Monday, December 07, 2009

37: On the Way to Heaven

Introduction to the Work of Byron Katie

Other people sometimes drive us crazy.


If we are here in life to be happy (and a useful part of a bigger universe and ecosystem), then what good are these other people who seem to pull us out of our happiness?

We could say that these “troublesome” people have the great gift, the gift of showing us where we need to wake up. Easy to say, often “hard” to do, but anything we don’t know how to do yet is “hard.” Then we learn, and it’s not hard.

The work of Byron Katie leads us back to the one person who can make us happy or unhappy--- ourselves. It does this by suggesting that we:

Judge our neighbor.
Write it down.
Ask four questions.
Turn it around.

Today’s work/ game / play/ learning is this: notice all our thoughts that are of the ilk, “So and so should be different.”

Write these –in one sentence form -- down on paper, with either a should or a shouldn’t in the sentence. Like “X should be nicer to me.” “Z shouldn’t be so angry at me.” “T shouldn’t ignore me.” “My Mother/ Father/ Brother sister should have…”

Write them down. This is judging. This is writing it down.

And ask the first question after you write it down: Is it true?

Don’t get to fancy, and work at opening your heart and mind to this distinction: true vs. an opinion. If I hold out a rock and let it go, my opinion makes no difference in the truth of gravity. If I have the opinion that X should be nicer to me, that is not the same kind of truth. It’s what I want. Other people (besides X) might agree. But that doesn’t make it true.

Spend the day noticing your thoughts that want others to be different, write down the sentences and ask: Is it true?

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