Quotations on Meditation
“So, could we start with saying I do not know what meditation is?”
17th Conversation with Dr. Allen W. Anderson, San Diego, 1974
“And waking towards dawn, meditation was the splendour of light for the otherness was there, in an unfamiliar room. Again it was an imminent and urgent peace, not the peace of politicians or of the priests nor of the contented; it was too vast to be contained in space and time, to be formulated by thought or feeling.
meditation was the very essence of life.”
Krishnamurti’s Notebook Part 6. Bombay and Rishi Valley, 20th October to 20th November 1961.
“Now, let us see if we can together feel the importance of meditation, and also perceive the beauty, the implications, the subtleties of it. To begin with, that word ‘meditation’ has a very special significance to you, has it not? You immediately think of sitting in a certain posture, breathing in a certain way, forcing the mind to concentrate on something, and so on. But to me that is not meditation at all. To me meditation is entirely different; and if you and I are to share this inquiry into what is meditation, you will obviously have to put aside your prejudices, your conditioned thinking about meditation. That is true, I think, whether we discuss politics, or a particular system of economics, or our relationship with each other.
If you are given to a particular form of so-called meditation, and the other is not, there can obviously be no sharing. You must let go of your prejudices and experiences, and he must also let go of his, so that both of you can look into the problem and find out together what is meditation.”
1959 8th Public Talk, New Delhi
“The flowering of meditation is goodness, and the generosity of the heart is the beginning of meditation.”
“You cannot meditate if you are ambitious – you may play with the idea of meditation. You your mind is authority-ridden, bound by tradition, accepting, following, you will never know what it is to meditate on this extraordinary beauty.”
“You have to find out what meditation is. It is a most extraordinary thing to know what meditation is – not how to meditate, not the system, not the practice, but the content of meditation. To be in the meditative mood and to go into that meditation requires a very generous mind, a mind that has no border, a mind that is not caught in the process of time. A mind that has not committed itself to anything, to any activity, to any thought, to any dogma, to any family, to a name – it is only such a mind that can be generous; and it is only such a mind that can begin to understand the depth, the beauty and the extraordinary loveliness of meditation.”
1962 7th Public Talk, Bombay, CD-Rom code bo62t7.
‘Meditation is a movement in and of the unknown … it is that energy that though-matter cannot touch. Thought is perversion for it is the product of yesterday … Everything put together by thought is within the area of noise, and thought can in no way make itself still … thought itself must be still for silence to be. Silence is always now as thought is not. Thought, always being old, cannot possibly enter into that silence which is always new. The new becomes the old when thought touches it … Love can only be when thought is still. This stillness can in no way be manufactured by thought … this stillness can never be touched by thought. Thought is always old, but love is not … the flowering of goodness is not in the soil of thought’
‘Meeting Life’ (Bulletin 4, 1969) © 1991 Krishnamurti Foundation Trust, Ltd; Published by HarperSanFrancisco
J. Krishnamurti on how to meditate
[J. Krishnamurti had the following dialogue with students at one of his schools in India.]
[Krishnamurti:] Do you know anything about meditation?
Student: No, Sir.
Krishnamurti: But the older people do not know either. They sit in a corner, close their eyes and concentrate, like school boys trying to concentrate on a book. That is not meditation. Meditation is something extraordinary, if you know how to do it. I am going to talk a little about it.
First of all, sit very quietly; do not force yourself to sit quietly, but sit or lie down quietly without force of any kind. Do you understand? Then watch your thinking. Watch what you are thinking about. You find you are thinking about your shoes, your saris, what you are going to say, the bird outside to which you listen; follow such thoughts and enquire why each thought arises. Do not try to change your thinking. See why certain thoughts arise in your mind so that you begin to understand the meaning of every thought and feeling without any enforcement. And when a thought arises, do not condemn it, do not say it is right, it is wrong, it is good, it is bad. Just watch it, so that you begin to have a perception, a consciousness which is active in seeing every kind of thought, every kind of feeling. You will know every hidden secret thought, every hidden motive, every feeling, without distortion, without saying it is right, wrong, good or bad. When you look, when you go into thought very very deeply, your mind becomes extraordinarily subtle, alive. No part of the mind is asleep. The mind is completely awake.
That is merely the foundation. Then your mind is very quiet. Your whole being becomes very still. Then go through that stillness, deeper, further – that whole process is meditation. Meditation is not to sit in a corner repeating a lot of words; or to think of a picture and go into some wild, ecstatic imaginings.
To understand the whole process of your thinking and feeling is to be free from all thought, to be free from all feeling so that your mind, your whole being becomes very quite. And that is also part of life and with that quietness, you can look at the tree, you can look at people, you can look at the sky and the stars. That is the beauty of life.
On Education, first published 1974, Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Ltd., London, , p. 58
So we are asking now: what is the movement of meditation? First of all we must understand the importance of the senses. Most of us react, or act according to the urges, demands and the insistence of our senses. And those senses never act as a whole but only as a part – right? Please understand this. If you don’t mind enquiring into this a little more for yourself, talking over together, but all our senses never function, move, operate as a whole, holistically. If you observe yourself and watch your senses you will see that one or the other of the senses becomes dominant. One or the other of the senses takes a greater part in observation in our daily living, so there is always imbalance in our senses – right? May we go on from there?
Now is it possible – this is part of meditation, what we are doing now – is it possible for the senses to operate as a whole; to look at the movement of the sea, the bright waters, the eternally restless waters, to watch those waters completely, with all your senses? Or a tree, or a person, or a bird in flight, a sheet of water, the setting sun, or the rising moon, to observe it, look at it with all your senses fully awakened. … if you observe this, if you observe this operation of the whole senses acting you will find there is no centre from which the senses are moving. Are you trying this as we are talking together? To look at your girl, or your husband, or your wife or the tree, or the house, with all the highly active sensitive senses. Then in that there is no limitation. You try it. You do it and you will find out for yourself. That is the first thing to understand: the place of the senses. Because most of us operate on partial or particular senses. We never move or live with all our senses fully awakened, flowering. Because as most of us live, operate and think partially, so one of our enquiries into this is for the senses to function fully and realize the importance and the illusion that senses create – are you following all this? And to give the senses their right place, which means not suppressing them, not controlling them, not running away from them but to give the proper place to the senses. This is important because in meditation, if you want to go into it very deeply, unless one is aware of the senses, they create different forms of neurosis, different forms of illusions, they dominate our emotions and so on and so on. So that is the first thing to realize: if when the senses are fully awakened, flowering then the body becomes extraordinarily quiet. Have you noticed all this? Or am I talking to myself? Because most of us force our bodies to sit still, not fidget, not to move about and so on – you know. Whereas if all the senses are functioning healthily and normally, vitally then the body relaxes and becomes very, very quiet, if you do it. Do it as we are talking.
4th Public Talk, Brockwood Park, 1978 , Video and Audio Cassette.
You should really forget the word meditation. That word has been corrupted. The ordinary meaning of that word - to ponder over, to consider, to think about - is rather trivial and ordinary. If you want to understand the nature of meditation you should really forget the word because you cannot possibly measure with words that which is not measurable, that which is beyond all measure. No words can convey it, nor any systems, modes of thought, practice or discipline. Meditation - or rather if we could find another word which has not been so mutilated, made so ordinary, corrupt, which has become the means of earning a great deal of money - if you can put aside the word, then you begin quietly end gently to feel a movement that is not of time. Again, the word movement implies time - what is meant is a movement that has no beginning or end. A movement in the sense of a wave: wave upon wave, starting from nowhere and with no beach to crash upon. It is an endless wave.
Time, however slow it is, is rather tiresome. Time means growth, evolution, to become, to achieve, to learn, to change. And time is not the way of that which lies far beyond the word meditation. Time has nothing to do with it. Time is the action of will, of desire, and desire cannot in any way [word or words inaudible here] - it lies far beyond the word meditation.
Jiddu Krishnamurti to himself, his last journal, p. 18