try it, do it

This is another extract from my mother’s file of inspirational clippings and notes, which I first wrote about in the post keep far away.  She has taken some time to copy the last three paragraphs from a book called The Quest of the Quiet Mind: The Philosophy of Krishnamurti by Stuart Holroyd.  In these final lines, the author is summing up Krishnamurti’s take on meditation.

Earlier parts of the chapter make it clear that K held a very emphatic position on what meditation isn’t – not “the repetition of a word, nor the experience of a vision, nor the cultivation of silence … not wrapping yourself in a pattern of thought, in the enchantment of pleasures.” He would have added that it is not prayer – which is rooted in the illusion of separateness, and it is not a way or a path to anything – certainly not to freedom, for freedom is the precondition of meditation.

– – –

The basis of meditation, then, is watchfulness, both of the objective and the subjective worlds. It is ‘seeing, watching, listening, without word, without comment, without opinion – attentive to the movement of life in all its relationships throughout the day.’ It is the continual emptying of the mind of thought and experience, allowing the stream of consciousness to flow freely without thought seizing on any of its elements; it is living and dying from moment to moment.

Another paradox about it is that although it is not a thing you can deliberately set out to do, it nevertheless demands hard work and ‘the highest form of discipline – not conformity, not imitation, not obedience, but a discipline which comes through constant awareness, not only of the things about you outwardly, but also inwardly.  Just watch and be aware of all your thoughts, feelings and reactions, without judging, comparing, approving, condemning or evaluating them in any way, Krishnamurti says. Try it, do it, he urges, and you will find that there is a tremendous release of energy, there is the opening of the door into spaciousness, there is the awakening of bliss.

In a telling image he likens the bliss of meditation to a pure flame, and thought to the smoke from a fire which brings tears to the eyes and blurs perception.  In meditation the mind penetrates and understands the entire structure of the self and the world that thought has put together, and the very act of seeing and understanding the structure confers freedom from it, for mediation ‘destroys everything, nothing whatsoever is left, and in this vast, unfathomable emptiness there is creation and love.’

– Stuart Holroyd, The Quest of the Quiet Mind: The Philosophy of Krishnamurti

Find a comprehensive selection of Krishnamurti’s books at the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust website.

Image source

keep far away
words from my treasured teacher

8 thoughts on “try it, do it

  1. I beg to suggest that what’s stated here is the perfect condensation of what meditation is in its purest and most potent form; that is to say, beyond the concentration of thought into a largely unprofitable one-pointedness which, whilst alluring, is as regards ontological knowledge, profitless.

    • Dear Hariod – thank you for your deeply insightful comment.
      Yes, Krishnamurti was ruthless in his insistence that any form of meditation that involved the activity of thought is entirely pointless, and has nothing to do with the Real.
      – ml

      • I have to confess it’s been a good many years since I’ve read Krishnamurti, though was always impressed and assisted by his down-to-earth style of communication which he managed to achieve whilst still approaching the essence of the matter. All best wishes to you, Hariod.

  2. I went to Zen because I did not want to be involved in any kind of meditation that asked me to try to create anything in the present or future with my imagination or by concentrating on any physical element. I spent a lot of years in Zen sitting thinking I was doing what K. seems to be alluding to, or at least trying to. However I could never get a feeling of any distance from the thoughts or anything else, thinking that I was watching MYSELF, that all of these things were still I/me. I did not know how to let especiallythe thoughts go. It has only been since I’ve been introduced to Advaita that I have an inkling of what it means. I also had to be exposed to other systems of thought that allowed me to see that there might be safety and wisdom in the universe that I did not understand. And yes, it does seem to take a great deal of discipline to let all that is perceived go by and to stay in the pure awareness of it all, if for only a few seconds at a time because for all my life the meaning of my thoughts seemed very important to me. They were describing the truth about me and my world, weren’t they? Weren’t thoughts revered as knowledge? How could I NOT judge them or whom I call me, if there were any truth to them? Advaita is helping me have some distance from the “meaning” of my thoughts. And how could I not think that those sensations are MY leg? ETC. I don’t get the results very often that K. alludes to. At this point, I just get to feel better for a period of time, and I have a renewal of faith that I am on the right path for me right now. SOMETIMES, I get the “tremendous release of energy,” but I don’t count on it. That would be praying for it, it seems to me. I don’t specifically ask for the door opening into spaciousness, but I’d be lying if I said it was not part of the incentive. Maybe it’s showing up differently from what I expect. That’s okay for now. It’s actually okay whether I agree or not! Gratefully, at this point, I agree.

    • Dear Maggi – thank you for sharing. We meander down many a curious pathway on this journey, and looking back is often instructive.
      I love what you say about it “showing up differently from what I expect.” – you can count on this; it’s often said that the hallmarks of Reality are the unexpected and the uninvited. (Certainly my own experience!)
      Expectations are worth watching – they always arise out of the field of the ‘known’, and are a sure sign that there’s still a sneaky seeker-self up and running – and ensuring the Real remains a concept.
      I wish you ongoing “okayness”!
      – ml

  3. K.s thoughts are incomprehensible to someone who hasn’t had the experience but they ring true for me. Thank you…bob

  4. Pingback: imperishable, unnameable, the unknowing | this unlit light

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