Krishnamurti told me once that when he was younger, he used to see as many as seventy-five people a week for private interviews. Evidently, he was available, without charge, to anyone who wanted to see him about some personal problem or issue they wanted to discuss. He described some of these meetings in the three volumes of Commentaries on Living, although he took care to change any information that could link the descriptions to actual individuals. These meetings represented the application of his teachings to particular circumstances and personalities.
During the years that I knew him, after 1975, he had become far less accessible. Occasionally he would meet with individuals privately, but Mary Zimbalist served as a buffer, at least in Ojai, and it often felt like an imposition even to request to see him. I sensed this keenly in my roles as educational director and director. Even though my job required me at times to consult with him privately, I often felt as though I might be intruding and should limit my requests as much as possible.
Partly for this reason, I sometimes took to writing letters to express my concerns about my difficulties in meeting my responsibilities. These letters contained fairly dense descriptions of my psychological dilemmas and states of mind. They were probably not easy to read. I wrote them even when Krishnamurti was in Ojai, living on the same property in the east end of the valley where I lived with my wife. I left these letters on his doorstep, partially tucked under the doormat, where he could see the corner of the envelope when he opened the door.
After a while, he told me to stop writing these letters. He once read to me the kind of letter he would prefer to receive. It was written by the director of one of his schools in India, and it had quite a different tone and content from the ones I had written. It was upbeat and focused on externalities, with precise reporting on tangible developments and events in the school. It took me by surprise to see that this is what he liked. I never even tried to write a letter like that.
I had been told by someone that Krishnamurti had an entirely different attitude toward visitors when he was in India. I discounted these reports as highly improbable. They seemed to suggest that he was more at ease or comfortable in India, or that his frame of mind could be significantly influenced by his environment. These possibilities were not consistent with my idea of who he was and how he functioned. It was therefore a revelation to see for myself first-hand what it was like to be with him in India.
[This is the first part of a two-part blog].