Byron Katie (she was born Byron Kathleen Reid, and everyone calls her Katie) discovered inquiry in 1986. The Work is her remarkable method for finding happiness and freedom. Katie has been traveling around the world for more than a dozen years teaching The Work directly to hundreds of thousands of people. In addition, she has introduced The Work into business settings, universities, schools, churches, prisons, and hospitals. Her website is www.thework.com, where you will find her schedule, articles about her, registration forms, and basic information about The Work.
Byron Kathleen Mitchell, better known as Byron Katie, is an American speaker and author who teaches a method of self-inquiry known as “The Work of Byron Katie” or simply as “The Work”. She is married to the writer and translator Stephen Mitchell. Wikipedia
The Work is meditation. It’s about opening to your heart, not about trying to change your thoughts. Ask the questions, then go inside and wait for the deeper answers to surface.
In its most basic form, The Work consists of four questions and turnarounds. For example, your statement might be “[Name] doesn’t listen to me.” Find someone in your life about whom you have had that thought. Then take that statement and put it up against the four questions and turnarounds of The Work.
Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
Who would you be without the thought?
Turn the thought around. Then find at least three specific, genuine examples of how each turnaround is true for you in this situation.
Out of nowhere, like a breeze in a marketplace crowded with advice, comes Byron Katie and “The Work.” In the midst of a normal life, Katie became increasingly depressed, and over a ten-year period sank further into rage, despair, and thoughts of suicide. Then one morning, she woke up in a state of absolute joy, filled with the realization of how her own suffering had ended. The freedom of that realization has never left her, and now in Loving What Is you can discover the same freedom through The Work.
The Work is simply four questions that, when applied to a specific problem, enable you to see what is troubling you in an entirely different light. As Katie says, “It’s not the problem that causes our suffering; it’s our thinking about the problem.” Contrary to popular belief, trying to let go of a painful thought never works; instead, once we have done The Work, the thought lets go of us. At that point, we can truly love what is, just as it is.
Loving What Is will show you step-by-step, through clear and vivid examples, exactly how to use this revolutionary process for yourself. You’ll see people do The Work with Katie on a broad range of human problems, from a wife ready to leave her husband because he wants more sex, to a Manhattan worker paralyzed by fear of terrorism, to a woman suffering over a death in her family. Many people have discovered The Work’s power to solve problems; in addition, they say that through The Work they experience a sense of lasting peace and find the clarity and energy to act, even in situations that had previously seemed impossible.
If you continue to do The Work, you may discover, as many people have, that the questioning flows into every aspect of your life, effortlessly undoing the stressful thoughts that keep you from experiencing peace. Loving What Is offers everything you need to learn and live this remarkable process, and to find happiness as what Katie calls “a lover of reality.”
Gratitude is what we are without a story.
I am devoted to total world peace. I am the world.
I don’t let go of my thoughts, I meet them with understanding, then they let go of me.
This is the time. This is the place. This is the vastness. Right here is paradise. Always. Always.
When you question your stressful thoughts, the freedom that comes out of that graces the world for all of us.