Trip to “Centre For Learning” in India

Brockwood Park School trip is going great, our art teacher Maggie informs us. All are enjoying themselves and they are currently making their way southwest to the Centre For Learning school. We look forward to hearing of their eastern adventures upon their return.
Here are some photos taken whilst traveling and in Rishi Valley, Andhra Pradesh.

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Terrorism

“Wherever one goes in the world, India, Europe and America, one sees great sorrow, violence, wars, terrorism, killing, drugs – every kind of stupidity. One accepts these as though inevitable and easily puts up with them, or one revolts against them; but revolt is a reaction, as Communism is a reaction to Capitalism or Fascism.

So, without revolting, without going against everything and forming one’s own little group, or without following a guru from India or from elsewhere, without accepting any kind of authority – because in spiritual matters there is no authority – can we investigate these problems that human beings have had, centuries upon centuries, generation after generation, these conflicts, uncertainties, travails, all the things that human beings go through during life only to end in death, without understanding what it is all about?

Psychologically, inwardly, every human being, whoever he is, is the world. The world is represented in oneself and oneself is the world. That is a psychological, absolute fact; though one may have a white skin and another a brown or black skin, be affluent or very poor, yet inwardly, deep down, we are all the same; we suffer loneliness, sorrow, conflict, misery, confusion; we depend on someone to tell us what to do, how to think, what to think; we are slaves to propaganda from the various political parties and religions, and so on. That is what is happening all over the world inwardly; deep down, we are slaves to the propaganda of the experts, of the governments and so on, we are conditioned human beings, whether we live in India, Europe or America.

So, one is actually, psychologically, the world and the world is oneself. Once one realizes this fact, not verbally, not ideologically or as an escape from fact, but actually, deeply feel the fact, realize the fact, that one is not different from the other – however far away he is – inwardly he suffers greatly and is terribly frightened, uncertain, insecure, then one is not concerned with one’s little self, one is concerned with the total human being. One is concerned with the total human being – not with Mr X or Y or somebody else – but with the total psychological entity as a human being, wherever he lives. He is conditioned in a particular way; he may be a Catholic, a Protestant, or he may be conditioned by thousands of years of certain kinds of beliefs, superstitions, ideas and gods, as in India, but below that conditioning, in the depth of his mind, when alone, he is facing the same life of sorrow, pain, grief and anxiety. When one sees this as an actual, irrevocable fact, then one begins to think entirely differently and one begins to observe, not as an individual person having troubles and anxieties, but whole, entire. It gives one an extraordinary strength and vitality; one is not alone, one is the entire history of mankind – if one knows how to read that history which is enshrined in one. This is not rhetoric but a serious factor one is deeply concerned with, a fact which one denies, because one thinks one is so individualistic. One is so concerned with oneself, with one’s petty problems, with one’s little guru, with one’s little beliefs; but when one realizes this extraordinary fact, then it gives one tremendous strength and a great urgency to investigate and transform oneself, because one is mankind. When there is such transformation, one affects the whole consciousness of man because one is the entire humanity; when one changes fundamentally, deeply, when there is this psychological revolution in one, then naturally, as one is part of the total consciousness of the human being, which is the rest of humanity, its consciousness is affected. So, one is concerned to penetrate the layers of one’s consciousness and to investigate whether it is possible to transform the content of that consciousness so that out of that transformation a different dimension of energy and clarity may come into being.”

from The Wholeness of Life
J. Krishnamurti The Wholeness of Life Part II Chapter 7 1st Public Talk Ojai California 2nd April 1977 `Intelligence, in which there is complete security.’

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Cartoon by David Pope

To Really Start a New Year

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“Is there anything that is really afresh, something that you have never seen before? I think this is rather an important question, if you will follow it – to turn all the days of our life into something which you have never seen before. That means a brain that has freed itself from its conditioning, from its characteristics, from its idiosyncrasies and the opinions and the judgements and the convictions. Can we put all that aside and really start a new year?”~ J. Krishnamurti, First Public Question & Answer Meeting at Madras, January 1985

Sketch by Kalpana Balaji, of Vasanta Vihar, the headquarters of the Krishnamurti Foundation India in Chennai (Madras), where the public talks by Krishnamurti took place.

 

Visit to India

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 and co. interviewed Tanushree G Borundia about the school.

Frost at Brockwood

Jack frost has been visiting us here at Brockwood Park and before leaving for winter holidays, student Ara has taken some lovely photographs.

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Brockwood Observer Autumn / Winter, Issue #44

Here is our Autumn/Winter issue of the Observer.

BEHIND THE CULINARY CULTURE
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.

ON CLIMBING TREES
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.

AT EACH JUNCTURE THERE LIES A JEWEL
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.

HOW WE USED THE MONEY
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.

Winter Clean-Up Day

It’s winter clean-up day at Brockwood Park School and staff and students are on a mission.

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“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:

“Awareness”

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.