Visit to Krishnamurti / Brockwood Park Study Center
by Reza Ganjavi
[this was years ago (around 2003, long before Nasser Shamim's pathetic regime takes the place over]
Arrived at Brockwood Park Center - having played the guitar all the way from London in train and bus. A lady who's an A&R consultant for a major label bought the CD. She said you can make more money doing it independent than being on a label. Very successful classical records see maximum 10,000 copies.... She made my day by thinking I was under 30 for sure.
"Are you here to study the teachings?" 'well, that's a deep question so I can not give a shallow answer... K himself said that one should live the teaching, to study them in daily life...so in a sense I am regularly studying the teachings... if you're wondering about books, I've read almost all the books that are in there. Am I here to study? yes. I am here to be away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. I need to a quiet place for retreat - a place to gather my energies - studying K is not different than what he termed: the book of oneself. Of course there may be interactions among other here about the teachings which are after all a very important part of my life - and I will read some things and see some videos...' (this is longer than the first answer I actually gave. [does that question: "Are you here to study the teachings?" imply that when you're not here you're not studying the teachings?!!]
"Well, let me talk to other man on duty" - they both came back - looking at the list... "well, there are no clean rooms as the cleaner-woman has not come." I said, maybe I can find a place to stay at the school, although I would be happy to clean my own room before moving in. Went to the school. Everyone was in a meeting. Gerard said they have space and he doesn't see a problem with it but that I should get approval and hinted that generally they don't like it when people just show up - which is understood. I had told The Center I was coming but not the school. Back at the center, as shifts were changing, a new man was now involved. He said: it seems like you're looking for a social scene since you called a couple of times asking if so and so are there!!! 'no, I called to see if those people were here but they were not the main reason I came. I can go for a walk with Gautama and visit him that way. I am looking for a place of study, quietness, and retreat. I prefer to stay here than at the school because this was my original intention and the school's too busy. I don't want to mingle with the school. I might go say hello to Bill and Colin. More importantly, I called a couple of times and you said you could accommodate me this week - I tried to phone several times (but the phones have been down due to the storm). But school has no idea if I am coming and I don't want to just show up.'
"Do you know - do Colin and Bill know you?" I said yes : [didn't feel I need to explain how well we know each other]. "I'll go ask them where they think you should stay". 'why make things political and complicated? I called, you said yes, phones were down so I showed up thinking they'll either accommodate me or I'll just go - I am not dependent'...
I try to understand their view but it was too gossipy - the 3 of them went in the room and only told me: "check at the school since there are no clean rooms here but if they have no place we'll put you up" whereas when I demanded for the truth one said: we think you're here for social scene since you called a couple of times asking if x and y were there". Fair enough - I respect their attempt to make sure people are here for the right reason - but not at the expense of honesty. And they said: school is cheaper (while this place is constantly running a deficit).
One came back and gave me a room.
Dinner with David Skitt a very active trustee involved with Development, The Center, Publications, and a current review of the school. He said staff training has come up before there should be some. And that there are many ways of saying the same thing. He also feels the question: "are you here to study" is a complicated one...
I read the book of what K felt the center should be. My intention is completely in line.
When I woke up in the middle of the night I felt stressed over the interrogation I had gone through. But by morning it was not bad. Saw the man in the morning: "what was the scoop with the cleaning lady - is she here today? My room is clean .... " (just to bring it up in an indirect manner). He: "we forgot there were 2 clean rooms" (another lie?!?!?!) The truth is they were not sure if I should stay here and instead of being honest about it. K: "It must be a place of integrity, deep honesty....".
G: your eyes are not the same - something is bothering you.
The stressed caffeinated person walked around. Why don't people see the cause of their suffering and end it?
Drunkening smell - light rain - rabbits - birds - walk.
This place is full of protective angels.
K has enough material for 400 books. In 1930 he said: I'll use the old words but with new meaning. He said his talks before 1930 were patchy - some good things there too - so they're all published. "the resolution of one problem is the resolution of all problems" sorry to sound Delphic.
As an editor his job is to make K tactful skipping remarks such as: "thank god I'm not a professor".
The foundation will consider allowing my "selected K passages" book (if I ever finish it).
260 out of 900 surveys came back - and most said: leave the center alone, do nothing, it's good as it is...
The trustees don't get a salary.
To sell 2000 copies of a new book is difficult. Publishers: best publicity: word-of-mouth.
In history, after the death of a great only a few people were interested - but after 50 or 100 years more people came to notice.
The mailing list is aging - good discussion on young people, books, etc.
DS ran into an English gentleman who asked him: what's Krishnamurti on to? "he teaches that one can work out for oneself the fundamental things of life and one can do it". He agreed and said: "much better than the X church - which is the biggest theatrical company in the world". and he went off to have lunch with that church's leader.
DS: Best discussions are with people who do not know K. That discussions in K circles are boring... I told them about meeting friends who were living with such problems then comes along someone who offers K's pointer....
DS: books do distort him because 1) he speaks slowly and 2) he speaks passionately.
That the best way to understand him is in the case of the man in Saanen who is passing by and it's raining so he comes in the tent and listens with no expectation and ambition.
MZ was driving K to Petersfield. DS walking. K jumped out with his pin-striped suite and (Rhodes?) umbrella: "jump in sir"....
MZ: what brings you to Brockwood......" and he mentioned India". K: India?! as though he's never heard that name... then DS told story of seeing Dalai Lama, etc... and there was total silence - he thinks K didn't even hear him... then K said: Trees (there were trees there). And then total silence till the station. MZ gives him 10 pounds to get tickets. He leans down and greets the ticket who knows him and is red from the pleasure "good morning sir". K couldn't pick up the change coin several times till finally DS went to help him and at that moment K got them. "He took 3 steps backwards and I became the observed!"... on the platform as he said "thank you fort the lift in more senses than one". K grabbed his arms with 2 hands and DS said it was like a million volts going through my body - I couldn't sleep at night". [now I remember, when I shook hands with him, he did it with 2 hands".
K (talking about winds, ... "I was a good sailor but once I was crossing the Atlantic and a terrible storm came and the ship rolled and rolled and I was sick".
Colin's big hug and warm greeting was great. Gautama is a strong yogi - thin and solid as rock - a great man and a great friend. Grohe's warm greetings was very nice - he extended his hand which was healing - and I kissed his cheek. He immediately noticed that I've gained weight "I gain and lose it in 2 days..."
Nice guitar practice overlooking amazing fields. Every breath here is a blessing - the May air is sweet.
There are sheep’s and baby sheep’s around - 2 baby sheep’s were on their mom cleaning her: kids taking care of parents. 2 new born sheep’s with legs still dark could hardly run - both marked as #25 and both ran everywhere together. Number 25 mother called on one of the babies which was going to a different mother which nastily rejected her "I am not your mother" - and the baby ran back to the calling mother.
Red trees in the valley - the next hill is all yellow flowers (Oil Seed Rape).
- Great discussions. David Skitt: K said if you want to be in a situation where you're attentive, you will. It is certainly true. Told the story of being angry at Dale and losing the car key and the walk around the block in search of the hanger which cooled me off and the emptying and the next day, seeing the image was the ending it, walking in the office completely quiet - and this transforming the relationship... DS: some people have the conditioning of inattention...
- At lunch one man said: I've read K for years and I am still full of images, no one has got it (he's saying that because he hadn't?????)...
- "Skill" comes from Icelandic: to distinguish, distinction
- Gautama: the way you sell the CD is very religious (cheap/free for the poor, otherwise whatever people can pay)...
- Warmth hello of S: "I'll come and see you". She hasn't yet and probably won't - why say that? Is intention is enough to make a speculative statement?
- Good meeting with Loic - he's an angel - he's doing a project: "River of Trees" - it started as utopia idea but he was encouraged by an expert to carry on - we see eye to eye on the problem of cars.
- Reza in Spanish means Praying.
- Guitar practice overlooking the field of sheep’s and lambs was a delight. The lambs from different mothers were playing together - presently 6 of them - one banged head against others - some jumped up and down - such delight. Every breath here is a blessing to be cherished as the air is full of love.
- Read K in Greece.
- Always remember there are other women in the world.
Walk before breakfast is best way to burn up stored fat. Waked to sheep farm - the mothers and their lambs were still locked in. One was yelling loud. #63 - saw that its lamb had jumped out of the cage - so gently took it and put it in with its mother and then the mother was quiet. Then saw 2 baby horses.
How many people does it take to change a light-bulb at the Krishnamurti center?
First one said: I'll give you one tomorrow.
Tomorrow found out the one who said he'll give me tomorrow is not working today.
2nd guy said: I'll tell the 3rd guy - and he tried the switches.
3rd guy said: have you tried the switches? sorry, we have non on stock!
One said that there's no leader and the 3 of them basically run the center which is not that difficult "it's basically like a hotel" one said "to prepare meals and clean rooms - but no one wants to do it - most people want to work at the school".
The center will be around and powerful long after we're all gone.
Meeting with David Skitt - Trustee - one of the few people who's right on.... he's got a brilliant mind and a gentle personality - a truly wise man.
"if you do the right thing the money will come" - he: then one could think: how to do more of the right thing...
Briefly mentioned to Colin, and later more in depth talk with David Skitt who liked the question so much that he told me at least 3 times what a good question it was. That adolescents who are forming images of themselves: am I an adult or a child, etc. etc.... does K's teaching of having no image fit in there?" David recalls a video where K told a 7 year old: "promise me you'll never make an image of anything or anybody."
A study showed 2 people who are thinking deeply about the same subject, their alpha brain waves coincide.
He: Direct perception - insight - then thinking works out the details. I: ...the idea of decentralized, distributed computing - the little brain assesses its situation ... presents to life - or does local processing for "that"... - the school is going through a review - options will be outlined - he agreed: the way to go shows itself.
Some people go drinking and release their pressure by talking about others' foolishness - and that creates such human solidarity - the stage - common type.
That our experience is a local database - intelligence determines whether to go to this DB or not ... An alert mind is open to the new - in the moment.
A good human being is one who relates well to others. That just to be in the K circle means nothing. x (k?) said if the teaching of the non-self is like a snake. If you pick it up in the wrong way it will bite you.
X asked K in interview: many people around you have not changed a bit after 3 years. K: some of them are worse sir.
The biggest mistake in ML's biographies is the omission of the affair with Rosalind.
DS asked Scott Forbes and MZ to describe K's character in one word - they both said: an enigma (a riddle).
That biographies are hugely limited. Who's be the best person to write your bio? -myself. Would you put everything in? -no.
K: those close to the teacher don't get the teachings. Tibetans: get too close to the guru and he burns you.... Guru is like a rock : ok to sit on for a while - then uncomfortable. Like going to restaurant for a meal and falling in love with the chef.
Meeting with Sri G. Gautama - great friend.
- "what do you see behind the tree?" 'nothing'. one can speculate what's behind the tree based on experience and knowledge - speculation is limited...
- During a translation workshop 16 participants were asked to underline the key idea of a paragraph : 16 different answers. Then they were asked to underline the least important part - 16 diff answers - and sometimes one person's selection of key idea was the other's least significant.
- As a teacher you must put aside sense of fragility - if something doesn't go well, don't feel defeated.
- 3 men went to s Sufi master in search of truth. He took them out and with a stick chopped off the tallest of the flowers and asked them for their interpretation. 1) things that appear important may not be 2) .... when you search for truth ... you undergo leveling 3) a dead thing (stick) can kill an alive thing. He said they were all right but adding up their 3 remarks still doesn't add up to the whole picture.
---------Visit to Krishnamurti / Brockwood Park Study Center
Lunch with Kathleen - educationalist - and Gautama. I said that I like to go into teaching at some point and she said why don't you come do a teacher training course here and / or get an MA in education (which is the only other degree I ever considered doing). This kicked off a discussion with Gautama exploring doing teacher training for his teachers, etc... we explored it deeper.
"Quest for freedom always surfaces up".
Maybe from an organizational analysis standpoint the processes could be improved.....
at lunch: x: are you a trustee? y: no I am in charge of salads. [and she sure makes great salads]
Had a friendly talk with Bob. He's a good man - with a constant smile and gentle face. After a friendly talk, walking away, in a space of affection I came back and said I need to get something off my chest - he agreed... "I understand you need to filter who comes in here to make sure he's here for the right reason... it's valid you had some reason to think I was here to see people because I had called to ask if Gautama, Ahalya... were here - but you weren't honest with me and didn't tell me what you were considering and instead you fed me a story that there were no clean rooms". He: 'well, Wilfred said he made a mistake 1/2 hour later and he was looking at the wrong side of the keychain and there were 2 clean rooms... - but now we know you and know your intentions were genuine and now it's no problem.... the problem is that some people treat this place like a hotel - because it's cheap for England ... and we've had to ask people to leave because they trash their room and bring alcohol.' we talked more - and also told him the light-bulb joke - and that I didn't appreciate x's saying: I'll give one to you tomorrow while he was not even working - maybe a mistake - oh well - this is a non-profit place and I can't expect it to efficiently run like a for-profit place....and it's running great - no complaints - just funny... [next day other, back from 2 days off remembered: "...I'll get you a bulb now"... but they're out. Told him the humorous look at this bulb thing - he: it's the English work practice...
Friend on phone said: "studying what? you already know everything!" Of course this is not true - I have read most of K books but....!
Pranayama lesson from G. "Anything that gives you direct benefit is suspect" "the refined art of maximizing" (to my question to combine vocal with exhale). "sex is a non-issue. is there affection?" "In the act of sex there is no self - self-forgetfulness - the same which we seek through repetition. If there is that self-forgetful state always does one need sex? (no problem with doing it). In selfless affection, there's beauty in relationship: not getting a product out of the person. If there's no affection there are problems. Deeper balance: to be free from addictive mind. It has to do with food - if eat too much garlic, onion... there's more driving force for sex. 1/2 hour of pranayama helps a lot - well chewed food.... if addictive mind: you don't have chocolate or sex, chocolate or sex will have you. Brahmacharya=the journey towards freedom. It's selfishness to think: I had too much sex is it bad fir my body? If life is narrowing, keep the doors open. When not living in freedom, though a normal life... people need organizing principles - and e.g. having one partner. For most people one partner is complicated enough... As long as one has emptiness inside and wants to fill it with sex and money, one will find a way. In fullness is there sex? There is an ancient saying that says don't ask for the lineage of the Munis (little rishis) and Rishis and their life according to the structure of the society - don't evaluate them according to normal structures - but these sayings are not translated and not popularized. K: can you refuse to be hurt and live without an image?" He is very non-judgmental - a truly wise man - "if anything happened to you that has not happened with any human then tell me and I'll tell others [otherwise, don't worry, what you say is confidential - in fact, already forgotten]".
Man at dinner: I have learned so much in the last few days. I realized I've been rowing the wrong way. He: it's special to be with the child without feeling that you own it.
3 students came listening to the guitar and suggested playing at the morning meeting.
Went to Loic's place "the pest house" to see their son, the 3 year old Jonathan. Such a delight - long hair that looked like John Lennon, beautiful face, very intelligent, articulate - a man of the new world - so gentle, never rowdy...
Gautama wakes up at 4, does Raja Yoga (K: real yoga is Raja Yoga, the other is exercise) and sits quietly. Life is not meant for sleeping. If you know how to use your mornings life has a different quality - and if you don't it has a different quality. I suggested a walk. Him and Kathleen and I went on a lovely walk in sunset and friendship. He said Reza is a pilgrim on the road of K centers.... 'with his guitar' - and he praised one's guitar playing.
Immeasurable delight at seeing group of 8 lambs running together, bouncing, came to where I was playing guitar and run away and came back and again. They ignored the mothers' call "that's enough playing". It's always an ordeal when a lamb loses its mother but somehow they always reconnect.
Been napping about 10-15 minutes a day.
Yoga and walk before breakfast. Visited the sheep. #77 lamb was out - same cage as yesterday. It was baaing away and so was its mother - it was trying to force itself into another cage, and running around not knowing its mother despite the mother's call. Almost gave up in fear of it biting because of its agitated state, but felt sorry and came back again and this time caught it - it was completely harmless - and put it in with its mother and they were both happy. Called on the baby horse and it came near. "Hi sweetie, you're so beautiful...thank you for letting me touch you...".
May 11 - At breakfast with Gautama, Kathleen and Friedrich (who has a lovely voice), there was silence. Then I said I might go to Kathleen's institute for Education degrees. This kicked off a long discussion on an age old question of "K teacher training" and ended up with a meeting scheduled with Friedrich's "gang" with possible KLI help in bringing together a teacher training center in India. I emphasized that it would be good for it to provided western accreditation and be international (not just for Indian teachers) - and we examined different models that G & I & K have been discussing.
Guitar practice and another walk - this time lamb #73 was out and I put it back.
Seeing K videos Brockwood 1979
"Because one person cant do it himself he condemns the rest of the world - if I can't do it you can't do it..." K.
"Why do I possess? Is it because I am lonely? Desperately deeply lonely, separate?"
"The 'how' means 'time'".
"Don't say, ever, I've listened for so long and I haven't got it - you can listen to that river endlessly but the waters is not what you listen to".
"When you're really deeply basically not attached then from that deep sense of no attachment comes a sense of responsibility.... To be free from your own experience, from your own knowledge, from your own accumulated perception - it is possible if you go at it - and it doesn't take time: that's one of our excuses: that we must have time to be free. When you see one of the major factors of the self is attachment and you see what it does in the world and what it does in your relationship with another: separation, all the rest, ultimately quarrels, divorce, all the ugliness of relationship, if you see the truth of attachment then that very truth is so, it is actual. Then you're free from it. Your own perception sets you free.
"When you are observing a fact completely with all your energy, the fact changes - if you do it you will see it - because you have brought your energy into the observation ... that energy is like light [that makes the fact dissipate]"
"It is to meet another with the same intensity, at the same level, at the same time. That is love."
- Saanen 79 tapes.
K: "Please don't make this place into a resort - something you come to for 10 days and make a - you know, all the rest of it. Please don't do it. There are other places where you can have much better time." - The Saanen gathering nowadays is a combination of resort and work - people come for both reasons......
- Last night despite working till late, sat quietly - had to get out of bed and sit quietly because did not want to take weeds of the mind into bed. A feeling of freedom came with the realization that, 1) the image I was making of x was an unnecessary act of thought : thought entering where it didn't belong, and 2) the image I've made may be completely wrong - including my image of his image of me - this insight, came in love, and it was freedom and love. Then there is no need to put up or bypass or avoid, etc., relationship is in the moment - with a quiet mind - in affection. -- it's great to learn how wrong images, conclusions, thoughts can be --- it gives energy and vitality to see working of intelligence at this subtle level of questioning thought itself, doubting it, learning about conditioning and being free from it.....
- The school's conflicts which went on for a long time drained it of energy which could have been used to raise funds, and in more creative ways.
- G: "Relationship, career, music, life, everything is spinning you around right now - let yourself spin for a while....." he has friendly feelings for me. "come to India, spend some time, if you want to teach, try it...". My problems for the last several weeks have been: coming back from America, slept very very late every night - not partying - but working - restoring the broken computer, etc. - and I knew it was very irreligious to sleep so late... G talked about the wonders of mornings. All my life I was a morning person - waking up very early.... I want to get back into that mode again - which requires sleeping early. And here I've eaten a bit more than normal because the food is so good here - I've walked a lot - but still, I get fat quickly and the eyes puff, etc. specially if combined with sleeping late.... I have a mouth spray which made x think I drink :-) the fact is I am completely clean - no drink, no drugs, not even coffee or tea. G: early morning is the only time you can have a quiet time.
Woke up without alarm for the 6 am pranayama lessons in a group at the school. Walk back with FG to the center - K showed him exercises in his room - opened the window and breeze came and K said in Latin and asked FG to translate: "blessed is he who comes in the name of god". K prefers to use other words for god (because that word is so misused I guess). Good talk - then FG went towards the Quiet Room after a goodbye Namaste.
We can not interpret Petanjali because he used so few words. For Asana he used: "stillness, comfort, asana"
The principle yoga is Raja Yoga which is the king of all yogas, which is nothing to do with exercises, breathing, which is to see how the mind, the whole beauty of life is to be understood.
Yoga in Sanskrit means to join...the highest yoga being Raja Yoga - King of Yogas - in which there is only the activity of the mind, the activity of living a right kind of life, accurate life. It has nothing whatsoever to do with exercises, postures, breathing and all that business. [K himself did postures and breathing exercises]
The real yoga which is called Raja Yoga, King of Yogas, is to lead a highly moral life - not morality according to circumstances, according to culture, but true ethical activity in life - not to hurt, not to drink, not to drug yourself, right amount of sleep, right amount of food, clear thinking, and acting morally, doing the right thing.
There is only one yoga which is called Raja Yoga, in which there is no practice, no artificial exercizes; walking, swimming, natural, and a tremendously moral life in which there is integrity.
Raja yoga which is the king of yogas. There that system, or that way of living was concerned not merely with the physical well-being, but also much more strict psychologically.
What yoga means is: unitive perception, perceiving the whole thing totally, as a unit, the capacity, or the awareness, or the seeing the whole of existence as on - unitive perception.
Good goodbyes with Colin, Gautama, Kathleen.....
- Lunch with FG and some others - great talks. A blink of friendship with Javier sitting at the other table. Someone asked FG: where is your favorite place in the world. He: where I am now. I: (asking in funny way knowing the answer): which is your favorite K book :-) ? He answered with joy: the one I am reading now. We spoke quietly about the whereabouts of mutual friends..... One's full of energy. Walked over to the school to convey FG's message - Gautama: you look brilliant.... good to see Vickie from Ireland - an old friend who's visiting for the day, and Willem and others. Loic's wonderful person. Held Antonio's 4 month old daughter who's very beautiful, lovely, and peaceful - and responds to birds.
- Met Kathleen Quinn the last minute - recognized and remembered her name despite our very short previous contact - she got the CD. Leaving, my good friend Bob apologized for the problematic welcome. "It's ok.... since you brought it up... something you guys might want to look at among yourself is just the fact that a person calls to ask if someone is at the center is not enough ground for the assumption that they're there for social reasons." He agreed.
- Walked over to the school where V was gonno give me something and stopped by and said hello to dear friend Dave, gave a CD and exchanged love. Caught last minute glimpse of Colin's friendly smile. At the bus station presented CD to a lady who took it "I heard you playing in the rain the other day and it sounded very nice". [it wasn't raining].
- K needs to be read and understood holistically. He negates things such as exercise, pranayama, and even sex (as an escape) which he does himself. If he is understood the apparent contradictions do not hold ground. The whole idea of trying to find consistency is a narrow attempt.
*** THE END ***
I don't consider K an authority. I'm speaking from personal inquiry. Regardless, I don't know what reference you're making about Krishnamurti. Can you be more specific please? We can discuss our understanding of what he said... but it's secondary. Primary issue here seems to be about role of control in life. To me, control always implies duality.
Bodhi, doesn't understanding sometimes bring its own action? An "aha" moment! You grasp something, see it clearly... and that bring change... -- it's a question of semantics perhaps. To me, understanding is a very powerful dynamic thing, vs. knowledge. which is perhaps static.