Magic in the Mountains

The remarkable Swiss alpine setting of Mürren is the home to an established summer retreat to study Krishnamurti’s teachings and new participants are always welcome.

Krishnamurti first gave public talks in Saanen, Switzerland, in 1961 and these continued annually until 1985. Since that time, every year there has been an international summer gathering in Switzerland to explore the teachings and their relevance in daily life. These gatherings were initially held in Saanen, but have since moved to the beautiful alpine village of Mürren, overlooking Lauterbrunnen Valley and the Mönch and Jungfrau peaks.

This year the Mürren gatherings held in Hôtel Sport Chalet, (alt.1650 m) will run from the Saturday 27th July, until Saturday 11th August 2018 and the theme will be ‘Facing the fact that we are the world and the world is us’. A detailed programme will be available nearer the time, and will elaborate on questions related to the theme. Activities will include viewing selected Krishnamurti talks; dialogue groups and intensive inquiry; hikes twice a week; evening activities and body awareness.

The different activities have in common the intention to give space and energy to the understanding and the flowering of the mind: learning to share, to observe, to listen. For instance the body awareness offered by Jaap van Manen, a teacher of expressive dance, seeks to explore the themes of K through dance and movement using the wisdom of the body. There is no goal to reach.

This international gathering attracts people from around the world. The atmosphere of friendliness, seriousness, silence and togetherness is important in order to sustain a quality of inquiry. Mürren itself provides a perfect setting and the possibility to be in touch with the magic of the mountains and the quality of silence.

A short time after the Mürren gathering a related programme will occur in Switzerland for young people; the dates have yet to be confirmed. This retreat is also an exploration of the work of Krishnamurti

involving discussion, sharing, walks and observation of nature. It will take place in Bourg-St-Pierre, Valais.

For further information about both events, contact: Gisèle BALLEYS, 7A, ch. Floraire, 1225 Chêne-Bourg/Geneva, Switzerland. Tel: +41-22-349-6674 / +41-27-787-13-35 E-mail: giseleballeys@telegraphe.ch

 

The following is a reflection by Vinay Dabholkar on the impact of his attendance at Mürren last year

My three takeaways from the Krishnamurti Gathering in Mürren, Switzerland

I got an opportunity to attend a week-long gathering of people interested in the teaching of Jiddu Krishnamurti last month. It was held in a picturesque little town of Mürren located in Bernese Alps in Switzerland. My father, who has been a student of Krishnamurti’s teachings for a few decades, wished to attend this gathering and we went as a family – my parents, my wife and I. We attended the first week of the two week gathering.

Like other Krishnamurti gatherings we saw videos of Krishnamurti’s talks, had panel discussions, small group dialogues and also had a space for people to share their personal experiences and insights. We also had guided hikes in the mountains. The gathering organizer, Gisele, a lovely lady, looked after each participant with great care. People came from a dozen countries mostly in Europe but also from the US and Australia. Many participants knew each other and had been part of this annual event earlier known as the Saanen Gathering since 70s and 80s.

A gathering like this creates a space for deep reflection and impacts each participant in a unique way. Here I am jotting down the three things I took away from this event.

1. Role of silence in a dialogue: Our small group dialogues used to begin with moments of silence. The idea was that the dialogue remains anchored in silence. I knew this and yet there were moments when I was driven by the urge to speak. Our facilitator and other members were very helpful in pointing out to me and others that there is a need to slow down and let the dialogue flow through the silence. In fact, later I found it useful to imagine that each word was entering the pool of silence at the centre and new words were emerging from that pool. It was beautiful to experience it when that happened. Perhaps this is relevant to any conversation and I continue to experiment with this.

2. What is my primary responsibility? This question was discussed over two days in our small group dialogues. On the one hand, it was observed that the world is in a mess and I am deeply connected with the world. In fact, there is one famous Krishnamurti quote which says – You are the world. Then I must share the responsibility for the mess. And hence, my primary responsibility is to bring order to this mess. On the other hand, it was observed that it is not easy perhaps impossible to genuinely help anyone because the thought process that leads to conflict – anger, worry, frustration, is almost mechanical and reactive. In all likelihood, I am contributing to the conflict by being reactive too. Hence, my primary responsibility is my inner silence, non-reactivity or non-resistance. Perhaps my inner silence is the best help I can offer to the world.

3. Nature as a teacher: Mürren offered breath-taking beauty in myriad forms. We could see the majesty of the snow peaked mountains like the Jungfrau, a roaring waterfall like the Trummelbach falls, gentle streams, peaceful cows, bright flowers all in the same day. It is as if the nature is teasing our judgmental mind and saying, “You like to judge every situation, judge this scene” and it is humbling. One particular scene was insightful. I was watching the snow patches on the mountain and after a while I suddenly saw that a small patch of snow was not snow after all. It was a stream and it got misperceived as snow. It was a beautiful metaphor for how thought constructs solid objects in place of flowing things. Perhaps the solidity of “Vinay” is similar and it is a stream of thoughts getting misperceived as a solid “I”. Who knows?

Overall, the gathering provided a wonderful opportunity for self-reflection and created new possibilities to experiment in the self-discovery journey. It was made joyous by the serene surroundings and the warmth of the people around us.