I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn't believe them, I didn't suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that." —Byron Katie
If you wish to embark on a journey that can deeply transform and enrich your life, Self Inquiry can guide your way. As tools along the way, I offer The Work of Byron Katie, Contemplative Self Inquiry, and Mindfulness Meditation. I invite you to approach your practice with a friendly, curious, non-judgmental attitude.
Contemplative Self Inquiry
We bring our attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, and reflect on various questions. I.e. what needs support? What is free of needs? What stops me from meeting what I resist? What am I experiencing when I put that story aside? Etc. The invitation is to stop investing in the ongoing narrative and inquire what is underneath. This practice of contemplative inquiry is invaluable in combination with The Work, or on its own.
What is The Work of Byron Katie?
Founded by Byron Katie, The Work is a way to identify and question the thoughts that cause stress and suffering in our lives. Using this simple yet radical process, we can set ourselves free and find peace in all aspects of life. The Work is being used worldwide by individuals and practitioners, and is offered in hospitals, prisons and schools.
I invite you to explore the resources, come to an introductory evening or book a complementary 30-minute information session.
The Work Essentials
Free resources available for download at thework.com:
Introductory Little Book
Instructions for doing The Work
To do The Work, first identify a stressful thought. The best tool for this is the Judge-Your-Neighbour worksheet. Think of someone you haven't forgiven 100% - what do you think of them? What advice would you give them?
Next, circle one of the statements on your worksheet, start at the top — for example, “He doesn’t listen to me.”
Inquire into the thought using the four questions:
1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
3. How do you react, what happens when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without that thought?
Take your time and allow your answers to arise from within. The Work isn’t about changing your thoughts; it’s about meeting them with understanding and being open to a deeper truth. I recommend to write out your answers and use the One-Belief-at-a-Time-Worksheet, which is designed for this purpose.
Follow the simple instructions all the way to the turnarounds. Take your original thought and find an opposite. For example, “He doesn’t listen to me” can be turned around to: “He does listen to me.” “I don’t listen to me.” “I don’t listen to him.”
In your experience, could these turnarounds be as true as, or truer than your original statement? Now find concrete, genuine examples of how each turnaround could be as true. The turnarounds give you the opportunity to see to the choices beyond suffering and become aware of aspects of the situation you may have overlooked.
I like to give myself time to sit with the questions and wait what meets them from my own heart. It is an invitation to open mind to new possibilities and kinder, clearer action.
About Byron Katie:
In 1986, at the bottom of a ten-year fall into depression, anger, and addiction, Katie woke up one morning and realized that all suffering comes from believing our thoughts. She realized that when she believed her stressful thoughts, she suffered, but that when she questioned them, she didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being.
Katie has been bringing The Work to millions around the world for more than twenty years. Her public events, weekend workshops, nine-day School for The Work, and 28-day residential Turnaround House have brought freedom to people all over the world. Byron Katie’s six books include the bestselling 'Loving What Is', 'I Need Your Love—Is That True?', and 'A Thousand Names for Joy'. For more information, visit www.thework.com.
When I look into my mind, I see I am nothing.
When I look into my heart, I see I am everything.
Between the two my life flows. ~Nisargadatta Maharshi