Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Tuesday, May 23, Chapter 23: Byron Katie again

So we are walking along, content. The thoughts come popping in, not exactly from outer space, but from somewhere that we aren’t keeping track of. The old shit thoughts: so and so should have treated me better, more people should be interested in waking up to the present, more people should ride their bikes, or be less stupid, or care more about the environment.

Maybe they are good thoughts, “right “ thoughts, but there goes the old peace of mind that comes with following the breathing and enjoying my feet on the ground and the clouds, right now, in the sky. Who would I be without the story, the thoughts, the pieces of evidence of how messed up everything is? Peaceful.

And yet: at some level, everything is messed up. Is that true? Well, not every thing. The ability to learn, to be present, to be happy, to love, these are way un messed up. So, without the thought, everything is messed up, I can see the world as it is, part messed, part wonderful. This is Feldenkrais, differentiate, take things apart, look at and test everything out from as many angles and points of view as possible.

And what does Byron Katie recommend. Well, she has various statements like, “When I argue with reality, I lose, but only 100% of the time.” What is the reality? The environment is in trouble. Okay. Do I want to be peaceful about that or agitated? That’s my choice. Do I believe that I’ll only work on the environment if I’m agitated? Is that belief true?

I don’t think so. I see lots of sporadically agitated folks, driving their cars around in a froth to meetings to whip other people into a froth about “saving the environment.” But what of the cars and our own inner environment as we get from place to place. What if one of the best things we can do for “the environment” is to slow down and be happy, so we’ll need less cars, and less shopping, and less needing to rush off to some Heal Me Now seminar way far away.

What if we were content in our daily life? How undermining would that be to the “environmental problem?” Quite a bit, I’d say.

And Katie, Byron Katie what is her advice: Judge Your Neighbor, Write it down, Ask four questions, Turn it Around.

Take some scrap paper. Take a sense of humor. Realize that if we are in bad moods, we are in some sort of war with reality. Write down our judgment on how Reality should be different.

This slows things down. I’ve said it before, and will say it again: change takes places by slowing down, in our movement, in our thinking, in our rushing around in our lives, in our conversations. Slow it down, write it down, all the troubles, write them down, but as judgments, pissed off baby demands that the world be just the way WE SAY it should be.

Judge the world, the neighbor, the whatever.

Write it down.

Ask four questions, is it true?, Can I really and absolutely know it’s true? How do I react when I believe the thoughts? Who or what would I be if I didn’t believe the thoughts?

Turn it around, stand it on it’s head. In Feldenkrais, we get huge awareness leaps by trying standing up things while lying down. We make big progress doing things “wrong,” and some more difficult and unfamiliar way. Here, too, we can look at the belief as a chance to learn about what we are missing in our own education. So and so should be more flexible in their thinking. Hmm. How could that apply to me?


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