On Meditation

by J. Krishnamurti

J. KrishnamurtiA MEDITATIVE MIND IS SILENT. It is not the silence which thought can conceive of; it is not the silence of a still evening; it is the silence when thought—with all its images, its words and perceptions—has entirely ceased. This meditative mind is the religious mind—the religion that is not touched by the church, the temples, or by chants.

The religious mind is the explosion of love. It is this love that knows no separation. To it, far is near. It is not the one or the many, but rather that state of love in which all division ceases. Like beauty, it is not of the measure of words. From this silence alone the meditative mind acts.

ALWAYS TO SEEK for wider, deeper, transcendental experiences is a form of escape from the actual reality of “what is,” which is ourselves, our own conditioned mind. A mind that is awake, intelligent, free, why should it need, why should it have, any experience at all? Light is light; it does not ask for more light.

MEDITATION IS NOT A MEANS to an end; there is no end, no arrival; it is a movement in time and out of time. Every system, method, binds thought to time, but choiceless awareness of every thought and feeling, understanding of their motives, their mechanism, allowing them to blossom, is the beginning of meditation. When thought and feeling flourish and die, meditation is the movement beyond time. In this movement there is ecstasy; in complete emptiness there is love, and with love there is destruction and creation.

MEDITATION IS to be aware of every thought and of every feeling, never to say it is right or wrong but just to watch it and move with it. In that watching you begin to understand the whole movement of thought and feeling. And out of this awareness comes silence. Silence put together by thought is stagnation, is dead, but the silence that comes when thought has understood its own beginning, the nature of itself, understood how all thought is never free but always old—this silence is meditation in which the meditator is entirely absent, for the mind has emptied itself of the past.

THE WHOLE POINT of meditation is not to follow the path laid down by thought to what it considers to be truth, enlightenment, or reality. There is no path to truth. The following of any path leads to what thought has already formulated and, however pleasant or satisfying, it is not truth. It is a fallacy to think that a system of meditation, the constant practicing of that system in daily life for a few given moments, or the repetition of it during the day, will bring about clarity or understanding. Meditation lies beyond all this and, like love, cannot be cultivated by thought. As long as the thinker exists to meditate, meditation is merely a part of that self-isolation which is the common movement of one’s everyday life.

MEDITATION IS a state of mind which looks at everything with complete attention—totally, not just parts of it. And no one can teach you how to be attentive. If any system teaches you how to be attentive, then you are attentive to the system, and that is not attention.

MEDITATION IS EMPTYING the mind of the known. The known is the past. The emptying is not at the end of accumulation, but rather it means not to accumulate at all. What has been is emptied only in the present, not by thought but by action, by the doing of “what is.” The past is the movement of conclusion to conclusion, and the judgment of “what is” by the past or of the present, and it is this conclusion that prevents the constant emptying of the mind of the known; for the known is always conclusion, determination.

From Meditations, by J. Krishnamurti. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Boston, Massachusetts. www.shambhala.com. Copyright 1979, 2002 Krishnamurti Foundation Trust. All rights reserved.