an end. It is not the organism that one must begin with, but rather it is the mind with its opinions, prejudices and self-interest that must be seen to. When the mind is healthy, vital and vigorous, then feeling will be heightened and will be extremely sensitive. Then the body, with its own natural intelligence, which hasn't been spoiled by habit and taste, will function as it should.

Krishnamurti, Meditations,1969

Why are we such tortured human beings?

Meditation is really very simple. We complicate it. We weave a web of ideas round it, what it is and what it is not. But it is none of these things. Because it is so very simple it escapes us, because our minds are so complicated, so time-worn and time-based. And this mind dictates the activity of the heart, and then the trouble begins. But meditation comes naturally, with extraordinary ease, when you walk on the sand or look out of your window or see those marvellous hills burnt by last summer's sun. Why are we such tortured human beings, with tears in our eyes and false laughter on our lips? If you could walk alone among those hills or in the woods or along the long, white, bleached sands, in that solitude you would know what meditation is. The ecstasy of solitude comes when you are not frightened to be alone no longer belonging to the world or attached to anything. Then, like that dawn that came up this morning, it comes silently, and makes a golden path in the very stillness, which was at the beginning, which is now, and which will be always there.

Krishnamurti, Meditations,1969

It is not the love of the one or of the many

Meditation is one of the most extraordinary things, and if you do not know what it is you are like the blind man in a world of bright colour, shadows and moving light. It is not an intellectual affair, but when the heart enters into the mind, the mind has quite a different quality: it is really, then, limitless, not only in its capacity to think, to act efficiently, but also in its sense of living in a vast space where you are part of everything. Meditation is the movement of love. It isn't the love of the one or of the many. It is like water that anyone can drink out of any jar, whether golden or earthenware: it is inexhaustible. And a peculiar thing takes place which no drug or self-hypnosis can bring about: it is as though the mind enters into itself, beginning at the surface and penetrating ever more deeply, until depth and height have lost their meaning and every form of measurement ceases. In this state there is complete peace, not contentment which has come about through gratification but a peace that has order, beauty and intensity. It can all be destroyed, as you can destroy a flower, and yet because of its very vulnerability it is indestructible. This meditation cannot be learned from another. You must begin without knowing anything about it, and move from innocence to innocence.

Krishnamurti, Meditations,1969