Byron Katie: Getting to the REAL Question

 

The question “Is it true?” sometimes isn’t so easy to ask. When we have a stressful situation, sometimes there’ll be thought diarrhea angrygoing on. We might be internally fuming, ranting and raving. The thoughts think us whether or not we want to think them. The story goes on and on and on, but there is no clarity on what the real question for inquiry should be. Here are a couple of options.

Remedy 1 for past/current issues: Add the question “…. and that means that…?

For example,
Client: “I am irritated that the kids are making a lot of noise and don’t stop when I tell them to, I am fed up of having to repeat myself…..”
Facilitator: “Ok, and that means that…?
Client: “They don’t respect my authority”
Facilitator: “They don’t respect my authority, and that means that…?”
Client: “I am not important to them”
Facilitator: “I am not important to them, and that means that….?”
Client: “They don’t love me.”

Remedy 2 for future/hypothetical issues: Add the question “and what’s the worst that can happen if…?”
For example,
Client: “I am worried about angering my boss and loosing my job”.
Facilitator: “And what’s the worst that can happen if you loose your job?”
Client: “I would need to look for another job.”
Facilitator: “And what’s the worst thing that can happen if you need to look for another job?”
Client: “I can’t find one and have to rely on my parents.”
Facilitator: “And what’s the worst that can happen if you have to rely on your parents.”
Client: “It would mean that I am a failure.”
Facilitator: “I am a failure, is that true?”

In this last example there are a couple of ways to go, it just depends on whether you feel like there’s more to go, or “I am a failure” is the core issue.

Another point here is that repeating the statement helps to keep the focus zoomed in on the what needs to be addressed.

Hope this helps. More later on when there are only feelings or sensations and you can’t pin down a thought.

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?

EFT For Lovelessness

I feel like a victim, like I have no control of my life. It’s hard to feel that way, and I would like to change, but I feel deeply conflicted and helpless.

I deeply and completely love and accept myself, I forgive myself and anyone else who may have contributed to this.

I feel all these emotions: despair, unloved, unsupported, miserable, longing, unappreciated, defeated, longing to be loved, feeling like an outsider. It’s may be natural that I feel this way based on my upbringing and my past baggage, may be I even have a right to feel that way, but it doesn’t really help me. And I don’t want to keep referencing the past because I dont’ want my past to dictate my future.

May be I dont know what is love, love is a concept that I see on tv and in other people’s lives. I am longing for love, but I don’t believe in love, there is no love for me. I am a victim. I am angry with _____ for not loving me, I have a right to feel like that. I need to be loved the way I need to be loved.

But thinking this way only keeps me in suffering. May be I need to choose a different way of being so that I can be happy, and so that my children can have a happier childhood than me. While it is easier to be unhappy and blame other people for my pain, I now choose to be courageous.

I choose to take charge of my emotions and my life, even though I still feel like a victim, I am willing to try. I now choose SERENITY, PEACE OF MIND, WISDOM, AUTHENTICITY, AWAKENING, EQUANIMITY, COURAGE, JOY, GRATITUDE, WONDERMENT, STRENGTH, HARMONY, ABUNDANCE, CONTENTMENT. I now choose THE HIGHEST TRUTH, THE GREATEST LOVE and THE DEEPEST JOY.

May be I have chosen to experience lovelessness, may be now I can choose to experience the opposite of that. I choose to see that the universe supports me, the sun, the sky, the earth, the food that I eat …… the look in my son’s eyes when he laughs and cries…. I am not alone in the world.

I now choose to know that I am a divine child of the universe, I am made of love, I am made of nothing but love. The energy of love gives life and energizes everything. I now choose to be in touch with the DEEPEST TRUTH within me. Underneath the personality, the negative thoughts, the painful emotions is the ESSENCE of who I am. I am a river of consciousness flowing into the the sea of all existence. The experiences I have are the experiences that I choose to have. Because I have choices, I can now choose to have a different experience of life. I now choose SERENITY, PEACE OF MIND, WISDOM, AUTHENTICITY, AWAKENING, EQUANIMITY, COURAGE, JOY, GRATITUDE, WONDERMENT, STRENGTH, HARMONY, ABUNDANCE, CONTENTMENT. I now choose THE HIGHEST TRUTH, THE GREATEST LOVE and THE DEEPEST JOY. All is well in my world.

EFT for letting go of the ‘I am a victim’ paradigm

Ten of Swords: bottoming out, victim mentality, martydom

Sometimes we just find it very hard to heal. We go around in circles, and find it hard to break free. We’ve had years of illness, bad luck, and maybe a victim mentality. The same reality repeats, again and again and again.

In this particular case, K had major triggering event in childhood she named ‘total devastation’. These statements were crafted to allow her to see that she somehow perpetuated this reality, stretched the moment and clung to it. She chose it, and therefore have the power to choose to change it. It’s about letting go of the idea of ‘I’ being the victim, ‘I’ being alone and in need while everyone else is having a good time. It was designed to be slightly provocative ,to engage the ego and dig out emotions which may be hidden. Also it’s meant to suggest to the user to let the ‘victim’ go, but in the event that he or she isn’t quite ready yet, it doesn’t push the envelope. Caution: This can only be used with skill and compassion, and isn’t meant for everyone. Please use with care.

If you are new to EFT and tapping please check the section on EFT Basics for the basic tapping technique.

1. Repeat 3 times: “I need to hang on to this ‘total devastation’. So that I can blame someone else. So that I can hold the world responsible for my misery. So I don’t have to take responsibility for myself. The world owes me, so-and-so owes me, they are responsible for my suffering, my pain.

2. just once: I’ll show them, I’ll make them sorry for hurting me, I’m going to be really, really sick, and then they’ll be sorry. They’ll be sorry for me, and give me attention, and love me. Poor me, look at me, negative attention is better than no attention. I need this ‘total devastation’ to protect me, from having to take responsibility, because I know I’m not good enough. I can’t take care of myself. I’m only a child inside, I can’t cope. I need you to take care of me. I need to be nurtured. I need to be loved. I need. I want. Nobody wants me. There’s only me in my world. I’m all alone in my world of me. I need to make people notice me.

3. Repeat 2 times: Even though I still need this piece of juicy melodrama, I’m now ready to think about letting it go. The more I think of ‘me’, ‘poor me’, ‘woe is me’, the more I box ‘myself’ into my lonely world of one. If only I can find another way of being, I just might be ready to let go. If only I can choose to be calm and confident; to include other people in my world, I might start to think about letting my melodrama go. If only it’s possible to let go of this siege mentality and enjoy being humble, selfless, and free. If only I knew what it feels like to be loving without expectations, to be open and giving, I might be willing to let the ‘victim’ go. If I was strong enough to have compassion and wisdom, and think more of others than of me, I will let the ‘victim’ rest, I will let my ‘I’ rest. I might be able to find the courage to let go of the river bank and flow into the river of life. But for now, I’m ok being who I am, and where I am. I have free choice.”

Spiritual Tapping Enneagram Type Two

Hearts Ablaze by Stacy Lynn Baum

This sequence is for Enneagram Type Twos who want to do deeper work on their personality issues. It’s been an especially tough one for me to write, maybe because as a Four, Two is my shadow & “missing piece”. I’m still not happy with it, but I reckon that those who are Twos can edit at will, and in fact I would be happy to hear from you, and add your statements to this so that others can benefit. Please tap daily for about 7 days, either morning or evening, making sure that in each day, you find some quiet time for yourself to do this. Leave it alone for 7 days, then look at these statements again. You may have some new insights or memories relevant to the development of your Enneagram Type. You can tap on these or ask me if you need help. If you are new to the Enneagram, EFT and tapping, please first refer to these sections: EFT Basics Tapping for Enneagram Types——————————————

1. Please start the tapping with the point under your left shoulder (Reset Button), do 3 rounds of the following statements.: “I am a caring soul, a loving person; it’s hard for me to recognise that I  have a basic fear of having no love in my life, of being unloved and unlovable, of finding no love in the world. I have a basic desire to FEEL love, to be at one with love, to be a source of love in the world, to make sure that there is love in the world. I live life in search of closeness, and maybe approval. Sometimes I feel the need to be loved, to express my feelings for others, to be needed and appreciated, to get others to respond to me, to vindicate my claims about myself. Sometimes I’d rather not admit, even to myself that I have needs. I’d be ashamed to have needs, other people can have needs, but not me. I am the one who’s suppose to give love, not receive it. I am afraid that my own needs and negative feelings will harm my relationships. I’d rather just stuff it, and feel resentful that my needs are not important. All my emotional upheaval, my longing, and upwelling is just my ego experiencing itself in my personality. BUT I am more than my ego, I am more than my personality, I am more than my emotions, I am more than my thoughts. I am life beyond boundaries. I deeply and completely love and accept myself, I forgive myself, and anyone else who contributed to this situation. In my heart of hearts, I know my essential nature, when I have intimacy with the truth of who I am. When I’m in touch with the depth of my being I experience only sweetness, innocence and love. Where there is sweetness, there is innocence, and I am bathing in the love of reality’s sweet embrace.”

2. Now just do normal tapping, also 3 rounds: These are the statements that reflect the emotions, and you can change or add as you feel. Just don’t do too many at one time or you might feel overwhelmed:

Sometimes I give love to get love and approval, or I pretend to give love to get love and approval Sometimes I feel like I have no needs, others have needs, but not me, I only give. Sometimes I struggle to get close to others but still feel unloved. Sometimes I need to be loved unconditionally by others and feel their love. Sometimes I need others to toally appreciate my affection and sacrifices. Sometimes I try to ‘well-meaning’ and make myself indispensable. Sometimes I wreck my own health by sacrificing myself for others. Sometimes I fear that the people I love will love someone else more than me. Sometimes I fear that I am taken for granted and not appreciated enough. Sometimes my value depends on someone loving me. sometimes I manipulate others with my love and deceive myself about my motivations. I have alienated the ones I love by being sanctimonious and high-handed. I have reacted in rage and belligerence, and hurt the very people I claim to love. I feel like I am driving people away. “I’ve been reaching outwards all the time, not in touch with the turmoil within. I’m looking for love and approval outside of myself. I’m ruining the relationships I have by not seeing that I have issues. I’ve disregarded the love that I have for the love that I thought I OUGHT to FEEL. I’ve thought “you’ve changed, you don’t love me the way you used to. You don’t appreciate the sacrifices I’ve made for you.” I’ve sulked and pouted and acted up like a petulant child, still identify myself as one who’s loving, empathetic and sincere. I now choose to acknowledge that I sometimes do not admit that I have needs and problems like other people. I am ashamed to admit I have needs. May be if I had needs, I would be unlovable. I choose to be in touch with my PRIDE and SHAME, and to experience that at the root of that are wounded children who need to be embraced. I now choose to recognise my true feelings about myself and about others, and to notice when I am projecting on others. My essential nature is LOVE and SWEETNESS. My true virtue is HUMILITY, because I am open to putting myself out there and saying that I have needs, I accept that I have needs. I now choose to allow my inner children to express themselves, the ones that I have pushed into the back because I didn’t want to feel hurt and unloved. I choose to embrace them so they can heal. And maybe I could let some one else help me to. May be this person is already showing me their love in their own way. I now choose to get in touch with my negative feelings, my shadow side, especially my aggression, anger, hatred, hurt, and SHAME. I become aware of myself as I really am – LIGHT and SHADOW. I deeply and completely, unconditionally and profoundly accept myself, ALL OF MYSELF. I choose to nurture myself and others, to be good to myself, and have goodwill for others. I now choose to know that working on myself, and ensuring that I am the best that I can be means that I can be FULLY here. I’ve been running on an empty tank for a long time. Now it’s time to put petrol in the car, so that I can be FULLY PRESENT to my life, available for my family. I appreciate myself for getting the help I need, and doing the work so that I can be at the highest expression of who I am.”

3. Now do 3 rounds of this affirmations to get in touch with your true nature:

“I now choose to release the conviction that there is anything I can do to earn, create or get love, I can only to open to love… Love Is. Unconditional Love. I choose to be in touch with sweetness, love…. compassion… sincerity…. intuition…. lightness…. humility…. blissful solitude…. stillness…. joy…. I choose to experience the STILLNESS, SWEETNESS and HUMILITY within.”

Adapted from the work of Don Riso and Russ Hudson of the Enneagram Institute