Issue #11

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Issue 11 – January 1969 to May 1969

Introduction to Issue 11

At the end of the last issue, Issue 10, we read that Mary had brought her diaries with her from Ojai to Brockwood for the purposes of these discussions, but she found that when she got to Brockwood, she didn’t have diaries for 1969. As a consequence, we simply skipped 1969 and went on to 1970, intending to go back to 1969 after she found the missing diaries. We knew that, if she had indeed left the 1969 diaries by mistake in Ojai, we would have to wait to cover 1969 until the following spring, when she returned to Brockwood from Ojai. This discovery of the missing diaries and our discussions that skipped 1969 took place in the summer of 1995. In fact, when Mary got back to Ojai, she scoured everywhere for the diaries, but couldn’t find them.

Mary and I continued our discussions, and in 2005 we had progressed in the chronology of Krishnaji’s life to 1983. I was, by that time, living in Oregon, and I would regularly fly down to Ojai to continue this project with Mary. That year, mysteriously, and Mary never understood how, the small daily diary for 1969 appeared among her collection of diaries. It is important to note it was only the small daily diary, because the size of this diary matters. The pages of these diaries are 4 inches by 2½ inches (10mm by 6mm), and each page contains space for two days. So, the actual writing space for any particular day is only 1¾ inches by 2½ inches (4.5mm by 6mm). This is miniscule, and it has an impact on what you will find in this and the next two issues (Issues 11, and 12).

One impact is the sparseness of detail, and another is the frequent use of incomplete sentences. As to the larger diary that Mary kept for other years, she either didn’t keep for this year, or it never miraculously reappeared as did the small one. Readers may remember it had previously been stated that for most of the years Mary knew Krishnaji, she kept two kinds of diaries: one was a small daily diary that she would fill in every night before going to sleep; and the second was a larger diary that was more like a small notebook, in which she would write whenever there was something she felt needed greater exposition and detail than her daily diary allowed.

By the year 2005, Mary was 90 years old, and frail. It had taken us eleven years to discuss the beginning of her contact with Krishnaji as well as the first nineteen years of her intensely working and traveling with him. In 2005, we still had to cover the material from 1983 until Krishnaji’s death in 1986. We did not want to rush through this; we wanted to be as thorough with the remaining years of Krishnaji’s life as we had been with the previous years. Still, there was an unspoken acknowledgment that we had only finite time to complete this project. And this project was important to Mary, as she had come to feel this project was the way she would meet her promise to Krishnaji of presenting to the world what it was like to be with him. The energy she had for her own writing was now a trickle.

There was also the sense in 2005 that our discussions had slowly and meticulously gone over every aspect of being with Krishnaji that Mary could think of. We had discussed, explored, and unfolded every detail we could imagine; we had gotten to 1983—within sight of the finish line—and now we had to go back to 1969. And 1969 was such a momentous year in so many ways. The details of that year had to be reported for the record. So, we set about doing this, but with a spirit of getting things right for the record, rather than discussing things, and you readers will notice a difference between the style of these issues covering 1969 and both the previous issues and the subsequent ones.

1969 saw the founding of the Krishnamurti Foundation of America, and the quickening of the legal case against KWINC. This was a major change in Krishnaji’s work and life. In 1969, the newly formed Krishnamurti Foundation Trust in England bought Brockwood Park; Brockwood Park Krishnamurti Educational Centre started with one student. By the time Krishnaji, Mary, and Alain made their first trip to Brockwood in March, there were four students. That autumn, the first public talks at Brockwood were given, and these would continue for the rest of Krishnaji’s life. 1969 was also the year that Alain Naudé stopped traveling and working as intensely with Krishnaji.

All these momentous things occur, and Mary and I have very little discussion about them. Instead, this and the next issue read like a list of short diary entries, which, essentially, they are. All the things that we could have and should have discussed were discussed in the previous years, so these two issues are an anomaly. To flesh out some of what should have been discussed, I have put in quite a few “Editor’s Notes.”

The Memoirs of Mary Zimbalist: Issue 11

Mary: So, off we go. 1969, January first. Krishnamurti was staying that winter in Malibu. My diary reads, ‘What a lovely way to start the year. A warm beautiful day, clear, still—like summer. Krishnaji, Alain, and I were out on the lawn before breakfast. Krishnaji dictated in the morning.’ He would’ve dictated to Alain at that stage.

Scott: Mm, hm. These dictations that Krishnaji made to Alain, do we know where those are? Does Alain still have anything like that?

M: Not that I know of. It was all processed into books and things. I’ve now forgotten which books have what, but there’s quite a lot of those things in one of the books.

S:   I wonder if Alain still has anything, like you know…drafts of old…

M: Well, we can call him. I’m remiss. I owe him a call.

S:   Well, if you call him, ask him what things he might have that the archives might be interested in.

M: I will, I will.

S:   Good. January second?

M: January second. ‘Alan Watts and the Basses, and wife.’ The Basses were a couple (I’ve forgotten their first names) who lived down in San Diego, who were friends of Alan Watts. All four came to lunch this day. ‘Alain Naudé left afterwards to drive north, and set up Krishnaji’s talks in Berkeley, Stanford, and Santa Cruz. Krishnaji and I went for a beach walk.

The third says, ‘to town for errands. Back before lunch. Krishnaji made the first direct tape by himself. After lunch, we went to Sears and bought Krishnaji blue jeans, then to Saks for loafers. Home for supper. Alain rang; spent last night in Buellton and tonight in Carmel, having come along the Big Sur Road.’

January fourth. After lunch Krishnaji held a discussion with a group at 4 p.m., and the next day ‘the eighth group discussion at 11 a.m. Then lunched alone, rested, and went for a walk on the beach.’

On January sixth, ‘Desk work. After lunch Krishnaji came with me to town while I went to Tassell.’ Tassell was a designer of clothes. I had quite a lot of clothes from them.

S:   Ah, that yellow coat?

M: Yes, that yellow coat, it’s a Tassell. ‘We then looked at a Leicaflex.’ That’s a camera.

On January seventh, ‘After lunch with Erna and Theo Lilliefelt, they followed Krishnaji and me to a session with Saul Rosenthal about the list of questions for Rajagopal and KWINC. Also set up the Krishnamurti Foundation of America. Very productive,’ it says.

S:   Yes, there wasn’t a foundation in America yet. This was the founding of it.

M: That’s right. After we all studied the questions, we had the lawyers send them off.


Editor’s Note: There needed to be a legal American entity to receive the money and property that had been given for Krishnaji’s work, but these were controlled by Rajagopal, a fact that would eventually become the subject of the lawsuit. The Krishnamurti Foundation of America eventually got the copyrights for Krishnaji’s pre-1968 works, an important legacy.


On the ninth, ‘Ruth Tettemer and her daughter Eve Siegel…’ Ruth was eventually a trustee of the American foundation in those early days. ‘…came to lunch, and at 4:30 p.m. I had another injection. An X-ray of my left leg showed my blood vessels were causing intermittent claudication.’ Those were what the pain spasms I was having all the time were called. 


Editor’s Note : Mary had been one of the first people to receive radiation treatment for what doctors believed to be cancer when she was a girl. It was dramatically overdone, and she suffered radiation poisoning as a girl, which left the muscle, bone, and vessels of her left leg permanently damaged. As she got older, the left leg broke several times. She had constant pain in her leg all the years I knew her, but she never complained, though it was a constant vulnerability. 


On the tenth of January, ‘Krishnaji and I drove via Moorpark through Santa Paula to Ojai. We lunched with the Lilliefelts. Krishnaji gave two interviews, and we drove home along the ocean.’

The next day, ‘Alain returned from San Francisco in time for lunch. There was group discussion number nine, and the next day at 11 a.m. there was the tenth discussion.’

Then there are just a lot of days with small things happening until the fifteenth, when ‘I

flew to San Francisco at 9:15 a.m. Looked at Canterbury Hotel for our stay in February. Then, to the Clift Hotel where father and Olive’—Olive is my father’s wife—‘are. Lunched with them at the Villa Taverna, and walked back through Chinatown. Flew back to Los Angeles at 4:45 p.m. and was home in time for supper.’

S:   What were they doing in San Francisco?

M: Well, they were staying there for a while. They traveled all the time.

S:   Yes.

M: On January eighteenth, ‘The eleventh group discussion in the morning. We all three went’—that means Alain, Krishnaji, and I—‘at 4 o’clock to meet Mary and Joe Links, who arrived on a polar flight from London. They have rooms at the Casa Malibu, but came here for a late tea and early supper.’

S:   That was such a big deal to fly over the poles in those days.

M: Yes. [Both chuckle.] It was awful. Mary and Joe came to get away from the London winter, and it rained every day they were there. [Both laugh.] And the day they left, I remember, as their car disappeared to the airport, the sun came out! [Chuckling.]

For the nineteenth, it says ‘Pouring rain! The Linkses came to breakfast. The Lilliefelts and Ruth Tettemer followed. Talked about the Bulletin, donation appeals, etcetera, until the group discussion began. Mary and I went over Brockwood matters. Then, after the group left, we continued discussions of the foundation and Bulletin [1] matters with Krishnaji, Mary, Erna and Theo, and Ruth Tettemer. Finally, Krishnaji, the Linkses, and I had a late lunch. Talked most of the afternoon. Rain kept pouring down. The Linkses are going to Pasadena tomorrow.’ She was going to the Huntington Library [2]. ‘Filomena and I fought leaks.’ [Chuckles.] Then the next day it says, ‘Filomena and I fought mud in the garden!’ [S chuckles.]


Editor’s Note: The mudslides were, and remain, a hazard to the cliff-top property in that part of California. Mary eventually lost a substantial portion of her property over the cliff. 


January twenty-first. ‘The storm total is seven inches. It cleared in the morning. Early lunch, and three of us went to a movie, Bullet, in Hollywood.’ That was a good movie. It looks like ‘Alain went on to join the Linkses in Pasadena, and Krishnaji and I came home.’

Various people came over during the next few days:   Gavin Lambert, the movie writer, and Jennifer Jones Selznick, and Betsy Drake.

On January twenty-third, ‘I bought a Leicaflex camera with a 90-mm lens…’ It was really for taking pictures of Krishnaji, because the new books and the Bulletin that were planned needed photos. ‘…and was back by tea. Mary and Joe came for dinner. We watched the Traverses’ film of lions in Africa.’ That was Born Free. ‘Listened to some tapes of the conversations in the Holiday Book collection.’

The twenty-fifth of January: ‘Mary and Joe came to breakfast, lunch, and supper. There was a group discussion in spite of being, for a while, cut off by the rain and mudslides. Ojai was blocked, but one boy, Lloyd Williams, from Ojai walked seven miles to a bus to come!’ How extraordinary. ‘Mary and I made notes about Brockwood. The roads are blocked to the north. The Linkses and Alain decided to fly to San Francisco instead of motoring.’

January twenty-sixth. ‘The Linkses came to breakfast, and the fourteenth and final group discussion was at 11 a.m. The rain stopped at last. After lunch, Krishnaji and I drove the Linkses and Alain to the airport where they flew to San Francisco. Krishnaji drove the Jaguar back and practiced parking in Santa Monica.’ Heh. That’s when he wanted to get a license. ‘We walked on the beach strewn with driftwood. A quiet supper in a quiet house.’

Well, on the next few days there were some legal meetings, including setting up the American foundation, which required, for some reason, some life members, which Erna and I became. I’m afraid this became a point of contention with Alain, as he was only made a member for a year.

On the twenty-eighth of January, ‘Rang Alain. Unhappy conversation. Felt sick. Rang Lilliefelts to discuss with Rosenthal if there isn’t some other way. Krishnaji drove as we went to the dentist for a filling that he lost. Eve Siegal and children came to tea. Krishnaji took his driving license test. Excellent on the written, but nervous on the driving part. They gave him only a temporary permit. We had a picnic in the car.’ Then it says, ‘packed.’


Editor’s Note: We have been reading of Krishnaji driving for several years now, in America and in Europe. Mary comments that he was a good driver, and that he enjoyed driving on occasion; but from this and subsequent material, it seems that he didn’t have a license in America or in Europe. This didn’t seem to be of much concern to Mary.


January thirtieth, ‘Krishnaji and I left at 11:45 a.m. in the Jaguar and drove north. Stopped beyond Santa Barbara in Dos Pueblos for a picnic lunch. Drove on. The country was green and beautiful. Big Sur Road was closed, so we took the inland 101 freeway through Salinas and into Carmel Valley. Spent the night at the Highlands Inn.’

Thirty-first of January. ‘We drove down the Big Sur Road a little to Point Lobos. Walked and I used the new Leicaflex. We shopped in Carmel, and lunched at the Pine Inn, then drove on to San Francisco, arriving at the Huntington Hotel at 5:30 p.m. Alain was there. We unpacked, and had a long three-way talk, and supper.’ We had quite nice rooms in the Huntington; there was a kitchen, a sitting room, and two big bedrooms and bath.


Editor’s Note: There isn’t any note of what was talked about, but after the difficulty of “life membership” and knowing that there were many three-way conversations trying to resolve Alain’s unhappiness, as well as seeing that Mary felt the need to write about this conversation despite there being so little space in her small diary (implying this conversation had significant psychological weight for her); we can assume that the “long three-way talk” was about all that. I do know that Krishnaji tried to support and keep Alain in the work, and since Alain stayed, at least for now, we can assume that Krishnaji had some success.


The next day we lunched in the sitting room. ‘Then we drove to Muir Woods and were able to walk only a short way, but Krishnaji had a good walk.’

February second. ‘A sunny day. Michael Korman of KPFA’—that’s a nonprofit radio station out of Berkeley that played audiotapes of Krishnaji’s talks—‘for lunch. Later I went to see Father, walking down the hill but not up it.’ They were down at the bottom of the hill; we were up on top of Nob Hill. The leg is very numb. Joan Baez came to see Krishnaji. Alain and I dined downstairs in the restaurant, L’Etoile, and reviewed our Friday conversation.’ [Seems to start to explain:] Alain was upset about the life memberships for setting up the foundation and his not being one of them.

S:   Yes, I understand.

M: On the third, Alain and I went to Macy’s for an electric pot to do wheat in.’ I was making wheat meal, it’s like oatmeal, but made with wheat. ‘I made wheat meal for lunch, then Alain and I reconnoitered at the Berkeley Theater, where Krishnaji is to talk. At 8 p.m. I drove Krishnaji to the first Berkeley talk. There were about 2,500 in the audience. We had supper afterward.’

The next day there was the second Berkeley talk. ‘Tremendous, tremendous one,’ it says here. Also, ‘Krishnaji has a slight cold.’

Fifth of February. ‘Rain. Sonoma student, Terry Agnew, came to lunch, then to the third Berkeley talk.’ The next day, ‘the final Berkeley talk. It was a great one.’

February seventh. ‘Michael Korman came to lunch. Krishnaji, Alain, and I went to Alan Watts’ in Sausalito; he had people to meet Krishnaji. Messy discussion!’ Alan Watts, do you know who I mean?

S:   Yes.

M: He lived on a houseboat in Sausalito, and he had wanted Krishnaji to come and meet all the distinguished, intellectual people in San Francisco. But when we got there, both he and his wife were drunk! And the people asked stupid questions. It was a fruitless event! It was just a mess. We left.


Editor’s Note: I have never heard of anything else like this:  someone inviting Krishnaji and being drunk on the occasion, thereby showing disrespect toward Krishnaji. This seems particularly odd for Alan Watts who showed on other occasions great respect for Krishnaji, and wanted to be helpful to Krishnaji’s work.


S:   Oh, dear.

M: February eighth. ‘With Krishnaji to a meeting arranged by KPFA at 7 p.m. in Berkeley. Came back to supper. Rajagopal has formed another foundation called K & R.’


Editor’s Note: There was the suspicion, at the time, that Rajagopal’s new foundation was merely a legal tactic to help defend his possession of the assets he controlled but which had been given for Krishnaji’s work. In any event, it didn’t work.


Ninth of February. ‘We lunched, and then Professor Nader and family came to tea. Father and Olive came at 7 p.m. Then, I took them down to dine in the L’Etoile.’ That was the very good restaurant downstairs, down just next to the Huntington.

The next day, we ‘packed, left the Huntington, and drove to Sonoma State College, where Krishnaji spoke. We lunched with students, Terry Agnew and Helen Hauserthen, then drove south to Palo Alto, where we had rooms at the Stanford Faculty Club.’

February eleventh, ‘lunch with Buckminster Fuller, Michael Kerina, and John Digues.’ John Digues is the one that brought Buckminster Fuller. ‘A discussion was taped for KPFA. At 4:30 p.m., went with Krishnaji to his first Stanford talk, but I had to return to San Francisco to an appointment with a vascular doctor.’ My leg was troubling me, and my Los Angeles doctor said I must see this vascular person. ‘He thinks the femoral artery is blocked.’

On the twelfth, ‘Leg a little less painful. Have a cold. Krishnaji decided to cancel the Australian tour, then he went to the second Stanford talk.’ I’d forgotten about the intention to go to Australia.

The next day, ‘Krishnaji is tired, but he gave his third Stanford talk. Alain out for supper. He is to go ahead of us to Europe.’

Finally on the fourteenth, at 4 p.m., ‘the final Stanford talk.’ The next day Krishnaji and I both rested all day in bed.

On the sixteenth, ‘we packed, had lunch, and drove to UC Santa Cruz. Krishnaji and I were lodged in a nice flat. Alain was nearby. Krishnaji gave a talk at 8 p.m. to students in Cowell College. The next day, he gave his second talk.’

On the eighteenth,  ‘Krishnaji had the day off. We went for a drive inland through the Redwoods. He walked while I followed him in the car.’ I couldn’t walk much at that point. I used to drive along, you know, slowly.

S:   Yes.

M: I can still see him. [S laughs.]

On the nineteenth and twentieth, Krishnaji gave his last two talks at Santa Cruz.

On the twenty-first, ‘We were early. Breakfast at 7 a.m. Alain loaded the car and Krishnaji and I left Cowell College and Santa Cruz at 8:45 a.m. Drove via Carmel, Big Sur, stopped briefly at Nepenthe’—you know that’s that restaurant right on the water. ‘The coast road only just opened after the storm and mudslides. Had a picnic lunch near Cambria. Krishnaji drove the rest of the hundred miles to Santa Barbara, and then I drove the remaining way to Malibu, arriving at 4:20 p.m. Good to be home. House and garden beautiful. Filomena was well. Alain arrived afterward in the night. No rest for me, pain in leg.’

February twenty-second. ‘Beautiful morning after the rain. After lunch, Erna and Theo Lilliefelt, and Ruth Tettemer came; we discussed affairs and formally signed, before a notary, the trust’s founding documents of the Krishnamurti Foundation of America. Trustees are Krishnaji, Erna Lilliefelt, Ruth Tettemer, Alain, and me. Had our first trustee meeting.’

February twenty-fourth. ‘Took Alain to the airport. He flew to Paris, and will go to Gstaad and find housing for students next summer. Went to the French consulate for Krishnaji’s visa, then to Henry Bamberger about my tax and selling Alain’s VW.’ So, that was the car Alain had.

Nothing much happens until the twenty-seventh. ‘Krishnaji and I met the Lilliefelts and Ruth Tettemer at Rosenthal’s office. We all went to the attorney general’s office downtown for a meeting between Krishnaji and Laurence Tapper, the attorney general. He will investigate KWINC. Krishnaji and I had lunch in the car. And then I went to fetch the visa and my Tassell coat, while Krishnaji had a haircut.’

The next day, ‘we packed, and I took four bags to Pan American cargo for shipment to London.’

Then nothing very special until March fourth. ‘A big slide where my pump house had been. The trees there dropped thirty feet down the cliff beyond the gate. Have to leave it to Carlson’s hands’—he was a contractor who did things like that. ‘We left at 10 a.m. Amanda drove Krishnaji and me to the airport, where we took a new Pan American flight nonstop to London. I went first class with Krishnaji.’

On the fifth of March, ‘Krishnaji and I arrived in London, and spent one half hour waiting in transit before flying on to Paris. Telephoned Mary Links, the Digbys, and Mary Cadogan. Alain surprised us by being at the Paris airport with his car. He had got rooms in the new school in Schonried for students. We all lunched and talked. Krishnaji and I walked over to see my Mercedes in the garage, brought by Mr. Moser from Switzerland. We took naps, then phoned Madame Duperrex.’ She was the very nice concierge of the rooms in Caprices at Gstaad. ‘We rented rooms in Trois Ours.’ Yes, she was also the concierge for this chalet just below Tannegg. Instead of staying down in the village at Caprices, I had wanted to stay there.

S:   Ah, yes, Trois Ours. I remember it.

You’re in Paris at the moment. Where were you staying in Paris?

M: Um, where were we staying? Ah, it says here, ‘Le Pont Royal.’

‘Dined in rooms. Tired. Alain has a new Nagra. [3]

March sixth, ‘We left Pont Royale and Paris in both cars at 8:40 a.m. Krishnaji and I drove to Le Touquet, 160 miles in three hours. Alain met us there and flew both of the cars to Lydd. We lunched there, and then at 2:30 p.m., left and drove across southern England, 120 miles. We met Alain at the West Meon Hut, and then together, we all went to Brockwood.’ This is the first time we’d been to Brockwood!


Editor’s Note: Brockwood Park was built in 1769, and was what was known as an English “country house.” In the decade or so before it was acquired by the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust, it had only been used for a few weekends every year for pheasant hunting. It had been sold to the local landowner only a year before the KFT bought it, and he only wanted the large amount of land attached to the house, but not the house. Unfortunately for him, Brockwood was listed as a historic building, so he could neither tear down nor neglect the main building. He then had to find someone who wanted to buy such a large historic house with very little land (only about fifty acres). The only buyer for something like that was either someone wanting to start a hotel (but there was nothing to bring clients to a hotel in that area) or someone wanting to start a school. The landowner was thrilled to have the KFA as a buyer, and sold the house, the gate house, two cottages, a barn, and the fifty acres for £40,000.


I remember…well, anyway, ‘just as sun was setting, the Simmonses, Donald Hoppen, Doris Pratt, Alan Hooker, and four boy students were there. The house and grounds are beautiful. Saw it, had supper, and went to bed.’ I remember that I was so tired because I had misjudged how long the journey would take. I knew how long it took to get to Le Touquet from Paris, then cross over in the plane; that was easy. But then, on the map, it didn’t look very far to cross the south of England.

S:   Yes, I know. Going across southern England on those little B roads takes forever.

M: Yes. I’d been driving since…what was it? Eight in the morning or something, and by the time I finally drove up the lane to Brockwood, and had the first glimpse of Brockwood, I was in tears from exhaustion.

S:   Yes, yes. Oh dear.

M: Anyway, it was nice, though.

S:   Where did you stay that first night at Brockwood?

M: Oh, in the West Wing.

S:   So, someone must’ve furnished it before you got there?

M: Well, I had, on a previous trip, knowing we were going to do something like this, I’d asked Nelly Digby to go to Heal’s and get sheets, and I’d picked out beds. Krishnaji’s room had everything it needed, and my room had that big dressing table, which was left by the former owners. And there were shelves. I’d bought the two little white drawer things in my bathroom. I bought those at Heal’s, too. And I’d asked Nelly to install those things, if we got a place. Those are the things that I thought I would need.

S:   Right.

M: I learned that from my aunt or someone who put Heal beds in a house in Rome, because they were supposed to be wonderful. And so, we planned all that ahead of time.

S:   And Nelly was there to carry it out?

M: Yes. So we had the necessities. We had beds, linens, and towels.

S:   And there were shelves and cupboards in the bathrooms.

M: Yes, yes.

S:   So you could unpack things.

M: Yes, we could unpack.

S:   Where did you get those big white tables?

M: Oh! Huh. You know that place that had very good modern furniture…

S:   Started by Corin.

M: Yes, yes.

S:   What was his name, the designer. Not Corin, but something like that.

M: Yes.

S:   Yes, yes. I know the place.

M: And the main shop was in London. There was one also in Southampton.

S:   And so those were bought subsequently?

M: Yes, and everything else. I got the chairs from Mr. Bekema in Alresford. I still had to do all the downstairs.


Editor’s Note: “…do all the downstairs” sounds fairly innocuous, but it was anything but that for Mary. What Mary refers to as “the downstairs” was the formal drawing room, the sitting room, and a secondary sitting room of Brockwood. Mary knew this is where Krishnaji would have formal interviews, where filming would take place, and where trustees would meet. The rooms are beautiful, built as the original part of the house in 1769, and Mary felt that the furniture should be from that period, and that the rooms should be “worthy” of all that would occur in them. For the next year or more, we see Mary laboring to make these rooms the beautiful spaces they became.


S:   Right. But that could come afterwards. At least there was a place for you and Krishnaji and Alain to stay.

M: Paul Anstee will come into this. He got me all that furniture downstairs; the drawing room and all that.

S:   Right, right.

M: So, predictably, on the seventh, ‘unpacked. Mary Cadogan arrived for lunch and talked with Krishnaji, Alain, and me. Went for the first walk with Krishnaji in Brockwood Park. Lovely, small copse…seven redwood trees, the cedar of Lebanon trees, the fields and orchard, and an enormous rose garden and vegetable garden.’

The next morning, ‘Alain and I left early and drove to London and the airport to fetch the four bags I’d sent a few days ago by Pan American cargo. Frost on the fields. Lovely landscape. Returned in time for lunch. A discussion with Dorothy Simmons about which rooms will be Krishnaji’s section of the house; also of plans for the school.’

On March ninth, ‘The Linkses came to call in the morning. The Digbys and the Cadogans came to lunch. Trustees meeting all afternoon. George Digby reassured on KF of America being able to contribute funds.’ [Both chuckle.] Well, in those days, the KFA had nothing much to do except run an office, so Erna was glad to send funds to England. It turned out pretty soon that it was illegal to give charitable funds from the USA to a foreign entity.

S:   Yes.

M: But George Digby was concerned. ‘I went for a short walk with Krishnaji and Alain. Krishnaji decided we must use only two floors of the West Wing.’ Well, what else would we have used?

S:   There was the floor above and that staircase to it.

M: Ah, yes. ‘Discussed alterations, etcetera, with Donald Hoppen. The weather was still clear and beautiful.’

The next day. ‘Cloudy with rain later. Went on to Winchester with Donald Hoppen to buy some household things. Back for lunch. Ironed shirts for Alain. Walked in the rain with Krishnaji.’

March eleven, ‘Krishnaji decides not to spend the night in a hotel in London before and after tomorrow’s talk. Relief to all three of us to stay in Brockwood. Spent a quiet day doing household things.’


Editor’s Note: Brockwood became Krishnaji’s and Mary’s home in Europe, and the place Krishnaji would spend more of his time than any other location in the world. The public talks at Brockwood eventually replaced the London talks.


The next day ‘I drove early to London with Donald Hoppen. Hunted for carpets and chintz. Lunched with Fleur at Albany.’ This is my friend Fleur Cowles again, and when she heard what I was doing, she said, “You need Paul Anstee.” Anstee was a young man, a decorator.

S:   Right. Yes.

M: I met her at Albany, where she lived ‘and called Paul Anstee to help with the furnishings and made an appointment at Brockwood for Monday. Met Donald Hoppen and Mary Cadogan at builder’s service to look for kitchen equipment. Alain had taken Krishnaji to Mrs. Bindley after lunch. At 5:30 p.m., I went there to drive him to the first talk in Wimbledon at 7 o’clock. We drove back to Brockwood afterward.’

Then various people came: Claudine and Gérard Blitz, Mary Cadogan, Mary Links, and Hughes van der Straten. Frances McCann came to stay for several days.

On the sixteenth, ‘Krishnaji and I drove to Wimbledon at 9 a.m. for the 11 o’clock talk. Went via the Hog’s Back.’ Do you remember that road?

S:   Oh, yes. I do indeed. Guildford.

M: Yes, ‘to Guilford. The ride in was one-and-a-half hours. Sat in Richmond Park for a while. Then, to the hall. We drove back afterward, immediately afterward, and had our picnic lunch in the kitchen. Rested, and then walked. Very cold, about twenty-nine degrees.’

On the seventeenth, ‘Paul Anstee came to discuss furnishings for Brockwood. He, Alain, and I lunched at the West Meon Hut. Then continued work on same, all afternoon.’

On March eighteenth, ‘With Krishnaji and Alain to London by train from Alton. He went to Huntsman, and then he, Mary Links, Alain, and I lunched at Claridge’s. Krishnaji and I went to see the BBC for a color television interview of Krishnaji. I did errands at Harrods, etcetera, and met them at Waterloo Station for return train at 6:30 p.m.’

S:   So there was a color interview?

M: Apparently. Then there are lots of meetings to outfit the house, plan the kitchen, and all that.

Krishnaji had the third talk at Wimbledon on the twentieth.

On March twenty-first. ‘Went to London with Alain and Narendra in Krishnaji’s car.’ That was an Indian boy student that made such difficulty for Alain. Alain and Dorothy quarreled over him.

S:   Yes.

M: ‘I left them at Harrods and drove to Kenwood to look at a wall color.’ Kenwood is, um…oh dear, who lived there? Famous writer, can’t think. I can see it; I can drive there, but I can’t tell you the name—anyway, I had seen it when I used to go and look at houses like that. The point of it was I remembered that there was a color on a room, a living room, that was sort of like coffee with milk in it. It was a beautiful color. And I was trying to think what to paint the drawing room in West Wing, so I went to refresh my mind.

So, where was I? ‘Drove to Kenwood to look at the wall color. Had coffee there. It was a cold day. Left the car for Alain in the parking lot, and went to Paul Anstee to see samples of materials, carpet, etcetera. Came back to Alton by train and then onto Brockwood.’

On the twenty-third, ‘Motored with Krishnaji to Wimbledon for the fourth and last talk of the series, a very moving one. We came back and lunched alone. Then a lot of people came. Krishnaji had a school discussion which included the Simmons, Alan Hooker, Alain Naudé, and me.’


Editor’s Notes: Krishnaji spoke more to the people at Brockwood than he did to any other group. He eventually settled into having one discussion a week with just students, one discussion a week with just the staff, and one discussion a week with staff and students together, as well as any other guests who were there. People would come to Brockwood just for the day in order to attend these discussions when this pattern became known. So, this is three discussions a week for approximately six months a year—a tremendous number of discussions.

It is also worth noting that while most of these discussions would have seemed normal to any audience of Krishnaji’s work, a great many of them addressed problems in the school.

The times when most of Krishnaji’s discussions were aimed at problems seemed to come in waves, and this beginning of Brockwood was certainly such a time. The reader will see that Mary mentions below how Krishnaji discussed with students and staff questions of authority and the responsibility of the then-principal Dorothy Simmons. The first several years of Brockwood (as with many new schools) were volatile; conflict, factions, staff and students leaving in the middle of a term, attempts to take power away from Dorothy, etcetera.

It is not within the purposes of these memoirs to explore the nature of these conflicts (which readers will see re-emerge in the early 1980s) or to explain them, but the great many discussions the readers will notice in this first year need to be somewhat described as Mary was in the thick of it, and these would have been part of what it was like to be with Krishnaji.


The next day Krishnaji and Alain took the train to London and I drove in. I did household errands, and they went to Huntsman and then Sullivan & Wooly. Wooly (which was their nick name) are down the street from Huntsman and less expensive.

For the next few days I continued to work on house things, plus dictations from Krishnaji, and I worked a little in the garden, pruning.

For April first, it says,  ‘Packing. Painting samples for walls.’

The next day, ‘Krishnaji and I in the Mercedes, and Alain in the VW left Brockwood at 10:30 a.m. Outside Rye, in a place called Playden, a man ran into the Mercedes, crushing the right rear fender. The police said it was the man’s fault. They bent the metal away from the wheel, so I continued to Dover. Krishnaji rode with Alain for less weight. We all got on the 4:30 p.m. ferry to Calais. We had driven the 144 miles in England and then on as far as Montreuil, where we spent the night in a charming hotel, Château de Montreuil.’ That was a nice hotel.

On the third of April. ‘We left Montreuil at 9:45 a.m. and drove via Arras to the autoroute to Paris. Krishnaji and I arrived at 12:30 p.m. at 16 Rue de Verdun, and Alain slightly later.’ That’s the house I rented.

S:   I remember.

M: ‘There was a maid, Marguerite, and a cook, André, and they had lunch ready. We unpacked and rested. After supper, Alain and I went to the Salle Pleyel and heard Sviatoslav Richter play Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, numbers 13 to 34. Infinitely beautiful playing!’ I was a big fan, still am, of Richter. So, it was nice.

On the fourth, ‘Lunched with father, Bud, and Lisa at the Berkeley. Olive is still in the hospital. Went shopping with Bud and Lisa and bought Herend and Limoges china for Brockwood.’ Herend is the stuff with the birds on it.

S:   Yes, yes.

M: It’s a copy of the old Meissen, but it’s made now in Hungary. I drove my father and company to the Tour,’ that’s the Tour d’Argent, [4] ‘and got back to the house in time for supper. Krishnaji and Alain had had a good day of shopping.’

On the fifth, ‘Krishnaji dictated more of the Holiday Book. De Vidas came by. In the afternoon, Krishnaji, Alain, and I went to a movie, Mackenna’s Gold.’ [S chuckles.]

The next day, ‘Krishnaji worked on the book and after supper I played a tape that Alain made of his notes of conversations with Krishnaji.’

There’s nothing much until the first talk on the tenth, in the Salle de la Chimie, except walking, shopping, seeing some people, movies, and—oh yes, I bought two paintings from Dieter Kopp, who visited. Those are the two green paintings in the front hall of the West Wing.

On the eleventh, ‘I left at 1 p.m. for Orly, flew to London, spent the day with Paul Anstee, working on Brockwood. Lunched at Au Pere de Nicole’—that’s on Pics Street; nice restaurant—‘…left at 6 p.m. and took the 7:20 p.m. plane back to Paris.’

April twelfth, ‘Krishnaji and Alain worked on the book. At 4 p.m., Krishnaji held a discussion with young people at the Hotel Pont Royale.’ That was followed the next day with the second talk at the Salle de la Chimie.

On the thirteenth, ‘Suzanne and Hughes van der Straten came for coffee and stayed till 5 p.m. Invited us to stay with them on the way to Holland. Spoke to Anneke about a house at Hilversum.’

The next day, ‘I had my hair done at Elizabeth Arden, and a Chinese boy and woman came to lunch.’ I think this is Tunki. Do you remember Tunki?

S:   Yes, very well, but he didn’t have a wife.

M: She was an older woman, like a governess or something. He was like a little prince.

S:   Yes. He was! [Chuckles.]

M: They came to lunch.

On April fifteenth, ‘Mary and Joe Links arrive in Paris. I shopped. Met Krishnaji in town and brought him back for lunch. Alain was lunching with the Linkses. Mary Cadogan came in the morning. Alain got word he has been granted British citizenship.’

There are notes here about walking in Bagatelle, which I loved, but you don’t need to hear about that again.

On the sixteenth it says, ‘Second young people’s discussion.’

The next day, after shopping and lunch with my father and brother, after which I visited an old friend I roomed with in boarding school. It says, ‘Back in time to drive Krishnaji to the third talk at the Salle de la Chimie.’

On the eighteenth, ‘Fetched the Mercedes. All fixed.’ That was after the Rye episode. Marcelle Bondoneau and Doris Pratt to lunch. There was a tea at 4 p.m. for the French group, which consisted of the Suarèses, de Vidas, Ma de Manziarly, Madame Samuel, Madame Safra, Madame Ettori, Madame Banzet, someone Leroi…’—I don’t remember that one—‘…Mademoiselle Borel, someone Suydoux and Frances McCann.’

Another young people’s discussion on the nineteenth at 4 p.m, followed the following day by Krishnaji’s fourth talk.

On the twenty-first, left for Orly at 5:45 a.m., took a 7 a.m. plane to London. Paul Anstee met me and drove to Brockwood. The daffodils were all out. We spent the day on painting problems. He drove me back to the airport just in time for me to catch an 8:30 p.m. plane back to Paris.’ [S chuckles.] Active life!

S:   Indeed.

M: On the twenty-second, ‘Krishnaji saw de Vidas about his telling lies to Mary Cadogan.’ Goodness, he did? ‘Yo de Manziarly came to lunch. Took Krishnaji to get his visa photos and then to the Pont Royale for another young people’s discussion.’ Oh, I had tea again with my former roommate.

On the twenty-third, ‘Krishnaji saw Doris Pratt, and then Alain with her. Loads of criticism.’ [Chuckle.] ‘I went with Krishnaji and Alain to UNESCO, where they taped an interview with Krishnaji. Talked to Alain, who is upset at the Pratt / De Vidas criticisms.’

‘At 7 p.m., Krishnaji had his fifth and last Paris talk.’

On the twenty-sixth, ‘We left Paris at 11 a.m. and drove to Arras, lunching at Le Cheuzy.’ It was on the way, and a very nice restaurant. ‘Left there about 3 p.m. and drove around Lille to Tournai, crossing into Belgium. Onto Brussels, where Krishnaji, Alain, and I spent the night with Suzanne and Hughes van der Straten. Their children Gauthier, Favienne, Marie-Laure, Evrard, Marjolaine and Ariane were there. A nice, immense, comfortable house, and very nice family.’

The next day, we ‘spent a pleasant, relaxed morning with the van der Stratens and left after lunch. A three-hour drive to Hilversum in Holland, and to the house at S’Gravelandsweg…’ [Chuckles. S laughs.] And if you lived there, you know how to pronounce it!

S:   Yes, well, I did at one point.

M: And if you don’t, you can’t say it. [Both laugh.] ‘…where Anneke was waiting. A house rented for Krishnaji and furnished with loans from well-wishers.’ [Chuckles.]

I spent the next morning ‘getting settled. After lunch, Krishnaji, Alain, and I drove to Keukenhof,’ that’s…

S:   Yes, I know Keukenhof. Beautiful flowers.

M: Yes. ‘The tulips were just beginning. I ordered perennial bulbs for September delivery to Brockwood. On return to the house, we heard of de Gaulle’s resignation.’

S:   Hm.

M: What do you know?

On the twenty-ninth of April, some people to lunch, Krishnaji came with me to do errands in Bussum, ‘and then walked in a lovely wood near the farm house we lived in two years ago.’

The next day, ‘I did errands in Bussum. In the afternoon, Krishnaji, Alain, and I went to Amsterdam to a movie: Peter Sellers’ The Party.’

Then the usual: various people to lunch, errands, etcetera, until May third. ‘I drove Krishnaji via S’Gravelandsweg [chuckles] to first Amsterdam talk at the Congress Centrum, in the RAI. It was a very strong talk. Krishnaji was slightly faint in car on the return. After lunch, he came with me to Bussum on errands. Then I typed for Alain. We all three went for a walk. It was a warm spring day.’

On the fourth of May, ‘With Krishnaji to the second talk in Amsterdam. There was an afternoon tea for all the people who have helped in the week here.’

On the fifth, I had a discussion with Krishnaji about how we might cut down on some of his traveling and talking. And the very next day, we continued the discussion on the way home from a 5 p.m. young people’s discussion at the Congress Centrum.


Editor’s Note: Since Alain and Mary started traveling and arranging Krishnaji’s speaking schedule, the number of talks, interviews, discussions, etcetera, exploded. Krishnaji was, by now, 74 years old, and I believe it is correct to say that he had never been more active. An actual count of the number of speaking events he had in these and subsequent years would be interesting.

It is interesting to note that Mary started talking to Krishnaji about cutting back on the demands he was putting on himself, a subject that was to continue with many of those around him for the rest of his life.
On May seventh, ‘It was Filomena’s seventy-second birthday. After lunch, Alain and I went to Amsterdam to the Theosophical Society Bookshop to buy a book that Alain wanted.’ And I remember vividly, they had a big picture of Mrs. Besant and a big picture of Leadbeater on the wall, life-size, in sepia…you know, old-fashioned. And I looked at these two photos. It could’ve been 300 years ago. I thought, those two people were in Krishnaji’s life! And the contrast between the apparent age of these people in the photographs and Krishnaji, who was as young as could be, was astounding.

S:   Yes…yes.

M: ‘Returned and met Krishnaji taking the walk.’

On the eighth, it just says ‘Second young people’s discussion.’

For the next day it says, ‘Krishnaji decides not to come to Amsterdam next year. I marketed all afternoon. Alain and I rang Madame Dupperex in Gstaad about Chalet Trois Ours.’

On the tenth and eleventh, Krishnaji had the third and fourth talks.

Then I went to see the Van Gogh paintings at the Kröller-Muller Museum in Osterloo, while Krishnaji had interviews.

On the thirteenth, Krishnaji had the third young people’s discussion, and the next day he gave the fifth and final Amsterdam talk.

On the fifteenth of May, it says. ‘Packing. Went to meet mother and Huges’—that’s my stepfather—‘at Schiphol, and drove them to the Park Hotel in Amsterdam. They came from Rome and are staying here five days and then go to London. We then joined Krishnaji and Alain at a young people’s discussion at the RAI. The hall was full, and there was an audience listening outside in that big room. After that, I brought Krishnaji home.’

Sixteenth of May, ‘We left Hilversum at 10:30 a.m., and drove to Rotterdam, where we got lost for an hour, but finally found the airport. Alain was already there. The attendant broke the Mercedes’ left window. We flew on British Air Ferry to South End, where Mary and Joe Links were there to meet us and guide us into London through terrible traffic.’ [Chuckles.]

S:   So, this was another one of those car-airplane ferries?

M: Yes. ‘Arrived at 7:30 p.m. at Brockwood.’

The entry for the next day reads, ‘Brockwood is lovely. Slept well, unpacked, and put everything in order. The carpet is down in my room. There was a meeting between Simmonses, Krishnaji, Alain, and me on school matters. Walked with Krishnaji through the bluebells in the woods.’

The next day was ‘a quiet day at Brockwood, but Alain is feeling low.’

On the nineteenth, ‘I drove Krishnaji and Alain to London. Left them at Huntsman’s, then they went to lunch with Mary L. while I took the Mercedes to be fixed. Then went to Anstee and miscellaneous shopping for the house. Came back to Alton on the 4:56 p.m. train.’ I must’ve left the Mercedes. ‘Krishnaji and Alain came back on the 5:20 p.m. and I drove back to Brockwood with them. I have a sore throat.’

On the twentieth, ‘Alain had a long talk with Krishnaji. Mary Cadogan came and we had a meeting with her and Dorothy. We are going to have the gatherings at Brockwood in September on two weekends. My mother and Huges are in London at the Goring Hotel.’

For the twenty-first it reads, ‘A lovely, quiet day. Stayed at Brockwood resting. Felt much better, and went for a walk with Krishnaji across the field. It was warm and beautiful. Krishnaji’s talks to Alain seems to have changed and cheered him.’

The next day, ‘Drove Alain’s car to London. Went to the Chelsea Flower Show and to

Anstee’s and Harrods, etcetera, on errands. Back to Brockwood for supper. The kitchen cabinets and appliances arrived.

The following day I returned to London to pick up the Mercedes and it took me three

hours to drive back to Brockwood through the Whitsun weekend traffic, arriving at 9:30 p.m.

S:   I think we’re going to have to end it there.

M: Okay.


[1] The Krishnamurti Bulletin, which began in England, and which subsequently was published in various forms in different countries, was the only real means of the new Krishnamurti organizations to keep people informed of Krishnaji’s upcoming talks and the new publications that were emerging. Back to text.

[2] Rajagopal, rather than giving to the Krishnamurti Foundation the very considerable archives of Krishnaji’s work that had been amassed since the 1920s, gave most of it to the Huntington Library, where it remains. Back to text.

[3] A professional-quality portable audio recorder made in Switzerland. Back to text.

[4] Mary’s father and stepmother, Olive, had an apartment just beneath the famous restaurant La Tour D’Argent, which is on the top floor. Back to text.

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