Melanie notices that after she does The Work, moments of peace lead her to think she is more enlightened than she is. “How can I do The Work more honestly?” she asks Byron Katie. “How can I stop pretending that I have more understanding than I do?” Katie says that in those moments when you feel so free, you can question your thought. “’This is enlightenment’—is it true?’ You may be having an amazing experience,” she says. “But then you put a label on it, and the “I” is born, and that moves you from the experience. “As for how you can do The Work more honestly,” Katie says. “You just find a moment in time when you’re stressed out. It could be the tiniest thing, like the Princess and the Pea. Then you see clearly why you were angry or disappointed, and that’s how you do The Work more honestly. You come to trust the silence that so clearly shows you that situation. What a gift!”
Byron Katie: So, Melanie. Melanie in New York City. From New York. Hi Melanie. Melanie: Hi. How are you? I’m well. Good to see you. Yes. Good to see you too. So, read what you’ve written. OK. So, this is my question. When I do The Work, even on my most honest judgments, I end up taking on an air of enlightenment without really having a deeper understanding and then as I go through my days I get even more confused and frustrated. It happens so frequently that I’ve actually stopped doing The Work regularly, because I feel so confused. Do you have any suggestions for how to do The Work more honestly and let it work on me more authentically without me ending up pretending I have more understanding than I do? Yeah. You know, for me in those times when I’m, let’s say as you described where I just feel so free, just so free, you said: like an air of enlightenment. Let’s say I’m doing my morning walk and I’m experiencing that air that I can call enlightenment. OK? Just so free. Beyond free. I mean, it’s just an amazing experience, but I have to question: “That’s enlightenment.” Is it true? Uh-huh. Right. When we get really grounded, I’m just having a great moment in time. Yeah. But I put a label on it and then the I is born. Uh-huh. Which moves us from the experience. The I less-ness. OK. And just witnessing that. Now, how can I do The Work more honestly? I find a moment in time and it doesn’t have to be a great big deal, but just a moment in time when I am stressed out. And the tiniest little thing, just the tiniest little thing, like the princess and the pea, the tiniest little thing. I identify the problem and I fill in statement number 1 on the Worksheet. You know the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet? Yes. OK. So, I fill in the Judge. . . And then I identify in that moment, as I sit in that situation, and I identify what did I want in that time and place? What did I want? And then I write that down. And then I just move to statement 3 on the Worksheet and I go all the way through 6, meditating on that moment in time. Collecting the thoughts I was thinking then in that situation. And then I sit down and I do all 4 questions and the turnarounds, and I don’t do 3 questions or 2 questions or 5 questions. Right. I just meditate on those questions and let them just move me through that situation and show me what I missed in that time and place and I see clearly why I was angry. Why I had the rub. And that’s how I do The Work more honestly. I really do it honestly. That’s great. I don’t second guess what I’m going to find and I don’t second guess why I shouldn’t do it. I don’t second guess why I should. I just trust it, because I’ve come to trust the silence that shows me so clearly that situation. Uh-huh. What a gift. Yeah. To be able to go into hell for some of us. Go straight to hell and identify what we were thinking and believing in those terrible moments. To collect those thoughts and then to sit in the safety now and question what we were believing then. It’s like some kind of miracle. It really is the enlightened mind. You know, when we can see the difference between heaven and hell, for me that’s enough enlightenment for me, until the next hell hits my head and then I know what to do with it. I know the way out of hell. I think that gives me something to work with. Yeah. Yeah. You know this sounds so odd, but you know I wish you hell, because you know what to do with it and that heaven. Right. Hell is always heaven. It’s all been a misunderstanding. Using those 2 terms as names for what hurts and what doesn’t. Uh-huh. You’re a blessing. Thank you. Thank you.