Meditation Without Achievement

From Krishnamurti’s Book THE FUTURE IS NOW

What is meditation? The word, in common language in the dictionary, means: to ponder over, to think over and to concentrate, to learn to concentrate, not let your brain wander all over the place. Is that what you call meditation? Be simple, be honest. That is what? Every day taking a certain period and going to a room and sitting down quietly for ten minutes or half an hour to meditate? Is meditation concentration, thinking about something very noble? Any conscious effort to meditate is part of your discipline of the office, because you say: If I meditate, I’ll have a quiet mind, or I’ll enter into another state. The word ‘meditation’ also means to measure, which means compare. So your meditation becomes mechanical because you are exercising energy to concentrate on a picture, an image, or an idea, and that concentration divides. Concentration is always divisive; you want to concentrate on something, but thought wanders off; then you say you mustn’t wander off, and you come back. You repeat that all day long, or for half an hour. Then you come off it and say you have meditated. This meditation is advocated by all the gurus, by all the lay disciples. The Christian idea is: ‘I believe in God and I’m sacrificing myself to God; therefore, I pray to save my soul.’ Is all this meditation? I know nothing about this kind of meditation; it’s like an achievement; if I meditate for half an hour, I feel better. Or is there a totally different kind of meditation? Don’t accept anything that the speaker says, at any price. The speaker says that that is not meditation at all. That’s merely a process of achievement. If one day you have not been able to concentrate, you take a month and say: ‘Yes, I’ve got it.’ That’s like a clerk becoming a manager. So is there a different kind of meditation which is not effort, which is not measurement, which is not routine, which is not mechanical? Is there a meditation in which there is no sense of comparison, or in which there is no reward and punishment? Is there any meditation which is not based on thought which is measurement, time, and all that?
How can one explain a meditation that has no measurement, that has no achievement, that doesn’t say: ‘I’m this, but I’ll become that’? ‘That’ being god or superangel. Is there a meditation which has nothing to do with will – an energy that says: ‘I must meditate’? Is there a meditation which as nothing to do with effort at all? The speaker says there is. You don’t have to accept it. He may be talking nonsense, but he sees logically that the ordinary meditation is self-hypnosis, deceiving oneself. And, when you stop deceiving, stop all that mechanical process, is there a different kind of meditation? And unfortunately, the speaker says: Yes. But you can’t get at it through effort, through giving all your energy to something. It is something that has to be absolutely silent. First of all, begin very humbly, very, very humbly and, therefore, very gently and, therefore, no pushing, driving, saying: ‘I must do this.’ It requires a tremendous sense not only of aloneness, but a sense of – I mustn’t describe it to you. I mustn’t describe it because then you’ll go off on descriptions. If I describe it, the description is not the real. The description of the moon is not the moon, and a painting of the Himalayas is not the Himalayas. So, we’ll stop describing. It’s for you to play with it, or not play with it, going your own way with your own peculiar achievements through meditation, reward and all the rest of it. So, in meditation which is absolutely no effort, no achievement, no thinking, the brain is quiet; not made quiet by will, by intention, by conclusion and all that nonsense; it is quiet. And, being quiet, it has infinite space.