Quietly - Looking Within
On August 12, about
five weeks after their arrival at Ojai, he wrote to Lady Emily:
as quoted in page 162,
''....and in my
heart there has been a continual thought of Lord Buddha. I was in such
a state that I had to sit down and meditate....''
by Krishnamurti as quoted in 'The years of
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.
Whatever happens don't let the body shape the nature of the mind - be aware of the body, eat right, be by yourself during the day for some hours - don't slip back and don't be a slave to circumstances. Be tremendous - be awake.
by K to a friend (Nandini Mehta)
...I feel if we
could be serious for an hour and really fathom, delve into ourselves
as much as we can, we should be able to release, not through any action
of will, a certain sense of energy that is awake all the, time which
is beyond thought.
-K, New Delhi 8
Do you want to sit
together quietly for a while ? All right, sirs, sit quietly for a while.
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?...
-Pg 59, K on education
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.
-K, Pg 10, meditations.
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.
-K, Pg 2, meditations
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
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?
-K Q/A Saanen July
...if you are really
awake during the day, watching every thought, every feeling, every movement
of the mind...watching your reactions...being greatly aware of everything
outside you, inwardly, then the whole of the unconsciousness, as well
as the conscious, is opened up...
-K, 13 July 1967
These are the outer
pressures and demands that bring about this neurotic society; there
are also the inner compulsions and urges within ourselves, our innate
violence inherited from the past, which help to make up this neurosis,
this imbalance. So this is the fact - most of us are slightly off balance,
or more, and it's no use blaming anybody. The fact is that one is not
balanced psychologically, mentally, or sexually ; in every way we are
off balance. Now the important thing is to become aware of it, to know
that one is not balanced, not how to become balanced. A neurotic mind
cannot become balanced, but if it has not gone to the extremes of neurosis,
if it has still retained some balance, it can watch itself. One can
then become aware of what one does, of what one says, of what one thinks,
how one moves, how one sits, how one eats, watching all the time but
not correcting. And if you watch in such a manner, without any choice,
then out of that deep watching will come a balanced, sane, human being;
then you will no longer be neurotic. A balanced mind is a mind that
is wise, not made up of judgments and opinions.
-Pg 173 You are the world.
all sensations leave a residue, a disturbance which lead to various
kinds of conflict and other forms of mental activity. The traditional
approach of all religions is to deny this sensation by discipline and
denial. But in what you say there seems to be a heightened receptivity
to these sensations so that you see the sensations without distortion
Krishnamurti: That is the issue. Sensitivity and sensation are two different things. A mind that is a slave to thought, sensation, feeling, is a residual mind. It enjoys the residue, it enjoys thinking about the pleasurable world and each thought leaves a mark, which is the residue. Each thought of a certain pleasure you have had, leaves a mark which makes for insensitivity. It obviously dulls the mind and discipline, control and suppression further dull the mind. I am saying that sensitivity is not sensation, that sensitivity implies no mark, no residue. So what is the question?
Is the denial of which you are speaking different from a denial which
is the restriction of sensation?
How do you see those flowers, see the beauty of them, be completely
sensitive to them so that there is no residue, no memory of them, so
that when you see them again an hour later you see a new flower? That
is not possible if you see as a sensation and that sensation is associated
with flowers, with pleasure. The traditional way is to shut out what
is pleasurable because such associations awaken other forms of pleasure
and so you discipline yourself not to look. To cut association with
a surgical knife is immature. So how is the mind, how are the eyes,
to see the tremendous colour and yet have it leave no mark?
I am not asking
for a method. How does that state come into being? Otherwise we cannot
be sensitive. It is like a photographic plate which receives impressions
and is self-renewing. It is exposed, and yet becomes negative for the
next impression. So all the time, it is self-cleansing of every pleasure.
Is that possible or are we playing with words and not with facts?
The one I deny and
the other I do not know. How is this transition from the denial of the
known to the unknown to come into being?
How does one deny?
Does one deny the known, not in great dramatic incidents but in little
incidents? Do I deny when I am shaving and I remember the lovely time
I had in Switzerland? Does one deny the remembrance of a pleasant time?
Does one grow aware of it, and deny it? That is not dramatic, it is
not spectacular, nobody knows about it. Still this constant denial of
little things, the little wipings, the little rubbings off, not just
one great big wiping away, is essential. It is essential to deny thought
as remembrance, pleasant or unpleasant, every minute of the day as it
arises. One is doing it not for any motive, not in order to enter into
the extraordinary state of the unknown. You live in Rishi Valley and
think of Bombay or Rome. This creates a conflict, makes the mind dull,
a divided thing. Can you see this and wipe it away? Can you keep on
wiping away not because you want to enter into the unknown? You can
never know what the unknown is because the moment you recognise it as
the unknown you are back in the known....
-Pg. 119-121, K
sensation are two different things. Sensations, emotions, feelings always
leave a residue, whose accumulation dulls and distorts. Sensations are
always contradictory and so conflicting; conflict always dulls the mind,
perverts perception. The appreciation of beauty in terms of sensation,
of like and dislike, is not to perceive beauty; sensation can only divide
as beauty and ugliness but division is not beauty. Because sensations,
feelings, breed conflict. To avoid conflict, discipline, control, suppression,
have been advocated but this only builds resistance and so increases
conflict and brings about greater dullness and insensitivity. The saintly
control and suppression is the saintly insensitivity and brutal dullness
which is so highly regarded. To make the mind more stupid and dull ideals
and conclusions are invented and spread around. All forms of sensations,
however refined or gross, cultivate resistance and a withering away.
Sensitivity is the dying to every residue of sensation; to be sensitive,
utterly and intensely, to a flower, to a person, to a smile, is to have
no scar of memory, for every scar destroys sensitivity. To be aware
of every sensation, feeling, thought as it arises, from moment to moment,
choicelessly, is to be free from scars, never allowing a scar to be
formed. Sensations, feelings, thoughts are always partial, fragmentary
and destructive. Sensitivity is a total of body, mind and heart.
-Pg 182-183, K notebook
to the Sayings of K as quoted under ''Sensations - the root of misery
and sorrow and the key to insight and freedom...'' in this study)
the Dhamma teaching of Lord Buddha as quoted under ''Sensations-The
root of misery and sorrow and the key to insight and freedom'' in this
Puna ca pararm,
bhikkhave, bhikkhu abhikkante patikkante
Section on tbe Constant
Thorough Understanding of Impermanence
Again, O monks,
a monk, while going forward or backward, he comprehends this, constantly
aware of impermanence; whether he is looking straight ahead or looking
sideways, he comprehends this, constantly aware of impermanence; while
he is bending or stretching, he comprehends this, constantly aware of
impermanence; whether he is putting on his inner and outer garment or
carrying his bowl, he comprehends this, constantly aware of impermanence;
whether he is eating, drinking, chewing or savouring, he comprehends
this, constantly aware of impermanence; if he attends to the calls of
nature, while passing stool and urine, he comprehends this, constantly
aware of impermanence; whether he is walking, standing, sitting, sleeping
or awake, speaking or in silence, he comprehends this, constantly aware
of impermanence. ('Comprehends this' = aware of the reality 'as it is',
staying with 'what is')
when we walk, we walk with awareness.
Nikaya II PTS 14
or awake, arising or sitting, in every state, we remain aware and attentive
every moment. No action of ours is without awareness.
paccavekkitva kayena kammam katabba.
At the same time,
this awareness should be endowed with panna. This means that,
along with awareness, the experiential understanding of the three characteristics
of panna: that all phenomena, have the inherent characteristic
of impermanence (anicca); that all phenomena which are impermanent
give rise to suffering (dukkha); and that all such phenomena
which are impermanent and give rise to dukkha are without essence
- i.e., they cannot be "I" or mine or ''my soul", (anatta).
- S N Goenka quoting
the teachings of Lord Buddha.
Yato ca bhikkhu
atapi sampajannam na rincati,
- Pathama-akasa-sutta, Samyutta-nikaya, Salayatana-vagga
When a meditator
observing ardently, does not, miss his faculty of thorough understanding
of impermanence, such a wise one fully understands all sensations. And
having completely understood them, he becomes freed from all impurities.
On the breaking up of the body, such a person, being established in
Dhamma and understanding sensations perfectly, attains the indescribable
stage beyond the conditioned world.
Rattidiva matandito Sampajannam na rinchati
- Samyutta Nikaya
Day and night - there should be no break in the continuous thorough understanding of impermanence at the level of sensations.
Sutta'' of the Buddha is ''The Great Discourse on the establishing of
awareness''. In this discourse Buddha has shown the ''one and only way''
(ekayano maggo) for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation...
for the realization of Nibbana : that is to say, the fourfold
establishing of awareness (nibbanassa sacchikiriyaya yadidam cattaro
satipatthana ti). Buddha said that for our observation to be 'Total',
'complete', 'holistic', we have to 'look within' for 'self knowledge'
and this self observation is the study of mind-matter. Our self observation
and looking within is total only when we observe the entire field of
mind-matter (nama-rupa) : that is to say the body, the sensations
on/in the body, the mind and the contents of the mind. This is the fourfold
establishing of awareness. (Kayanupassana, Vedananupassana, Cittanupassana,
Dhammanupassana). Again this is not a mechanical ritual or an intellectual
game but real understanding experientially at the level of sensations.
(This is insight,
this is liberation, this is freedom.)
- for details refer
to Mahasatipatthana Suttam-VRI