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THE CHALLENGE OF CHANGE
The e-Newsletter of the Krishnamurti Foundation of America

NOVEMBER 2008

 

AWARENESS

 

Please do listen to this. Most of us think that awareness is a mysterious something to be practiced, and that we should get together day after day to talk about awareness. Now, you don’t come to awareness that way at all. But if you are aware of outward things-the curve of a road, the shape of a tree, the color of another’s dress, the outline of the mountains against the blue sky, the delicacy of a flower, the pain on the face of a passerby, the ignorance, the envy, the jealousy of others, the beauty of the earth-then, seeing all these outward things without condemnation, without choice, you can ride the tide of inner awareness. Then you will become aware of your own reactions, of your own pettiness, of your own jealousies. From the outward awareness you come to the inward, but if you are not aware of the outer, you cannot possibly come to the inner.

- J. Krishnamurti, Collected Works, vol. XV, p50

 

The real crisis is not in these events which are confronting us, like wars and crime and drugs and economic chaos and pollution and all that, but it’s really, what is the thought which is making it all the time? Each person can do something about that thought, because he’s in it. One of the troubles we get into is to say, “it’s they who are thinking all that, and I am thinking right.” But I say that’s a mistake. I think that that thought pervades us. It’s like viruses, as soon as they enter you, they’ll start to multiply unless there’s an immune system that stops them. So the kind of thought that’s going on all around us begins to take over in every one of us, without our even noticing it.

- David Bohm 1988 seminar, Ojai, CA (unpublished)

 

How can I think I have universal order in me? That is a good old trick of the mind which says, disorder is there, but inside you there is perfect order. That is an illusion. It is a concept which thought has put there and it gives me a certain hope, and therefore it is an illusion, it has no reality. What has actual reality is my confusion.

- J. Krishnamurti, The Wholeness of Life, Dialogue 1 Part 4, Shainberg/Bohm Brockwood Park

 

 

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IN THIS ISSUE

 

OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE A PRESENTATION 
Other organizations want to find out about Krishnamurti's work. 

BOARDING SCHOOL - LIFE AT OAK GROVE 
The school offers Krishnamurti's approach to education in a pastoral environment.

 

UPDATE ON THE LAND RECLAMATION PROJECT

Project Manager and Oak Grove School alumnus David Klein talks about his work. 

 

WORLD IN CRISIS
The paradox of an upset in conventional thinking.

 

THE KFA'S EFFORTS TO STAY VIABLE IN CHALLENGING TIMES 
Paring back but holding the course.
 
GIVING FROM YOUR IRA
The law is extended for gifts to charities without income tax penalties.

 


OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE A PRESENTATION

The KFA made a presentation to members of the World President’s Organization recently at the Ojai Valley Inn.


The WPO is a 4,800 member group with chapters worldwide. Members either are or were CEO’s or Presidents of their own companies. The group of twelve we K in the gardenspoke to have been meeting ten times a year for over twenty-five years. Needless to say, they know each other well. The objective of the WPO is to provide a place for company presidents to share business and even personal challenges with others facing similar issues as heads of their own companies. Somewhere they found out about the KFA and invited us to make a presentation.

 

Mark Lee covered Krishnamurti biographically, with an emphasis on his observations on education. John Duncan, who works in the publications department, reviewed Krishnamurti’s statement “Truth is Pathless Land” and spoke briefly about Krishnamurti’s approach to examining conditioning, fragmentation, conflict and violence. After the video Is Belief Necessary?, we had over an hour of intensive discussion regarding Krishnamurti’s work and the topic of belief.

 

This was a different kind of event for us at the KFA.
Normally our programs have revolved around dialogue, or events attended by people familiar with Krishnamurti’s work. This program was an excellent opportunity for the KFA to reach out to an audience mostly unfamiliar with Krishnamurti’s observations.
Stuart

In the afternoon, we arranged for Meredy Benson-Rice, the new Head of Oak Grove School, and two students, Stuart Weincoff and Gigie Hall, to talk about their experiences at the school. The session was remarkable in its depth of exploration. Meredy gave an overview of the school and its mission; then Stuart and Gigie each talked about how an Oak Grove education was different from the usual school environment. Stuart and Gigie handled over an hour of probing questions with genuine and thoughtful responses.

  • How did they anticipate going from a small, easy-going school environment to a Stanford or UCLA with its vast crowds of students?
  • How did they anticipate going from a small, easy-going school environment to a Stanford or UCLA with its vast crowds of students?
  • Did they think a non-competitive environment had some drawbacks?
  • Did they participate in the Presidential campaigns?
  • How did the school handle conflict?
  • What were the problems with a small school?
  • Did they miss not having a football team?
  • What would they change about Oak Grove if they could?
  • What did they like best about Oak Grove?

It was inspiring to watch two seventeen year olds handle a barrage of questions with such grace, humor and intelligence.
These twelve matter-of-fact business executives were enthusiastic in their comments to me afterwards, both about the morning program, and particularly about the Oak Grove students. It was a wonderful on-the-spot opportunity for the KFA and we are grateful to the WPO group for initiating the interaction.

 

If you know of opportunities for us to come and talk to a group about Krishnamurti’s work, please contact me at troy@kfa.org. We will present at no charge locally (within 100 miles of Ojai). More distant locations would require travel expenses and a modest fee, which can vary depending on the nature of the presentation and its length.

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BOARDING AT OAK GROVE SCHOOL (GRADES 8 THROUGH 12)

 Oak Grove School

Do you know a child of boarding school age? 

Now is the time to be looking for school year 2009-2010.  Oak Grove High School in Ojai, California was founded by Krishnamurti in 1975.  It is a pre-K through grade 12 private school offering a small, intimate, inquiry-based day and boarding program that blends college preparatory academics with deep exploration of life’s issues. Teachers support open-minded and spirited discussion, encourage inquiry, and strive to develop in each student a self-reflective capacity that leads to inner honesty, independence and integrity. Graduates go on to college having developed a global perspective, sensitivity toward the environment and human relations, and exceptional critical thinking skills.

 

 

Oak Grove School is set in Ojai, California’s beautiful green valley with its rolling hills and magnificent mountain rim, just minutes away from the ocean or the Sespe Wilderness. To learn more, visit www.oakgroveschool.com or contact Admissions Director Joy Maguire-Parsons at 805-646-8236, Ext. 109, email enroll@oakgroveschool.com

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UPDATE ON THE LAND RECLAMATION PROJECT IN OJAI

 

David on the landIf you caught the fall issue of the KFA’s newsletter, Foundation Focus, you may have read the article about our attempt to reclaim the exhausted land on which our orange orchards have been farmed for decades. 

Oak Grove School graduate David Klein has a wonderful plan for bringing the land back to sustainability.
The plan includes restoring habitat for native animals, insects, birds, and plants, as well as replenishing the soil and making use of permaculture water catchment techniques.  Here at the KFA David is leading us through a stimulating learning process as we begin to understand what is possible in terms of renewal and community benefit.

You can read the article by visiting our web link for Foundation Focus.  Click here.

We asked David to say in his own words what his needs are that donors might be interested in. As usual, his input is both modest in its demand and passionate in its mission. Here’s what he said:

 

David Klein:

The KFA Land Reclamation project needs your help. I have been preparing and nourishing the land, transitioning from oranges to olives, moving closer to a more sustainable and local orchard ecology. We are looking for donors who want to be a part of this exciting new project.

Right now is the perfect time to plant olive trees, which will be the cornerstone of a diversely planted orchard. These trees will eventually provide bountiful olive oil and table olives for the KFA community, including the Oak Grove School kitchen, and for future KFA events and programs. Every time we plant an olive tree we are taking a positive action to nourish and support our local food needs.

Olive trees are known to live up to 500 years, and there are many trees in Europe believed to be thousands of years old. For a donation of $100 dollars we will be able to plant 10 olive trees. A donation of $1,000 will pay for 100 baby olive trees.  And a donation of $10,000 will help us buy a used tractor so I can shape the berms, swales and basins to harness natural rainwater for irrigation.

With your help, I can move forward in creating a healthy local food system that will nourish our community for generations to come.  Thank you.

 


To support David’s work with a donation, click here.

 

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WORLD IN CRISIS

 

We are all meeting new life challenges in these difficult times.
Right now we have a penetrating opportunity to examine our thoughts and question and inquire as Krishnamurti suggested. When we observe the movements of our mind in crisis we have a chance to let go of the past and be truly in the present, even if we’re tempted to label circumstances as unfair. Difficult circumstances can show us how easy it is to create a projection of what should be, rather than relate to what is.

Would you share the insights you have at this critical juncture in our sense of the workings of the world? We’d love to hear from you. Email troy@kfa.org  

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WHAT THE KFA IS DOING TO KEEP VIABLE IN DIFFICULT TIMES

 

In the face of diminished donations, we are having to pare down our staff and our programs. Nevertheless, we are continuing to expand our web presence, with more free materials, social networking, and webcasts; and we are still digitizing Krishnamurti’s work for distribution on the new internet portal, due to launch in the new year. Our publishing arm, Krishnamurti Publications, has also generated new contracts in China, Japan, Africa and Latin America. 


We need help to keep working to fulfill our mission. Krishnamurti

During this time of global crisis, there is more openness to questioning the status quo, to asking if there is a different way to live. So we have a strange paradox. In general people are examining the structures that propped up a whole identity, both personally and as a country. What better time to bring Krishnamurti to their attention! But we can only do that if we have the funds to make it happen.

Your gift in any amount, especially a recurring monthly donation, will help us meet the challenge. We are grateful for whatever support you can give. 
If you have already sent a donation, we thank you. It would not be possible without your interest and generosity.

 

If you a wondering whether you can give this year, consider making a small recurring gift. 


Just $10 a month on your credit card might make it possible for you, and spread over a year it will make a huge difference to the programs of the KFA.

 


To read more or to make a gift, please click here.

 

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 GIVING FROM YOUR IRA 

 

With today’s uncertain economic climate, traditional cash gifts may not be possible. Noncash gifts, however, such as a gift from your IRA, may still allow you to meet your philanthropic goals.

Congress has extended the legislation that allows you to make income tax-free gifts from your IRA. This opportunity is now available until December 31, 2009.  Under the reinstated legislation, individuals 70 ½ years or older can make a gift to qualified charitable organizations by transferring funds directly from their IRA to the charity, avoiding the normal income tax due on a regular required distribution.

If you have questions, please call Development Director Jackie Saunders at 805-646-2726, X. 16; email
giving@kfa.org

 

 

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Questions about the eNewsletter? Contact Troy Sumrall at 805-646-2726, X. 30, or email him at troy@kfa.org 

 

 

Krishnamurti Foundation of America
P.O. Box 1560
Ojai, CA 93024
Phone: 805-646-2726
Email: kfa@kfa.org