Byron Katie

Talking with a friend today about how to change their mindset about a certain situation, I directed her to the work of Byron Katie who I decided to write a blog about because I think her technique is the simplest and most direct way if done honestly, to change your perceptions.

Byron Katie is an author and spiritual teacher who endured a lot of emotional pain until one day at one of the lowest points of her life, she woke up one morning able to see the world from a completely different perspective. Some people say she is enlightened. I can’t make a judgement on that, but she certainly has a wisdom and a presence that is inspiring.

She calls her process of self-inquiry “The Work” and it is available for free on her website https:/thework.com.

The “Welcome to The Work” on her website sums it up thus:

“I discovered that when I believed my thoughts I suffered, but 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. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment. That joy is in everyone, always. And I invite you to not believe me. I invite you to test it for yourself”. – Byron Katie.

For what its worth, I wholeheartedly agree with her. This is my experience also. I haven’t used her process intensively as she came on my radar long after I had begun changing my beliefs and perceptions, however I Love her books and her process and I would highly recommend her.

The Work consists of four questions;

  • Is it true?
  • Can you absolutely know it is true?
  • How do you react when you believe that thought?
  • Who would you be without the thought?
  • Turn the thought around.

It is better if you write the answers down.

The philosophy behind her work is that as we question our opinions and perceptions, we can begin to open our minds to the possibility of seeing things differently. We challenge our thoughts.

Her book A Thousand Names for Joy shown above is one of my favourites and has sat on my bedside table for at least five years. I regularly open it and read a chapter (as you can see by how tatty the cover is!).

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