The Work and Mindfulness

Apart from my current job, I am taking a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Teacher Training program to become one of the very first MBSR teachers in Croatia. I feel great appreciation for the MBSR program and the work of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and was sad to find none of it is familiar in Croatia – almost no MBSR courses are available here and mindfulness practice in schools, hospitals, business, etc. is very modest, if there is any. I therefore decided to do the training on my own and bring MBSR and mindfulness practice in general to my country, to start speaking up for its benefits. According to the current dynamic of my training, I would start teaching MBSR courses in January 2018. I have the same sense of gratitude for The Work of Byron Katie. Benefits that I have personally experienced from doing The Work in this short period of time since I found out about it are enormous, but I find a lot of “work” is here to be done and find the School would be the most efficient way to do it. I believe the experience of attending the School for the Work would be a valuable addition to my MBSR courses, both for my personal role as a teacher and for my students as well. From what I am learning about The Work, I believe MBSR participants would deepen their experience enormously by getting in touch with how they can approach their thoughts once they have recognized them as thoughts. It is my heart’s desire that in my country as many people as possible will enroll with the MBSR courses and learn about The Work, and in that way, make their conscious steps towards living their lives free from mind’s conditioning and suffering that it causes. As I see it, every single person that “comes home” in such a way stops spreading reflections of his or her imprisonment to the outer world, stops projecting the suffering to his or her beloved ones and becomes an inspiration for other people who cross his or her path, which creates a better world in an instant. Granting me a scholarship to attend the School for the Work would enable me to pursue this approach thoroughly.

—I.G.

A Mind at Home with Itself

My new book, A Mind at Home with Itself, will be published on September 19. (Please pre-order it at amindathomewithitself.com.) Here’s a chapter from the book. (The word “Buddha” means “the awakened one.” It’s a word for the clear mind—for me, for you, for all of us.)

 

Chapter 8:
The Ultimate Generosity

The Buddha said, “Let me ask you something, Subhuti. If someone were to amass inconceivable wealth and then gave it all away in support of charitable causes, wouldn’t the merit gained by this person be great?”

Subhuti said, “Extremely great, Sir. But though this merit is great, there is no substance to it. It is only called ‘great.’”

The Buddha said, “Yes, Subhuti. Nevertheless, if an open-minded person, upon hearing this sutra, could truly realize what it is teaching and then embody it and live it, this person’s merit would be even greater. All the buddhas, and all their teachings about enlightenment, spring forth from what this sutra teaches. And yet, Subhuti, there is no teaching.”

The Buddha’s point here is that when you realize there is no self and no other, you give an incomparable gift. It’s the ultimate generosity, both to others and to yourself (neither of whom exist). All Buddha awareness—that is, any mind that sees reality as it truly is—arises from this realization.

There is no distance away from mind. It’s all an imagined trip. Mind never moves as the source. It doesn’t “come back” to itself, because it never leaves. Heaven and earth were born when I was, and the only thing that was born is the “I.” The whole world arises out of that unquestioned “I.” And with it arises the world of naming, and the sleights of mind that match those names. Out of that story come a thousand—ten thousand—forms of suffering. “I am this.” “I am that.” “I am a human.” “I am a woman.” “I am a woman with three children, whose mother doesn’t love her.”

You are who you believe you are. Other people are, for you, who you believe they are; they can be nothing more than that. If you realized that the mind is one, that everyone and everything is your own projection (including you), you would understand that it’s only yourself you’re ever dealing with. You would end up loving yourself, loving every thought you think. When you love every thought, you love everything thoughts create, you love the whole world you have created. At first, the love that overflows in you seems to be about connecting with other people, and it’s wonderful to feel intimately connected to every human being you meet. But then it becomes about mind connected to itself, and only that. The ultimate love is the mind’s love of itself. Mind joins with mind—all of mind, without division or separation, all of it loved. Ultimately I am all I can know, and what I come to know is that there is no such thing as “I.”

So you discover that even mind is imagined. Inquiry wakes you up to that. When people question the apparent past, they lose their future. The present moment—that’s when we’re born. We’re the unborn. We’re born now… now… now… There is no story that can survive inquiry. “I” is imagined by “me,” and as you get a glimpse of that, you stop taking yourself so seriously. You learn to love yourself, as no one. Mind’s love affair with itself is the great dance, the only dance.

When you realize that there’s no self, you also realize that there’s no death. Death is just the death of identity, and that’s a beautiful thing, since every identity the mind would construct vanishes upon inquiry, and you’re left with no identity, and therefore unborn. The “I” of past and future are both nonexistent now, and what remains is imagined. When mind stops, there’s no mind to know that there’s no mind. Perfect! Death has a terrible reputation, but it’s only a rumor.

The truth is that nothing and something are equal. They’re just different aspects of reality. Something is a word for what is. Nothing is a word for what is. Awareness has no preference for one over the other. Awareness wouldn’t deny any of it. It wouldn’t deny a needle on a pine tree. It wouldn’t deny a breath. I am all of that. It’s total self-love, and it would have it all. It bows at the feet of it all. It bows at the feet of the sinner, the saint, the dog, the cat, the ant, the drop of water, the grain of sand.

The Buddha says that the merit of someone who realizes this central teaching of the Diamond Sutra is greater than the merit of even the most generous philanthropist. This realization is the greatest possible gift. But ultimately there’s no merit. No one is keeping score, after all. How can you acquire merit if you don’t even exist as a separate being? “Merit” is just a way of saying that you can do nothing more valuable than realize who you are.

The Buddha-mind holds nothing back. Everything in it is freely given, as it was freely received. It has no storage place; what flows into it flows out of it, without any thought of having or giving. There’s nothing to have that isn’t immediately given, and its value is in the giving. The Buddha-mind doesn’t need it. It’s a receptacle; it exists in a constant flow. Whatever wisdom the Buddha may have is something he can’t claim. It belongs to everyone. It’s simply realized from within and given away in exactly the same measure. The more valuable it is, the more freely it’s given.

I can’t give you anything you don’t already have. Self-inquiry allows you access to the wisdom that already exists within you. It gives you the opportunity to realize the truth for yourself. Truth doesn’t come or go; it’s always here, always available to the open mind. If I can teach you anything, it is to identify the stressful thoughts that you’re believing and to question them, to get still enough so that you can hear your own answers. Stress is the gift that alerts you to your asleepness. Feelings like anger or sadness exist only to alert you to the fact that you’re believing your own stories. The Work gives you a portal into wisdom, a way to tap into the answers that wake you up to your true nature, until you realize how all suffering is caused and how it can be ended. It returns you to before the beginning of things. Who would you be without your identity?

We’re born as a story. The story stays out there and lives its life, forever. For me, “forever” lasted for forty-three years, and it was every lifetime that has ever been lived—all of time and space. I thought I was stuck there, in hopeless agony, with no way out. Then the four questions brought me back to the storyteller. Once I realized that no one was telling the story, I had to laugh. It turned out that I had been free all along, since the beginning of time.

 

In this sutra, the Buddha talks about generosity, but he doesn’t talk about love. Why do you think that is?

Love is usually thought of as an emotion, but it’s much vaster than that. Egos can’t love, because an ego isn’t real, and it can’t create something real. The Buddha is beyond any identity, and that’s what I see as pure love.

When I refer to love, I’m merely pointing to the unidentified, awakened mind. When you’re identified as a this or a that, a him or a her, any kind of physical self, body, or personality, you remain in the limited realm of the ego. If your thoughts are opposed to love, you’ll feel stress, and that stress will let you know that you’ve drifted away from what you fundamentally are. If you feel balance and joy, that tells you that your thinking is more in keeping with your true identity, which is beyond identity. That’s what I call “love.”

 

What’s the relationship between love and projection?

When I judge someone, I’m seeing a distortion of my own mind superimposed onto an apparent other. I can’t love the one I’m with until I see him (or her) clearly, and I can’t see him clearly until I have no desire to change him. When confusion takes over the mind, when it argues with reality, I see only my own confusion. “Love thy neighbor as thyself” isn’t a command coming from the outside; it’s an observation. When you love your neighbor, you’re loving yourself; when you love yourself, you can’t help but love your neighbor. That’s because your neighbor is yourself. He’s not the “other” that he seemed to be. He’s a pure projection of mind.

I understand how painful the unquestioned mind is. I also understand that love is the power. Mind originates in love and ultimately returns to its source. Love is mind’s homing device, and until mind returns, it has no rest.

 

You say that there is no death. But bodies die, don’t they? Is the mind independent of the brain? How can you know that when the brain dies there is any mind at all?

Nothing is born but a thought believed, and nothing dies but that thought once realized, and eventually you come to understand that the thought was never born in the first place. I don’t see anyone as alive, since all beings are within me and are only as “I” see them to be.

If you think that bodies die, they die—in your world. In my world, bodies can’t be born anywhere but in the mind. How can what was never born die? That’s not possible, except in the imagination of the hypnotized, innocent believer.

 

You say, “Nothing and something are equal.” Doesn’t that mean that nothing matters? And if nothing matters, isn’t that depressing?

All somethings are nothing, since they’re all imagined, and “nothing” is equal to “something.” Does anything matter? Yes, to the ego. But the fact that the ego believes it doesn’t make it real.

Once you realize that you’re no one, you’re thrilled that nothing matters. There’s so much freedom in that! The whole slate is wiped clean at every moment. It means that every new moment is a new beginning, where anything is possible. You also realize that the turnaround for that statement is equally true: everything matters. That’s just as thrilling as its opposite.

Video: What is the School for The Work?

The School for The Work is a nine-day experience.— the ultimate inner adventure. Unlike every other school on earth, this one isn’t for learning, —it’s for unlearning. Spend nine days losing the fear-based stories you’ve innocently clung to all your life. They might be stories like “I’m not good enough,” or “I need a partner,” or “I’ll never get over it,” or “I have to be in control.” Who would you be without these stressful stories?

Learn more about the School for The Work, here.

 

New Products

New products at www.storeforthework.com

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Is inquiry your favorite workout? This baseball inspired T has 3/4 contrast sleeves and is made from Eco Jersey for the ultimate in sustainable comfort. With a slight shirttail hemline, this T features marrow stitching detail.

and

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A young woman tearfully blames her mother for numbing her on Ritalin for twelve years and asks Byron Katie to fix her. Beliefs fall away as they question thoughts like “She made me feel like I did something wrong,” “I need mom to give me my list time back.” Eventually, laughter replaces tears as she realizes that “No one can fix me!” “Reality is always what you’re looking for,” Katie says. ” It’s consistent, and it’s kind.”

Video Interview: Parenting and The End of Blame

Parenting and The End of Blame

Nicole Telfer of http://www.empoweredkids.co.uk interviews Byron Katie on parenting:

Q: Can you help us understand what lies beneath those emotional triggers? Why are kids so good at pushing our buttons?

Katie: If I see them the way they are, then we’re connected. If I see the old them of the past, it influences the way I see them now. The problem lies with me, not with my child. When we stop blaming the child and look to ourselves, that’s when real change begins.

Q: My kids don’t listen to me. The only way I can get them to do as I say is to yell and scream.

Katie: When I think they’re not listening to me, am I listening to them? No one is guilty. There are just two people who love each other trying to communicate.

Q: How can we tell when we’re observing behavior, that is something they need to address, or if it’s something they’re mirroring in us that we need to address?

___________________________

Q: How can I use The Work so that I can stay grounded? Sometimes I just lose it.

Katie: Sometimes we can’t connect. Later, I’d get a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet, I’d close my eyes, and I’d imagine myself back into that situation when I was frustrated with my child. I’d imagine us, just the way we were, and I would identify thoughts I was thinking in that situation. The Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet is made for this. It wasn’t my child who caused my anger; it’s what I was thinking and believing.

Then I would question each thought, using the four questions and the turnarounds.

Example: He doesn’t listen to me.

1. Is it true? (Yes or no.)

I’d close my eyes and I witness what I said to them, the emotions I felt.

2. Can I absolutely know that it’s true?

3. How do I react, what happens, when I believe that thought?

I see that I put my hands on my hips. I gave my child “the look.”
I threw up my hands.
I can see so clearly how I reacted when I believed the thought “He doesn’t listen to me.”

4. Who would I be without the thought?

The Turnarounds:
I don’t listen to me. I wasn’t listening to the things I was saying. I wasn’t taking my own advise. I just kept talking to him in that oblivious way.

I don’t listen to him.

He does listen to me.

Then I look at that situation and it shows me examples of how the turnaround is as true or truer.

Even if a child is trying to drown me out, he hears me. By going back to situation and witnessing, I can always see where that child is listening.

When we really listen, we can hear the signals that our children are giving us, and they wake us up.

_____________________________

If there’s a problem in my house, I look to myself. That’s very empowering, because no one has to change other than me. That’s what husbands and children are for; they push our buttons so that we can get free.

Q: As parents, how can we continue to teach our kids to keep practicing The Work, so they can find the peace within themselves?

Q: How can I use The Work to deal with my need for approval so I don’t put that onto my kids?

Q: My twelve-year-old daughter has become very closed. She won’t open up and tell me about her day or her interactions with her friends. I feel like I’m locked out of her life. How can I find my way back in?

Nicole: The biggest life lesson I’ve taken away from your Work is that the whole purpose for these close, connected relationships is to teach me more about myself. They stand up and show me where I need to grow. And your book for children, Tiger-Tiger, Is It True? allowed me to introduce the whole process to my kids at a really young age.

“If think they need to turn it around, I need to turn it around.
If I think someone should question their thoughts, I need to question my thoughts.” —Byron Katie

New DVDs

In this intimate session between a man and a woman, we see the struggles of two people in love. Watch Jason honestly express his anger and frustration, and watch Ellie hear him without judgment. Witness as Jason questions his mind and discovers, to his amazement, that she is the mirror of his thinking. His discoveries clearly show us that what we’re believing about our partner’s anger can cost us the wisdom they’re offering. Can Jason open his mind to where Ellie is right? Can we really hear our partner under all circumstances? This viewing is an eye-opener for all those who are in a relationship, and for all those who aren’t.DVD_TriesToControlMe2_1024x1024A son is hurt because he can’t help or please his mother. “I want Mom to tell me that she loves me.” “Mom should stop saying no.” “I need her to enjoy something I give her.” When he believes these thoughts, he is miserable. But when he questions them, he realizes that he doesn’t need her to do or be anything.

BKI_IWantMom2BHappyDVD_1024x1024

“God should make my life easier, reward me, and remove my suffering”—is it true? Byron Katie does The Work with a man who thinks he is a failure and a victim. “When we believe our stressful thoughts, we cost ourselves the awareness of a benevolent presence in our lives,” Katie says. Watch as he gets a glimpse of who he is without the thoughts that put him at war with reality and with himself. DVD_GodYouShould_1024x1024

A woman is devastated because her fiancé has cancelled their wedding, calling her a whore. Through inquiry, her confusion clears as she sees that she is the one clinging to the past. Whens she discovers what actually happened rather than her story of it, her shame and anger change to delight.

BKI_HeWon_tForgetDVD_1024x1024

 

Available at: Store For The Work of Byron Katie

You Can Now Have A Tiger – Tiger T

Send us pictures of the adorable children in your lives wearing the Tiger-Tiger T-Shirt so we can feature them! #theworkintheworld

IMG_3420 IMG_3421

 

 

 

 

 

This classic tee is a great fit for babies, toddles and youth. This classic cotton tee from American Apparel is digitally printed with Tiger-Tiger on the front. Tiger-Tiger is the main character in the book, Tiger-Tiger Is It True? with Byron Katie and Hans Wilhelm.

Thought Thursday

On Parents and Children

“My parents are responsible for my belief systems and my problems”—is it true? No, I’m the one who’s responsible. Knowing this gives us what we always wanted: absolute control. And with this technology of going inside, it’s the end of suffering, if we want to be free. -Byron Katie

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Thought Thursday

On Love, Sex and Relationships

 

“When you don’t love the other person, it hurts, because love is your very self. And you can’t make yourself do it! You can’t make yourself love someone. But when you come to love yourself, you automatically love the other person. You can’t not. Just as you can’t make yourself love us, you can’t make yourself not love us. It’s all your projection.” -Byron Katie

What are your thoughts? Please share!

 

Find all these quotes on www.storeforthework.com 

Life after the School

I would love to share with you, especially since some of you are personally part of my journey to my homecoming by being available to work with me, what I answered for the School Reunion Webcast and what has changed for me:

Life with my 6 yr. old daughter has become much more peaceful. I stay calmer, it´s easier for me to stay present and not go into stories of the past and the future. This helps tremendously in not overreacting to what´s happening here and now. I have found the many ways I try for people to like me (and how I perform) and I keep finding ME more and more often by asking “do I like being with myself in that moment with what I do/don´t do, how I do it, how I perceive it, what I think about it”. I find that recognition from the outside suddenly becomes less of a requisite anymore. I´m starting to deeply feel again and being touched by music, laughter, hugs, the beauty of the patterns of my curtains and how sensual they feel on my body when I stand next to them and the wind blows them onto me. I´m at the same time scared shitless to lose it again and return to that needy, anxious, desperate & separate place. I will keep on WORKing until I´m being it.

A very big thank you to you D.L.! You gave me hope by shortly sharing your story with me and how it all changed for you sticking to it and you.

And such a heartfelt thank you to all of you wonderful, generous people who take the time to do The Work and who are available to me when I call on you.

E. J.

The School for The Work

The School for The Work
Sunday–Tuesday, 28 September–7 October 2014
Ojai, California

Join us for the ultimate inner adventure. Spend nine days losing the fear-based stories you’ve innocently clung to all your life. At the School you’ll discover that your stories are everyone’s, and everyone’s stories are yours. You’ll be supported so you can be completely yourself without fear of judgment, perhaps for the first time in your life.

The School curriculum is a living, evolving process, changing with the needs of the participants and on the basis of past students’ experiences. The exercises and activities are designed to mirror the transformation Katie went through after her experience of waking up to reality in 1986. She is present with you from morning to night, directing every exercise, answering your questions, and commenting on your feedback. You will be supported in issues such as men and women, relationships, children and parents, body image, God, death and dying, addiction, money, and work.

The School for The Work is an immersion in self-inquiry. Each day during the School you may find yourself feeling freer and happier than the day before. Old habits may fall away like outworn clothes. You may find yourself eager to get up in the morning so that you won’t miss a moment of this unfolding adventure with your own mind.

Learn more about the School for The Work, by clicking here.

 

Contact Information
Call 805.444.5799 or +1 805.444.5799

 

Letter: From Sylvia

Dear Katie,

I wish to participate again in the nine-day School for the Work to be held in July this year. It is my hope that I will gain some more experience and would work towards being certificated.

Ever since I left the School last year on the 28th of July 2013 my life was a complete change. I now watch my diet and do morning walks and as a result my blood pressure is no longer alarming to the extent that my physician reduced the quantity intake of my medication. I realised that going through inquiry helped me to be in touch with my inner self. I had not forgiven my late husband Maston Vumbunu for transmitting the deadly virus HIV to me, but I wrote a letter to apologise to him at the School, which was a major turning point. The letter made me forgive him and appreciate so many things that he had done for me for the seven years we were married.

That made me change the way I talk to my son about him. It made my son ask me what really transpired at the School of the Work. My son had noticed a great change in my stories about his father. I now talk good about him.

I also noticed that the stressful thoughts are universal. There are no thoughts which belong to HIV positive people only, therefore discovering that The Work is for all people e.g. HIV negative people, cancer patients, gay and lesbians, the old, and even children and teenagers.

I now face my thoughts head-on with inquiry. The Work is an ongoing process in my life. All I need is pen and paper to lead me to freedom.

Being the eldest child in a family of five, I was always out of my way and in my siblings’ business, creating more stress for myself. Now because of The Work, I can give room to my siblings to solve their own problems. When an issue comes to my attention, I question whether it is my business, theirs, or God’s. The Work also helped me not to fight with reality because I will never win the war.

We had a self stigma course using “inquiry-based stress reduction: The Work of Bryon Katie” (IBSR), which left me very liberated when we came back from the School. I no longer want to be treated with special care at funerals, church gatherings, etc. I also questioned so many thoughts involving my HIV status.

I also gained as a facilitator and as participant. We did “popcorn” and realised that The Work is for everyone, i.e facilitator and participant. I used to think that since I was involved in so many HIV workshops and also an HIV activist, I would not stigmatise myself. I realised that I had so many occasions and instances whereby I stigmatised myself and those around me.

My vision on how to move The Work in Zimbabwe among the people living with HIV is to cascade The Work, first to all the support groups in the capital city Harare and then Zimbabwe as a whole so that many people benefit. Also to have more local facilitators receiving training at the School for the Work, for I hope to see The Work moving to other provinces in Zimbabwe, since ZNNP+ has support groups throughout the country . I also hope that one day the School for The Work will be done in Africa in Zimbabwe and have local Certified Facilitators.

My commitment to move The Work is to give all I can, 100%. I will use my weekends and other afternoons to do The Work with the participants. I also created a whatsapp and a Facebook group chats for the Community of the Work in Zimbabwe. We watch videos and listen to audios from BKI. I take it upon myself to remind members of the Community to come for The Work and encourage them to read books by Byron Katie.

So far I contributed in translating the yellow card in our native language. I am now working on translating the sheet “Instructions for Doing the Work “.

I hope this information will meet your expectation and favourable consideration.

Yours Faithfully,
Sylivia V