“Have you ever wondered why it is that as people grow older they seem to lose all joy in life? We struggle to become somebody, to achieve and maintain a certain position; we have children and other responsibilities, and we have to earn money. All these external things soon weigh us down, and thereby we lose the joy of living. Look at the older faces around you, see how sad most of them are, how careworn and rather ill, how withdrawn, aloof and sometimes neurotic, without a smile. Why is it that as we grow older we seem to lose that joyous intimation of something beyond, something of greater significance? Why do so many of us, as we grow into so-called maturity, become dull, insensitive to joy, to beauty, to the open skies, and the marvelous earth?” -J. Krishnamurti
Can we observe our struggling without trying to alter it, without trying to force upon the mind a certain state which we call peace? Can we listen to find out, and not merely to have confirmation, to be encouraged in our own thinking? Can we think together?
Central to this endeavor is listening. In listening there is no resistance; there is no separation. Thus, listening lays the groundwork for a new relationship to others. By meeting with each other in dialogue for nearly a week, we foster this quality of listening, which opens the possibility of working together without resistance.
During the program, we will use dialogue to engage with fundamental questions. Dialogue is not a space for debate or presenting a particular point of view. To position oneself for debate, or to hold a specific point of view, is to create conflict. Instead, dialogue creates space. In dialogue, everything is subject to further examination without any authority. Dialogue can bring about insight into the nature of the thought process itself. We may become aware of our own conditioning, cultivated by our individual backgrounds.
We do not propose to merely understand and absorb what Krishnamurti says about any topic – that is, in order to better follow or apply his teachings to our lives. Rather we would encourage a far more challenging and active participation: listening with care, being honest, thinking for ourselves, and in doing so, be willing to reveal our assumptions, our fixed ideas and perhaps who we actually are.
The Krishnamurti Foundation of America is excited to offer its first dialogue program for Chinese speakers. We have noticed a quickly growing interest in Krishnamurti among Chinese people, and thus decided to offer this program to meet that interest, and create an opportunity for Chinese people to come to Krishnamurti's former home and explore the teachings together. All discussions will be held in Chinese, and all Krishnamurti videos will be shown with Chinese subtitles. This program is open to anyone, whether you have been reading Krishnamurti for a long time, or are relatively new.
The program offers an intimate setting in which to explore the basic questions of life. The total group size will be around 10-16 people. The intent is to have a group small enough to allow for silence within the discussion, which may allow for deep looking.
The Chinese Krishnamurti Committee (KMS), based in Beijing, will help to organize this retreat. The work of KMS includes hosting Krishnamurti-based dialogue events in China, translating Krishnamurti's work into Chinese, and promoting Krishnamurti within China, in various ways. They have been instrumental in organizing KFA trips to China in recent years. Find more information at weibo.com/jkmeditationstudio or through WeChat: Krishnamurti_KMS.