Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Thousand Names for Joy

The following are some selected quotes from A Thousand Names for Joy by Byron Katie. I hope you enjoy.

I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment. That joy is in everyone, always.

The apparent craziness of the world, like everything else, is a gift that we can use to set our minds free. Any stressful thought that you have about the planet, for example, shows you where you are stuck, where your energy is being exhausted in not fully meeting life as it is, without conditions. You can’t free yourself by finding a so-called enlightened state outside your own mind. When you question what you believe, you eventually come to see that you are the enlightenment you’ve been seeking. Until you can love what is–everything, including the apparent violence and craziness–you’re separate from the world, and you’ll see it as dangerous and frightening. I invite everyone to put these fearful thoughts on paper, question them, and set themselves free. When mind is not at war with itself, there’s no separation in it. I’m sixty-three years old and unlimited. If I had a name, it would be Service. If I had a name, it would be Gratitude.

All fear is like this. It’s caused by believing what you think–no more, no less. It’s always the story of a future. If you want fear on purpose, get a plan. Fear is not possible when you’ve questioned your mind; it can be experienced only when the mind projects the story of a past into a future. The story of a past is what enables us to project a future. If we weren’t attached to the story of a past, our future would be so bright, so free, that we wouldn’t bother to project time. We would notice that we’re already living in the future, and that it’s always now.

The Great Way is easy. It’s what reveals itself right here, right now. “Do the dishes.” Answer the email.” “Don’t answer the email.” It’s the great Way because it’s the only way. Whatever you do or don’t do is your contribution to reality. Nothing could be easier. Nothing else is required; you can’t do it wrong.

She lets all things come because here they come anyway; it’s not as if she had a choice. She lets all things go because there they go, with or without her consent. She delights in the coming and the going. Nothing comes until she needs it, nothing goes until it’s no longer needed. She is very clear about this. Nothing is wasted; there’s never too much or too little.

When you hide your flaws, you teach us to hide ours. I love to say that we are just waiting for one teacher, just one, to give us permission to be who we are now. You appear as this, big or small, straight or bent. That’s such a gift to give. The pain is in withholding it. Who else is going to give us permission to be free, if not you? Do it for your own sake, and we’ll follow. We’re a reflection of your thinking, and when you free yourself, we all become free.

When you revere a spiritual teacher, it’s yourself that you’re revering, because you can’t project anything but yourself... It’s a fine thing to love Jesus [or Buddha], but until you can love the monster, the terrorist, the child molester, until you can meet your wort enemy without defense or justification, your reverence for Jesus [or Buddha] isn’t real, because each of these is just another of his forms. That’s how you know when you are truly revering your spiritual teacher; when your reverence goes across the board.

I trust everyone. I trust them to do what they do, and I’m never disappointed. And since I trust people, I know to let them find their own way. The wonderful thing about inquiry is that there’s no one to guide you but you. There’s no guru, no teacher who, in her great wisdom, shows you the answers. Only your own answers can help you. You yourself are the way and the truth and the life, and when you realize this, the world becomes very kind.

We think that because Jesus and the Buddha wore robes and owned nothing, that’s how freedom is supposed to look. But can you live a normal life an dbe free? Can you do it from here, right now? That’s what I wan t for you. We have the same desire: your freedom. And I love that you’re attached to material objects, whether you have them or not, so that you can come to realize that ll suffering comes from the mind, not the world.

The litmus test for self-realization is a constant state of gratitude. This gratitude is not something you can look for or find. It comes from another direction, and it takes you over completely. It’s so vast that it can’t be dimmed or overlaid.

1 comment:

Teresa said...

I haven't ever done this blogger thingy before! I receive your e-mails because I am on the list for the Blk. Mtn. Hawkins group, which I do not attend but love the info anyway! I just wanted to comment on a Thousand Names for Joy! What a wonder-full book! I have read 2x and still pick up and let it flip open somedays. I even got out her first book, Loving What Is, recently to enjoy and do the WORK again!! Thanks for sharing. Teresa, Candler NC