Research Study

Sitting Quietly - Looking Within
Meditation - From Moment To Moment
'Total' - 'Complete' - 'Holistic' Meditation
Meditation Is Part Of Life


On August 12, about five weeks after their arrival at Ojai, he wrote to Lady Emily:
''I have been meditating every morning for half an hour or 35 mins. I meditate from 6:45 to 7:20. I am beginning to concentrate better even though it be for sometime and I meditate again before I go to sleep for about 10 minutes. All this is rather surprising you, isn't it? ....''

-J Krishnamurti as quoted in page 162,
biography of K by mary Lutyens Vol I
(The years of awakening)

''....and in my heart there has been a continual thought of Lord Buddha. I was in such a state that I had to sit down and meditate....''

-Letter written by Krishnamurti as quoted in 'The years of
awakening' by Mary Lutyens Avon books USA 1991 Page 125.

Have done a great deal of meditation and has been good. I hope you are doing it too - begin by being aware of every thought- feeling - all day, the nerves and the brain - then become quiet, still - this is what cannot be done through control - then really begins meditation. Do it with thoroughness.

Whatever happens don't let the body shape the nature of the mind - be aware of the body, eat right, be by yourself during the day for some hours - don't slip back and don't be a slave to circumstances. Be tremendous - be awake.

-letter written by K to a friend (Nandini Mehta)
as quoted in the biography of K by Pupul Jayakar Page 277.

...I feel if we could be serious for an hour and really fathom, delve into ourselves as much as we can, we should be able to release, not through any action of will, a certain sense of energy that is awake all the, time which is beyond thought.

-K, New Delhi 8 Jan 1961.

Do you want to sit together quietly for a while ? All right, sirs, sit quietly for a while.
(K used to ask his listeners to sit quietly for sometime after his public talks)

First of all, sit very quietly; do not force yourself to sit quietly, but sit or lie down quietly without force of any kind. Do you understand?...

-Pg 59, K on education

Meditation is not something different from daily life; do not go off into the corner of a room and meditate for ten minutes, then come out of it and be a butcher-both metaphorically and actually.
Meditation is part of life, not something different from life.

-K, Pg 10, meditations.

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 in 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 or child.

-K, Pg 2, meditations

Q. You seem to object even to our sitting quietly everyday to observe the movement of thought. Is this, by your definition, a practice, a method and therefore without value?

K: Now the questioner asks. What is wrong with sitting quietly every morning for twenty minutes, in the afternoon another twenty minutes and perhaps another twenty minutes in the evening or longer - what is wrong with it? By sitting quietly you can relax, you can observe your thinking, your reactions, your responses and your reflexes. What is the motive of those who sit quietly by themselves, or together in a group? What is the motive behind the desire to sit quietly for half an hour every day? Is it not important to find out why you want to do this? Is it because somebody has told you that if you sit quietly you will have para-psychological experiences, that you will attain some kind of peace, some kind of understanding, some kind of enlightenment, or some kind of power?...

So it is important - before we plunge into all this- to find out what is your motive, what it is that you want. But you do not do that. You are so eager and gullible; somebody promises something and you want it. If you examine the motive, you see that it is a desire to achieve something - like a businessman's desire to earn a lot of money. That is his urge. Here the psychological urge is to have something that a guru, or an instructor, promises.You do not question what he promises, you do not doubt what he promises...

Is it true? Who are you to tell me what to do? then you will find that sitting quietly, without understanding your motive, leads to all kinds of illusory psychological trouble. If that is the intention of sitting quietly, then it is not worth it. But if while sitting quietly without any motive, or walking quietly by yourself or with somebody, you watch the trees, the birds, the rivers and the sunshine on the leaves, in that very watching you are also watching yourself. You are not striving, not making tremendous efforts to achieve something ...

Is it not possible to be quiet, naturally - to look at a person, or to listen to a song, or to listen to what somebody is saying quietly, without resistance, without saying, "I must change, I must do this, I must do that''. Just to be quiet?
Is it possible to sit, or stand, or walk quietly, without any promptings from another, without any reward or desire for extraordinary super-physical sensory experiences? Begin at the most rational level; then one can go very far.

-K Q/A Saanen July 1980

...if you are really awake during the day, watching every thought, every feeling, every movement of the mind...watching your reactions...being greatly aware of everything outside you, inwardly, then the whole of the unconsciousness, as well as the conscious, is opened up...

-K, 13 July 1967 Saanen Talks.

These are the outer pressures and demands that bring about this neurotic society; there are also the inner compulsions and urges within ourselves, our innate violence inherited from the past, which help to make up this neurosis, this imbalance. So this is the fact - most of us are slightly off balance, or more, and it's no use blaming anybody. The fact is that one is not balanced psychologically, mentally, or sexually ; in every way we are off balance. Now the important thing is to become aware of it, to know that one is not balanced, not how to become balanced. A neurotic mind cannot become balanced, but if it has not gone to the extremes of neurosis, if it has still retained some balance, it can watch itself. One can then become aware of what one does, of what one says, of what one thinks, how one moves, how one sits, how one eats, watching all the time but not correcting. And if you watch in such a manner, without any choice, then out of that deep watching will come a balanced, sane, human being; then you will no longer be neurotic. A balanced mind is a mind that is wise, not made up of judgments and opinions.

-Pg 173 You are the world.

Teacher: Sir, all sensations leave a residue, a disturbance which lead to various kinds of conflict and other forms of mental activity. The traditional approach of all religions is to deny this sensation by discipline and denial. But in what you say there seems to be a heightened receptivity to these sensations so that you see the sensations without distortion or residue.

Krishnamurti: That is the issue. Sensitivity and sensation are two different things. A mind that is a slave to thought, sensation, feeling, is a residual mind. It enjoys the residue, it enjoys thinking about the pleasurable world and each thought leaves a mark, which is the residue. Each thought of a certain pleasure you have had, leaves a mark which makes for insensitivity. It obviously dulls the mind and discipline, control and suppression further dull the mind. I am saying that sensitivity is not sensation, that sensitivity implies no mark, no residue. So what is the question?

Teacher: Is the denial of which you are speaking different from a denial which is the restriction of sensation?

Krishnamurti: How do you see those flowers, see the beauty of them, be completely sensitive to them so that there is no residue, no memory of them, so that when you see them again an hour later you see a new flower? That is not possible if you see as a sensation and that sensation is associated with flowers, with pleasure. The traditional way is to shut out what is pleasurable because such associations awaken other forms of pleasure and so you discipline yourself not to look. To cut association with a surgical knife is immature. So how is the mind, how are the eyes, to see the tremendous colour and yet have it leave no mark?

I am not asking for a method. How does that state come into being? Otherwise we cannot be sensitive. It is like a photographic plate which receives impressions and is self-renewing. It is exposed, and yet becomes negative for the next impression. So all the time, it is self-cleansing of every pleasure. Is that possible or are we playing with words and not with facts?
The fact which I see clearly is that any residual sensitivity, sensation, dulls the mind. I deny that fact, but I do not know what it is to be so extraordinarily sensitive that experience leaves no mark and yet to see the flower with fullness, with tremendous intensity. I see as an undeniable fact that every sensation, every feeling, every thought, leaves a mark, shapes the mind, and that such marks cannot possibly bring about a new mind. I see that to have a mind with marks is death, so I deny death. But I do not know the other. I also see that a good mind is sensitive without the residue of experience. It experiences, but the experience leaves no mark from which it draws further experiences, further conclusions, further death.

The one I deny and the other I do not know. How is this transition from the denial of the known to the unknown to come into being?

How does one deny? Does one deny the known, not in great dramatic incidents but in little incidents? Do I deny when I am shaving and I remember the lovely time I had in Switzerland? Does one deny the remembrance of a pleasant time? Does one grow aware of it, and deny it? That is not dramatic, it is not spectacular, nobody knows about it. Still this constant denial of little things, the little wipings, the little rubbings off, not just one great big wiping away, is essential. It is essential to deny thought as remembrance, pleasant or unpleasant, every minute of the day as it arises. One is doing it not for any motive, not in order to enter into the extraordinary state of the unknown. You live in Rishi Valley and think of Bombay or Rome. This creates a conflict, makes the mind dull, a divided thing. Can you see this and wipe it away? Can you keep on wiping away not because you want to enter into the unknown? You can never know what the unknown is because the moment you recognise it as the unknown you are back in the known....

-Pg. 119-121, K on education.

Sensitivity and sensation are two different things. Sensations, emotions, feelings always leave a residue, whose accumulation dulls and distorts. Sensations are always contradictory and so conflicting; conflict always dulls the mind, perverts perception. The appreciation of beauty in terms of sensation, of like and dislike, is not to perceive beauty; sensation can only divide as beauty and ugliness but division is not beauty. Because sensations, feelings, breed conflict. To avoid conflict, discipline, control, suppression, have been advocated but this only builds resistance and so increases conflict and brings about greater dullness and insensitivity. The saintly control and suppression is the saintly insensitivity and brutal dullness which is so highly regarded. To make the mind more stupid and dull ideals and conclusions are invented and spread around. All forms of sensations, however refined or gross, cultivate resistance and a withering away. Sensitivity is the dying to every residue of sensation; to be sensitive, utterly and intensely, to a flower, to a person, to a smile, is to have no scar of memory, for every scar destroys sensitivity. To be aware of every sensation, feeling, thought as it arises, from moment to moment, choicelessly, is to be free from scars, never allowing a scar to be formed. Sensations, feelings, thoughts are always partial, fragmentary and destructive. Sensitivity is a total of body, mind and heart.

-Pg 182-183, K notebook

(Please refer to the Sayings of K as quoted under ''Sensations - the root of misery and sorrow and the key to insight and freedom...'' in this study)


(Please Refer the Dhamma teaching of Lord Buddha as quoted under ''Sensations-The root of misery and sorrow and the key to insight and freedom'' in this study)


Puna ca pararm, bhikkhave, bhikkhu abhikkante patikkante
sampajanakari hoti, alokite vilokite sampajanakari hoti, saminjite
pasarite sampajanakari hoti, sanghatipattacivaradhirane
sampajanakari hoti, asite pite khayite sayite sampajanakari hoti,
uccarapassavakamme sampajanankari hoti, gate thite nisinne sutte
jagarite bhasite tunhibhave sampajanakari hoti.

-Mahasatipatthana Sutta

Section on tbe Constant Thorough Understanding of Impermanence

Again, O monks, a monk, while going forward or backward, he comprehends this, constantly aware of impermanence; whether he is looking straight ahead or looking sideways, he comprehends this, constantly aware of impermanence; while he is bending or stretching, he comprehends this, constantly aware of impermanence; whether he is putting on his inner and outer garment or carrying his bowl, he comprehends this, constantly aware of impermanence; whether he is eating, drinking, chewing or savouring, he comprehends this, constantly aware of impermanence; if he attends to the calls of nature, while passing stool and urine, he comprehends this, constantly aware of impermanence; whether he is walking, standing, sitting, sleeping or awake, speaking or in silence, he comprehends this, constantly aware of impermanence. ('Comprehends this' = aware of the reality 'as it is', staying with 'what is')

Yatham care: when we walk, we walk with awareness.
Yatham titthe: when we stand, we stand with awareness.
Yatham acche: when we sit, we sit with awareness.
Yatham saye: when we lie down, we lie down with awareness.

- Anguttara Nikaya II PTS 14

Whether sleeping or awake, arising or sitting, in every state, we remain aware and attentive every moment. No action of ours is without awareness.

Paccavekkhitva paccavekkitva kayena kammam katabba.
All body activities should be done with full awareness.
Paccavekkhitva paccavekkhitva vacaya kammam katabba.
All vocal activities should be done with full awareness.
Paccavekkhitva paccavekkitva manasa kammam katabba.
All mental activities should be done with full awareness.

At the same time, this awareness should be endowed with panna. This means that, along with awareness, the experiential understanding of the three characteristics of panna: that all phenomena, have the inherent characteristic of impermanence (anicca); that all phenomena which are impermanent give rise to suffering (dukkha); and that all such phenomena which are impermanent and give rise to dukkha are without essence - i.e., they cannot be "I" or mine or ''my soul", (anatta).
Once this is understood at the experiential level, one realises how meaningless it is to react with craving or aversion, clinging or repugnance towards any phenomenon that arises. Instead, there should only be awareness and, at the same time, detachment towards every phenomenon. This is Vipassana. This is the experiential wisdom that shatters ignorance.

- S N Goenka quoting the teachings of Lord Buddha.
''Awaken in wisdom'' Jan. 98 Vipassana newsletter
VRI Igatpuri.

Yato ca bhikkhu atapi sampajannam na rincati,
tato so vedana sabba parijanati pandito;
So vedana parinnaya ditthe dhamme anasavo,
kayassa bheda Dhammattho, sankhyam nopeti vedagu.

- Pathama-akasa-sutta, Samyutta-nikaya, Salayatana-vagga

When a meditator observing ardently, does not, miss his faculty of thorough understanding of impermanence, such a wise one fully understands all sensations. And having completely understood them, he becomes freed from all impurities. On the breaking up of the body, such a person, being established in Dhamma and understanding sensations perfectly, attains the indescribable stage beyond the conditioned world.

Rattidiva matandito Sampajannam na rinchati

- Samyutta Nikaya IV

Day and night - there should be no break in the continuous thorough understanding of impermanence at the level of sensations.

The ''Mahasatipatthana Sutta'' of the Buddha is ''The Great Discourse on the establishing of awareness''. In this discourse Buddha has shown the ''one and only way'' (ekayano maggo) for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation... for the realization of Nibbana : that is to say, the fourfold establishing of awareness (nibbanassa sacchikiriyaya yadidam cattaro satipatthana ti). Buddha said that for our observation to be 'Total', 'complete', 'holistic', we have to 'look within' for 'self knowledge' and this self observation is the study of mind-matter. Our self observation and looking within is total only when we observe the entire field of mind-matter (nama-rupa) : that is to say the body, the sensations on/in the body, the mind and the contents of the mind. This is the fourfold establishing of awareness. (Kayanupassana, Vedananupassana, Cittanupassana, Dhammanupassana). Again this is not a mechanical ritual or an intellectual game but real understanding experientially at the level of sensations.
The four divisions mentioned above are not water tight compartments but in fact constitute the holistic observation. Body can only be observed when one feels the body at the level of sensations and one knows the mind from the contents of the mind, again it is the mind that knows the body. Moreover ''anything that arises in the mind flows along with sensations on the body.'' (Sabbe Dhamma vedana sammosarana). Thus mind and matter are deeply interdependent and deeply inter-related.
The observation is complete and total only when the entire field of mind-matter is fully understood at the level of sensations (Parijanati). This observation is of the reality 'as is it', the truth from moment to moment, staying with 'what is' (yathabhuta)-There is ''constant through understanding of impermanence at the level of sensations'' (Sampajanna). Thus one develops his awareness to such an extent that there is mere understanding along with mere awareness-the observer is the observed (yavadeva nanamattaya patissatimattaya...) In this way he abides detached, without clinging or craving towards anything in this world of mind-matter. (anissito ca viharati, naca kinci loke upadiyati).

(This is insight, this is liberation, this is freedom.)

- for details refer to Mahasatipatthana Suttam-VRI
and the discourses on Mahasatipatthana Sutta by
S N Goenka-VRI.

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