Friday, 1 January 2016
Tuesday, 7 April 2015
Friday, 3 April 2015
Monday, 16 June 2014
It is still lurking inside all of us...yes, it is still here.....but if I see it is inside me, I want to completely remove it...how?......perhaps the first (and possibly last) step is to be aware of it, not think it is only in the others...out, OUT with almost an animal rage.....
There is a false sense that we have evolved. We use the mobile phone, and because we can send an instant message to the other end of the world, we think we are advanced, sophisticated.....but we are neanderthals...neanderthals with a mobile phone.....
Saturday, 15 March 2014
A traveler through the mountains came upon an elderly gentleman who was busy planting a tiny almond tree.
Knowing that almond trees take many years to mature, he commented to the man "It seems odd that a man of your advanced age would plant such a slow-growing tree!".
The man replied "I like to live my life based on two principles. One is that I will live forever. The other is that this is my last day."
Friday, 14 February 2014
He is still suffering the extreme fear produce by extreme violence. This suffering will condition him, possibly to be angry and-or violent.
Is it possible an education that favors an awareness of this conditioning, his homo sapiens conditioning, his genetic conditioning, the conditioning produced by the way his ancestors have lived (epigenetic), his cultural, familiar conditioning.....and the conditioning of suffering produced by the infinite conditioning of his fellow humans.
Is it possible to be completely aware of the WHOLE field of conditioning?
And maybe conditioning need not be something negative. Maybe is a necessary barrier that if we jump over would bring another state of mind, more pure, more fit.
I pray that you have it, little boy.......
Sunday, 28 July 2013
I get together with two other people to read and comment a text of J. Krishnamurti, The Flight of the Eagle.
We chose chapter 3 almost at random. There was a part that struck us, in parenthesis, and here it goes:
"But a mind that has limitless space and that quietness, that stillness, has no centre as the `me', the `observer,' is quite different. In that silence there is no `observer' at all; that quality of silence has vast space, it is without border and intensely active; the activity of that silence is entirely different from the activity which is self-centred. If the mind has gone that far (and really it is not that far, it is always there if you know how to look), then........"
Not that far....and always there.....
(the whole chapter can be read in: http://www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en/flight-of-the-eagle/1969-03-23-jiddu-krishnamurti-flight-of-the-eagle-3-meditation)
Friday, 21 June 2013
Sunday, 2 June 2013
While I was sitting, the question arose: what is meditation?. This is a question that cannot be answered when you are NOT meditating, as then it would be just an intellectual answer.
So, something came to my mind: to meditate is to be OPEN and CONSCIOUS. Open to everything and conscious of that everything. Not only to what is "happening" (breathing, thoughts, etc). Happenings have a beginning and an end, they are related to "actions taking place". But it seems there is something besides "happenings".....
Saturday, 18 May 2013
The recognition from those unknown people would produce a sense of security and that was linked to a sense of good feeling.......all unconscious, and working perfectly...
[ The recognition from those unknown people would mean a signal to our brain of acceptance in the group, a neuronal mechanism from the time when we were "group animals", and perfectly kept till today. The acceptance would mean one would be accepted and secure in that group and to promote such behavior the brain was wired to secrete some kind of "pleasure substance", that would reinforce and validate the whole behavioral-neuronal axis]
There is nothing good or bad about it. It is like that in all of us, these long existing reflexes working unconsciously. But perhaps we should be aware of it, specially of the last part, the part that makes us feel good physically.....
.....and of the possible addiction to this good feeling.....
.....and to the rationalization that we do the action (in this case, reading the poem)...for the good of mankind.......
......and one question: is the "awareness" of such mechanism, at the same level as the mechanism itself?
Tuesday, 7 May 2013
I told him that that was not so important. Then, as an experiment, I told him that things have the importance that we give to them.....that everything is how we look at them......
And then I realized I am not doing it myself........I do not realize this simple fact in my daily life....(!!!!)
Friday, 15 February 2013
Sunday, 27 January 2013
But alcoholism is the result of complete empty lives....and wanting to fill this vacuum of a nihilistic society with women, alcohol, jobs
I do not want my twins to have this "vacuum" in their lives. Is there an education that could prevent that?
And it comes to my mind that yes, there is a role in education, in not giving unimportant values as supreme values, in having a reference in the sense of appreciating beauty, silence, in appreciating a nice person, in being sensitive........
This violence from both sides, extreme, refined, cruel.....both sides wanting "the good" (!!!)....
And these little men, at the top of both organizations, thinking they are important, taking decisions way beyond their true dimension, playing with their electronic toys......
I came out feeling we are very basic in our evolutionary path.......
Saturday, 26 January 2013
Thursday, 10 January 2013
The international team studied the young star HD 142527, over 450 light-years from Earth, which is surrounded by a disc of gas and cosmic dust — the remains of the cloud from which the star formed. The dusty disc is divided into an inner and an outer part by a gap, which is thought to have been carved by newly forming gas giant planets clearing out their orbits as they circle the star. The inner disc reaches from the star out to the equivalent of the orbit of Saturn in the Solar System, while the outer disc begins about 14 times further out. The outer disc does not reach all the way round the star; instead, it has a horseshoe shape, probably caused by the gravitational effect of the orbiting giant planets.
According to theory, the giant planets grow by capturing gas from the outer disc, in streams that form bridges across the gap in the disc.
So many amazing things, we cannot even imagine it all.
However, this is what can be seen, has substance, body......but maybe the most important is the "intangible", what has no substance, what is not and at the same time is......
(dictionary: intangible: Unable to be touched or grasped; not having physical presence.)
( This artist’s impression shows the disc of gas and cosmic dust around the young star HD 142527. From http://www.almaobservatory.org)
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
And one day, two months ago, I realize it was hurting me, not only mentally, but also physically. I realized it was going to make me sick. I felt it with certainty. I tried to put it aside, but very often I could not. I thought I was not strong enough to remove it, to let it go.
But I have. The problem is still there. In the hands of lawyers. But it does not hurt me anymore.
And I have learnt something: everything can either make us weak (hurt us) or make us stronger.......
(picture from: http://www.thehighlanderspoems.com)
Thursday, 6 December 2012
Today Oscar Niemeyer died. He was 104 years old.
One has to listen to somebody that old.
I listen to an interview done when he was 100.
"Life is one minute, one minute that goes quickly.
The important thing is to be fraternal, simple
to relate well to other people
to not find fault in others
to think that everybody has qualities"
Sunday, 18 November 2012
Sunday, 4 November 2012
And I am walking on the beach, and something comes to my mind:
I am not the thoughts I have,
I am the observer of those thoughts.
I am not the one to whom things are happening,
I am the observer of things happening.....
The less concrete I am,
the more integrated.....
It is likely that I have read something of this sort before, I do not know, but it does not matter.....
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
The attack sparked outrage among many Pakistanis, who gathered in several cities for protests and held prayers for the girl's recovery.
The militants said they targeted her because she "promoted secularism"."
Yes, as humans we are prejudiced, very conditioned, fearful, violent, separated by our conditioning concepts and traditions.....but look at these faces, these eyes, these little hands, this purity......There is hope for all of us, humans....
Thursday, 13 September 2012
Right at the heart of Africa........ where we all come from....
This new species has been called Cercopithecus lomamiensis, or "lesula", its common local name.
Looking at his picture, one cannot avoid seeing some kind of "compassion" in his face....or at least some kind of natural "goodness".
(Citation: Hart JA, Detwiler KM, Gilbert CC, Burrell AS, Fuller JL, et al. (2012) Lesula: A New Species of Cercopithecus Monkey Endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Implications for Conservation of Congo’s Central Basin. PLoS ONE 7(9): e44271. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044271)
Sunday, 26 August 2012
THE WORM'S WAKING
This is how a human can change:
there's a worm addicted to eating grape leaves.
Suddenly, he wakes up,
call it grace, whatever, something wakes him,
and he's no longer a worm.
He's the entire vineyard,
and the orchard too, the fruit, the trunks,
a growing wisdom and joy
that doesn't need to devour.
It says it all......
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
"Man has always sought something more than the daily living, with its pain, pleasure and sorrow; he has always wanted to find something more permanent. And in his search for this unnameable thing, he has built temples, churches, mosques. Extraordinary things have been done in the name of religion. There have been wars for which religions are responsible; people have been tortured, burned, destroyed; for belief was more important than truth, dogma more vital than the direct perception. When belief becomes all-important, then you are willing to sacrifice everything for that; whether that belief is real or has no validity does not matter as long as it gives comfort, security, a sense of permanency."
(J. Krishnamurti, 1970 in a public talk)
This explains a lot of present conflicts and wars.....I wonder if a deep understanding (not just intellectual) is possible about this issue, this way of working of our brains......
Saturday, 9 June 2012
"I’m finding it almost impossible to write about the economic news right now. It’s not just the scale of the disaster; it’s the way we were led into disaster by Very Serious People who were quite sure that their prejudices somehow constituted wisdom."
(Paul Krugman, economist)
Sunday, 3 June 2012
Today, a group of people organized a one-day Vipassana meditation course, and invited me. It was organized in one of these people's house in a small village. The house was humble but nice, without non-essential things (like luxuries). Nobody knew other people's lifes.
On several occassions the voice of S.N. Goenka would say "observe without craving and aversion".
And because I am working lately on brain patterns, I realized this is one of the most rooted pattern in our brain: craving and aversion.
Is it possible to be aware of such a pattern without falling into the pattern itself of craving and aversion?......
Friday, 1 June 2012
Yesterday and today I have been listening to dialogue number 9 (actually chapter 10 in the book).
The beginning is so beautiful, I thought to share it here with whoever....
"I would like to talk over with you....... Man's brain has been evolving through millennia upon millennia, yet it has come to this divisive, destructive point, which we all know. So I am wondering whether the human brain - not a particular brain, but the human brain - is deteriorating? Whether it is just in a slow and steady decline? Or whether it is possible in one's lifetime to bring about in the brain a total renewal from all this; a renewal that will be pristine, original, unpolluted? I have been wondering about this, and I would like to discuss it.
I think the human brain is not a particular brain; it doesn't belong to me, or to anyone else. It is the human brain which has evolved over millions of years. And in that evolution it has gathered tremendous experience, knowledge and all the cruelties, vulgarities and brutalities of selfishness. Is there a possibility of its sloughing off all this, and becoming something else? Because apparently it is functioning in patterns. Whether it is a religious pattern, a scientific, a business, or a family pattern, it is always operating, functioning in small narrow circles. Those circles are clashing against each other, and there seems to be no end to this. So what will break down this forming of patterns, so that there is no falling into other new patterns, but breaking down the whole system of patterns, whether pleasant or unpleasant? After all, the brain has had many shocks, challenges and pressures upon it, and if it is not capable of renewing or rejuvenating itself, there is very little hope. You follow?"
Saturday, 26 May 2012
Saturday, 5 May 2012
"We have created a Star Wars civilization but we have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and godlike technology."
And this sentence inspires me to think that "not the content of our thought process, but the way our thought operates is paleolithic or pre-paleolithic" and we are not aware of it.
Saturday, 28 April 2012
One of the people on trial was Hermann Göring, who was a was a German politician, military leader, and a leading member of the Nazi Party.
Göring's last days were spent with Captain Gustave Gilbert, a German-speaking American intelligence officer and psychologist, who had access to all the prisoners held in the Nuremberg jail.
Göring spoke about war and extreme nationalism to Captain Gilbert, as recorded in Gilbert's Nuremberg Diary:
"Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. ...voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country".
This means that a conditioned mind is manipulable*. That a mind that is not aware that is conditioned can easily be manipulated using the reflexes of the conditioning.
In this case he mentions: "being attacked"....."lack of patriotism"....."danger". It goes all in the same direction: our mind is conditioned to be safe, to defend against danger, and to do it through the sense of group (patriotism).
And the lack of awareness of being conditioned, of being conditionable, makes us susceptible of being manipulated.....the whole World War II maybe was a just a big manifestation of conditioning and manipulation........is violence just a consequence of conditioning/manipulation?
Is this obsolete?
*According to the diccionary: "capable of or susceptible to being manipulated"
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
A recent study shows evidence that 2-year-olds both humans and chimpanzees are more likely to copy actions when they see them repeated by three of their peers than if they see the same action done by one peer three times.
The research team built a box with three holes, each a different color. The box delivered a treat (a sweet) only when a ball was dropped into one of those three, colored holes. Toddlers, and chimpanzees, unfamiliar with the box were then allowed to watch as four of their same-species peers interacted with the box. The majority of those peer demonstrators had been trained to favor one color over the others.
When the 2-year-old humans and chimpanzee observers got their turn, they tended to favor the hole favored by their friends.
The researchers suggest that majority rule probably does have its advantages, evolutionarily speaking. "The tendency to acquire the behaviors of the majority has been posited as key to the transmission of relatively safe, reliable, and productive behavioral strategies,".
(Published in "Current Biology" 22, 1–5, April 24, 2012 by Daniel B.M. Haun, Yvonne Rekers, and Michael Tomasello)
This study gives some evolutionary support to the current observation of how difficult is to think and act outside the accepted behavior and mentality of society, and gives evolutionary support for the solidity, and in some instances advantage, of human conditioning........
Saturday, 21 April 2012
It is as if the incident has not been registered in his mind.
And that makes me think that in order to be hurt, you have to keep a memory of it.....
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
So far I have tried to be calm in these occassions. It would be contradictory to use violence to teach them they should not be violent. I have tried that they see the suffering and pain caused in the other brother by their actions. Or I have asked them to look into my eyes while telling them I do not like they hurt each other.
But this behavior has continued happening, although occassionally.
The other morning, maybe because its repetition (there is always a "repetition" factor in our irritations), maybe because I had not slept enough (it seems it is our responsability to be well to relate well), one of those actions brought anger in me. I went for one of the twins, I grabbed him quite firmly and I raised my voiced to say "No". He was scared. I was using violence to teach non-violence, a contradiction (although frequently used with us). He closed his eyes, bent his head back, and I saw a expression of pain in his small mouth. He was hurt. By me.
At the beginning I thought I was right, but later a feeling of pain and sadness invaded me.
He had taught me two lessons:
- violence only engenders pain, in both sides. The incident produced deep pain in me and in him.
- It is quite easy to hurt a child.
- Violence can never teach non-violence.
He had been a master, taught me some good lessons. I am sorry. I have learned something......how easy is to be angry and how difficult to be compassionate......
Sunday, 15 April 2012
"Survival International" is the only organization working for tribal peoples’ rights worldwide (www.survivalinternational.org).
They have published a book called: "Tribal Peoples,for tomorrow's world".
In one of its chapters you can read:
"Our wisdom is not useless, it is the wisdom of the Earth, and it is of vital importance for the Earth to continue existing. The desire for possessions is destructive: nothing that could be sold or bought has a real significance. They can blow with the wind....."
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
Many Billions of Rocky Planets in the Habitable Zones around Red Dwarfs in the Milky Way
A new result from ESO’s HARPS planet finder shows that rocky planets not much bigger than Earth are very common in the habitable zones around faint red stars. The international team estimates that there are tens of billions of such planets in the Milky Way galaxy alone, and probably about one hundred in the Sun’s immediate neighbourhood. This is the first direct measurement of the frequency of super-Earths around red dwarfs, which account for 80% of the stars in the Milky Way (the most common kind of star in the Milky Way . These stars are faint and cool compared to the Sun, but very common and long-lived, and therefore account for 80% of all the stars in the Milky Way).
As there are many red dwarf stars close to the Sun the new estimate means that there are probably about one hundred super-Earth planets in the habitable zones around stars in the neighbourhood of the Sun at distances less than about 30 light-years.
"The habitable zone around a red dwarf, where the temperature is suitable for liquid water to exist on the surface, is much closer to the star than the Earth is to the Sun,"
(Data from the European Southern Observatory. http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1214/#5)
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
The more I look at myself and look at people around, I realize that to acquire knowledge is relatively simple: to experience, study, read, practice, effort, will.....quite straightforward. But there are other more subtle qualities that seemed to me higher in nature, like to be open minded.
Is it possible an education that is conducive to be open minded?. To be open minded, it seems to me, first of all one has to question one's own conditioning: social, educational, family....even genetic conditioning.
But I am sure there are other things, like for instance: a mind that is open cannot rely in one's own opinions to have security...
And what else?
(picture by iqoncept)
Friday, 16 March 2012
Researchers from ETH Zurich have been exploring the question of whether prejudices might be rational under certain conditions.
Using game theory, they created various scenarios and played them fifteen million times.
The researchers have now reached a conclusion: those who are prejudiced are soon at a disadvantage, as they learn nothing new and miss many opportunities.
(Thomas Chadefaux, Dirk Helbing. The Rationality of Prejudices. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (2): e30902)
Sunday, 11 March 2012
Then I read more about Epictetus.
Philosophy, Epictetus taught, is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus, all external events are determined by fate, and are thus beyond our control, but we can accept whatever happens calmly and dispassionately. Individuals, however, are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline.
Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power. we are a part of the universal city that is the universe...." (Taken from Wikipedia).
It is quite a beautiful story. A human being that was born a slave, but became free inwardly and then outwardly......
Thursday, 9 February 2012
Tuesday, 7 February 2012
Bronnie Ware, an australian nurse who worked for years with people sent home to dye realized that people with little time to live had mainly 5 regrets about their lives. She has written about it in a blog and lately a book.
The following text is taken from her blog:
REGRETS OF THE DYING
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard. This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence. By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings. Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result. We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying. It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Tuesday, 31 January 2012
It has taken me a long time, but now I saw clearly that whenever I make an act of violence (either a violent thought or to speak with violence, or a violent act), I do not feel well afterwards.......
(picture above: "lightning over Quebec" from http://theweatherclub.org.uk)
(picture below: Lightening activity over the Earth today at 14:40 UT.
Lightning stroke positions are shown as coloured dots which "cool down" from blue for the most recent (occurring within the last 10 min) through green and yellow to red for the oldest (30-40 minutes earlier).
Red asterisks in white circles are active WWLL lightning sensor locations. The terminator (day-night boundary) is shown, with the daylit section of the globe in grey. Click on picture to amplify.
Sunday, 1 January 2012
Prejudice comes from a basic need, new research suggests:
Where does prejudice come from? Not from ideology, say the authors of a new paper. Instead, prejudice stems from a deeper psychological need, associated with a particular way of thinking. People who aren't comfortable with ambiguity and want to make quick and firm decisions are also prone to making generalizations about others.
In a new article published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Arne Roets and Alain Van Hiel of Ghent University in Belgium look at what psychological scientists have learned about prejudice since the 1954 publication of an influential book, The Nature of Prejudice by Gordon Allport.
People who are prejudiced feel a much stronger need to make quick and firm judgments and decisions in order to reduce ambiguity. "Of course, everyone has to make decisions, but some people really hate uncertainty and therefore quickly rely on the most obvious information, often the first information they come across, to reduce it" Roets says. That's also why they favor authorities and social norms which make it easier to make decisions. Then, once they've made up their mind, they stick to it. "If you provide information that contradicts their decision, they just ignore it."
Roets argues that this way of thinking is linked to people's need to categorize the world, often unconsciously. "When we meet someone, we immediately see that person as being male or female, young or old, black or white, without really being aware of this categorization," he says. "Social categories are useful to reduce complexity, but the problem is that we also assign some properties to these categories. This can lead to prejudice and stereotyping."
People who need to make quick judgments will judge a new person based on what they already believe about their category. "The easiest and fastest way to judge is to say, for example, ok, this person is a black man. If you just use your ideas about what black men are generally like, that's an easy way to have an opinion of that person," Roets says. "You say, 'he's part of this group, so he's probably like this.'"
It's virtually impossible to change the basic way that people think. Now for the good news: It's possible to actually also use this way of thinking to reduce people's prejudice. If people who need quick answers meet people from other groups and like them personally, they are likely to use this positive experience to form their views of the whole group. "This is very much about salient positive information taking away the aversion, anxiety, and fear of the unknown," Roets says.
Roets's conclusions suggest that the fundamental source of prejudice is not ideology, but rather a basic human need and way of thinking. "It really makes us think differently about how people become prejudiced or why people are prejudiced," Roets says. "To reduce prejudice, we first have to acknowledge that it often satisfies some basic need to have quick answers and stable knowledge people rely on to make sense of the world."
Text taken fully from ScienceDaily, Dec. 21, 2011.
Original Journal Reference:Arne Roets and Alain Van Hiel. Allport’s Prejudiced Personality Today: Need for Closure as the Motivated Cognitive Basis of Prejudice. Current Directions in Psychological Science, (in press)
Tuesday, 27 December 2011
and ask yourself if our consciousness, as it presently is, is not obsolete.
It has brought us till here with the miriad reflexes, one of them, maybe the primordial one, the search for security, even if by brutal means.
But it is coming to a crisis.
Evolution will no longer be darwinian, but will be in consciousness
Saturday, 24 December 2011
"In addition to the talks, what perhaps had an even greater impact on me was the opportunity each day to spend time with him alone. This was possible because so few people were really interested. I got to take walks with him. At the time, there were a lot of woods around the campus. I was very drawn to this word “meditation,” though I didn’t really know what it meant. I asked Krishnamurti many times to teach me meditation, but he simply smiled and remained silent.
The first time we took a walk, he said, “Would you mind if we just walked in silence, if we don’t speak?” I thought that was a strange request. I was certainly accustomed to taking walks with others, but it always included talking as well.
K and I would walk for half an hour, 45 minutes, an hour – around the campus, in the woods. After the initial awkwardness, I started to actually like it. He was comfortable walking in silence, so I became comfortable as well. It was new to me.
I had walked silently by myself and with close friends before, for example, along the Atlantic ocean and lake Michigan. However, I barely knew this man.
Q: What was that experience like? Were you walking along paths? Was he looking up at leaves, walking up to trees? Was he looking up at the sky? Did he stop?
A: He’d pause sometimes. Sometimes the birds would chirp and he’d stop and say, “Let’s listen for a few minutes.” So we did. Or he would stop and smile. But he didn’t make it a project, like, “Let’s stop now, I’m about to teach you meditation the natural way” – he didn’t do that. Mostly we just walked and enjoyed moving in silence. Sometimes it was in thickly wooded areas, sometimes it was a path. He seemed very happy. He saw that I enjoyed it and kept returning, so we took such walks every day.
About a day or two before it was time for him to leave Brandeis, on one of the walks, he stopped and said, “Pick out anything. A plant, a leaf, a flower, part of a tree. See if you can look at it for a few minutes without labeling it, naming it or thinking about it. Simply, with innocence, as if for the first time, just take a look at it. Let’s do that for a while.” He didn’t say how long.
I’m not sure what I picked. I think it was a leaf or a few leaves. At first, my mind got very busy and didn’t like doing this, didn’t want to simply sustain attention. There was clearly resistance to just looking. I would sneak a peek at Krishnamurti, looking for some sign that we had done this long enough and could start walking again. After a while, though, my mind settled down a bit. I was just watching when, suddenly, the leaf became interesting. I was incredibly moved emotionally, which was totally unanticipated. I started to really see, in a new and vivid way, ordinary aspects of the leaf. Its shape, color, veins, and stem really held my interest. It was all so alive. Green was now really green! There was a whole little world going.
Then he said, “Well, how was it?” So I said, “It was fascinating. It was just beautiful.” And I went on and on about it. I told him how moved I was and how much I saw and how much I learned, that I never was so interested in detail – I had just kind of glossed over nature. Here I got in really close and it was fascinating and moving and it held my interest.
He said, “OK. Now, when you want to meditate, just sit down and do the same thing with your mind.” And that was it. [laughs] Period. And we resumed the walk."
(From: Meeting Krishnamurti. Interview with Larry Rosenberg. By M. Drexler)
Monday, 19 December 2011
My now friend M.F. showed us his beautiful and inspiring film "Tropico da Saudade: Levi-Strauss Journey to Amazonia", where he shows the visits of anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss to the Nambikwara indians in the Amazon. M.F. has also lived for years with this amazonian tribe and he can tell many stories of their wisdom and amazing life close to Nature.
He ends his film with a quote from Levi-Strauss' book "Tristes Tropiques":
"Other cultures are perhaps no better than our own; even if we are inclined to believe they are, we have no method at our disposal for proving it. However, by getting to know them better, we are enabled to detach ourselves from our own culture. Not that our own culture is peculiarly or absolutely bad. But it is the only one from which we must free ourselves. We can only be free through others."
Such a powerful sentence. And after reading it on the screen, I thought one could exchange the word "culture" for the word "conditioning", and then the sentence would be something like:
"Other conditionings are perhaps no better (or worse) than our own; even if we are inclined to believe they are, we have no method at our disposal for proving it. However, by getting to know them better, we can detach ourselves from our own conditioning. Not that our own conditioning is peculiarly or absolutely bad. But it is the only one from which we must free ourselves. We can only be free through others."
(pictures from http://www.indiegogo.com/Return-of-the-Captured-Spirits)