Tucked away at the top of a remote and impenetrable jungle-covered hill in the southern Thai province of Hadyai, bordering Malaysia, there is a magical and tranquil place called the Stream Garden Retreat. I found myself with forty others from other parts of the world agreeably stuck there for about a week in early December..Eating delicious vegetarian food, drinking fresh stream water, sleeping on a hard bed, listening to mind blowing Krishnamurti DVDs, sharing deeply stimulating dialogues with like minded friends, walking along the jungle’s raging stream, watching abundant rains, reading and meditating on the rather sad human condition were some of the central activities over that unusual week. A week that regenerated the tired body, rekindled the over used mind and gave new strength to the doubting spirit.
Pook, the deeply committed, gentle and courageous Thai founder, well supported by Thai staff, as well as by Raman and Rabindra from the Link, has accomplished astonishing things there over the last 14 years. Strengthening buildings eaten up by termites with Tsunami shattered hotel sturdy wood, pumping gallons of fresh water up steep slopes, rejuvenating ancient rubber trees, preserving rare plants and trees, creating narrow paths and steps through thick jungle, establishing an inspiring retreat in the middle of nowhere, with simple but highly convenient facilities, are only some of Pook’s and her team’s remarkable achievements at Stream Garden.
Finally, to crown it all, a silent sanctuary type of room hiding a large watertight capsule made of heavy and colorful marble is buried in the ground of Meditation House; a sort of temple seating on the highest point of the serene retreat grounds. In the sealed capsule, hand written papyrus from Egypt patiently written over many years by Krishnamurti’s physician. Precious papyrus preserving for mankind and for posterity the unique Teachings of one of humanity’s greatest teachers of all times.7
by Claude Bobillier
The Stream Garden Annual Gathering
The 12th International Annual Gathering at the Stream Garden Retreat took place in early December 2011. Due to the recent devastating floods in Thailand, there were fewer participants than in previous years, about thirty two in all, some from abroad and the rest from Thailand. However, the reduced number had the welcome effect of creating an atmosphere whose intimacy and intensity was most palpable in the air.
The programme was a mix of DVD screenings, dialogues, walks in the forest and up the stream to a full-blown waterfall, time for silence and reflection. One unusual feature of a gathering in Thailand is that some of the dialogues take place in English followed by immediate translation into Thai; this has the effect of slowing things down and allowing time for deeper consideration before responses are given. Finally, as always, much animated informal discussion took place spontaneously over the meal times.
In addition, some of the posters from an exhibition put together by Vikram Parchure on behalf of KFI were brought to this year's gathering. A combination of Krisnamurti excerpts along with some real life photographs were on display. To further engage the onlookers, a questionnaire was prepared to prompt an internal examination of the actual relationship we have with life from moment to moment.
View some photos of the Gathering (once there, click on the Photo Gallery tab).