More Than We Could Imagine

A recent Kishnamurti video showing in London took us all by surprise, as Michael Ledwith reports:

Event attendance numbers are never easy to predict and plan for, especially in winter when the weather can scupper almost anyone’s best intentions. How many would brave London’s winter to come for a Krishnamurti video screening we wondered? If we booked too large a room for the event then it may be too empty, impersonal and unengaging. Too small a room and we would not have space for everyone. We were sure we would have some arrivals at least, as we had tried to inform as many people as we could. Thanks to the generosity of a friend we were able to advertise in the London Metro and the London Evening Standard. We set up a dedicated internet group on Meetup.com; we put up posters close to the location; we sent out notices on our various Brockwood Park networks; and then having done all we thought we could do, we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best and wondered what the night would bring.

London University's SOAS Building

The location of the screening was SOAS (London Universities School of Oriental and African Studies), where a gracious friend of Brockwood worked and had kindly made the arrangements. When I arrived, forty five minutes early, five people were there. I only recognised one, which was promising, it meant we were connecting with some people outside of our usual networks. ‘Our efforts are not in vain’ I thought to myself. Slowly another few arrived and shyly tip-toed in, ‘not bad’ I said to myself, ‘we have probably enough people that after the talk we will be able to form a good circle for a dialogue’. Then, with twenty minutes to go, it began, the deluge! People started to pour into the room. We arranged the chairs and tables to suit. More arrived, we re-arranged. More and more arrived and we removed the tables altogether and realised we were going to need more chairs… a lot more chairs! We borrowed as many as we could, we even removed the refreshments table and had managed to find seats for most of the people before running out of room. So many had come that the excess spilled out into the corridor where they found a place to view and listen from. I threw a rough count and realised that despite the freezing temperatures outside, well over a hundred people were there. We scurried around making what space we could and when we were content everyone was situated, we proceeded to start the video.

Krishnamurti and Dr. Allan Anderson

The video chosen was part three of J.Krishnamurti’s conversations with Dr. Allan W. Anderson in San Diego 1974. The subject and title of this talk was ‘What Is Communication With Others’. It lasted about an hour and people seemed to be very attentive for all of it. Afterwards we had a break to take it all in and then we began a dialogue on the topic. I didn’t know if people would be shy or whether we would have to instigate the discussion and get the ball rolling but the discussion began at pace and was very insightful. I had the impression people were truly enthralled by Krishnamurti’s inquiry and were eager to share their impressions of the talk. One woman in particular said she had heard of, but never learned about Krishnamurti before, but having watched the video was intrigued and very curious. The dialogue progressed ceaselessly for forty minutes before we had to stop it due to time restraints, much to the dismay of the people there it seemed. My colleague and I then gave a short talk on the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust and Brockwood Park and hosted a few questions, bringing us to our conclusion.


We asked if anyone was interested in doing it again and we were answered with a resounding ‘yes’. The reception was fantastic. A particular pleasure came at the end when a smartly dressed gentleman approached us stating that he had never heard of Krishnamurti but had seen the ad in the paper and was curious as to what it was all about, so he had popped in on his way home from work. He said he was truly amazed by the video and by Krishnamurti's discussion. He said he wanted to know more and wanted to buy a book. “Where should I begin” he asked, “Can you pick me out a book?” We did and he promptly and gladly purchased it, thanking us deeply. His first encounter with Krishnamurti's teachings had resonated deeply in him. There’s something rather special about helping facilitate that first contact with the teachings and we were very grateful to our friends at SOAS for helping to make it happen and hope that it may happen again at the next screening. We plan to build on this event and help SOAS host more of these events throughout the year.

The next screening and dialogue will be on February 18th, again at London University’s School of Oriental and African Sciences (SOAS). Room to be announced (and size most certainly to be increased).


If you would like more info or to join our mailing list for this event, please email me at michael@brockwood.org.uk


SOAS poster