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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My New Discovery

"We are disturbed not by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens." Epictetus (Greek philosopher)

"The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly clear, what is is what we want." Byron Katie

If the above quotes don't seem particularly profound, read them again. How many people really believe that what is, is what we want?

When something seemingly negative happens in our lives, don't we typically react with resistance, anger, frustration, disappointment, jealousy, sadness, doubt? We judge it, we wish it weren't happening. We get mad at someone, we get mad at the rain or the traffic or the dishes or the laundry or ourselves. Or God. And sometimes all of the above.

But what if we knew, really knew, that whatever is happening is exactly what should be happening? That really all of it, regardless of how it appears, is ultimately a beautifully perfect thing. How do we know that it is a beautifully perfect thing? Because it's happening.

In Byron Katie's words (the wisest and clearest person I've come across), "Suffering is optional, whenever we experience a stressful feeling--anything from mild discomfort to intense sorrow, rage, or despair--we can be certain that there is a specific thought causing our reaction, whether or not we are conscious of it."

I just (as of a few weeks ago) discovered Byron Katie and what she calls, The Work. I have been, and still am, happily blown away. I have never come across anything so simple and profound (and I have read a ridiculous number of self-help/spiritual books). So, I had to post this--I feel everyone who wants freedom from any form of suffering (who doesn't want this?), should give themselves the gift of her wisdom.

"The Work is merely four questions; it's not even a thing. It has no motive, no strings. It's nothing without your answers. These four questions will join any program you've got and enhance it. Any religion you have--they'll enhance it. If you have no religion, they will bring you joy. And they'll burn up anything that isn't true for you. They'll burn through to the reality that has always been waiting." Byron Katie

The Work is based on four questions and a turnaround. These questions (also referred to as inquiry) reveal where our thinking isn't true for us.

Below are the four questions:

1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it's true?
3. How do you react when you think that thought?
4. Who would you be without that thought?
Turn it around.

Here are a few more quotes from Byron Katie:

"The Work reveals that what you think shouldn't have happened should have happened. It should have happened because it did, and no thinking in the world can change it. It just means that you can see things without resistance and without the confusion of your inner struggle. No one wants their children to get sick, no one wants to be in a car accident; but when these things happen, how can it be helpful to mentally argue with them? We know better than to do that, yet we do it, because we don't know how to stop."

"I am a lover of what is, not because I'm a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality. We can know that reality is good just as it is, because when we argue with it, we experience tension and frustration. We don't feel natural or balanced. When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind, fearless."

If you're curious and would like to see in detail what this is all about visit, Pretty much everything you would want to know about Byron Katie and this incredible process is on there.

1 comment :

  1. Julia, it is great to see you posting again on a regular basis.

    You bring us a beautiful vision of those that inspire you, and in turn take us with you on this universal journey.



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♥ Julia