The Work - Byron Katie

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Post The Work - Byron Katie

Post by Sarveswara on Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:12 pm



The Revolutionary Process Called - “The Work”


An excerpt from Loving What Is ... Four questions that can change your life

Byron Katie with Stephen Mitchell.



Introduction


Byron Kathleen Reid, a businesswoman and mother living in the high desert of southern California became severely depressed while in her thirties. Over a ten-year period her depression deepened, and Katie (as she is called) spent almost two years rarely able to leave her bed, obsessing over suicide. Then one morning, from the depths of despair, she experienced a life-changing realization.

Katie saw that when she believed that something should be different than it is (“My husband should move me more,” “My children should appreciate me.”) she suffered, and that when she didn’t believe these thoughts, she felt peace. She realized that what had been causing her depression was not the world around her, the beliefs she had about the world around her.

In a flash of insight, Katie saw that our attempt to find happiness was backward - instead of hopelessly trying to change the world to match our thoughts about how it “should “ be, we can question these thoughts and , by meeting reality as it is, experience unimaginable freedom and joy. Katie developed a simple yet powerful method of inquiry, called The Work that helped make this transformation practical. As a result, a bed-ridden, suicidal woman became filled with love for everything life brings.

Katie’s in sight into the mind is consistent with leading edge research in cognitive psychology, and The Work has been compared to the Socratic dialogue, Buddhist teachings, and 12-step programs. But Katie developed her method without any knowledge of religion or psychology. The Work is based purely on one woman’s direct experience of how suffering is created and ended. It is astonishingly simple, accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds, and requires nothing more than a pen and paper her insights or answers was a little value – instead, she offers a process that can give people their own answers. The first people exposed to her Work reported that the experience was transformational, and she soon began receiving invitations to teach the process publicly.



What Is Is

The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly clear, what is is what we want. If you want reality to be different than it is, you might as well try to teach a cat to bark. You can try and try, and in the end the cat will look up at you and say, “Meow.” Wanting reality to be different than it is is hopeless.

And yet, if you pay attention, you’ll notice that you think thoughts like this dozens of times a day. “People should be kinder.” “Children should be well-behaved.” “My husband (or wife) should agree with me.” “I should be thinner (or prettier or more successful).” These thoughts are ways of wanting reality to be different than it is. If you think that this sounds depressing, you’re right. All the stress that we feel is caused by arguing with what is.

People new to The Work often say to me, “But it would be disempowering to stop my argument with reality. IF I simply accept reality, I’ll become passive. I may even lose the desire to act.” I answer them with a question: “Can you really know that that’s true?” Which is more empowering? – “I wish I hadn’t lost my job” or “I lost my job; what can I do now? Wondering why my life doesn’t work.

To think that I know what’s best for anyone else is to be out of my business. Even in the name of love, it is pure arrogance, and the result is tension, anxiety, and fear. Do I know what’s right for myself? That is my only business. Let me work with that before I try to solve your problems for you.

If you understand that three kinds of business enough to stay in your own business, it could free your life in a way that you can’t even imagine. The next time you’re feeling stress or discomfort, ask yourself whose business you’re in mentally, and you may burst out laughing! That question can bring you back to yourself. And you may come to see that you’ve never really been present, that you’ve been mentally living in other peoples business all your life. Just to notice that you’re in someone else’s business can bring you back to your own wonderful self.

And if you practice it for awhile, you may come to see that you don’t have any business either and that your life runs perfectly well on its own.


Meeting your thoughts with understanding


A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It is not our thoughts but the attachment to our thoughts that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.

Most people think that they are what their thoughts tell them they are. One day I noticed that I wasn’t breathing - I was being breathed. Then I also noticed, to my amazement, that I wasn’t thinking – that I was actually being thought and that thinking isn’t personal. Do you wake up in the morning and say to yourself, “I think I won’t think today?” It’s too late: You’re already thinking! Thoughts just appear. They come out of nothing and go back to nothing, like clouds moving across the empty sky. They come to pass, not to stay. There is no harm in them until we attach to them as if they were true.

No one has ever been able to control his thinking, although people may tell the story of how they have, I don’t let go of my thoughts – I meet them with understanding. Then they let go of me.

Thoughts are like the breeze or the leaves on the trees or the raindrops falling. They appear like that, and through inquiry we can make friends with them. Would you argue with a raindrop? Raindrops aren’t personal, and neither are thoughts. Once a painful concept is met with understanding, the next time it appears you may find it interesting. What used to be the nightmare is now just interesting. The next time, you may not even notice it. This is the power of loving what is.

_________________________________________________________


The Work consists of these main “Four Questions”


Here are the four questions. Some people cut these out and keep them close at hand.


1. Is it true?


2. Can you absolutely know that it‘s true?


3. How do you react when you think that thought?


4. Who would you be without the thought?

________________________________________________

For more information on this process called “The Work” and to learn how to put this into practical application in your life visit www.thework.com

_________________
My Eternal Love, Sarveswara

Love, Faith & Trust ... The Foundation of Everything.
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Post Re: The Work - Byron Katie

Post by WhiteCloud on Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:23 am

[b]Thank you for sharing this inspirational womans insight. You are a wonderful and peaceful messenger, I am going to share this site with others....love you
Namaste
Rhonda/whiteCloud clap

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Post Re: The Work - Byron Katie

Post by Sarveswara on Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:39 am

Thank you Whitecloud ... when it feels right ... it's got to be good.
lol!

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