Friday, March 16, 2007

Meditation & J. Krishnamurti

Since meditation is a common theme here, and since there has been some interest in Krishnamurti, here are a few of the dude's comments on the practice. It should be noted that K used "meditation" to mean something entirely different from the practice of any system or method to control the mind and/or body, to escape reality, or to "achieve" a loftier state.

“Man, in order to escape his conflicts, has invented many forms of meditation. These have been based on desire, will, and the urge for achievement, and imply conflict and a struggle to arrive. This conscious, deliberate striving is always within the limits of a conditioned mind, and in this there is no freedom. All effort to meditate is the denial of meditation. Meditation is the ending of thought. It is only then that there is a different dimension which is beyond time.”

"Any authority on meditation is the very denial of it. All the knowledge, the concepts, the examples have no place in meditation. The complete elimination of the meditator, the experiencer, the thinker, is the very essence of meditation. This freedom is the daily act of meditation."

(This is pretty much what the Buddha is said to have said. Something along the lines of "seek not any external refuge" and, of course, his capping comment, "Be a lamp unto yourself.")

"In meditation, one must lay the foundation of order, which is righteousness-not respectability, the social morality which is no morality at all, but the order that comes of understanding disorder, which is quite a different thing."

“Meditation is the emptying of the mind of all thought, for thought and feeling dissipate energy. They are repetitive, producing mechanical activities which are a necessary part of existence. But they are only part, and thought and feeling cannot possibly enter into the immensity of life. Quite a different approach is necessary, not the path of habit, association and the known; there must be freedom from these. Meditation is the emptying of the mind of the known. It cannot be done by thought or by the hidden prompting of thought, nor by desire in the form of prayer, nor through the self-effacing hypnotism of words, images, hopes, and vanities. All these have to come to an end, easily, without effort and choice, in the flame of awareness.”


At March 16, 2007, Blogger karen said...

The order of understanding disorder is to me an important description. I have come to realize that I have to come to know myself, every aspect, good, bad, ugly etc. with no comment. Just to observe and watch. For me this is seeing the disorder and some sort of dissipation happens in this process. I am better able to understand my knee-jerk reactions, anger, whatever it may be that is my current state. When I come to understand the disorder, the disorder sometimes just evaporates. It's very difficult to explain. And I think that seeing the disorder is the meditation.

At March 16, 2007, Blogger Jinzang said...

I think the important point to take from Krishnamurti is that meditation is not the attempt to make yourself better or happier.

It's tough to talk about meditation because people need different instructions at different stages in their practice. An instruction that may be helpful to a more experienced practitioner can hinder someone who's new. That's one reason you need a teacher, to tell you the right thing at the right time. Much of what Krishnamurti says in aimed at more experienced practitioners, which gives me mixed feelings about what he's written.

My beef with Krishnamurti and similar teachers is that it's pretty easy to get an intellectual understanding of what he's talking about and then think that's it. Meditation is seen as an attempt to better yourself and condemned. If you fall into that trap, there's no help for you.

You may enjoy this conversation between Krishnamurti and Chogyam Trungpa.

At March 17, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are correct.

"My beef with Krishnamurti and similar teachers is that it's pretty easy to get an intellectual understanding of what he's talking about and then think that's it."

The problem exists with all teachers. Even worse is the fact that many teachers themselves do not have more than an intellectual understanding of what they teach and some even believe that there intellectual understanding is all that there is.

I have found that teachers with intellectual understanding alone tend to be very rigid when you ask questions - like pushing a wall. Teachers who have an intuitive understanding tend to be very soft when questioned - like pushing custard.

At March 17, 2007, Blogger magik said...

Here is the video version, if anybody is interested.

At March 17, 2007, Blogger karen said...

Jinzang, Thanks for the link to the conversation. Sometimes K is difficult but I think he is worthwhile because in the difficulty of his conversation at times you are stopped dead in your tracks. At least I am. Something becomes clear. You are right in saying that it is difficult to speak about meditation as they are. But, I think we all have to start somewhere and if we are drawn to this, we will understand through our misunderstanding. By being with our confusion, we can come to some clarity. I would be embarassed to say what I thought meditation was nearly 30 years ago. But we unfold as we go. At any given place or time, we are where we need to be in terms of learning to let life live through us. I think that it is this process, the seeing of ourselves, warts and all, that allows us to develop compassion for the other travelers in this world. If we can look at our own situations and see ourselves as we really are, we can do the same for, no, not do, we automatically see that we are all in the same boat, traveling down the same river. For myself, this has been the most important aspect of this "meditation." To see that we are humanity, not separate selves. When I would practice with a goal or an end to reach, I was in competition with myself and was really trying to mold myself into something that I wasn't. I look on that as an important lesson. Molding myself was not necessary when I observed or was paying attention to what actually was. Oh well, it's a difficult subject that doesn't lend itself to words. But thanks again for the article and also for the video.

At March 19, 2007, Blogger MudderPugger said...

Belated thanks to jinzang and magik.
I sent that video around to some friends who also enjoyed it very much.


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