Updated: Sep 18
Byron Katie has an amazing personal transformation story & a very powerful technique for breaking the entrancement of unhealthy beliefs. I highly recommend reading her books - they're short, straightforward, & effective. Ideally listen to her audio books. Hearing her teachings in her own voice enhances the effectiveness.
Her theme is that life is internal: all arises within us. It's our clinging to false or misleading beliefs that creates difficulties in our lives. As we soften our attachments to those untrue beliefs, we soften suffering's attachment to us.
It's a radical message. No one else has ever hurt our feelings. No one else has ever caused us agony, annoyance, loathing. No situation in life has ever been bad, wrong, tragic, or unacceptable. It only seems that way. And it only seems that way because we are clinging to beliefs that aren't true for us.
Her method is not to attack or ignore beliefs. (That's just buying into the painful belief that our beliefs are problematic!) Instead, she teaches us to recognize beliefs as teachers. The tricky part is, beliefs teach by inversion. The liberating truths they bear are often the very opposite of what they express. Byron Katie's method teaches us to meet our thoughts with understanding & to access the nourishing seed of wisdom within the protective shell of thought.
Some great quotes from Ms. Katie:
"Hurt feelings or discomfort of any kind cannot be caused by another person. No one outside me can hurt me. That’s not a possibility. It’s only when I believe a story that I get hurt. And I’m the one who’s hurting me by believing what I think. This is very good news. Because it means that I don’t have to get someone else to stop hurting me. I’m the one who can stop hurting me. It’s within my power."
"As long as you think that the cause of your problem is 'out there'—as long as you think that anyone or anything is responsible for your suffering—the situation is hopeless. It means that you are forever in the role of victim, that you’re suffering in paradise."
"A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years."
"My experience is that the teachers we need most are the people we're living with right now."
"Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon nor too late. You don't have to like it...it's just easier if you do."
"Notice when you hurt that you are mentally out of your business. If you’re not sure, stop and ask, 'Mentally, whose business am I in?' There are only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours, and God’s. Whose business is it if an earthquake happens? God’s business. Whose business is it if your neighbor down the street has an ugly lawn? Your neighbor’s business. Whose business is it if you are angry at your neighbor down the street because he has an ugly lawn? Your business. Life is simple—it is internal."
"What happened was the best thing that could happen."
"Life 101: Everything happens t̵o̵ for you"