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Book Review: “A Thousand Names for Joy”

A review by Stever Robbins:

Mindfulness practices, and philosophies often say, “Be happy, and accept what Is. Be present.” *cynical snort* Easily to say, impossible to do. The Devil is daily life. Sure, the Dalai Lama is serene. He meditates seven hours a day, has all his physical needs provided for by others, and needn’t deal with any daily details. And he’s celibate–no spouse to help him get dressed (“Oh, Tenzin, surely you’re not wearing the maroon robes, again!”), and no teenage kids. Who couldn’t be serene with that gig?

What’s remarkable about Byron Katie is that she’s serene in the midst of the modern, 21st century world. She has kids, a husband, an ex- husband, and an international business.

In this book, she attempts to put into words what it’s like, living in her world. Yeah, she talks about life and death and grand universal concepts. Yada yada yada. There are a thousand masters who’ll tell you about that.

Katie offers something infinitely more valuable: a glimpse into daily life. What is it like to get out of bed when you’re not attached to thoughts like “I have things to do?” What thoughts go through her mind? How about when she does the dishes? Or when she trips on her way to answer the front door? What if she’s mugged at gunpoint? Or her child dies? Or what if she’s struck by a degenerative eye disease while writing the book? How does that change (or not) her world?

Some of her perspectives on life are familiar. Some are vastly different from anything you’ve heard. Yet her world makes sense, and even though I’m not there yet, it sounds like an infinitely joyous, loving world worth living in.

If Katie isn’t a truly free, non-attached woman, she does the most convincing imitation I’ve ever heard. Buy the audiobook for a look into her world.

This book does NOT teach you The Work, her method of inquiring into your thoughts to reach this state of joy. For that, check out her book/audiobook Loving What Is, which includes facilitation sessions with real people using The Work.

The book is available in the BKI webstore and bookstores everywhere >>

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