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This is previously unpublished material.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

Unconditioning and Education Vol.1

The need for a radical approach

Book Cover: Unconditioning and Education Vol.1
Part of the Education series:
  • Unconditioning and Education Vol.1
Editions:Paperback - Volume I
Pages: 156

This book presents a series of dialogues in which renowned educator and religious teacher J. Krishnamurti explores with parents and teachers the need for a radical approach to schooling and their intention to establish such a school in the Ojai valley in California. They discuss the conditioning effects on children and educators of teaching and environments in schools based on traditional methods of education. They look at the stultifying effects of knowledge-based approaches which, instead of broadening the minds of children in a setting that encourages observation and creativity, conditions them to conform to society. To free the mind’s broader potential and to educate the whole human being they see that there must be right relationship between students and teachers in an atmosphere of attention, care and trust.

Excerpt:

What does it mean to be educated? Is it to conform to the pattern of society, acquiring enough knowledge to act skilfully in that society? Does to be educated mean adjusting oneself to society and following the dictates of that society? Is education merely to cultivate one segment of the mind to use knowledge skilfully?

Is it possible to educate the totality of man, instead of cultivating memory as we do, and depending on that memory to act skilfully? The cultivation of memory and dependence on that is part of the degeneration of humanity, because then man becomes merely mechanical, always acting in the field of the known. When we are acting in the field of knowledge, we are acting according to a past pattern; so then the brain must be conditioned, it has no flexibility.

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Knowledge has become the factor of conditioning the mind to a certain pattern according to which it acts. We are asking if it is possible to educate human beings from childhood and beyond to nurture the whole outward and inward totality of man. Is it possible in our life to educate ourselves completely, totally, inwardly as well as outwardly?

COLLAPSE

Awakening of Intelligence, The

Book Cover: Awakening of Intelligence, The
Editions:Paperback
Pages: 538

This book is a must read—for any person interested in Krishnamurti and his teachings. This is one of the most comprehensive texts of Krishnamurti's teachings, containing discussions with various individuals — including Professor Jacob Needleman, Alain Naudé, Swami Venkatesananda, and Professor David Bohm.

Professor Jacob Needleman asks about the present situation of the young, the role of the teacher, of tradition and its relation with direct perception, and the need for awareness of a “cosmic dimension.” With Alain Naudé he discusses the problem of good and evil, the fragmentation of consciousness and the possibility of psychological revolution.

Venkatesananda puts important questions to Krishnamurti on traditional Vedanta methods: he invites Krishnamurti to scrutinize the paths of the four Yogas and the present-day validity of certain mahavakyas from the Upanishads.

Publisher: Harper Collins
Author/Editor: J. Krishnamurti
538 pp - Paper

Excerpt:

From the book:

Krishnamurti: Felicity and so on. Now what is good? I feel goodness is total order. Not only outwardly, but especially inwardly. I think that order can be absolute, as in mathematics I believe there is complete order. And it is disorder that leads to chaos, to destruction, to anarchy, to the so-called evil.

Naude: Yes.

Krishnamurti: Whereas total order in one's being, order in the mind, order in one's heart, order in one's physical activities - the harmony between the three is goodness.

Naude: The Greeks used to say that perfected man had attuned in total harmony his mind, his heart and his body.

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Krishnamurti: Quite. So we shall say for the moment that goodness is absolute order. And as most human beings live in disorder they contribute to every form of mischief, which ultimately leads to destruction, to brutality, to violence, to various injuries, both psychic and physical. For all that one word may be used: "evil". But I don't like that word "evil" because it is loaded with Christian meaning, with condemnation and prejudice.

COLLAPSE
Reviews:J. Garcia on Amazon.com wrote:

"If you are looking for something to help reflect on yourself and you are not afraid to challenge your way of thinking, then this book is Awesome! Krishnamurti takes you to a realm of the unknown by questioning every way of thinking and believing. If you are ready to discover your true self and willing to go into the unknown, then take a look."


Reflections on The Self

Book Cover: Reflections on The Self
Editions:Paperback
Pages: 234

Described by the Dalai Lama as "one of the greatest thinkers of the age", Jiddu Krishnamurti has influenced millions throughout the 20th century, including Aldous Huxley, Bertrand Russell, Henry Miller and Joseph Campbell. Born of middle-class Brahmin parents in 1895, Krishnamurti was recognized at age fourteen by theosophists Annie Besant and C W Leadbetter as an anticipated world teacher and proclaimed to be the vehicle for the reincarnation of Christ in the West and of Buddha in the East. In 1929 he repudiated these claims and traveled the world, sharing his philosophical insights and establishing schools and foundations.

Because Krishnamurti had no interest in presenting theories, his thought is far removed from academic philosophy in the analytic tradition, yet his insights remain extremely relevant to contemporary philosophical theories and to those interested in understanding themselves and the world. Rather than a theorist, Krishnamurti is regarded as a seer and a teacher. He perceived inherent distorting psychological structures that bring about a division in the individual's consciousness between "the observer" and "the observed".

He believed this division was a potent source of conflict, both within the individual and externally for society as a whole, and offered a way to transcend these harmful structures through a radical transformation in human consciousness. This is a collection of Krishnamurti's writings and lectures about the individual in relation to society. He examines the importance of inquiry, the role of the emotions, the relation between experience and the self, the observer/observed distinction, the nature of freedom, and other philosophical ideas.

Publisher: Open Court
Editor: Raymond Martin
234 pp - Paper

Reviews:toran on Amazon.com wrote:

"One thing I have learnt from reading j.k. is that my searching is in fact escaping.. from no depths and from no hights will we recieve nor discover anything that can make us free. we already are as free as we see ourselves fit to be. escaping and compensating with new points of wiews under the false pretence that you have "matured" over time is wonderfull however, because it keeps you occupied, and tucks away the creeping feeling that you're missing something. and the doubts and the fears, the urge to become and overcome,- it keeps sticking to you, so you start wanting it. that is our balance-act. take it too seriously and you'll feel more dead than alive."

Customer on Amazon.com wrote:

"i have read almost all the books of j.k.His writings helped me to question myself and explore the complexity within myself. i'm still going on reading his books repeatedly to get self-knowledge and deep insight."


Don’t Make a Problem of Anything

Book Cover: Don’t Make a Problem of Anything
Editions:Paperback
Pages: 286

In these discussions, Krishnamurti goes deeply into the question of Human problems, drawing, in the process, a most interesting distinction between the 'professional' and the 'human being'. He asks whether we do not regard ourselves as professionals first and as human beings afterwards. Our education generally makes us professionals in the sense that right from childhood we are trained to solve physical problems. The brain thus gets conditioned to solving problems, and it carries over the same mentality to the psychological realm and so comes to look upon any situation, any emotion as a terrible problem to be solved.

The very nature of the problem-solving mind is its inability to see itself as the problem-creating mind, and so it never comes to the end of problems. In different contexts, through various examples, Krishnamurti returns again and again to his great insight: Don't make a problem of anything in life.

Though Krishnamurti is addressing mostly teachers of the schools he founded, there is something here for everyone: for those interested in a new kind of education, for parents, for the pundits in Vedanta or Buddhism, for psychologists, for those in the ordinary workday world, for religious seekers.

Publisher: KPA
286 Pages

Why are you being Educated?

Book Cover: Why are you being Educated?
Editions:Paperback
Pages: 132

The book consists of six talks that J. Krishnamurti gave at Indian universities and the Indian Institutes of Technology between 1969 and 1984. Krishnamurti's chief concern here is to awaken students to the fact that the pursuit of knowledge does not liberate man from his ignorance of himself. While knowledge is indispensable, it also creates the illusion that we have the intelligence to meet the challenges of life.

This makes us neglect the vast and subtle field of the human psyche. This perspective comes through clearly in these talks, which therefore have significance not just for the young but also for parents, teachers and all those interested in the deeper issues of life.

Publisher: KPA
132 Pages

On Education

Book Cover: On Education
Editions:Paperback
ISBN: 978-8187326007
Pages: 189

"On Education" is one of a series of theme books compiled from the talks, writings, and dialogs of J. Krishnamurti. Some of the other titles in this series are On God, On Relationship, On Fear, On Love and Loneliness, and On Living and Dying.

Publisher:KFA
ISBN: 978-8187326007

189 pp - Paper