Brockwood Observer Autumn / Winter, Issue #44

Here is our Autumn/Winter issue of the Observer.

An explosion of smells, numerous kinds of dishes and peculiar culinary techniques are all features of the Brockwood Food Festival and what fabulous looking dishes it results in.

Not many students consider tree climbing an important part of their learning in school, but Noemi does, meditating on her relationship with the tree while giving sensible instructions for the beginner.

It happens once in 5 years, takes a whole year to prepare for, involves a huge amount of work, runs for 5 days and attracts hundreds of people; it is of course an alumni reunion.

Once a year Brockwood runs an Annual Appeal to raise the necessary funds to support the good work that goes on here; this explains how that money was used and the benefits that flowed from it.

…and more…

Click on the image below to view the magazine online or here for its pdf format.

“The Religious Life”

Complete Break

Questioner: What do you mean by freedom from the past?

Krishnamurti: The past is all our accumulated memories. These memories act in the present and create our hopes and fears of the future. These hopes and fears are the psychological future: without them there is no future. So the present is the action of the past, and the mind is this movement of the past. The past acting in the present creates what we call the future. This response of the past is involuntary, it is not summoned or invited, it is upon us before we know it.

Questioner: In that case, how are we going to be free of it?

Krishnamurti: To be aware of this movement without choice––because choice again is more of this same movement of the past––is to observe the past in action: such observation is not a movement of the past. To observe without the image of thought is action in which the past has ended. To observe the tree without thought is action without the past. To observe the action of the past is again action without the past. The state of seeing is more important than what is seen. To be aware of the past in that choiceless observation is not only to act differently, but to be different. In this awareness memory acts without impediment, and efficiently. To be religious is to be so choicelessly aware that there is freedom from the known even whilst the known acts wherever it has to.

Questioner: But the known, the past, still sometimes acts even when it should not; it still acts to cause conflict.

Krishnamurti: To be aware of this is also to be in a state of inaction with regard to the past which is acting. So freedom from the known is truly the religious life. That doesn’t mean to wipe out the known but to enter a different dimension altogether from which the known is observed. This action of seeing choicelessly is the action of love. The religious life is this action, and all living is this action, and the religious mind is this action. So religion, and the mind, and life, and love, are one.

J. Krishnamurti, The Urgency of Change, ‘The Religious Life’

Krishnamurti and Bruce Lee

K and Bruce Lee

When Bruce Lee was bedridden in 1970 with a bad back injury and his martial arts future was in jeopardy he discovered the work of Krishnamurti. He resonated particularly with K’s notion that “you have to be a light to yourself” and with K’s rejection of methods and beliefs. After reading K, Bruce Lee said, “I do not believe in styles anymore” and “where there is a way there lies the limitation.”

Lee’s newfound insights made their way into his acting work as well. In the 1971 television series “Longstreet”, for example, he addressed Mr. Longstreet, who came to him for instruction, as follows: “I don’t believe in systems, Mr. Longstreet, nor in method. And without system, without method, what’s to teach?”

Bruce Lee was inspired by Taoism as well as by Krishnamurti which is evident in what would become his motto: “Using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation.”

This video tells the story of K’s impact on Bruce Lee:


It’s especially nice when students here at Brockwood Park School teach each other and staff how to be more responsible in our daily lives. Student Noemi (with some help from Alan and Silvia) has done just that by making a short video showing us all how to correctly recycle around the school. This was not an assignment or a project for class, but something she wanted to do as she saw it was important. Noemi has named the video ‘Awareness’ and showed to us all at our school meeting.

4-minute music video of Brockwood’s 45th Reunion

In August Brockwood Park School had its 45th anniversary alumni reunion. It was a joyous and momentous occasion and a huge number of alumni traveled from all over the world to be back here. Here is a fun 4-minute summary music video of the event.


Brockwood’s Winter concert, Saturday December 6th

Winter Concert 2014

In Memory of Mary

Last Sunday afternoon a small event was held at Brockwood to mark the life and work of Mary Cadogan, who died on the 26th of September. Mary had worked for Krishnamurti and the Foundation for 56 years. Family, friends, trustees and staff gathered under grey skies to plant an oak tree. Later they met in the West Wing Drawing Room where several people, including Mary’s husband, spoke of her remarkable contribution to the work and her many fine qualities. This was followed by a performance for solo violin of J.S. Bach’s ‘Sarabande’ and ‘Courante’ and then a few minutes of silence.

At the tree planting the following extract was read by former Brockwood staff member and current trustee, Gary Primrose. It is taken from “The Hills and Vales” (1887) by Richard Jeffries.

“To this oak I came daily for a long time; sometimes only for a minute, for just to view the spot was enough. Sometimes in spring there was a sheen of bluebells covering acres; the doves cooed; the blackbirds whistled sweetly; there was a taste of green things in the air. By aid of the tree I felt the sky more. By aid of everthing beautiful, I felt myself.

The subtle influence of Nature penetrates every limb and every vein; fills the soul with a perfect contentment, an absence of all wish except to lie there, half in sunshine, half in shade, for ever in a Nirvana of indifference to all but exquisite delight of simple living. The wind in the tree tops overhead sighs in soft music, and ever and anon a leaf falls with a slight rustle to mark time. Time to us now, no more than it was to the oak; we have no consciousness of it. Only we feel the broad earth and as to the ancient giant, so there passes through us a strength renewing itself of vital energy.

Only by walking hand in hand with Nature, only by a reverent and loving study of the mysteries for ever around us, is it possible to disabuse the mind of the narrow view, the contracted belief that time is now and eternity tomorrow. Eternity is today.”



A day at Shibumi school

Former Brockwood Park School Mature Student Noe Marcial and current staff member Amel Ouhammou visited a school in India, which is inspired by the teachings of Krishnamurti. “Shibumi school is a study and learning centre for both adults and young people of school-going age. For adults it offers a space where, through dialogue, one understands oneself and relationships in the light of Krishnamurti’s teachings. For such interested adults only, Shibumi also offers an educational programme where resource persons and parents cooperate in creating a right learning environment for their children.” While there Noe, Amel and Victor made this video titled ‘A day at Shibumi school’.

Pastoral Care

At Brockwood Park School, pastoral care and student inclusion are hugely important in creating the best environment we can for the students. In the interests of achieving that, each student spends personal one to one time every week with a member of staff. The staff members will have 5 or 6 students whom they tutor in this way for the entire year. Here are one of our students Mario and staff member Alex engaging in their one to one time this afternoon on the south lawn.


Looking for Brockwood photos from the Early Days

Were you in Brockwood in the early days and have some photos you would like to share with us? If so, we would be most grateful. Please send them to


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 Felipe Patterson, Pablo Severin and Nick van Pallandt.