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Interview with Byron Katie

Loving Everything – also the Mind


This interview with Byron Katie, the founder of "The Work", took place in July 2008 in Bad Neuenahr. The translators were  Ralf Heske and Gabriele Brunner. The questions were asked by Devasetu.



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Loving everything – also the mind, the mind not in war with itself, where thoughts come from, questioning the believe and the thoughts of oneself, waking up from the nightmare, from the practise with self inquiry of The Work: how to deal with the believe of being unworthy, an identification matching more to the true nature, in the presence of the truth finding to ones own truth, living wisely, love at the feet of itself, with The Work questioning ones own thoughts, The Work: four questions and no answers to them, a way out of the suffering


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The four questions of The Work: Is it true? – Can you absolutely know that your thought is true? – What happens when you think that thought? – Who would you be without that thought / without your story?; awakening to what is real, the free mind without the ability to fear, feelings in the self inquiry, a world without victims, the exciting presence, the facilitators teaching The Work, dropping into that vastness, the brilliantly perfect world.


Byron Katie

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 called 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 and paper and an open mind. Through this process, anyone can learn to trace unhappiness to its source and eliminate 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.


How The Work began: Byron Katie became severely depressed in her early thirties. For almost a decade she spiraled down into depression, rage, self-loathing, and constant thoughts of suicide; for the last two years she was often unable to leave her bedroom. Then one morning in February 1986, she experienced a life-changing realization. There are various names for an experience like this. Katie calls it "waking up to reality.” In that instant of no-time, she says, I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment. That joy is in everyone, always.


She realized that what had been causing her depression was not the world around her, but the beliefs she'd had about the world. Instead of hopelessly trying to change the world to match her thoughts about how it should be, she could question these thoughts and, by meeting reality as it is, experience unimaginable freedom and joy. As a result, a bedridden, suicidal woman was instantly filled with love for everything life brings.

Katie's process of self-inquiry, called The Work, didn't develop from this experience; she says that it woke up with her, as her, that February morning in 1986. The first people who did The Work reported that it had transformed their lives, and she soon began receiving invitations to teach the process publicly.
Since 1986, she has brought The Work to hundreds of thousands of people across the world, at free public events, in prisons, hospitals, churches, corporations, universities, schools, at weekend workshops, and at her amazing nine-day School for The Work.

Katie is the author of three bestselling books: “Loving What Is – Four Questions That Can Change Your Life” (with Stephen Mitchell), “I Need Your Love – Is That True?”, “How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead” (with Michael Katz) and the recently published: “A Thousand Names for Joy – Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are” (with Stephen Mitchell). Her latest book is “Question Your Thinking, Change the World: Quotations from Byron Katie”.


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