Letting Go…

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How do you let go of attachments?  Don’t even try.  Effort creates attachment.  Rather,  attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them.”  ~ Eckhart Tolle.

1.  The C- concept

When you recognize a quality in the other that was abandoned in yourself, it creates a longing – like a phantom limb. You become mesmerised. When you are attracted to a person, it’s often your “idea” of that person that creates the draw.

I call it you, but in truth, it is my own longing for my lost-self. 

In order to survive our first relationships, we learn to dis-own parts of ourselves that others saw as undesirable. We even forgot it was ever a part of our true nature.

My first clear experience of this was when I met a beautiful woman who was crazy-funny! ..”I wish I could be that free”… When I hung out with her I felt whole – My “C” became an “O”.

In retrospect, she represented an aspect of Self that I had learned to shut down – being spontaneous.  I learned to reclaim the part of myself that could be spontaneous and fun, even if it drew attention to me!

Try this is if your attachment is about a quality in the other: Write about the quality you are attracted to. Ask yourself, is it true that I lack the same aspect?

2.  Compassion Project (to FIX you)

When I resonate with you because I feel your pain, I experience a flooding of MDMA-like chemicals that expand my capacity for loving compassion (read more about Mirror neurons). In truth, I love the way I feel….   It feels like love..

Try this if your attachment is about Compassion

Write everything you love about (the other). Write the advice you would give them, what you want for them.

Now, take your sentences and cross out the other’s name. Replace it with “I, me”.

For example, “I wish you could see how wonderful you are” becomes “I wish I could see how wonderful I am“.

“If only you could see how much I love you” becomes “If only I could see how much I  deserve to love me“. (See Byron Katie’s The Work/”turnarounds“)

We often think we have to FORCE ourselves to make a decision regarding attachments, but it never works. We will be done when we get the message… then we are done.

What are your experiences? And your thoughts? 

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How IT All Began….

img_0914How to eliminate war for one human being: You!

Worth reading – from Off the Web! (edited for readability)

“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.”

Someone asked Katie:

  • What’s the best way for someone who has suffered – such as a child who was beaten or a person who was raped – to make sense of this philosophy?

Katie: Identify and question what they were believing in that cruel situation as it was happening.

When children (or adults, for that matter) believe the thoughts they are thinking during and after a painful event, they suffer. It is not the painful event that causes their suffering once the event is over; it is their thoughts about the event.  This is hard for some people to hear, but if you take a closer look, it is obvious. The event is in the past; the thoughts are in the present – thoughts of shame, anger, humiliation, depression, unworthiness, resentment, and so on – and it is only in the present that we live.

Children have no way to question these thoughts, so they can’t help but suffer over them. It’s not their fault that they suffer. They just don’t know that suffering comes from believing our painful thoughts. This is why without inquiry, it’s so difficult to overcome a trauma during and after the fact.

The things that upset us will stay with us as long as we still believe what we were believing in that situation.  Whether in childhood, or yesterday – time doesn’t matter. Inquiry can break the spell.
The Work is not a philosophy. It’s a way that will let you discover that all suffering has been a misunderstanding.

  • Should a person ignore or glide over such things?

I was never able to do that. The way I became free was by not ignoring or gliding over such things. I had to face them, to look back on those terrible and seemingly unjust situations that I suffered as a child, and as an adult, to write them down and question the thoughts I had at the time. I had to travel back and to see in my mind’s eye that situation, no matter how terrible it was, and to fill in a ‘Judge-Your-Neighbor’ Worksheet. I had to fill out one Worksheet for each situation. I do this by remembering as much as possible of what I was seeing, feeling, thinking, and believing in those moments. I used to suffer when those images would arise in my mind, and now I don’t. In fact, all those old memories bring a sense of compassion, freedom and gratitude, and never suffering.

Of course you should suffer when you remember your those situations –  since you are believing your thoughts.
Our children learn fearful and angry beliefs from us, and they, like us, have no choice but to live what they believe. What are we teaching through our own negative, fearful beliefs?

My job is to end the injustice in my world, the war inside me, and that has made the world a better place, since there is one less violent, angry person in the world now.

If I am at war with reality, I’m continuing in myself the very thing that I want to end in the world. A sane mind doesn’t suffer. Through inquiry, you can begin to eliminate war for one human being: you.

For more information on The Work of Byron Katie, go to TheWork.com

How The Work Works – the work of Byron katie

UNSHAKEABLE INNER PEACE

Worth reading! From Off the web!



Many people in many traditions have spoken about a state of continuous and unshakable inner peace, in which the mind delights in everything that happens. Byron Katie calls this “loving what is.” It is the mind’s natural state. Through the self-inquiry of The Work, people can return to it as often as they wish, and eventually it becomes constant. Suffering is optional.

THE CAUSE OF ALL SUFFERING

The initial insight, as in cognitive psychology, is that all human suffering is caused by believing our stressful thoughts. As the philosopher Epictetus said, “We are disturbed not by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens.” Byron Katie puts it this way: “The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly clear, what is is what we want.”

ENDING SUFFERING

It’s not possible to end stress or suffering by substituting positive thoughts for negative thoughts. This may work to some extent, but eventually the mind will outsmart you. There is a whole underworld of unexamined thoughts that will override the positive thoughts that you’re trying to believe. Ultimately it’s not possible to let go of our negative thoughts, because we can’t control the mind. When we look deeply into the mind, we see that we aren’t creating thoughts in the first place. We aren’t thinking; we are being thought.

Suffering can be alleviated and ultimately ended by questioning our stressful thoughts. The Work provides a simple and powerful method for doing this. Byron Katie says, “I didn’t let go of my stressful thoughts. I questioned them, and then they let go of me.”

THE JUDGE-YOUR-NEIGHBOR WORKSHEET

One of the brilliant innovations of Byron Katie is the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. This allows people to identify the thoughts and stories that cause their suffering. The first step in doing The Work is to fill out a Worksheet. “Though the mind can justify itself faster than the speed of light, it can be stopped through the act of writing. Once the mind is stopped on paper, thoughts remain stable, and inquiry can easily be applied.”

The stressful thoughts to be identified on a Worksheet are about someone else, not about yourself; hence the term “Judge-Your-Neighbor.” This is sometimes difficult for people, since we have been taught not to judge, though we do it all the time. When you do The Work, you see who you are in a stressful situation by seeing who you think other people are. Byron Katie explains this in the following way: “Since the beginning of time, people have been trying to change the world so that they can be happy. This hasn’t ever worked, because it approaches the problem backward. What The Work gives us is a way to change the projector—mind—rather than the projected. It’s like when there’s a piece of lint on a projector’s lens. We think there’s a flaw on the screen, and we try to change this person and that person, whomever the flaw appears to be on next. But it’s futile to try to change the projected images. Once we realize where the lint is, we can clear the lens itself. This is the end of suffering, and the beginning of a little joy in paradise.”

THE FOUR QUESTIONS

1. Is it true? People are encouraged to meditate on this question and go deeper than answers that seem obvious but that bring them stress or suffering. “My husband (or my wife) should listen to me—is it true?” Most people’s automatic response is “Yes,” indignantly or sadly. After someone truly contemplates the question, the answer may still be yes but there may be a slight weakening of the ego’s position. Or maybe the person sees clearly and shockingly that the statement isn’t true. It may be something they have believed for years and decades.

2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? If their answer to the first question is yes, this second question gives people another chance to examine the stressful thought and to go deeper into the open mind, which in Zen is called the “don’t-know mind.” Yes is still a valid answer.

3. How do you react—what happens—when you believe that thought? This question allows people to see the cause-and-effect of believing their stressful thoughts—to witness what happened, what they felt, said, and did, when they believed the thought in that They are encouraged to inhabit the situation they were remembering in the first statement on their Worksheet and trace, in detail, the physical sensations and the emotions caused when they believe “My husband (or my wife) should listen to me.” Someone might say, for example, “I feel anger in my belly. My face flushes. I start to talk louder. I see my husband as neglectful. I become antagonistic. I try to convince him. I see him as the enemy,” and so on. These specific reactions are clear evidence of how unuseful, even damaging, this belief is to the person believing it. Whether they answered “yes” or “no” to the first two questions, they get to see how the thought leads them away from connection with the other person.

4. Who would you be without the thought? This is a question outside the realm of cognitive psychology. It allows people to see reality without the superimposition of their own belief. It gives them a vivid glimpse into what life is like without a problem. They become the seer, the listener, egoless, receiving the other person without blame, demands, expectations, or anything but an open mind. This question has resulted in very powerfully transformative experiences, even for people whose response to questions one and two were “Yes.”

THE TURNAROUNDS

After the mind has educated itself about a particular stressful thought through the four questions of The Work, people are invited to turn the thought around. The turnaround is a way of experiencing the opposite of what you believed was true. Sometimes there may be just one turnaround; sometimes there are two or three turnarounds to one of the statements on the Worksheet (turnarounds to the opposite, to the self, and to the other). For example, the statement in that situation, “my husband should listen to me” can be turned around to “My husband shouldn’t listen to me,” and also to “I should listen to me,” and finally to “I should listen to my husband.”

Once people find a turnaround, they are invited to contemplate specific examples of how the turnaround is true in their lives, how it is as true as or truer than their original statement. This grounds the turnaround in actual experience and further weakens the power of the stressful thought over the mind. For some people, just one deep session of inquiry is enough to completely unravel a belief, so that it doesn’t occur again, or if it does, the response is amusement rather than stress.

Often, after fully contemplating the turnarounds, people who have answered “Yes” to questions one and two, if they are asked the questions again, will answer “No,” often with a smile or a laugh.

When we are suffering in any given moment, we are in a trance, hypnotized.

 The Work wakes us up.

How to Stop Hurting and Take Your Power Back

When we think other people are hurting us, we have no power. We feel hopeless.

What if we thought of what was said or done as just being a mirror for us? – revealing to us what we are deeply thinking about ourselves?

Now we have our power back.

The Work of Byron Katie does just this – she calls it the “Turn-Around”

Einstein once said, “There is only one question worth asking: ‘Is the universe kind’.”

When you step into the grace of this wisdom, you can see nothing but kindness. But I’m getting a head of myself….

We have always been told not to be judgmental of others. Yet our minds are constantly assessing, and therefor, judging. We learned to keep these judgments private. These judgments turn into beliefs – stories – that run our emotional life.

Concepts are not a problem until you believe them. At that point, you are responsible for them. In the same way, by being aware of our responsibility for thoughts, we suddenly have responsibility for our power, our happiness, and our freedom.

For 1,000’s of years, we have innocently thought our suffering is caused by things outside of ourselves. So, it seems obvious to also look outside of ourselves for the solutions. Our mind runs these stories constantly, “he should/I need/ I want/...”

“The Work” invites us to find these deeper thoughts, put them on paper, and investigate how they’ve affected us. Thoughts arise. We can’t force these thoughts to stop. Once investigated, however, these thoughts may finally leave us.

It’s not that the mind is the enemy. On the contrary. The mind simply IS. By gentle, curious investigation, the same thoughts that we believed caused our misery can offer us peace.

It is only the unknown or denied parts of self that are in chaos. Feelings are a wonderful reminder to look at your thinking.

Byron Katie created the “Four Questions and the Turn Arounds” after years of extreme feelings and behaviors that were often unbearable… One day, when she was simply “despairing”, as usual, she listened to her minds constant chatter. Then she heard, “Is it TRUE?”, which stopped her dead in her tracks.  From there, she developed a simple process with which to meet any disturbing thought. She called it – “The Work”.

Turn-arounds may be shocking! For example, “He should put me first” turns around to “I should put HIM first”…  And why would I expect him to practice a concept I wouldn’t want to do? It also turns around to “I should put MYSELF first”… That’s my job!

Find out more:

http://thework.com/en/do-work
http://thework.com/en/tools-do-work

What Can We Control?

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Nothing Is Under Control – except my thinking.

When my mind wanders…  and starts thinking about things I cannot control, I notice tension in my body. I now see tension as a signal that I AM DELUSIONAL (Don’t worry – It’s not as bad as it sounds), and I go inside myself to observe what story I am running.

Life is simple. It’s internal.

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. ” ~ Byron Katie

Can I control the weather? No. When I argue with the weather – in my mind – I feel distress.

Can I control your life’s path? No. When I try – if only in my mind – I feel distress.

Life is internal. Clearly I am here to evolve. My job is to work on me. When I work on me, it can’t help but improve my relationships, my sense of peace, my World!

As a therapist I have learned that my job – my business – is to hear my client’s story, to understand how that story affects my client, and feel the anguish of that story. Then, gently, slowly, I make it my business to help them reconsider where they have the most control.

 

 

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Byron Katie and “The Work”

Byron Katie Loving What Is Book CoverThe following is an excerpt from Byron Katie’s book,  Loving What Is.

“Byron Katie’s Work is a great blessing for our planet. The root cause of suffering is identification with our thoughts, the ‘stories’ that are continuously running through our minds. Byron Katie’s Work acts like a razor-sharp sword that cuts through that illusion and enables you to know for yourself the timeless essence of your being. Joy, peace, and love emanate from it as your natural state. In Loving What Is, you have the key. Now use it.” — Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now


 

Meeting Your Thoughts with Understanding

A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but the 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.

Most people think that they are what their thoughts tell them they are. One day I noticed that I wasn’t breathing—I was being breathed. Then I also noticed, to my amazement, that I wasn’t thinking—that I was actually being thought and that thinking isn’t personal.

Do you wake up in the morning and say to yourself, “I think I won’t think today”? It’s too late: You’re already thinking! Thoughts just appear. They come out of nothing and go back to nothing, like clouds moving across the empty sky. They come to pass, not to stay. There is no harm in them until we attach to them as if they were true.

No one has ever been able to control his thinking, although people may tell the story of how they have. I don’t let go of my thoughts—I meet them with understanding. Then they let go of me.

Thoughts are like the breeze or the leaves on the trees or the raindrops falling. They appear like that, and through inquiry we can make friends with them. Would you argue with a rain­drop? Raindrops aren’t personal, and neither are thoughts. Once a painful concept is met with understanding, the next time it appears you may find it interesting. What used to be the nightmare is now just interesting. The next time it appears, you may find it funny. The next time, you may not even notice it. This is the power of loving what is.

Becoming Aware of Your Stories

I often use the word story to talk about thoughts, or sequences of thoughts, that we convince ourselves are real. A story may be about the past, the present, or the future; it may be about what things should be, what they could be, or why they are. Stories appear in our minds hundreds of times a day—when someone gets up without a word and walks out of the room, when someone doesn’t smile or doesn’t return a phone call, or when a stranger does smile; before you open an important letter, or after you feel an unfamiliar sensation in your chest; when your boss invites you to come to his office, or when your partner talks to you in a certain tone of voice. Stories are the untested, uninvestigated theories that tell us what all these things mean. We don’t even realize that they’re just theories.

Once, as I walked into the ladies’ room at a restaurant near my home, a woman came out of the single stall. We smiled at each other, and, as I closed the door, she began to sing and wash her hands. “What a lovely voice!” I thought. Then, as I heard her leave, I noticed that the toilet seat was dripping wet. “How could anyone be so rude?” I thought. “And how did she manage to pee all over the seat? Was she standing on it?” Then it came to me that she was a man—a transvestite, singing falsetto in the women’s restroom. It crossed my mind to go after her (him) and let him know what a mess he’d made. As I cleaned the toilet seat, I thought about everything I’d say to him. Then I flushed the toilet. The water shot up out of the bowl and flooded the seat. And I just stood there laughing.

In this case, the natural course of events was kind enough to expose my story before it went any further. Usually it doesn’t; before I found inquiry, I had no way to stop this kind of think­ing. Small stories bred bigger ones; bigger stories bred major theories about life, how terrible it was, and how the world was a dangerous place. I ended up feeling too frightened and depressed to leave my bedroom.

When you’re operating on uninvestigated theories of what’s going on and you aren’t even aware of it, you’re in what I call “the dream.” Often the dream becomes troubling; sometimes it even turns into a nightmare.

At times like these, you may want to test the truth of your theories by doing The Work on them. The Work always leaves you with less of your uncomfortable story. Who would you be without it? How much of your world is made up of unexamined stories? You’ll never know until you inquire.

Looking for the Thought Behind the Suffering

I have never experienced a stressful feeling that wasn’t caused by attaching to an untrue thought. Behind every uncomfort­able feeling, there’s a thought that isn’t true for us. “The wind shouldn’t be blowing.” “My husband should agree with me.”

We have a thought that argues with reality, then we have a stressful feeling, and then we act on that feeling, creating more stress for ourselves. Rather than understand the original cause —a thought—we try to change our stressful feelings by looking outside ourselves. We try to change someone else, or we reach for sex, food, alcohol, drugs, or money in order to find tempo­rary comfort and the illusion of control.

It is easy to be swept away by some overwhelming feeling, so it’s helpful to remember that any stressful feeling is like a com­passionate alarm clock that says, “You’re caught in the dream.” Depression, pain, and fear are gifts that say, “Sweetheart, take a look at what you’re thinking right now. You’re living in a story that isn’t true for you.” Caught in the dream, we try to alter and manipulate the stressful feeling by reaching outside ourselves. We’re usually aware of the feeling before the thought. That’s why I say the feeling is an alarm clock that lets you know there’s a thought that you may want to do The Work.

Investigating an untrue thought will always lead you back to who you really are. It hurts to believe you’re other than who you are, to live any story other than happiness.

If you put your hand into a fire, does anyone have to tell you to move it? Do you have to decide? No: When your hand starts to burn, it moves. You don’t have to direct it; the hand moves itself. In the same way, once you understand, through inquiry, that an untrue thought causes suffering, you move away from it. Before the thought, you weren’t suffering; with the thought, you’re suffering; when you recognize that the thought isn’t true, again there is no suffering. That is how The Work func­tions. “How do I react when I think that thought?” Hand in the fire. “Who would I be without it?” Out of the flames. We look at the thought, we feel our hand in the fire, and we naturally move back to the original position; we don’t have to be told. And the next time the thought arises, the mind automatically moves from the fire. The Work invites us into the awareness of internal cause and effect. Once we recognize this, all our suffer­ing begins to unravel on its own.

InquiryThe 4 Questions

I use the word inquiry as synonymous with The Work. To inquire or to investigate is to put a thought or a story up against the four questions and turnaround. Inquiry is a way to end confusion and to experience internal peace, even in a world of apparent chaos. Above all else, inquiry is about realizing that all the answers we ever need are always available inside us.

Inquiry is more than a technique: It brings to life, from deep within us, an innate aspect of our being. When practiced for a while, inquiry takes on its own life within you. It appears whenever thoughts appear, as their balance and mate.

This internal partnership leaves you free to live as a kind, fluid, fear­less, amused listener, a student of yourself, and a friend who can be trusted not to resent, criticize, or hold a grudge. Eventually, realization is experienced automatically, as a way of life. Peace and joy naturally, inevitably, and irreversibly make their way into every corner of your mind, into every relation­ship and experience. The process is so subtle that you may not even have any conscious awareness of it. You may only know that you used to hurt and now you don’t.

Edited for emphasis. Article source:

http://www.inner-growth.info/power_of_now_tolle/byron_katie_loving_what_is.htm

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How to Fix Everything!

Being Alive copyFreeing the mind from hidden beliefs.

~ Excerpts from Byron Katie

“Beyond what the mind tells us is always kinder than what it sees, that’s the privilege of an open mind. 

As the  mind matures, it learns as a student of itself. Everything adds to it, enlightens it, reveals itself to it, feeds it. Nothing is against it and never was. This is a mind that has graduated out of a polarized state. It’s no longer split; it has ceased to be two-sided.

As the mind begins to open,  it’s living out of a fearless, undefended state, and it’s excited, hungry for knowledge. It realized that it’s everything, so it learns to exclude nothing. This excitement eventually levels to an openness that is so gentle, so without opposition, that it is experienced from all angles,and there is simply nothing to defend. And in the absence of defense it is openness.

Because I no longer defend, it’s not possible to oppose anything but my own thinking.

When there’s no opposition, the chaotic mind, whether it’s verbal or not, hears itself, because that’s all there is to hear. It notices loudly that the only opposition is its own.

I have noticed that in the face of what we are believing, reality waits to be noticed; eventually we wake up to it or not.

“The Work” is about collapsing that time, that dream, that trance. The unquestioned I-know mind will lead you to believe that your stressful thought in the moment is not only true but it is true forever. It is powerful enough to create the entire world as you understand it.

In this moment now, all the pain that was ever suffered in the world is past, and that is the grace that we cannot appreciate when we are believing our past/future stories.

Because the mind is believing its thoughts, often we feel tortured now as we live.

But the story we superimpose onto reality can be hell.  I invite all people directly to the wisdom inside them, and The Work can take you there anytime you are open to your own self, your own true wisdom. Find the way out of the nightmares that you experience by going in.

Until you wake up to reality in the moment, it is very difficult, even impossible, to love what is. Have you noticed?

The only thing that can cause you stress is the story of a past or a future.

What I love about the past is that it’s over! What I love about the future is that it doesn’t exist. What I love about this moment now is that I can “be” this, be that, I am awake. No problem!”

Find out more about “The Work” at thework.com