Podcast: The Solution to the Problem is You

Also available on iTunes, here.

 

Roger Nairn of “The Solution Podcast” interviews Byron Katie. He begins by asking, “What was it that you saw in the world that needed a solution?” “My life was filled with depression, and I didn’t have an answer,” Katie says. “Then there was a moment when the answer just came to me. Even though I knew that depression was the problem, I didn’t understand that what I was thinking and believing was the cause. I had to work in slow motion to identify each belief that was causing a disturbance in my mind and then question that belief. That was my solution to the problem.” Katie then takes Roger through the four questions and turnarounds of The Work on the belief “He betrayed me” and clarifies how The Work as meditation moves us beyond the ego and into wisdom. “What sort of results should people who do The Work hope to achieve?” Roger asks. “The answer to all their problems,” says Katie. “When our mind is clear, wisdom has room to live. When I’m believing things onto the world, where is there room for wisdom?”

Byron Katie Mitchell (everyone calls her Katie) discovered the gift of The Work in 1986. She has been traveling around the world since 1992, offering The Work to millions of people at free public events, in prisons, hospitals, churches, corporations, battered women’s facilities, universities and schools, at weekend intensives, the nine-day School for The Work, and her 28-day Turnaround House. She is the author of Loving What Is, I Need Your Love-Is That True?, A Thousand Names for Joy, and A Mind at Home with Itself.

We are all innocent. The only thing we are guilty of is believing our unquestioned thoughts. —Byron Katie

Your Sobriety Will Make Me Happy—The Work of Byron Katie

Also available on iTunes, click here to listen.

 

A therapist at the Wisdom 2.0 event does The Work with Byron Katie on her belief “She won’t stop drinking.” “‘She won’t stop drinking’–can you absolutely know that it’s true?” Katie asks. “The answer is a simple yes or no. The ego will want to defend and justify–it can really scream. So just thank it for sharing and go back to the question. Can you absolutely know that it’s true that she won’t stop drinking?” When she believed this thought about her friend Kathy, the woman felt responsible, angry, and afraid, and she acted in a way that she calls passive-aggressive. In one of the turnarounds, she replaces “drinking” with “rescuing”–“I won’t stop rescuing”–and she sees how she too is addicted: to rescuing people who may not even want to be rescued. “If she stops drinking, then you’ll be happy–so it’s all about you,” Katie says. “You really don’t care if she drinks; you just want to be happy. And you don’t want anything to happen to her because you would be sad. So, if you’re unhappy, it’s her fault. When we’re unkind and passive-aggressive, we give them no reason to get sober. She’s drunk with her drinking, and you’re drunk with your thinking. Both of you are addicted.” “Yes,” says the woman, “my drugs are people. I’m mainlining Kathy, and if she’s not around I’ll replace her with someone else.”

I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t my teacher. —Byron Katie

Podcast: No One Can Wrong Me—The Work of Byron Katie

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At the Wisdom 2.0 conference in San Francisco, a woman from the audience says she was verbally attacked and blamed by her classroom teacher. Byron Katie guides her through The Work, beginning with the thought “My teacher is blaming me.” “When emotions arise and you experience anxiety, depression, or sadness,” Katie says, “identify what you are thinking and believing, capture it on paper, and then meditate on the four questions and turnarounds. These feelings of blame are so far off from our true nature. Until mind matches true nature, our Work isn’t done. When they match, it’s the end of separation and the beginning of intimacy. It’s a whole new way of being. It’s a life without problems.” As she finds her answers to the four questions, the woman realizes that her teacher didn’t actually say what she believed she said. And through the turnarounds, she discovers the ways she actually blames herself. Then she questions the many other thoughts she has identified from the situation. Ultimately, she can clearly say “I look forward to feeling blamed, because it shows me where I still have Work to do, where my beliefs are still hurting me.” The only way I know to break the spell of belief is to meditate on “Is it true?” —Byron Katie

 

Fill in a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet.

Podcast: No One Can Hurt Me, That’s My Job—The Work of Byron Katie

 

Byron Katie expands on the statement “No one can hurt me; that’s my job” for an audience member at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center. The man, the son of a Holocaust survivor, questions how this viewpoint could apply to victims of violent crime, war, and hate. “There are a lot of people being hurt by a lot of other people today,” he says, “and this statement sounds a little privileged.” “That’s why I’m standing here,”Katie says. “You don’t have to suffer that kind of hurt. You can get clear. And if you can get clear, someone else doesn’t have to suffer that.”Katie walks through a hypothetical scenario that illustrates how the mind creates its own suffering by imagining an event in a future that doesn’t exist. Katie points him to his immovable true nature. “You don’t have to notice it; it’s always there. It’s yours, it’s perfect, it’s immovable. And it hurts when you argue against it.” When I’m walking to the gas chamber, other than what I’m thinking and believing, what an amazing day!

For more information, visit theworkcom

Podcast: Awakening to Joy–Interview with Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell

To listen on iTunes, click here.

In this in-depth conversation with Jonathan Fields of goodlifeproject.com, Byron Katie is joined by her husband, Stephen Mitchell. Together they explore her journey and dive into their newest collaboration, A Mind at Home with Itself, which is based on one of the greatest spiritual texts, The Diamond Sutra.

KATIE: The Diamond Sutra is the story of the Buddha speaking with his student Subhuti. And truly, it’s the Buddha speaking to himself.

STEPHEN: The translations of the Diamond Sutra tend to be very difficult to penetrate, so I thought it would be a service to create a version that is accessible and allow its wisdom to shine through for contemporary readers.

KATIE: Stephen read the sutra to me, chapter by chapter, and he asked me to respond to it from my own experience. He’d write down my words and then do his beautiful thing of moving the way I talk into a more understandable English. I’d tell him often, “The sutra is so beautiful that for me to add one word would take away from it.” But he kept telling me that I had something valuable to add. I really hope it serves people.

STEPHEN: It struck me from the beginning that there were similarities between the mind that created the Diamond Sutra and Katie’s mind. There’s a great emphasis on inquiry in the Diamond Sutra. The wonderful thing that inquiry does is to keep pulling the rug out from under itself. Even the clearest truths that the sutra teaches are immediately invalidated, so you’re left with nothing to grasp. It’s wonderful how the subtle, profound mind of the author educates you in not-knowing, in not-grasping. This is exactly what The Work does: it questions assumptions and apparent truths that we create our lives around and that cause so much suffering. Katie’s stories make the insights of the Diamond Sutra vivid and moving. They give it the flesh and blood of loved experience.

JONATHAN: I completely agree with Stephen. Katie, I found your experience of the Diamond Sutra to be really powerful.

STEPHEN: The central insight of the sutra is generosity. The more deeply you understand that there is no such entity as the self, no separation between self and other, the more your life naturally becomes a life of generosity.

JONATHAN: In closing, I always ask one question. In your experience, what does it mean to live a good life?

KATIE: To be present and to recognize what is at hand to do, and to do that without hesitation.

STEPHEN: For me, it’s always recognizing the genuine wherever it appears, whether it’s in ancient texts, modern literature, music, art, or people. There is something magnetically compelling about someone who is speaking from a genuine inner truth.

For more information, visit thework.com

Podcast: Mind Body Green interview

Also available on iTunes, here.

 

Jason Wachob, founder of mindbodygreen.com, interviews Byron Katie about her system of self-inquiry known as The Work, which helps people to tell the difference between what they believe about reality and reality itself.

JASON: Katie cuts through the bullshit pretty quickly: “The Work isn’t meant to support you to feel good. There’s no feel-good in it. It’s about waking up to reality,” That’s good stuff. “When I sat down with Katie, she shared intimate details about her awakening and what life was like beforehand. It wasn’t easy. As a mother of three, she—understandably and relatably—was always worried about money, depressed, and stuck in a cycle of compulsive eating and smoking. One day in 1986 everything changed; she suddenly saw the world through different eyes and recalls in great detail exactly what it was like. That’s how The Work was born. Katie shares several examples that illustrate The Work, dives into the essential questions to ask yourself (which she details in her new book, “A Mind at Home with Itself”), and helps us see ourselves as entirely separate from our belief systems. In her words, “Suffering is the flip side of our true nature,” and The Work is one way to guide yourself in the right direction.

Podcast: I Had An Abortion When I Didn’t Want To—The Work of Byron Katie

This podcast is also available on iTunes, click here to listen.

A woman resents her husband because she feels he pressured her into having an abortion.

BK: Get still. “You didn’t want to have an abortion”–is it true?

Woman: I only have yes or no?

BK: That’s it.

Woman: I want a disclaimer (laughing). Yes.

BK: How do you treat your husband when you believe the thought “I didn’t want to have an abortion”?

Woman: I blame him. I treat him with suspicion. I question his motives at every turn.

BK (to audience): I invite you all to get out of your head as she has. Be courageous enough to ask, get still, and see what arises to meet the question. (To woman) Who would you be, living with this man for forty-one years, without the thought “I had an abortion when I didn’t want to.” Look at the difference in your marriage.

Woman: We’d both be free.

BK: What is the cause of your suffering?

Woman: The thought, for sure.

BK: Turn it around.

Woman: I did want to have an abortion.

BK: Feel it. Take responsibility for it. You’ve been trying to get him to do it for forty-one years. You’ve been putting that thought onto him for four decades.

Woman: It feels easier to blame him than to take responsibility.

BK: No one can change my mind. You can talk all you want; My mind shifts or it doesn’t. I can never say someone made me decide anything. There was a moment where I believed what I believed and made a decision. That was all mine—I’m 100% responsible.

 

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Interview—A Mind at Home with Itself—Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell

 

Click here to listen on iTunes.

Lisa Natoli interviews Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell about their newly released book, A Mind at Home with Itself.

The book is structured around the Diamond Sutra, a Buddhist text whose main point is generosity. “The more you realize that there’s no such thing as a self—that in reality there is no separation between self and other—the more naturally you become a generous human being,” Stephen explains.

Lisa reads briefly from the book: “How can we be generous, not just occasionally, but all the time—every day of our lives? It sounds impossible, but what if it’s not? What if generosity can become as natural as breathing? This book shows you how.”

Katie adds, “No-self means selflessness, which is a fearless state of mind. Other than the thoughts we attach to, which cause fear, we are selfless.”

Lisa and Katie continue delving deeply into the process of breaking free from the trance that keeps us from reality—from our truly generous selves.

NOTE: Over 900 people will meet online to study A Mind at Home with Itself together: https://www.lisanatoli.com/bookstudy.

 

For more information, visit thework.com.

Podcast: The Meat Industry is the Largest, Most Accepted Form of Violence in the World Today

 

To listen on iTunes, click here.

At the 5-day silent retreat in Engelberg, Switzerland (“Being with Byron Katie”) a Dutch woman questions her beliefs about the meat industry. The situation is that she’s watching an undercover video made at a slaughterhouse in Belgium. As she watches, she thinks, “The meat industry is the largest, most accepted form of violence in the world today.” They continue to question the thoughts on her Worksheet such as “I want the meat industry to stop being supported by millions of people,” “I want the meat industry to be revealed to be just as shameful as the slave industry,” “The meat industry should wake up to the fact that animals are sentient beings too,” “I need the meat industry to listen to scientific research (that shows that eating animals is no longer necessary or moral, because there are so many other sources of protein),” “The meat industry is cruel, unethical, unrealistic, unsustainable, a waking nightmare, and a collective cultural shadow,” and “I don’t ever want to see animals being tortured, separated, transported in unacceptable ways, or murdered for a few moments of our sensory pleasure.” To assume that any human being is less wise or less aware than anyone else is something I would question.

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Podcast: How to be Successful—The Work of Byron Katie

 

This podcast is also available on iTunes.

Vanessa Jane Patrick of the “Limitless Potential” podcast interviews Byron Katie. Katie describes her experience of waking up to reality. Vanessa then asks Katie about identity.

Vanessa: If we don’t identify with our thoughts, then what is our identity?

BK: Well, we’re not left with much for ourselves, and yet a lot. If my husband says “I love you,” what he’s thinking and believing about me is who I am to him. My children the same. All people in my life—the same. What they are thinking and believing about me becomes my identity within them. Each identity is held as a separate structure by everyone who knows me. That’s a lot of identities!

For myself, when I see me in my mind’s eye in a situation from the past, that is not me. That’s not my identity; that’s an image. I am the one here speaking to you now, and that’s all the identity I need to hold on to for the moment. When a mind is at home with itself, no identity is necessary. The mind is just wide open to everything, because that’s what love is.I question anything that would interfere with that. And I invite the world to it. Suffering is optional. Living this way is nothing that I can decide or do; it’s the consciousness that I’m left with after inquiry.

Vanessa: How can we have a more creative, fabulous life?

BK: Every time we question our mind, there’s less fake news in the way, fewer things that are not true for us. Inquiry clears the junk out of the mind. In that space of clarity, the choices we make are brilliant. They come out of knowledge and pure creativity and they’re doable. And the directions are all there. But all the things we’re thinking and believing that create the false self, “I, I, I, me, me, me,” is the clutter which keeps us from the awareness of the wisdom that’s always there. Questioning our thoughts is how we give wisdom enough space to reveal itself to us. It’s just waiting for an open mind.

Vanessa: That’s a process I’ve used myself and have found tremendously valuable with clients in shifting their perspective. It creates that space. It’s so freeing. Can we give our audience an example of what inquiry looks like with the four questions, and invite them to go to thework.com and check out the tutorial videos? For example, a client has the thought: “I don’t deserve success.”

BK: I’d ask something a little more basic: “I want success”—is it true? Can you see how much is in that question? Especially if you have a family; it’s a lot to consider. Then close your eyes and meditate on the next question. How do I react, what happens when I believe the thought “I want success”? I compare myself to others. I see them in their suits with their power. They’re going up the elevator in their very own building (laughs). And then I compare that with me, and I am not looking good. I see me trying harder and harder, and failing and failing, when I believe the thought “I want success.” I see my money running out and see what I’ve invested. Then I see me trying again. So I explore that as it’s so telling. No wonder I’m exhausted. That’s emotional and it’s going on all the time. People who are the CEOs of Fortune 500 businesses do exactly the same thing, and it’s not fun. The mind compares. That’s how the ego works. Who would I be without the thought “I want to be successful”? Then I examine my life without that thought superimposed over my life. And then I turn it around to find opposites, like: “I don’t want success.” I open my mind to find “What does that mean to me”? That’s radical for someone who has been worshiping the thought “I want success.” Maybe success would mean time away from my children. Success could require me to hire and fire, and then I feel an onslaught of work. And maybe that’s okay with me, but it also shows me what I need to do to be successful. When we believe we want that success, it wipes out the awareness that we already have success if our goal is a happy life. It’s self-education. We’re tapping into that wisdom whenever we get still like that. And there’s no limit to where The Work on just one concept can take you.

Vanessa: Do you find it’s more difficult for people who have had an actual past experience or is it just the same? For instance if they had all of that success and they lost it.

BK: It would be exactly the same inquiry.

Vanessa: If you could instill one insight into the minds of everybody in the world right now, what would that belief be?

BK: If you’re suffering, there’s a way to end that suffering. That way is to identify what you are thinking and believing about yourself or another person, and write it down and question it.

Freedom is like being brought to love. There’s nothing outside of that. —Byron Katie

 

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Podcast: How to Work with Trauma—The Work of Byron Katie in Zurich

To listen to the podcast on iTunes, click here.

A man does The Work onstage with Byron Katie during her 2017 Zurich event. In English with German translation. The first statement on his Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet is “I am saddened by my father because he beat and abused me.” BK: In any situation, I really want to know what is real, and what is not, so I question the thoughts that cause my suffering. It’s my job to wake myself up to reality. The fantasy is not that pleasant, so just begin now. This is the time and the place. And what I love about sitting in silence, in The Work, is that it’s all there. Be aware that you are dreaming your past. Notice the difference between reality and imagination. Through doing The Work with Katie, the man discovers some peace in a situation that was pure horror.

“What I love about the past is that it’s over.” —Byron Katie

“Mind is the creator of everything, without exception.” —Byron Katie

Fill our a Judge-Your-Neighbor worksheet, here.

Website: www.thework.com

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Podcast: How to Listen to Your Partner, Part 1—The Work of Byron Katie in Zurich

 

Listen to the Podcast on iTunes.

A husband and wife do The Work with Byron Katie during her 2017 Zurich event. (In English with German translation.) Katie asks the husband to look his wife in the eyes and read from the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet he has written about her.

BK: I invite everyone to this exercise. Allow yourself to listen to your partner and notice: is what they are saying true? Are they right? And if they are, you’re going to feel the burn if your ego is defending you. When you feel that burn from thinking “It’s not fair; he always judges me,” just drop into silence and notice, considering for yourself whether it’s true or not. If he’s right, allow a response of “Thank you” to be enough.

 

For a list of upcoming events, click here.

Katie’s new book, A Mind At Home With Itself

Recent Podcast, Elise is Ignoring Me—The Work of Byron Katie

Podcast: Elise is Ignoring Me—The Work of Byron Katie

Elise is Ignoring Me—The Work of Byron Katie

Byron Katie does The Work with a French man who believes that his girlfriend is ignoring him. His concept is “I’m angry with Elise because she’s ignoring me.” He explains that she’s passionately interested in another man.

Listen to this Podcast on iTunes.

Man: The situation is: we are in a dance hall in the countryside and a man comes along.

BK: What is she doing in that moment when you say she’s ignoring you?

Man: I’m sitting down. Two people come in and start talking to the man about dancing. Her eyes light up and she speaks passionately to that man. It’s as though there are no other people on earth.

BK: Close your eyes and see the scene. She’s ignoring you—Is it true?

Man: Yes.

BK: Look again. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? She is looking only at him. She is looking starry eyed. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?

Man: No.

BK: What did you just understand?

Man: I felt included in the room with them.

BK: Does that feel right? In other words, what you just experienced; was it authentic?

Man: Yes.

BK: Close your eyes. In that situation in that moment in time, notice what it feels like and notice how you react when you think the thought she’s ignoring me?

Man: I feel abandoned, nervous, and angry.

BK: You see images of past and future before you can feel annoyed or angry. And I love that you all understand how the mind works; the cause of emotion. You see images of the future and past and you’re asleep to that. As you witness that dream it’s like watching a movie and that’s what brings anger. No matter how quickly your temper rises, past-future has to be in place. So close your eyes. You’re seeing her with her eyes all lit up talking to him. You think the thought “She’s ignoring me.” What images of past and future do you see in your mind’s eye while you’re sitting there? Do you see images of how she used to look at you that way? And then you see pictures in your mind’s eye of a future when she’ll never look at you that way again. Also, you look at him, and then you have an image of you in your mind’s eye. And your mind is comparing him with you. So now you’re sure she’ll never look at you that way again. She’ll always be thinking of him. This is what happened in that moment that you were witnessing her.

Man: Laughs [in recognition of his experience that Katie just described].

BK: So you witness this past and future; you don’t know it’s going on in the moment. If you continue this practice, as you sit in that movie, you can be awake to the cause of the anger and confusion you’re experiencing in the moment.

Now in your mind’s eye, look at her, look at them, and take that story off of then. Get intimate; watch. Get connected. Who would you be, without putting that onto those two people? Without comparing.

Man: I would be happy for her; that she’s able to talk about her passion.

BK: What we want is for everyone to be happy. Why does it have to be you that makes her happy? But no, you want only you to give her that. That is limited love; conditional love.

Man: I’m at peace. It doesn’t bother me. I can accept it.

The Turnarounds

Man: I’m ignoring her.
Examples:
I’m ignoring her passion; her feelings.
I left without her.

BK: When I turn around “I’m ignoring her,” I witness in my mind’s eye, did I ignore her or punish her in any way in the situation? And later, did I hold a resentment; continue not to call, not to talk? Did I continue to punish her or ignore her in any way? If I have, and if it feels right, I contact her, admit it, and make it right where I can. I created it; I need to end my part. It’s like the breadcrumbs; you go back and pick them up, or that will be your past. Take care of it in the present time. It’s a practice.

 

Another Turnaround

Man: I’m ignoring myself.
Examples:
I love her and this is not proof of my love.
I hurt myself all on my own.

BK: Yes, by comparing you with him in your mind’s eye.

With your eyes closed, look at him and look at you. The way you experienced that situation. Look at yourself in your mind’s eye, is that you? No one has ever seen themselves. Not one human being. You see what you imagine yourself to be. When you look at how you saw yourself that night, it was not your best image. You always lose when you compare. You’re always more or less. You believe that’s you so you’re identified as that image which is not you. You’re in the dream and it will affect your next relationships.

I love that you notice any time you feel upset, that you’re in the past and future. You’re not in reality. In reality there’s no anger, no jealousy, no more, no less. Just sanity.

When you compare, you lose. —Byron Katie

 

Related Links:

Katie’s new book, A Mind At Home With Itself.

She Tries To Control Me: She Needs To Trust Me

Why Isn’t He Vulnerable—The Work of Byron Katie

Podcast: My Sister Betrayed Me—The Work of Byron Katie in Paris

A French woman does The Work on a situation with her sister that occurred thirty years ago. The woman had just opened her first bank account and was already in the red. Sitting at the dinner table with their parents, her little sister said, “You’re irresponsible.”

The belief she finds by revisiting that moment is “My sister betrayed me.”

Listen to this Podcast on iTunes.

BK: She betrayed you. Close your eyes and witness. Notice how you physically react when you think the thought “She betrayed me.” Describe it as you witness.

Woman: It’s as if I’d been shot with an arrow in my heart.

BK: Did you give her “the look”? We’re looking for those physical tendencies. I want you to get still enough to observe. Does your body tighten? Your shoulders? Your neck?

Woman: I can feel it in my eyes. I’m judging her. I feel myself above her.

BK: Do you feel the pain? Continue to look with your eyes closed. Look at your sister in that moment without the story “She betrayed me.” What do you see?

Woman: Just a little girl with an opinion.

BK: Do you see her innocence?

Woman: She just wants to be part of the family and take part in the conversation.

BK: Look at her again with the thought. Notice the radical difference. Who caused all that suffering, your sister or you?

Together they find turnarounds to her original statement:

Woman: I betrayed myself.

BK: You put your untested thoughts over reality.

Woman: My sister did not betray me.

BK: Could be as true or truer. She just told the truth.

Woman: I betrayed my sister.

BK: In that situation, what does that mean to you? Examples?

Woman: I crystallized the idea that I couldn’t count on her.

BK: She makes a statement that was a simple truth. You betrayed her by what you believed onto her. Not what she did, but what you believed onto her. Not being good with money is a good thing to know about yourself. People who betray you support you to come out of denial. Do you see how this is the end of war? Defense is the first act of war and your reaction to your sister was defense. It’s how the ego stays identified as that self. We have an identification that we want to live up to, like “I’m the responsible one.” When someone threatens the ego’s identity, there’s war. That’s how war is created in our world. If we can’t end the war in our own minds and lives, how can we expect our politicians to? We can’t. When we believe our thoughts, we create not only suffering in our lives but in the world and within our own families.

Defense is the first act of war. —Byron Katie