Can the Mind be Quiet?: Living, Learning, and Meditation

Book Cover: Can the Mind be Quiet?: Living, Learning, and Meditation

One of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century describes a series of his encounters around the world with a wide variety of spiritual seekers. Their questions and his answers explore the nature of the lived experience, the details of profound self-inquiry and how to live a fulfilled life.

These 60 chapters, with titles like "Solitude Means Freedom", "All Seeking is from Emptiness and Fear", and "Life is an Extraordinarily Beautiful Movement", carry the essence of Krishnamurti's teaching style and profoundest wisdom.

Each one reflects an encounter K had at different times during the sixties and seventies. It opens with a poetic account of the location where the encounter took place, plus occasionally a description of the seeker that K has met. The chapter then moves back and forth between the seeker and the teacher, giving the reader plenty to reflect upon.

This is previously unpublished material. Readers will be captivated by the luminous prose and the piercing insight. The style is enigmatic and poetical but each chapter contains more than enough for the reader to consider, perhaps as a daily practice. In the style of Paulo Coelho they have the quality of fables, but the teaching is far more profound and challenging.

Insights into Education

Bringing About a Totally New Mind

Book Cover: Insights into Education
Editions:Paperback
ISBN: 978-1539500445
Size: 5.50 x 8.50 in
Pages: 200
Kindle

Insights into Education presents the educational philosophy of J. Krishnamurti in an easy to use, topic-based format. It is a practical handbook that comes alive when used as an introduction to group investigation and dialogue. What it offers to teachers everywhere is an inroad into the many matters of concern with which they are faced on a daily basis. That we cannot continue as we have been doing, with rote-learning, fact-finding, and a modicum of analysis as the building blocks of education, is obvious to anyone who is at all concerned with teaching and learning in a world with accelerating technological advancement, alienation, and despair. It is these very issues that are tackled here, sometimes implicitly but always at depth.

What Krishnamurti proposes, and here discloses, is a different approach to learning altogether, one that distinguishes itself radically from what we normally understand by that term: the accumulation of knowledge, with its application and testing. By narrowing down our understanding to the pragmatic and the measurable, we forfeit the opportunity to probe deeply and to awaken intelligence in our students and in ourselves. What is meant by intelligence in this context is not the capacity to memorize and measure, but that subtler ability to see the whole which comes alive in a human being when he/she sees the limits of the measurable. To awaken this intelligence is the goal of education.

Excerpt:

Discover the Immeasurable

Book Cover: Discover the Immeasurable
Editions:Paperback
Pages: 88
Kindle
Pages: 88
This series of six lectures given by J. Krishnamurti in Hamburg, Germany in 1956, are based on the need for radical change in relationship to our minds. He explains: 'To understand the immeasurable, which is to enter into a different world altogether, we must understand this world in which we live, this world which we have created and of which we are a part-the world of ambition, greed, envy, hatred, the world of separation, fear and lust. That means we must understand ourselves, the unconscious as well as the conscious, and this is not very difficult if you set your mind to it.'

Publisher: Hohm Press
88 pages

Excerpt:

"Meditation is the process of understanding oneself. Self-knowledge brings wisdom. And as the mind begins to understand the whole process of itself, it becomes very quiet, completely still, without any sense of movement or demand. Then, perhaps, that which is not measurable comes into being."

Reviews:G. R. Christie on Amazon.com wrote:

I've been a Krishnamurti fan for years. This book is filled with brutally honest insite into the nature of personal reality. I highly recommend it.


School Without Fear

Book Cover: School Without Fear
Editions:Paperback
Pages: 222

The dialogues in this book School Without Fear are being published sixty years after Krishnamurti held them at Rajghat Besant School, which he had founded on the banks of the Ganges in the early 1930s. From December 1954 to February 1955, he stayed on the campus and talked to teachers and parents.

Ranging from articulating his most sublime vision of life to thrashing out the practicalities of running a boarding school, he covers every conceivable aspect of education. The result is these twenty-six dialogues, which perhaps form the longest series of dialogues on education in the entire Krishnamurti repertoire.

Excerpt:

Can we discuss the question of the competitive spirit, how to eradicate it, because that may be one of the fundamental reasons why society is crumbling. Culture is crumbling because of this terrible spirit of competitiveness, with its ambition, comparison, and condemnation, and can we eradicate it totally in this school? Giving various reasons, will that really bring about a dynamic activity to create something new? Merely examining the hindrances, will that produce any result? By discussing thoroughly the problem, the competitive spirit in students and in us, we will come to the fact that it exists. Perhaps if we can go deeply into whether it is true and whether we should encourage it, whether we should discourage it, and why we should discourage it, then we shall be able to deal with the other problems.

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Are we ready to expose what we really think— whether we really do believe in competition or whether we don’t care? Are we just caught in circumstances and go along that way? If we are challenged, do we ask whether we really believe in competition with all its implications and therefore we cannot discourage it? If we think that is essential, we cannot discourage it. Does competition bring freedom? Does competition within a society bring peace to the society? Or must society everlastingly be in conflict within itself? And can we create a society in which there is no conflict at all, but where no man is trying to become something but is doing something which he loves to do, and therefore there is no ambition, competition, and struggle with the neighbor? Which means, can we help the student to find out his true vocation, not what society or his father or tradition says he must do, but what he really wants to do? If all of us together say this is what we stand for, then we will die for it, work for it. Do we discuss it with our hearts in it, or merely casually as we have done these last three years?

COLLAPSE

Krishnamurti’s Notebook

Book Cover: Krishnamurti’s Notebook
Editions:Paperback
Pages: 387

In this unique volume Krishnamurti lets us into the private world of his states of consciousness. Written as a diary, detailing his travels, the day-by-day account moves with breathtaking swiftness from the sights and sounds of his immediate environment to those moments of bliss variously described as “immensity,” “benediction,” or “the otherness.” We are also privy to what Krishnamurti calls “the process.”

Publisher: KFI
Author/Editor: J. Krishnamurti
387 pp

Excerpt:

From the book:

Meditation, in the still hours of early morning, with no car rattling by, was the unfolding of beauty. It was not thought exploring with its limited capacity nor the sensitivity of feeling; it was not any outward or inward substance which was expressing itself; it was not the movement of time, for the brain was still. It was total negation of everything known, not a reaction but a denial that had no cause; it was a movement in complete freedom, a movement that had no direction and dimension; in that movement there was boundless energy whose very essence was stillness. Its action was total inaction and the essence of that inaction is freedom. There was great bliss, a great ecstasy that perished at the touch of thought.

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The sun was setting in great clouds of color behind the Roman hills; they were brilliant, splashed across the sky and the whole earth was made splendid, even the telegraph poles and the endless rows of building. It was soon becoming dark and the car was going fast. The hills faded and the country became flat. To look with thought and to look without thought are two different things. To look at those trees by the roadside and the buildings across the dry fields with thought, keeps the brain tied to its own moorings of time, experience, memory; the machinery of thought is working endlessly, without rest, without freshness; the brain is made dull, insensitive, without the power of recuperation. It is everlastingly responding to challenge and its response is inadequate and not fresh. To look with thought keeps the brain in the groove of habit and recognition; it becomes tired and sluggish; it lives within the narrow limitations of its own making. It is never free. This freedom takes place when thought is not looking; to look without thought does not mean a blank observation, absence in distraction.

When thought does not look, then there is only observation, without the mechanical process of recognition and comparison, justification and condemnation; this seeing does not fatigue the brain for all mechanical processes of time have stopped. Through complete rest the brain is made fresh, to respond without reaction, to live without deterioration, to die without the torture of problems. To look without thought is to see without the interference of time, knowledge and conflict. This freedom to see is not a reaction; all reactions have causes; to look without reaction is not indifference, aloofness, a cold-blooded withdrawal. To see without the mechanism of thought is total seeing, without particularization and division, which does not mean that there is not separation and dissimilarity. The tree does not become a house or the house a tree. Seeing without thought does not put the brain to sleep; on the contrary, it is fully awake, attentive, without friction and pain.

Attention without the borders of time is the flowering of meditation.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:Katherine Graham on Amazon.com wrote:

★★★★★
A close friend has been speaking about Krishnamurti to me for years. And frankly, as a Catholic-mystic-traditionalist, I just couldn't get there from here. Then life started to get so bad, I did not walk - but ran (while remembering all my friend said about this precious and great soul). Taking entry by entry ever so slowly, I began...just began to "see" that true wisdom and learning can be the saving Grace if one will just take the time to watch, observe, listen, touch, and smell all that is alive and still thriving around each and every one of us. The Notebook sits atop my night-table, and after I say my prayers (I know this sounds ridiculously childish but I don't care...), I reward myself with another journal entry from Krishnamurti. Now, all I need is a rich relative to purchase everything he ever wrote!

Customer on Amazon.com wrote:

★★★★★
Possibly the most important document produced in the 20th Century, and now thankfully back in print. Just as radical as Jesus's reply to the rich young man who desired eternal life (Matthew 19:16-26), and just as true and uncompromising, and expressed in a manner that contains no dogma, and requires no belief. (One needs to come to this book with an entirely receptive mind.) It is like an extended expression of the Beatitudes in modern language. What is called the "Kingdom of Heaven" in the Bible is referred to variously by Krishnamurti in the notebook as the "benediction", the "otherness", and "immensity". An extraordinary book. Beautifully written. A treasure for the ages.


Krishnamurti’s Journal

Book Cover: Krishnamurti’s Journal
Editions:Paperback
Pages: 100

In September 1973, Krishnamurti suddenly started keeping a journal. For nearly six weeks he made daily entries in a notebook. Nearly every entry starts with a description of some natural scene, which he knows intimately. He recalls places he has lived in with a clarity that shows how vivid his memory is for natural scenery, arising from the acuteness of his observation.

Krishnamurti's Journal gives an intimate look at one of the great spiritual teachers of our time. Writing simply, directly, yet in richly poetic prose, Krishnamurti shares observations and meditations, which he wrote in this diary from 1973 to 1975.

"In the silence of deep night and in the quiet still morning when the sun is touching the hills, there is a great mystery. It is there in all living things. If you sat quietly under a tree, you would feel the ancient earth with its incomprehensible mystery ..."

Publisher: Harper Collins
100 pp - Paper

On Mind and Thought

Book Cover: On Mind and Thought
Editions:Paperback
Pages: 146
Reviews:Donald Ford on Amazon.com wrote:

"This book (one in a series regarding topics critical to mankind) will mainly be of intrest to those who are already familiar with Krishnamurti & his teachings. In it, he clarifies many aspects of his philosophy, by defining words & topics in his own special way. If you've read some of his stuff, and have been perplexed by some wild-sounding concepts like the ending of thought, ending the seperation between the observer & that which is observed, & immediate transformation without the space of time, this book will really clear up that confusion or wonder. In it, he clearly spells out what he means by the many layers of the mind...the conscious & the subconscious, dreams, & though (both psycological & practical). Many esoteric-sounding themes & ideas are clearly spelled out in that simple & direct language that draws so many to Krishnamurti's teachings. If any of Krishnamurti's other works have interested you, I'd strongly recommend reading this book. For first-time readers, I'd recommend Think On These Things."


On Relationship

Book Cover: On Relationship
Editions:Paperback
Pages: 272

Providing a far-reaching basis for solving many of the world's crises, this book brings together Krishnamurti's most essential teachings on the individual's relationship to other people and institutions.

Publisher: Harper Collins
272 pp - Paper

On Truth

Book Cover: On Truth
Editions:Paperback
Pages: 144

On Truth offers Krishnamurti's most profound ruminations on the search for truth. In 1929, he began his life of public teachings by saying, "Truth is a pathless land". Throughout his many years of speaking to audiences of all ages and backgrounds, he continually emphasized that truth cannot be approached through the instrument of thought. Truth is intangible and nameless and can only be realized through exploring the total movement of thought and its activities.

Publisher: East West Books
144 pp - Paper

Life Ahead

On Learning and the Search for Meaning

Book Cover: Life Ahead
Editions:Paperback
Pages: 248

Life Ahead presents lessons that move far beyond the traditional forms of education taught in most schools and colleges. Drawn from transcripts of talks given to Indian students, the book covers a wide range of universal topics. In short, accessible chapters, Krishnamurti explores the danger of competition, the value of solitude, the need to understand both the conscious and the unconscious mind, and the critical difference between concentration and attention, and between knowledge and learning.

Krishnamurti exposes the roots of fear and eradicates deeply entrenched habits of tradition, limitation, and prejudice. The life he holds forth requires a complete change of thought, even a revolution, one that begins “not with theory and ideation,” he writes, “but with a radical transformation in the mind itself.” He explains how such transformation occurs only through an education that concentrates on the total development of the human being, an education carefully described in this simple yet powerful book

Publisher: New World Library
248 pp

Reviews:Vicente Hao Chin Jr. on Amazon.com wrote:

"This book goes into the root of human problems, addressed to young audiences. Spoken with clarity, it can cause a turning point in a young person's life, as it did to me when I read it while at the university."

Customer on Amazon.com wrote:

"This is a GREAT book! It's aimed basically at the highschool student, but can be applied to anyone. JK talks about the problems with the way most education is setup, the problems with teachers and parents. He says "Learning is possible only when there is no coercion of any kind...There is coercion through influence, through attachment or threat, through persuazzive encouragement or subtle forms of reward." I reccommend this book highly! Next time you see it in a used bookstore get a copy of it."