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Susan Piver of the Daily Dharma Gathering interviews Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell. “As a busy Buddhist, it’s a delight to feel the cohesion between my Buddhist studies and The Work,” Susan says. “It feels like there’s no difference. And The Work is meditation that you can do off the cushion.”
“Yes,” Katie says, “it’s a practice that takes stillness, and we don’t have to leave meditation just because we’re walking and talking, going to work, and taking care of our children. And we don’t need that cushion once inquiry is alive in us. It’s an unceasing meditation to live in these questions. As an example, if I meet someone and hold a grudge against them, it’s what I’m believing onto them that creates that grudge. It’s like I’m slapping post-its on them as if my judgments are that person. So I’m not talking to that person, but rather to the identity that I believe them to be. So it’s no wonder we’re confused in our relationships. It’s my responsibility to meditate on and to question what I’m believing about you, so that I can see you and know you. Believing onto you doesn’t show me you. When I take my story off someone by questioning what I believe about them, I begin to experience compassion and love.”
Later they discuss Katie and Stephen’s new book, A Mind at Home with Itself, which is based on the Diamond Sutra. “A mind at home with itself is the end of war in your world,” Katie says.
“The Diamond Sutra is a text that centers on the issue of generosity,” Stephen says. “The main point is that the more you understand the unreality of the self, and see that there’s no difference between self and other, the more you naturally live a life of unfettered generosity. It came to me that this sutra would be an excellent framework for Katie to talk about her experience, because it’s so much in harmony with the spirit of The Work.”
“As Stephen read to me his translation of the sutra,” Katie says, “I wept with joy. I felt that any word I added to it would take away from its clarity. But Stephen encouraged me to speak out of my own experience, so I followed the simple directions, and we ended up with this book. We hope you find it helpfully alarming!”
The clearer the mind, the clearer the choices. —Byron Katie
For more information, free resources and a list of upcoming events visit thework.com.