Byron Katie, founder of The Work, has one job: to teach people how to end their own suffering. As she guides people through the powerful process of inquiry she calls The Work, they find that their stressful beliefs—about life, other people, or themselves—radically shift and their lives are changed forever. Based on Byron Katie's direct experience of how suffering is created and ended, The Work is an astonishingly simple process, accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds, and requires nothing more than a pen, paper, and an open mind. Through this process, anyone can learn to trace unhappiness to its source and deal with it there. Katie (as everyone calls her) not only shows us that all the problems in the world originate in our thinking: she gives us the tool to open our minds and set ourselves free.
A woman feeling lost and alone after the break up of her ten year marriage looks at her thoughts about her ex-husband's selfishness, betrayal, and finding happiness with someone else. Watch as she discovers something quite beautiful unfold as she courageously does The Work with Katie. Underneath all her thoughts about the divorce she finds she is doing just fine. She experiences laughter, relief, inspiration and even gratitude. She comes to see without his “selfishness,” she would still be stuck in an unhappy relationship. She realizes how brave he was to call it quits and now sees his unselfishness in a whole new way.
Byron Katie's level of insight, self-awareness and questioning is precisely what's required of the coaches and mentors and therapists who work with individuals who've been impacted by trauma. In 1986, at the bottom of a ten-year spiral into depression, rage, and self-loathing, Byron Katie woke up one morning to a state of constant joy that has never left her. She realized that when she believed her stressful thoughts, she suffered, but that when she questioned them, she didn't suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Her simple yet powerful process of inquiry is called The Work. The Work consists of four questions and the turnarounds, which are a way of experiencing the opposite of what you believe. When you question a thought, you see around it to the choices beyond suffering. Katie has been bringing The Work to millions of people for more than thirty years. Her public events, weekend workshops, five-day intensives, nine-day School for The Work, and 28-day residential Turnaround House have brought freedom to people all over the world. Byron Katie's books include the bestselling Loving What Is, I Need Your Love-Is That True?, A Thousand Names for Joy, and A Mind at Home with Itself. For more information, visit thework.com.
Byron Katie guides a 50 year old woman in doing The Work on a situation with her father that occurred when she was 17. This was recorded live during an At Home with Byron Katie event at the Center for The Work in Ojai, California. "Something occurred with my father that shouldn't have," the woman says. "I left home and haven't spoken to him until a month ago, when he apologized on the phone for everything before and after that moment. He says he doesn't remember the moment I refer to." "'He says he doesn't remember'--is it true?" says Katie. "We're going to meditate on that moment with your father on the phone. This keeps you in the situation so we can do our work. Can you absolutely know that it's true that he said he doesn't remember?" "Yes," says the woman. "Now notice how you reacted when you believed the thought. Close your eyes and witness it; you don't have to guess. This is how to answer these questions. So you're on the phone. Get in touch with your physical tendencies--your face and your emotions. Were they high or low in your chest or belly? Witness how you reacted. I want you to get in touch with your emotions, because they are a signal that lets you know when your integrity is off, and that's the cause of your suffering. It can never be the other person. What I'm thinking and believing is the cause of all, not some, my suffering, and The Work is a test of that. Witness how you react when you believe that thought." "My whole body is on fire with anger," the woman says. "Now witness how you talk to your father. That shift in attitude. How do you treat him when you believe the thought?" "I'm no longer open, I'm not willing to be vulnerable with him. I shut down and immediately go into defense mode." "Who would you be without that thought, on the phone, listening to him as he says, 'I don't remember'? Everything was fine. Up to that point you were completely on board." "Wow!" the woman says. "Without the thought, I'm open and vulnerable... and it's not a place I like to be with people I don't fully trust." "But you're still there now..." "Yes," says the woman. They move to the turnarounds. The woman finds two: "I don't remember what I did" and "I don't remember what he did." They continue to question all the thoughts about that situation that she collected on her Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet, uncovering again and again her powerful vulnerability and openness. Notice what they did, then notice what you believe about what they did. Which one is the cause of your suffering? —bk
Dave Asprey of the Bulletproof Executive, who has used The Work, takes a deep dive with Byron Katie into the process of clearing the mind. "You experienced a 10-year spiral into depression," Dave says. "What got you to this state?" "I was believing my thoughts." Katie says. "And I had no way out. My anger was aimed outward at other people; it was their fault. So the self-loathing and anger was all an effect of things I would say and do out of a mind that believed others were at fault. It was a debilitating, vicious cycle of judgment-guilt, judgment-guilt. I had agoraphobia. Most of the time, toward the end, I was unable to leave my bedroom—very painful. I do whatever I can now so that no one has to suffer at that level or any level, because there is a way out." "What actually happened?" "I was asleep on the floor; I opened my eyes, and in that moment I saw how the mind worked. The shift in me was so radical that my family recognized my body, but otherwise had no idea who I was. I had shifted from a very confused and lost human being to someone who was at peace." "It seems like you just went to sleep and woke up with this mass of knowledge. How did that happen?" "Well, I just saw how the mind worked. I saw that when I believed my thoughts I suffered, but that when I questioned them I didn't suffer," Katie says. "And it's not as easy as it sounds. I still had this ego-personalty to deal with. It's like there were two of me; there was this wisdom and understanding of the cause of suffering, and then the ego. I designed the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet and used it to capture all the crazy thoughts in my head. I would write them down and sit--the mind with the mind--and ask the four questions: 1. Is it true? 2. Can you absolutely know that it's true? 3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? And this is when people's blood pressure goes up. It's when the heart begins to race. We experience the physical wear and tear on our bodies from the emotions that happen. And you see images of past and future. They're not real. They're like fake news. When we're experiencing those emotions, we're reacting to that movie in our mind. That's the cause of all suffering. We have this movie running. The thoughts are the soundtrack we believe onto it. And 4. Who would you be without the thought? Who would I be without believing these past/future images? Just who am I just now? That's how we drop into our true nature, and out of that, our choices radically shift, because now we're sane. There's no mind to argue and talk us out of what we know is right in our life. And then we turn the thought around to find opposites, to see if they are just as true as or truer than our original belief. We enlighten ourselves with possibilities we haven't considered." "What's a short description of what you do?" Dave says. "Clear the mind," Katie says. "And when I use the four questions of The Work to clear my mind, it frees up a huge amount of energy to do things that matter. The Work is useful simply because it removes the drag on your life." Dave says. "In closing, I know that you're in Ojai, and you have a nine-day in-person event where you teach people The Work. You have one coming up in March. If you want to know what's going on with the thoughts in your head, Byron Katie's work is powerful. There's great value to sitting down and spending about a week with other people doing the same thing. Something happens differently than if you just sit down by yourself for a week doing this. Especially when you're in the presence of a great teacher." Question anything that would limit you in life. --Byron Katie
"Carmella from Atlanta lost her temper with close friends and made them leave her home. She asks, How do I get over this without forgiveness and without any accountability from them? Byron Katie says, I can only be accountable for my part; that’s all I can do. What I am thinking and believing is what causes my anger, not anything that they said or did. Katie guided her in meditating on the moment when she was angry, so that she can capture her thoughts on paper, question them, and set herself free. copyright 2016 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit the work.com"
Cette visioconférence débute par un dialogue entre Byron Katie et un homme souffrant de dépression profonde. Elle l'aide à remplir une feuille 'Jugez-votre-voisin' avec des concepts provenant de la lettre qu'il lui a envoyée : « Je n'arrive pas à me lever », « J'ai besoin de savoir quoi faire de ma vie »,« J'ai besoin de réussir ». Au cours de la séance, il remarque les pensées qui l'empêchent de faire le Travail, son esprit s'ouvre à la possibilité de la paix. Une femme du Royaume-Uni remet en question une pensée concernant son mari : « Il me cache quelque chose ». Une femme en pleurs de l'État de Washington découvre qu'elle est accro à sa peur de la toxicomanie de son fils. Maria d'Allemagne éprouve de la douleur physique et de la faiblesse dues à une maladie chronique. Elle questionne les pensées : « J'ai tout le temps mal », « Je ne sais pas comment je vais continuer à vivre. » Enfin, une femme du Danemark demande : « Si j'aime toujours ce qui est, comment puis-je savoir quand il est temps de procéder à des changements ? » « Le changement se produit de lui-même », explique Katie. « Vous n’avez rien à faire. »
"If my partner has a flaw, who is believing that?" Byron Katie says. "Where's the flaw? If I'm the one seeing it, I am its creator." Katie offers a personal example of how we project our flaws onto others. With the eyes of love, she can see her ex-husband standing before her, perfect, acting in a way that other people think is unacceptable. Through self-inquiry, we too can see our partners clearly, without the filter of our judgments. For more information visit: Website: http://www.thework.com Subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/theworkofbk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theworkofbyronkatie Twitter: https://twitter.com/ByronKatie
Kelly McNelis of Women for One speaks with Byron Katie. Kelly uses one of Katie's books, Who Would You Be Without Your Story? to support her community's mission, which is to share our stories in order to move through them rather than become them. Kelly brought along a filled-in Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet with the main concept 'She doesn’t like me.' The situation where she believes this thought is at a restaurant with the woman sitting to her right at a table. Katie guides Kelly through the four questions and the turnarounds, helping her to meditate on that particular moment. Through this meditative process, Kelly notices how she had shut down in the restaurant, cutting herself off from the other woman. She also notices that the other woman appears fearful, angry, and threatened. Finally, she finds examples for two turnarounds: that she doesn't like herself in that moment when she shuts down and that she doesn't like the other woman. Continuing through the Worksheet, Kelly also questions the statement 'I want her to be kind to me.' 'You're expecting her to do what you can't do yourself,' Katie says. Kelly, amazed, says, 'That's big!' Other questioned concepts included 'I'm fat and unattractive' and 'People are starving.' Our Work's not done until we're no longer at war with anyone or anything. —Byron Katie
Ilonka tells Byron Katie that her children are among the many who have been injured by vaccines. How can she find peace through The Work when there are such injustices in the world? 'I flip-flop between being angry and trusting that there is a divine order to everything. How do I find peace when kids are suffering as sacrificial lambs to make the pharmaceutical companies richer?' 'Is it true?' Katie asks. 'Can you really know it's true that your children have been injured by vaccines?' The dialogue that follows is an example of how difficult it can be to do The Work when the ego's concepts are at stake. Katie points out repeatedly how the ego puts up fierce resistance to giving honest answers to the four questions of The Work. 'How do you deal best with social injustice?' Katie asks. 'When you're worried or when you’re free? So do The Work. Do it for the love of peace, which is more important than anything.' Website: http://www.thework.com Webcasts: http://www.livewithbyronkatie.com Subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/theworkofbk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theworkofbyronkatie Twitter: https://twitter.com/ByronKatie. copyright 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com.
If you want freedom, Byron Katie says, write down your stressful thoughts. Self-inquiry depends on understanding exactly what your suffering is made of, Katie tells a man who teaches a class in journaling. Without that stable base, the ego wriggles out of direct examination. The Work begins with an inventory of stressful thoughts called a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. Once the list is in place, one can examine the truth of your beliefs without being sidetracked into defense or justification. 'You're the one who wrote down these thoughts,' Katie says. 'The ego can’t deny it.' Katie praises journaling as a kindred way of getting to the heart of one's troubles. What we see in journaling is thoughts such as 'I want, I need, they should, I shouldn't.' It's all there. The entire Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet will show up in journaling, so it's a powerful way of taking the first step toward understanding. Website: http://www.thework.com Webcasts: http://www.livewithbyronkatie.com Subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/theworkofbk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theworkofbyr... Twitter: https://twitter.com/ByronKatie. copyright 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com.
Melanie notices that after she does The Work, moments of peace lead her to think she is more enlightened than she is. 'How can I do The Work more honestly?' she asks Byron Katie. 'How can I stop pretending that I have more understanding than I do?' Katie says that in those moments when you feel so free, you can question your thought. ''This is enlightenment—is it true?' You may be having an amazing experience,' she says. 'But then you put a label on it, and the 'I' is born, and that moves you from the experience. 'As for how you can do The Work more honestly,' Katie says. 'You just find a moment in time when you're stressed out. It could be the tiniest thing, like the Princess and the Pea. Then you see clearly why you were angry or disappointed, and that's how you do The Work more honestly. You come to trust the silence that so clearly shows you that situation. What a gift!' Website: http://www.thework.com Webcasts: http://www.livewithbyronkatie.com Subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/theworkofbk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theworkofbyronkatie Twitter: https://twitter.com/ByronKatie.
Amanda is angry at The Work, believing that it's keeping her from getting her needs met in her marriage. 'When I think about The Work, I feel angry that I have to give up my position that I'm right that my needs are not getting met,' she says. 'No matter what I think or feel, The Work leads me to invalidate it.' In the course of her discussion with Byron Katie, it becomes apparent that Amanda has misunderstood the turnaround, which is a way of experiencing the opposite of what you believe. 'If I believe he's not giving me enough affection, and I try to believe the opposite,' Katie says, 'that's just a con job, and we can't con ourselves.' The value of The Work, Katie says, is in its answers. The deeper the investigation, the clearer the answers. 'You don't answer the questions to change your mind. It's not a self-help thing. It's an exploration to know ourselves better. 'Maybe, after deep inquiry, Amanda will discover that she really isn't getting the affection she wants from her husband. But that doesn't leave her powerless,' Katie says. 'Alternatives become obvious once the pre-determined agenda is set aside and the mind becomes clear.' copyright 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com.
A woman takes a closer look at her illness with the help of Byron Katie. At the start of their inquiry, she discovers that her beliefs about herself have hardened her suffering into place. 'So, sweetheart,' Katie asks, 'You're in physical pain constantly—is that true?' Maria pauses, and when she finds that her genuine answer is no, she sighs. 'You just got some of your life back,' Katie says. 'I, too, used to believe I was in constant pain, but through The Work I got pieces of my life back that I didn't even know existed.' After examining the consequences of her beliefs, Maria discovers examples where the opposite of her belief is as true or truer. Katie then encourages her to find examples of why she is actually better off not doing the things she can’t do. ‘I look at all the reasons I'm better off not walking,' Katie says, referring to a time when she was crippled by neuropathy. 'And the whole world opens up. That's the gift of pain. Everything is a gift, when we see it with a questioned mind.’ copyright 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com.
Someone from the UK calls Byron Katie and asks about terrorism. 'Is there anyone in the world you can't live peacefully with, no matter how hard you've tried? That,' Katie says, 'is why there is terrorism in the world.' 'We have all experienced that,' Katie says. 'These are not extremists shooting people; they're mostly normal people, with the normal problems. You can't expect other people to do what you're unable to do. You can't expect them to change if you can't change.' Given the beliefs of a terrorist, the outcome is inevitable. If you believed what they believe, you would necessarily act as they do. The only solution is to question the beliefs that lead to violence and to notice where the sense of horror is being generated: in the mind of the person who is horrified. 'If there's any horror in it, that's the unenlightened mind,' Katie says. 'It's what you are believing about their response that is causing the hate in your world, the world of your understanding. That is where it gets horrific.' What thoughts are you believing that make peaceful coexistence impossible with a partner or a child? Katie invites her caller to make an inventory of those thoughts on the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. 'Whether that person loves me or hates me, if I can live peacefully with them, that's the end of one religious fanatic: me.' copyright 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com.
A caller asks Byron Katie why she was in a hurry to free herself from suffering. 'I didn't want to hurt anymore,' Katie says. 'That's why I was in a hurry.' Katie's answer is that even the slightest sense of unease is a reason to do The Work. The Work is a meditative noticing of the inner workings of the mind and taking full responsibility for what you see. Anything short of peace can be put up against four questions and turnarounds. The mind continually generates images that have the potential to disrupt your equanimity. The Work is preventative medicine.
The sole cause of suffering, Katie says, is our unquestioned beliefs. The solution? Question them. When you question your stressful beliefs, you don't need to let go of them. They let go of you. copyright 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com.
'Byron Katie traces the cause of all suffering back to the ego-mind and then points the way to freedom. In a departure from her better-known vivisection of judgments and stories, here Katie examines at an intimate level the subtle nature of mental fabrications and that which illuminates them. Katie begins by taking a question from a caller who wants to discern the difference between answers that come from the heart or the head. Together they examine the truthfulness of the thought, 'My daughter is in danger,' and make discoveries that go beyond a simple yes or no. 'I see an image of me,' Katie says, relating her process of witnessing. 'It could take years of meditation for some people to notice this, but I see that image of me witnessing her. Did you find it? So who is that?' Katie says that people think that when they're observing, say, the image of their daughter, that's all there is. But, she says, if you sit long enough, you may begin to notice there is 'a very thin, subtle identity watching, and that is just one more image.' This, Katie says, is the false witness, a fabrication of the ego which she calls exciting and beautiful in its trickery. Once the mind is open to what is being shown through self-inquiry, the nature of identification clarifies. 'This leaves the meditator as witness and not the inner or outer doer at all, until,' she says, 'the meditator vanishes.' copyright 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com.'
'Alzheimer's. 'It scares me terribly to see my father get worse and worse and not to know if this terrible disease will happen to me. It sometimes feels like my life is over.' Katie invites her to consider if it's really true that her father has Alzheimer's. The questioning is heavy slogging at first, but using The Work, Anna moves from tears to laughter in fifteen minutes. 'You get really scared,' Katie says, 'because you see an image of him dying young, and then you see an image of you dying young because you have the gene. Is it Alzheimer's that's causing your dementia, or is it the movie you’re watching?' 'It’s the movie,' Anna says. Next Katie guides Anna into worst-case scenarios, ones that she has been innocently frightening herself with, where a physician delivers a devastating diagnosis. Once Anna has questioned her thoughts, Katie says, the only one in the room who would be upset would be the doctor.' copyright 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com.'
'Sharon feels an easy rapport with the animals and visitors at the zoo where she volunteers, but when it comes to her friends, something doesn’t click. ‘I don’t know what I’m doing wrong,’ she says. ‘I do The Work daily. I just want to be a good person. I just want to laugh.’ ‘Oh, honey,’ says Katie, ‘you already are a good person; there’s nothing you can do about that. You don’t have a choice. And any thought that you may be believing that opposes it is going to feel like stress.’ In answer to Sharon’s worry about not being invited out, Katie says that being alone can never be a bad thing as long as she loves her thoughts. And social invitations only come when necessary. ‘You’d be amazed at the invitations you might get that you have to say no to, and it could be you’re not quite ready for that kind of interaction. Who knows? And the animals at the zoo are lucky to have someone as quiet and lovely as you. Humans are animals too. You shouldn’t expect too much from them.’ ‘Oh, that feels so much better,’ Sharon says. ‘There was such a big tightness in my chest for so long. Thank you so much.’ copyright 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com.'
’How can I have a loving and mutually respectful relationship with my twenty-year-old son when I find him impossible to live with?’ Alison asks Byron Katie. She says she is hurt because her son refuses to talk to her. Once she begins to question her thoughts, with Byron Katie’s guidance, she realizes that she has been interpreting her son’s silence as hatred, rejection, and proof she’s failed as a mother. ‘We become angry,’ Katie says, ‘when we think that our children are supposed to listen to us. Thoughts like this could use some questioning. Are we listening to us? Are we listening to them?’ copyright 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com.
’How do I cope with my son’s drug addiction?’ Tamara asks Byron Katie. Katie tells her that she lived the same dilemma with her own daughter, who was addicted to drugs and alcohol. The resolution, she says, was not in her daughter’s eventual sobriety, but in Katie’s noticing her own mental addiction to suffering and finding sobriety from that.’ Your son does drugs, and you get your hit by believing the horror movies in your head,’ Katie says. ‘I did this Work, and I set myself free. It was so attractive to my daughter that she ended up setting herself free.’ copyright 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com.
Michelle wonders if her allergies are psychosomatic and if she can get rid of the thoughts that cause them.'I can't get rid of a thought,' Katie says. 'But if I question it and see something that is truer, then I can never believe that thought again.' 'My mother programmed me to believe that I had allergies,' Michelle says. As she questions this thought, she realizes what a burden it is and how much stronger and freer she feels without it. 'If you believed that thought,' Katie says, 'how can you blame your mother? The only thing she's guilty of is believing it, just like you, so there's nothing to forgive.' copyright 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com.
Shamyla tells Byron Katie that The Work has led to a deep forgiveness of others but not of herself. As Katie takes her back to an incident that has caused the pain, Shamyla finds that the evidence of her misdeed is shaky at best. ‘To hold its identity,’ Katie says, ‘the ego has to hold on to the illusions that keep us hooked until our deathbed. Inquiry shows us a whole different world that we have no access to when we are believing our stressful thoughts.’ copyright 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com.
After her teenage daughter drops out of school and pursues alcohol and drugs, Angela contemplates what it means to be her mother. She says she wants to show her fourteen-year-old the way, but she doesn’t know what that would be.’I didn’t know, either,’ Byron Katie says, remembering how her daughter wouldn’t listen to her. But when Katie began to question her stressful thoughts, everything grew clear. When Angela tells Katie that it’s her duty to take care of her daughter, Katie suggests that she question the thought ‘I’m her mother.’ ‘You’re her mother’—is it true?’ After Katie guides her through the four questions of The Work, Angela turns the thought around: ‘I am not her mother.’ ‘Can you see that out-of-control, terrified woman?’ Katie says. ‘That’s not her mother. That’s not what I was when I was so out of control with my daughter. It’s not the mother I wanted for my daughter. I loved her so deeply, and that didn’t look like a loving mother to me. And once I went deeper into this turnaround, everything shifted. My daughter discovered the power of The Work, and she didn’t have to go through the suffering I went through. Now she’s a mother herself, and an excellent one.’ copyright 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com."
In this interview with Stever Robbins, Byron Katie shares her insights on how to respond with integrity when answering a request for help. copyright2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com."
’I’m stuck in a bottomless pit,’ Julian tells Byron Katie, describing a years-long depression that makes him doubt whether he can even get out of bed.’ That’s my story, too,’ Katie says. ‘And there’s no one who can understand you if they haven’t been there. It’s horrible, horrible.’ The way out, she says, was to isolate the thoughts that were causing the horror and then to question them. Katie helps him get started by using his story to fill out a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. With Katie’s help, Julian contemplates how it would be for him without the thought that he can’t get out of bed, and notices that he would have no problem. ‘I would just be lying in bed at peace,’ he says. copyright 2015 Byron Katie International, Inc. All rights reserved. For more information, visit thework.com."