Byron Katie

Byron Katie is a writer/speaker whose self-inquiry method — "The Work" — teaches a Buddhist-like radical questioning of one's believed thoughts. As she summarizes her approach, you begin by writing down "... judgments about any stressful situation in your life—past, present, or future—about a person you dislike or worry about, a situation with someone who angers or frightens or saddens you, or someone you're ambivalent or confused about...". Then you "... put each written statement—one by one—up against the four questions and let each of them lead you to the truth." The four questions:

  1. Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
  2. Can you absolutely know that it's true? (Yes or no.)
  3. How do you react when you believe that thought?
  4. Who would you be without the thought?

And then: Turn the thought around. (rewrite the statement, changed as if it were about you instead of somebody else, or inverted to the extreme opposite statement, or swapping subject and object, as appropriate) "Then find at least three specific, genuine examples of how each turnaround is true for you in this situation."

Is Katie totally enlightened, all the time? In A Thousand Names for Joy, a book with her husband Stephen Mitchell in which she comments on the Tao Te Ching, Katie says at the end of the Introduction:

I'm open to all that the mind brings, all that life brings. I have questioned my thinking, and I've discovered that it doesn't mean a thing. I shine internally with the joy of understanding. I know about suffering, and I know about joy, and I know who I am. Who I am is who you are, even before you have realized it. When there's no story, no past or future, nothing to worry about, nothing to do, nowhere to go, no one to be, it's all good.

... and, at the end of Chapter 13:

People used to ask me if I was enlightened, and I would say, "I don't know anything about that. I'm just someone who knows the difference between what hurts and what doesn't." I am someone who wants only what is. To meet as a friend each concept that arose turned out to be my freedom.

(cf. Present-Moment Reality (2008-11-05), Coming to Our Senses (2009-01-01), 0-1 (2014-08-29), ...) - ^z - 2014-09-12