International Committees Meetings in Brockwood Park

by Alexandre Sole

Architect's Drawing of the Centre

In 1986 the International Krishnamurti Committees met for the first time in Brockwood Park. It was a special occasion for the meeting to take place here, as the construction of the Krishnamurti Centre had just begun. Probably very few of the committee members who have gathered in Brockwood Park this summer are aware that in those first meetings in 1986 committees laid bricks in the wall of the Krishnamurti Centre which we were all now meeting in.

The brick-laying ceremony was a symbolic act, but it reflects the essential role that the committees fulfilled then, and continue to fulfill today. Not only have they been proactively working to make Krishnamurti known in their own countries but they have also been supporting the work we do here at Brockwood in the different departments, providing opportunities for dialogue, sharing knowledge and in many other ways. It is, we hope, a two-way exchange, as we do our best to provide them with tools, resources, advice and events to support their initiatives.

Group picture during the first edition of the International Committees Meetings (Brockwood Park, 1986).

Participating committees countries

Since that first meeting eleven more meetings of the international committees have taken place in the years, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2015. Ten of these have been in Brockwood Park and one in Switzerland. On every occasion members have come from many different regions, mostly from nearby European countries but some also from countries as remote as Japan, New Zealand, Canada or South Africa. We are always very pleased to have all of them here, but feel particuarly grateful for those that make the effort to come from so far.

On this occasion 21 countries were represented: Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand and Tunisia. We were privileged to also have 2 KFT trustees, a former co-principal of Brockwood Park School and a staff member of the Krishnamurti Foundation of America join the meetings.

Group picture during the twelfth edition of the International Committees Meetings (Brockwood Park, 2015).

The meetings normally last for 2 or 3 days and provide an opportunity for the committees to discuss Krishnamurti’s teachings deeeply and the work they do to make the teachings available in their own countries. It is also an opportunity to discuss and share the many challenges they face and enquire together into important topics.

This year’s agenda included video screenings, a workshop led by a KFT trustee, discussions proposed previously by the committees themselves, dialogues in small groups and meetings with representatives of the Brockwood Development Office. During the Development meetings considerable time was devoted to proposing and thinking together of ways in which the committees can help Brockwood in the many challenges that if faces, mainly in terms of bringing more students to the schools, making the most out of the Krishnamurti Centre, recruiting new mature students and staff, reaching out to more alumni and finding more volunteers and guest helpers. Considerable time was also devoted to proposing specific ways in which the committees can interact more often and tighten links among themselves, to discussing how the younger generations and universities can be brought onboard and to updating committees on the review currently occurring at Brockwood, and some of the changes that have resulted.

Overall it was felt that the meetings had been a very fruitful, informative and enriching experience, and that the Krishnamurti Centre, which the committees had helped to start building, had been once more an ideal setting to host this gathering. We hope to build more together in the future.