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February 2009

A Sweetheart Deal

ktface

If love is your business, and you are ready to change the negativity in your life to love, if you want to radically shift your negative thoughts to love, if you want to change what you live, how you live, and the negative communication that sometimes slips out of your mouth, in honor of Valentines Day, we invite you and your sweetheart to the School for The Work.

We invite you to give your sweetheart and you the gift of a lifetime, the gift of the nine-day School.

In the name of love, the staff of "The School of You" and I will be waiting to meet you at the door with our hearts wide open. In the name of love, we invite you to attend, and thank you for you in the world, and happy Valentines Day every moment!

See you at School!

ktlove

The Byron Katie Newsletter

Dearest Family,

Oh boy, Valentine's Day, a day dedicated to love—my favorite!!!

And why should any other day or moment be different? As our thoughts turn to love and relationships, what negative thoughts tend to take your mind over, replacing love with fear?

What thoughts keep you from giving your "dearest one" (and have you considered yourself as your Valentine?) gifts and flowers? What thoughts keep you from giving to anyone, any time of the year, thoughts that even spill into the economy and contribute to its shrinking? Do you ever have the thought "He loves me, he loves me not"? Whose business is love? It is mine. Is it yours as well?

What story are you believing that would keep you from the awareness of your true nature, love?

A Happy Marriage

Someone asked me what was the secret to a happy marriage. I explained that "happy marriage" is the story that we are believing in the moment, or not.

I love the story of "my" marriage. Do you yet?

When I say "I love you," it is always self-love. There's no personality talking: I only talk to myself, so of course I must hear you as me. "I" am the listener, I am all of it, as it turns out.

I Need Your Love - Is That True?

"Relationships are not
about the other;
they are about you"


book

CLICK HERE >>

Love is self-absorbed and leaves no room for any other. Love is the affect of self-consuming, the consumed. There's not a molecule separate, outside of itself. In the apparent world of duality, it can be seen as a you and a me, but in reality there is only one. And even that isn't true. I call it the last story, the one in the moment. The voice I love from within is what I'm married to. All marriage is a metaphor for that marriage.

When I make a commitment, it's to my own truth, and there's no higher or lower. "I love, honor, and obey you—and I may change my mind." I'm married only to God—reality. That's where my commitment is. It can't be to a particular person. And Stephen says that he wouldn't want it any other way. Unless we marry the truth, there is no real marriage. Marry yourself and you have married us. We are you. That's the cosmic joke.

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I'm sitting with friends in the sun, at a table outside Ojai Coffee Roasting Co.

My cell phone rings. It's Stephen. He's going to join us.

I give him directions: "Turn left, honey, turn right, and look for us on your left. We're at the first table in front of the door."

We see Stephen. He is walking toward us, then right past us, concentrated on some beautiful thought probably, oblivious. Now he's getting ready to cross the street.

We yell, "Stephen!"

He turns, walks back, and joins us with a smile. For him, for all of us, all ways lead to, and are, the right place.

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Stephen slips the wedding ring onto my finger and whispers, "Try to keep it for one month." It's his little joke. He's had the experience of giving me a gift, an expensive one, that was gone the next day, because someone admired it and I knew it was theirs because they wanted it. He realizes that what the ring symbolizes is always mine and that the ring itself can never belong to me, that I simply wear it until I don't. Four years ago, I gave it to a dear man whom we both love, but he gave it right back. So it stayed on my left ring finger, eight years later: an unexpected miracle, in my husband's view. How can I possess anything? I am just waiting for the next owner, the ring's next home. Things come to me only when I need them and only for as long as I need them, and the way I know I need them is that I have them.

And then, last week in Copenhagen, it found its next home. It was obvious that it was home: my beloved friend walked away with it smiling. I looked at my hand, felt the grace of what is, smiled, and noticed that it was an equal exchange.

I hadn't asked Stephen if it was okay with him: it wasn't his ring. When I told him later, he smiled and said, "Good. That seems right." And he wants to buy me another ring and even take new marriage vows. That's fine with me. Of course, he would want to continue to pass "it" on, this unending circle of unconditional love.

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Valentine's story: I first met Stephen because Michael Katz said that I needed a literary agent. I said I didn't have a book, so I didn't need a literary agent. But Michael persisted. I liked him a lot, so eventually I said okay. It was like the Beatles song: I didn't have a car, but I had a driver. He also gave me a dozen of Stephen's books. I didn't read any of them. Actually, I gave them away.

Then Michael wanted to introduce us. I'll let Stephen tell the story:

"Sometime in November or December of 1999, Michael Katz, my old friend and literary agent, sent me two videotapes and an audiotape of Byron Katie. He had discovered Katie and The Work a few months before and had been deeply impressed. As a long-time student of both Suzuki Roshi and of Gregory Bateson, he had a finely-tuned sense of the genuine, and he recognized something extraordinary in Katie. He told me that he had begun to do The Work as a daily practice, and that it was clearing his mind in subtle ways that Zen meditation had never touched.

"I always trust Michael and almost always follow his advice. So when he told me to watch the videos, I did. I was impressed. I liked Katie a great deal. I thought that The Work was a powerful method for people who had problems with anger, desire, or confusion—though I (I thought), as a mature Zen person, was of course far beyond the need for it. But I was very impressed.

"I told Michael my reaction, and he said, 'Now I want you to see her. It's ten times more powerful in person.' I told him I would. She was giving a public event in Marin County at the end of January. For some reason that I didn't understand, I wanted to meet her privately before the event, so I made an appointment with her assistant, Melony. It was for 10 A.M. on Sunday, January 23, 2000, at a house in Mill Valley.

"I remember arriving that morning five minutes early and sitting in the car until it was 10 o'clock. I remember the feeling of excitement as I waited, and the specific thought: 'Don't get too excited. And don't expect her to recognize you. Even if she doesn't recognize you, it will be fine.' That was the thought that passed through my mind several times.

"I rang the bell at 10 o'clock exactly. Katie's host came to the door, opened it, and let me into the living room, where she was waiting on a couch. It must have been 10:03 when I looked into her eyes.

"The experience is as vivid to me now as it was at that instant, and as impossible to describe. I will try a few statements, from different directions. All of them are trying to say the same thing. I had seen a videotape of her, so I was prepared to meet someone very wise. But I wasn't prepared for what I saw the first instant I looked into her eyes: the awe of it. I felt I was looking into a heart that was completely pure. I felt that I was being totally seen, totally met. What was in those eyes was something I had never experienced before: something that the phrase 'unconditional love' can only point to from a great distance. I felt that I was standing in front of a clear mirror and seeing myself and that I was more beautiful than I could ever have imagined. I felt that whatever it was that was missing in my own heart was suddenly, magically, standing in front of me, and whatever it was that this radiant, joyous woman had understood was now available to me as well.

"I used to think of myself as a connoisseur of eyes. I had met many spiritual masters: Zen masters, lamas, gurus, and so forth, and some of them had the brilliance and humor in their eyes that for me was the mark of the genuine. The strongest experience of this kind that I had had was with my old Zen master in June 1973, in Providence, Rhode Island. The first moment I had set eyes on him, I knew that he knew the great secret, the answer that I had been looking for during seven years of hard work on 'Job and the problem of suffering.' It was there, in his eyes, and at that moment I thought of the line from Yeats: 'Their eyes, their ancient, glittering eyes are gay.' That moment had changed my life.

"But Katie's eyes were even more glittering, I felt, even more ancient, and so beautiful that I didn't know whether to laugh or cry with joy. The joy shining from them was something I had never seen before. I felt overwhelmed, relieved, mortified at my own arrogance, deeply grateful, and in love. The love wasn't personal. It wasn't I, the man Stephen, falling in love with a woman named Katie. It was like falling in love with the Buddha. It was like falling in love with the magnificence of the human heart.

KT and Stephen

"We sat together for about an hour and a half. We talked a little. I told her a little about my life, how I had come to Zen, what it had meant to me, what felt still unfinished. I don't remember what she said. I do remember that it was perfectly clear to me that she had no attachment to being a spiritual teacher. This was extraordinary, since even my own Zen master, wonderful as he was, had more than a smidgen of attachment to being a teacher. Most of the time, we just sat in silence. She had taken my hand, and we just sat together holding hands. The silence was very full, and deeply fulfilling. I had never been so happy."

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When you truly love yourself, it's not possible to project that other people don't love you.

I like to say, "When I walk into a room, I know that everyone in it loves me. I just don't expect them to realize it yet."

This gets a big laugh from audiences. People seem to be delighted at how easy it is to feel completely loved, and they see, if only for a moment, that it doesn't depend on anyone outside.

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I look up, I see Stephen walking into the room with a copy of his new book under his arm. He's happy like a child, delighted with what he sees as the book's production values, what it looks like, how it feels. We sit down together and he reads to me from it.

His beautiful, kind voice sends me to sleep almost instantly.

When I wake, fifteen minutes later, Stephen is still reading.

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If you say that you love your husband, what does that have to do with him?

You're just telling him who you are. You tell the story of how he's handsome and fascinating and sexy, and you love your story about him. You're projecting that he's your story. And then when he doesn't give you what you want, you may tell the story of how he's mean, he's controlling, he's selfish—and what does that have to do with him? If my husband says, "I adore you," I think, "Good. I love that he thinks I'm his sweet dream. How happy he must feel about that!"

If he were ever to come to me and say, "The sorriest day of my life was when I married you," still, what would that have to do with me? He'd just be in a sad dream this time, and I might think, "Oh poor baby, he's having a nightmare. I hope he wakes up soon." It's not personal. How can it have anything to do with me? I love him, and if what he says about me isn't true in my experience, I would ask him if there's anything I can do for him. If I can do it, I will, and if it's not honest for me, I won't. He is left with his story. No one will ever understand you. Realizing this is freedom. No one will ever understand you—not once, not ever. Even at our most understanding, we can only understand our story of who you are. There's no understanding here except your own. If you don't love another person, it hurts, because love is your very self. You can't make yourself do it.

But when you come to love yourself, you automatically love the other person. It's not a choice. Just as you can't make yourself love us, you can't make yourself not love us. Husbands, wives, lovers—all a projection of mind. When you truly love someone, a thought like "You should love me" brings laughter to your heart. Can you hear the arrogance of that thought? "I don't care whom you want to love. You should love me, and I'll even trick you into it if need be, or at least I'll try to, out of my self-deluded head." This is the opposite of love.

If I think my husband should love me, I'm insane. Whose business is it whom he loves? His, of course. The turnarounds show me the way toward what is truer to my heart: I should love me, and I should love him. Let him love whomever he loves—he's going to anyway. The story of whom someone should love keeps me from the awareness that I am what I'm seeking. It's not his job to love me—it's mine.

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A dear friend asks me: "How do you know when it's over?"

When something's over, it's over, and that's when its over. We all know when that point comes, and we can honor it or deny it. When my hand reaches out for a cup of tea, I lavish myself on the whole cup of tea, though I don't know if I'm going to finish one sip, three sips, ten sips, or the whole cup. When a friend gives me a gift, the gift is in the receiving. In that, it's over, and then I notice that I give the object away or keep it, until I don't.

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Stephen sits in front of my computer translating the squiggles into words.

He translates email almost as well as he does poetry. Neither makes sense to me. What I love is his patience, as he reads it again, slowly, and this time I understand.

I didn't know I liked poetry until I heard Stephen re-reading my emails.

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Every moment is beautiful and full of you, full of another name I hold for you, and that is love.
Loving you, family, in every way, all ways,
ktlove

P.S. - Tina has put together a relationship package (a CD, DVD, book set) this month for those of you whose love stories are stressing you out. >>

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second taoWant a Glimpse of Stephen's New Book?

He calls it The Second Book of the Tao. It's his newest child, and it is supposed to leave the nursery and go home to your town, USA, on February 22.

Stephen's friend, our friend, Pico Iyer (Google him; he is so, so dear) says of the new book that it "is a 21st-century form of ancient wisdom. It brings a new, home-made sequel to the Tao Te Ching into the modern world. By mixing together the words of two wise men (or more), Stephen Mitchell offers a path into reality that has nothing to do with Taoism or Buddhism or old or new alone, but everything to do with truth. As in all his works—but maybe more so in this book, with its concentration and intensity—he is able to remind us of what is real and to suggest how we get there. His renditions are radiantly lucid; they dig out the vision that's hiding beneath the words; they grab the text by the scruff of the neck—by its heart, really—and let its essential meanings fall out. Both verse and prose are polished to transparency. Each sentence, on either side of the page, is something one can live with for a near-eternity. Mitchell's flights, his paradoxes, his wonderful riffs are brilliant and liberating, not least because they keep catching us off-guard, opening up the heavens where before we saw a roof. He finds such dazzling ways to approach the central truth from a fresh angle each time. What a joy, and what a gift!"

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Excerpts from The Second Book of the Tao:

Chapter 4

When we exhaust our minds by clinging to a particular side of reality without realizing the underlying oneness, this is called "three in the morning." What does that mean?

A monkey trainer, handing out acorns, said, "Each of you will get three in the morning and four in the afternoon." The monkeys were outraged.

So he said, "All right, then: you'll get four in the morning and three in the afternoon." The monkeys were delighted.

Nothing essential had changed, yet one statement produced anger, and the other, joy. The trainer simply knew how to adapt to reality, and he lost nothing by it.

Thus the Master uses his skill to harmonize with both sides, and rests in the Tao, which makes all things equal. This is called "walking on two paths at once."

COMMENTARY

The whole human condition is present in this tricky little tale, which would be sad if it weren't so ridiculous. Although from the standpoint of the monkeys it's about the power of righteous indignation, from the standpoint of the monkey trainer, behind the scenes, it's about skillful management. You have to admire his one-two punch; he's both bad cop and good cop. But what is the trainer training the monkeys in, anyway? Discernment? If so, he's being made a monkey of.

Whenever we cling to a particular side of reality, it's we who are the monkeys, losing ourselves in outrage or partial delight. If we look more carefully, though, we can see that reality has only one side, like a Möbius strip. Stars or raindrops, acorns or ashes, apparent blessings, apparent disasters—when the mind is clear, each is an occasion for rejoicing. That's what discernment is about.

Once our mind-monkeys are fully trained, it's all good. In the mathematics of mental peace, three equals four, one equals zero. Adapting to reality means recognizing that nothing underlies or overlays it. The Master can travel on two paths at once, like a photon, because his mind is free. He's subatomic and supererogatory. He knows that all ways are the Way and that ultimately he is neither coming nor going.

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Chapter 7

Nothing in the world is bigger
than the tip of an autumn hair,
and Mount Everest is tiny.
No one in the world has lived longer
than a stillborn child,
and Methuselah died young.
The universe came into being
the moment that I was born,
and all things are one with me.

Since all things are one,
how can I put that into words?
But since I just said they are one,
how can my words mean nothing?
The one plus my words make two,
and the two plus the one make three.
If we continue in this way,
even the greatest mathematician
couldn't calculate where it will end.
If by moving from non-being to being
we get to three, what happens
when we move from being to being?

It's better just to leave things alone.

COMMENTARY

There are paradoxes born of wit and paradoxes born of insight. No thought is true, but some thoughts are so much truer than the ones we're used to that they seem absurd at first glance. It's all a question of perspective.

Down at the level of the micro, there is no macro. If you get small enough, you see that the world isn't solid and that uncertainty is the only thing that's certain, perhaps. Thus, everything the electron meets is electronal. Ditto a galaxy: its consciousness, if it has one, is as little aware of a planet as you are of a corpuscle. We can't stand outside the system and point to what's real, because what's real is defined by the system. This is relativity writ large. The fastest thing in the universe isn't light: it's mind.

All things may be one with me, but am I one with them? That's the issue. And once I am one, what then? Even the one is excessive for anyone who wants to be meticulous. Look where it leads, after all—to two, to three, to infinity, to an infinity of infinities and beyond: always the unattainable, unassuageable beyond.

Of course, the nothing is out of the question as well, since there's already a word for it. Not one? Not nothing? This leaves you in an ideal position: speechless, delighted, and ready to say the most nonsensical things, if only they make sense.

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Chapter 8

How do I know that loving life
isn't simply a delusion?
How do I know
that when we're afraid of death
we aren't like someone
who left home as a young child
and has forgotten the way back?
How do I know that the dead
aren't so happy that they wonder
why they once clung to life?

You may dream that you're at a banquet
and wake up to find yourself miserable.
You may dream that you're sobbing your heart out
and wake up to find yourself at ease.
How, in the middle of a dream,
can you know that you're actually dreaming?
In the middle of a dream, you may even
try to interpret the dream;
only after you wake up
do you realize that you were dreaming.

Someday there will be
a great awakening, when we know
that all this was one big dream.

And when I say that we're dreaming,
of course I am dreaming too.

COMMENTARY

How do I know? Well, I don't. So that settles that.

But loving life isn't a problem. Preferring life to death: that's what causes the confusion.

It could be (if there were such a thing as departing) that death is the return to a presence the wandering mind has long forgotten. It could be (if there were such a thing as separate beings) that the dead look upon our attachment to life like fond grandparents watching a teenager's first tumultuous love affair. It could be, in fact, that the dead are nothing but their own delight, there (if there were such a thing as space) where they know even as they are known.

We are close to waking up when we dream that we are dreaming. All the imagined ups and downs, the hubbub and reversals of fortune, are what most people call life. But before and after, at the point where the end meets its beginning, there is only what has woken up from the cycle of waking, dreaming, and dreamless sleep.

As for a "great awakening": dream on. When do you think that that someday will come, after all? Isn't it enough just to open your eyes, feel the pillow beneath your head, and see the hands of the alarm clock pointing to this very moment (as if there were such a thing as time)?

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For those of you who have questions for Stephen, or just want to say hello to him on his book tour, you can catch up with him in the following places:

Portland, OR
2/27/09    Powell's City of Books     7:30PM

                              1105 West Burnside Street 

Seattle, WA
2/28/09    Elliott Bay Book Company    2:00 PM

                              101 South Main Street 

Santa Barbara, CA
3/2/09    Mind & Supermind Series     7:30 PM

                              Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. 

San Francisco, CA
3/3/09    Berkeley Arts & Letters     7:30 PM

                              First Congregational Church of Berkeley

                              2345 Channing Way

3/4/09    Book Passage, Corte Madera    7:00 PM

                              51 Tamal Vista Boulevard 

Sonoma, CA
3/5/09    Reader's Books      7:30 PM

                              127 East Napa Street 

Denver, CO
3/6/09    Tattered Cover      7:30 PM

                              2526 East Colfax Avenue

Boulder, CO
3/7/09    Boulder Bookstore      2:30 PM

                              1107 Pearl Street, Boulder 

Santa Fe, NM
3/9/09    Garcia Street Bookshop     5:00 PM

                              376 Garcia Street 

New York, NY
3/11/09    Rubin Museum of Art     7:00 PM

                              150 West 17th Street 

Philadelphia, PA
3/12/09    Free Library of Philadelphia    7:30 PM

                              1901 Vine Street 

Los Angeles, CA
3/18/09    Los Angeles Public Library    7:00 PM

                              630 West 5th Street

3/19/09    Barnes & Noble      7:00 PM

                              1201 3rd Street, Santa Monica

P.S. - If you want to experience Stephen's First Book of the Tao, look here >>

Costa's Baby

queen

Dear Katie,

I am very heartedly dedicating you the Birth of my Daughter Queen who within 15 Days will be called QUEEN BYRON.

We have been granted many gifts in this World, My mum was always near me, feeding me, giving me clothes, paying for me school fees where we were in Exile, she always told me that I have to study hard, My Father was telling me that I have to live with discipline, My teachers taught me many things about the World (Geography, History, science, etc.) My Friend told me to obey the first born, to be confident in my decisions. The Priest in the Church, during our wedding, told me to love forever my wife BERNADETTE. NONE NONE NONE NONE OF THEM TOLD ME TO DO NOT BELIEVE MY THOUGHTS, meaning that I received many GIFTS in This World, but I was chained by my thoughts. KATIE GAVE ME A GIFT THAT I WILL NOT FORGET. "Who would you be without the thought?"

I am not wealthy to give you a cow as per Rwandan culture, to give you wine as per European culture, rather the BIRTH OF MY DAUGHTER. From the November 2008 School for The Work, we launched a project called Thousand Hills through Unity and Peace for Development Cooperative (UPDC), and many people World wide are intervening in financing its activities, where we will be facilitating Rwandese both HUTUs and TUTSIs to do not live with Genocide thoughts in their minds, rather to bring LOVE towards a sustainable development.

I LOVE YOU, KATIE. MUCH LOVE ALSO FROM BERANDETTE MY WIFE, GENTIL, DENISE, YVES CLAUDE AND ALSO QUEEN.

Costa

A Letter from K

Dear Katie,
Something weird has started happening. I have this psychologist/therapist that I have worked with for about 2 years – I love her & she has helped me so much.

This week when I met with her, I noticed I talk about my stuff (my mother is so XXX, my sister did XXX, why don't I have a boyfriend?…..blah, blah, blah…) – these 'turnarounds' happen very very quickly in my head & it blows my story to smithereens. And suddenly I am left with no good story to rant & rave about. Shocking.

It's all a work in progress, as I am just reading your books now. But wow - it's amazing. The Work cuts right thru the whole process & takes you to the core (or I guess the truth of it?). After my last session, I then went home & did a worksheet which helped too. I also tried to do a sheet about an issue rather than a person the other day & I got stuck. I got confused. I'll ask you about it later.

Good stuff! TW is like a laser beam, cuts right thru all the baloney.
Thank you again & again. So glad I found you.
xo
~k

A Letter from E (and Katie's Reply)

1. You say something like "When you think pessimistically, this is your plan." It sounds a little like "the Secret," but I know you don't mean it in that way. What do you mean?

When someone says, "I can't do it" or "It's too difficult," "I'll never be able to afford...," "I'll never be as wise as…," I might say, "Oh, so this is your plan for the future. I hear you." The truth is that, for all you know, you can do it, it isn't too difficult, you will be able to, etc. How can you know the future? The future isn't here yet! Question what you are believing, open the space to "Can I absolutely know that it's true? Who would I be without that thought, right here, right now?" Turn it around to the opposite and find examples of why your "can't do" plans actually could be not true, for all you know. To make such statements and to believe them is for people who just haven't questioned their thoughts yet, and so must remain believers, sufferers, until they enlighten themselves or fall into another reality in time. How do you know what you can or can't do, be, or accomplish, since you haven't lived the future yet? "I can't do it": whether you like it or not, that's your plan for the future as long as you believe it, in this moment, and whether you like it or not, there may be another future in store. God's will is my will. Why should you do war with the future before you can know what the future brings? The future? I don't know; I don't need to know. What use is God if I continue my attempt to replace him?

2. What is your "rule" (and I know you don't have a rule) for when to use role-playing with a client you are working with?

Of course, my answer would have to be "I do it when it feels right. I do it when I do it." It really is just giving back to them what they have already discovered.

For me, a dialogue with someone I'm facilitating is a discussion. There's no role-playing to it. There's only this moment. It's not about a future. This is about listening without projecting any of "my" stuff onto their stuff: clear communication, mind to same mind, right now. Symbols, such as people in situations, are not the point. Love is clear, sane communication.

When I have learned from the people I'm doing The Work with, what they have discovered to be true, out of their own mouths and hearts, I may spin it into a discussion between the two of us, me taking their part, the portion that they have entirely and incredibly and profoundly just discovered for themselves, and I quote it back to them in a discussion where they have taken on the "role" of the person they just did The Work on. I do it so that they can clearly see where they've come from, who they really are without the thoughts that they have just questioned.

I do it when the person gives me that information. I take on the "role" easily from that information, and they become enlightened to the situation that they have just become enlightened to, from a whole different angle. I take it on as the enlightened one, using only the information that they themselves have uncovered within the facilitation.

There's never a reason to do that, and it happens only with the information that they themselves have given me. What's important is to leave no me in it. Only what I have gleaned from them.

3. How do you explain the "logic" (and I know there is no real logic) of your proof: "We can know that reality is good just as it is, because when we argue with it, we suffer."

And of course there's no logic in it, and no proof, other than the proof of a happy life. The fact is that when we argue with reality, we suffer. And when we really understand that, we realize that questioning our stressful thoughts about reality leads to an effortlessly kind and happy life. The proof of the pudding is that when eventually we no longer believe our stressful thoughts (and maybe no longer even have the ability to think them), we naturally experience reality as good—always, with no exceptions. That is simply what happens. So there is no way to experience this proof except through living it: through being lived by it. That is what I invite everyone to.

4. You say that every negative thought/judgment we have about someone, we must first believe about ourselves. How do you understand why that must be so? (I am looking for a deeper or more detailed answer than the explanation that it is all a projection.)

Actually, it's every negative and positive thought. And it's not "we must first believe about ourselves"—that puts it in time; it's separation. Here is what I actually say: "I am who I believe you to be, in the moment I see you as that." There's no time or separation in it. It's not before or later; it's all in the moment, and as long as you still experience "time," you can explore other moments in "time" until it all collapses. For example, if I think, "That person is mean," how mean of me in the moment to see her as mean! If I believed what she believed, I would act that way too. An unenlightened mind is a confused mind. To see someone as mean is itself mean, and to hold that belief the mind must become very busy, work very hard, to build a case. So "negative" thoughts are simply not true, and they make for a busy mind, with little peace in it. It's not about being unkind to the person you're judging; it's about being unkind to yourself in the very act of judging. It's about maintaining the density and pain of living.

Thank you for your attention and time.
Wishing you all the best with love and appreciation,
E

You are so welcome, sweetheart. Kiss the ground that you walk on for me, and all else as well. On my knees in gratitude,

Loving you,
kt

A Letter from M about Turnaround House

It is three months now since I came back from Turnaround House, and now I can tell you about some of the changes that are happening in my life:

  • I am much more integrated into my community. For example: I am going to knitting classes once a week and I am surprised how happy I feel just knitting and listening to the women in the class speaking about doctors, children…. It is amazing how well I feel being equal to them. (Before, I thought I was so special and different and I used to speak to women like these only as patients.)
  • With my friends I don't need to be "more than," I don't even need to prove anything to them. Now I belong, I am equal and I enjoy being with them. And I allow myself to be as I am: much more natural. This is a miracle in my life, and it makes me cry: I am not isolated when I am with them. And I keep on writing my stressful thoughts. Now I feel and I know that I belong to the human race, and I am the same as any other human.
  • I feel free to tell my family and my friends what I want without guilt. Some days ago, my brother asked me for something. I said: no, I don't want to do it. And I realized that there was no space for manipulation or guilt. I was simply telling him my truth: I don't want to do it.
  • I am dancing and playing like a child. I enjoy playing with my 6-year-old niece. It is wonderful. (Before, I never played with children.)
  • I know the value of a schedule, a rhythm in my day, in my week. It gives me time for everything (work, meditation, job, excursions, free time). And this is a great thing for me. I have free time now, much more time for being instead of doing.
  • My life is much, much, much easier. Things are done by themselves, and I am much, much, much more present. The other day a friend of mine told me, "You look so peaceful; it's as if you were lying on top of yourself."
  • Turnaround House has given me the gift of how to live The Work. The Work is now inside me. It's the only important thing to do when I am not feeling peace. It takes me back to myself every time.
  • When I came back from Turnaround House I had a lot of stressful thoughts about money. "I don't have money," "I should be working," "I owe a lot of money," "They shouldn't have robbed me," "I can't pay my daughter's school," etc. I felt panic and I decided to stop and do The Work, and more Work………. And here I am, I am alive, my daughter's school is paid for, money is coming in just when it is required, I am able to staff The School for The Work next month, and I am just saying thank you, thank you, and thank you because life is giving me what I need and much more. Thanks, Katie, you were right.
  • THINGS ARE HAPPENING IN MY LIFE. THERE IS NO EFFORT. THE MIRACLE IS HAPPENING, WITHOUT EFFORT, AND WITH A LOT OF JOY. MY HOUSE IS CLEAN, FOOD IS COOKED, DANCING IS HAPPENING, …There is only one thing to do when I am stressed: The Work.
  • I am much kinder and gentler to myself, and it is true for me that I don't need to be better than I am.
  • For the last eight years I have had a very bad allergy in January and February. Today is February 3rd and so far I haven't had any symptoms of allergy.

Gratefully,
M

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The Center for The Work in Ojai, California


Center for The Work of Byron Katie

We welcome you to the World Center for The Work of Byron Katie in Ojai, California. Please watch our events calendar and stay tuned for the events offered in Ojai with Byron Katie, as well as with other fine mentors and teachers from the Institute for The Work.

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