Working Byron Katie

At the Toni’s prodding, and it didn’t take long, I decided to go into retreat. It’s been long overdue, and I guess I’ve been a bit of a grouch. There were no conveniently timed meditation retreat in the vicinity, so I took the 2 weeks I was accorded to and shut myself in my urban cave instead. Since we’ve just done a weekend The Work of Byron Katie workshop, I thought I’d go through all the Byron Katie material I could find and hunker down to work.

 

Let the sound of the bell invite you home to your own mind

This is what I found.

  • There are no new stressful thoughts in the history of humanity. Across race, language and culture, they are the same.
  • These thoughts are not personal to us. They pop up when events in our lives occur. Then we believe them and suffer; or we could investigate them and invite the truth to manifest, and not suffer. Thoughts like
    • My parents don’t love me
    • I don’t want to look stupid
    • People should be understanding
    • People are not trustworthy
    • The world is a dangerous place
    • There’s got to be something better
  • Suffering is the story of the ego. Ego tries to re-create what essence already is. Why? Because it thinks it is separate. It is the ego who is identified with and attached to the suffering. The ego suffers. That’s what egos do to exist.
  • We have more ego than we need when we have more suffering than we want.
  • Suffering is suffering. It’s not personal.
  • Nobody can hurt me, that’s my job.
  • We can mind only our own business.
  • Its not a question of truth or morality. The Work does not condone any hurt or harm to the self, the other or the earth. it’s the just about asking questions, and investigating reality.
  • There are no mistakes. What is, is what’s supposed to be. The universe is a wise and friendly place. It’s always what we need in the present moment. If we pay attention, we will get that. We have everything we need. What we have, despite what we believe is exactly what we need.
  • It’s the old ‘nothing to do, no where to go, home in the present moment’ wisdom.

The Four Noble Truths

The Work reminds me of the Zen and Vipassana approaches to meditation, and the four noble truths:

Suffering
The cause of suffering
The cessation of suffering
The path to the end of suffering.

However it arose out of Katie’s own mind and is entirely unrelated to any eastern or western wisdom traditions. So the four noble truths from the Work Katie recommends this:

Judge your neighbour,
Write it down
Ask four questions
Turn it around

Thoughts Think Us

Our thoughts project our world. Our world is a mirror reflecting our beliefs. If we live in an unhappy world, it is a projection of what we have not healed within ourselves. “The map is not the territory”.

Most of the time, most of us cannot not think. Thoughts think us, they don’t belong to us. Thoughts are mostly recycled, there are virtually no new thoughts. Since there are there anyway, the smart thing to do is to meet them with kindness and understanding and see what it is they really want. Our job is to ask (e.g., the thought “Paul doesn’t listen to me”) the four questions.

The Four Questions
1. Is is 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 the thought? Turn the thought around (original thought: Paul doesn’t listen to me)
a) to the opposite (Paul does listen to me)
b) to the self (I don’t listen to me)
c) to the other (I don’t listen to Paul)
And find three genuine specific examples of how each turnaround is true in you life

For more information on how to do The Work, got to www.TheWork.com

 

My Experience of The Work

I can’t say that I’ as adept at The Work than the other things I do, like EFT and Integration. I definitely wasn’t 100% faithful to The Work. I’m still playing with it, and that’s what it is. It’s play. It’s fun and interesting to investigate our feelings, thoughts and beliefs. I’ve seen the humour in some of my ludicrous presumptions, the ‘I need/want’, ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’, ‘always/never’ judgements that have gone unquestioned and run amok. The Work as facilitated by Katie use powerful reframes and turnarounds, administered with humour and kindness. It’s another way to slice the issues and bring new understanding. These are the great and not-so-great in my experience.

What’s Great

  • looks at causation without the long story (spends less time with drama, more time with results, usually a plus)
  • quick results, sometimes change comes at the first question
  • allows own wisdom to arise and brings real healing
  • easily induces a better state of mind
  • can induce a higher state of consciousness
  • easy enough, people can self-apply (mostly)
  • after some practice, it becomes automatic (bonus!)
  • lots of free material on her website (TheWork.com)

What’s Not so Great

  • it might be hard for newbies to identify the stressful thoughts or the underlying beliefs. Sometimes people just feel a sensation or emotion without being able to articulate meaning. It would get better with a little patience and practice.
  • can get frustrating and exhausting
  • the presence-of-mind of the facilitator is important, whether it’s self administered or facilitated by another individual

 

And guess what I found?
What I held as truths, they are not even mine, they are not personal, they are certainly not new and definitely not in the now. They are just stories. “The truth is rarely pure and never simple” says the wise Oscar. And “never let the facts get in the way of a good story”, says the wise Mark Twain. And after experiencing The Work, I would say, “Dont let the truth get blown away by a good story”.

To conclude
Suffering doesn’t happen to a mind that’s healed. So who are we without our thoughts, our beliefs, our suffering, our identity? That thought you believe, is it true? What would you be without that thought? And that thought? And that thought?

Wanna feel wonderful?

Choose the way you want to feel.

If you were to ask ten people what they want in life you are likely to get answers like happiness and peace. These are higher goals that most people aspire to have. Obviously, there are spiritual goals too. Let’s bring our attention to happiness and peace. These are examples of feeling good. If you were to think of a situation in which you feel happy you will likely cast your thoughts to sometime in the past that you felt happy. You will remember where and when and perhaps with whom you were with. As you begin to immerse yourself into this memory you will regain the happy feeling you had then, now. In essence you are able to feel this happy feeling anytime you want.

To illustrate this point further, imagine you are attending a wedding dinner. With a camera in your hand you decided to take some pictures. You scanned around. You proceeded to snap away. A few days later you fished out your camera from your bag and thumbed through those shots. Each shots reminded you a specific moment in time during the party. Some shots brings back moment of joy and laughter. Some shots bring back memories that go way back and connect to some nostalgia and etc. The effects of thumbing through those photos evoke a range of emotions.  Think for a moment. If you have not thumbed through those photos you will unlikely have experienced those emotions during and after seeing it. With this awareness, you have some control on what you choose to feel anytime you want. It underscores the point that the mind and body are connected. What you think can produce feelings. What you choose to think will produce the feeling that you want.

Would you like to feel wonderful, now? You can. Here is how.

How to Feel Wonderful

You do not need to have a reason to feel wonderful. You can feel wonderful any time you want. This is how you do it:

Steps:

  1. Think of a situation in which you felt wonderful in the past.
  2. Notice the surrounding, the people (if any), the sound and the feeling.
  3. If you see yourself in the picture, float into it and be in the picture. See what you see, hear what you hear and feel what you feel.
  4. Notice the location of this wonderful feeling in your body.
  5. Touch the sensation with your hand and notice which direction it is moving.
  6. Whichever direction it is moving, spin it faster.

By spinning it faster you get a more intense feeling of wonderful. Think about feeling gorgeous. You can have this feeling anytime you want. You don’t have to wait until you are dressed up for it.

Enjoy!

Simon Wong

The Feldenkrais Method – Awareness Through Movement and Functional Integration

Mind Body Study (The Feldenkrais Method) is the exploration of the inter-connection between brain and behavior as the key to well-being and realizing our full human potential.

This is the third in a series of four workshops in Singapore by Feldenkrais trainers. Our trainer this time is Maja Van Niekerk.

Maja Van Niekerk
While studying education, Maja became interested in the movement behaviour of blind children. Because of their seriously restricted sense of orientation, such children have very little freedom of movement and anxiously maintain the security of contact with the floor. Maja nevertheless taught a number of these children to perform somersaults on a trampoline. The realisation that they could move more freely in space had a positive impact on the children’s movement and behaviourpatterns. She found the answers to many questions about movement education during her training to become a Feldenkrais practitioner. Maja was trained by Mia Segal, Moshe Feldenkrais’s first assistant. From 1993 till 2003 Maja has been assisting Mia Segal in her three-year international Feldenkrais training programmes. Since 2003 she is working as Senior-Assistant and since 2006 as Co-Trainer in the MBS Academy (Mind and Body Study) of Mia Segal and Leora Gaster.

Maja also works in close consultation with neurologist and acupuncturist Mr Wong-Chung, who is an enthusiastic advocate of the Feldenkrais Method.
She gives individual and group sessions and workshops over several days in her praxis Nijmegen, Holland and abroad. Maja coaches Dutch and International Feldenkrais colleagues in different formats.

Awareness Through Movement 2 day Workshop
Date: 15 – 16 January 2011 , 10am  – 4 pm
Venue: TBD
Cost: $300
Returning participants: TBD

Functional Integration – individual sessions
Date: 17 – 21 January 2010
Time: By appointment only
Venue: TBD
Cost: $200 per hour
Contact Jack Wei to book Functional Integration sessions

For more information please contact:

Jack Wei
jackwei@mbsapac.com.sg
Mind Body Study Asia Pacific
Block 5, Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 2A #05-18, AMK Tech II Singapore 567760
+65 9616 6043

MBS Asia Pacific is the premier teaching center for Mind Body Studies / The Feldenkrais method. It strives to spread the teachings, philosophies and practice of the work of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais.

Healing the Wounded Children – Integration

When we suffer as children, sometimes we don’t know how to handle the situation. As a result, the child pushes away the emotion and sometimes even the memory of the event. We disown parts of ourselves that we don’t know what to do with. These unconscious parts of our influence us in ways that we are not aware of. We end up behaving in ways which are not congruent with our conscious mind. Many times it exhibits as self sabotage behavior or repeated patterns.

We normally do not know that there is this particular wounded child to be integrated. One way to tell is to examine the negative events in childhood that appear in your mind most. Sometimes it is completely under your radar, and it takes a skilled practitioner to uncover these issues. Integration may also be used for archetype and shadow work.

To resolve these issues, first we address the triggering event in the normal way. Then we do a parts integration as follows.

Visualize your little child-self, the wounded child who suffered (in your event) in your left hand, the adult self in your right hand.

The adult says to the child:
“I see you. I’m sorry you were all alone holding all my pain (or anxiety, loneliness etc.) all these years.
Because you were holding my pain, I could be sane and whole, I could function in the world.
So I thank you and honour you. Now there’s no need to be all alone, Please come back into the family of selves.
From now on, I will take care of you, love, cherish and protect you. I will keep you safe and help you thrive in the world.
I welcome you back into my family of selves.”

If the child seems receptive, put your left hand into your right hand. Keep your hands together for 5 to 10 seconds. Then hug your upper arms, as if you are hugging your child. Listen to the child and hold her until she feels ‘done’.

Resistance
If the child isn’t receptive, give her a little time, sometimes that’s all she needs. If she’s angry with you, or doesn’t trust you, “why should I believe you now, where were you all these years?”, then as the adult you say:
“I understand how you feel. I would feel like that too if I were you. I’m really sorry. I didn’t even know you were there. But now that I do, I want to make it up to you, please come home, you are an important part of me. Let me take care of you. You don’t have to be all alone anymore, please come home”
Continue in this trend and keep giving her adequate time to decide on her own to come back.

When she feels ready. Put your left hand into your right hand, say:
“I welcome you back to my family of selves. Thank you for coming back.”
Keep your hands together for 5 to 10 seconds. Then hug your upper arms, as if you are hugging your child. Listen to the child and hold her until she feels ‘done’.