Self Realization

dear katie,
have you realised the self?
love, g

Dearest G,
No one can realize the self. And what self would that be? No one exists or can exist to realize the self without defining the self that it realized, or the self that has realized the “it” that it believes itself to be. The I-know mind that would say, “Yes, I have realized the self” is in that moment stuck in its limitedness yet again.

Look at these statements, angel, look closely, be with them in many ways and then be with them differently again, if it is peace that interests you. The “self” is just one more concept, one more identity the mind would cling to (and that’s okay). What I experience is that I’m free (until I’m not).


Audio: My Enemy is My Friend

If I see an enemy, I need to take another look, because that is my friend, not my enemy. Enemies enlighten me to myself. That makes them friends. In the world of the personality, friends are people who agree with you… Download the audio file here >>

From the Parlor: Ending War

Hi Katie,
I love The Work and have read your books. I was wondering: how does passive (and active) resistance fit into acceptance? Also, can we accept what is and focus and act on what we want to create in the future, or is that focus a form of resistance to what is?

As I understand and experience The Work, it leads us to accept what is or what was, to cease struggling against it, to stop arguing with it. It leads us to peace about what is or what was, because we come to a new understanding about what is or what was. For me, acceptance is about not resisting what is/what was but allowing it to be whatever it is or was, even as through the Work we come to new understandings about it. From that place, a “knowing” then arises about what to “do”—the example Katie shares is seeing litter on the ground, not arguing against it, not resisting it, just seeing litter and being moved to pick it up. I’m not sure how that works say, in regard to the war in Iraq and other types of issues:

So—how does that fit with, for example: What if, instead of going like sheep to slaughter during WWII, the Jews had committed mass suicide. Would it have been possible for them to accept “the Nazis are coming” and then resist by jumping into the sea (something Gandhi suggested in 1946) or killing the Nazis? I can accept that we are at war in Iraq. It is what is, and I even can see the side that says we should be at war in Iraq. Actually, I see both sides so clearly, I no longer am able to figure out what we actually “should” do—which leaves what we will do up to people who are not seeing both sides and/or have an opinion. I don’t think what we are doing, however, is working to bring peace, and thus am inclined to work for peace (though again I’m not clear whether that means bring the troops home now). If I am working for peace or to bring the troops home now, am I in resistance to what is (the war in Iraq)? I also can accept a turnaround that the Bush administration didn’t lie to us about Iraq and that we lied to ourselves about Iraq. Does that mean that we don’t seek to uncover the “truth” (the facts) about whether or not Bush lied? Or does it just mean that now I have seen this and am not resisting what was I can now choose whatever I am going to do next in response to that (with my new awareness) or not? Thank you.

Sincerely, B

Dearest B,

I do everything possible to end the war where I am internally, and the war around me ends immediately. Bigger things happen as a result of this—huge things. The troops in Iraq, just like all of us in the world (there is no them and us in this scenario), only have the power to do everything possible to end the war where they are. The way we end wars on this planet, our “defenses,” exactly mirror how we (the bad guy) start or create the war. This keeps us stuck and perpetually unevolved.

Let’s say, for example, a country has the thought to attack us and does attack us in order to put an end to “our” power, which they see as abusive, uncaring, and disrespectful. At this point we attack them for being abusive, uncaring, and disrespectful, and because both sides believe what they are thinking (and their thoughts are exactly the same on both sides), they are unwilling to negotiate. If we overpower them, we say that we have “won,” and we have used the same tactics and mindset that the other side used to start the war, the mindset that caused the attack. They were defending, that was the cause of their attack. We were defending, that was the cause of our attack. The ”enemy’s” mind is our own. If we believe that they shouldn’t have done it, then why can’t we see that we shouldn’t have done it? We are killing ourselves in our own belief system.

The death of our own and anyone’s son or daughter is a pretty obvious reality and yet we stay asleep. I say, “Stop errorism now!” It is internal war that must be ended if war is to end. Once the internal war ends, and therefore the external war ends, then armies will be armed with what they really want to be armed with, which is medicine, food, education, and good will and hearts that are allowed to do what they do best, armed with what is right and good. I invite all of you to find any justification for war that doesn’t mirror back the very same mindset of the “enemy.”

Thank you for the question, B, love.
xoxoxo, kt

The Work and Mental Health

Anil Coumar, MBBS, MA, is the Director of the Hall Health Mental Health Clinic at University of Washington. He is introducing The Work to his peers (read his success story about the “fear of eating” below):

Dear Colleagues,

Most of us who have personally experienced The Work would agree that it is a simple, effective method to end suffering. Many of us who have experienced the powerful effects of this inquiry are making an effort to introduce The Work to our professional colleagues, as well as to our clients. We realize there are some obstacles and challenges as we attempt to do this, and we ask for your help.

You are invited to fill out a brief online survey designed to help us learn more about how to best bring the power and simplicity of The Work into mental health settings. Your input will help us to understand the needs of, and obstacles faced by, clinicians as we design a training seminar for mental health professionals using The Work in clinical settings.

The survey will take about 20 minutes of your time. You can take the survey by clicking on this link>>

In addition to participating in the survey, we hope you will also join the online forum for mental health professionals at This forum was created to help clinicians communicate with each other, share resources and success stories, and get help from each other as we move The Work in clinical settings. Your input is greatly appreciated.

In closing, I would like to share a success story with you. A few weeks ago, a physician referred to me a young patient of his, a woman with an intense fear of eating. After a few choking episodes, she became terrified to swallow food. If you treat people with psychosomatic problems, you may be aware that the symptoms are often resistant to psychological interventions. In the past, I would have resorted to long explorations of her history to find out the underlying psychological explanations for these symptoms. Instead, this time I gently introduced her to The Work and guided her in self-inquiry. She was able to see how her stressful thoughts (for example, “Something terrible is going to happen”) caused psychological and physiological stress and led to her symptoms. She visibly relaxed in the session as she questioned her fear.

Last week, she came to the session and reported that not only is she able to eat now, she is also able to eat alone, something she has not done in a long time because of her fear of choking. And most important, she is now aware that whenever she becomes symptomatic, it is an opportunity for her to question her negative thinking patterns.

Sincerely yours,

Anil Coumar, MBBS, MA
Director, Hall Health Mental Health Clinic
University of Washington
Seattle, WA

A Love Letter

Dear Katie and The Work,

My 29 year old son died November 19th of a heroin overdose. I had been doing the Work on my own the last time I saw him, ten days before he died. I picked him up to go for lunch at an Indian restaurant and saw that he looked liked maybe he was using again, but I just watched that thought and thoughts like it during my last hours with him, and was really present to his beautiful blue eyes, to his happiness over his job, his thoughts of being in a band soon, how he was going to buy his nieces and nephew Christmas presents… As the days go by after his death, I live with little guilt, no shame, and much love, loving what is.

People think I am in shock because, although I have pain and cry in it, it is not consuming nor constant. I credit The Work for that.

Thank you.

I once went to Toronto to see Katie for a few hours but have never gone to the School. I hope to do so one day. I happened to be quitting my job the hour my other son found his brother dead, so I probably won’t be going to the school soon… Maybe it is not necessary, as I am living through this by doing the work on my own – I don’t even have to do anything but notice my stressful thoughts and they vanish. Love is so lovely!