Krishnamurti & the Art of Awakening
Back to places index ›› Study Retreats


Contact Place Coordinator

Tel: +41-22-349-6674

Lauterbrunnen, Bern
SWITZERLAND 7.89378 46.5597

Amenities Offered

  • accomodation
  • vegetarian meals
  • natural setting
  • regular dialogues
  • families welcome
  • dvd showings
  • communal lounge
  • international guests
  • informal atmosphere
(What are these symbols?)



Envisage the possibility to create relationships with the people sharing the same investigation, coming from different part of the world.The setting of Mürren invites one to be in touch with the beauty of the high mountains and the quality of silence, allowing the exploration of inward freedom. Open only during the time of the Annual International Gathering,. For information contact:

Gisèle BALLEYS, 7A, Chemin Floraire, 1225 Chêne-Bourg/Geneva, Switzerland
Tel:+41-22-349-6674 / +41-27-387-1335

June 29, 2011
Parents & Children Week

This small gathering of parents and children, which I have been attending with my two kids, Amalia and Antonio, for the last four or five years, is a delightful opportunity to share our parental and all too human concerns in the light of Krishnamurti’s approach to living in general and education in particular. The group has managed to create a very organic and co-operative communal spirit that makes for a free and creative atmosphere. The children enjoy this freedom a lot and the activities that are on offer tend to bring out in them all kinds of natural talents. The structure and spirit of the gathering makes it easier for us parents to relax about our usual overseeing concerns and responsibilities, as the children are safe and free in such a close and friendly atmosphere. And we also get a chance to discuss with others similarly concerned the issues arising for us as parents and human beings in our daily lives of work and relationship.

The natural beauty of the place is a great help as well as the fact that the vegetarian meals are prepared by André, the expert cook who runs the place. Gstaad, the town where the gathering takes place, is one of the most picturesque spots in the Swiss Alps. The walks that we do around the area bring us in closer contact with the majesty of the surrounding mountains and the evening meal at the campfire by the river is always a treat. For the younger ones there is also a lovely playground a short walking distance away in the nearby town of Saanen.

Apart from the artistic activities of painting, photography, sewing and dance there are a number of themes that are explored collectively. These themes are usually proposed by the older children and are based on their concerns, which in the recent past have included such things as the question of fashion and the image, habits and freedom, developing one’s talents, etc. Such themes are generally approached with playful seriousness rather than dry reflection.

It is of course not easy to give a thorough picture of this gathering in a few lines. However, I feel that Alistair Heron, who has been involved with this gathering since its earlier days, gives a much better and fuller description in the piece he wrote about the gathering we held in 2009. It captures the feeling of it and, should you be interested in attending, it provides a clear sense of what you might reasonably expect.

Javier Gomez Rodriguez, June 2011

January 19, 2010
Muerren Gathering Report 2009

This report on last year’s Parents & Children Week reflects the kind of atmosphere that is possible to create when a group of parents come together with their children to share in their common concern with holistic living. This project was Gisèle Balley’s initiative and the author, Alistair Herron, has been closely involved with it for years. Although this report concerns the event in 2009, it could easily apply to what happened this year, as the quality of living together was very much the same. One of the things that dawned on those of us who have been participating in this week for some time is how easily this concept would lend itself to being reproduced anywhere else by a similarly concerned group of parents. All it would take is for such a group to design a programme of activities and to come together to implement it in a suitable place in the same spirit of shared, communal living. So this report is also meant as an invitation for all those of you with children to organize similar events wherever you may be living. If you should be interested, don’t hesitate to contact Alistair or Gisèle for further information.

During the last week of July the annual Parents and Children Gathering was held at Chalet Alpenblick, in Gstaad, near Saanen. What was it that brought 40 people from various corners of Europe, parents, children and educators, together in the picturesque mountains of Switzerland? We were not only exploring Krishnamurti’s questions but were also encapsulated in the beautiful countryside where many of his talks were given. For well over a decade now these energetic gatherings of children and parents, organised by Gisèle Balleys, have been happening, directly engaging not only with the natural environment (walks in the mountains, riverside pick-nicks, rural quests) but also, like nature herself, sharing in immediate relationships.

In Alpenblick a community of learning has been facilitated towards what Krishnamurti has termed the mirror of relationship. Much of the creative activity and intense questioning emerges out of the interaction and communication with each other. Over the years we have looked as educators, parents, adolescents and children at many key issues facing relationships. Many insightful dialogues and talks ensue and much is done in the spirit of friendship and affection. As is the case when examining the living quality of relationship, there are no absolute or definitive answers, but rather an unspoken openness to enquire. This seems to be one of the underpinning frameworks that bring people together at the Parents & Children Chalet.

As the mix of people differs, every year has its own particular quality and dynamic. 2009 saw an interesting development from a number of young Brockwood Park students. Several took it upon themselves to facilitate creative activity for others. One interesting fact is that these teenagers had previously attended these gatherings as children but now came back as potential educator/learners in their own right. They were returning to try and share and conduct their own workshops. So we had Saskia creating music and song, Sebastian movement and dance and Theo doing photography and animation.

There were many other wonderful workshops as well: dressing up, creating with clay, colour painting, sewing and textile art. Here Claire, Hervé, Carole and Marie-Gabriele all brought art and textile materials and their own skillful resources. Christina was a great games facilitator and Saroj made possible a most innovative Indian cooking workshop. Massage (from Hervé and Monique) and Jin Shin Jyutsu (from Miream) were also on hand, as was Yoga from Guido.

While our coming together created a wonderful prospect to explore inventively (to sing, dance, paint, make paper, create nature mobiles, make environmental fashion, physically and artistically celebrate), a vital core to the gathering was the opportunity of finding out for and about ourselves. Endeavouring to investigate within a community, living even briefly together, enabled the questions that Krishnamurti poses to be directly examined. There were a number of daily themes that had been agreed on around the issues of image making, emotion, fear and jealously, relationships and differences, facing violence, and the meaning of care. Dialogues among the parents, between parents and children or with the adolescents were all concerned with looking at these important questions. These dialogues were very useful in sustaining an atmosphere of practical enquiry linked to real issues confronting educators, parents and children in their daily lives. The nature of the dialogues also revealed the commonality of life’s challenges and as the week unfolded such sharing helped engender a growing sense of a community of learning.

Many informal talks and conversations were also held following the viewing of some Krishnamurti talks. In all the beautiful weather and natural setting seemed to contribute greatly to our creating an open, enquiring atmosphere of shared living. As always at the closure of the week a review was collectively held and a number of suggestions made for subsequent gatherings. Much is being learned and we would hope that in the spirit of friendship and the essence of Krishnamurti’s questions the nature and practice of this sharing can long continue and, perhaps, be implemented by other people in other places.

Alistair Herron, September 2009

Krishnamurti-related centers and organization from around the world with a permanent physical venue for their activities