Krishnamurti Winter Study-Intensive and Retreat Program 2010
for adults and college students
THE KRISHNAMURTI FOUNDATION OF AMERICA IS EXCITED TO PRESENT THE NEW 9-DAY WINTER STUDY-INTENSIVE & RETREAT PROGRAM AT PINE COTTAGE AND THE PEPPER TREE RETREAT IN OJAI, CALIFORNIA
The Ground of Silence, the Ending of Thought, and the Emergence of Creativity
Saturday, January 9 to Sunday, January 17, 2010
The emphasis of this winter's program will be on exploring that dimension of intelligence that exists beyond the thought-based mind, what Krishnamurti called insight. Also we will examine the relationship between listening and silence, in which there is no interval of separation nor fragmentation, only a direct seeing of the truth. We will also explore what we must do to bring about true creativity in our lives, to free the mind of all incumbrances so that our minds are free to meet life without the shadow of fear or sense of limitation.
This fully-immersive 9-day Program was created for adults and college students interested in exploring in-depth the core essentials of Krishnamurti’s teachings, with an emphasis on awakening a different dimension of intelligence and bringing about true creativity in our lives.
To read more, visit our website. For further details please call Richard Waxberg, director of the KFA Study Intensives, at 805-640-0532 or email: email@example.com.
We would like you to know that we are looking for modest donations to help college students to participate in our program at a reduced rate. That is the key to its ongoing survival - donations from people concerned about exposing college students to Krishnamurti's teachings during a time in their lives when they are open, curious and are beginning to think for themselves.
Oak Grove School and Krishnamurti Education
Krishnamurti and Education
Differences in Form, Function and Significance
by Michael Mendizza
(for a complete version of this article, click here.)
Krishnamurti schools look and feel in many ways similar to other alternative educational environments. It is important therefore to define as simply as possible how Krishnamurti’s views in general and specifically his approach to education differs from other models. Comparison is challenging. Krishnamurti questions a number of basic assumptions that most other approaches do not consider and by doing so creates a different context and therefore different meaning and value to the normal activities and relationships called education. The activities may look the same, going to classes, writing papers - it is this change of context and the way it expresses through relationship that alters the meaning of education.
Nearly every approach to education serves to condition young people in ways that conform to society. Krishnamurti’s approach cultivates a silent state of acute awareness and attention that acts to free the mind from this conditioning and its implied authority.
He is much more concerned with the state of the heart and mind than its content. By optimizing the state of the learner in relationship - academics and meeting all other challenges are optimized as well.
Krishnamurti views intelligence not as content, not thought, memory or an idea, rather as a vital and universal force that expresses spontaneously when the human heart, mind and body is completely safe, coherent, free to observe, to act appropriately and learn. His approach to education awakens this intelligence and its quiet intensity.
He understood that the formation of a social self-image is the catalyst that gives cultural conditioning its immense power. His teachings and approach to education questions the integrality, permanency, value and need of this image along with the self-centered thought, action and conflict it generates.
Not being an image is the real goal of true education, "knowing one’s self" assumes a completely different meaning. Self refers to the moment by moment reactions one experiences spontaneously in the mirror created by relationships with others and the world. What one sees looking in this mirror at a Krishnamurti school is fundamentally different from the same mirror found in other environments.
What distinguishes Krishnamurti’s view of education from all others is the way these and other unique elements combine to create a different context for the normal activities we call parenting and education, and how this different context alters the meaning of each activity and therefore of education, its form, function and significance. The unique context Krishnamurti’s approach to education creates redefines the meaning of education in the same way his teachings in general redefine the meaning of individual and collective human life.
Connecting Science, Literature, and Life
through the Art of Inquiry
By Meredy Benson Rice, Head of Oak Grove School
Oak Grove students in Jenn Jesu-Anter’s chemistry class are involved in a simulation. Having discovered dead fish on the river bank, a fictional town council has to deal with a heated debate: should they shut down the water supply assuming contamination (which would mean canceling the annual Fishing Festival – an event that brings much needed tourist dollars into the community) or not? How can scientists help to assess the truth of the situation? The students will conduct a series of experiments to help resolve the problem but first their teacher takes a moment to discuss with the students “the art of observation”. As students make initial observations of their water samples, they are asked to consider what assumptions they may be carrying. “I see the water is clear, and I may be assuming that clear means pure or uncontaminated,” one student offers. Another says, “Or I might assume that particles in the water make it unsafe to drink even though the water might be fine.” A discussion ensues about how these underlying assumptions may distort the facts. “If you want to be a good scientist,” says Jenn “then you need to be as aware of your thinking on the inside as your observations on the outside.”
Down the hall in their English class, students are exploring the art of observation in a different context. Having just read A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, a novel set in mid-70’s urban India, the students are asked to consider why a certain character seems to be incapable of seeing the injustices that surround him. “His upbringing is determining how he sees the world,” comments one student. “Right,” another says, “he can only see the world through the system he was raised in.” Together with their teacher, Paul Herder, the students continue to discuss how thoughts, opinions, and beliefs can interfere with our ability to perceive directly. “We humans are always categorizing, comparing, predicting,” says Paul, “all highly sophisticated cognitive processes that we take for granted. Unfortunately, these processes are also prone to inaccuracy and can distort how we experience ourselves and the people around us.”
Krishnamurti often expressed that the highest form of intelligence was the ability to observe, just observe, and state the facts, without judging, without opinion. When the curriculum is rich with real opportunities for students and teachers to explore this notion, we begin to connect this to our everyday lives. This kind of awareness can potentially help us in daily relationships and the way we communicate with each other. For example, before emotionally reacting to a situation or a conversation, a person might stop and ask themselves: have I really got all the facts? It’s great to talk with students about this and have them imagine the difference in the world if we were all able to do this.
The art of observation is a subset of the Art of Inquiry, one of six “arts” (the others being communication, academia, engagement, aesthetics, caring and relationship) that provide a framework for learning at Oak Grove School. These arts are embedded in everything we do. They connect across subject areas, grade levels, and extra-curricular activities. They really inform our whole approach to education.
Oak Grove School is a progressive pre-school through college preparatory co-educational day & boarding school in Ojai. For more information, visit www.oakgroveschool.com or call (805) 646-8236.
To see a video of the 2009 High School graduation, click here.
Thank you to our donors!
The Day of Reading fundraiser was a great success. Over $25,000 will go to sustain and enhance the art and music programs and to refurbish the main house. We will post on the web site photos and videos from the day.
Thank you also to the members of the Extraordinary Life Society for their gracious five-year pledge to support Oak Grove School.
Chris Bailey and Carolyn Glasoe Bailey
Louis and Evelyne Blau
Daniel and Victoria Breen
Jacqui Burge and Kai Ewert
Jorge Carrillo and Leslie Lange
Robert M. Dautch and Elizabeth Pretzinger-Dautch
Steven Edelson and Maria Cristina Cuellar
Peter and Melinda Farrelly
Oded Fehr and Rhonda Tollefson-Fehr
Lila and Dines Francese
David and Faith Friedlander
Jodi Grass and Kevin Doss
John and Sharon Graves
Whitney and Martin Hartmann
Trudy Frohlich Huberman
Irmgard B. James
Rachel and Hillel Janai
Ken and Carol Leandro
Mark and Asha Lee
Joy Maguire-Parsons and Rick Thompson
Michael and Tanya Smith-Montano
Michelle Murray and Michael Nelson
Nancy and Nick Oatway
Digvijay and Yukiko Puar
Dennis Rice and Meredy Benson Rice
Matthew and Taralee Schoen
Jay and Wendy Silverstein
Troy Sizemore and Victoria Johansen
Keri and Charlie Starbuck
Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson
Dan and Krista Swanner
Robert and Ann Tisserand
Ross G. and Lenore Venokur
Guy and Leone Webster
James and Laura Whitney
Tony and Nina Winecoff
Krishnamurti and Education [continued]
Krishnamurti’s vision of education:
Each generation more or less conforms to the past generation; therefore no generation is ever a new generation. What we are trying to do here is to create a new generation… who won’t be afraid, who won’t conform.
How to live in this insanity and yet be sane?
To live intelligently, with great love and affection and not be smothered, corrupted by society… So education becomes of the greatest importance. Education, not being merely the acquisition of technical knowledge, but understanding, with sensitivity and intelligence… the whole structure of human existence.
Don’t fool yourself, you have been conditioned by that insane world, shaped by past generations – including your parents.
The moment you follow somebody you are making yourself an idiot [dull] and the one you follow also an idiot - because they have [both] stopped learning.
Quietness is necessary because a mind that is really very quiet, not distorted, understands something which is not distorted, which is really beyond the measure of thought. And that is the origin of everything.
I feel you ought to leave this place highly intelligent, not just pass some exams, but be tremendously intelligent, aware, beautiful persons… Then your life will be sacred.
I want to live freely; I want to have no walls around me… How do you prevent this image from being formed?
You see your reflection in the mirror, exactly what you look like, unless the mirror is crooked or cracked. Can you look at yourself in the same way…without any distortion, without any twists, without any deviation, just to see exactly as you see in a mirror?
First it’s the feeling…When we are really friends, when I love you and you love me – not sex and all that – but really feeling together, then we are safe, aren’t we? You will protect me and I will protect you in the spirit of working together… Can we create that feeling here? Otherwise, what’s the point of all this? Can’t we have a sense of well being, a sense of caring, of affection, love? Surely then, we shall create something totally new.
from conversations with students and staff at Brockwood Park
published in 1975 as Beginnings of Learning
[for the complete article, click here.]
Krishnamurti Winter Study Intensive and Retreat Program 2010 (continued)
Report on the 2009 Summer Study-Intensive
It took place for the first time within the beautiful grounds of the new Krishnamurti Education Center campus. The aim of our program is to provide the ideal atmosphere for participants to enter into an in-depth, penetrating inquiry to find out for themselves what is actually preventing each of us from a transformation of consciousness, and to experience a shift from the linear thought-based mind to a new dimension of intelligence and awareness that Krishnamurti called insight. The emphasis of the work we do together is to help each participant create a ground for self-discovery and self-knowledge; we want to understand Krishnamurti's teachings for ourselves, deeply and clearly.
This summer's program combined college students with adults, which created a wonderful balance and mutual support in our work. Thanks to generous and dedicated donors, we were able to offer several Tuition Discounted Scholarships. Together with 3 co-facilitators, Professor Satish Telegar, Richard Waxberg and Deborah Kerner, the 11 participants entered into 2 dynamically interactive, shared dialogues each day. The theme of this summer's program was The Ending of Time, based on a series of dialogues between Krishnamurti and physicist David Bohm.
The pulse of the 2 dialogues each day created the perfect opportunity for us to keep the undisturbed continuity of our inquiry intact from one dialogue to the next and from one day to the next. This had the effect of building intense energy together, and of establishing trust and a real sense of mutual affection. The result was a merging of each participants personal exploration into the intention of the entire group's shared dynamic inquiry, which propelled us to depths of seeing perhaps impossible to reach on our own.
Here is a quote from one of this summer's participants:
I am truly amazed to have gotten a glimpse into the art of dialoguing in a group. It was a wonderful experience to be part of group exploration and inquiry... to delve deep into fear and illusion without conflict. I saw during the retreat, and more so since returning home, that there is no understanding this teaching intellectually, it must be felt with one's complete being. I admit to needing help... I am not likened to a new seed blowing in the wind, but rather an old tree who has been brought to the nursery after struggling for too long in the wrong environment with the wrong nourishment. I am confident though that even as my old withered limbs are cut away (thought, etc.) new life can come forward. Love and Blessings, River Rose
for more, click here
News from Rishi Valley
Another award for one of the projects of a Krishnamurti school in India - Rishi Valley Institute for Educational Resources (RIVER) is a pioneer of the Multi-Grade Multi-Level Methodology. Striving for excellence in Rural Education. Please visit their site
“SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR” INDIA WINNERS ANNOUNCED
New Delhi, India, 6 November 2009 – The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has selected three social enterprises with significant impact in India as winners of the India Social Entrepreneurs Award for 2009: Rajendra Joshi, Managing Trustee, Saath; Brij Kothari, Director, PlanetRead; and Padmanabha and Rama Rao, Co-Directors, RIVER.
This is the fifth edition of the award, which has been given annually since 2005 to individuals that have founded organizations or companies that do not maximize profits, but benefit society or the environment...
– Padmanabha and Rama Rao (www.rishivalley.org), RIVER, Andhra Pradesh
Teachers in India’s 1.1 million single-teacher schools lack the appropriate methodologies, curricula and support systems to educate their students. RIVER’s education model helps teachers adapt to these challenges. Government curricula are adapted for local context, and divided into smaller modules so learning is aligned with each student’s ability. Local accountability chains are established between teachers, parents and government. RIVER’s success in improving the quality of primary education has led to its replication in over 75,000 schools as part of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, reaching eight million children across India per year.