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Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life (Anglais) Relié – 19 mars 2002


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Introduction

The more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions, the more you become a lover of what is. --
Baruch Spinoza

The first time I watched The Work, I realized that I was witnessing something truly remarkable. What I saw was a succession of people, young and old, educated and uneducated, who were learning to question their own thoughts, the thoughts that were most painful to them. With the lovingly incisive help of Byron Katie (everyone calls her Katie), these people were finding their way not only toward the resolution of their immediate problems, but also toward a state of mind in which the deepest questions are resolved. I have spent a good part of my life studying and translating the classic texts of the great spiritual traditions, and I recognized something very similar in process here. At the core of these traditions -- in works such as the Book of Job, the Tao Te Ching, and the Bhagavad Gita -- there is an intense questioning about life and death, and a profound, joyful wisdom that emerges as an answer. That wisdom, it seemed to me, was the place Katie was standing in, and the direction where these people were headed.

As I watched from my seat in a crowded community center, five men and women, one after another, were learning freedom through the very thoughts that had caused their suffering, thoughts such as "My husband betrayed me" or "My mother doesn't love me enough." Simply by asking four questions and listening to the answers they found inside themselves, these people were opening their minds to profound, spacious, and life-transforming insights. I saw a man who had been suffering for decades from anger and resentment toward his alcoholic father light up before my eyes within forty-five minutes. I saw a woman who had been almost too frightened to speak, because she had just found out that her cancer was spreading, end the session in a glow of understanding and acceptance. Three out of the five people had never done The Work before, yet the process didn't seem to be more difficult for them than it was for the other two, nor were their realizations any less profound. They all began by realizing a truth so basic that it is usually invisible: the fact that (in the words of the Greek philosopher Epictetus) "we are disturbed not by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens." As soon as they grasped that truth, their whole understanding changed.

Before people have experienced The Work of Byron Katie for themselves, they often think that it is too simple to be effective. But its simplicity is precisely what makes it so effective. Over the past two years, since first encountering it and meeting Katie, I have done The Work many times, on thoughts I hadn't even been aware of. And I've watched more than a thousand people do it in public events across the United States and Europe, on the whole gamut of human problems: from major illnesses, the deaths of parents and children, sexual and psychological abuse, addictions, financial insecurity, professional problems, and social issues to the usual frustrations of daily life. (Having a reserved seat at all Katie's events is one of the privileges of being married to her.) Again and again, I have seen The Work quickly and radically transform the way people think about their problems. And as the thinking changes, the problems disappear.

"Suffering is optional," Katie says. Whenever we experience a stressful feeling -- anything from mild discomfort to intense sorrow, rage, or despair -- we can be certain that there is a specific thought causing our reaction, whether or not we are conscious of it. The way to end our stress is to investigate the thinking that lies behind it, and anyone can do this by himself with a piece of paper and a pen. The Work's four questions, which you will see in context later in this introduction, reveal where our thinking isn't true for us. Through this process -- Katie also calls it "inquiry" -- we discover that all the concepts and judgments that we believe or take for granted are distortions of things as they really are. When we believe our thoughts instead of what is really true for us, we experience the kinds of emotional distress that we call suffering. Suffering is a natural alarm, warning us that we're attaching to a thought; when we don't listen, we come to accept this suffering as an inevitable part of life. It's not.

The Work has striking similarities with the Zen koan and the Socratic dialogue. But it doesn't stem from any tradition, Eastern or Western. It is American, homegrown, and mainstream, having originated in the mind of an ordinary woman who had no intention of originating anything.

*

To realize your true nature, you must wait for the right moment and the right conditions. When the time comes, you are awakened as if from a dream. You understand that what you have found is your own and doesn't come from anywhere outside.

Buddhist Sutra

The Work was born on a February morning in 1986 when Byron Kathleen Reid, a forty-three-year-old woman from a small town in the high desert of southern California, woke up on the floor of a halfway house.

In the midst of an ordinary life -- two marriages, three children, a successful career -- Katie had entered a ten-year-long downward spiral into rage, paranoia, and despair. For two years she was so depressed that she could seldom manage to leave her house; she stayed in bed for weeks at a time, doing business by telephone from her bedroom, unable even to bathe or brush her teeth. Her children would tiptoe past her door to avoid her outbursts of rage. Finally, she checked in to a halfway house for women with eating disorders, the only facility that her insurance company would pay for. The other residents were so frightened of her that she was placed alone in an attic room.

One morning, a week or so later, as she lay on the floor (she had been feeling too unworthy to sleep in a bed), Katie woke up without any concepts of who or what she was. "There was no me," she says.

All my rage, all the thoughts that had been troubling me, my whole world, the whole world, was gone. At the same time, laughter welled up from the depths and just poured out. Everything was unrecognizable. It was as if something else had woken up. It opened its eyes. It was looking through Katie's eyes. And it was so delighted! It was intoxicated with joy. There was nothing separate, nothing unacceptable to it; everything was its very own self.

When Katie returned home, her family and friends felt that she was a different person. Her daughter, Roxann, who was sixteen at the time, says,

We knew that the constant storm was over. She had always yelled at me and my brothers and criticized us; I used to be scared to be in the same room with her. Now she seemed completely peaceful. She would sit still for hours on the window seat or out in the desert. She was joyful and innocent, like a child, and she seemed to be filled with love. People in trouble started knocking on our door, asking her for help. She'd sit with them and ask them questions -- mainly, "Is that true?" When I'd come home miserable, with a problem like "My boyfriend doesn't love me anymore," Mom would look at me as if she knew that wasn't possible, and she'd ask me, "Honey, how could that be true?" as if I had just told her that we were living in China.

Once people understood that the old Katie wasn't coming back, they began to speculate about what had happened to her. Had some miracle occurred? She wasn't much help to them: It was a long time before she could describe her experience intelligibly. She would talk about a freedom that had woken up inside her. She also said that, through an inner questioning, she had realized that all her old thoughts were untrue.

Shortly after Katie got back from the halfway house, her home began to fill with people who had heard about her and had come to learn. She was able to communicate her inner inquiry in the form of specific questions that anyone who wanted freedom could apply on his own, without her. Soon she began to be invited to meet with small gatherings in people's living rooms. Her hosts often asked her if she was "enlightened." She would answer, "I'm just someone who knows the difference between what hurts and what doesn't."

In 1992 she was invited to northern California, and The Work spread very fast from there. Katie accepted every invitation. She has been on the road almost constantly since 1993, demonstrating The Work in church basements, community centers, and hotel meeting rooms, in front of small and large audiences (admission is always free). And The Work has found its way into all kinds of organizations, from corporations, law firms, and therapists' offices to hospitals, prisons, churches, and schools. It is now popular in other parts of the world where Katie has traveled. All across America and Europe, there are groups of people who meet regularly to do The Work.

Katie often says that the only way to understand The Work is to experience it. But it's worth noting that inquiry fits precisely with current research into the biology of mind. Contemporary neuroscience identifies a particular part of the brain, sometimes called "the interpreter," as the source of the familiar internal narrative that gives us our sense of self. Two prominent neuroscientists have recently characterized the quirky, undependable quality of the tale told by the interpreter. Antonio Damasio describes it this way: "Perhaps the most important revelation is precisely this: that the left cerebral hemisphere of humans is prone to fabricating verbal narratives that do not necessarily accord with the truth." And Michael Gazzaniga writes: "The left brain weaves its story in order to convince itself and you that it is in full control. . . . What is so adaptive about having what amounts to a spin doctor in the left brain? The interpreter is r...

Revue de presse

“Good Lord! Where did Byron Katie come from? She’s the real McCoy. Her Work is amazingly effective—a simple, straightforward antidote to the suffering we unnecessarily create for ourselves. She asks us to believe nothing, but provides a surprisingly effective and simple way to cut through the tangle of delusions we wrap ourselves in. Just reading the exchanges in Loving What Is, I can admit things I didn’t want to admit and stop torturing myself in ways I didn’t realize I was doing.” -- David Chadwick, author of Crooked Cucumber: The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki

“Suppose you could find a simple way to embrace your life with joy, stop arguing with reality, and achieve serenity in the midst of chaos? That is what Loving What Is offers. It is no less than a revolutionary way to live your life. The question is: are we brave enough to accept it?” -- Erica Jong, author of Fear of Flying

“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

“Loving What Is is filled with the essence of wisdom. Katie’s Work is a wonderful, transformative practice for anyone interested in spiritual growth.” -- Lama Surya Das, author of Awakening the Buddha Within



Détails sur le produit

  • Relié: 288 pages
  • Editeur : Crown Archetype; Édition : 1 (19 mars 2002)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0609608746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609608746
  • Dimensions du produit: 16,2 x 2,7 x 24,2 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 309.618 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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What I love about The Work is that it allows you to go inside and find your own happiness, to experience what already exists within you, unchanging, immovable, ever-present, ever-waiting. Lire la première page
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4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Mag S. le 27 novembre 2010
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
très bon; permet de voir les choses sous un autre angle et de sortir enfin de nos consciences de victimes. à lire par tous ceux qui sont prêts à prendre la responsabilité de leurs vies.
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Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Lorsque j'ai passé des moments très difficiles dans ma vie, ce livre a été un rocher. La méthode est gratuite et accessible sur le site de l'auteur, en anglais ou en français. Il y a de nombreuses vidéos sur Youtube. Et je pense que le livre apporte de nombreuses précisions complémentaires pour faire ce qu'elle appelle le "Travail".
Je ne peux que recommander ce livre.
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Claire le 1 août 2013
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
j'ai dû annuler ma commande, puis ayant reçu le livre tout de suite après répondre à des tas de courriels et annuler mon annulation etc etc de plus le livre n'est pas finalement très interessant. D'habitude je suis satisfaite de mes commandes sur amazon. Cette commande est donc l'exception qui confirme la règle...
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281 internautes sur 295 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
do you want to suffer a lot less? 28 décembre 2003
Par Applying What I Read - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book doesn't tell you what's what. It has no real philosophy in it. It simply gives you a simple way to discover your own truth.
I was very skeptical about even reading this book. Somehow I ordered it and it sat around in my collection of thousands of books. I was searching for a "spiritual solution" to my feeling terrible and this was one of many books I ordered.
Then one day, in emotional pain, I picked it up after reading many others. I started reading it.
I read and re-read. I went each chapter again and again and again.
A year and a half later, it is the only self-help book that I really care about. I have done "The Work" many many times and made it a part of me. I have purchased audio tapes of other people doing The Work.
My wife has asked me for help in The Work and my son also.
Here is what has happened to me: I suffer much less. I view every challenge in life as an opportunity for deeper self-realization. I am more comfortable with myself and my life. Things bother me less and less.
Bottom line: I am more in love with the truth than I ever was. I am still less than honest but I am more honest than I was, and loving the truth more and more as time goes on.
The truth does appear to set me free. Reading this book can help you see the truth for you. If you are interested then read this book.
72 internautes sur 73 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Loving and Ending Suffering 19 novembre 2014
Par Kyle - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle
Suffering comes in all shapes and sizes, but one of the key components of suffering is often fear. I have often experienced fear and anxiety in a variety of situations, even though I knew my worries were unfounded and irrational. I often ruminated on my problems to the point where I felt like I was constantly having an anxiety attack. I turned to things like alcohol and other drugs to keep my mind off the problem at hand, but that only delayed the inevitable. When I would sober up, the problem was still there and I would have not made any progress on solving it. This book details a simple, step-by-step guide on how to go through "The Work" toward healing and ending suffering. It has literally been a lifesaver for me. It is practical and actionable, and I use these methods in my everyday life.

I also found 21 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy. It is a book that is just as practical and actionable as Loving What Is, but it takes a slightly different approach. It posits that giving up concepts and ideas is the best way to achieve happiness. Using advice in this book along with "The Work," I have been able to clear my head and focus on my goals. I no longer worry about what other people think, and I've started planning my life more around concrete goals and less around the aimless wander. 21 Thing You Should Give Up To Be Happy talks about the "aimless wander" as one thing you should give up. My anxiety was always on high alert, but it didn't need to be!

I'm glad I found these two books, because I've been to produce much more positive effects throughout my life. I am working toward my goals and my mind is more stress-free than it's ever been. Neither of these books offer new age mumbo jumbo. They are written by real people with real life experience who have been able to construct effective action plans that work for a wide variety of individuals. I am just one success story in a sea of others.
472 internautes sur 513 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
If I could give a book to everyone in the world... 2 juin 2002
Par Janet Boyer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
this would be it. I'm an ordained Christian minister, and I'd give out *this* book before the Bible itself. That's how powerful her simple approach IS. It is literally the key to end all suffering. Sounds too good to be true? It isn't. I have been a student of psychology, personality and spirituality ever since I was a young girl. I studied theology in college, minored in psychology, have dozens of self-help and self-discovery books on my shelves, been a student of cognitive psychology and Toltec Wisdom (ala "The Toltec Way" by Gregg and "The Four Agreements" by Ruiz)...

From these, I came to believe that my own thoughts create my own suffering. It's never the person or situation that causes me grief; it's the story I *tell* myself *about* the person or situation that is the problem! Yet, although I knew this intellectually, I had a hard time dismantling all my core beliefs and judgments. My intellect likes mind candy and the accumulating of knowledge, but it wasn't enough to put me over the edge to freedom.

But this book did. It is all the above disciplines combined, but MUCH more. I was having anxiety attacks and an irrational fear of death and dying; this book helped snap me out of it immediately (along with the grace of God). Loving What Is is not by a counselor or some New Age guru; it's by a normal woman who was on the floor of a half way house, feeling bitter and angry, who had an epiphany when she asked herself a series of 4 simple questions. Her depression lifted, and she was a new woman in ONE instant. Since then (1986) she has shared her message, and it's changed thousands of lives.

To see what The Work is about, visit her website at TheWork.com. This book is a life changer. The information it contains can replace all self-help books...it's that transformational. It's also an easy read, and very engaging. After all, she's just a "normal" woman like you and I who stumbled on 4 basic questions called Inquiry that will change your life forever.

If you are looking for answers to "why", are tired of feeling tired, angry, depressed, alone, cheated, sad, or confused, please get this book today.
131 internautes sur 139 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The End of Therapy 14 juin 2003
Par Jan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I had a story. It wasn't a happy story. It was about an abusive childhoood. I wore that story like a pair of sunglasses. I saw my world through that story. I kept spoiling my present with those past experiences.
"The Work" a process contained in this book is the only system that allowed me to really get to the truth of my story - ah - the story under such examination just started dropping away.
This book is not in competition with any other. No other book can take its place. The niche is unique. In A Course in Miracles you are told forgiveness is the key but no one gives you a road map for how to do that - Byron Katies does. In The Power of Now Eckhardt Tolle tells us to be fully in the present moment and just be aware of the pain body - Byron Katie tells you to investigate that pain body so that it can drop away.
For me, this was the single best book that I've experienced that genuinely helped me...I went to A Course in Miracles classes for over 7 years - no real change - I read and am doing The Work in Loving What Is - major changes in two weeks....
I'm very thankful for this book, this work.

I'd like to say that now I wear sunglasses so that people won't be blinded by the light coming from my eyes...but that's stretching it a bit - I'm just a lot happier!
190 internautes sur 206 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The tag line is true 4 août 2002
Par jimstoic - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This may be the first self-help book I've ever read all the way through. I was attracted to it by the name "Stephen Mitchell" on the cover. His paraphrase/translation of the Tao te Ching was my previous Most Influential Book. In his introduction we learn that Byron Katie is his wife. They appear to share a sort of Zen/Taoist outlook.
The tag line on the cover of the book reads "Four questions that can change your life." I like the use of the word "can." It's not that the questions "could" or "may" or "might" change your life: they "can" if you use them. I know because my life has changed.
But it's not just the questions that have changed my life. Rather, it's the outlook expressed in the book's title: "Loving What Is." My suffering comes from arguing with my reality. Peace comes from accepting and even loving my reality, whatever my situation.
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