Mind in Meditation
. . . . . . . Then you can begin to enquire: what is that which man has sought throughout the centuries upon centuries? He has been asking for it, trying to discover it. You cannot possibly understand it, or come upon it if you have not laid the foundation in your daily life. And then we can ask: what is meditation? Not how to meditate or what steps to take to meditate, or what systems and methods to follow to meditate, because all systems... all systems, all methods make the mind mechanical. You understand, sir? If I follow a particular system, however carefully worked out by the greatest, purest, intellectual guru you can possibly imagine, that system, that method makes the mind mechanical. And a mechanical mind is the most dead mind. And that's what you are all seeking. 'Tell me how to meditate' - that's your first question. Because you say, 'Well, if you can tell me I'll practise it, I'll do it day after day' - get up every morning from whatever time you get up and then repeat it, repeat, repeat, repeat. You know what kind of mind then you will have at the end of a year? A dull, stupid mind, a mind that can escape, that can hypnotise itself. And that's not meditation. Meditation is the most marvellous thing if you know the meaning of a mind that is in meditation - not how to meditate. We will see what is not meditation - you understand? - then you will know what meditation is. What it is not, through negation you come upon the positive. But if you pursue the positive it leads you to dead end.
We say meditation is not the practice of any system. You know people who sit and become aware of their toes, of their bodies, of their movements, you know practise, practise, practise. A machine can do that. So systems cannot reveal the beauty and the depth and the marvellous thing called meditation. Nor meditation is concentration. When you concentrate, or attempt to concentrate, in that concentration there is the observer and the observed. You understand? There is the one who says, 'I must concentrate, I must force myself to concentrate', and concentration becomes conflict. You are following all this? And when you do learn to concentrate like a schoolboy then that concentration becomes a process of exclusion, building a wall against thought, other movement of thought. So that concentration is not meditation. It is not an escape from the understanding of what yourself is actually. So there must be complete self-knowledge - not the higher self or the Atman and all that rubbish, which are all inventions because what is fact is real, not your inventions.
So: no system, no method, no concentration and a mind that has understood all this through negation. Such a mind then becomes very quiet naturally. In that there is no observer who has achieved some kind of silence. In that silence there is the emptying of the mind of all the past. I'll go through it, you won't... unless you do this in your daily life you won't understand the marvellous... the subtlety, the beauty, the extraordinary thing of it, unless you do it. Merely to repeat what the speaker says, don't do it. If you repeat it becomes a propaganda, which is a lie.
So when you... when the mind is completely... has this complete order, mathematical order, and that order has come into being naturally through the understanding of the disorder of our daily life, then the mind becomes extraordinarily quiet. This quiet has vast space - not the quiet of a little room, it is not the quiet, the silence of the ending of noise, but a mind that has understood this whole problem of existence, love and death and the living, the beauty of the skies, the trees, the people, you know, beauty, which all your religious gurus have denied, and that's why you destroy your trees, your nature. When you have understood all this then you will know what happens in that silence. Nobody can describe it. Anybody who describes it doesn't know what it is. It is for you to find out.
(from a talk in Bangalore by J Krishnamurti January 31 1971)