Loving What Is by Byron Katie – Four Questions That Can Change Your Life
The Work began on a February morning in 1986, when Byron Katie woke up on the floor of a halfway house, at a complete dead end in her life, and began to laugh. She had woken up without any concept of who, where, or what she was. She awoke to the fundamental, luminous state of being that is without any separation, that experiences itself as pure love. Like great spiritual masters from many traditions, she knew she had reached the end of confusion and suffering. That was the moment she burst into laughter. Determined to give people a way to discover for themselves what she had realized, Katie developed a simple method of self-enquiry that she called The Work, a life-transforming system for discarding the stories we tell ourselves, which are the source of suffering, and replacing them with the truth (“what is”) and a life of total joy. She began teaching The Work wherever she was invited – at first in small, informal gatherings and eventually to packed workshops around the world. The Work consists of only four simple questions that you can apply to any problem. It is so easy and practical – but also profound in its application:
Question 1 – Is it true?
Question 2: Can I absolutely know that it’s true?
Question 3: How do I react when I think that thought?
Question 4: Who would you be without the thought?
Byron Katie uses the word Inquiry as synonymous with The Work. She writes:
“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 technique: It brings to life, from deep within us, an innate aspect of our being. When practised 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 clear and free to live as a kind, fluid, fearless, amused listener, as student of yourself, and a friend who can be trusted not to resent, criticize, or hold a grudge. 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.”