The Work of Byron Katie is leading me out of who I thought I was - and pretending to be - and little by little, I'm finding something infinitely better: What Is Actually So.
For a few years now, I've been reading Katie's books, watching her dialogues on YouTube, listening to and reading all the interviews with her that I can find. I've been collecting her quotes in my mind, parroting them as if I deeply understood them the way she did. (Crazy! Impossible!) I could sense the Truth behind her words and could sense their enormous power. But like all of the spiritual teachings I've been blessed with, my mind has habitually used them as concepts only. I've noticed my mind take these great Truths and practices and wholeheartedly accept them on an intellectual level, while lazily, and perhaps even arrogantly, failing to apply them. Without their application, though, their real potential to offer what they do is altogether lost.
The Work isn't even a spiritual teaching. It's four questions and a turnaround. It couldn't be simpler or more effective. It is the mind taking the time to honestly investigate itself, which allows What Is - God/Reality - to shine forth. (As It always has, of course - but without the stories the mind is telling, It can finally be appreciated. And most importantly: It can be lived.)
Katie holds a nine day school for The Work, which is something I've always wanted to attend. But these past several days, I've gone ahead and attended my own school. I immersed myself in every single recording and dialogue at my disposal, and have literally spent hours letting it all sink in. Observing Katie facilitate people in the process of questioning their stressful thoughts is both touching and even funny a lot of the time. But I have to say, observing can only take you so far. I have begun to inquire earnestly, and this is where the magic happens; this is where the fun really begins!
I have taken concept after concept and put them up against the four questions, turning them around - and every single time, I come out realizing that what I thought was true just isn't so. For example, back in the day, someone did something that I've always resented and worried over. I've always felt it was something that just shouldn't have happened. And in believing those thoughts around this person, I turned this person into an enemy - angry with them, and even afraid. All this time, I've felt uneasy whenever this incident would come to mind. But now that I've done The Work, I can see that what they did is EXACTLY what they should have done! It couldn't possibly have been any other way! I can truly see what I was blind to before - and I love that. Before, when the person would come to mind, I'd try not to think about them, but now the memory has no sting and this person's innocence is obvious. I see that interaction and that person with nothing but love and compassion - and I've not seen them this way for a very long time. I was so confused and I can really see that now.
I've never been so excited! Freedom is at hand!
I've been questioning everything! The negative thoughts are just bubbling up out of me and I'm loving it! All are welcome! I keep coming back to myself, checking my mood to see if I have anymore stressful concepts to work with. I'm already feeling my world, as I've thought it to be, unravel. And I've only just begun!