Next Stop: Portland, OR
Next stop: Mountain View
See if you can find the original Peaceful Warrior in the collage below!
Next stop: Berkeley
I hope to see you as I travel on book tour for A Thousand Names for Joy with Stephen.
Here’s the schedule. Please come see me if you can.
Tues., Feb. 6
[7:30-9:00 pm] Reader’s Books Sonoma, CA
Wed., Feb. 7
[7:00-8:30 pm] Book Passage Corte Madera, CA
Thurs., Feb. 8
[7:30-9:00 pm] First Congregational Church [w/ Cody’s Fourth Street] Berkeley, CA
Fri., Feb. 9
[7:30-9:00 pm] East-West Bookstore Mountain View, CA
Sat., Feb. 10
[7:00-8:30 pm] First Congregational Church [w/ Gateways Bookstore] Santa Cruz, CA
Sun., Feb. 11
[1:00-5:00 pm] Unity Palo Alto Church Palo Alto, CA
Tues., Feb. 13
[7:00-8:30 pm] Powell’s Books Portland, OR
Wed., Feb. 14
[7:30 – 9:00 pm] University of WA – Kane Hall [w/ University Bookstore] Seattle, WA
Mon., Feb. 19
[7:30 – 9:00 pm] Unitarian Universalist Congregational Church [w/ ARK Books] Santa Fe, NM
Tues., Feb. 20
[7:30 – 9:00 pm] Unity of Boulder Church [w/ Boulder Bookstore] Boulder, CO
Wed., Feb. 21
[7:30 – 9:00 pm] Tattered Cover Denver, CO
Fri., Feb. 23
Kripalu Lenox, MA
Mon., Feb. 26
[7:00-9:00 pm] Learning Annex New York City, NY
Thurs., Mar. 1
[7:00-8:30 pm] Transitions Bookplace Chicago, IL
Sat., Mar. 3
[2:00-3:30 pm] Changing Hands Tempe, AZ
Tues., Mar. 6
[7:30 – 9:30 pm] Pacific Design Ctr [w/Bodhi Tree Bookstore] West Hollywood, CA
Wed., Mar. 14
[7:00-9:00 pm] Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe Asheville, NC
Fri., Mar. 16
[6:00-9:00 pm] Unity of Louisville Church Louisville, KY
Here’s an e-mail I received from John, along with my response:
I often wonder why if I speak the truth to someone else when a friend passes away—for example, if I say to them “It must have been time. How do I know he’s supposed to die? Because he did”—why do people get so angry?
Oh my goodness, you are so very funny!
Most people have very fearful beliefs about death as well as about life. People are very afraid of losing the people that they love, because they don’t yet understand what you have come to understand, and hearing your comments they quite possibly could perceive you as cruel, heartless, uncaring, cold, out of touch, or freaky.
As long as people believe their fearful thoughts about life, death, themselves, and life without their loved ones, your honesty might sound crazy to them.
Most people don’t yet understand that God is entirely good. They are still mentally dictating to God and agreeing among themselves that it is only right to do war with the ultimate power of the universe. In other words, not everyone understands or trusts that the universe is not only friendly but perfect in every way without exception and that it always gives without taking. This is difficult for the immature mind to grasp.
People who believe their unquestioned thoughts cannot see what is obvious and directly in front of their faces at all times, because they are invested in what they believe to be true. As long as they live out of an unquestioned mind, they must continue to argue with what they believe is happening rather than the reality of what is really happening.
To the unquestioned mind, perfection is a myth; people who believe their unquestioned thoughts don’t see that the world is perfect exactly as it is, so they must remain at war with reality. Even their sadness is a tantrum; they are still at war with God, and most people are still immature enough to argue with the power of what made a universe and can and does often stop it, without evidence of its ever having existed. All fear is the evidence of an unquestioned mind.
Are you still afraid at times, John? I love that you know the power that is within you and is everything and that The Work, the four questions with your answers, is the key to that power, the beneficent power of the all and the key to your dear open fearless heart.
You are so funny, John. Do you remember when a statement like the one you speak of would have shocked and unsettled you? If you do, then you can understand that these people’s minds are believing what you used to believe. Have mercy, angel. It is enough to be free, and when your truths pop out of your mouth innocently and without motive, your experience as well as their experience is just right and on time.
There’s no mistake in the universe. Thank you for your innocence and enlightenment, John. If anything you say seems to be harsh, investigate and see if you had a motive in saying it, apologize, and begin again. Otherwise, you are not the doer at all.
Here are a few audio clips from the New Year’s Mental Cleanse:
Notice how our stories stop us from embracing reality.
A famous artist used to say that the best way to see things as they really are is to bend down, look back between your legs, and observe the world upside down. Because your mind doesn’t recognize this “reality,” it doesn’t interpret or judge what you’re looking at. Now you are free to see the world as it really is. Unfortunately, this kind of “ambush” on the mind doesn’t last very long. Your mind catches up to you and brings back all the stories that you still believe in.
For me, reality is very simple. I begin and end with “Is it true?” And The Work follows.
The following is a list of the stressful holiday thoughts which we got from our vets. We had them draw 3 thoughts each out of a “treat jar,” pair up, and apply the 4 questions and the turnarounds.
We had 22 guys and they could all find them in their lives. Good energy.
I have to go home.
I have to do all the work.
I don’t have a family.
I might not behave.
I have to buy gifts. (I have to have money for gifts.)
I have to be around people.
They might ask me to do something.
I don’t have enough money.
I won’t feel anything (joy).
I’m not being helpful.
I’ll be depressed.
I’ll be alone.
Shopping is a pain.
Cooking is a chore.
All the drunks will be on the road.
I’ll miss my family.
My mom died on Christmas.
I won’t be straight on Christmas.
I have to see family I don’t like.
I have to lie (about Christmas).
I can’t give them what they want.
The white Christmas doesn’t come. (It’s supposed to snow on Christmas.)
I can’t go home (and see certain family members).
I’m not wanted.
I have no input.
I will be judged.
Taking time off from work will put me behind.
I can’t participate.
I should have prepared for the holiday.
I have no girlfriend to share the holiday with.
They’ll be upset with me.
I wish the whole family could be together.
It takes too long to get there.
I might run out of booze.
I have to listen to my mom complain.
I have to stay longer than I want to.
The weather will be lousy.
I might steal the presents.
I have nothing to wear.
My friend was murdered on Thanksgiving eve. (I was supposed to be there.)
I haven’t talked to my family in a while.
The hospital is the loneliest place on a holiday.
They can’t be here. (We won’t be together.)
Talking on the phone makes me upset (miss them more).
I’ll miss my kids.
I have to go into detox. (I have to wait to get into Cat-5.)
I might use.
My family will think I’m relapsing.
I’ll be depressed if I can’t go home.
I’ll spend more money dining out and eating.
I can’t spend time with my kids. (They’re locked up.)
I have to go into my savings to purchase gifts.
Everyone should get together.
They’re not around. (I wish my family was around.)
I have to remember. (It’s disrespectful—it means I don’t care.)
I’ve never had a sober Christmas.
I can’t give my son what I would like.
I’m always the one giving. (I’d like to receive.)
Nobody thinks about me.
I can’t celebrate. (She died on Christmas.)
I have to shop.
Holidays are another reason to get high.
It’s too much.
It has to be perfect.
Everyone has to get along.
I have to get the right thing for everyone or they won’t love me.
I have to like my gifts.
I’m supposed to like my gifts. (People should know what I like.)
Two letters about the HELPLINE:
I was just looking at the Helpline page and saw this request for feedback for the first time. I already had tears of gratitude in my eyes when I noticed it. I had been thinking for the millionth time what an incredible gift the Helpline is.
I have called pretty often, and had some just amazing clearings and deepenings with these wonderful facilitators. Just beautiful intimate human-to-human moments, such generous and sweet support, it blows my mind, and that’s better than anything! I learn so much from the round robin also. The NetWork is a total life line. Thank you all from the bottom to the top of my heart.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
If I were personally to award the Nobel Peace Prize, I would award it to the Helpline.
I’ve probably used it a dozen times in the past three or four months, and every single experience has been tremendous, peaceful, respectful, and revolutionary. What more could we ask?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The HELPLINE service is for people who want to have a one-on-one experience with The Work now and is offered at no charge by skilled friends of The Work. Thanks to our volunteers for their dedication and generosity!
I’ve come across The Work by chance, or so it seems. Was searching the web for something I completely forgot about afterwards (obviously wasn’t important) and there was a link to your website. I was curious and went to have a look. I now often think that was not my decision, it was something decisive happening through me.
I was thrilled when I discovered The Work, and I started doing it immediately. It’s already brought a tremendous opening in my life and I got somewhat “addicted” to it. Sometimes it’s not easy to do it, it’s not easy to look at the truth in the eye. I feel as though I have something to hold on to and, if I look thoroughly at it, as The Work always invites me to do(!), I’ll be left with nothing. Only that’s exciting too!
I’m deeply grateful. Thank you for keeping The Work available in the net, allowing all of us to share this fabulous experience! I’ve ordered your books through Amazon.com, because I’m fortunate enough to be able to read in English. And was a bit disappointed for not being able to share The Work with colleagues, friends and clients (I’m a Reiki and floral therapist) in a Portuguese translation. Can you imagine? I was doing some Christmas shopping and was absolutely speechless as I saw your book Loving What Is on a shelf . . . and in Portuguese, of course. It has been newly published here in Portugal, and I’ve already bought it as a Christmas present for a friend. Reality is indeed perfect!
My very best and grateful regards,
Another wonderful letter from a friend of The Work:
I was thinking about the conversation that we had about my own experience with the School of You in L.A. last October . . . and about sharing a little of that with you before the Cleanse.
What was so remarkable about my experience with the School is that my miracle was so unexpected.
In fact, as I consider where I was in consciousness at that time, I’m quite surprised that I even noticed anything miraculous had occurred at all.
I went with two primary thoughts: the first was that I was about to spend a week learning a superficial intellectual tool and calling it deep work (by the way, I was wrong about that!!). The second was that I was dying, and that I would rather die with an intact secret than experience the shame of revelation. I have spent the whole of my adult life as a lung doctor who was a secret and closet smoker. I preached against, in the daytime, that which I practiced under cover of night. I had spent many years creating ritual around keeping my secret . . . and telling myself stories about how vilified I would be if I were discovered. Then, on the verge of leaving for the School, I discovered a lump in my neck . . . and I imagined the worst of everything. I was dying. I could not tell anyone about this lump because my shameful secret would be discovered. I was surrounded by a lifetime of friends who were doctors, and I did not dare speak a single word to any of them because I was ashamed. I thought I would rather die than let them know. It appeared I probably would die rather than let them know.
So I went to the School prepared to die and I will tell you that in the miracle of the School . . . in the doing of The Work . . . the cigarettes that had been my best and most secret friend for forty years said goodbye to me. I have not smoked a single cigarette since October 20, 2006. I am, miraculously, free of my attachment to smoking. Just as importantly, in the process of doing The Work, I realized that cigarettes supported my inner story of needing to be hidden and separated from the world. Each process taught me more and more about my lack of willingness to be revealed, to be integrated, to be intimate. Cigarettes had become the way for me to be separated, alone, outside the circle of tents. I share this with you not so much because I think my story needs to be heard, but because I can actually share it, now. Two months ago, I was unable to say any of this out loud to anyone. I would—remember—rather have died than tell anyone!
I came home from the School, called a friend, had some tests and found that the lump in my neck was absolutely nothing but an enlarged gland that appears to be attached to NOTHING (I loved THAT).
I can’t describe the joy of liberation that I experience. Certainly I love being liberated from the habit of cigarette smoking. What I really love is being liberated from the shame and the separation I had lived with for so long. I am liberated from the belief that lung doctors don’t smoke (Is that true? YES . . . IT’S TRUE FOR ME!! I DON’T SMOKE. O JOY!!)
With loving, Carla