Monthly Archive for March, 2010

Aesthesie at Brockwood

…we will deal with the awakening of the heart, which is not sentimental, romantic or imaginary, but is of goodness which is born out of affection and love; and with the cultivation of the body, the right kind of food, proper exercise, which will bring about deep sensitivity. When the mind, the heart, and the body are in complete harmony, then the flowering comes naturally, easily and in excellence.

Excerpt from Page 2 of The Whole Movement of Life is Learning: J Krishnamurti’s letters to his schools.

The place of the body in Krishnamurti’s teachings is quite important, although not discussed in as much detail as the work on thought.  Nonetheless, as K writes in the aforementioned quote it is essential to work on the cultivation of the body if we seek to bring our mind, heart, and body into harmony and to flower in goodness (or well-being as we call it in our work at the Anthropedia Foundation www.anthropedia.org).

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Informal Evening / Parents’ Weekend

Brockwood is hosting their annual Parents’ Weekend, with over sixty guests in total.
Parents, siblings and even cousins arrived yesterday to spend the weekend with the community and get a taste of life at Brockwood.
Families mingled with other families, staff, and students over a light dinner and the night ended with an “Informal Evening” of musical performances and skits.

Informal Evening / Parents' Weekend

To view the photo gallery, please click here.

Visit to the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts

“Learning is movement from moment to moment.” J. Krishnamurti

Pre-AS and A2 level students headed into London on the train this weekend to visit the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts. After a quick stop at the National Gallery and lunch in Covent Garden, we took the bus across town to the School’s building and studios. We were first indulged in a presentation introducing us to various form, pattern and colour inherent in the natural world and manifested through geometric designs in traditional arts. We were given a tour of two studios where we observed students engaged in the practical skills of the traditional arts. “The School holds that the practice of traditional arts is a contemplative process based upon universal spiritual truths. Art is seen as an integral part of everyday life and not a luxury; neither is it a subjective psychological experiment, nor a whimsical exercise in nostaligia.” Seeing the intricate paintings, designs, pottery, and research of other students enlightened us as well as raised an awareness of traditional designs, the relevance of traditional arts and the work of crafts people.

Visit to Prince's School of Traditional Arts

To view the photo gallery, please click here

Of Colleges and Cohorts (Part 6)

17th March

“A human being confused, disorderly, uncertain, in trying to establish order only creates more disorder.”

At ‘The Lone Wolf’ I get a pancake stack with maple syrup (from down the road) and coffee for breakfast. Today is Wednesday, so it is Amherst!

When Scott Forbes was the principal of Brockwood in the 80’s and early 90’s, he made a point of visiting US colleges and establishing a link with some of them which lead to quite a few Brockwood students coming to the US to study. For most it went extremely well, mainly because of the nature and approach of the colleges themselves. The liberal arts tradition in the US is based on the idea of a college curriculum that develops general intellectual capacities and imparts general knowledge over a four year period, leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Science. It is not regarded as a professional, vocational or technical qualification and in general the colleges allow more freedom to experiment with unusual groupings of subjects, or for the student to develop his or her own programme of study. In the US most colleges do not offer graduate studies and those that do are generally known as universities.

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Of Colleges and Cohorts (Part 5)

14th March

“Order is not static, it is a living movement.”

Farewell to Vinay at Penn Station, overcrowded due to weather related delays and cancellations. But mine is on time and the train has wireless, so I deal with a few emails before my battery runs out and by that time we are out the backdoor of NYC and into the countryside. But it is not until over half the journey to Boston is completed that the line meets the Atlantic Ocean and the scenery becomes striking. This is the Eastern Seaboard and there are numerous rocky shorelines, quiet bays, tidal inlets and rivers, with beautiful timber ‘clap-board’ houses perched at the waters edge, or gathered in hamlets and towns.

As we approach Boston the train stops for signals and does not start. Rajesh calls, he is sitting in his car outside the downtown station with not much time to spare and wonders where I am. We start moving again and pull into Boston a short time later, the rain now beating a tattoo over the city. Rajesh has a flight to London to catch leaving in a little under two hours, so we are no sooner at his home – greeting Lisa and the children – and he is out the door to a taxi idling in the rain.

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Of Colleges and Cohorts (Part 4)

11th March

“…I ask myself, is it possible for me to convey to the student the quality of this intention?”

Poughkeepsie has seen better days. On the banks of the Hudson river, 80 miles due north of NYC, it was once a flourishing port with papermills, hatteries and breweries, one of the latter being owned by Matthew Vassar, founder of Vassar College.  This is where Vinay and I have come to learn more about his place of work; he is an assistant professor in the French Department. The college is a little separate from the town and does not appear to have suffered the same decline. I sit in on the talk given by the Dean of Admissions to a number of fresh-faced high-school students and parents.

The Dean is a fast talker with an outrageous tie and a persuasive manner, he explains to us that this is a small college, with a little over 3,000 students and this year 8,000 applicants have applied for 650 places. If it has a student profile it might best be described as attracting bright students who dislike the conservatism of the Ivy League colleges. One of the features of the college is that is it does not offer any post-graduate studies, so all of the resources are directed towards undergraduates and they are always taught by professors to whom they have ready access. The college is also ‘Needs Blind’ meaning that if the Admissions Department accepts a student they then inform the Finance Department that the student can enter the college regardless of the money the student has and the Finance Department must provide any shortfall. This is relatively rare amongst US colleges now.

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Of Colleges and Cohorts (Part 3)

All quotations are taken from the ‘Whole Movement of Life is Learning’ by Krishnamurti.

9th March

“So I am beginning to perceive that intelligence is totally different from the activity of thought.”

Breakfast at the Ojai Coffee Roasting Co. before starting the drive to LAX. It is still very early with the sky completely clear and the mountain tops touched with pale orange light. I put the raga sonatas for piano of Michael R. on the CD player and they start off quietly, like the early morning commuter traffic, and then both change.

The flight to New York City reminds me that this is a massive country with a lot of very empty space between a number of smaller crowded spaces.  You have a couple of hours on the ground at Kansas City in a new airport that is entirely constructed out of stone, steel and ceramics in the colours of the winter landscape surrounding it: shades of brown and grey predominate. It is remarkably effective in communicating that this is the heartland and they are more connected to the earth here than they are in the place you have just left, or the one to which you are headed.

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Of Colleges and Cohorts (Part 2)

All quotations are taken from the ‘Whole Movement of Life is Learning’ by Krishnamurti.

6th March

“My problem and yours is to cultivate the comprehensive intelligence from which all other things flow.”

It is raining in LA so driving north in the Saturday morning traffic on Ventura 101 requires additional care. On the radio they are talking about the closure of a small bank and the difficulties and heartache that have ensued. They go on to say that so far this year 20 banks have failed in the US. The next item is about the collapse of a large electronics retail chain with the loss of 35,000 jobs. This country is still hurting. The same could be said of the KFA in Ojai, my destination. The crash last year saw the loss of a large slice of their investments and they have had to undergo a big and painful restructuring in order to survive.

None of these changes are apparent in the main street of Ojai, which still appears prosperous and tranquil when I pull in and head for the best coffee shop in town. Who should be sitting at the door as if to usher me in, but Michael Krohnen, former cook to Krishnamurti, author of the ‘Kitchen Chronicles’ and of many a fine meal and satisfying yarn. Michael is the best person to bump into when it comes to catching up on the Ojai news. A few minutes later and we are stopped in the street by Didde,  a Brockwood alumna, whom you have not seen for around 20 years. This town is like coming home but then finding yourself in the wrong country.

Meeting in Ojai on 6th March / Front Row left to right: Frei, Julia, Kate, Kristy, Rowan, Gopal / Standing left to right: Tom, Paul, Jaap, Reuben, Maxi, Clay, Claudia, Freidrich, Willem, Bill
Meeting in Ojai on 6th March / Front Row left to right: Freya, Julia, Kate, Kristy, Rowan, Gopal / Standing left to right: Tom, Paul, Jaap, Reuben, Maxi, Clay, Claudia, Friedrich, Willem, Bill

Continue reading ‘Of Colleges and Cohorts (Part 2)’

Of Colleges and Cohorts – A US Diary by Bill Taylor

Bill Taylor, our School Co-Principal is currently on a trip in the US to firstly visit colleges which may create links that could assist Brockwood students wishing to study there, and second to make contact with Alumni. This is his entry after the first week there.

All quotations are taken from the ‘Whole Movement of Life is Learning’ by Krishnamurti.

3rd March

“Intent is far more important than to achieve a goal, an end.”

The flight to the US crosses Iceland and the edge of the Arctic Circle and the weather is good enough to be able to see the endless frozen landscapes and fractured, desolate ice-flows. On arrival in LA I discover a celebrity is onboard, in keeping with the destination. Jordan is the one in the mink coat, with large sunglasses and the doting entourage and she must be the reason for the 40 or so paparazzi lined up in the arrivals lounge, lenses poised ready to shoot as you wander through the door, but I’m not the target and slip through unhurt, anonymity intact, only to hear the explosion behind me as she gets hit.

In the Hollywood Hills I find the remarkable house of former student, Michael Rogers, dug into a hillside, part bunker, part precipitous lookout tower, with a sheer East Face that greets the Californian sun each day. Inside it is equally surprising, a repository of artifacts from many journeys around the world and mementos of a life spent in the music industry and showbiz. But the wall that really stops you in your tracks is the one that greets you on entering the sitting room: twenty foot high and covered completely with framed photographs of Krishnamurti in his youth and early years. Michael knows a real celebrity when he meets one!

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Role of Trustees

In this blog, I am going to attempt to give you a flavor of what does it mean to be a trustee of the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust (KFT). First, a disclaimer – the views expressed here are solely mine and I am not writing on behalf of the other trustees.

I am not going to attempt to be exhaustive in this first blog, as it represents an experiment. If those of you who read this have comments and questions, I would be happy to engage in an ongoing dialogue about the trusteeship and thereby discuss with you all some of the long-term strategic imperatives being pursued by KFT.

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