The mind is everything. The mind is nothing. This paradox holds the key to everything. It is the mind that controls and creates our thoughts. It is our thoughts that create our reality. Everything we think, everything we experience is a projection of our thoughts.
This is so basic to the human condition that its truth is taught by many great masters. In the bible it says “Let this mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” Many spiritual seekers try to get rid of the mind and think it is bad. It is not the mind that is bad but the attachment to the thoughts that the mind creates. In Buddhism, the Second Noble Truth warns that attachment is the cause of all suffering. Attachment refers to all things intransient and this includes ideas and thoughts.
The egoic mind keeps us stuck in our story (She never listens to me, He doesn’t like me, I’ll never be good enough for him). Because the more we think the thought, the more we look for evidence to support the thought, it eventually becomes a belief which can be so powerful as to trap us into a feeling that there is no way out. In its severest form this leads to suicidal tendencies; however many are simply depressed and anxious, but even more of us go through life as automatons, like zombies just trudging through the day. We can hardly wait for the work day to end so we can to go home and for the work week to end to get to the weekend. Moving from day to day and task to task never living up to our capacity, our joy, or our passion.
There is a teacher who has developed a way out of this cycle of lifeless existence. This person was severely depressed for over ten years when she was in her thirties. During the last two years of this period she could rarely get out of bed and obsessed over suicide. And then one day out of deep despair she received a great insight. She realized when she believed something should be different than it was, she would suffer and when she did not have these thoughts she felt peaceful. Everything wrong in our life is really a belief about what is wrong in us.
This person is Byron Katie and out of her insights came a process she calls “The Work.” Katie saw that most people sought happiness by trying to change their external circumstances to match their thoughts. But, if we questioned the truth of our thoughts and became o.k. with what is, then we could experience a life of joy and passion. What would I be without the thoughts that I have? This one question is the question she asks us to ask of all the judgments we have about other people and situations. When we go through the process we realize that what we are thinking is what is going on inside ourselves. This process is empowering because it takes responsibility away from others and let’s us find our own answers.
The Work is perfect for this economic time. Many of us are in fear about possible job loss. How would you feel without the thought, “I might lose my job?” Peaceful? Relaxed? Happy? Why do you want to create a life based on fear? It only brings suffering into the now. There is no joy in that. If you want to create, create a vision of abundance, but get your mind out of the future. Katie’s work is unique because it lets you have the experience of knowing how your thoughts create your reality and can lead to suffering.
Fearful (or any limiting) thoughts are not in alignment with Universal Flow and will, therefore, restrict our energy flow. Since it takes energy to hold these thought patterns in our body, the holding on makes us tired and also affects the way we breathe. It prevents us from breathing deeply and completely and limits the life force available for the creation of the good, the holy and the beautiful.
When we change the way we think about things, we change the way we breathe. And when we change the way we breathe, we change the way we think. The breath puts us into the present moment, not in the past or future where thoughts reside. This is why Eckert Tolle supports breathing as a practice for creating present moment awareness and why he supports Katie’s work as “a great blessing for our planet.” And this is why we marry Katie’s work with Transformational Breathing.
The two are inseparable and are powerful tools for transformation and evolution into joy. The Work is about taking personal responsibly for our thoughts and our life. Let’s just stay with the belief that we create our reality and everything around us is a projection of our thoughts. If this is so, then what powerful creators we are, for we created everything we have. There is no judgment as to whether it is good or bad; it is our creation, created out of love for us to learn and grow. If we accept this, then we must also accept that we can change it too. We can create anything we want. And if we can create anything we want, then what are we waiting for. The world needs us to show up in our greatness. We can do this. But we have to first change the way we think and breathe.
You can learn more about The Work by going to www.thework.com. Katie explains the process and provides free worksheets to help you through the process. It is also taught as part of the week long Personal Transformational Breathing Seminar.