"On the first evening of the School, I often ask the participants what they want to take home from the School. They say things like “I want peace of mind” or “I want to be a more loving person” or “I want to be happy with or without my partner.” By the end of the School, I hear again and again that they have found what they were looking for. In fact, many people come out so changed that their families are astounded at the changes. The School works for every participant who comes to it with an open mind. The results can be more radical, more generous, than you can possibly imagine.”
This is the ultimate inner adventure. Unlike every other school on earth, this one isn't for learning—it's for unlearning. You'll spend nine days losing the fear-based stories you've innocently clung to all your life. They might be stories like “I'm not good enough” or “I need a partner” or “I'll never get over it” or “I have to be in control.” Who would you be without those stressful stories?
This is an immersion experience—an immersion in freedom. Imagine a place where you are supported to feel and say anything, and know that it's all okay.
At the School you'll discover that your stories are everyone's, and everyone's stories are yours. You'll be welcomed into a diverse, supportive family where you can be completely yourself without fear of judgment, perhaps for the first time in your life. You'll facilitate your classmates' Work as they open up to themselves. Then you'll trade places, and they'll do the same for you.
The School for The Work begins the first day at 6:30 p.m. (on-site registration is 4–6 p.m.). The School ends at noon on the last day.
The curriculum at the School is a living, evolving process, changing with the needs of the participants and on the basis of past students' experiences. The exercises and activities are designed to mirror the transformation Katie herself went through after she woke up to reality in 1986. You will work on issues such as gender, sex, fear, body image, addiction, money, and relationships of every kind.
Each day during the School you may find yourself feeling freer and happier than the day before. Old habits may fall away like outworn clothes. You may find yourself eager to get up in the morning so that you won't miss a moment of this unfolding adventure.
Many participants consider these nine days to be the most important days they have ever spent. Insights and realizations continue long after the School has ended, and for many people these insights are permanent. People report that they experience life in a profoundly different way, that for the first time they recognize that the universe is friendly, and that they feel a genuine commitment to doing The Work as a daily practice.
There is only one authorized School for The Work, and it is presented by Byron Katie, who invites you to this powerful opportunity to discover that freedom is possible in every moment.
"Just returned from Byron Katie’s nine-day School for The Work. Two words: Do it. But only if you want to permanently end all your suffering. I’m serious." –Martha Beck, Author and Life Coach
"I have been to many meditation, yoga, and self-improvement retreats. But I have never seen such a supportive retreat container as the School for The Work, nor have I ever seen such a well-run program. I loved waking up every day and having absolutely no idea what we were going to do next. I loved the feeling of being stretched to the very limits of my emotional capacity, all the while knowing that, if I needed it, I had a ton of support. I had some massive breakthroughs in my practice of Inquiry and my perspective on life. I went into the retreat feeling some pretty intense stress. I left feeling a sense of freedom, seeing that my mind was creating all sorts of drama that could be released through The Work. Thank you, Katie, for such an amazing experience." --Nate Klemp, PhD, Co-Founder of LIFE XT, Co-Author of Start Here: Mastering the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing
“I have done a lot of work on conflict resolution with young Serbians and Albanians in Kosovo and on conflict resolution in general, on resilience empowerment with teachers, parents, and vulnerable groups. Before I came to the School, I knew it was going to be a very valuable experience and that I would benefit from it, as would all the people I work with, but I had no idea…
Throughout the School, I had a living feeling that I was being invited into greatness. There were times when it was hard, when I felt I was wrestling with an invisible force that was causing me excruciating pain, but nevertheless, the feeling never left me—that I had come across something so valuable and so precious and that I had an opportunity to partake in the greatness of that which IS and of which I am a part.
What fascinated me during the School is how you have organized the program in such a holistic way—activities followed one another in a way that created a massive learning curve. I am aware that what you do in The Work is beyond educational paradigms, and I am not saying this from a position of an evaluator, but as a professional interested in how people learn, I was amazed at the way you fit the content—the hard-to-explain, what is beyond what we are used to—into a perfect methodology that follows all the rules that experts on holistic education talk about.”
With endless gratitude,
—Z, from Serbia
The School for The Work of Byron Katie: Of Course, I Didn’t Want To Go
I dragged my feet on going to The School. I had already done it all (or so I thought): Jungian analysis, spiritual seeking worldwide, attendance at the birth of the new age at Esalen in the ’70s, an endless variety of workshops, not to mention worksheets galore with fine facilitators. I called the School organizers many times and asked many questions. I tried to find out who, what, where, when, and how in great detail. They seemed so vague. I didn’t want to go.
But one day I said yes. The rest is impossible to put into words, but let me say that the people, the place, what we did, what I heard, what I saw, what I felt, is still burning up my suffering in the fire of love. Not a flash, but a huge, unending blaze that continuously illuminates, transforms, and heals my relationship to Reality (also known as God).
I may sound as abstract as they did, but believe me when I say that the School has worked miracles in my heart and mind, and is still combusting in revelations that can only be experienced directly.
And then there is Byron Katie…
You deserve her.
Your true self.
With love, L.
“Before I did the School, I thought it was laziness that kept me from doing The Work; now I understand it was my ego's way of holding me back from becoming a more fully realized me. Doing The Work with others in mindfulness gives me the discipline to go deeper. I found once I got used to writing out Worksheets and taking the time with a facilitation partner, it automatically became harder to tolerate any slight shitty feelings like doubt, resentment, etc. Sometimes the stories are obvious, like when anger wells up, but sometimes it can feel like an uneasiness or a slight misgiving about a person or situation. For me it can show up in a tight stomach, fatigue, listlessness, or I distract myself with social media and answering email. I may not notice that I am swimming upstream, but decision-making feels like heavy lifting. Ego likes this; it feels at home here.
The Work shows another way. If I slow down enough and sit mindfully with what is, I begin to notice cause and effect, and learn to track my inner movements. In this space with others, I take the time to focus on what it is I am thinking. The Work doesn't get rid of thoughts, but it de-fangs them, makes them harmless. I love that.”
“I've been to many workshops and retreats in my life, but I've never been to anything so masterfully designed, diverse, and profound as the adventure of this course. It is stunning and beyond belief. As a result, I am clearer, cleaner, and wiser at living my life. I find it virtually impossible to be a victim anymore, and my skill in facilitating The Work has become razor-sharp. I originally thought the course was expensive, and I see it now as priceless. This kind of love can't be bought.”
—M.O., Los Angeles
“I have never been so deeply and positively affected in my life. Not only was the curriculum the most advanced course in emotional honesty and maturity that I have ever encountered, but the timing, content, and sequence of all exercises were planned with such wisdom and safety that my courage to experience the teachings beyond the theoretical was truly amazing.”
How long do I need to have done The Work before I attend the School?
No prior experience with The Work is necessary. This is the School of You, and it has no grade levels. It's just you, Katie, her staff, Katie’s brilliant curriculum, and the four questions.
Can anyone enroll in the School for The Work?
Yes, and children who are under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Anyone who can answer the four questions can benefit from the School. No one is too young or too old to have their feelings hurt, to be confused, or frustrated, or depressed, and everyone deserves to know how to deal with their own suffering. Katie does recommend that each participant read Loving What Is before coming to the School.
Who will be our teacher or teachers?
Two words: Byron Katie. She will be sitting with you through all nine days, facilitating The Work, answering your questions, and sharing her awareness. A competent, dedicated staff works with Katie to make your School the most powerful experience possible.
In another sense, you will be your own teacher, giving yourself the understanding that only you can provide. Katie and her staff are there to support you at every step along the way. And every classmate you work with will be your teacher, and you will be theirs.
What happens on a typical day at the School?
The day begins at 7 a.m. The group gathers for a breakfast, and morning meditation, which is followed by an opportunity to share your insights. The schedule for the rest of the day is morning session, lunch, afternoon session, dinner, and evening session (for those who want more).
Why are the days in the School so long, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.?
Katie’s curriculum is very rich and thorough, and it is her heart’s desire that everyone get what they came for: their own freedom. So expect long hours, and all exercises and sessions are optional—this is made clear every day. With very rare exceptions, participants find that they just can’t get enough of the curriculum, it is so fabulous (according to them). The long hours are Katie’s response to their requests, and never something Katie is imposing on them.
Why does the School last for nine days?
Katie’s first School lasted for twenty-eight days, and people found it difficult to get away from their jobs and life for such a long time. Later, by request, she reduced the School to fourteen days. Still later, because so many people who wanted to attend the School said that they could afford only a week away from their families, she reduced the fourteen days to nine, including the weekend before and after. Katie gives people the most that she can possibly give in such a short time.
What is the School curriculum?
Most of the curriculum at the School consists of exercises that help you go deeper and deeper into self-inquiry. Much of the time you will write your answers on Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheets or One-Belief-at-a-Time Worksheets. In the process, you will gain valuable experience in identifying the stressful thoughts that are the cause of your suffering and in facilitating others in The Work. Facilitation is not psychotherapy; it is simply doing The Work in pairs. But it can make a surprising difference in the texture of your Work experience.
What is social life like at the School?
You'll be with and work among a couple of hundred of the most generous, open-minded, open-hearted people you've ever met. And they'll all be serious about doing their own Work and facilitating yours.
Where do the students come from?
All over the world. At a recent School in Los Angeles, we had students from Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Russia, Kazakhstan, Israel, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, Indonesia—not to mention West Virginia, Utah, Texas, Nebraska, Hawaii …
What is the food like?
Great! You'll enjoy three meals a day in a large dining room, choosing from a wide variety of dishes. The majority of our food selections are vegetarian, and often vegan. Organic ingredients are used whenever possible, and individual dietary requests can be accommodated if we know them ahead of time and if they are doctor-prescribed. Breakfasts include eggs or a similarly hearty main dish. Also, we serve one or more hot cereals, several types of fresh and dried fruit selections, and nondairy as well as dairy milks. Lunches and dinners feature at least two main dishes, a plentiful array of salads, and numerous side dishes of vegetables, legumes, and grains.
The long hours, the many days, the isolation—isn’t this cultish? Is The Work a cult?
No, if by “cult” you mean a group of people who are indoctrinated to accept certain beliefs. Actually, The Work is the opposite of a “cult,” since The Work’s whole purpose is to question beliefs. It gives people a way to think for themselves, a way to take their own minds back. It has nothing to do with substituting new beliefs for old beliefs or teaching that any belief is true or untrue. The Work is about un-brainwashing ourselves of the negative thoughts that keep us from the optimum health, happiness, and productivity that each of us deserves.
Here is what Katie says at the beginning of Loving What Is:
What I love about The Work is that it allows you to go inside and find your own happiness, to experience what already exists within you, unchanging, immovable, ever-present, ever-waiting. No teacher is necessary. You are the teacher you’ve been waiting for. You are the one who can end your own suffering.
I often say, “Don’t believe anything I say.” I want you to discover what’s true for you, not for me.
Why are participants advised not to email during the School?
This is Katie’s way of supporting participants in staying focused on what they came for—their own freedom, rather than their email—for nine days. It is not a requirement: it is a suggestion. It is important to Katie that participants are offered the opportunity to stay focused on their own process of inquiry, and not be distracted by business or non-emergency family matters for nine days. (Any emergency messages from family or business get to participants immediately through the hotel phones in their own rooms.)
Are participants in the School required to share a room?
No. Some people do choose to have single rooms. It is suggested that participants have roommates, and that they room with someone they don’t know, because we have found that an unfamiliar roommate often stirs up stressful thoughts, and this gives people a chance to do The Work on thoughts that they have been suffering from their whole lives. The roommate exercises have transformed relationships with spouses, parents, children, business partners, and friends. Our experience is that by the end of the nine-day School everyone who had a roommate is very happy that they did. And often those who chose not to have a roommate feel that if given the opportunity again, they would say yes.
Don’t you isolate members from society, as cults do?
No. The participants in the School are not isolated. Rather, they are invited to take advantage of these precious days with Katie and her staff and to stay focused on the School curriculum for nine days. After this nine-day-long experience, they return to their everyday lives, with a way to deal with any problem that may arise. The overwhelming majority of them—this is what they themselves say—return to their lives as happier, kinder, freer human beings. At home, they are free to do The Work or not, as they wish.
What happens after I graduate from the School?
We have an amazing aftercare program to help you make The Work a permanent part of your life. It is free of charge and is available to whoever chooses to enroll in it. This program provides daily-practice sessions and our free helpline. Many graduates form independent groups to do The Work in their communities or by phone. Chat groups for School graduates are also popular. The School is a continually extended welcome. For those graduates who wish to include The Work in their occupation, or to make it their occupation, the Institute for The Work offers a Certification Program. For more information click here.
How will attending the School help me in my profession?
Licensed professionals such as marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, alcohol and drug-abuse counselors, nurses, teachers, massage therapists, and acupuncturists can receive continuing education credit for attending the School. For details, click here.
How will the School change my life?
That's up to you. The one thing that can be said with complete confidence is that, if your mind is open to inquiry, the School will change your life, and always in a positive way. The great majority of our graduates find their mental, and even physical, well-being enhanced. Their ability to manage stress is markedly improved. They become better listeners, better communicators, better friends, better family members. They become more creative in the face of life's changes. They may find themselves responding calmly to situations that used to upset them. And the longer they keep doing The Work, the more that kind of realization will become a familiar experience.
About the Price of the School for The Work
I love that The Work is always free on my website. Everything you need to do The Work is there, as well as in my books, which are in as many libraries, school systems, prisons, and nonprofit organizations as we can afford to place them in. There is also a free Helpline on the website.
As for the price, it has not increased in more than a dozen years. I originally looked at all comparable seminars and workshops, and set the price for the School slightly below the median price. By now, the School is considerably underpriced. You can easily check this by searching for other nine-day workshops. If I didn’t think that the School’s value was far more than the price of tuition, I wouldn’t offer it.
To pay for the events, the venues need deposits that are very large, and the balance paid, whether or not the event takes place, and paid in full after the event even if the event must be cancelled for some reason and we still must give participants back their money. So I love that registrations show me whether to do the events or not. They guide me. Any time anyone registers for an event, it tells me their intention, and I love meeting that. It’s my life.
There is nothing like the School on the planet. It is pure, it is radical, and I love that everyone who can take the time and afford to do it has the opportunity to know that it exists. And many who can’t afford it are given financial aid; there are many scholarships and grants to teachers, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and others who do hospital, public schools and universities, prison, government, rehab, literacy work, etc. These people and institutions don’t always have the funds to allocate because their budgets are stretched to the point of bare essentials just to continue operating. The scholarships are not loans: they are gifts, with no strings attached. People do not pay them back. And there is a separate financial assistance program available to those who qualify. Some people find this extremely helpful. They pay back $10 a month or $100 a month, and they are consistently grateful for it. With very few exceptions, they don’t take on the obligation to repay the money unless they think they can keep their promise.
The money earned from the School allows me to pay for my website, my large office staff, my airfare and hotel expenses, bring staff with me, and support them, pay for their food, lodging in hotels, etc. (staff who can afford it buy their own airfare and pay their own expenses). The School venues cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, the airfare is expensive, and then I pay staff to hold registration all year, I pay for the office staff, accountants, taxes, insurance, employee health insurance, and the list runs on and on. And in this way the School is made possible.
Everything I have is in the four questions and turnarounds. When people go to my website, instructions for The Work are available front and center. That way, no one has to pay for anything. And if they have the time, the money, and the desire to attend the School, then their money supports not only the School, but our continued efforts to move The Work in the world.
Continuing Education Units
CEUs / CE contact hours are available for licensed professionals.
Byron Katie International is currently approved as a provider of CEUs for the School for The Work.
California Acupuncturists Byron Katie International is approved by the California Board of Acupuncture for 50 CE credits (Provider # CEP 279).
California Registered Nurses Byron Katie International is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CEP 13091 for 50 contact hours.
National Certified Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors Byron Katie International is approved by the NAADAC Approved Education Provider Program (Provider #362) for 50 contact hours.