Saturday, 24 December 2011

meditation. A Christmas gift......

"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?

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)

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