Krishnamurti in China: Awakening Intelligence

Sue and Kang

Sue (Xiaoxia) Wang and Kang Wei had been interested in Krishnamurti’s teachings for several years. They read many of the books and watched some videos. Then, about seven years ago, they wondered what else they could do. So they started a vibrant Committee that translates and publishes new books, has an active web-presence, and organizes discussions and talks. Thanks largely to their involvement, interest in Krishnamurti’s teachings in China has exponentially increased.

Together they are responsible for coordinating the work around Krishnamurti in China. In 2012 they founded Krishnamurti Meditation Studio (KMS) together with another friend who has agreed to fund all their activities until this August. Living simply while working full-time for KMS has meant that they were able to achieve a great deal in just a few years.

Thanks to their efforts and those of others there are now 50 books by Krishnamurti for sale in China with 10 different publishers, with the best-selling title selling more than 100,000 (!) copies. Other books have annual sales of several thousand to ten thousand.

They lead a translation team of 19 people from all over China. Together, the team has completed the translation of several video series, including recently the “Malibu Small Group Discussions.” They are now working on “A Wholly Different Way of Living.” In addition they have been working with the JKO website to translate all of Krishnamurti’s teachings into Chinese.

In February of 2012 they launched a Weibo platform. Weibo is the Chinese answer to Facebook and Twitter and is now the most popular and influential social network site in China. In just over a year they have already attracted well over 32,000 followers. To see the site or to subscribe go here.

Sue (Xiaoxia) Wang and Kang Wei at the Centre

Then in May of this year they launched another public platform called Weixin (WeChat), which allows people to receive content directly to their phones. Already 8,200 mobile phone users have subscribed to this service, which allows them to receive a bilingual quotation by Krishnamurti every day.

Sue and Kang also organize discussion groups in Beijing and in addition have put together a number of very successful public events. Former Brockwood staff member and current KFA Executive Director Jaap Sluijter addressed audiences twice, in 2012 and in 2013, with different programs including “Meeting Life, Meeting Krishnamurti”. And in September 2012 Pedro Lopez from our own Krishnamurti Foundation led a panel discussion called “Opening the Book of Mankind” at the Beijing book fair. Finally, in March of this year, Brockwood Park School Co-Principal Adrian Sydenham visited Beijing and spoke to students, parents and teachers with an interest in Brockwood and in Krishnamurti’s views on education. His story on that visit can be found here. And the video of his visit can be watched here.

People came from all over China to Beijing to attend these events. The rooms that had been booked were so crowded that they were warm even with the air-conditioning on full-blast. Due to the overwhelming interest extra rooms with video screens had to be set up for the overflow crowd.

Given all this interest in China the still young Krishnamurti Committee has a dream of establishing a permanent Study Centre in Beijing. But this dream is made that much harder by the fact that it is not possible for Sue and Kang to ask for donations publicly because non-profit laws and regulations in China are very strict. So they are dependent on the generosity of a very few individuals who support their work.

When asked why they thought there is such an interest in Krishnamurti in China, they said that right now all things of a spiritual nature are more popular in China. This is partly due to a more open stance of the Chinese government and partly to the fact that Chinese society is in transition. Young people and students are feeling confused about their future and about the world and they feel the need for some form of self-realization. Also, people in general are becoming less interested in easy success and are instead turning inward.

The result of this inward turn is that there is an increased interest in all things spiritual, including in all sorts of gurus. To some, Krishnamurti is simply one of many spiritual figures who have become popular, but Sue and Kang are hoping the clarity of his vision will prove to have a more lasting and profound influence on Chinese culture and society. Already they are finding that many people are interested not just in personal transformation but also in the educational dimension of Krishnamurti’s teachings.

Sue and Kang see a bright future for Krishnamurti’s work in China. They are hoping to still increase the number of people who are exposed to the teachings. They point out that even with the high number of readers, when seen as a percentage of the whole population, it is still a tiny amount. For this reason, dissemination of the teachings is their priority. But at the same time they want to continue to build their online presence, organize more discussions and talks, and work on establishing a physical centre for the study of the teachings in China.

And then there is one other dream. Their eyes light up and they become visibly animated when they discuss the possibility of starting a Krishnamurti school in China. Already there are many parents who are interested. There is a lot of interest in alternative schools in China and several have been started in the past few years, so the climate seems right. To start a school inspired by Krishnamurti’s educational vision would be the icing on the cake for Sue and Kang. But they recognize that, while vital, they are still a relatively ‘young’ committee. They want to make sure there is a solid foundation of interest in the teachings before taking the next step of actually starting a school.

If what they have already done in the past few years is any indication of things to come, we should not be surprised to find both a Krishnamurti Study Centre and a School in China in the near future.

Sue and Kang can be reached at