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Annual May Gathering 2017

Annual May Gathering

Understanding Ourselves

Saturday, May 6 to Sunday, May 7, 2017


Krishnamurti Educational Center
1070 McAndrew Rd. (Map)
Ojai, California

We invite you to our Annual Gathering, May 6th and 7th, 2017, taking place at the Krishnamurti Educational Center (KEC) in Ojai. Friends both local and from around the world come to listen to speakers, participate in discussions and dialogues, attend workshops, and simply hang out with friends old and new.

Free Event: No reservation necessary.

Live Streaming: Event will be streamed over the web.


The main part of the program takes place on Saturday and Sunday, with lunch available for purchase both days on the KEC campus. The gathering will begin each day with a Krishnamurti audio outside on the lawn at 8:30AM.  Each day ends at approximately 5PM.


Saturday May 6
Early-Bird Options: 8:00 - 9:15 AM
Yoga in the Events Pavilion with Rowan Lommel
8:30 - 9:30 AM PTR West Lawn Krishnamurti Audio *
10:00 - 10:20 AM PTR West Lawn Hello / Welcome
with Jaap Sluijter (KFA Executive Director)
10:30 AM - 12:05 PM
   concurrent events
Pine Cottage (Library)
The Ego Tunnel
with Thomas Metzinger
Events Pavilion
Gallery (Archive bldg.)
Krishnamurti Video *
12:15 - 1:30 PM PTR West Lawn Lunch - Purchase Here
1:40 - 3:15 PM
   concurrent events
Pine Cottage (Library) Oak Grove School Panel *
with Oak Grove School Staff & Students
Events Pavilion
Yoga + Inquiry
with Rowan Lommel
East Lawn
Gallery (Archive bldg.) TBD
with Pathik Wadhwa
3:25 - 5:00 PM
   concurrent events
Pine Cottage (Library) The Man Who Wasn't There *
with Anil Ananthaswamy
Events Pavilion Open Dialogue: To See Oneself as One Is
with Eric Hassett
Gallery (Archive bldg.) Screening Archival Material *
with Cory Fisher & Wendy Smith

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Sunday May 7
Early-Bird Options: 8:00 - 9:15 AM
Yoga in the Events Pavilion with Francesca Michelle Lies
Tour the Earth Island Medicinal Herb Garden with Carol Wade
8:30 - 9:30 AM PTR West Lawn Krishnamurti Audio *
Public Talk 3 in Madras, 1979
10:00 - 10:20 AM PTR West Lawn Hello / Welcome
with Jaap Sluijter (KFA Executive Director)
10:30 AM - 12:05 PM
   concurrent events
Pine Cottage (Library) An Uncommon Collaboration, Krishnamurti & Bohm
with David Moody
Events Pavilion Krishnamurti in the Ojai Valley
Craig Walker
East Lawn Storytelling
with Derek Hook
Gallery (Archive bldg.) Always Awakening
with Michael Mendiza
12:15 - 1:30 PM PTR West Lawn Lunch - Purchase Here
1:40 - 3:15 PM
   concurrent events
Pine Cottage (Library) Silence, Attention, Learning and Intelligence*
with Stephen Smith
Events Pavilion Open Dialogue
with Eric Hassett
Gallery (Archive bldg.) The Work of the International Foundations:
3:25 - 5:00 PM
   concurrent events
Pine Cottage (Library) Krishnamurti - An Environmental Philosopher & Lover of Nature
with Michael Krohnen
Events Pavilion Krishnamurti Video *
Conversation with David Bohm, John Hidley, and Rupert Sheldrake
The Nature of the Mind
Gallery (Archive bldg.) TBD

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Ongoing Programs
Next to East Lawn The Mind of Krishnamurti
Krishnamurti exhibit - displayed on the badminton court (between PTR East Lawn & Archive building)
Medicinal Herb Garden Earth Island Medicinal Herb Garden
Garden open to the public, tours offered
8 AM Sunday morning

* Live Streaming available for this program. Watch live stream here on the day of the event.


The Ego Tunnel
We're used to thinking about the self as an independent entity, something that we either have or are. In The Ego Tunnel, philosopher Thomas Metzinger claims otherwise: No such thing as a self exists. The conscious self is the content of a model created by our brain—an internal image, but one we cannot experience as an image. Everything we experience is “a virtual self in a virtual reality.” But if the self is not “real,” why and how did it evolve? How does the brain construct it? Do we still have souls, free will, personal autonomy, or moral accountability? In a time when the science of cognition is becoming as controversial as evolution, The Ego Tunnel provides a stunningly original take on the mystery of the mind.

Thomas MetzingerThomas Metzinger
Keynote Speaker
. Director of the Theoretical Philosophy
at Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz.

Anil AnanthaswamyThomas Metzinger is one of the foremost thinkers and researchers in the philosophy of mind. Metzinger presents a rigorous philosophical argument against the conception of the self as an entity. Rather than being a metaphysical essence that exists outside the body, he says, the self is an experience: the result of processes occurring within the body and brain. The vivid, conscious experience of being a self, which all of us know, Metzinger says, is a kind of useful hallucination. He explains, “The body and the mind are constantly changing. Nothing in us is ever really the same from one moment to the next. Yet the self represents a very strong phenomenal experience of sameness, and it’s clear this would be adaptive or helpful for a biological organism that needs to plan for the future. If you want to hide some food for winter or you want to save some money in your bank accounts or work on your reputation, you’re planning for future success, and you wouldn’t do that if you didn’t have the very strong feeling that it’s going to be the same entity that gets the reward in the future.”

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The Man Who Wasn't There
Anil AnanthaswamyScience journalist Anil Ananthaswamy thinks a lot about "self" — not necessarily himself, but the role the brain and body play in our notions of self and existence. In his new book, The Man Who Wasn't There, Ananthaswamy examines the ways people experience of themselves and how those perceptions can be distorted by brain conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease, Cotard's syndrome and body integrity identity disorder, or BIID, a psychological condition in which a patient perceives that a body part is not his own. Ultimately, Ananthaswamy says, our sense of self is a layered one, an outcome of various parts of the brain working together to create a sense of narrative self, bodily self and spiritual self: "What it comes down to is this sense we have of being someone or something to which things are happening. It's there when we wake up in the morning, it kind of disappears when we go to sleep, it reappears in our dreams, and it's also this sense we have of being an entity that spans time."

Thomas MetzingerAnil Ananthaswamy
is a journalist and author, specializing in writing about neuroscience, physics and climate change. He has been a guest editor at the University of California Santa Cruz’s science writing program and organizes and teaches an annual science journalism workshop at the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore, India. His last book, The Man Who Wasn’t There: Tales from the Edge of the Self, explores the human sense of self by examining how it gets disrupted in neuropsychological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. The book was nominated for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. .”

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An Uncommon Collaboration: David Bohm and J. Krishnamurti.

Storytelling by Derek HookDavid E. Moody, Ph.D., will present his new book, An Uncommon Collaboration: David Bohm and J. Krishnamurti. Bohm is best known for his revolutionary contributions to the theoretical foundations of quantum physics. Moody’s book describes the respective careers of Bohm and Krishnamurti, the circumstances that brought them together, and the substance of their long collaboration. The presentation will review the personal relationship between the two men as well as the content of their many recorded dialogues together. The presentation will also include illustrative anecdotes and first-hand observations of both men.

David Moody David E. Moody, Ph.D., was the first teacher hired at Oak Grove School when it opened its doors in 1975. In 1980, Krishnamurti appointed him Educational Director and subsequently Director of the school, the position he held at the time of Krishnamurti’s death. His years at the school are described in his book, The Unconditioned Mind: J. Krishnamurti and the Oak Grove School. After he left Oak Grove, Moody took his Ph.D. in Education at UCLA, where his doctoral research focused on the role of insight in overcoming student misconceptions in the sciences. He is the author of numerous articles in popular and professional journals on topics in science and education, and he is a contributor to Huffington Post. While he was at Oak Grove, Moody worked closely with both Krishnamurti and theoretical physicist David Bohm. His observations of both men form the background for his new book, An Uncommon Collaboration: David Bohm and J. Krishnamurti.

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Always Awakening - Preview of New Book by Michael Mendizza
Always Awakening - Michael MendizzaAlways Awakening, will, if you allow it, present you with a plenitude of insight, inquiry, elegant logic, and the continual sparking of two minds passionately engaged. But most importantly, it will present you with ever-deepening paradoxes. These existential paradoxes are the real fruit of the logic, and the inquiry, and the insight. Any one of the paradoxes will, if you allow it, bring you to a point of feeling, “I don’t know how to resolve this.” If your thinking says, “I don’t know how to resolve this,” then more likely than not, you will have the liberty to walk away from the challenge of the paradox. But if your thinking and your feeling—together, both of them— come to this point of “I don’t know how,” then the work of Krishnamurti, and the work of Buddhism, will have come alive within you. On the face of it, there is little love lost between the work of Krishnamurti and the 2,500-year stream of Buddhism. Krishnamurti was graphically and persistently clear in his rejection of tradition. And every school of Buddhism has been equally clear about the value of tradition, with its practices, systems, and methods. And yet, decades after leaving the Theosophical Society, Krishnamurti advised a young Desikachar to devote his life to the yogic teaching of his father Krishnamacharya, saying, “I want to make sure you learn everything from your father. His great wisdom must not die with him.” Was this gesture from Krishnamurti only in regard to the teaching of physical asanas? Or was there something more implied? It may well be that Krishnamurti was indicating— albeit privately—a deep respect for those who he knew could uphold and embody a tradition, all the way down through its roots. If this is so, then we have here a splendid paradox, one worthy of both thought and feeling. In a similar paradoxical vein, Always Awakening finds Samdhong Rinpoche negating many of the most hallowed practices and methods of traditional Buddhism, much in the spirit of Nagarjuna. And yet, Samdhong Rinpoche, like Nagarjuna, is by any measure one who reveres and upholds Buddhist tradition. How is one to understand all this upside-down thinking? 
Michael MendizzaMichael Mendizza was drawn to Krishnamurti’s insights in 1974, traveled with Krishnamurti, documenting his talks and interviewing over 100 individuals close to him, the foundations and schools with colleague Evelyne Blau, resulting in several feature documentaries, numerous education programs, exhibits and the book Flowering. Drawing on what has been called these First Generation interviews Michael is committed to the creation of a series of programs: Walking by The Side of Your Mind; on Krishnamurti and the various themes he so often spoke about, Love, Conflict, Choiceless Awareness, The Religions Mind, etc. Complimenting this Michael has interviewed an equal number of leading figures in the field of child development and education exploring optimum states learning and performance. He is the author along with Joseph Chilton Pearce of Magical Parent – Magical Child, is the founder and director of Touch the Future, and is currently working on two books, Always Awakening: Buddha’s Realization Krishnamurti’s Insight and Amazing Capacities and Self-inflicted Limitations an anthology of the lifetime writings of Joseph Chilton Pearce. He operates several award winning art galleries with his wife Z and is the father of Carly Elizabeth along with two grown sons.

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A Glimpse into Total Freedom:

Exploring the transformational core teachings of J. Krishnamurti & A revolution in dialy living beyond conflict and fear.

Please join Richard and Deborah for an in-depth inquiry/dialogue to explore the question: Is it possible to step out of ‘time', to step out of the story of ‘me’, in order to meet life with an unburdened and fresh mind?

The world is facing new and intense challenges that demand that we meet whatever arises no longer burdened by psychological issues that drain our energies and repeatedly plunge us into habitual patterns of thinking and feeling.

Krishnamurti felt it was imperative that we join together to explore the possibility of ending the ‘me-centered’ consciousness in order to meet life with fresh, penetrating insights. Insights that can bring about an end to the dilemma of feeling isolated from each other and from life itself, that can release us from ancient and current static patterns of thinking and belief that humanity has accumulated over millions of years.

Richard Waxberg and Deborah KernerRichard and Deborah’s 8-day explorative Intensive Retreat, Explorations into Freedom, takes place in June and October each year at the Krishnamurti Educational Center in Ojai. They have been creating and facilitating in-depth Intensive Retreats for the KFA for 12 years. They also facilitate Intensive Retreats in Denmark and Canada.

Richard is a practicing writer and artist. He was a full-time college instructor for 20 years, teaching art, design, art history and aesthetics for Parsons School of Design in New York City. Deborah is a practicing artist and poet. She has had a distinguished career as a designer for an array of New York publishers. Both Richard and Deborah taught a variety of art and design courses at the Krishnamurti Rishi Valley School in India. They also participated in numerous dialogues, including inquiries into the meaning of education, held at Krishnamurti Schools and Centers throughout India.

As a part of their spiritual journey, Richard and Deborah studied and participated in Native American shamanic spiritual practices with traditional elders from several Native American tribes, before discovering the profound insights of Krishnamurti. Richard and Deborah continue to study world teachings that reflect Krishnamurti’s profound message of transformation, freedom and love, including current non-dual approaches.

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Understanding Oneself in the Daily Life of a School
In this panel discussion, members of Oak Grove School's staff and students, including the Head of School and Fifth Grade Teacher, will discuss the many aspects of Oak Grove's education pertaining to the notion of understanding oneself. What that looks like in the daily life of our school will differ from preschool to 12th grade although certain themes are present throughout, such as creating a safe space for fearless exploration, acting with compassion, care and sensitivity, an inquiry-based approach, cultivating curiosity and encouraging intrinsic motivation over external rewards and punishments, an emphasis on self-knowledge and holding a space for the religious. Following an initial discussion between panel members there will be room for a Q&A with audience members.

Oak Grove SchoolOak Grove School is the only school in North America founded by J. Krishnamurti. This year it is celebrating its 40th anniversary. During those 40 years it has grown from just a few students to now over 200 students, all the way from preschool through to 12th grade. The mission of Oak Grove School is to assist students in developing those qualities of mind, heart, and body that will enable them to function with excellence, care and responsibility in the modern world.

In addition, it is the intention of the school to offer a place where the whole community can inquire together into the perennial questions of humankind and explore an approach to life that is whole, mindful and intelligent.

The school does this by:

•   Providing a well-rounded and challenging academic experience balanced with a rich extracurricular program in fine, performing and practical arts, physical fitness, environmental and outdoor education, community service and travel.

•   Creating an environment for learning – A Climate of Inquiry – that is safe, friendly, non-competitive and encourages open-mindedness and a spirit of inquiry.

•   Encouraging close relationship between students and teachers as well as close contact between school and home and open, honest, and caring communication protocols amongst all members of the school community.

•   Supporting an approach to learning that emphasizes depth over coverage, project-based learning, a model of student-as-worker/teacher-as-coach, a genuine appreciation of each student’s unique capabilities, and the balance of traditional testing with authentic assessment practices such as portfolios, demonstrations of learning and student exhibitions.

•   Encouraging students to use their minds, bodies and hearts well through the overarching themes expressed within The Art of Living & Learning that are embedded in the school's culture, curriculum, classroom practice and expectations of students.

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Silence, Attention, Learning and Intelligence:

What matters most in Understanding Ourselves
Featuring the New Book Insights into Education

The chaos in and around us is telling us, on a daily basis, that we do not know ourselves. Is it, then, a matter of adjustment, like fixing a wheel that is running awry? Or, is it not rather that the basis of our action needs a radical overhaul? Point by point, educationally, we will tackle the problem not in its details, but in its fundamental features, its torque.

This busy, noisy world has less & less silence; there is little attention, but only thought; seeing is ignored, accumulation is all; intelligence has been reduced to measurable IQ.

In the short space available to us we will go into & critique these well-established norms and make a start on reversing them. For it is the whole cast of the mind that is at stake. This is a revolutionary process, concerned with actuality not theory. The recently published Insights into Education may serve as an aid to our deliberations, but the point is for us to realise for ourselves that it is only by virtue of this revolutionary process that we can begin to know and understand ourselves.

Stephen SmithStephen Smith was sometime Acting Principal, some years Academic Director, and twenty years a teacher at Brockwood Park School in England where he had direct contact with Krishnamurti both personally and as a staff member. While resident in California, he was for five years Coordinator of the Krishnamurti Center in Ojai, organising events and facilitating dialogues. He is now an itinerant writer and editor, public speaker and dialogue facilitator.

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The Legacy of J. Krishnamurti
Krishnamurti - An Environmental Philosopher & Lover of Nature

Michael will be sharing reflections on the work and life of J. Krishnamurti.
Michael KrohnenMichael Krohnen studied the religions of the world, lectured on Buddhism at Santa Barbara City College, taught classes on current world events and social studies at the Oak Grove School, and considers himself a poet and artist. For eleven years he also worked as chef de cuisine at the Oak Grove School in Ojai, and as such functioned as J. Krishnamurti's personal chef (1975-1986), an experience he describes in his book (a memoir): "The Kitchen Chronicles--1001 Lunches with J. Krishnamurti". Currently he is librarian at the 'Krishnamurti Educational Center' and night manager at 'The Pepper Tree Retreat'.

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The Work of the International Foundations: KFA, KFT, KFI, FKL

The Foundations maintain an extensive archive of Krishnamurti's original works in the form of hand-written material, books, transcripts and audio and video tapes of hundreds of talks and discussions, meetings and conversations. There is also a collection of Krishnamurti's letters, photographs and reference material about him, his life, and his works. All this requires special techniques of preservation and the care of trained archivists.

The Foundations are also actively engaged in the publication of this material in various forms. Over 60 books are in print and more are in preparation. About 500 videos and 300 audios are currently available, along with an extensive index. An increasing amount of this material is being translated. Over 30 languages are available including all major European and most Indian languages as well as Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Korean and Hebrew.

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Inquiry & Yoga

In our time together we will start by doing a short all-level yoga practice for about 30 minutes. Then we will listen to part of Amsterdam 1971 where Krishnamurti goes into an exploration of what meditation is (and what it's not). He also looks at yoga as 'unitive perception' and looks at the right relationship with yoga. We will end with a brief dialogue to explore our understanding and our questions together.

Rowan LommelRowan Lommelhas had a lifelong relationship with the teachings of J. Krishnamurti, from her childhood at Oak Grove School, to being a student at Brockwood Park, to being a staff member at KFA, to an eight-year term as a member of the Oak Grove School Board of Directors. These days her interest and connection with the work of Krishnamurti have taken a more deeply personal, less institutional flavor, as she navigates being a mom to two young children, Maxwell age 6 and Kelson age 6 months.

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Open Dialogue: To See Oneself as One Is
“If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.” — Krishnamurti

During this dialogue we’ll have an opportunity to look together, to listen together and perhaps also to 'think' together – to move with one another in a process of shared inquiry.

“…to think together does not imply agreement or disagreement, but putting aside one's own particular point of view, one's own particular prejudice, opinion, judgment and having the capacity thus to think together. Because when we think together there is no division, you are not thinking separately from the speaker. If we are able to think together, the division between you and another comes to an end. There is only thinking, not your way of thinking or another way of thinking, just the capacity to think together. But that is not possible if you don't put aside your own particular conclusions, your own vanity, your own personal demands, otherwise there is no coming together.” — Krishnamurti

Each of us will also have an opportunity, through self-observation, to observe the quality of the looking and listening present – to not merely exchange a series of ideas and opinions about the self, ego, and so on, but to perceive directly that movement as it's underway, bringing attention not only to the 'content' of thought, but also to its 'process'.

“…we are going to have a conversation, talk over things together in a form of dialogue, to discuss, not opinions, not some kind of conclusions that you have come to, but rather go into the problems that one has, whether they are superficial or deep, and really see if we cannot radically bring about a psychological revolution in ourselves. I think it would be worthwhile and it would be also both interesting and quite fun if we could do this together.” — Krishnamurti
Eric HassettEric Hassett coordinates the monthly dialogue and video showing in Ojai—Looking, Listening, and Shared Inquiry—which is free and open to the public on the fourth Saturday of each month.  Eric also moderates the Krishnamurti Network online community.

"A lifelong appreciation of Krishnamurti's teachings and a longtime passion for dialogue and inquiry make me want to bring people together from all walks of life to share in the kind of open-ended exploration in which Krishnamurti invited us to partake. Whether taking the form of in-person gatherings or online discussions, when people come together to inquire into fundamental questions of living and attempt to observe not just the content of thought but its process in operation, it not only has the potential of deepening one's mere intellectual understanding (in part by hearing others' perspectives), but also offers a unique opportunity to see oneself in 'the mirror of relationship' — and possibly open the door to insights heretofore inaccessible during solitary contemplation."

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From the Archives

Cory FisherCory Fisher is the rights manager and Archives coordinator for the KFA, he participated in the Residential student program in 2014.

We will give a brief update on current projects, pending needs, and long term strategies to offer a snapshot of the activities of the KFA archives. Afterwards, we will be screening some material from the Archive.

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Exhibit: The Mind Of Krishnamurti: World Citizen World Teacher
Krishnamurti ExhibitThis exhibit draws on materials from the archives of the various Krishnamurti Foundations. It will be on display in several locations around the world.

An exhibit placing the trajectory of Krishnamurti’s life and teachings in the context of 20th century world events is inherently interesting. This juxtaposition of global and personal history is accomplished through a circular set of nineteen freestanding panels, each eight feet tall by three feet wide. As the participant walks the outer perimeter, world history and Krishnamurti’s emerging teaching activity unfold with events, dates, times, images, people and happenings worldwide during Krishnamurti’s lifetime. The world history timeline is in five-year segments and covers important political, cultural, art, media, international, and national events.

Upon coming to the conclusion of Krishnamurti’s extraordinary life in 1986, one turns to the inside perimeter of the spiraling panels. Insights from his writings are joined with a series of mural photos of the grove of oak trees where Krishnamurti spoke in California from 1922 onward. The mental chatter slows and stillness manifest as an oasis for quiet reflection and contemplation of the central issues of human existence: what is sacred in life; how can one live holistically and not fragmented; and what is the meaning of life?

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Medicinal Herb Garden

Krishnamurti ExhibitThe Earth Island Medicinal Herb Garden Earth Island Medicinal Herb Garden is the hub of several projects of herbalist Carol Wade, including ecotours of the garden and an herbal studies program.

The main garden plot is designed in the shape of a nautilus, with each chamber representing a system of the body and planted with specimens especially beneficial to those systems. Today the garden is an incredible resource for the study of native plants utilized by indigenous peoples as well regionally adapted medicinal herbs. It utilizes upcycled materials for garden structures, wise water usage, organic gardening techniques and creates an outdoor community classroom and meeting site. This is all in keeping with Earth Island Herbs' mission to promote self-sufficiency and positive change, to educate our communities about the many healthful properties of the plants around us, to produce the highest quality herbal products made from fresh and, when possible, local sources and to cultivate and build down to earth community.

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