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

SEPTEMBER 2008

 

ONE SPACE

 

 TenderCare

 

Questioner: I would like to understand the significance of a space in which the observer and the observed are not.

Krishnamurti: We only know one space, the space as the observer and the observed.  I look at this microphone as an observer, and there is the object which is the microphone.  There is a space between the observer and the observed.  This space is distance, distance being time.  There is the observer and the distance between him and a star, between him and a mountain.  To cover that distance we need time. The faster we go, the quicker we cover that space, but it is still the observer travelling towards the observed.
You are asking what the other space is which is not this.  I can't tell you.  I can only tell you that as long as this space as the observer and the observed exists, the other is not.  The speaker has also stated that there is a way of freeing the observer who is always creating the space as the observer and the observed.  However much you may extend that little space it will always exist.  There is an airplane overhead. You, as an observer, as a listener, are listening to that sound.  You are the listener and the sound is there.  There is a gap.  The gap is a time interval.  It is getting further and further and further away, expanding into the universe. There is always the observer, and there is always the observed: you - your wife; you - your house; you - the river; you - your country; you - the government; me as a communist or a Muslim or whatever it is - and the non-communist, the atheist, the barbarian.  As long as this space exists, as long as there is contradiction, there must be conflict.  To free the mind of the observer, no escape is possible. Don't escape; don't seek.  Face the fact of what you are; don't translate in terms of what you think you are, of what you should be. When you face the fact of what you actually are, without escaping, without naming it, without the word, then the fact becomes totally different.  When you do that with every reaction, with every movement of thought, then there is a freedom from the observer; then there is a totally different dimension of space.
Questioner: How can one experience this different dimension of space?
Krishnamurti: You are standing there; I am sitting here; that's all.  All you know is the space between you, standing there, and me; between you and the mountain; you and your wife; you and a tree; you and your country.  When you know that space, you know you are never in contact with anything.  You are in isolation.  When there is no contact between you, as the observer, and me as the observed, all life becomes contact.  That's all.

Questioner: Do you believe that freedom comes when you are mature?

Krishnamurti: First of all, I don't believe in anything. (Laughter.) Don't laugh, please; what I am saying is very serious. Why should one believe in anything, even in flying saucers?  Why should one believe there is God or no God?  Either there is or there is not.  Why should one believe?  If one has seen that, one acquires an extraordinary mind.  Does freedom come at the right moment? Freedom comes for anyone who is really in earnest to find out.  There is no time, no maturity; it is not a question of ripening through old age, achieving it through righteous action.  Maturity does not come through age, through the body growing.  It comes when one is really serious and has understood that one cannot possibly escape.  When one sees life as it is, when one sees oneself as one is, from there one can move.
-- J. Krishnamurti, Saanen, 10th Public Talk, 31st July, 1966.

 

 

 

 

IN THIS ISSUE

 

IS THE WORD THE THING? 
Educating young children about the power and pitfalls of narrative. 

SANTA SABINA SUMMER DIALOGUE RETREAT
A brief report on the recent retreat.

OAK GROVE SCHOOL NEWS
A new year starts with its promise and challenges.


FIRE ON WATER: A CONCERT BY THE VIRTUOSO CONTEMPORARY MUSICIANS FROM SOUTHERN INDIA

A fusion of classical Indian music and the Western classical tradition, combining vocals, kanjeera and piano.  At Oak Grove School on September 26th.

 

THE VENERABLE SAMDHONG RINPOCHE COMES TO OJAI 
An old friend revisits Ojai and the public is invited to a free event, October 15 & 16 in Ojai. 

 

KFA ANOUNCEMENT: A BRIEF BREAK FROM PROGRAMMING  
The Krishnamurti Foundation pauses some of its programming while Pine Cottage is prepared to host events and visitors.

 

CALENDAR

Upcoming special events.


IS THE WORD THE THING?
For the next series of newsletters, we thought we might focus on the overall subject of education. In this month’s edition we offer comments by a friend very much involved in education and a student involved in the Oak Grove School Day of Reading.

 

“Conventional education makes independent thinking extremely difficult. Conformity leads to mediocrity. To be different from the group or to resist environment is not easy and often risky as long as we worship success…Fortunately, there are a few who are in earnest, who are willing to examine our human problems without the prejudice of the right or of the left; but in that vast majority of us, there is no real spirit of discontent, of revolt.”

                 — J. Krishnamurti,
                     Education and the Significance of Life, Chapter 1.


Geetha Waters studied at Rishi Valley, a Krishnamurti founded school in Andhra Pradesh, India, during the 60s and 70s, and finished her high school education with a scholarship to Brockwood for a year during 1979. She graduated from Macquarie University in Sydney New South Wales, Australia with a BA and a Diploma in Education. Geetha’s husband, Christopher, is the Vice President of the Krishnamurti Foundation in Australia. She serves there as Education Officer. During her recent visit to Ojai, we asked for her observations on education. 

"All mothers are teachers" is a time-worn saying familiar to many of us around the world.  But I wonder how many of us really stop to consider the long term implications of our interactions with children in the nursery. Typically care-givers Girls_DayOfReadinguse their voices to call out, soothe and re-assure children promising rewards or the imminent solution to pressing problems experienced by the child. This works very well in the nursery but it also creates a deeply embedded predisposition to the word as the harbinger of all that is good and glorious in one's world. Unless education embraces this added responsibility of challenging the notion that the 'word is the thing'; few children ever wake up to the danger of taking words for granted. Krishnamurti went to great pains to point out to us as children that the word is not the thing. Every time he visited our schools, he urged us to explore the impact of labels upon our minds. Listening to him one often wondered why it should be such a top priority in the scheme of things.  It was only years later after seeing how surely I had become entangled in the narrative of life that I began to see the great wisdom of raising children to observe the impact of labels upon the mind. 

Discriminating between the word and the thing allows the child to explain away the many misconceptions and deceptions that emerge out of an over heated imagination. It is an intelligent way to raise children to assume full responsibility for their own psychological well being. Implying the 'word is the thing' is probably the biggest compromise we make as parents. But we need no longer compromise their intelligence by inadvertently conditioning them to this misguided outlook upon life. With care and serious inquiry into the nature of words and thoughts children can learn to realize the difference between their ideas and the actualities present in life. Rather than being dismissive of words, they learn to respect them as the powerful tools they are. They learn to use them wisely and with care and are not easily distracted by their own abstractions of life. Instead they explore the nature of thought and images and understand the source of their own discontent and misconceptions. It is this opportunity that set aside Krishnamurti's approach to education as unique and revolutionary for his times. 
                                      — Geeta Waters, August 21, 2008
To visit Oak Grove School's website, click here
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A BRIEF REPORT ON THE SANTA SABINA DIALOGUE RETREAT

SantaSabina
There were 60 people in attendance at the Santa Sabina dialogues, a mix of familiar faces and new ones. As usual, the setting was superb, the weather cooperated perfectly, and the food prepared by the Santa Sabina staff was splendid. One of the best aspects of the Santa Sabina Dialogue Retreat are the times spent sharing that food in conversation with old and new friends. It is an inspiring example of how things could be -- people coming together to inquire, to explore, without a mission or an agenda. Our attendees come from near and far. Some commute from near-by San Francisco, and others come all the way from the east coast. 

The topic of the retreat was “Space and Silence;” the video selection was “Can the Brain Be Absolutely Quiet?” talk #4 from a Brockwood Park video from 1978.  Audio selections included “Without Space There is No Freedom,” (Saanen, 1966 #10); “Where There is Space There is Silence,” (Saanen, 1971 #7); and other excerpts. Krishnamurti challenged us to use all our senses as a whole, not to escape into routines or entertainments, to empty our minds and hearts and just look. Could we not seek any path, not resist, not suppress, not defend? He warned that what we discover is not what we want to discover. One quote from the video is a fair summary of the often asked question, “Is there something far beyond time, space and knowledge?” 

Krishnamurti said, “There is such a thing only when the mind and heart are free from the known and therefore there is vast space. Only in that space can there be peace and freedom, and only in that state can man realize and listen to a dimension which he cannot otherwise find, no matter what he does. He can only come to it naturally, darkly, without the wanting. He may find it, and when he comes upon it, that is enough. It may last a lifetime or a second, but that second is of the vast timeless space.”
                               -- J. Krishnamurti, July 31, 1966, Saanen, talk #10 
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OAK GROVE SCHOOL UPDATES 

It's
the start of a new school year and the campus is buzzing. There are some new changes, particularly the return of Meredy Benson Rice as the new Head of School.  Meredy was formerly the director of the Oak Grove High School, and for MeredyBensonRicethe past two years has been the Assistant Head of School for Academics at Villanova Preparatory School in Ojai. Meredy’s commitment to the kind of education Krishnamurti emphasized is summed up in her statement: “Oak Grove students possess not only the academic foundation for college, if that is their goal, but also a global view and sensitivity toward their environment. They have been encouraged to investigate the nature of their own thinking, develop an awareness of conditioning, prejudice, image-making and opinion, and how those things affect the whole human condition.”  

Some familiar events are making a return appearance at Oak Grove, particularly the popular “Day of Reading.”  This fundraising event made an exciting debut last year. The children pick the items they want to fundraise for, and then enlist the help of family and friends to make that a reality. The event culminates in a Day of Reading at which the students turn up in their pajamas with their favorite book and snuggle up with friends and teachers to celebrate their reading skills. Here’s one participant’s perspective. 
DayOfReading_2
Counting Down to the Great Day - The Day of Reading that is!!
By Sophia Montano, 6th Grade
  

Last year the day of reading was great! We got to roll out of bed in our pajamas and we were ready for school. Not only did we get to read our favorite books, but we got to hear other people read too. We raised enough money to buy a new van that we desperately needed. Everyone had grins on their faces when they saw the new van drive into the parking lot. We were able to retire Bob the Bus, and now everyone doesn’t have to worry about sitting in the bad luck seat. It was also great to go camping without having to change seats all the time!!!

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We always knew that reading could be fun, but Oak Grove children combine the activity with a great celebration, AND raise money for the things that make their school days just a little bit easier or more fun. The Day of Reading is scheduled for November 12th this semester. Here’s the list of items the children have selected for this year’s fundraiser. 

· A real changing area for those quick costume changes when using the outdoor stage, instead of dashing off to the bathrooms and trying to get back onstage in time for the next cue.

· New basketballs and pumps to keep them plump. The old ones are looking worn and a bit on the flat side. They get used for all kinds of games, so we want to make sure there are plenty to go around.

· There’s a wonderful play structure, but it needs an overhaul. With some dollars we can spruce it up and make it like new.

· We have cell phones for camping trips, but need to upgrade to ones with GPS. Our high school students have had years of experience camping and hiking. They often pick the most arduous and remote routes. We’d feel better if we had the latest technology, just in case! 

Desks, wall maps, science equipment, computers and software, sports equipment, art supplies – all these things are integral to each school day and need constant upgrades and replacement. So the Day of Reading will not only be a celebration of one of life’s great pleasures, but the items funded will put the sparkle into the ongoing experience of being an Oak Grove student.

If you’re a family member or friend of an Oak Grove kid, put the date of November 12th on your calendar. We’ll be sharing stories about the day, and photos, in our November e-Newsletter. In October the children will be collecting sponsorships. Or perhaps you live far away but want to help. You can send along a donation to Oak Grove School, and mark it “Day of Reading,” by clicking here.
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A SPECIAL EVENT
Talks with the Venerable Samdhong Rinpoche
October 15 & 16, 2008
Ojai, California
 

SamdhongRinpocheWithK_1984
The Venerable Professor Samdhong Lobsang Tenzin was a long-time friend of Krishnamurti, and continues his connection as a special friend of the Krishnamurti Foundation of America. A scholar, philosopher, and fully ordained Buddhist monk, Rinpoche fled Tibet in 1959. He was then specially appointed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as one of the deputies of the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies for the Tibetan Government in Exile. Later he was unanimously elected as its first Chairman, a position equivalent to prime minister. He has served as principal of several Tibetan schools, including the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in Varanasi, India. Rinpoche will visit Ojai in October, hosted by both the Krotona School of Theosophy and the Krishnamurti Foundation. He will offer a talk at each session, followed by interaction and dialogue with the audience. 


There is no charge for these events, but donations are gratefully accepted.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at Oak Grove School
220 West Lomita Avenue, Ojai
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. “What is the Religious Life?”
7:30 – 9:00 p.m. “Reflections on a Religious Life,” with Professor Padmanabhan Krishna
For information, call Rowan Frederick at 805-646-2726, X. 14, or email
rowan@kfa.org

 

Thursday, October 16, 2008 at the Krotona School of Theosophy
2 Krotona Hill, Ojai
10:00 a.m. – noon  “The Long Road to Now.”
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. “Finding Peace in a Violent World.”
For information, call 805-646-1139 or email
info@krotonaschool.org
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CONCERT AT OAK GROVE SCHOOL
Fire on Water: Contemporary Classical Music from India
Oak Grove School Student Center, 7pm, September 26


The Krishnamurti Foundation of America presents Sikkil Gurucharan, Anil Srinivasan and B. S. Purushotham in a concert of classical Indian Carnatic music, including vocals, kanjeera and piano.  The concert will take place at the Oak Grove School Student Center in Meiners Oaks on Friday Sept. 26th, at 7:00pm.

Fire&Water 

Celebrated young South Indian classical vocalist Sikkil Gurucharan and well-known classical pianist Anil Srinivasan have teamed to produce rich classical South Indian compositions. The duo’s ability to weave their music using distinct classical grammars from both the South Indian and Western classical tradition has created tremendous impact worldwide. The ‘bringing together’ of two classical disciplines has more to it than just the execution of sounds. In understanding both these energies, it is important to rediscover those aspects that combine well while more importantly identifying those that do not. The result is several layers of meaning and sound.

Their emphasis on lyric-rich poetry has resulted in a joint repertoire that ranges from sacred texts from ancient South India to love poetry from the 20th Century. They will be accompanied for this performance by B S Purushotham, celebrated percussionist on the kanjeera (traditional Indian tambourine). 

In their own words,
We celebrate music that represents the coming together of two forces of nature – the wild and the ever-free, with the controlled and tranquil, the western classical piano framing the South Indian classical voice. In tandem, the programme journeys through pieces that celebrate the spirit of collaboration.

 

The Oak Grove School is located at 220 W. Lomita Ave., Ojai, CA 93023. Ticket cost is $15 for adults, $5 for students. For more information, please call (805)646-2726x14 or email rowan@kfa.org.
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ANNOUNCEMENT
I
n January 2009, the Krishnamurti Foundation of America will have been in operation forty years. Starting with only three active Trustee volunteers and growing today to a staff of more than sixty people, supported by a Board of seven active trustees, the work of KFA has matured and established a base of essential activities.

T
he world culture and means of communication have changed considerably over the past 40 years. The Board of Trustees and the Foundation’s administration feel it is time to assess all Foundation activities to see how effective they are and where change is necessary. As of September 2, 2008 the KFA is stepping back and reevaluating its projects, finances, programs, mandated responsibilities, and services to determine how best to proceed into the future.

Another impetus to reevaluate is the passing of Mary Zimbalist, and her and Krishnamurti’s wishes that her home, Pine Cottage, now become a center for study and programs. To undertake this process of reevaluation, we are temporarily suspending the following activities:

· The Annual dialogues in Ojai, California scheduled in October and February.

· The Annual KFA Gathering in Ojai, California scheduled for the first weekend in May.

· The weekly dialogues at the Krishnamurti Library held on Tuesday nights at 7:00pm.

· The monthly dialogues and video showings at Bodhi Tree Bookstore in Los Angeles held the third Saturday of the month.

· During this period, the Krishnamurti Library will be open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.

· The Krishnamurti Retreat is closed for minor renovation and termite work. 

For those of you who are active participants this will mean staying in touch with the Foundation for information on programs that either recommence or are wholly new. We are very excited about the opportunity to refine and renew Foundation activities and hope you will join us when the New Center opens at Pine Cottage. We will be communicating again about these issues after the New Year. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email me.


R.E. Mark Lee
Ph 805-646-2726, X. 18, or email
marklee@kfa.org. Please read on for information on calendared special events.
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CA
LENDAR 

OPEN HOUSE AT PINE COTTAGE

September 20, 2008
1098 McAndrew Road, Ojai, CA
Front Door Pine Cottage
Please join us for afternoon tea at 3:30 p.m.and to see Krishnamurti’s former home, and Mary Zimbalist’s, which will now be the New Center at Pine Cottage. For information, call 805-646-2726, X. 14 

CONCERT
September 26, 2008
Fire on Water: Contemporary Classical Music from India
Oak Grove School Student Center, 7:00 p.m.
The Oak Grove School is located at 220 W. Lomita Ave., Ojai, CA 93023. Ticket cost is $15 for adults, $5 for students. For more information, please call (805)646-2726x14 or email
rowan@kfa.org 

TALKS WITH THE VENERABLE SAMDHONG RINPOCHE
October 15 & 16, 2008 Ojai, California
Rinpoche will visit Ojai in October, hosted by both the Krotona School of Theosophy and the Krishnamurti Foundation. He will offer a talk at each session, followed by interaction and dialogue with the audience. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at Oak Grove School
220 West Lomita Avenue, Ojai
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. “What is the Religious Life?”
7:30 – 9:00 p.m. “Reflections on a Religious Life,” with Professor Padmanabhan Krishna

For information, call Rowan Frederick at 805-646-2726, X. 14, or email
rowan@kfa.org 

Thursday, October 16, 2008 at the Krotona School of Theosophy
2 Krotona Hill, Ojai
10:00 a.m. – noon  “The Long Road to Now.”
2:00 – 4:00 p.m. “Finding Peach in a Violent World.”

For information, call 805-646-1139 or email
info@krotonaschool.org
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For information or questions about the e-Newsletter contact Troy Sumrall, call 805-646-2726, ext. 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