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“Everything is and it has never been before. There is a heightened sensitivity. Sensitivity, not only to beauty but to all other things. The blade of grass was astonishing green. That one blade of grass contained the whole spectrum of color. It was intense, dazzling and such a small thing, so easy to destroy. Those trees were all of life, their height and their sweeping; the lines of those sweeping hills and the solitary trees were the expression of all time and space; and the mountains against the pale sky were beyond all the gods of man.” Krishnamurti’s Notebook

Flowering J. Krishnamurti

Introduction Beauty has a way of stopping the chatter that ebbs and flows between our ears, the worries, images and beliefs. Like the solstice, beauty stops this movement. For that instant the thinking mind is quiet, still, to use Krishnamurti’s word, silent. In that instant all the energy and attention that was feeding what we imagine is released, free to connect and relate completely with the natural beauty that surrounds us every day. The gathering of attention that is released when the mental images we spawn stop, marks the beginning of what Krishnamurti called flowering. This instant, this flowering may last a moment, a day or a lifetime and is essential for the transformation of the human mind and the culture that mind creates. The collection of images gathered for this celebration were captured in this state. Having gone beyond technique photography becomes a true meditation, a way of seeing, with that quiet mind completely filled with just looking. Most of the images are from southern California, near the east end of Ojai where Krishnamurti lived and the home of the Krishnamurti Foundation and Archive. I was walking near this center and a pink rose caught my attention. The light was strong but this beauty was in the shade off the road. I was taken by the shape and pattern of its folded petals, the subtle colors and velvet textures. It was not a ‘rose,’ the name. It was all these things and more. Living nearby, I got my camera and moved in close. After this encounter I began to carry my camera on morning walks. That was six or seven years ago. It is my hope that turning these pages evokes a hint of this silent-solstice experience, that the beauty of the instant stops you for a moment and fills your heart and mind with a feeling of wonder and appreciation. It is not so much ‘the flower’ that we are sharing, rather the life process of unfolding beauty. Krishnamurti called this unfolding of goodness and beauty - flowering. We are that, each and every one, when we stop and look. Michael Mendizza

Foreword Who does not respond to the beauty of a flower? We have seen hundreds, thousands of them over the course of a lifetime, and delighted in their fragrance and in their glory. To see something so rare, so exquisite in our garden, a park, on a lonely roadside, or the divide of a freeway could be like the unexpected jolt of coming upon a diamond on the supermarket floor. But what does ‘Flowering’ mean? Krishnamurti, renowned for his insightful teachings, used the phrase many times and in many contexts. We have seen the gradual unfoldment from prescient bud to full blown beauty. Then there is the inevitable decline and withering away. Can we relate that movement to our own lives? Can we, for example, look at our fear, anger, or any ever present form of conditioning and allow it to bloom, wither and die? Our perception of an important issue in our lives, can that also bud, bloom and fade? Krishnamurti suggests that by looking with observant, non-judgmental eyes, the issues of our lives can follow the course of the flower. We can see our problems for what they are and allow them to bloom and die. It is only our holdfast conditioning that prevents resolution and a real change. In that sense he frequently used the word ‘Flowering’ in his talks and writings. This book brings together a sampling of these references, gathered over the many years of his lifetime. For example, from ‘The Only Revolution:’ “The flowering of goodness does not lie along any path, for there is no path to truth.” Evelyne Blau

“To be alone is to be an outsider who does not belong to any religion or nation, to any belief or dogma. It is this aloneness that comes upon an innocency that can live in the world, with all its turmoil, and yet not be of it. It is not clothed in any particular garb. The flowering of goodness does not lie along any path, for there is no path to truth.�

“There is no space without silence, and silence is not put together by time as thought. Time will never give freedom; order is possible only when the heart is not covered over with words.�

“The relationship between the trees and you was complete and immediate; they and you were friends and thus you were the friend of every tree, bush and flower on earth.�

“Does one see the importance that one must flower? The importance of it, the truth of it, the reality of it, the necessity of it, the beauty of it? - that one must flower. And does relationship, as it is now between two human beings, help you to flower? That is one point. And we also said that we love each other. Will that love nourish the flowering of the human mind, the human heart, the human qualities?�

“I want to find out whether it is possible to bloom, to grow and to live completely - you know: over the hills and dancing! That is what I want to find out in life. Or is life always to be depressing, lonely, miserable, violent, stupid? You follow? That is the first thing one wants to find out.�

“Every form or image, word, symbol must come to an end for the flowering of meditation.�

“If there is no flowering, then one lives an ordinary mundane life and dies at the end of sixty or eighty years. That is the usual life of the average person - have you noticed it?�

“When we are angry, at the second of anger, there is no identification with it at all. A few seconds later the whole business of identification, I should, I should not control, and all that arises. But in watching without any movement of thought, actually, watching, then in that watching let anger - anger flowers, blooms,expands, and withers away. That is what I want to get at. So that instead of suppressing it, which makes it stronger, by watching it, it expands, the chapter comes to an end, the book comes to an end.�

“Innocency and spaciousness are the flowering of meditation. There is no innocency without space. Innocency is not immaturity. You may be mature physically, but the vast space that comes with love is not possible if the mind is not free from the many marks of experience. It is these scars of experience that prevent innocency. Freeing the mind from the constant pressure of experience is meditation.�

“The desire to become is the soil in which sorrow takes root.�

“To be a light to oneself is the light of all others. To be a light to oneself is for the mind to be free from challenge and response, for the mind then is totally awake, wholly attentive. The attention has no center, the one who is attentive, and so no border. As long as there’s a center, the “me,” there must be challenge and response, adequate or inadequate, pleasurable or sorrowful. The center can never be a light to itself; its light is the artificial light of thought and it has many shadows. Compassion is not the shadow of thought but it is light, neither yours nor another’s.”

“Beauty is where you are not. It is a tragedy if you don’t see this. Truth is where you are not. Beauty is, love is, where you are not.”

“Meditation is not individualistic, nor is it social; it transcends both and so includes both. This is love: the flowering of love is meditation.�

“Without passion there is no creation. Total abandonment brings this unending passion. Abandonment with a motive is one thing, and without purpose, without calculation, it is another. That which has an end, a direction, is short lived, becomes mischievous and commercial, vulgar. The other, not driven by any cause, intention or gain, has no beginning or ending. This abandonment is the emptying of the mind of the “me,” the self. This “me” can lose itself in some activity, in some comforting belief or fanciful dream but such loss is the continuing of the self in another form, identifying with another ideology and action. The abandonment of the self is not an act of will, for the will is the self. Any movement of the self, horizontally or vertically, in any direction, is still within the field of time and sorrow.”

“Where there is complete attention, there is no observer.�

“Is there not a difference between a flowering mind and the becoming mind? The becoming mind is a mind that is always growing, becoming, enlarging, gathering experience as knowledge. We know that process full well in our daily life, with all the results, with all its conflicts, its miseries and strife, but we do not know the life of flowering. And is there not a difference between the two which we have to discover – not trying to discriminate, to separate, but to discover – in the process of our daily living? When we discover this, we may perhaps be able to set aside this ambition, the way of choice and discover a flowering, which is the way of life, which may be true action.”

“Is there a momentum which keeps moving, keeping itself clean, healthy? That momentum, that flame which burns can only be when there is freedom for everything to flower, the ugly, the beautiful, the evil, the good and the stupid, so that there is not a thing suppressed, so that there is not a thing which has not been brought up and examined and burnt out.�

“Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever cannot be organized, nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along any particular path.�

“If you only had one hour to die what would you do? Would you not arrange your worldly affairs and so on… Ask family and friends for forgiveness… and forgive them? Would you not die completely to the things of the mind, to desires, and to the world? And if it can be done for one hour, then it can be done for the days and years that remain.”

“You can see the beauty and the glory of the flower only when there is a flowering.”

“Meditation is not words, a mantra, or self-hypnosis, the drug of illusions. It must happen without your volition. It must take place in the quiet stillness of the night, when you are suddenly awake and see that the brain is quiet and there is a peculiar quality of meditation going on. It must take place as silently as a snake among the tall grass, green in the fresh morning light. It must take place in the deep recesses of the brain. Meditation is not an achievement. There is no method, no system or practice. Meditation begins with the ending of comparison, the becoming or not becoming. As the bee whispers among leaves so the whispering of meditation is action.�

“Freedom is a very complex issue and to understand the complexity of it the flowering of the mind is necessary. Each one will naturally give a different definition of the flowering of man depending on his culture, on his so-called education, experience, religious superstition - that is, on his conditioning. Here we are not dealing with opinion or prejudice, but rather with a non-verbal understanding of the implications and consequences of the flowering of the mind. This flowering is the total unfoldment and cultivation of our minds, our hearts and our physical well-being. That is, to live in complete harmony in which there is no opposition or contradiction between them. The flowering of the mind can take place only when there is clear perception, objective, non-personal, unburdened by any kind of imposition upon it. It is not what to think but how to think clearly. We have been for centuries, through propaganda and so on, encouraged what to think. Most modern education is that and not the investigation of the whole movement of thought. The flowering implies freedom; like any plant it requires freedom to grow.�

“Truth or God or whatever you want to call it must not be the result of propaganda.�

“Silence is that which has been going on while there was talking.�

“First of all, we are unaware of the little things. Then, becoming aware of them, we are caught in them and we say, “I must not do that, I must do this.” Can I see the symptom, go into the cause, and let the cause flower? But I want it to flower in a certain direction, which means, I have an opinion on how it should flower. Now can I go after that? That becomes my major issue. And I see that I prevent the cause flowering because I am afraid I do not know that will happen if I allow frustration to flower. So I go after why I am afraid. What am I afraid of? I see that so long as fear exists there can be no flowering. So I have to tackle fear, not through the idea, but tackle it, as a fact which means I will allow fear to blossom. I will let fear blossom, and see what happens. All this requires a great deal of inward perception.”

“Death is the flowering of the new; meditation is the dying of the known.”

“Death is the flowering of the new; meditation is the dying of the known.”

“There must be an end to knowledge for the new to be. New is a word for something which has never been before. And that area cannot be understood or grasped by words or symbols: it is there beyond all remembrances.�

Krishnamurti Flowering  
Krishnamurti Flowering  

Inspired quotes and photographs