La Presence

Sukothai, Thailand. 2019

That which has no time cannot be measured by words.

– Krishnamurti

Inspired by the writings of Indian philosopher, Krishnamurti, Canadian and French photographer Jennifer Chan invites you to join this visual meditation with a collection of images from her travels around the world.

Baltoro Glacier, K2, Karakorum, Pakistan. 2019.

It is a new morning… it has no time, no problems. It exists and that in itself is a miracle. It is a new morning without any memory… The trees in the sun and the flowers have no time. It is the miracle of a new day.

The Sahara, Ksar Ghilane, Tunisia. 2020.

So death is not in the future. Death is now when there is no time, when there is no me becoming something, when there is no self-interest, no egotistic activity, which is all the process of time. 

The Sahara, Ksar Ghilane, Tunisia. 2020.

One must die each day to all one’s memories, experiences, knowledge and hopes… Not to gather, but to die each day, each minute, is timeless being. As long as there is the urge to fulfill, with its conflicts, there will always be the fear of death.

Masuleh, Iran. 2017.

If you establish a relationship with it [a tree] then you have relationship with mankind. You are responsible then for that tree and for the trees of the world. But if you have no relationship with the living things on this earth you may lose whatever relationship you have with humanity, with human beings.

Reynisfjara black sand beach, Iceland. 2016.

The understanding of the nature of what you are, without any distortions… is the beginning of austerity… That watching brings about an extraordinary sense of austerity that goes beyond all restraint, all the fooling around oneself and all this idea of self-improvement, self-fulfillment… In this watching there is great freedom and in that freedom there is the sense of the dignity of austerity.

Sukothai, Thailand. 2019.

Watching and listening are a great art–watching and listening without any reaction, without any sense of the listener or the see-er. By watching and listening we learn infinitely more than from any book.

The Sahara, Ksar Ghilane, Tunisia. 2020. 

When you watch attentively, with diligence, there is nothing to learn; there is only that vast space, silence and emptiness, which is all-consuming energy.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia. 2011.

You have the marvelous book of yourself from which you can learn infinitely.

Tunis, Tunisia. 2020.

To think is to be afraid.

Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon, Iceland. 2016.

To be simple means a mind that is clear, without conflict, that has no ambition, that is really incorruptible by its own desires.

The Galapagos, Ecuador. 2012.

Energy comes only when you completely lose yourself, when there is total absence of yourself.

Punakha Dzong, Bhutan. 2017.

A mind that is in constant conflict wastes energy.

Masai Mara, Kenya. 2012.

Be alone sometimes, and if you are lucky it [love] might come to you, on a falling leaf, or from that distant solitary tree in an empty field.

Perito Moreno, Argentina. 2012.

To live alone needs great intelligence; to live and alone and yet be pliable is arduous. To live alone, without the walls of self-enclosing gratifications, needs extreme alertness; for a solitary life encourages sluggishness, habits that are comforting and hard to break. A single life encourages isolation, and only the wise can live alone without harm to themselves and to others. Wisdom is alone, but a lonely path does not lead to wisdom. Isolation is death, and wisdom is not found in withdrawal… The complete is the alone, and incompleteness seeks the way of isolation.

Serengeti, Tanzania. 2012.

Sorrow. You must live with it, not morbidly, not in self-pity, not in isolation, not in resentment. You must live with it as you would with a dangerous pet, ever watching it, trying to understand its way, its intention, following it with alert awareness, being open to its intimations. Great pliability is needed, which is denied when thought-feeling is anchored to a belief, to a theory, to an experience, to a memory. It is this simple and uncontending pliability of the mind and hear that brings peace and joy, love and understanding.

Tibet. 2015. 

Suffering, when allowed to mature, finds its own release.

K2 Base Camp Trek, with a view of Broad Peak. Karakorum, Pakistan. 2019.

The ending of sorrow is love: What actually takes place when we see something greatly beautiful like the mountain full of snow against the blue sky? For a second, the very majesty of that mountain, the immensity of it, its lines against the blue sky, drive away all self-concern. At that second there is no ‘me’ watching it… That is, there is no self-interest… Because where there is self, there is no beauty; where there is self-interest there is no love; and love and beauty go together – they are not separate.

Goree, Senegal. 2021.

What do you mean by ordinary?

K: To be like the rest of men; with their worries, with their corruption, violence, brutality, indifference, callousness. To want a job, to want to hold on to a job whether you are efficient or not, to die in the job. That is what is called ordinary – to have nothing new, nothing fresh, no joy in life, never to be curious, intense, passionate, never to find out, but merely to conform. That is what I mean by ordinary. It is called being bourgeois. It is a mechanical way of living, a routine, a boredom. 

How can we get rid of being ordinary?

There is no “how.” You see that is one of the most destructive questions: “Tell me how”? Man has always been saying, throughout the world, “Tell me how”. If you see a a name, a poisonous cobra, you do not say, “Please tell me how to run away from it”. You run away from it. So in the same way, if you see that you are ordinary, run, leave it, not tomorrow, but instantly.

Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada. 2020.

Life is an endless process of becoming and ending.

The Sahara, Ksar Ghilane, Tunisia. 2020.

The ending of everyday is also the ending of oneself every day.

Gabriola Island, British Columbia, Canada. 2020.

Without meditation the heart becomes a desert, a wasteland… To meditate is to be innocent of time.

All Content © 2023 by Jennifer Chan