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Archive for the ‘Byron Katie’ Category

tranquil_skies

These are two useful mindfulness tools from my “greatest hits” of 2014. I still practice both of these. The first is very calming, grounding and restorative, and useful also with nighttime wakefulness. The other is a great one from Tara Brach, helpful when thoughts are regretting the past or projecting into the future – it is an instant pivot! Finally, I conclude with something new, and equally impactful, from Byron Katie.

“Take your thumb and connect it with your pinky, take 5 deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth.  Do the same with your ring finger, then your middle finger, then your index finger.  Then finally, bring all 5 fingers together and take 5 deep breaths.” (excerpted from thespirtscience.net)

This last greatest hit from 2014, is just one simple question quoting the mindfulness teacher, Tara Brach. I put this question on one of my homemade “well being” cards. It’s a great reminder, and especially useful the moment you even start to dip a toe in the waters of suffering.

“Ok, what is actually happening right now?”

Deceptively simple, isn’t it? But incredibly powerful!

And lastly, I’ve appended the Byron Katie quote below. The last two sentences are especially helpful if you are arguing with what is, which is to say feeling like anything, whatever it is, should not be happening. That is the very heart of suffering, and that’s why I am committed to bringing you (and me) tools to help ease it. Be well and at peace, my friends.

“Things are happening to me. Stressful thought.

Things are happening for me. Positive thought.

Things are happening. Truth.”

 

 

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Freedom

break-the-chains

Lately, I have lamented that I don’t have enough freedom.  I thought to myself — if only circumstances could shift, that alone would grant me my freedom.

I began a process of conscious questioning, starting with the statement — I don’t have enough freedom.

Really, is that true?
How much freedom is enough, and where is the measuring stick?
Is freedom something I own?
Is it a commodity that money can buy?
Will I find it hanging in my closet?
Will it be you who brings me my freedom, or takes it from me?

Or is freedom found within?

Does freedom begin with me, like peace does?

Can I be the freedom I seek?

Can freedom begin at that still small space, where I cease to quarrel with life?

Quotes on personal freedom:

“For you who no longer possess it, freedom is everything, for us who do, it is merely an illusion.” Emil Cioran

“Suffering is a result of arguing with reality. When we believe our thoughts, we suffer, but when we question them, we don’t suffer. Freedom is as simple as that.” Byron Katie

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Viktor E. Frankl

“True freedom is always spiritual. It has something to do with your innermost being, which cannot be chained, handcuffed, or put into a jail.” OSHO

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Right Left Right

My friend Amy shared with me paraphrases of the following teachings and I loved them so much, wanted to share with you also:

“You are not the contents of your life.”  Tolle would say.

“if you can observe it, it is not you”  Mooji would say.

“This shouldn’t be happening….is that true?”  Byron Katie would say.

“Who knows what is good or bad.”  An ancient Taoist proverb says.

I’ve chosen other quotes on my blog from Tolle, Mooji, Byron Katie, and the Taoist parable and appended them below.

Eckhart Tolle:

When you are present in this moment,
you break the continuity of your story, of past and future.

Then true intelligence arises, and also LOVE.

The only way that LOVE can come into your life is not through form,
but through the inner spaciousness that is presence.

LOVE has no form. The world can only change from within.

Mooji:

We are missing what is obvious, what is pure, what is beautiful.  But we don’t have to go so far to find this, because the truth is distance-less, it’s here.  It’s here; it’s only somehow concealed by distraction.  Our eyes move and plant themselves onto transient things.  But if the aspiration is inside a human being to grow, to find the truth, then he will find a way and the way will find him.

Byron Katie:

How do we respond to a world that seems out of control? The world
seems that way because it ‘is’ out of control—the sun rises whether
we want it to or not, the toaster breaks, someone cuts you off on
your way to work. We’ve never had control. We have the illusion of
control when things go the way we think they should, and then when
they don’t, we say we’ve lost control, and we long for some sort of
state where we imagine we’ll have control again.

But suffering isn’t a result of not having control or of things
accelerating. It is a result of arguing with reality. When we
believe our thoughts, we suffer, but when we question them, we don’t
suffer. Freedom is as simple as that. When the unquestioned mind
moves out of its arguments with reality, we move into alignment with
constant change. After all, change is happening anyway, whether we
like it or not. Everything changes, it seems. But when we’re
attached to our thoughts about what that change should be, being out
of control feels uncomfortable.

If there is, in fact, an acceleration of changes, it’s a gift. The
apparent craziness of the world, like everything else, is a gift
that we can use to set our minds free. You can’t free yourself by
finding a “timeless, changeless dimension” outside your own mind.

When you question what you believe, you eventually come to see that
you ‘are’ the timeless, changeless dimension that you’ve been
seeking. Then you may find that you don’t need to navigate a future
at all—that what appears now is all you’ve got, and even that is

always immediately gone. And when you’ve stopped doing war with
reality, you ‘are’ what changes, totally without control. That state
of constant change is creation without limits, efficient and free
and beautiful beyond description.

Insights from the parable Who Knows What’s Good What’s Bad:

This parable is such a beautiful illustration of why it’s relevant to suspend judgment, conclusions and assumptions about anything.  Judgements and the like don’t reflect the bigger picture.  We don’t always know in the heat of any moment, what is good what is bad.  What is a blessing, what is a gift, what is a challenge in the moment that provides further expansion for us later.  We don’t always know, but we can remain open.  We can lay aside the impulse to make any seeming fact mean anything.  We can trust that the nature of all things is continually unfolding – and perhaps find a lot more ease in this open and receptive place.

Click here to see the parable in its entirety.

Those of you who follow this blog, know we recently had a puppy die suddenly in our home.  There was plenty of “this shouldn’t be happening” being felt.  There was so much serendipity around this little guy and his transition.  And while I was grieving I put all my biggest worries on the back burner.  I grieved and to some extent I still do.  But meanwhile, I forgot to take those big worries off the back burner.

Another little baby came to us from a rescue group in SoCal.  That’s Abby Rose you see at the top of this post.

As my friend, Luana reminded me, Life turned left to go right.  Life is actually always turning right, it’s we who have gone left and abandoned the truth that our good is always there, sometimes as yet unseen, but it’s there.  Some times it waits for us to catch up and trust, some times you are scooped up in the arms of grace whether you’d momentarily lost your faith or not.  That’s because another word for Grace is Love, the foundation of the Universe.  I can try to buck that current that is back of all things, but not for long.  Thank God for that!

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Image Locale

Having worked with the 30 day blessing way challenge the last several days, I find that I can’t honestly come by “it’s all a blessing”.  Whether I know what the blessing is or defer judgment on it, my heart just isn’t going along for the ride.  But here is what I can honestly come by — I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  How do I know that?  I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be because this is where I am!  It’s as simple as that.  So here I am and I don’t like nor want everything about where I am right now.  What am I supposed to do about it?  Analyze it, change it, fix it, shift it, intend it differently or my old fall back, blame myself.  No, no, none of that.

Supposing instead I meet the moment with — I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be?  What if I met all my moments with I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be?  Haven’t I been writing about this all along?  It’s all ok and I’m ok.  Didn’t I say I was giving myself carte blanche to have it all?  Didn’t I say it’s ok to have nightmares?  I did, I do, and I have.  I also said: bring it on!  So the Universe has upped the ante and brought it on.  Ok, so who are you now, Bethie?

Byron Katie calls it loving what is.  I’m not loving what is, I’m loving me and making peace with what is.

Recently I watched the finale for a TV show entitled Flash Forward.  It’s the only show I remember seeing that dealt specifically with consciousness.  The question it explored was, is it free will or is it fate, or is it some combination of both.  Unfortunately the show’s been cancelled but it left behind a message that really said it all to me and I quote it below:

“Sometimes what happens in the world makes us forget. You choose what’s next and you’ll wind up right where you’re supposed to be.”

No right, no wrong — meeting each moment without resistance.  Who am I now?  This is who I am — meeting each moment with an open, receptive heart knowing I am *exactly* where I am supposed to be.

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rorshach21

What we take to be real is that which we believe is true in our world.  It’s the paint that we apply on our canvas, the clay we mold with, what we identify with.  Often they are identity, I am, statements.  I’m not good at that.  I am tired.  Say it often and you lend agreement to it, you give your consent to it.  State it enough times and you own it.  You effectively marry that version of you.

It’s a good reminder to keep handy, any time you find yourself feeling out of sorts about something to ask yourself – what am I taking to be real right now?  It’s a little way of snapping ourselves out of the story of our own making.  Once you see what you are taking to be real, you can then ask: do I really know this to be true?   Nearly always the answer to that question is – no, I don’t absolutely know this to be true.

With two simple questions you begin to wake up to the dream you are dreaming, the script you are writing, the picture you are painting and from this vantage point you get to choose differently.

Isn’t that such a relief to know?  It’s so simple that it’s easy to forget yet practice it long enough and it will become a welcome habit.

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This is for the lovers of Byron Katie’s work.  A very funny, just over one minute, video of a dog doing The Work.  If you are not familiar with The Work, you can find more videos under ‘The Work in Action’ at her website http://www.thework.com

Her work helps you to see who you would be without your story.  Your story is what The Field Center terms the immersed point of view.  It’s your thoughts about yourself, others and your experiences.  Left unquestioned, these thoughts can lead to suffering.  Field Center and BK’s work have similarities and differences but they have a common goal, to help us end our own personal suffering.

On another video I heard Byron Katie express: positive thinking will hold us on a lighter bed until we can get real, but it’s not enough, we have to get real.  This, I think, is why Abraham’s better feeling thought will only take us so far particularly on things that continue to surface again and again.  These issues that ‘stick in our craw’ call us to make a more thorough and honest inquiry of ourselves – what we are believing and who we are choosing to be so we can access the freedom we have to mindfully choose again.

And now for the lighter side:

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Abraham has decks of well being cards available.  I have used this
idea in the past and made up my own on 3 x 5 cards.  I have just
made up a new batch and share them with you today.

Believing in someone is a force for the good.

Be Still.
Breathe deep.
And know that I am God.

Close your eyes
Fall in love
Stay there

It’s just a chapter, it’s not the whole story.

I cast this burden on the Christ within and
I go free to be loving, harmonious and happy.

Choose ye this day whom ye shall serve –
fear or faith.

Is this consistent with who I choose to be?

The aim of practice is being in love
not the good stuff of being in love.

Who knows what’s good, what’s bad.

The Universe knows what it’s doing, I can
rest in that.

All kinds of things can happen, these doors open,
when we do.

We can never be free of something we are judging.

You are not willing to have what you want for some
good reason, until you are willing.

The ways and means are not your job, the Universe
will provide.

Do I really know this to be true?  (this one is excellent to
snap you out of any kind of feel bad story that you are locked into)

(Note on authors: Rumi authored the close your eyes one, Florence
Scovel Shinn did the cast your burden piece, a couple of these are
my own and generally the rest come from Philip Golabuk, founder
of The Field Center.  “Do I really know this to be true?” is a version
of question no. 2 in Byron Katie’s work: The Four Questions)

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