A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are
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In her first two books, Byron Katie showed how suffering can be ended by questioning the stressful thoughts that create it, through a process of self-inquiry she calls The Work. Now, in A Thousand Names for Joy, she encourages us to discover the freedom that lives on the other side of inquiry. Stephen Mitchell—the renowned translator of the Tao Te Ching—selected 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. The result is a book that allows the timeless insights of the Tao Te Ching to resonate anew for us today, while offering a vivid and illuminating glimpse into the life of someone who for twenty years—ever since she “woke up to reality” one morning in 1986—has been living what Lao-tzu wrote more than 2,500 years ago. Katie’s profound, lighthearted wisdom is not theoretical; it is absolutely authentic. That is what makes this book so compelling. It’s a portrait of a woman who is imperturbably joyous, whether she is dancing with her infant granddaughter or finds that her house has been emptied out by burglars, whether she stands before a man about to kill her or embarks on the adventure of walking to the kitchen, whether she learns that she is going blind, flunks a “How Good a Lover Are You?” test, or is diagnosed with cancer. 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. And she shows you how that mind is yours as well.
From the Hardcover edition.
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
A thousand moments of joy from this book If you could read the words of Buddha or Jesus in their native tongues, in the era they were alive, wouldn't you want to? It is a rare treat for an English speaker to read the words of a spiritual master in contemporary phrasing, in our native language, in a personal and virtually unedited format. For this reason, "A Thousand names for Joy" is and will prove to be a classic. This is Life described in Katie's own words, her own style, and it allows access to a perspective unhindered in the great Way. Without trying to, she speaks in some of the most beautiful poetry I have heard, and her delight and love of what Is is communicated in an easy, subtle way. I am often astonished at how it leaves me in a space of understanding her way of seeing, in a moment of grace. What a gift! I can't stop re-reading this book. It is among the most powerful books I have come across in my life. She embodies the taoist Master perfectly, and anyone looking for spiritual insight will find this book to be a jewel. ...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
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
Meet The Queen of Unconditional Love ~g~ By far the BEST book I have read on the power of unconditional love in its purest form ... where you come away with the feeling of profound freedom and peace after doing The Work.
In order to see things change, you have to change the way you see things. And this book delivers! Once you put the info into practice, all heaven breaks loose. ~g~...more info
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!
Wow. 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
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 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
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
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".
Down to earth mindfulness I enjoyed this book and got a lot out of it because it ties in the mindfulness aspect of The Work with the theosophy of the Tao Te Jing such that the Tao helps clarify why The Work is truly helpful. I recommend this to anyone interested in looking at their thoughts and feelings with greater honesty and responsibility....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
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
If you are fed up with suffering, read this book
I love Katie - expressing in-the-world of names and forms as this book - because she showed me how to love myself ... just the way I am, warts and all. And that leads me - effortlessly and naturally - to seeing, and unconditionally loving, all others, and loving all that Is. Loving What Is is not merely a possibility (or Katie's' book title) - it has become an easily accessible REALITY.
Reading this, for me there is a clear seeing of the stainless perfect mirror that reflects as "the world" and "me." And most amazingly obvious and simple is the ACCESS to This Reality - via "The Work," which is woven beautifully into the tapestry of the texts.
Here there is the One True Master - appearing now as these two human beings, Katie and Stephen, who have impossibly formed Love and Compassion into words.
I love the way Stephen Mitchell coordinates Katie's present-day insight with that of the ancient Sage Lao Tzu (whose Tao Te Ching was my first exposure to the possibility of radical freedom that this Work gives us direct access to.) First I find myself seeing myself and the world through Katie's unconditionally loving and totally kind eyes - then, she shows us how to see as she sees, and it is SO simple that only in the doing the inquiry into the mind-story as she suggests can it be known to be "the real deal."
What is this inquiry? Four simple questions that dismantle stressful thoughts in a heartbeat - starting with "Is it True?" I find that after reading this book, this has become mostly transparent: as thoughts arise they are "met" with the questions and evaporate almost before I know it, leaving me in perfect silence and a loving peaceful state of profound well-being.
I would urge the skeptics (or cynics like I was) to just read this book, savor what's offered, and "try it on" ... before dismissing it as "new age babble" or "pop therapy. This Work absolutely defies description and cannot be labeled - like the Tao itself - "The Tao that can be named is not the Eternal Tao."
I have proved to myself that working directly with Katie, enjoyable as that was for me, is thankfully, not necessary, as she herself points out ... there's NO "guru-disciple trip" in play here. What a great blessing THAT is! I found out in my own direct experience that as Katie says, it's The Work that works, as my own innate seeing is revealed through the questions, unconcealing Presence in a beautiful and open Not-Knowing.
As the sage said, " I don't know what to call the Tao, so I call it Great." I don't really know WHAT to call This Book ... so I call it ... Love.
Obviously, very highly recommended. If you are fed up with suffering, or seeking Self Realization, or just interested in being happier and more effective in life, read this book. I can attest from direct experience that this stuff just works. Why and how, I don't know. Who cares? it works - and that's what really counts.
With Respect and Love,
Charlie at www.awake-now.org...more info
peaceful and insightful reading I enjoy reading the short responses to the Tao te Ching written by Katie. It gives insight to her experience of life and keeps it simple and direct allowing you to roam around in your own mind and see how life flows for you....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 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.
A MUST HAVE! This book is my Bible. Why? Because it speaks the Truth. If you want to know the Truth and love "what is" this is the book for you. I'm on my third reading and I always get something new each time I read it.
It's my morning practice to read from this book. It gives me peace and clarity of mind to begin each day.
I am a lover of The Work and the quotes in this book just highlite what can be obtained by doing The Work. FREEEDOM!!
true spirit This book is the best this woman is pure Love her book will change your life all for the the better. She is one of the first people I would say has true understanding of life. I have read all her books She will tell you a anew way to see the world Love Joan...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.
Enlightenment In Practice This is the first audio book I've found that demonstrates enlightenment in practical application instead of in theory. It shows what your thoughts are like when you are truly free from mental suffering. It is the most beautiful thing I've ever heard. It filled me to the point of constant tears through the first two CDs as she talked about her everyday events.
You may want to read her other books about "the work" before getting this one or simply check her website. Also, many readers may not understand her state of being and just see her as impotent, surrendering against life's problems. If you've been on a spiritual search for years you will see this immediately as profound truth....more info
BEAUTIFUL! I absolutely loved this book! It empowers me to but things in perspective and find the joy in the moment. I have read the book numerous times in the last 9 month's it's one of those books I'll reread the rest of this human experience. I also purchased the CD set of Byron Katie reading the book....it doesn't seem like she is reading...just sharing. Her gentleness and love is heart felt. My husband and I listened to it on our way back home in the car, 12 hours. It was joyfull! In it she shares her experiences as a Lover of What Is and what that looks life as a human organism, a wife, a mother, a teacher, you know all the labels we put on ourselves and others. Anyway...ENJOY YOUR 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
Your Joy is Unthinkable Byron Katie has discovered the secret to happiness, she lives it and offers it to all in this wonderfully honest writing. Long ago I felt that The Work she offers would absolutely transform the entire field of psychology. I still feel this will happen. And, finally, she has clearly stated the final realization of the work, "no thought (thinking) is absolutely true." Not one or any. No thinking needs to be possessed or identified with, especially thinking that produces suffering and separation. Of course, it may take one's practice to investigate the reality of this claim and that is as should be.
I love her stories in this book and often found myself chuckling with her. Katie is such an innocently fearless and wise Being. Often, people believe that enlightened beings do not have to face the same life challenges as they do. In this book Katie clearly demonstrates that her understanding has survived more challenges than most people have ever dreamed of meeting. Reality gets real with Katie, no past, no future, just this, who knows what it is, who knows what's coming, wow here it is.
As Katie notes, it is only by arguing with life that we feel unhappiness and to argue, we must indentify with and believe some form of thinking. Her secret is to be aware of our thinking, how it makes us feel and then do the work to reclaim our true nature...fearless, desireless, loving of this, right here, right now, just as it is. Katie's realization of joy and happiness is truly a gift to all of us.
Sundance Burke, Author Free Spirit: A Guide to Enlightened Being ...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
A Philosophy for Life Ms. Katie found an epiphany in 1986. Before that time she says that her life was a mess. I went through a similar experience in about 1996: downsized out of a job, in a messy divorce, IRS taking all of my salary, health problems and more. Then one morning about 3 am I was awake angry, worried, depressed. And I asked myself, 'What's the worst that can happen.' 'Die from the health problems.' 'Well you're going to do that sooner or later anyway so there's no point in worrying about it.' And I went through the problems one by one and finally concluded. 'Take your time, work on what problems you can, and don't sweat the others.' With the fear gone, with the stress gone, life improved greatly.
I won't say that I've caught up with Ms. Katie, I ceratinly can't word things as well as she does in this book. But when you get your own life in order it's amazing how the world seems to fix its problems as well.
Ms. Katie has found a way to express this kind of lifestyle that fits me perfectly. I hope you can get as much out of her work as I did....more info
Helped me Expanded my Consciousness of the World I bought "A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are" in the audio CD version and fell in love with it. I listen it in my car when I drive every day. It brings me peace, calmness when I listen to both Steve Mitchell and Byron Katie's voice.
The audio version of the book always starts with Steve making a quote and Byron Katie elaborating on the quote. Everything they say rings true to how I truly feel and brings lots of joy and peace throughout the day. For example, Byron Katie would say something related to how she handles the pain of her cornea without a story. Her words truly inspired how I felt about the cold I was had this last week. Prior to Byron Katie, I would sometimes still feel "bad" and "sorry" for myself because I was "suffering" from a cold/flu and unconsciously have beliefs that I need to resist it. I usually would create my own turmoil unconsciously thinking fighting the cold will make me feel better.
However, her view about her cornea's condition made me realize I can certainly living in harmony with the way things (the seemingly terrible cold) are without opposition. That does not mean I sit back and do nothing. Instead, I take medication and take the time to rest myself well without the story "I am the poorest thing". Without the story like Byron Katie was saying, I realize how the cold inspired me to appreciate every breath I take in life. While I had the cold inside me, I had nasal congestion which does not allow me to sit and breathe properly. With Byron Katie's words here, I realize I have taken my health and meditation practice for granted. Without the nasal congestion (without accepting the cold was there), there was no opportunity to help me be aware and appreciate the beauty of breathing. Isn't that wonderful? That was a result from being inspired by this wonderful book and I thank Steven Mitchell and Byron Katie for that.
If you are new to Byron Katie's work, I would suggest reading Loving What Is first. Loving What is talks more about The Work Inquiry process and how the inquiry process changes the view of others thoughts. Although in the beginning A Thousand Names of Joy provided what The Work Inquiry is, I think readers might get more benefits out of it when the experience and read Loving What Is first prior to this book to get the full benefit.
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
Comfort & Joy The experience of reading this book was very uplifting. The message is simple -- that we can fight the way things are and be miserable or we can live in harmony and have joy. When I forget this simple message I only have to go back to the book and be reminded again. Slowly the choice of harmony is becoming more of a habit in my life. I'm so grateful for Katie's Work....more info
Hypnotic 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
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
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
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
Stunning! Over last year I have had a number of frustrating spirital openings or awakenings with great teachers only to have the mind come back in full force and seemingly take over again. How frustrating and depressing. Then comes A Thousand Names for Joy. It is stunning, on many levels. One, it leaves you with no doubt that this natural state of joy and transcendence is Katie's experience, it is described in unambiguous, clear terms...you know exactly what to expect YOUR natural state to be once the mind is clear, and it is ever so obvious that living in this natural state is possible to anyone AND all the tools are given! The work and it's four questions and turnaround. Incredible!
I've played around a little with the work over the years with some great Aha's but feelng like it was more "self-help" than anything about "enlightenment," I didn't take it that seriously. But after this amazing book I took up the work again, this time with the understanding that this beautiful, joyous state of being is mine if I do this work and I steadfastly refuse to accept anything less. After two weeks of intensive inquiry, the joy is coming in..in great big beautiful waves. I am already THAT, but IT seems to require that every stressful thought this mind can create is questioned and seen through - however long that takes in this apparent world. It is a joyful task!! ...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
Great Way to Grow and Understand What life is About I have read this book a couple of times and find it insightful and helpful in guiding me to true understanding of where I need to be. If you like Eckhart Tolle and want something more to guide you , this is the book. If you want to get past all your anger and frustrations , this book will lead you there gently....more info
A Psychiatrist Weeps For Joy Upon Reading This Book As a psychiatrist who practices and shares The Work of Byron Katie I am biased when I say that A Thousand Names For Joy is one of the most beautiful descriptions of non-dual reality ever written. I wept during most of it. Thank you Stephan Mitchell, for putting into words what Katie lives moment to moment. It was a real eye-opener....more info
Name your joy I love this book. A great recommendation from the folks at [...] where I watched all the video clips and felt the direct power and grace of The Work she is doing with everyone. Loving What Is, the title of her first book, says it all, but A Thousand Names For Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are arrived first in the mail. Joy is joy, and the laughter came freely in every short chapter of this, Katie's meditation inspired by her husband Stephen Mitchell's translation of the Tao Te Ching. About half way through, Loving What Is arrived and I read that perfect introduction to The Work, Katie's reality check and guide to self-inquiry, before continuing with A Thousand Names For Joy. There may not be easy laughs on every page for you, but there is amazing grace there. I have, of course, ordered Katie's other books and preordered her next one. I find her to be the most quotable of writer-teachers, thus the title of her most recent book, Question Your Thinking, Change the World: Quotations from Byron Katie. And here, from A Thousand Names For Joy, is the passage that prompted me to write this review:
"Beyond what the mind can see is kinder than what it sees--that's the privilege of an open mind. Kindness resonates with the way things are. Kindness is sipping a cup of tea without the thought that I'm even sipping it. It's like being my own plant, feeling myself being watered, beyond any thought that that's what I even need. It's the sound of rain against the window, the gift of the sound of rain in my ears, the gift of life, which I did nothing to deserve. Kindness prepares what I am to eat in the next season. It even leaves a rainbow. It's infinite. It's the hair that protects my head in the sun, the ground that supports the floor. There's nothing that isn't kind. A death accomplishes what ordinary life could never do, letting you experience what is beyond identification: the bodiless self, mind infinitely free.
"When you realize where you come from, no imagination can move you to believe that you are separate. Everything is seen for what it is, and you understand that no one is in danger of losing anything but his identification. And in that forever good news, in the face of everything that appears to be real, only kindness remains. It's nothing that can be taught. It's an experience; it's self-delight. When I give to you without motive, I am delighted. I act with kindness because I like myself when I do that. That kindness can only be to myself. It doesn't include anyone else, not even the apparent receiver. I am both giver and receiver, and that's all that matters.
"The whole world belongs to me, because I live in the last story, the last dream: woman sitting in chair with cup of tea. I look out the window, and whatever I see is my world. There's nothing beyond that, not one thought. This world is enough for me. Anything I ever need to do or be is in this unlimited space. It's enough to accomplish my purpose, and my purpose is to sit here now and sip my tea. I can imagine a world outside what I can see, and as it happens I prefer this one. It is always more beautiful here, wherever I am, than any story of a future or a past. The here and now is where I can make a difference. It's what I live out of. Nothing more is required."
A Thousand Raves for This Book We tend to think of Great Spiritual Leaders in the past tense. They are almost always Male. Image-wise, they are usually bearded men who lived long ago in some far away place and said some very wise things, especially when they were about to die.
We are so very fortunate -- those of us who are alive in this moment, those of us who are reading these words -- because in OUR lifetime and from OUR culture comes a wise person who has a simple formula which, when followed, guarantees the end of suffering! Her name is Byron Katie and as far as I can tell, she has no ego. It disappeared one day in 1986, leaving behind only clear vision and a love of Reality.
I was given Katie's first book, LOVING WHAT IS, in the summer of 2004 when I was deep in depression, blinded with emotional pain. Since that time, by doing The Work, I have opened myself to a joyous, fantastically exciting life. I have read just about everything Katie has written, and also attended The School for the Work, several Intensives, and more.
Reading A THOUSAND NAMES FOR JOY is like sitting at the feet of the Master herself. And surprise! She is not an old man from an ancient civilization; she is US...but without the pain created from attachment to stressful thoughts.
Here is a NEW bible for a new generation of inner peace-seekers! It's brilliant. It is proof that Enlightenment (which I'll define as simply finding God in everything) can come to anyone at any time.
Brilliant As with trying to describe the Tao, there is nothing that can be said here that will adequately convey the clarity, elegance and beauty of this teaching. Katie's is one of the most lucid voices ever to grace humanity with a wisdom that ultimately leads to freedom.
While there have been numerous interpretations and translations of the Tao-te Ching made available over the past 2000 years (not to mention one even proffered by a certain pug dog, The Tao of Pug), this one is, by far, the most accessible and practical "users' guide" to Lao-tzu's original text. Please don't let yourself miss the opportunity to experience and receive this gift.
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
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
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
Refreshing 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
Ancient Master meets Contemporary Master I found A Thousand Names for Joy last night, and I cannot put it down. I was up, ecstatic, most of the night. This book is fabulous!. It caused me to weep so much, such great big cleansing tears. It reminds me of what I always knew. And it says it so clearly and wonderfully. I am very grateful for this book, and for the wonder of reading an ancient Master commented on so eloquently by a contemporary, radical Master. Byron Katie (and Stephen Mitchell) rock!!!
Beautiful, but with a cost Byron Katie writes and speaks beautifully. The 4 questions of the Work are truly transformative. Their power resides in their capacity to force us to look inside ourselves when we turn our criticism about others and the world around. This is a fantastic process.
She also asserts that when we disagree with reality we are always wrong. So she says that she does not interfere with God's business, which is, simply, fully accepting the way things are. Amen.
But there is a powerful downside to her system and that is the risk of passivity. We live on a planet that is literally dying. We live at a time of war and violence. That is the real state of the world. To disagree with that is to live in delusion. I believe that Ms. Katie would agree with that statement.
People have the capacity to make change. History shows that. Particularly at times of great suffering some people will emerge and be a force of powerful change against enormous and powerful adversaries.
If we are to be in love with the way things are, we run the risk of passivity. Some of us may believe that this is God's business and not our own. I would strongly disagree.
There is a German poem that says:
When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent
I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent
I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out
I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.
That, is the downside to the philosophy of everything as it is is perfect. Perhaps, if Germans were less compliant and more thoughtful, a monster like Hitler could never have come to power. Life calls on us to think and use our minds. It does NOT ask us to see it as always perfect. Many of the great discoveries of modern medicine can be attributed to seeing life as problematic and needing the dynamic participation of the human mind.
As beautiful as the vision of Ms. Katie appears to be, its appearance of love and beauty possesses the great risk of obligating us to inappropriate acceptance. Her voice becomes the voice of authority and there is great danger in that. In these times, life calls us to be bold and to live our passion as if that is the only thing to live for. Corporations want us to be passive, government wants us to be passive, and too often philosophy rooted in Asia wants us to be passive.
Perhaps Ms. Katie would agree entirely with this review...she might and she might not. If we truly are of God, and if God is the natural world, then we need to regain our balance and find our own harmony. That might require finding our love and our anger, if that powerful emotion motivates us to finally do what we know in our hearts is right. We can say, yes, the world is the way it is. It is threatened by our pollution and excess and it is threatened by war and violence. I accept that and am willing to do what I need to do to make a difference.
We are not placed here ONLY to love everything the way it is....there is another part of our lives. I think we need to find that part as well.
If you would like to learn more check out liberation from the lie, which is one word. There are some intriguing ideas there....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