J. Krishnamurti, 21st February 1974, 8th Conversation with Dr. Allan W. Anderson, from the the series “A Wholly Different Way of Living“.
The importance of meditation
The Lord is attained without the least effort; he is worshipped by self-realisation alone. … The self is not realised by any other means other than meditation. If one is able to meditate even for thirteen seconds, even if one is ignorant one attains the merit of giving away a cow in charity. If one does so for one hundred and one seconds, the merit is that of performing a sacred rite. If the duration is twelve minutes, the merit is a thousandfold. If the duration is of a day, one dwells in the highest realm. This is the supreme yoga, this is the supreme kriyā.
— Yoga Vāsiṣṭha (tr. by Swami Venkatesananda p. 255)
What is meditation?
Meditation is not a practice; it is not the cultivation of habit; meditation is heightened awareness. Mere practice dulls the mind. heart for habit denotes thoughtlessness and causes insensitivity. Right meditation is a liberative process, a creative self-discover which frees thought-feeling from bondage. In freedom alone is there the Real.
— J. Krishnamurti (source)
Meditation doesn’t imply merely sitting in a posture with eyes closed. Meditation, in essence, means heightened awareness, being intensely aware of the present moment. This heightened awareness comes about only when you are not making any effort. It comes about with the acceptance and awareness of the present moment as it is. If you are in such a state of pure awareness, you are in meditation irrespective of what you are doing. In Yoga Vasishta it is said that, “While doing whatever one is doing — seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing, or talking — one should realise one’s essential nature as pure consciousness. Thus does one attain liberation.”
Of course, if you think that sitting in a posture with eyes closed helps you get to the state of heightened awareness, you can definitely practice that.
How to meditate?
When you sit down to meditate, tell yourself that at this time “I want nothing”. The second is to tell yourself “I do nothing”. The third sutra (principle) is “I am nothing”. Do not think that you have to meditate, just sit and be hollow and empty. You do not have to make any kind of attempt. These three sutras are very important.
— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (source)
It is an illusion to think that we are all seeking God — we are not. We don’t have to search for light. There will be light when there is no darkness and through darkness we cannot find the light. All that we can do is to remove those barriers that create darkness and the removal depends on the intention. If you are removing them in order to see light, then you are not removing anything, you are only substituting the word ‘light’ for darkness. Even to look beyond the darkness is an escape from darkness.
No amount of meditation, discipline, can make the mind still, in the real sense of the word. Only when the breezes stop does the lake become quiet. You cannot make the lake quiet. Our job is not to pursue the unknowable but to understand the confusion, the turmoil, the misery, in ourselves; and then that thing darkly comes into being, in which there is joy.
— J. Krishnamurti, The First and Last Freedom, p. 235, 236
All that I am trying to do is to help you to discern for yourself that there is no salvation outside of yourself, that no Master, no society, can save you; that no church, no ceremony, no prayer can break down your self-created limitations and restrictions; that only through your own strenuous awareness is there the comprehension of the real, the permanent.
— J. Krishnamurti (source)
Self-knowledge or knowledge of truth is not had by resorting to a guru (preceptor) nor by the study of scripture, nor by good works; it is attained only by means of enquiry inspired by the company of wise and holy men. One’s inner light alone is the means, naught else.
— Yoga Vasishta (tr. by Swami Venkatesananda, p. 147)
Be free; hope for nothing from anyone. I am sure if you look back upon your lives you will find that you were always vainly trying to get help from others which never came. All the help that has come was from within yourselves.
— Swami Vivekananda (Complete Works, vol.2, p.324)
Weigh in the balance of your wisdom, the sense-pleasures on one side and the bliss of peace on the other. Whatever you determine to be the truth, seek that.
— Yoga Vasishta (tr. by Sw. Venkatesananda, p. 146)
Questioner: How would you cope with an incurable disease?
Krishnamurti: Most of us do not understand ourselves, our various tensions and conflicts, our hopes and fears, which often produce mental and physical disorders.
Of primary importance is psychological understanding and well being of the mind-heart, which then can deal with the accidents of disease. As a tool wears out so does the body, but those who cling to sensory values find this wasting away to be a sorrow beyond measure; they live for sensation and gratification and the fear of death and pain drives them to delusion. As long as thought-feeling is predominantly sensate there will be no end to delusion and fear; the world in its very nature being a distraction it is essential that the problem of delusion and health be approached patiently and wisely.
If we are organically diseased then let us cope with this condition as with all mechanism, in the best way possible. The psychological delusions, tensions, conflicts, maladjustments produce greater misery than organic disease. We try to eradicate symptoms rather than cause; the cause itself may be sensate value. There is no end to the gratification of the senses which only creates greater and greater turmoil, tension, fear and so on; such a living must culminate in mental and physical disorder or in war. Unless there is a radical change in value there will and must be ever increasing disharmony within, and so, without. This radical change in value must be brought about through understanding the psychological being; if you do not change, your delusions and ill health will inevitably increase; you will become unbalanced, depressed, giving continuous employment to physicians. If there is no deep revolution of values then disease and delusion become a distraction, an escape, giving opportunity for self-indulgence. We can unconditionally accept an incurable disease only when thought-feeling is able to transcend the value of time.
The predominance of sensory values cannot bring sanity and health. There must be a cleansing of the mind-heart which cannot be done by any outer agency. There must be self-awareness, a psychological tension. Tension is not necessarily harmful; there must be right exertion of the mind. It is only when tension is not properly utilized that it leads to psychological difficulties and delusions, to ill health and perversions. Tension of the right kind is essential for understanding; to be alertly and passively aware is to give full attention without the conflict of opposition. Only when this tension is not properly understood does it lead to difficulty; living, relationship, thought demand heightened sensitivity, a right tension. We are conscious of this tension and generally misread or avoid it thus preventing the understanding that it would bring. Tension or sensitivity can heal or destroy.
Life is complex and painful, a series of inner and outer conflicts. There must be an awareness of the mental and emotional attitudes which cause outward and physical disturbances. To understand them you must have time for quiet reflection; to be aware of your psychological states there must be periods of quiet solitude, a withdrawal from the noise and bustle of daily life and its routine This active stillness is essential not only for the well being of the mind-heart but for the discovery of the Real without which physical or moral well being is of little significance.
Unfortunately most of us give little time to serious and quiet self-recollectedness. We allow ourselves to become mechanical, thoughtlessly following routine, accepting and being driven by authority; we become mere cogs in the vast machine of the present culture. We have lost creativeness; there is no inward joy. What we are inwardly that we project outwardly. Mere cultivation of the outer does not bring about inward well being; only through constant self-awareness and self-knowledge can there be inward tranquillity. Without the Real, existence is conflict and pain.
Ojai 7th Public Talk 1945 (source)
Love is not of the self. Self cannot recognize love. You say ‘I love’; but then in the very saying of it, in the very experiencing of it, love is not. But when you know love, self is not. When there is love, self is not.
— J. Krishnamurti, The First and Last Freedom
To identify oneself with a particular race, with a particular country or with certain ideologies yields security, satisfaction and flattering self-importance. This worship of the part, instead of the whole, cultivates antagonism, conflict and confusion.
— J. Krishnamurti, 4 June 1944.
Do not let us be clouded by words, names or labels which only bring confusion as Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Mohammedans, or as Americans, Germans, English, Chinese. Religion is above all names, creeds, doctrines. It is the way of the realization of the supreme, and virtue is not of any country, race or of any specialized religion. We must free ourselves from names and labels, from their confusion and antagonism, and try to seek through highest morality that which is. Thus you will become truly religious and so will your State. Then only will there be peace and light in the world. If each one of us can understand that there can be unity only in right thinking, not in mere superficial, economic devices, when we become religious, transcending craving for personal immortality and power, for worldliness and sensuality, only then shall we realize the deep inward wisdom of peace and love.
— J. Krishnamurti, 28 May 1944.
I am pained by the terrorist attacks in Bombay yesterday. I pray for peace.
When you see the beauty somewhere, when you fall in love with something, the next impulse that comes in you is to possess it, have it; and, when you have it, it looses all its significance.
— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
When you see a sunset, in that moment of beauty there is a spontaneous, creative joy. When you wish to repeat that experience again, there is no joy in the sunset; you try to receive that same creative happiness but it is not there. Your mind, not expecting, not wanting was capable of receiving, but having received it is greedy for more and it is this greed that blinds. Greed is accumulative and burdens the mind-heart; it is ever gathering, storing up. Thought-feeling is corrupted by greed, by the corroding waves of memory. Only through deep awareness is this engulfing process of the past brought to an end. Greed, like pleasure, is ever singularistic, limiting, and how can thought born of greed comprehend that which is immeasurable!
— J. Krishnamurti, Ojai 6th public talk, 18 June 1944
A true yogi may admire a beautiful horse, for instance; but those who feel a wish to possess the animal become entangled in Sankalpa, ego-instigated desires. He is a yogi who can remain in any material environment without being involved in likes and dislikes.
— Paramahansa Yogananda, God Talks with Arjuna, p. 593.
Have you not experienced in moments of great ecstasy the cessation of time; there is no past, no future but an intense awareness, a timeless present? Having experienced such a state greed begins its activities and re-creates time, recalling, reviving, looking to the future for further experience, rearranging the pattern of time to capture the Timeless. Thus greed, the becoming, holds thought-feeling in the bondage of time.
So be aware of the present, however sorrowful or pleasant; then it will unfold itself as a time process and if thought-feeling can follow its subtle and devious ways and transcend them, then that very extensional awareness is the timeless present. Look only to the present, neither to the past nor to the future, for love is the present, the Timeless.
— J. Krishnamurti, Ojai 4th public talk, 1945
So, the present moment is all that matters. Drop all efforts to recreate a beautiful experience that you’ve had in the past, for what you think is past is only your own account of what actually happened. Any attempt to recreate your imagination will be a failure. Drop all efforts to possess something you admire. When the feeling of possession comes in, the feeling of admiration goes away. When you try to possess or recreate the past, you are craving, you are being a beggar. But when you can really live in present moment awareness, you are the master of your reality, you have more than all you’ve ever wanted.
So then, start living in the present moment, be open, free your mind, know that the present moment is the only reality, what you think as past and future are just constructs of your mind, figments of your imagination.
We are responsible for our conduct, not another; not another can transform us. Each one must discover and experience Reality and in that alone is there joy, serenity and highest wisdom.
— J. Krishnamurti, Ojai 4th public talk, 1945.
“You cannot be worldly and yet be pure in the pursuit of Reality. Our difficulty is we want both, the burning appetites and the serenity of Reality. You must abandon the one or the other; you cannot have both. You cannot indulge and yet be alert; to be keenly aware there must be freedom from those influences that are crystallizing, blunting.”
~ J. Krishnamurti, Ojai 1st Public Talk, 1945.
“One who is in search of knowledge should give up the search of pleasure and the one who is in search of pleasure should give up the search of knowledge.”