THIRTY YEARS ON
With 30 years having passed since his death, Krishnamurti’s teachings are more widely known and available than ever before and the schools and centres he established worldwide are flourishing. We do not know the effect of Krishnamurti's teachings on human consciousness, but it is good to assess what we are doing with them and how they are being made known in their authentic form as effectively and as widely as possible. Here we consider 30 major developments, in no particular order, linked to the work at Brockwood Park that help illustrate how the remarkable legacy of Krishnamurti has grown over the last three decades.
THE CREATION OF THE KRISHNAMURTI CENTRE at Brockwood Park has been a major achievement in the last 30 years. While Krishnamurti did not live to see the building completed and opened in 1987, he was involved in all of the planning stages, selecting the renowned architect Keith Critchlow to design it and meeting with him a number of times to discuss the plans in detail. He wanted Brockwood to have a purpose-built centre providing adults with the opportunity to engage in serious study of the teachings in beautiful surroundings; this is exactly what has been achieved.
MORE THAN 500,000 PEOPLE EACH YEAR VISIT JKO, (jkrishnamurti.org) the international website which the KFT helped to create and helps manage. The website is the official repository of the authentic teachings of Krishnamurti and contains thousands of searchable text files, together with hundreds of free audio and video streams, supplemented by paid downloads. A new version of the site is currently under construction and should be launched later this year.
INWOODS SMALL SCHOOL WAS BORN. Originally started by three staff families looking for somewhere to meet with their own children, it slowly attracted local interest and evolved into a fully-fledged Small School, which is now a significant addition to the Brockwood family. The Inwoods approach is inspired by Krishnamurti's teachings and the school currently has a roll of around 30 children, five staff and a very active and committed parent body. inwoods.org.uk
INNOVATIONS IN UNCOVERING A BROCKWOOD PARK SCHOOL CURRICULUM have occurred following discussions over the last few years about academic excellence and understanding things for oneself. We are developing a curriculum with an emphasis on: (i) active and independent learning that involves students' and teachers' input in the curriculum content itself; (ii) individualised supervision and support for students' investigations and academic work (one-one teaching and academic advising); (iii) extended immersion in activities of learning and inquiry with more teacher-student contact time, independent learning, peer supported learning; (iv) development of interdisciplinary topics, activities, projects and portfolios; (v) development of a Human Ecology core to the Brockwood curriculum.
THERE ARE NOW AROUND 80 KRISHNAMURTI BOOKS in print in English around the world. Most of these are published in India and in the last five years, three major titles have been reprinted by Rider in the UK. Krishnamurti books are available from the KFT online bookshop: store.kfoundation.org
SEVEN WONDERFUL NEW BUILDINGS FOR THE SCHOOL TO GROW INTO, is how The Pavilions were described by a guest attending their opening in the spring of 2013. Having taken almost three years to complete, these oak-timber-framed, interconnected, eco-friendly boarding houses were much anticipated and every detail of design and construction had been carefully considered to ensure that they blended into their surroundings and would be a delight to live in. Now with the full benefit of excellent landscaping they are beautiful to behold and the students and staff of Brockwood Park School attest to loving to live in them.
AN ESTIMATED 10,000 DIFFERENT GUESTS HAVE STAYED AT THE CENTRE since it opened its doors with many thousands more simply visiting for the day. They come from around the world and include groups from the international Krishnamurti Committees attending retreats in their own languages. Visitors have the use of the comprehensive Library, Video-Viewing Room and Quiet-Room and enjoy the comfortable ensuite bedrooms, communal spaces and excellent food. The Centre is situated on the edge of the South Downs National Park, so visitors also take time out to explore some of the beautiful surrounding countryside.
KRISHNAMURTI'S BOOKS HAVE BEEN TRANSLATED INTO MORE THAN 50 LANGUAGES and are available in a number of countries where they could not be found in the past: e.g. Russia and China. To facilitate this work, the KFT attends the major international book fairs and collaborates closely with the other Krishnamurti Foundations to encourage new translations. Recently the KFT signed a contract for the first official publication of a Krishnamurti book into Arabic with a Saudi Arabian publisher.
BROCKWOOD IS COMPLETING THE MOST FAR-REACHING REVIEW IN ITS HISTORY. All departments and activities have been carefully looked at with the assistance of two volunteers with extensive experience in organisational and change management and a great interest in the teachings. As a result, many changes and improvements to the structure and operation of Brockwood as an organisation have been implemented. The fact that the organisation has been flexible enough to embrace this review bodes well for the future of the place and the new people coming into it.
FRIENDS OF BROCKWOOD PARK WAS CREATED, because of the generous support and encouragement of a friend who felt it was time Brockwood built a stronger community of supporters and well-wishers. Brockwood would not have survived had it not been for the generosity of countless people over many years who gave of their time, energy and financial support, because they saw the importance of such a place. Brockwood does not belong to anyone, but is there for all those who value it. Friends of Brockwood Park is intended to strengthen the important relationships that underlie it.
EXPLORATION AND INQUIRY HAVE REMAINED THE CORNERSTONES of a Brockwood Park School education, throughout its 46 years. The School has remained true to its original intentions and continues to attract dedicated staff from around the world who have a serious interest in Krishnamurti's teachings and who see the exploration of these as central to the School's educational approach. Despite the demise of many small independent schools in the UK over the last few decades, Brockwood Park School has flourished and continues to help generate worldwide interest in Krishnamurti's teachings on education.
BROCKWOOD PARK SCHOOL HAS WELCOMED OVER 1700 STUDENTS from around the globe since opening its doors in 1969. The countries from which they travel are spread far and wide, from Canada to New Zealand, Thailand to Denmark, so our students find themselves with new friends and sometimes families near and far. But once they have been a student here, the one thing they all find in common is that wherever they want to travel to in the world, they will always find a warm welcome and a place to stay.
AROUND 2800 AUDIO RECORDINGS HAVE BEEN DIGITIZED to a very high standard for preservation purposes. These have since been remastered at a recording studio in the UK and are being steadily released for sale on MP3 format, with free streaming on jkrishnamurti.org. Many audios are also available through major online retailers.
MORE THAN 600 VIDEO RECORDINGS OF KRISHNAMURTI HAVE BEEN PROFESSIONALLY DIGITIZED. This represents the entire archival collection of video and film of Krishnamurti and has enabled wide release in digital format. Almost all are available on DVD, with a growing number free to watch on jkrishnamurti.org or YouTube, as well as in a high quality download format.
A TEACHER APPRENTICE PROGRAMME BEGAN AT BROCKWOOD this year. The programme includes: (i) collaborating with teachers in preparing and teaching courses; (ii) working independently to prepare and design elements of a course; (iii) participation in the Brockwood Foundations of Education course that addresses the fundamentals of teaching and learning and our conditioning about this; (iv) meetings with mentoring teachers and colleagues; (v) involvement in designing and developing the school-wide curriculum; (vi) reflecting on Krishnamurti’s writings on education, teaching and learning. We are working with universities in Spain and the UK interested in fieldwork placements in Brockwood’s secondary school and Inwoods small school for their teacher education students.
WORLD CLASS PERFORMERS WILL APPEAR IN A LONDON CONCERT to help support the KFT. Through the initiative of a long-time friend of Brockwood, this event, due to be held at Cadogan Hall on the 3rd September (click here for j-krishnamurti.co.uk), will bring together Maria João Pires (piano), Nigel North (lute), Aditi Mangaldas (Indian Dance) for a single performance. Krishnamurti's sensitivity towards the arts and his association with notable musicians, including Pablo Casals, Segovia, Stravinsky and Ravi Shankar, are well known.
THOUSANDS OF PHOTOGRAPHS, NEWSPAPER ARTICLES, LETTERS AND MANUSCRIPTS from the KFT archive have been digitized in the last decade. Efforts have been focussed on creating a digital version of every item held in the archive vault, in order to aid in the preservation of material and also to assist research access. There are three major Krishnamurti archives worldwide (established and operated by the KFT, KFA, KFI) and the contents of all are being digitized and exchanged as part of an active programme between them.
VOLUNTEERS WORLDWIDE CONTINUE TO HELP BY CREATING AND VERIFYING TRANSCRIPTS of Krishnamurti's talks and discussions. We aim to have a low-technology version of every talk or discussion that occurred, kept on acid-free paper in our secure, climatically controlled archive. This long term project involves each transcript going through a minimum of three stages to ensure accuracy, and the finished transcripts are then used to create subtitles, translations, for editing into books or to publish online.
OVER 1000 NEW SUBSCRIBERS PER MONTH sign up to the KFT YouTube channel (click here for YouTube channel) where more than 300 full length videos are available to view and comment on, together with more than 120 video extracts. The extracts, which are primarily Krishnamurti's response to specific questions put to him during his public meetings, have proved a to be a popular new entry point to the teachings, and for viewers searching with a particular topic in mind. A new extract is released every week.
WE HAVE AROUND 1,000 NEW SUBSCRIBERS A WEEK for our J Krishnamurti Facebook page (click here for Facebook page), a collaboration between the different Krishnamurti Foundations, featuring regular quotes, videos and news from the schools. We have more than 160,000 subscribers and each post is seen by around 50,000 people and can be easily shared with friends online.
FIVE MAJOR ALUMNI REUNIONS HAVE OCCURRED AT BROCKWOOD PARK SCHOOL in the past 30 years. Most of these events lasted five days and attracted hundreds of alumni from around the world who attended to reconnect with old friends and with the place. These occasions are eagerly anticipated by alumni, many of whom camp in the surrounding fields. They provide Brockwood with the opportunity to learn first-hand what former students are doing with their lives and what a Brockwood education has meant to them.
ENGLISH SUBTITLING IS WELL ADVANCED for all of the video recordings of Krishnamurti's talks, discussions and interviews. This allows the talks to be followed more easily by those for whom English is not a first language and where the quality of the original recording may not be good; it also aids in translation work by creating an agreed text from which a translator can work. Over half of the more than 600 video recordings in existence are now available with English subtitles.
AN ANNUAL £30,000 SAVING WITH A CHANGE OF BOILERS seems hard to believe, but this is what occurred a few years ago when the Krishnamurti Centre installed a new woodchip-fired boiler. Not only did the ecologically-friendly system dramatically cut fuel costs, but it also attracted substantial government subsidies and helped support the local economy, as we buy our woodchip supply from the man next door, harvested from the nearby woods .
GARDEN ROOMS RENOVATED INTO STATE-OF-THE-ART CLASSROOMS as a consequence of asking fundamental questions about creating learning environments for inquiry and participation. In what way does an environment inhibit or nurture learning and is it possible to dislodge the teacher’s central position and the students’ roles as passive recipients of knowledge and skills? From these questions we have three beautifully renovated classrooms each with 4 roundtables, 4 whiteboards and a large smart television connected to a computer for powerpoint, audio-visual displays and the recording of presentations.
BROCKWOOD PARK SCHOOL HOSTED INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION CONFERENCES in the past 3 years that provided a forum for outreach re. K’s vision of education to educators and the general public and also a forum for Brockwood’s teachers to engage with questions posed by contemporary educators. “When is Teaching? Getting In or Out of The Way at The Right Time,” with emeritus Harvard University Graduate School of Education Professor, Eleanor Duckworth was hosted at Brockwood. “Mind, Society and Transformative Education”, a ‘travelling’ education conference (featuring eminent educators from the U.S. and India) was co-hosted by Brockwood in India and Baku. “Another Learning Is Possible”, was a joint conference hosted and sponsored by The University of Winchester and Brockwood Park School.
TAKING EDUCATION OUT OF THE CLASSROOM was one of the concerns in the late 1980s which led to the creation of the ‘Winter Trips’. A reshuffling of the school semesters meant that students and staff could take extended trips during January and February and they went to such far-flung destinations as India, China, Brazil, Mexico, Kenya, Morocco. The trips made for learning, adventure and self-disclosure and, as such, were part of ‘education without borders’. Semesters at Brockwood have since changed but the trips continue with select groups.
FINALLY THE MANY PEOPLE OVER 30 YEARS AND MORE WHO HAVE DONE THIS WORK, and those who have supported it from afar, deserve a mention. Krishnamurti’s teachings have ensured that Brockwood continues to attract capable, thoughtful, resourceful adults from around the world, who wish to inquire, explore and live with like-minded people. Brockwood also receives the financial support of individuals from around the world who recognise the importance of the work done here and without whom it could not continue.
Just a few of the huge number of people who have helped to make Brockwood possible.
Thank you everyone.
ON THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE
While Brockwood Park is the home for the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust, there are of course three other Foundations created by Krishnamurti during his lifetime: Krishnamurti Foundation of America (KFA); Krishnamurti Foundation India (KFI); and Fundacion Krishnamurti Latinoamericana (FKL). The Foundations work closely together to preserve and disseminate Krishnamurti's teachings, and each of them has witnessed the kind of development and growth described here as pertaining to Brockwood Park and the KFT.
One of the responsibilities of KFI is to oversee nine Krishnamurti retreat Centres and seven schools in India. KFA also looks after a school and retreat centre in Ojai, California. FKL is responsible for publishing Spanish translations of Krishnamurti's works. Key staff in all the Foundations administer the International JKrishnamurti.org website. Trustees and directors of the different Foundations and Schools meet every two years for International Trustees Meetings to discuss the preservation and dissemination of Krishnamurti's teachings and the work of the Foundations, Schools and Centres.
There are many other activities worldwide (gatherings, schools, centres) that are focused on, or inspired by, Krishnamurti’s teachings and that further attest to his remarkable legacy.