Some Snippets of Krishnamurti on Meditation

“Have done a great deal of meditation and has been good. I hope you are doing it too – begin by being aware of every thought- feeling – all day, the nerves and the brain – then become quiet, still – this is what cannot be done through control – then really begins meditation. Do it with thoroughness.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti in a letter to Nandini Mehta

“Meditation is not something different from daily life; do not go off into the corner of a room and meditate for ten minutes, then come out of it and be a butcher-both metaphorically and actually. Meditation is part of life, not something different from life.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti, Meditations, page 10.

“Meditation is one of the greatest arts in life-perhaps the greatest, and one cannot possibly learn it from anybody. That is the beauty of it. It has no technique and therefore no authority. When you learn about yourself, watch yourself, watch the way you walk, how you eat, what you say, the gossip, the hate, the jealousy-if you are aware of all that in yourself, without any choice, that is part of meditation.”

“So meditation can take place when you are sitting in a bus or walking in the woods full of light and shadows, or listening to the singing of birds or looking at the face of your wife or child.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti, Meditations, page 2.

Q. You seem to object even to our sitting quietly everyday to observe the movement of thought. Is this, by your definition, a practice, a method and therefore without value?

K: Now the questioner asks. What is wrong with sitting quietly every morning for twenty minutes, in the afternoon another twenty minutes and perhaps another twenty minutes in the evening or longer – what is wrong with it? By sitting quietly you can relax, you can observe your thinking, your reactions, your responses and your reflexes. What is the motive of those who sit quietly by themselves, or together in a group? What is the motive behind the desire to sit quietly for half an hour every day? Is it not important to find out why you want to do this? Is it because somebody has told you that if you sit quietly you will have para-psychological experiences, that you will attain some kind of peace, some kind of understanding, some kind of enlightenment, or some kind of power?…

So it is important – before we plunge into all this- to find out what is your motive, what it is that you want. But you do not do that. You are so eager and gullible; somebody promises something and you want it. If you examine the motive, you see that it is a desire to achieve something – like a businessman’s desire to earn a lot of money. That is his urge. Here the psychological urge is to have something that a guru, or an instructor, promises.You do not question what he promises, you do not doubt what he promises…

Is it true? Who are you to tell me what to do? then you will find that sitting quietly, without understanding your motive, leads to all kinds of illusory psychological trouble. If that is the intention of sitting quietly, then it is not worth it. But if while sitting quietly without any motive, or walking quietly by yourself or with somebody, you watch the trees, the birds, the rivers and the sunshine on the leaves, in that very watching you are also watching yourself. You are not striving, not making tremendous efforts to achieve something …

Is it not possible to be quiet, naturally – to look at a person, or to listen to a song, or to listen to what somebody is saying quietly, without resistance, without saying, “I must change, I must do this, I must do that”. Just to be quiet? Is it possible to sit, or stand, or walk quietly, without any promptings from another, without any reward or desire for extraordinary super-physical sensory experiences? Begin at the most rational level; then one can go very far.

— Jiddu Krishnamurti, Saanen, July 1980.

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7 thoughts on “Some Snippets of Krishnamurti on Meditation

  1. This all makes the concept of observation – vs for example that of intellectual analysis – a bit clearer. Although it doesn’t seem that difficult, it is probably very tough, being so far from Western tradition. I had found something similar in a few streams of Oriental thought, and also in Western thought influenced by the East. Erich Fromm, for example, in The Art of Loving, mentions meditation in ways that remind me this, but I could be wrong, since I read it 40 years ago lol.
    I wonder if the Krishnamurti’s Notebook could be a good start. But I’ll find my way into his works.

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  3. Hi Paul, how nice to have discovered your blog.

    These thoughts from K are spot on. One of the most important lessons I learned during my Buddhism studies was: Always examine your motivation. I’ve found it so very helpful and liberating!

    Best always, Lucy

  4. Suzuki’s ‘Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind’ which is obviously on Zen Buddhism impresses many of the same ideas. A notable exception would be that he doesn’t focus on motivation, only that it often gets in the way of practice.
    BTW, I don’t enjoy many blogs, but maybe yours. thanks

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