Krishnamurti on Meditation
Jiddu Krishnamurti was an Indian philosopher, speaker and writer, and one of the best teachers the country has produced. I have been inspired by his thoughts for long, especially on education and meditation. In fact, my initiation into the kind of meditation I practice now happened after reading Krishnamurti’s work.
I was recently re-reading his book Meditations, wherein he described what meditation is all about, and thought I must share that with you. Here is how he described the practice at a couple of instances in the book:
Meditation is one of the greatest arts in life, perhaps the greatest, and one cannot possibly learn it from anybody. That is the beauty of it. It has no technique and therefore no authority. When you learn about yourself, watch yourself, watch the way you walk, how you eat, what you say, the gossip, the hate, the jealousy, if you are aware of all that in yourself, without any choice, that is part of meditation. So meditation can take place when you are sitting on a bus or walking in the woods full of light and shadows, or listening to the singing of birds or looking at the face of your wife, husband or child.
Meditation cannot be learned from another. You must begin without knowing anything about it, and move from innocence to innocence. The soil in which the meditative mind can begin is the soil of everyday life, the strife, the pain and the fleeting joy. It must begin there and bring order, and from there, move endlessly. But if you are concerned only with making order, then that very order will bring about its own limitation, and the mind will be its prisoner. In all this movement, you must somehow begin from the other end, from the other shore, and not always be concerned with this shore or how to cross the river. You must take a plunge into the water, not knowing how to swim. And the beauty of meditation is that you never know where you are, where you are going, or what the end is.
On the question of how do you meditate, Krishnamurti answers that in Chapter 1 of his book On Education:
Krishnamurti: You know people talk a great deal about meditation, don’t they?
Student: They do.
Krishnamurti: You know nothing about it. I am glad. Because you know nothing about it, you can learn about it. It is like not knowing French or Latin or Italian. Because you do not know, you can learn, you can learn as though for the first time. Those people who already know what meditation is, they have to unlearn and then learn. You see the difference? Since you do not know what meditation is, let us learn about it. To learn about meditation, you have to see how your mind is working. You have to watch, as you watch a lizard going by, walking across the wall. You see all its four feet, how it sticks to the wall, and as you watch, you see all the movements. In the same way, watch your thinking. Do not correct it. Do not suppress it. Do not say, “All this is too difficult”. Just watch; now, this morning.
First of all sit absolutely still. Sit comfortably, cross your legs, sit absolutely still, close your eyes, and see if you can keep your eyes from moving. You understand? Your eyeballs are apt to move, keep them completely quiet, for fun. Then, as you sit very quietly, find out what your thought is doing. Watch it as you watched the lizard. Watch thought, the way it runs, one thought after another. So you begin to learn, to observe.
Are you watching your thoughts – how one thought pursues another thought, thought saying, “This is a good thought, this is a bad thought”? When you go to bed at night, and when you walk, watch your thought. Just watch though, do not correct it, and then you will learn the beginning of meditation. Now sit very quietly. Shut your eyes and see that the eyeballs do not move at all. Then watch your thoughts so that you learn. Once you begin to learn there is no end to learning.
Combine Krishnamurti’s thoughts with Naval Ravikant’s thoughts on meditation, and you will have ample ideas to start the practice yourself, in case you were looking to do so.
In my personal experience, meditation has been a great tool to help me learn to be mindful, which is to be present and aware, moment by moment, regardless of circumstances. And when it comes to investing, I find mindfulness to be one of our best defenses against behavioral biases. Why?
Amidst the chaos is a state of mindfulness that can help you put your mind in a healthier, more balanced, and unemotional state.
- You won’t be worried about short term fluctuations in emotions
- You won’t act in haste or on impulse.
- You won’t be distracted by regrets of your past performance or worries about your future returns.
- You would keep yourself immune to the news and noise all around.
- You would try to do your best work in the present, with utmost focus and discipline.
This is all that meditation and mindfulness can teach you, and much more. Try it to see for yourself.
The article was written by Vishal from SafalNiveshak.com