|A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are
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¡°Byron Katie is one of the truly great and inspiring teachers of our time. I encourage everyone to immerse themselves in this phenomenal book.¡± ¨CDr. Wayne W. Dyer
In her first two books, Loving What Is and I Need Your Love¨CIs That True? Byron Katie showed how suffering can be ended by questioning the stressful thoughts that create it. Now, in A Thousand Names for Joy, she encourages us to discover the freedom that lives on the other side of inquiry.
Stephen Mitchell¨Cthe renowned translator of the Tao Te Ching¨Cselected provocative excerpts from that ancient text as a stimulus for Katie to talk about the most essential issues that face us all: life and death, good and evil, love, work, and fulfillment. With her stories of total ease in all circumstances, Katie does more than describe the awakened mind; she lets you see it, feel it, in action.
- This and loving as is...
I read both the books and giving a collective review - the work works no doubt as questioning gives answers which are RELATIVELY true.
I personally found both the books disturbing low of energy and a lot of gloom.
Secondly the author keeps herself in a high point of reference and 'bestows' her observation to 'these' people. How interesting ? And i did read her chapter about humility!
Save your money, just my opinion....more info
- A Thousand Names for Joy:Living in Harmoney with the Ways Things Are
I am at the end of this exquisite book! I do not want it to end! It is like poetry and music to my ears! It is the way of Peace! Thanks for giving me an intimate view of your mind, Katie. ...more info
- Lovely read
Byron Katie will change how you think about almost everything. The book gave me an example of someone who actually lives what The Course in Miracles speaks of. Absolutely Amazing. I reread a chapter nearly every day and aim for the peace she radiates....more info
- Insightful, helpful, full of love
Byron Katie's work is the wisest I've seen as a psychiatrist of 25 years. I use her work daily in my clinical practice. Her new book is a treasure, full of wisdom and practical help. If you make this book part of your daily life you will siffer less and feel more joy....more info
- A Thousand Names
This is a pondering book for me, I open to a random page with the thought, what do I need today? It is amazaing the book opens to a page and i read the section and it is perfect advise to help me throughout the day.
A must if you are searching for 24/7 peace within yourself...more info
- She's Gone WAAAY Out There
I don't aspire to be Byron Katie, and I don't agree with everything she says, but there is no doubt in my mind she is someone who has had some fundamental kind of spontaneous spiritual transformation and has a groundbreaking message. Where her first two books refined her philosphy of inquiry, she just goes off the map in this one. No matter what's happening - she's going blind, then she's almost losing a grandchild in the hospital - she's not just accepting these things - she's ecstatic! It's a little much at times. It's not quite what I want for myself, yet I take an immense amount from her philosophies and experiences. She's clearly transcended her mind (some might argue she's transcended her humanity along with it), but that's not what interests me. What interests me is the peace she's been able to find with her emphasis on all the world simply being a projection of one's mind. Of course, this is not a new idea, but I've never seen any spiritual teacher - be they buddhist or hindu or christian - extrapolate this truth to the extreme extent that this 60 year mother old woman from, of all places, BARSTOW California does. She's so far gone with her belief in the projected reality and so steeped in a philosophy of the unconditional acceptance and perfection of reality as it is, that she is some kind of new age fundamentalist, if such a classification could exist.
As has been observed, BK just woke up one day and had largely transformed, so my issue comes in her apparent disregard for what may be the root of all those thoughts she advises us to question - our inner pain, or as Eckhart Tolle might call it our "painbody". Hers may have largely disappeared overnight, but for the rest of us, we are left with ours, and just questioning our thoughts won't stop new, negative ones from arising from our deeper painbodies. Sometimes I feel like her inquiry only addresses the syptoms (our negative thoughts) rather than the source of those thoughts (our inner pain that precludes those thoughts). That's not to say I haven't gained immensely from her work because I really have....more info
- THE BEST
Best book I have ever read. Reveals how "enlightened" people see the world, and how they act and react to the incredible dramas that unfold in their presence. Demonstrates how abstract philosophical teachings can be made practical and rewarding in your own quest for a life of peace and fulfillment. ...more info
- "Harsh" But True Words
This book has a "harsh" tone for someone unprepared because Byron communicates directly about realities we often avoid discussing such as death, pain, suffering and our fears. Each passage is like a conversational meditation on a passage from the [[ASIN: Tao Te Ching: A New English Version (Perennial Classics)]] translated by Byron Katie's husband, Stephen Mitchell. I found awakenings as I read key parts of this book that were relevant to me. Excerpt 46 on "Fear" was very insightful and I realized that my own belief projected onto others is what frightened me. Excerpt 33 dealt with "Death" and Byron communicates honestly about it. We rarely hear such honesty and it can be disconcerting yet it is part of life and we need to embrace these realities. I recommend this book to readers seeking honest, insightful revelations.
Another book that I highly recommend for a transformative and insightful story is Nexus: A Neo Novel by Deborah Morrison and Arvind Singh. This novel examines the ups and downs of spiritual life through the personal journey of people at a spiritual retreat created to help them overcome pain and find their inner center of peace....more info
- Excellent book on what it is like to be enlightened
This book was more than I expected. Not only does Katie give very insightful descriptions of how she interprets the Iching, but she also gives a detailed description of what it is to be in her state. That is helpful because she is an amazing example of what life can be without attachments! "The work" is terrific and I highly recommend it to everyone. I have seen massive relief come to so many people in a very short amount of time as a result doing "the work". ...more info
- Daily exercise
The chapters are small so this is a great book to read a chapter every day and get a positive jolt of energy. It's a wonderful way to transform one's life....more info
- A fine survey.
A THOUSAND NAMES FOR JOY: LIVING IN HARMONY WITH THE WAY THINGS ARE encourages a discovery of freedom and comes from an author expert in questioning the underlying roots of suffering who works with Stephen Mitchell, the translator of the Tao Te Ching, who uses excerpts from that text as a stimulus to talk about issues of life and death and fulfillment. An undercurrent of joy runs through A THOUSAND NAMES FOR JOY, which offers up descriptions of a self-realized, 'awakened mind' and the paths for achieving this. First-person vignettes blend with spiritual and social insights for a fine survey....more info
- An Amazing Book
This is an amazing book from an enlightened woman...she tells you what it is like to see the world thru her perception. WOW!...more info
It is refreshing to hear someone tell me to see the beauty in things and accept resposibility for my life. Everyone should read this book. I learned so much from her perspective. Most of all, I am enjoying life more....more info
- Inner Peace Movement
It is extremely rare for me to find a book that gives deep insightful shifts toward profound inner peace beyond my intellectual understanding. As if caressed by that perfection which I have previously glimpsed and long to dissolve into, reading "A Thousand Names for Joy" eases me into pure, awake emptiness.
For anyone on the path, or who is no longer seeking and still reading, I strongly recommend this book. It offers opportunity for opening after opening while grounding the reader in reality as experienced by a woman who claims to simply know the difference between suffering and peace.
The depths of peace appear infinite as I am escorted farther and farther into radiant presence. I melt into seamlessly being as the way of it. Just from reading the book!! I am impressed.
Indeed Stephen and Katie make an awesome team, and this is the the most poetic and awakening work from their collective journey so far.
People new to Katie and The Work may find it helpful to read "Loving What Is" and / or embark upon a thorough perusal of her website and blog prior to this book. But it is certainly not necessary.
Interested in imperturbable inner peace? "A Thousand Names for Joy" can serve as a significant catalyst. The best I've ever read. ...more info
- The Tao Meets The Work
"To think that we need sadness or outrage to motivate us to do what's right is insane. As if the clearer and happier you get, the less kind you become. As if when someone finds freedom, she just sits around all day with drool running down her chin. My experience is the opposite. Love is action. It's clear, it's kind, it's effortless, and it's irresistible." - From A Thousand Names for Joy
Several years ago, Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie hit the bestseller list and introduced thousands of people to The Work. Katie then took readers further into this simple, but profound, process in her book I Need Your Love--Is That True?, whereby Katie invited individuals to question everything they say, do or think in order to secure love, approval, or appreciation from others.
Now, in the book A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are, Katie provides an intimate glimpse into a subject that she doesn't normally talk about--her everyday life. From babysitting her grandchild to experiencing painful corneal blisters, sipping a cup of tea to sitting with a dying friend, Katie show us The Work in action--and how she exquisitely inhabits a fluid world without boundaries or demarcation.
Teaming up with her author/translator husband Stephen Mitchell, Katie elaborates on short excerpts from the Tao Te Ching from her own unique standpoint. At core, Katie challenges us--and our most cherished beliefs--by reminding us that unquestioned thoughts are the source of all stress and suffering. No person, lack, diagnosis, death, accident, tsunami, war, or illness causes suffering--only our unquestioned thoughts about such things.
Granted, this idea is a radical one because, for Katie, reality equals what is, and reality is God and reality is always good. A Thousand Names for Joy reveals a sweet, guileless woman who is nevertheless an equal opportunity offender. When she relates the story about a well-known Buddhist teacher describing how appalled and devastated he felt on 9/11, Katie observes that "his suffering had nothing to do with the terrorists or the people who died...[he in that moment] was terrorizing his own mind, causing his own grief."
Katie also addresses Christians and the idea of "knowing Jesus". She says, "I know what it is to enter heaven and not look back, and I know the arrogance of thinking that people need to be saved. If I can walk into the light, so can you. You can't help us with your words: `There it is, over there. Follow me.' No. YOU do it first, then we'll follow. This savior thing is lethal."
At 280 pages, A Thousand Names for Joy reads like part memoir and part devotional--but 100% contrary to almost every book lining the bulging shelves of the Self-Help section. With The Work, individuals embrace everything and resist nothing, for resistance is not only futile, but the root of suffering. Physical pain, love, success, money, abuse, death--Katie address all these topics and more by showing what happens when our thoughts about such issues are met with understanding--and inquiry.
Here are but a few of my favorite passages that I highlighted in the book:
"It's not possible to have a problem without believing a prior thought. To notice this simple truth is the beginning of peace."
"Forgiveness is realizing that what you thought happened didn't. You realize that there was never anything to forgive, and that's what The Work makes evident. It has all just been a misunderstanding within you."
"When you try to be safe, you live your life being very, very careful, and you may wind up having no life at all."
"People will write off even the clearest, most loving person in the world when he opposes their belief system. They will invalidate him, negate him, obliterate him, prove that he's wrong, he's a fraud, he's dangerous to society, so that they can protect what they really believe is important. They'd rather be right than free."
"If I think that I'm supposed to be doing anything but what I'm doing now, I'm insane."
"Of course, freedom doesn't mean that you let unkind things happen--it doesn't mean passivity or masochism. If someone says he's going to cut off your legs, run!"
At the end of A Thousand Names for Joy, Katie briefly describes the four questions of The Work, and provides the "Judge Your Neighbor" template from Loving What Is. She also points readers to her website, http://TheWork.org, for obtaining free worksheets for applying The Work to stressful thoughts.
A Thousand Names for Joy reveals what's on the other side of investigated thoughts--past the stress, the confusion, and the suffering. I am so grateful for The Work because it has helped me come to terms with my Autistic-spectrum son. Instead of meeting his "delays" with frustration and panic, I've been able to (mostly) meet him with patience, love, peacefulness, compassion and clarity.
If you have an affinity for the Tao Te Ching and would enjoy eavesdropping on Katie's wild (but entirely stress-free) world, then A Thousand Names for Joy will no doubt delight you. However, having used The Work for years--and having read all three of Katie's books--I feel that Loving What Is would serve those new to the process of inquiry better than A Thousand Names for Joy.
Why? Well, unless you're quite familiar with The Work, statements like "I see the common good. The common good looks like entire villages being wiped out by one tsunami" may seem disturbing, heartless, and repugnant. On the other hand, Katie would attest that such stressful thoughts would be the perfect time to apply The Work--but only if you want!
Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book: Picture the Past, Experience the Cards, Understand the Present (coming Fall 2008 from Hampton Roads Publishing)...more info
- A thousand ways it's fabulous
I usually buy these kinds of books but then only read the first and last chapters. I not only read this entire book, I truly enjoyed it. She's the real deal, Ms. Byron Katie. I've never attended a workshop of hers, but I feel like I know her already. And her exercises have really started to change my life....more info
- Made an incredible difference in my life, and still is!
We want to be happy, but we don't know what the blocks are. We want peace, good relationships, a sense of wholeness and innocence, to be right with the world, but we don't know how. Byron Katie knows how. She can give us the tools, show us what to do and we can gain insite and understanding and experience what is true, for ourselves. This book has everything to offer us when our minds are open to receive...practical, down to earth examples of "how to" change our minds, our hearts, our lives. I have never read such a clear teaching of how our minds cause our own pain!...more info
This book is changing my life.
I've been doing The Work for over 2 years now and it has alleviated a significant amount of stress and anxiety over "stories" that just aren't so.
But A Thousand Names For Joy has shown me the bliss of simply existing.
I drove 2 hours to Los Angeles in wonder over the perfection of every single car and occupant I encountered, being exactly where they ought to be. Roadsigns and trees, planted in their perfect places and even a dead bird on the road-I knew had died at the perfect moment. I knew that behind the wheel of my car was the only place for me to be every moment of that 2 hour drive.
I don't know if my words can describe it accurately. It felt like pure bliss.
It's waned. I've started believing a few errant thoughts. But I now know what lies beneath those thoughts, the reality that this universe is utterly...perfect.
Thank you, Katie....more info
- Pure Poetry
If you want to hear a direct description of what life and reality looks like in the absence of any concepts about them, this book is as good as it gets. To me, it's as close to the 'Tao', nicely packaged in 20th century western idioms, as one could expect to find.
The key is not to approach this book as one normally approaches books. It's not a strategy for self-improvement, a set of answers to live by, a philosophy, facts, all the food the mind likes to munch on. It's about what lies on the other side of all of that, or more precisely what's left when none of that is taken to be real or meaningful. If you know that place, then it's a beautiful song by a friend, a total delight and a wonderful reminder. And if you don't, an invitation to discover that place inside yourself.
- Wow !! Where would I be without you Katie..
Byron Katie's latest I think is her best work, which is saying a lot. Each chapter(about 2 or 3 pages) is a great story or learning lesson about how to deal with life's problems. The simple solution is just question your thoughts. Every time we are unhappy, we are attached to an unhappy thought. Question this thought and the unhappiness goes away. There is no exception to this.
I have read some other reviews of Katie's previous books that criticize The Work for being practical only to a certain point. All I can say is go see her in person and watch her use The Work to deal with any problem. I recently went to her School and all I can say is that it changed my life more than anything. I saw her actually deal with a cancer patient and bring him to tears of joy.
Thank you Katie, for all the help you give to the world. ...more info
- This book shows us the possibility.
I think A Thousand Names for Joy is one of the most beautiful books that has ever been written. Of course, I can't know that, but that's how I feel.
I have been in The Work for several years now. My life has changed so much for the better that sometimes I can hardly recognize myself and I cry in gratitude. I invite anyone to experience the power of The Work for themselves through the original sourcebook, Loving What Is, as well as A Thousand Names for Joy.
A Thousand Names shows us the possibility of the awakened mind and so is incredibly inspiring. In addition, several dialogues of people doing The Work with Byron Katie are included. In one dialogue, a man does The Work on his girlfriend who left him. In another, a woman does The Work on the concept "My mother should have been allowed to die." In yet another, a mother investigates the concept "My children shouldn't suffer." These are all subjects I think we can all relate to in one way or another.
Finally, instructions on how to do The Work are given at the end. So it is a kind of all-in-one book.
I especially love the following sentences on the subject of "the turnaround" ("which is a way of experiencing the opposite of what you believe"): A turnaround is "not about blaming yourself or feeling guilty. It is about discovering alternatives that can bring you peace." This I have found to be true again and again. The Work is actually a way out of self-blame and feeling guilty because in using it we discover our own innocence.
A Thousand Names for Joy is a gift to humanity. It is grace. It is clarity. I invite anyone interested in inner peace and freedom to partake of the bonfire of love and light that this book is....more info
- The Real Deal
Katie is the Real Deal, a clear mind experiencing heaven on earth and living with absolute integrity.
Her previous book, "Loving What Is", is the textbook which tells you in disarmingly simple terms how to get there yourself. In my opinion, it is the Alpha and Omega of all truth texts.
A Thousand Names For Joy gives a further glimpse into what life is like in that clarity. It gives me further incentive to go back to the simple instructions in the first book and Do The Work.
Caution: If you want to stay the same, read something else.
Once these concepts and questions start seeping into your consciousness, we're talking about a revolution.
Enjoy! ...more info
- Finally something new, that works
Katie's new book is quite extraordinary. Compared to her earlier books, which focus more on using the Work, this one responds to excerpts from the Tao Te Ching with philosophical reflections, personal anecdotes, and a plenitude of quotable tidbits of wisdom. A Thousand Names for Joy also seems to have more spiritual and philosophical depth--so much so that some passages or sentences are as difficult to grasp as Zen koans; it's as if Katie were writing to us from a new, more sane existential plane, one we have not yet visited but nonetheless begine to envision more clearly as she reports in from the other side. While this book may be her richest yet, if you haven't read Loving What IS, you should definitely read that one first and get some experience actually doing The Work. Otherwise, some of what Kaitie talks about here won't make as much sense to you. ...more info
- A book supreme
A thoughsand names for joy is everything it's title is and I wish I had a thouhsand words to describe the joy I am deriving from this book. it is fresh, delightful and deep. Katie speaks her own words of her personal experience of living the Tao, but make no mistake, it is absolutely profound. I highly recommand this book to anyone who wishes to absorbe more of how to live their own truth in their own life. ...more info
- Disturbing interpretation of Buddhism and Taoism
When I saw Stephan Mitchell's name as a co-author, I expected a wise work on spirituality. Byron Katie only used parts of his translation of the Tao te Ching as chapter headings.
Byron Katie's message is that all events are joyous. To think this way would be to have no empathy and no compassion for others. The "accepting of what is" in Taoism is not a message of "joy".
- BYRON KATIE, VISIONARY with an unconventional name!
Byron gives you the recipe for getting rid of all the garbage that accumulates in your head. Most everybody gets to a point in their life where there is a lot of hurt, pain and suffering in their lives, a lot of it self-inflicted. Byron teaches you how to cut through the nonsense and break out of the circle of pain and get back to a happy, peaceful existence. THANKS BYRON!...more info
- Loving Sanity, Living Reality
Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell combine to offer us the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching and the living reality of the teachings. From the author of the national bestseller, "Loving What Is," Katie points the way to loving sanity, so that we may live in harmony and realize ever present peace.
As she shares the manner in which she encounters the world of form, we sense the depth of unconditional love through her passionate embrace of each and every moment. This is someone who has escaped the madness of conditioned thought and judgment by fearlessly loving life just the way that it is. Her pathway is simple, pragmatic and powerful. The result? Freedom from suffering and a thousand names for joy.
Katie Davis, Awake Joy: The Essence of Enlightenment
This book is full of the intoxicating rantings and chronic self-contradictions of a mad guru. Hypnotic. Enchanting. Mind-bending. Chances are, you'll never be the same after reading this book.
In my opinion, that is too high of a price to pay. If you value your sanity, don't waste your time on this one. ...more info
- The Tao...the Now...and Finally, the How
Eureka! Once and for all, Byron Katie has proven that enlightenment is not waiting on an oxygen-deprived mountaintop in Tibet, nor hiding in some mysterious, inaccessible cave of the heart known only to Yogis and Kabbalists. It's available right here while we're doing the dishes.
I'd describe A Thousand Names for Joy as "The Tao for Dummies," a truly useful manual for "the rest of us" who want to live a peaceful, happy life. The conversations in this book are Katie's responses to verses from the Tao Te Ching, an ancient text on the art of living by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. (Katie's co-author and husband, Stephen Mitchell, wrote one of the most highly esteemed translations of this text in 1986, coincidentally the same year of Katie's now famous "moment of clarity.") This volume is much more than that. Like so many spiritual classics, the Tao wisely tells us what we should be striving for, but not how to get it. Katie, through the alchemy of self-inquiry, always tells us how.
At the same time, this truly is a portrait of an awakened mind. We get to see life through Katie's eyes as a seemingly ordinary person who, like us, endures many of the kinds of experiences we may wish we didn't have to. We witness her as a woman whose purse is stolen, whose husband ate the snack she'd bought for herself and was so looking forward to having when she got home, who watches as the birth of a granddaughter becomes a medical emergency, who gets a diagnosis of cancer, who takes care of her dying mother, who is threatened at gunpoint, who looks into the eyes of a dead friend, having arrived "too late"...who endures a painful, degenerative disease of the cornea which leaves her largely blind and vulnerable to falling (though she's since had successful corneal transplants). Katie describes these realities with no more drama and no less joy and gratitude than in other scenarios where she plays with her grandchild, prepares a salad, speaks onstage before an appreciative audience of 350, or receives her husband's caresses.
But this is not "the lives of the saints." Katie also provides examples of people like us who have come to know, through a simple process of self-inquiry called The Work, what Katie knows...for instance, a man who, although he loved his wife, was able to celebrate her decision to leave him for another man because he had questioned his anger and fear about his marriage. He stayed in his wife's life as a best friend to whom she could tell everything. (She eventually returned to him; who wouldn't want to live with someone that clear?) In this way, Katie makes the ancient teachings of the Tao come alive for us in the contemporary world....more info
- A Thousand Names for Joy
This book is a great, very practical help in claring one's mind of painful thoughts, glimpsing and deepening a joy in living that's beyond reason....more info
- another bull's eye
The Byron Katie-Stephen Mitchell collaboration has done it again; this is the perfect expansion of Loving What Is. The crystal clarity of Mitchell's prose makes Katie's meditations on the Tao de Ching both accessible and profoundly moving. Her extraordinary transparency as she touches on aging, marriage, grandparenting, and even sex, brings the recipent to the heart center, where wonder of wonders, Katie and self are somehow one!...more info
- It's Blowing My Mind
"Loving What Is" changed my life. Now, six years later, the audio book of "A Thousand Names for Joy" is creating deeper change. Byron Katie's ability to explain how I can recognize my own connection with reality is unparalleled. Each section begins with Stephen Mitchell reading a passage from his translation of the Tao te Ching. Then Byron reads her explanation of and response to the passage. The insights are so amazing that I want to share them with everyone. The quality of the writing is more brilliant and poetic than in "Loving What Is." A familiarity with the earlier book will benefit the listener/reader, but is not absolutely necessary. Everyone who reads or listens to this book is making the world a better place simply by virtue of considering the ideas Byron presents. I can enjoy my stories without believing they are reality. Thank you, Byron Katie and Stephen Mitchell....more info
- A Thousand Names for Joy by Byron Katie
In this book Byron Katie reveals herself to be the most radical, the most modern, the most pragmatic of consciousness teachers around today. It is as if she has sprung directly from Zeus' head, fully awake. She is free of dogma & lineage. And unlike the rest, Byron Katie has an actual (easy) & unique method you can use. It takes nothing away from the other many wonderful teachers, to say that she brings it home.
- It really works
I had a kundalini awakening in 1996 but still had a lot of baggage I needed to get rid of. Everyone seems to think this type of spiritual awakening leads to a peaceful life. Like U.G. Khrishnamurti, I've discovered most of what's written about this type of awakening is a bunch of bunk. I had all the cool sensations, along with a new ability to heal, but I was still angry inside. I started on a journey to get to the source.
When I came across "The Work" I was intrigued and gave it a try. It really does work. I've uncovered alot about myself, some of it was pretty earth shattering. I'm a completely different person as a result. I would have given it five stars had it not been for the author's lack of warning as to how powerful this technique is. If a person isn't ready to unearth their hidden fears and emotions, the results can be devastating to a person who is not psychologically ready. I tried this technique with my husband. When we got to a tipping point, I stopped and told him to continue this only when he was ready to face his own truth. It wasn't my responsibility to make him see anymore than it was anyone's responsibility to make Katie see. That's the paradox.
Byron Katie is well intentioned. She offers the work for free on her website. You don't even have to read her book to learn this technique. That's what I appreciate about her. However, she's turned into another self-help guru with her own school. I also agree with some reviewers that state she leads people to their conclusions during her sessions. This contradicts her own awakening which can only come from within. The problem is that every self-help icon is eventually overshadowed by their money making enterprise. However, don't let that fool you. The Work really does work. It doesn't matter what Katie's intentions are or aren't or what her world views are. They're her own, and as she says, it's her business alone. So if you want to mind your own business, I think this is a good starting point to learn how. I think the simplicity in that message is pretty amazing...and true as well.
It is amazing as to how much this changed my life. I'm less reactive because I'm more introspective in my daily life. I only talk when it comes from my heart.
Like her or not...she has tapped into something that really works. If you are super honest with yourself, you can knock out all your demons, samskara, whatever you choose to call them, a lot quicker than with a counselor. Just make sure you are ready to face them before attempting this. Another suggestion: Start a journal when you begin this journey. Record all your emotions and then go back and write about your growth. I've started a chart where I list each memory that is brought to the surface. If this ever takes over, pshycho therapy will be a thing of the past. ...more info
- Can't compare
I love Byron Katie. I think the 4 questions of the Work are completely transformative. Reading "A thousand names for joy" I feel a bit inadequate. If I compare myself to Byron Katie I just can't compare. How do I make sense of depression/anxiety etc.? It is almost unbelievable to me that Katie feels none of that. I wish I could be in that space all the time but it's just not my experience. I guess the great sages hold up for us a state of consciousness that can/may be attained. ...more info
- Not right for everyone
My book group chose this book so I wasn't sure what to expect. I have not read any of her other books but have read alot of other self-help books and have done some reading about eastern philosophy. This book was annoying! I don't know if I didn't enjoy it because I hadn't read any of her other books or because I already had an understanding of what she calls "The work" from studying eastern philosophy. There were paragraphs here and there that I liked but most of it felt like the same thing over and over again. ...more info
- This book doesn't make as much sense to me
I wrote a glowing review for "Loving What Is," so it only seems right that I give my impression of this book. I didn't enjoy it as much, and it left me with a very confused impression of who Byron Katie is, and what she actually believes.
I'm not discounting Katie's experiences, but in reading it I occasionally got a sense of contrived ingenuousness. Sometimes it's innocent enough ("I trip and fall down. It must be time for a rest!") other times it's almost heartless, such as when she runs into friends of the family she hasn't seen in several years, and when they ask "how is your dear mother" she replies, "She's wonderful. She's dead." She goes on to write: "Silence. The smiles were gone. I saw that they were having a problem, but I didn't know what it was. When [my daughter] and I were outside the store, she turned to me and said "Mom, when you talk to people like that, they can't handle it." That hadn't occurred to me. I was just telling the truth."
This is a sixty year old woman writing. No matter what happened to her to change her worldview so substantially, surely she still has an idea of social mores and compassion. When my mother dies someday, and if I run into some old friends of hers, I would expect to tell them the news in a kinder way.
Later in the book she talks about the fact that loving what is can seem heartless, and says that no matter what happens -- no matter how terrible -- she rejoices in it. "When I woke up from the dream of Byron Katie, there was nothing left, and the nothing was benevolent. It's so benevolent that it wouldn't reappear, it wouldn't re-create itself. The worst thing could happen, the worst imagination of horror...and it would see that as grace, it would even celebrate, it would open its arms and sing "Hallelujah! ... It cares totally, and it doesn't care at all, not one bit...it's in love with what is, whatever for that may take."
And yet, she also talks about the fact that she would speak from a place of compassion to a woman hitting a child. But, if the mother is hitting the child, and the child is in pain, obviously this "is" and must be "the best thing that can happen." Why try to change the best thing?
I believe wholeheartedly in accepting reality, but I can't accept that just because it "is" that we are to rejoice in it. When a child is molested and thrown into an outhouse toilet to die, as happened in Colorado about 10 years ago, should I say "Hallelujah!"? I can accept that it happened, and that things like this happen, but I do not see that just because they are, that they are cause for joy. I can agree with Eckhart Tolle ("The Power of Now") when he writes that we should either accept situations completely, or take steps to change them. If I can do anything to protect the children in my family from predators, I will do so. If one of them, god forbid, is kidnapped and hurt, then I will accept that and move forward. But, rejoicing seems wrong.
Katie writes about "being lived" instead of living, about watching her hand move to "hold a cup of anything and drink it, a liquid I call tea, for example, but I can never know that either." Her job, she writes, is to delete herself.
But it sounds as if she was deleted already. She didn't do "the work" to experience her life transformation. By her own account she was in utter despair and unable to be around anyone. She woke up one day no longer "Byron Katie." "At the beginning" she writes, "in 1986, I lived in a state of continuous rapture ... if someone asked what my name was, I might say, 'I don't have one.' They would say 'your name is Katie,' and I'd say 'No, it's not.' The would say 'you're a woman,' and I'd say 'That's not my experience.' ... It's mature now. When people ask me my name, I'll say 'Katie.' I'll say, 'It's cool this evening,' or 'Come look at the clouds, sweetheart' ... if you tell me its a tree, I'll agree with you."
So, it seems that Byron Katie was obliterated one night in 1986, and some non-being, some universal "now" took her place and had to learn to communicate and live in human society. In doing so, she's now teaching anyone who will listen how to get to the same point. But, I don't want to be deleted. I like having an identity, and thoughts, and at least the idea that when my hand moves I'm moving it, not that it's being moved for me.
She implies that such behavior as inviting people to look at a sunset, giving people her name, or putting on clothing is something superficial and even silly, and something she only does because not to do so makes other people uncomfortable. She describes being in the height of ecstasy when she realizes she's been sitting for two hours without one single thought. I get the impression of a person so caught up in the spiritual world that she completely forgets about physical necessities, the sort of person who needs to be reminded to bathe, and dress, and who can't be trusted not to give away all of her money and credit cards to people on the streets; the sort of person who would've been one of those medieval saints who lived in caves and relied on donations of food from the local villagers.
But, I don't think the real Byron Katie is like that. When I've watched her in action on her website, she comes across as occasionally gently sarcastic, she obviously has pretty strong opionions, and judging from her well kept hairstyle, clothing and jewelry, she hasn't completely given up on the finer things of life and moved to the sort of ascetic lifestyle that her self-described mental state would seem to automatically create. That's fine. I believe she should enjoy the fruits of her labors. It's just seems to contradict her self-professed mental state. Maybe it's part of the "show" that she's had to learn to put on after her transformation into whatever she is now. I suppose people in modern society would be less likely to listen to a spiritual leader with matted, unkempt hair and tattered clothing.
My mindset is to accept what works for me, and hold the rest in a state of "I don't know." Byron Katie's "work" really has made a dramatic difference in the way I'm living my life; and even though a lot of what she says appears crazy to me, I also know that she's operating from a completely different viewpoint. I also know that, if what she writes is the truth, she would completely agree with me that she's insane, or wonderful, or evil, or enlightened, or completely lost, thereby allowing me to make my own conclusions and develop my own growth.
I know "the work" works because it's making my life better. As far as the rest of her philosophy, well, I guess if it's true I'll evetually come to realize the truth. If it's not, I'll forget it, and continue with what works for me as I continue to seek truth and health.
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment...more info
- The Way to Joy!
I have just finished reading "A Thousand Names for Joy", and it may well be the most profound, clear and accessable expression of non-duality and unconditional love that I have ever encountered in a book. What an incredible gift and a joy to read. Stephen Mitchell's choice of quotes from Lao Tsu provide a wonderful integrated framework for Katie's words to focus on the timeless questions of human life and society, while speaking directly to the suffering in our world today. Examples of people doing the Work with Katie are woven into the text at just the right places to give it even more relevance to everyday life. I found myself in each dialogue touching the place where it was true for me, too. I also found the explanation of the Work and the Q+A at the end to be very clear and easy to follow. A great ending for the book and a practical guide to doing the Work that inspired it. Most of all, I am so deeply grateful to have found a Way to discover my own truth and share the joy that comes with it. What a blessing it is!...more info
- A Beautiful Gift for Humanity
Six years ago, a friend, knowing that I was a serious spiritual seeker, recommended that I visit Byron katie's website. Of course I immediately did and became familiar with The Work. I ordered books and tapes and became very fluid with the process. I can tell you that even at that point, it was life-changing. Shortly after, Katie and her husband Stephen were in Austin for an event. I volunteered myself to cater dinner for them on their first evening. She was and is incredible. Awakened or enlightened are such overused words but they truly apply to her. That evening and the two days that followed lead me to submerge deeper and deeper into The Work and to get more and more glimpses of the place were she resides-peace, clarity, openness, and wisdom.
I am fortunate that I have experienced her in that setting and her latest book, A Thousand Names for Joy, gives the reader an insider's view into her brilliantly clear mind. How she thinks, her beautiful way of loving reality and, of course, it details her method of inquiry called The Work. Katie is the real deal. She lives what she shares and this beautiful book illustrates that for the blessed people that read it. She and Stephen make a great team moving The Work around the world.
Read this beautiful book. Spend time with it. Let her experience draw you in. This very well could be your final stop on the spiritual path that ushers you into the joy of "loving what is" Thank you Katie and Stephen for such generosity and love.
Brian ...more info
- Inspiring Easy steps to Enlightenment
Byron Katie is an amazing Being, and her suggested 4 steps of inquiry, a truly amazing process, really work.
This whole book is pure Magic! Each chapter is a comment on the Tao Te Ching. The clear ring of Truth and its Joy sings through it all. Beautiful book! Most inspiring and uplifting!!! Everyone interested in Self Realization, in Enlightenment, will love it and be uplifted by it!...more info
- Striking insight into the mind of a woman who lives beyond attachment
Mindfulness practices and philosophies often say, "Be happy, and accept what Is. Be present." *cynical snort* Easy to say, impossible to do. The Devil is daily life. Sure, the Dalai Lama is serene. He meditates seven hours a day, has all his physical needs provided for by others, and needn't deal with any daily details. And he's celibate--no spouse to help him get dressed ("Oh, Tenzin, surely you're not wearing the maroon robes, again!"), and no teenage kids. Who couldn't be serene with that gig?
What's remarkable about Byron Katie is that she's serene in the midst of the modern, 21st century world. She has kids, a husband, an ex-husband, and an international business.
In this book, she attempts to put into words what it's like, living in her world. Yeah, she talks about life and death and grand universal concepts. Yada yada yada. There are a thousand masters who'll tell you about that.
Katie offers something infinitely more valuable: a glimpse into daily life. What is it like to get out of bed when you're not attached to thoughts like "I have things to do?" What thoughts go through her mind? How about when she does the dishes? Or when she trips on her way to answer the front door? What if she's mugged at gunpoint? Or her child dies? Or what if she's struck by a degenerative eye disease while writing the book? How does that change (or not) her world?
Some of her perspectives on life are familiar. Some are vastly different from anything you've heard. Yet her world makes sense, and even though I'm not there yet, it sounds like an infinitely joyous, loving world worth living in.
If Katie isn't a truly free, non-attached woman, she does the most convincing imitation I've ever heard. Buy the audiobook for a look into her world.
This book does NOT teach you The Work, her method of inquiring into your thoughts to reach this state of joy. For that, check out her book/audiobook Loving What Is, which includes facilitation sessions with real people using The Work.
Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life...more info
- An illuminated and illuminating new spiritual classic
This collaboration between Byron Katie, Stephen Mitchell, and Lao-tsu (long-deceased though he may be) has created a truly illuminating work of art that is a great gift to humanity. "A Thousand Names for Joy" is far more than a book - "book" is simply its external form. At its essence, "A Thousand Names for Joy" is an experience of awake consciousness that feels past the limitations imposed by any thought that would seek to limit or define it. It is a gift - an invitation to share presence and intimate dialogue with truth - simple, humble, fearless, radical, unborn, deathless truth.
Those who receive this gift, who open to this experience, may find that their familiar ideas, distinctions, and concepts about themselves and the world melt away in a graceful experience of what Lao-tsu calls the Tao, the Way, the flowing movement of the universe happening at all times, in all places, in all beings, perfectly. The reader may come to recognize perfection in areas where once imperfection was believed to exist, as consciousness is gifted with an opportunity to experience itself at its depths, heights, and everywhere in-between.
This collaboration between Katie, Stephen Mitchell, and Lao-tsu truly is a dream team of awakened consciousness, which no longer defines itself according to conventions of unquestioned thought, which invites the reader to see, experience, and recognize one's own true face in the perfection, fullness, and freshness of being.
It may come to pass that each person who truly opens to the experience offered by the profound gift of this book - who allows conventional thought and identity to be humbled by the recognition of its innate limitations, and who boldly accepts the invitation that the authors offer to radically embrace the unthinkable, unnamable essence of being - will be filled to overflowing with gratitude for the opportunity to connect so intimately both with true self and with the radical perfection of "what is." This has certainly been true for me.
In short, this book (so much more than a book!), is a profound blessing, a gift to one's awake soul, and a precious opportunity to gaze deeply into a mirror that reflects only truth. ...more info
- Byron Katie and "The Work" = Cult!
This book is downright bizarre, a very twisted version of the Tao.
"The truth is that until we love cancer, we can't love God." (Chapter 33)
Oh really? Is that true?
B.S., I say.
Byron Katie wants you to buy her books so that you will want to take her expensive seminars that supposedly "end suffering". $20,000 for her 28-day "Turnaround House". Puhlease.
Do some Googling on "Byron Katie" and "cult" and see what comes up. Save your $$ and more importantly, your sanity....more info
- A Recipe for Joy and Freedom In Your Life Today
Author Byron Katie in "A Thousand Names for Joy" shares her philosophy on to achieve a life of complete joy and freedom. She made this discovery on her own at forty-three, after ten years of deep depression and despair. At that time, she came to realize that her suffering was not a result of not having control but, rather, it was a result of her arguing with reality. Arguing with what is leads to confusion. Once we are in harmony with the way things are, real life begins, a life that is happier and kinder.
The cornerstone of her transformation was linked to the investigation of her thoughts. She learned that believing her thoughts led to suffering. When she did not believe them, she did not suffer. Suffering was by all appearances optional.
This experience led to the development of a process she calls THE WORK, designed to get what is in our mind on paper (cannot be done in our head as our minds will outsmart us) so we can stop our mind, stabilize our thoughts, and investigate them carefully. She provides examples of how to apply THE WORK throughout the book and in the Appendix, "How to Do The Work." In short form, THE WORK consists of the following questions/actions:
* Is what (the story/belief in your head) you are thinking true?
* Can you absolutely know that its true?
* How do you react when you believe the thought?
* Who would you be without the thought?
* Turn it around.
It has been Katie's experience, directly and indirectly through the work she has done with thousands of others, is that we are the cause of our own suffering - all of it. Joy is available to everyone, always, when one questions the mind in search of truth. I have found that there is real meat and potatoes in Katie's construct and have begun to use it in my own life. If read seriously, most, in their personal search for joy and freedom, will gain from reading "A Thousand Names for Joy".
- Scattered hodgepodge
Only if you are a Byron Katie fan, will you be interested in this scattered, stream of consciousness, hodgepodge. It's as if someone said, "It's time for another book!" so this was thrown together. It's obvious that this woman is grieving, that she has health problems, that she is bombarding her consciousness with positive thought. Often zen, with
cursory understanding of Buddhist and Taoist philosophy, she seems to be regurgitating ideas and phrases she's read or heard, applying them within the context of her Work, and what she (psychologically) needs to keep a balance of her daily life, accepting what some others would consider tragedy. One understands her blindness, her health, etc. are all making her live day by day. And if you like her, scanning through this stream of consciousness blather will only make you love her more for her fierce courage in the face of adversity. However, as for the book, there's no energy in it, no new insights; it's quite a bit boring. One does wonder if she will get her eye surgery, how her physical life will improve. After reading the book, I am now invested in her well being as a person. And she did remind me of The Work, from her great first book. So, ironically, I did benefit from reading this book. Why? Because I've been trying not to eat after 8PM and not take a second helping of good food. So now, I ask myself "do I need a second helping? or Do I really need a snack?" Is this true? Who would I be without it?, etc. Sometimes, enlightenment comes through the side door!...more info
- Interesting, but it won't bring enlightenment or bliss!
This book does not do what it claims to do, but it nevertheless contains some possibly helpful parts. The premise of the book is that it contains selected excerpts from the Tao Te Ching, a classical text in Taoism, each of which is accompanied by a commentary from Ms. Katie. Do not read this book if you are hoping for a deeper understanding of the Tao Te Ching or Taoism - you will end up being very confused and disappointed. Rather the excerpts are mere vehicles to allow Ms. Katie to espouse her personal philosophy on the meaning of life, the cause of suffering, and the cure for suffering.
Her basic argument is that all thoughts are illusions and our thinking leads to our misery. The way out of misery is to do "The Work" - a process developed by Ms. Katie to counteract the illusionary thoughts. Add in a few ideas that we are all one, existence is an illusion, only our ignorance prevents us from a life of bliss, and suffering and ill-health such as cancer are gifts to enjoy, and you have a general idea of Ms. Katie's world-view. Nothing really new here - a kind of cognitive therapy, Eastern religion/philosophy and New Age combination.
The ideas do raise some unanswered questions - such as if thoughts are illusory and are the cause of suffering, then how does doing "The Work", which is a thinking/analytical process (and by definition must also be illusory and a cause of suffering) bring clarity and happiness? And if pain, injury, and sickness, are also illusory or meant as great gifts then why bother preventing cruelty to children or bother ending their hunger? Why even bother with medical treatment at all?
Some might also have trouble with the "single solution to all life's problems and the meaning of existence" flavour of the book. Humans have been looking for simple solutions to complicated problems for thousands of years, and as stated above, Ms. Katie's ideas are far from new - so how can hopeful readers find the answers they are looking for? Perhaps the real problem is not the multifaceted complexity of life, but rather the never ending search for single simple solutions.
However, when Ms. Katie does get grounded in everyday real problems she does offer a useful tool ("The Work" is basically a cognitive therapy technique than can be quite useful to some people in certain areas of distorted thinking). She also offers some common sense guidelines for those who need them e.g. you can't make someone love you. But please, don't misguide people desperately looking for answers to life's problems by pretending to offer the ultimate answer - now that's the biggest illusion of them all. ...more info
- A Thousand Reasons to Buy This Book
1. You love The Work and Katie
2. You want to experience peace and freedom in your own life
3. You enjoy reading about how the mind works
4. You are interested in learning more about self-inquiry
5. You are tired of struggling with fear, anger, depression, and want an EFFECTIVE way to deal with it all
6. You like the Tao Te Ching but can't relate to ancient China - an American woman from Barstow, CA is more your speed
7. You want to read examples of people doing The Work
8. You can't empty your mind of thoughts and you want to know what to do instead
9. You want to understand what it can look like to follow the way of it, to live in harmony with the way things are
10. You have the thought "She shouldn't have left me." (Read the dialogue between Katie and Bruce)
11. You don't believe that the world is perfect - as it is - but you are curious as to why Katie thinks it is
12. You want to believe that the world is perfect - but you don't know how
13. You always buy Katie's new books (this is #3)
14. You want to give a copy (or 33) to your friends and relatives
15. You are a psychiatrist or other professional (doctor, nurse, educator, coach) who wants to REALLY help your clients by learning how to do The Work with them
16. You want to read how "it is impossible to fail at anything."
17. You love Stephen Mitchell's other books and want to find out what he is up to now
18. You want to get to know Byron Katie a bit more personally
19. You want to be one of the first to read the newest spiritual "classic"
20. You want to compare what Katie has to say with other books, like the Power of Now from Eckhart Tolle
21. You want to understand phrases like, "The Master does nothing, yet she leaves nothing undone."
22. You are tired of feeling separated from others
23. You want to be excited about what you are reading
24. You want to be motivated to feel better, relieve your stress by questioning your painful beliefs/stressful thoughts
25. You want to experience a "clear mind"
26. You want to understand what it means when Katie says, "Everyone is doing his job."
27. You don't need a plan for your life
28. You have a plan but it isn't working
29. You don't trust people
30. You think things should be different than they are
31. You are caught in your stories
32. YOU WANT THIS BOOK TO BE #1 ON AMAZON AND BEYOND.......
33. You support people who write about mind
34. You are interested in learning about how the world was created
35. You want to experience LOVE
36. You want to experience PEACE
37. You want to give this book to your children, your parents, your boss
38. You have just experienced the death of a loved one, and can't find solace
39. You are afraid of dying
40. You are suffering...
Okay...you get the idea. There are LOTS of GREAT reasons to buy this book TODAY and READ IT and pass it on....more info
- Living in harmony with what is!
If you have ever wondered what it would be like to be enlightened and to live as Jesus and the Buddha are reported to have lived then this book will speak to you on a very deep level. Every time I pick it up and read a passage, I find new insights and peaceful space.
The book is a series of short passages from Byron Katie on her response to individual passages from the Tao interspersed with transcripts of Katie doing "the work". I now have a much deeper understanding of the Tao and of "the work" of Byron Katie than before I read this book.
This is not a self help book in the tradition of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" or "look how clever I am and you can be too". It is more in the class of books that demand of the reader a deepening awareness of life and the space in which it is manifest. I find that I respond to this book in much the same way that I respond to the works of Eckhart Tolle, Nisargadatta Maharaj and Ramana Maharishi. Each has their own interpretation and to paraphrase Nisargadatta "It is the same water in all the wells, just as well to go to the most convenient one".
Katie's writings are more accessible to my western trained mind than some of the eastern writings. Knowledge of Byron Katie's work and familiarity with the eastern spiritual traditions will allow an easier path to the deeper levels of this writing....more info
- I want to love this book - But
I want to love this book (I love the title) But - it's about the goofiest thing I've ever read. I read a lot and I realize that I may be considered not "deep" enough to understand what she is saying, but almost every sentence seems to consist of a lot "I am you, you are me, we are invisible, we are nothing, we are everything so we are nothing."
Perhaps it would be better if I were familiar with her earlier works and I will probably read them because so many people LOVE this book. But it almost feels like a sham, like the Emperor has no clothes. So on the whole, I admit that I don't get about half of what she's saying - I think a little more background or examples might help. I dunno. I'm not sure if I had a stroke in the desert that I would be comforted by her simply staring at me "in love". (from one of the chapters). I wish I could love it, but I don't - still reading it though....more info
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