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)