08 May 2009

Family

"Your family will see you as they see you...
The important question is, 'How do you see yourself?' If I think that they need the Work, I need the Work. Peace doesn't require two people; it requires only one. It has to be you... [it] begins and ends there."

"If your truth now is kind, it will run deep and fast within the family and will replace manipulation with a better way. As you continue to find your own way into inquiry,
sooner or later your family will come to see as you yourself do. There's no other choice."

Byron Katie is responsible for the above quotes. Here, a brief interpretation offered as support for my own process as well as yours.

Our attention is all we have. Like light, air, water, our attention is an actual substance that we can bring to all of our interactions and exchanges. When we do, there is more space, even more luminosity in our experience of others and our circumstances.

When our attention is elsewhere at any time other than the present, we've forfeited the opportunity to experience the light in the moment. Use your attention to listen to yourself,
your surroundings, your family. We have the capacity to be open enough, via our breathing in every single moment, to hold space for that potential light, as well as our deepest resistances; to hold space for the ones who give to us freely, as well as the ones who seem to take from us.

Each person in our lives is there to show us the way to our freedom. Sometimes the ways in which people seek acceptance are so confusing. In the face of such moments, it is our work to breathe, and through our breathing, soften more, and through that softening, listen well. Once we are listening we have access to our own freedom, as the openings, as the light.

Photo: Pamela Katch

3 comments:

Justin said...

your comments always seem to have a way of being timely...

Annette said...

The Work by Byron Katie can be viewed on You Tube or you can access it via www.thework.org

Having done The Work (TW) daily, as meditation, for one year now - I might try to describe it as the yoga of my freedom. I attended a New Year's Cleanse in Los Angeles with Katie for 4 days this past New Year's holiday. In these times many options are available to all of us, in the pursuit of our freedom, if freedom is what you want, and, TW may not be some thing you need.. it is not for everyone. Key to Katie's 4 questions and turnarounds is the, dare I say, fact, that SUFFERING IS OPTIONAL. Talk about Radical Acceptance!

Katie gets at the Manomaya Kosha and the Mind. All the people, things, situations, thoughts and concepts.. that cause you stress are metaphors for where you live, attach and remain in denial of your True Self. That's why it stresses(hurts) you; you are operating in direct opposition to your own sweet Self AND you FEEL IT. Katie's description of stressful emotions is that they are like the temple bell signaling you that you've stepped out of Reality. Like yoga there is much to this work and it must be done with a sincere heart and an open mind. Delusion is rampant, conditioned, persistent and very difficult to untangle... and, I'm guessing I've left other things out, but you get the picture.

So, here's my disclaimer I do not wish to hold myself out there as an authority on freedom or TW of Byron Katie. All I know is that being free NEVER hurts. As Katie likes to admit "I was just someone who could tell the difference between what hurts and what doesn't". As I understand it, it was Epictetus who alluded to the fact that it is not the situation that hurts us, but our thoughts about them.

As Elena sets out about the light - the light, for me references many things simultaneously(yogic mind) - the light in TW is this light of Awareness - we quite literally shine the light of our attention on where we have our happiness backwards(Katie's phrase) by looking at these stressful thoughts and doing the work on them. With our family, obviously these are very special relationships - these are the ones that we need up close and personal extra work on. I have heard it said that "until you can see that your husband(or any person) is a saint as he walks through the door, your work is not done." This is about your own thoughts, it is not dogma, yes, there is a system, but it is not like 1.) sit and meditate for 20 minutes 2.) stand on your head and imagine a deep place in deep space.. and on and on and after years and years.. well, maybe that's for somebody, but it didn't turn out to be for me. And, there really isn't any way to do it wrong and if it is not getting through to you, like you think it's not working, then you know, cuz you hurt or still feel stressed. This is about freedom, you own freedom. But please don't take my word for it, find out for your Self.

Last thing - a definition of Unconditional Love from Katie - Not expecting the other to do what I can not.

As ever and always, with the deepest of gratitude, love and respect - Thank you Elena

ritanyc said...

"Sometimes the ways in which people seek acceptance are so confusing..." This rings true when listening to my child; often I am so ready with an answer or demand that I will miss the purity and innocence of the situation and with it the soft, sweet cry for help (and acceptance). Thanks for the inspiration, Elena.