This method of self enquiry is well suited for those for whom the mind is active and has the aptitude to use the mind itself to go beyond it. There are two forms that I find to be simple and effective. They’re so simple and at the same time has a huge capacity for internal transformation. One wonders why these are not taught in schools all over the world, because these are more valuable tools to have, than say knowing about countries on another continent. This method turns inwards for answers to some of the most important questions in life.
The work by Byron Katie
Byron Katie says she was the prisoner of the mind (as we all are) and suffered deeply until at the age 43 she experienced a life-changing realization. There is an interesting story about how she was able to awake out of the dream state by a shock encounter with a cockroach while sleeping on the floor. On waking up she became aware of the falseness of the stream of thoughts that make up our “world”. She discovered a simple system of questioning the thoughts without believing them as one habitually does. She teaches this method of self inquiry and has helped thousands to come out of the prison of the mind and find a freedom that they didn’t know to be possible.
These are the four questions to apply against any thought or belief, starting with a one liner from among the more stressful thoughts or beliefs:
- Is it true?,
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true?,
- How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without that thought?
Then “turnaround” or opposite statement is applied to the original thought. The practitioner is to find 3 examples where the opposite thought may be equally true or truer.
This apparently simple system has helped thousands of people to break free of their limiting thoughts and beliefs and empowered those to lead happier lives. This method should be approached as a form of meditation.
Here are a few websites with resources that help to do “the work”:
Do the work (All the material needed to practice)