The Krishnamurti Centre at Brockwood Park in Hampshire is remarkable in several ways. It’s an extraordinarily quiet, peaceful place, almost eerily so. If you think of an airport, where increasing quantities of people, commercial activity, hassle, noise are being ever more tightly compressed into a finite space, then Brockwood is the antithesis. There’s a combination of airy space, emptiness and beauty, both architectural and natural (an early 19th-century park planted with magnificent trees).
—The Financial Times – Read the full article here
Brockwood for me is the nearest to a totally unspoilt spot on earth, with very little that is artificial or jarring. All kinds of people come, an even spread across gender, cultures, continents and professions. This is the shared home away from home for all of them, with a difference. One does not come here to be preached at or converted, do yoga or meditate, however laudable or therapeutic it may be. Here one comes, I suppose, to find one’s centre, and discover in the end, others in oneself.
For me, the design of this building shows a special kind of flair and vivacity. The treatment of the roof-line and dormer windows is inspired and, as far as I am concerned, gives the building an irresistible tactile quality. The interior is equally stylish, with the originality of the fireplace and how complementary it is to the perpendicular arches of the ceiling. The arches themselves and the octagonal window provide the most soothing kind of decoration. None of it is pastiche, but it uses well-tried forms in a contemporary idiom.
I feel a specific silence here. A beautiful space that is otherwise unknown or extremely difficult to find in other communal spaces. It is a special place where I am able to explore myself and take in others’ space as well. Space is rare in the western world, the ability to explore personal space, space in nature and space within your surroundings. It is wonderful that this is special to the Krishnamurti Centre. Beautiful!
The building constantly reminds those who use it of the unity and integrity of life, and this happens on many levels, both hidden (in the geometry that develops the spaces) and apparent (in the arches, rose windows and panes of glass). Great care has been taken in designing the windows, the filter through wich the beauty of the world is perceived, a filter which reminds the observer of his source. What then appears to be an old-world pastiche, is actually a statement concerning the essence of man.
When Krishnamurti first informed us there was going to be a centre for adults interested in the teachings – in addition to the School – I was aware that I reacted very negatively. So much for ‘reaction’, considering the number of times I have been a guest at the Centre over the years since! I don’t think I can adequately express in words the ‘centre experience’. Simply the fact alone of coming to the Centre all these years for the unique quiet of the place, the staff, and all the books, videos and other guests from all over the world, and the wonderful environment inside and outside, perhaps speaks for itself?
I visited with a friend who had not been before. I found it a relaxing experience and stimulating too! We had an excellent lunch and met some friendly and interesting people among the staff and guests. We watched several Krishnamurti videos and discussed them. I enjoyed a stroll in the grounds, which was pleasant in the warm sunshine. I am looking forward to another visit soon.
On arrival, I felt like I’d walked into a wall of silence. There’s such an incredible feeling to the place, which made a strong impact on me, dropping layers and allowing me to come out of my head. The lack of dogma creates space for my own understanding, and I met a wide variety of thoughtful guests from all over the world.
Two things appeared quite important to my stay at The Krishnamurti Centre. The first is leaving behind my normal physical surroundings, material possessions, work, entertainment, escapes, etc. The second thing is the atmosphere of the Centre. The architecture, the balance of space, the comfortable furnishings of the guest rooms and wonderfully prepared vegetarian meals, create a very conducive atmosphere for studying the works of Krishnamurti and engaging with friends in dialogue. One must also mention the staff who themselves are involved in studying Krishnamurti’s teachings, who work quietly and efficiently in a friendly and welcoming manner to allow the guests’ explorations to flower. I deeply thank the Centre and those involved for a quite eye-opening stay.
As soon as I enter the Centre, I am struck again by the sheer space and beauty of the building. I relax, knowing the next few days will allow me to leave aside the outside world with its problems. The quiet and order of the place puts my mind at rest and make me feel taken care of and that there is nothing I must do or worry about. I can read peacefully in the library, retire to my room or watch a video around a specific issue that is prominent in my mind at the time. Krishnamurti has covered any inquiry I have ever had. I go for a few walks to the Grove and in the surrounding countryside. I always enjoy the delicious meals either with company or quietly by myself. I leave feeling refreshed in mind, body and soul.
The architecture, the trees and the building are all so beautifully kept. I feel at peace when I am here; each visit brings a new experience. It is such a sacred feeling and a sacred place. When I am here with the Spanish group, the staff always facilitate our every need. Whether it be helping pick out certain materials for discussions, allocating quiet spaces and places, we always feel welcome and well taken care of. It is a special family of people that come and go. You always know, once you have stayed, you have a home at Brockwood.
Whilst working at Brockwood Park School, I frequently took time out to come here and be quiet. This quietness, space and silence are what I treasure most and I return here again and again. Though the Centre offers Theme Weekends and Study Retreats, in all of which I am actively engaged, it is the atmosphere of the place that keeps me coming back. Literally, there is nowhere quite like it.
The Krishnamurti Centre
Hampshire SO24 0LQ
Telephone: +44 (0)1962 771748
Company Registration No. 1055588
Registered Charity No. 312865
© Krishnamurti Foundation Trust Ltd