It is nighttime in Tel Aviv. In the last three days I have immersed myself in The Work here in Israel by attending all of Katie’s events. They were so impressive for me, and for everyone I have spoken with, to come face to face with someone who has taken total responsibility for her own thinking and to see how the whole world is changed as a result.
The events were so sweet and smooth. You couldn’t even tell that 1,200 people each day were in the hall; you could hear a pin drop, and anyone who knows Israelis knows that it’s highly unusual for them to be so quiet. Katie’s depth and amazing penetration blew everyone’s mind and swept us off our feet.
The first two people who did The Work with Katie were women who worked with her last year on sexual abuse in their family, and both were so grateful. One of them said how after not speaking for years with her father who had abused her, they are now on speaking terms again and are even able to hug each other, and she said that instead of meeting the monster, for the first time she met the human being who is her father.
All the people who came on to do The Work with Katie dared to expose their deepest fears in front of more than a thousand people. Among others, there was a mother who lost her son in a car accident and a girl with burn scars all over her face because a terrorist blew up the bus she was on. In working with these traumatized people, and with “normal” people as well, Katie was so skillful, so intelligent, so wise, she knew so well when to push hard and when to let go, and as my skeptical friend sitting next to me began to sob, I noticed how many other people in the audience crying as well.
That burnt girl—so innocent, so delicate, with such a complicated, sad story— rediscovered herself again right in front of our eyes, showing us and seeing for herself that in the midst of the suspicion that her mind created to protect her, her beautiful soul lives on and is entirely untouched by any of the outer scars. The power of her choosing life was overwhelming. I felt that no one in the audience was a bystander, that we were involved and doing our own Work.
The weekend culminated with a huge inquiry circle. More then 1500 people sat in pairs facing each other on the lawn outside under a beautiful blue Israeli sky. I was overtaken by the blue sky for a minute; then I noticed how involved Katie was, that she missed nothing: here she saw a person needing a partner, there she asked the Hebrew translator to wait a moment and she asked for an Arab translator as well, so that all would be included. I noticed how, just by watching her and her tremendous compassion and inclusiveness, I felt as if I was becoming more compassionate and inclusive myself, and I begin to feel love looking at itself as I looked around me.
Even the TV news people seemed touched and came to talk with the Arab translator, asking her to talk to them about The Work and how it had affected her life. “Well,” she said, “I’ll give you an example. Someone from Europe just asked me if I felt discrimination in Israel, and I noticed how different my answer is now after I have been doing The Work for a while. The charge is gone. Discrimination? Well, yeah, maybe, but it exists all over the world, not just here, and not just because I am Moslem, but everyone sees everyone else from their own world. And I can also find how I am prejudiced against all kinds of things, even toward some animals, so I guess you could say that I don’t take it so personally anymore. The Work freed up my energy, and I can do other more productive things with my time.”
The next day by 7:30 a.m. Katie was already visiting inmates at an Israeli prison, and at 10:30 had arrived at Baka-el-Garbiya, an Arab village, for a session dedicated to the Arab audience (although a few others like me snuck in). I was watching history in the making; it was nothing short of that.
The event for Arabs only was amazing. Hundreds of Arabs came, mostly women, and I recognized an important editor of a very well-known magazine hiding in the crowd. It was very impressive. She adapted so well to that tradition and so skillfully enabled everyone to understand the meaning of being kind to one’s self, how war starts with us, how we can also end it. We have a choice. It was so important.
I watched people get empowered as she was speaking and felt that everything she said was of outmost importance. The fact that Katie’s love and clarity could sound and reverberate in that space today, maybe for the very first time, enabling these people to find their way out of suffering, was a magical moment with immense proportions. I felt such a powerful focus develop in the audience, and it all seemed to penetrate and touch people’s hearts. Katie couldn’t contain her tears, it was moving to the depths.