“I was introduced to The Work about 2 years ago. It has absolutely changed my life. I have been acting since I was 10 years old and have dreamt about being a successful actor since then. I was always going on auditions, reading books, attending rehearsals, or watching movies and plays. I concerned my entire life with making it as a professional actor and tried not to concern myself with much else. When I attended my freshman year of college I came face to face with all the buried difficulties, trauma, and sadness that I had pushed aside through my steadfast attitude throughout life. In the first semester of my freshman year my world seemed to collapse and I entered a deep depression. I am incredibly grateful to Ashley Gates Jansen for introducing The Work into my life and to the universe/karma/reality/God for allowing a spark to ignite with it. Since I began practicing The Work, not only did my life turn around, but I also began an incredible spiritual search. I began to read Katie’s books along with Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, Rupert Spira, Gangaji, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, and others. I started to meditate in a more traditional style as well as continue to meditate through The Work. I have taken this semester off from college, and since May I have been traveling around and staying at different monasteries and spiritual centers. I have been doing many silent meditation retreats these past 6 months, filling my curiosity with traditions that have spread all over the globe over countless past centuries. This search has currently brought me to Pokhara, Nepal where I am living with a Tibetan Buddhist family and volunteering at an orphanage. I will be here until Christmas and then returning to school to continue with my arts’ education.
Over all of my exploration and “spiritual window shopping” I have found that nothing I’ve found is as applicable, useful, and transformative as The Work. In fact, all of the searching and learning has not only helped with gaining an intellectual and feeling understanding of life and the principles that Hinduism and Buddhism were founded upon, but has also allowed The Work to slowly open and reveal ever deepening layers of those incredible 4 questions. My spiritual life seems to be budding like a flower and The Work synchronizes its opening with me. I continue to be amazed and grateful every time I complete a worksheet and my heart expands even more. I feel forever blessed to have this inquiry in my life and hope to spread it to every person who enters my awareness who is seeking truth, freedom, and happiness. I full heartedly believe that in order to help others one must first help themselves, and that truth has confirmed itself in my life as people only seem to come to me for help when I am feeling emotionally, physically, and spiritually healthy. Then I get the wonderful opportunity to share The Work and help open up the universal heart. I hope The School for The Work will allow me to deepen my understanding and in turn I will be able to give back more to my friends and family who populate this world and who allow me to live in this beautiful place.” – WC
Katie’s new book, A Mind At Home With Itself
Loving What Is by Byron Katie
“I am not exaggerating when I say that the School for The Work was one of the best experiences of my life. I had no idea that something so wonderful existed in the world, and now that I have experienced it, I know that I have to be more connected to The Work and its presence in the world. At the School I felt like I was home for the first time in a long time. I am a psychotherapist, and I am so glad to be a part of this. The Work has been alive in me for years, but now I know that it is not just a small piece of my life but must somehow take a much larger focus. I look forward to finding out where that trust will take me.” -RM
Related Links:Katie’s new book. A Mind At Home With Itself
A testimony from Lily in Israel:
I first arrived at The School for The Work because I am an artist and a therapist and I was longing to free myself from the fear of the pain caused by fear. Meeting Katie and the encounter with The Work changed my life!
I went to The School in Germany and in Los Angeles, and continued at my work with students to teach and practice The Work myself for years. At the School I experienced stressful thoughts losing their grip on me, and the tremendous compassion that followed. It was the closest to a line from Bob Marley’s redemption song: “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery ….” Every time I do The Work I am released more and more from mental slavery. This is a tremendous gift that Katie gave birth to, and I thank her deeply.
After the 2014 war in Gaza, I had 50 days of fighting(!) with my son, who fought there, and the terror and fear and helplessness and paralysis that I experienced – I never experienced anything quite like it before, and it was a formative experience for me.
I promised myself, during those terrible days at the end of the war, that I would not repress anymore and that I would become active for a reality shift. During those days, a vision came to me, and I saw myself along with thousands of other women on a hunger strike. A drastic step that says ENOUGH with the madness. A cry of mothers that spells ENOUGH.
Fortunately, that summer thousands of other women arose and the Women Wage Peace movement was born. At first, we boarded a train, 1000 women from north to south, and our destination was a conference where we launched the movement, then we stood at 45 different checkpoints – thousands of women – and talked with hundreds of thousands of drivers to remind them that it is our duty to make peace.
3000 of us women marched in Jerusalem to speak before the Knesset a speech of hope. Today we are 15,000 and counting. Then it came to me again, and I remembered the vision of the hunger strike, and so on the one-year anniversary of this awful war that lasted 50 days, we set up a tent and began a 50-day fast outside the home of the Prime Minister, with the requirement that he return to negotiations with the Palestinians in order to prevent the next war. Three hundred women joined from across the country: secular, Muslim, orthodox, Christian, from villages and cities, and we each fasted 25 hours or 50 hours. The ripples the tent produced reached far and wide. We received an invitation from the President of Palestine, as our determination of fasting moved him deeply and he invited us to a meeting. Israeli Prime Minister’s wife Sarah Netanyahu invited us to hear what was on our minds, and then Netanyahu himself also met us. We met with Palestinian women leaders and decided to cooperate to end the conflict.
I thank Katie for the wonderful gift she has brought into the world and for what an enormous inspiration she is for me with her faith, determination, compassion, and the clarity of The Work, and I am grateful for the millions of people who practice and spread The Work and inspire the world. During hard moments when I encountered harsh reactions against our activities by the opposition, inquiry helped me go back and open my heart to myself and others. For instance, someone came to our tent and cursed us, and I was able to invite him to speak while at the same time I felt anger and a desire to attack him back, but during the conversation I felt The Work alive in me, working in me, and I could remember in real time that he is actually inviting me to look with compassion at the scared wounded places in me and at the thinking which I haven’t inquired into yet.
I experienced deeply my fear at the place that wants to react and attack him back. Having The Work inside me at these moments (and there are many more) has allowed me to breathe, not to be defensive or violent, I would remember the poem of Rumi that we heard in the School, “Guest House” and the place of “Is it true?” and I was able to come back to my own business and stay in an open space, watching, hoping to keep my heart and my head compassionate and curious and looking forward to the next challenge, and because there were a lot of challenges I feel that the thousands of women in the final event that marked the end of the fast were able to convey a message of compassion, love, and acceptance. And our operation echoed far and wide and resonated all the way to you, Katie, and to the people reading these words now.
I am so grateful to Byron Katie for her determination and persistence and her planting the seeds for a vast global transformation from the mind of madness and horror of war into a mind of peace, love, and clarity.
Here is the URL of our webpage: http://womenwagepeace.org.il/join-us-2/. You are all invited to join from all around the world by signing on as supporters and friends. Large numbers are important.
Especially, beloved Katie, we, Israeli and Palestinian women, are inviting you and are looking forward to your visit, of Women Wage Peace, waiting eagerly to actually meet you and to continue to water the seeds of hope, love, and peace here and everywhere.
With love and respect,
Love is “Ai” 愛 (pronounced “I”) in both Chinese and Japanese. So when you say, “Ai (‘I’) love you”, it could also mean, “Love loves you.” And since Love also could be understood as a name for our true nature, we are left as love loving love all around!
In love and gratitude,
Tim, and all new graduates of the March 2016 School
March 2015 School for The Work Photo’s
For upcoming event information, click here.
From The School for The Work participant:
“So I was doing the work with my partner yesterday and I had a funny realization. Essentially we had done the same worksheet. In mine I was the one pissed (someone was feeding my kid junk) and in his someone was pissed at him (he was accused of feeding a kid junk) and I realized with all 4 people on the 2 worksheets we were all just doing our best to love in the best way we knew how. Wouldn’t it be easier to just KNOW THAT ‘n skip the worksheets? Lol-—’n I’m still gonna do the worksheets.”
Byron Katie introduces The Work to a full house at the Westerkerk, Amsterdam. 3 July 2014.
Byron Katie describes the experience of separation at the Westerkerk, Amsterdam. 3 July 2014.
Byron Katie listens as a participant reads his Worksheet at the Westerkerk, Amsterdam. 3 July 2014.
One of many moments in the sun at the beautiful Westerkerk, Amsterdam. 3 July 2014.
Byron Katie doing The Work with a participant at the Westerkerk, Amsterdam. 3 July 2014
Byron Katie with the event staff at the Westerkerk, Amsterdam. 3 July 2014.
My wish is to participate again in the nine-day School for The Work for July 2014 so as to further gain experience in anticipation of working towards certification.
Because of The Work I am a changed person in terms of relationships, diet, and exercising. The work done in 2013 helped understand more about my environment and myself, whereby introspection on self is involved, thereby ending up with self-realisation through the turnaround. Not all the stress that I experience is because of the “outside world” but I realised that I was contributing to that stress. Thanks to Katie and The Work I now have forgiven my late father, late husband, and aunts, for I found out that holding on to the past actually stressed me more and hindered my health status.
The Work also took me through the process of accepting reality, for I was a person who would question “Why me?“ but failed to have fulfilling answers. I would end up blaming myself that God / the world is unfair. This would cause more stress on me, for some of the issues were not even my business. Some of the issues were really my siblings’ to handle, but I ended up in their realm. As a result of The Work, I now allow my brothers and sisters to work on their own challenges.
I now look at challenges differently than before I did The Work, accepting them as they come for I now have space to do The Work with myself before getting into mood swings or crying a lot without hope.
After the School I accept circumstances as they unfold and move on with life. At my workplace I had a last-minute change of class when I had already planned for another one allocated to me. Some workmates were surprised that I did not confront my boss on the issue but accepted and began to plan for the given grades, which eliminated stress and helped me manage the situation better
When we came back from the school in 2013, we set up two groups of people living with HIV to deal with self stigma. This course led me to freedom – there was lightness rather than heaviness in my heart pertaining to how HIV was transmitted to me. At first my perception was to help out our mates with self stigma as a facilitator, but then I realised that The Work is for both the participant and the facilitator. It helped me reflect back to the early days of my diagnosis with HIV. I discovered that they are some instances where I was stigmatizing myself and those around me where acting/commenting on what I would have started myself.
My vision for moving forward The Work among people living with HIV as part of the leaders of the community of the work of Zimbabwe in future is to expand it so that many will benefit, beginning with the support groups of People Living with HIV in Harare Metropolitan Province. Also to have more local facilitators receiving training at the School for The Work, for I would also wish to see The Work cascading to the other 9 provinces of Zimbabwe, ZNNP has its membership in the ten provinces of Zimbabwe. I also dream of having Zimbabwe as a resource centre for The Work in southern Africa and Africa as a whole, “thereby bringing The Work to Africa.” To counter “discrimination,” I would also like to see ourselves working with other groups, i.e. diabetic, cancer patients, divorcees, the bereaved, and youths, and partner with more organisations, for I have learnt that The Work is for all.
My commitment to moving The Work is holding sessions during some weekends excluding public holidays and some afternoons during the week with the communities including the groups we formed in 2013. I would also remind people of our meetings, i.e. time and venue, and also post some messages from BK and urging them always refer to the books she wrote. The other commitment is the translating of materials where needed from English to Shona for the general understanding of the participants. So far I assisted in translating the yellow card when we did the self stigma course. Currently I am working on the self stigma sheet on “instructions on doing The Work.”
I hope the given information will meet your expectations and favourable consideration.
This is Pamela Hickein, from Right Brain Kids!
As you may recall, I brought four copies of “Tiger, Tiger,” Katie’s books and the card set you illustrated for our right brain schools in Malaysia. The teachers have really embraced the 4 questions, and the older group of children have, too. I introduced the 4 questions at a staff meeting, then read the “Tiger, Tiger” book. English is a second language for most of our teachers, so the children’s book went a LONG way in helping them understand the concept.
We have a staff bulletin board where I place a new Katie card from week to week.
What I notice is that the teachers are now looking within when they have conflicts with others—other teachers or parents, or even children with behaviors that they react to (I am doing more of this, too!).
After I first arrived, my business partner’s 11-year-old son felt unloved because he had to share his mother with me (in business meetings), or with the teachers and the other children. As she read “Tiger, Tiger” to him, many of the comments he voiced were in the book—”Wow, that’s me!” This book opened him up to being willing to continue to the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet and that process. I had the privilege to assist. His insights when he was processing with the turnarounds were really deep. I felt like I was listening to a high teacher in those moments.
Also, one of our teachers used it with a 5-year-old math prodigy who was in 3rd grade at an international school and was being teased daily by his fellow students. It really helped him let go of the pain. Now, he is being homeschooled with special lessons by area tutors in different subjects. His mother was really grateful for our help. She regularly orders books from the U.S., so I’m sure she will be getting him a personal copy.
There’s no need to reply to this email. I just thought that you should know how much your Work has impacted us. I know that you do not do this to receive recognition, but please do know: We are grateful!!!!
Before coming to the School, I believed a series of stories about my life that often left me feeling second-best. Learning and believing that I am free to “be” with those stories has been life-changing for me. Thank you so much for the scholarship and giving me the opportunity to connect with the true “me / us.”
Since the School it has been an amazing journey of self-inquiry and discovery. And the School’s aftercare is amazing. Thank you!
My first night home I had the most hilarious dream that I was married to Bradley Cooper and we were hosting a vegan taco feed for our neighbors Mick Jagger and Cruela de Vil. Long story short—it was so funny that I woke up laughing and was left with the thought “There is no end to what the mind can make up.” Isn’t that the truth?!
I send this to you with all my love and gratitude,
* * * * *
Here is a letter from a young woman who was falling into despair.
I am writing you because I am very close to giving up. My best friend told me about The Work. I am suffering from a deep depression and binge eating. This has been going on for three solid years now. I have had much trauma in my young life. Everything from surviving the Columbine Massacre to rape, to abuse, to self destruction. I keep trying to run from it, but I can’t run from me. What I need from you is a scholarship for the 28 day Turnaround House program. I don’t have 20,000 dollars. I have a little money in savings. But not enough. I am so scared that I am going to just give up. I need help. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Again, thank you, family, for supporting this Work as it enters the lives of so many families.
We have received many phone calls asking the same question: “Is there still room for me at the School?”
There is always room for you at the School.
I would love to see everyone at the School of You this Friday, early evening. If you want to attend, click here to register, or call 1-888-98-KATIE (52843). (And for those of you unable to attend, all life is “the School,” and I love that no one has to miss it.)
And for those of you who would like a sneak preview of the School, here is Richard Lawrence Cohen‘s first-hand account of his journey.
He describes his personal experience in this, a travel-log of his journey through The Work: