Krishnamurti and APV

A few years ago I was lost in the philosophy section of a library in America and I stumbled upon a book by Jiddu Krishnamurti called The Awakening of Intelligence. I had been reading philosophy books regularly for over a decade and I had earned a BA in Philosophy, but somehow Krishnamurti had eluded me up to this point. As I flipped through the book reading various passages I began to recognize how profound his method of thought was and I was immediately captivated by it.

Krishnamurti advocates that the ability to be passively aware of everything that is happening, both within our minds and in our surroundings, allows one to function effortlessly and alleviates us from conflicts and struggles that are constantly developing. He proposes that effortless awareness, which brings about both inward and outward peace, can be achieved through mindful observation, and instead of trying to control or change our thoughts and emotions, he encourages us to simply observe them without judgment and see what happens. I had never experienced something quite like what happens when I began watching my thoughts in the manner Krishnamurti suggests.

During AIF orientation the Fellows were all brought to Ashram Paryavaran Vidhyalaya in the Himalayas, which is both a center for meditation and a grade school that practices a system of holistic education that promotes mindfulness through meditation. The AIF Fellows were given the opportunity to participate in a meditation session with the students that attend the school, which was led by Anand Ji, who had contributed to the development of APV’s curriculum and philosophy. During the meditation Anand Ji advised us to watch our thoughts, to be aware of the space between thoughts, and it felt very similar to Krishnamurti’s philosophy. After the session I asked Anand Ji if he was familiar with Krishnamurti’s teachings and he replied, “Yes I knew him.”

Anand Ji Meditate

Having experienced the benefits of mindfulness and awareness in my late twenties I have a deep appreciation for its benefits, but I cannot imagine how different my life would have been had I been exposed to this from such a young age. I realized how fortunate these children were to be exposed to this and how the western education system somewhat neglects this aspect of childhood development. The ability to recognize anger, jealousy, anxiety, fear, frustration, and all the rest of it as it arises, to be aware of it and observe it, diminishes its ability to influence our actions and can have an enormous impact on ourselves and how we interact with others. It is inspiring to know that there is a place like APV that is fostering the development of cognizant individuals through mindfulness.

Adam grew up in New Jersey and attended the Pennsylvania State University where he received his BA in Philosophy. After graduation he tapped his entrepreneurial spirit and launched a chain of successful restaurants at Universities throughout Midwestern America. After five years of owning and operating restaurants, he decided to sell his businesses and join the U.S. Peace Corps to follow his passions for international development and traveling abroad. As part of the Peace Corps Small Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Development Program, Adam successfully secured several hundred thousand USD in grants and loans for the various organizations. Adam spent the first half of his two year service working with the Cheetah Conservation Fund, and had the opportunity to work on a UNDP initiative aimed at environmental conservation and community economic development. During the second year of his service, Adam worked at Elephant Energy Trust, which makes quality solar products accessible to rural villages throughout Namibia.

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2 thoughts on “Krishnamurti and APV

  1. Adam! Your dad sent me the link to your blog. I have been excited to hear about your progress both going to Namibia and to India from your dad. I couldn’t agree with you more about mindfulness and the need for teaching some kind of iinner focus to school children as well as is teaching problem-solving and informing about the world. Students need to learn how to live! It’s been quite a journey for you going from running restaurants in college towns to partnering with folks in India doing NGO work (again from your dad).

    Best wishes to you,

    Jonathan

  2. Adam
    I am re posting this as the old one somehow disappeared. I remember listening to JK during the Bernard Levin interviews on BBC 2. He had these piercing eyes and clarity of thought that you were totally mesmerised. Remarkable man.
    As for mindfulness through meditation, I only took it up after a heart episode in 2001. While irregular in my practice since then , I still derive enormous calm after each session. The kids at APV are clearly fortunate to have it be part of their routine.
    Sridar

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