Episode 33 |

Question Your Thoughts and Beliefs to End Suffering: Byron Katie

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This Week’s Guest:

Byron Katie is a speaker, author, and world-renowned expert on ending suffering and bringing joy to people’s lives. She teaches a method of self-inquiry known as The Work. She is the author of multiple bestselling books including: Loving What Is, I Need Your Love-Is That True?, A Thousand Names for Joy, Question Your Thinking, Change The World, Who Would You Be Without Your Story?, and for children: Tiger-Tiger, Is It True?. You can find her on Twitter @ByronKatie.

Episode:

Is it possible that any pain and suffering you feel is just a projection of your mind, and can be ended, for good? Byron Katie’s method, The Work, has helped countless people around the nation to live happier, more peaceful lives, and she believes that everyone can apply her method to create change.

We Discuss:

  • What is The Work, and how has it helped to end pain and suffering.
  • Learning to forgive and finding peace.
  • Why you should always question your thoughts and beliefs.
  • How to become open to change, and in turn, help those around you.

Here’s what I learned:

The Work

  1. The Work is a way of questioning the thoughts, concepts, and judgments that we believe to be true, and changing the judgments that cause stress.
  2. For example, if you had the thought that someone didn’t care about you, your mind will continue to dwell on that.
  3. That feeling may be replayed in your head and you may experience embarrassment or stress related to that feeling.
  4. We need to look back, understand what is causing stress, and ask ‘What is the way out of that suffering?

There are four questions that identify The Work.

  1. The first question: Is it true?
  2. The second question: Can I absolutely know that it’s true that they don’t care about me?
  3. The third question: How do I react when I believe the thought?
  4. The fourth question is: Who would I be without the thought that they don’t care about me?
    • Other questions to contemplate are: ‘I don’t care about me’, ‘They do care about me’.
    • The answers that come to us as we contemplate these four questions shift the way we see everyone and everything in our world.
    • We lose our fear, and when we’re not fearful of people and situations, we are in a position to make changes that we never expected.

Creation of The Work

  1. Katie created The Work from very deep suffering that she went through.
  2. She was extremely clinically depressed for more than a decade.
    • One morning, she opened her eyes and in place of all that suffering was a life that she couldn’t really describe, but in that moment, the four questions and turnarounds were born.
    • She could just see it, and she noticed her mind had a thought and then an image appeared-she saw that she was a creation of an accumulation of what she was thinking and believing.
  3. People oftentimes don’t question their own thinking, but we need to be critical of our thinking to know which thoughts to take in and which ones to discard.

Applying The Work

  1. Stephan opened himself up to be vulnerable and apply The Work.
  2. Most people don’t know that one of Stephan’s three daughters is estranged from him, they haven’t spoke for two years and it’s caused him a lot of pain.
    • When he turns that around, it turns into ‘I caused myself a lot of pain’.
    • When Stephan asks ‘Is it true?’, he can’t absolutely know that it’s true that she never wants to speak to him again.
    • When contemplating the turnaround, Stephan thought that she wants to speak her truth and she wants to be heard, he needed to really listen.
  3. Contemplating ‘I never want to speak to me again’ suggests that there is some sort of dissociated part of yourself that you didn’t want to accept-Stephan has been on a long journey of self-improvement and has become a better person over the years.
  4. Using The Work brings awareness and shows us opportunities that we can use to better our lives.
  5. There is a pattern-how can you live with yourself, come to love yourself, and the people in your world?
  6. Forgiveness is an important part of healing.
    • Even if it’s been 10 or 20 years, or the person has passed, it’s still not too late to find forgiveness.

The Difference Between Pain and Suffering

  1. With pain and suffering, we might say that one is emotional pain and one is physical, but really, pain is pain.
  2. There is no pain or suffering that is not a projection of mind.
  3. If you believe your thoughts, you may suffer, but if you question your thoughts, you won’t suffer.
  4. This is something we can do alone with ourselves, we have to work on self-realization.
    • Physical pain is no different than suffering as far as: Can we do something about it?
    • We can question what we believe and we find that our physical suffering becomes less and less.

Changing the World

  1. The most powerful way to change the world is to change your own first.
  2. We’re not so advanced that we can change the world for everyone else, but we can change our reactions and
  3. the way we see situations.
    • When you are focused on helping yourself, it keeps you present and the way you see life, people, and situations shifts as your mind shifts.
    • You may see a more friendly universe, for instance, a daughter and her uncle arguing about the next president, is really two people who want the best for the people in the United States and for each other.
  4. To change the world is to change your world and the way you see it, that’s a process that’s ongoing and the creative mind is infinite.
  5. The more we question our judgments, the kinder we become.

Wrapping Up

  1. The difference for you between conditional love and unconditional love:
    • Conditional love is something that you believe about someone that would keep you separate, something you expect of them.
    • Using the fourth question: Who would I be without that thought I believe in about you?–the condition has dropped so you’re now connected.
    • They are a projection of your mind.
  2. Forgiveness:
    • Forgiveness is understanding that what you thought happened absolutely didn’t so there’s nothing to forgive.
    • Forgiveness is powerful, it’s the end of the old projection, so when you see that being, you see them without that projection.

Links and Resources Mentioned

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
I Need Your Love – Is That True?: How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead
A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are
Question Your Thinking, Change The World
Who Would You Be Without Your Story?
Tiger-Tiger, Is It True?: Four Questions to Make You Smile Again
The Work
The Institute for The Work
The Tools By Phil Stutz and Barry Michels
ByronKatie.com

Get Optimized!

  1. Create a quiet, peaceful space where you can meditate on the four questions and their turnarounds. Write down your feelings and conclusions.
  2. Start forgiving people in your life who are causing you pain, even if they are not alive. Forgiveness, letting go, and moving forward has to start within you.
  3. Download the free worksheet on The Work, it walks you through the steps of taking care of the entire situation of what you’re thinking and believing to help end suffering.

Thank you for listening!

As always, thank you for tuning in. Please feel free to contact me or leave a comment. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it!
-Stephan

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