Tag Archives: Byron Katie

thoughts behind the thoughts

6 Jan

Thorny Plant

We often have little bugaboos that are particular to each particular body suit:  recurring sinus infections, celiacs, migraines, asthma, insomnia, allergies;  we all know about these sort of  things!  There are challenges that are particular to each of us, yet also shared in  a commonality of annoyance or dread or danger: a thorn in the side, to tie it to a more ancient character, Paul.  I remember endless debate about what Paul’s thorn in the side was referring to when I was a child, immersed in a Christian world, which can get fuzzy to me now after all these years.  I remember speculation about his thorn being poor eye sight, a chronic disease, a sinful desire, mental anguish.   How cool that he didn’t come right out and reveal his cause of suffering!   By not doing so, he raised an awareness of a universal challenge of being a human in a body.

After having worked through the handful of accepted modern medical suggestions without results for one of my little body bugaboos, I moved on to the gazzilion of alternative and wacky suggestions found on the grab bag of the internet 🙂 !  I also have taken many days of separation and quiet to address the issue through mediation, spiritual causes, prayer, stopping short of dancing around a fire, naked, howling at the full moon…Okay, I admit it;   I tried that too!  😉

In the midst of my working through, This article about Rinpoche’s gangrene and year of healing came to my attention.   Some of the wisdom that I garnered from this article was not the actual end result of healing, but rather, the process and acceptance seen in the being of Rinpoche.  Gangrene is a gladiator match compared to my playground argument as far as body challenges go, so through this article, I became immediately aware of  SCALE.   Gangrene, loss of limb, oozing discomfort, risk of infection throughout the body, sure quick death and decay knocking on your doorstep every morning upon waking, every night upon sleep, every opening from empty mind, a road of scary thoughts beckoning one down the path of fear.  The big bad wolf is a smelly guest who may not ever leave.

And while there was mediation and spaciousness with Lama Rinpoche, the symptoms did not disappear over night from the sheer strength of his trust and fearlessness and detachment.  It took a bloody year.  Every day of that year were symptoms and sensations, changes that could be taken for doom.  Putrid ooze, my gracious!

How does he approach this?  First, he is accepting.  He is not banking on anything.  He is not proclaiming healing from day one.  What is the worst that can happen, he asks?  He looses this one life.  Hmmm.   That’s the worst?   He is awareness observing what is unfolding.

Through Rinpoche’s example,   I became aware of triggers that small symptoms of my discomfort could bring about – as quick as lightning, thought behind thoughts.  A negative thought  can be hidden behind a positive affirmation.  This is hard to describe, but it can go something like this.  When I might get a small symptom after thinking the problem was getting better, I realized that I had been attached to getting better, and any indication to the contrary, sent me into a remembrance of the thought  everything I have tried has not helped  which led to the thought this will not get better  which led to a self pity crescendo I will have to live with this until the end of my daysOye, such a pity :)…but it is just a flash, just a flash of that negativity, covered up by another plan quickly, another solution, a mask of positivity instead of an examination of the powerful flash of negativity – still bouncing in the playing field of polarity of thinking.

I’m trying not to get bogged down here in my explanation, but it is hard to describe the momentary workings of the brain and thinking.

There is this truth:  I already know what the healing is like.  I am releasing outcome – and that is what healing is…not the physical manifestation.    I can walk through the symptoms without attachment because I know that this is exactly what is right for right now;  healing is the thoughts, not the body.

Rinpoche woke every morning for a year with symptoms and seemingly did nothing but observe and continue on his path.  When the symptoms appear momentarily for me now, I am becoming aware of a shift within.   I often catch myself before the spiral down, and I remember the way it feels to be well.  I remember wellness in a bodily way without attachment.

I even question the thought that “it” should even go away – that is not really my concern, is it?   I even have found the positives for if it continues for forever.   Staying present in the discomfort and not following a negative path of thoughts wakes me up to blessing that are existing right in the moment.  When I followed the negative thought trail, even for a moment, I was blinding me to the moment.  I couldn’t feel the very air around me, the presence of others, the things that are going well, all the amazing things I am able to do, the blessings raining down!   The symptoms could momentarily trigger in me a blindness.   The contrast of my very endurable symptoms to Rinpoche’s diseased leg woke me up to some very subtle levels of thoughts.

I am observing, sharing, I have no beautiful summing up for what is unfolding currently in the now – and I think this is a valuable place to be, in the now, without words of wisdom but glimmers of Ahah!  Ahah!  Ahah!  on a  beautiful morning  this new year.  Love and blessings and remembrance sent to you, wherever you may be, experiencing the twinges and discomforts of living in a body, awakening to the blessings present in every moment!

Absolutely profound teaching here from Katie:  Could we ever imagine a reason for the challenges?  Do we want the blessings found even in perceived suffering to end?  Never!

just eat the cake

17 Apr

Byron Katie:  A Thousand Names for Joy

from chapter 26:

Who would you be in people’s presence without, for example, the story that anyone should care about you, ever?  You would be love itself.  When you believe the myth that people should care, you’re too needy to care about people or about yourself.  The experience of love can’t come from anyone else; it can come only from inside you.

I was once walking in the desert with a man who began to have a stroke.  We sat down, and he said, “Oh my God, I’m dying.  DO something!”  He was talking through one side of his mouth because the other side had become paralyzed.  What I did was just sit there beside him, loving him, looking into his eyes, knowing that we were miles from a phone or car.  He said, “You don’t even care, do you?”  I said, “No.”  And through his tears, he started to laugh, and I did, too.  And eventually his faculties returned; the stroke had come to pass, not to stay.  This is the power of love.  I wouldn’t leave him for a caring.[…]

If you move into situations of loss in a spirit of surrender to what is, all you experience is a profound sweetness and an excitement about what can come out of the apparent loss.  And once you question the mind, once the stressful story is seen for what it is, there’s nothing you can do to make it hurt.  You see the worst loss you’ve experienced is the greatest gift you can have.  When the story arises again – “She shouldn’t have died” or “He shouldn’t have left” – it’s experienced with a little humor, a little joy.  Life is joy, and if you understand the illusion arising, you understand that it’s you arising, as joy.

What does compassion look like?  At a funeral, just eat the cake!  You don’t have to know what to do.  It’s revealed to you. 

(the absurdity of the play of this life seems conveyed in this visual/time/music juxtaposition – expletive warning)

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