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July 2009

The Byron Katie Newsletter

jenny and katie

Jenny McCarthy and Katie at the Ojai Playhouse

previewDearest Family,

We just screened a new documentary about The Work at the Ojai Theatre.

My sincere thanks to all of you who attended the "sneak preview" celebration. Produced by Jenny McCarthy, this never-before-seen film allows you to witness The Work in action - to experience how people discovered for themselves their own liberating truths and were able to transform themselves before your very eyes. In essence, the documentary is based on one of our New Year's Cleanses and shows people doing The Work on their stressful thoughts. We appreciated all your suggestions and feedback.

jenny and jimWe'll let you know as soon as it is released.

A special thank you to our dear friends Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey for their love and support.

This would not be happening without Jenny's love, vision, and dedication.

On another note: As we are made aware through the Internet and the nightly news, these are difficult days for many of us, both here in the United States and all across our beautiful planet.

In Iran, we saw people taking to the streets, acting out of the clarity of "what is true for us," the kind of believing that must organically and naturally bring about the action needed for major change to take place. This happens when mass consciousness, the "our own truth," "kind nature" thoughts believed can not be overridden by the fearful unquestioned thoughts that go hand in hand with what is painful. Did the unquestioned underworld, the fearful unquestioned thoughts, take over as they waited desperately for change? Some minds wanted to stop them, it seems, but nothing can hold back an internal peace movement as it happens when minds are clearly in agreement, and it is amazing to witness as that time comes. Where are you still fearful in your life? I invite you to take care of it, do The Work with it and serve the one mind in peace from where you are. This affects the entire world, your entire world from where you sit. Exercise your power for change. My job is to invite you to not to believe me but to test for yourself everything that I say. We received a comment on the blog from a dear woman who is worried about her brothers in Iran. My response is below. What would your response be?

In Rwanda, we see in our dear friend Costa a sincere heart, working to build a future beyond the tragedy that befell his country. You can join his movement by visiting him in Rwanda.

In Japan, three of our generous Certified Facilitators from the Institute for The Work held a workshop in Tokyo. Read their story as they spread The Work >>

In Texas, The Work visits the Travis County jail with Joan. As some of us have realized, the prison of the mind is the prison we truly want to be free of, in or away from prison bars.

Thanks to all of you for moving The Work across our beloved planet. It was such a joy to Work at Microsoft and then soon after in Dearborn, Michigan with the people at Ford. I continue to test "There are no new stressful thoughts: they’re all recycled."

Many of you have asked about the necessary steps needed to become a Certified Facilitator of The Work. First, read Loving What Is. Next, come to the nine-day School for The Work, and then enroll in the Institute for The Work. I hope that this information helps those of you who want to understand for yourselves the power of the changes that have taken place in many of your friends and family members.

The Work is simple: it is four questions and a turnaround and examples, and it works for everyone whose mind is open to it. To do The Work, you aren’t required to attend any of our events, unless you want to move The Work, to facilitate The Work at a professional level. Those of you who are interested in peace—peace of mind and peace in the world—and are interested in what works as a daily practice, a practice that brings about peace in your mind, and are willing to follow the simple directions on our website (excerpts from Loving What Is), have the opportunity to get what you came for, and for me that is peace of mind and a happy, loved-filled life of giving, a life of service and joy. In time, through this daily practice, many have found The Work to be their way to end the war with themselves. Again, all that you need to do The Work is and always has been yours, free of charge, at thework.com.

Loving what is, one leap beyond acceptance, as a state of grace in this moment of forever,

book rlcktlove

P.S. - Here is a first-hand account from Richard Lawrence Cohen of his journey through the nineday School for The Work. Check in with Richard as he describes his personal experience in this travel-log.

P.P.S. - (kt Twitters !) >>


Letter: Worrying About Iran

Dear Katie,

I am stressed about the situation in Iran. My brothers live there. They are out in the streets but we can't get through to talk to them at all.

I keep thinking they have been shot.

Is it true? No.


I don't want them to be hurting. The situation is not good at all.

I pray for the bravery of our Iranian students. But I also worry about my brothers.

How to stop worrying?


Dearest Sheila,

How to stop worrying? I invite you to all four questions and to consider any genuine examples discovered after each turnaround.

Question your stressful thought, “My brothers have been shot.”

Ask yourself:

1. Is it true? Yes or no?

2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? Answer with either a yes or a no after you consider the question. Take your time. Notice that your mind tends to justify or defend what it is believing, and gently return to “Is it true? Can I really know that it’s true that they have been shot?”

3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe the thought “My brothers have been shot”? Do you see images in your mind’s eye of them being shot? Do you see them bleeding on a sidewalk, maybe? Maybe you them dead in your mind’s eye? Are they really your brothers or are they images in your head? I am inviting you to notice. Are your emotions being produced as a result of your brothers being shot in reality, or are your emotions the result of what is appearing, now, only in your mind’s dream? I invite you to realize for yourself the difference between mind and reality, the differences between the images in your mind and the state of grace of reality, this moment now and its gifts.

4. Who would you be without that thought, “My brothers have been shot”? Free to notice the grace of this moment, right here, right now. Able to watch television or YouTube or Twitter without fear. Perhaps appreciating the courage and bravery of the students without feeling panic, learning from them as you watch their courage, a courage that is also within you any time you become aware that everything you fear about the future are things you cannot know. Perhaps speaking out clearly in the protests in your part of the world (for me “protest” means to offer up intelligent solutions and examples of why what you believe to be true is a wiser, kinder way of governing). Perhaps reaching out without fear to a friend or relative who is also worried.

Now consider turnarounds to the thought “My brothers have been shot.”

What are some alternatives? One turnaround would be “My brothers have not been shot.” Give yourself examples of why this turnaround might be true.

Another turnaround: “I am shooting my brothers.” In your mind, aren’t you shooting them? And are you using their enemies to shoot them? What is the point of creating your brothers’ death and using their “enemies” to do it with, in your mind, over and over, when you don’t really know what is happening or even what they are doing right here from where you are, right now? The reality is that they are alive, as far as you can know, until you learn otherwise. When you accept reality just as it is, right here, right now, there is nothing between you and reality that would cost you the ability to serve what you can serve and to change what you can from where you are, right here, right now. This is just one of the advantages of the fearless, loving mind wherever you are. (Does fear feel kind to you when you’re in it? Is that what you use to motivate you into action? Fear is limiting; test it yourself.) As it is, you are superimposing your thought onto reality. To project your fears and experience them as real is often self-defeating and terrifying. Your blood pressure, your health, your energy, your right to the gift of real life is imagined away and replaced by unchecked imagination. Your physical health and the health of those around you are affected when you are lost in imagination as though it were real, swept away in the dream of what isn’t, right here, right now. Unquestioned thoughts are the root cause of all suffering and can be debilitating. It is a wonderful thing to question one’s mind, to do The Work and wake up to, be transformed into, what has been referred to as “the peace of God,” “the peace that passeth all understanding,” and be left with “What can I do to help from here, right now?” The Work offers each of us the opportunity to wake up from the nightmare, to wake up into what is real. Thank you, dearest, and let me know what you hear of your brothers.

Also, please do The Work on this: “My brothers are hurting.”

And there is another turnaround that I challenge you to consider through examples: ”My brothers have shot someone else” or “My brothers are shooting someone else.” Be gentle with this one. Though it may sound like a horrific concept to consider, to Work this thought can bring great insight and much peace. Those of you who have brothers sisters or friends in your life that you worry about in this kind of situation, I invite you to Work the turnaround, “My brothers are hurting,” and to get back to Sheila with what you find to be true. Please feel free to use the One-Belief-at-a-Time Worksheets; they are also a free download on thework.com. I invite all of you interested in Working this concept the opportunity to email your Worksheets to virginia@thework.com (subject line: One-Belief-at-a-Time Worksheet).

In love as you are, waiting for you to wake up to you as I see you to be,



Letter: "Thank You for The Work"



Letter: "My son shouldn't play violent video games"


Please help me with this one: "My son shouldn't play violent video games/watch violent children's programmes." I know there's a violence to stopping him playing them. But when he plays them he seems to get brainwashed into thinking it's ok to go around shooting people and that the most important thing in life is to be the winner (the end justifies the means). So at times I panic, because I think, here I am doing The Work, trying to become a more peaceful parent, meanwhile my son is becoming indoctrinated in the art of war. Last week he bit a friend and said it was ok because he won.

I've considered the possibility that how much he watches and what he watches is his business. But he's only six. If he's doing what he wants to do, which is to play video games most of the day (he's home-educated) and I let him, then am I not being passively violent because love would act to protect him? Aside from what will it do to his mind to immerse himself, at such a sweet young age, in programmes made by people who clearly don't do The Work (!), I feel I must restrict his use for fear of what will it do to his body, his eyesight, his posture, his adrenalin (he gets very flushed), what constant exposure to electro-magnetic frequencies may do to his health, in way that can never be measured.

With a 6 years old, where do I draw the line between his business and my business? I find this one a really difficult grey area.

My daughter, Roxann, it seems to me, is very clear about her business, her daughter’s business, and God’s business. She sees her five-year-old daughter as her business and God’s business. If, for example, Marley wants ice cream before dinner and Roxann says no, it is over and done. It is over and done because Marley can trust her mother’s integrity 100%. Marley hears the no and simply goes on about her business.

If Scott, her father, (this no longer is entirely true, as he has since “lived through” a lot of ego didn’t survive the nine-day School for The Work) says no to Marley, he has to say it over and over, since he doesn’t really mean it, even though he thinks that he does; he (is this familiar?) is teaching Marley, unintentionally, that if she can push the right button, crying, begging, stamping around, pleeeeeeeezzzzzzzzing him, etc., he will finally say yes. She only needs to find the right button to push.

Now consider how painful it is for the little girl, as you imagine what she must go through and what she is teaching herself about what it takes to get what she wants in life. Now, consider the little girl who hears what she trusts to be true from her mother. I see peace. Her mother is so very kind in her communication and isn’t seeking Marley’s love, approval and appreciation; she is being honest and answering out of love with her instead. “After dinner, honey.” And that’s it. Roxann is open to a discussion and won’t be moved unless from what she is hearing it makes sense for her to move to another idea. I find that Roxann is very loving and open-minded and real with her children. I closely watched Marley growing up and witnessed the two methods of raising children. (Scott was doing it the way that I did it) The School really opened Scott’s eyes. Beautiful to watch such an amazing young family grow as their minds become open enough to Work themselves.

I asked a health kinesiologist to muscle-test for me how much was ok for my son to watch, and he said he thought an hour and a half was as much as my son's body could manage each day healthily. So then I turn into the 'Hour and A Half police' as I try to apply this daily principle and notice my lovely son become secretive about watching. I have introduced guilt into his joy.

There is another way. I invite you to inquiry, to look to the ways that you are secretive, with him as well as with yourself and others.

So have I left my business in trying to protect my son? I note that when your daughter was drinking you did not take steps to protect her, and that this ability to stand back and just love her is what helped her the most in the end. But she was 16. My boy is comparatively tiny.

I read in Loving What Is that you're no longer a believer that children's teeth shouldn't rot. So am I in my son's business even when I brush his teeth? What about when I rush to save him from an oncoming car? I really get The Work when it applies to adults. But with my children, it's more complex, because I want to be responsible for them.

If you can't answer my question, then at least would you consider developing (a) a book on The Work for parents and (b) a video game for children based on being a warrior for The Work? Perhaps where they could choose which Byron Katie outfit to wear and then act out storming into people's internal prisons releasing them from their uninvestigated alien thoughts. They could have special anti-thinking stun guns, love cannons and guns that shoot out questions and turnarounds. They could have bullet-proof suits printed with Judge Your Neighbour worksheets which see them through all obstacles. It could all be so lovely then. I could just plug my boy into all of that and he'd be happy and investigated all at once. And I could put my feet up, have a cup of tea and celebrate this marvellous technology that gives me a break and keeps my boy so entertained.

Love Eileen

Dearest Eileen,

"Your son shouldn’t play violent video games"—is that true? No, because he is playing them—until he doesn’t, and so much of this is up to you and what you are believing that would cause him to take over your life using ways that you have taken over your own life with. Our children learn from us how to get what they want. .

How do you react when you believe that thought? You feel stressed, worried, exasperated. You’re thinking along these lines: What are children coming to? What kind of horrible company would create a video game like this?

Who would you be without the thought "My son shouldn’t play violent video games"? Probably more relaxed. Possibly at peace with your son. Possibly at peace with yourself.

Possible turnarounds: "My son should play violent video games" or "I should play violent video games with my son" or "My son should play some other games."

Accepting the way things are doesn’t mean you can’t act to change it.

So what to do? How should you act?

As a mother, you have a very clear path of action: either (1) you accept your son’s video game—perhaps you should enter his world, and join the game—or (2) you take away his video games. You can take immediate action. See if you can find an alternative to channel his energy. What comes to your mind? Perhaps a physical sport (skateboarding, soccer, tennis, rock climbing, running), perhaps a book (a friend swears by King Solomon’s Mines), or a chore or activity (mowing the yard, sweeping the floors), building (a treehouse, a kite, a plane), or creating something (a website, a movie, a painting, a comic book)—the possibilities are endless. And if he still chooses to play his video games after that, bring him some cookies and sit with him as he plays. Talk to him about it. About the game, about the violence, about the world. Show him the protests in Iraq on YouTube. You can engage with your child’s world or reject it. Try embracing it.

As an adult, when I do The Work I get free, and my children follow. My children learned confusion from me and are now finding clarity through me. We teach by example, not through empty words that we cannot follow ourselves.

"Sounds like a great video game, however: "rushing, storming…" I would have to relearn. Does it work with a smile on your face? Does everyone drop their gun and laugh? Then I’m in. Any ideas out there?

Thank you, dearest, I enjoyed your letter and have been where you have been, and it can be so very heart-wrenching as a parent when our children are out of control and we don’t know what to do.

Also, The Work brings sanity; no parent wouldn’t take a child to the dentist if they could. Roxann has the most amazing way of brushing Marley’s teeth and Marley today doesn’t and has never, as far as I can see, had the thought that it is something that is a burden. Her mother and father answered her questions and it all made sense to her, just like walking. Ahhhhh, peace is a brilliant state of mind, and my job is to invite the world to that. The way is “in” first and lived “out” as an effect of the power found inside. That is what happens as a natural result.
Loving you and your dear son,


Rwanda: Volunteers for November 2009


Sarah with Costa in Rwanda



Sarah and her family came from Saskatoon Canada, just to hear how a process learnt in LA "The Work" is bring reconciliation in Rwanda.

After that, they have made mud bricks and the house was constructed for a vulnerable houseless Genocide widow.

Within one month Jacqueline was in her new house. Builder was a man who killed her children during the Genocide.

The Canadian family contributed financially and physically to shelter Jacqueline. A gift that will never pass.

Those who have committed and those who will commit to come in Rwanda to help spreading the love through peace, I am attaching to you the schedule for your stay in Rwanda.

Please if you have any inquiry do not hesitate to contact me at movala2000@yahoo.ca or Claude (dyveclaud@yahoo.ca).

We all love you and YOU ARE SO WELCOME.




Saturday, October 31 2009 Arriving at KIGALI International Airport and pick friends at home.    
Sunday November 1, 2009, 

9:00 AM-12AM,


Morning:  1: Rest (Optional), 2: Go the church with Costa’s family (Optional), 3: Hiking (Optional) at Kigali mountain 30 minutes one-way.

Afternoon: Visit Belgian commando memorial site (killed during the Genocide)

  Kigali down town   Costa and Yves  
Monday November 2, 2009,

9:00AM-12AM(1and 2), 12:00AM  

3-500PM (4) 

1: Introduction to MUHANGA District Authorities (southern Region where UPD is operational) 2: Meeting with UPD staff.

3: Lunch to Costa’s mum home

4: Visiting a Genocide widow (Jeanne) whose house was constructed after facilitating her The Work and the woman brick will be made for.

  MUHANGA District   

RULI Sector

Tuesday, November 23 2009. GACACA Courts (Local courts for Genocide perpetrators trail), no activities in the District. (Propose for local trips to the former Rwandan Kingdom palace=Museum).   Nyanza Yves, Costa and Callixte  
Wednesday November 2, 2009

9:00 AM-1PM

3:00 PM-4:30 PM

  • Making bricks for a selected vulnerable woman.
  • Facilitate The Work (Number not yet specified)
    All members, guests and local leaders.  
Thursday November 3,

9:00 AM- 1PM

3:00 PM-4:30 PM

  • Making mud bricks
  • Facilitate The Work (Number not yet specified)
    Community, UPD members and guests.  
Friday November 4,

9:00 AM- 12:OO


3:30 PM-4:30PM

  • Making mud bricks.
  • Hold discussion with Genocide Survivors and perpetrators who reconciled after doing The Work (Alice and Emmanuel including).
  • Meeting Unity and Reconciliation association (Women "Genocide survivors and Women whose husbands participated in genocide) Forgiveness witness.


    Community, UPD members and guests.  
Saturday November 5,

7:00 AM-4:30PM 

6:00 PM-going home

  • Visit the AKAGERA National Park/or Gorilla mountains (Optional)
  • Sharing cups of Rwandan coffees
  • Eastern Region (Akagera National Park)./Northern Region(Volcano Mountains)
  • Bourbon Coffee Shop.
Guests and some UPD members. 

Guests and some UPD members.

Sunday November 6,

8:00 AM: 12AM

12AM: 2:00PM   



  • Rest/attending Sunday services
  • Experience Rwandan life in a household. (Fetching water, gathering firewood, sweeping , washing dishes,, cooking,)
  • Visit Genocide survivors Orphans in a settlement (story presentation, how they survived, their lives, forgiveness witness achievement)
  • Farewell party (Rwandan traditional dances, Costa’s book presentation and his life and The Work, dramas and speeches)
  • Muhanga
  • Jeanne’s house (a  widow  who lost husband, relatives and children during the Genocide)
  • To be determined
      Guests and UPD members.       

Guests, UPD members and Local leaders.

Monday, November 7, 2009

9: 00 AM-2PM

Visit MURAMBI Genocide       Memorial Site. NYAMAGABE District 3 Unity and Reconciliation association representatives, UPD members and guests.  

NOTE: Mass activities will end on 7th November, however as UPD continues its normal activities of bringing Unity and Reconciliation among Rwandans, those who would like to continue to help UPD will be welcome. 


Letter: The Work in Travis County Jail, Texas

June 5, 2009

Well, Katie, you said to "let us hear from you", and so I will beginning now.

First the really good news: You know you say on your "Prisoner of Mind" video how "this Work is flyinggg all over the world", with an emphasis on the word "flying"?

Well, now I have my own personal experience of this and I want to share it:

At the request from the Programs Director at Travis County Jail where my classes are with felons only, I am beginning a class for x-inmates and their friends and families. (I have recently sent in my "wish list" as you instructed me, by the way.) Well, I needed a place to meet and began looking at our public libraries. Intuitively I chose an Austin branch library which is not the closest one to me but it is third closest AND is on five bus routes, and I called there. They sent me an application and I took it to them in person once completed.

When I met with the woman in charge and stated my objective which was to meet in the evening twice a week on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, I was told that the meeting room could not be used more than once a month and that she could not book me on any regular basis. I tried not to look disappointed, (but then no one can disappoint me), and simply stated that I really needed it on a weekly basis but for sure on a bi-monthly basis, and that I would take any week night which was open of those three nights. I explained that as long as I had the dates ahead to let the public know it would work.

She began immediately to ask me more questions about my reason behind the request and I explained about having taught The Work of Byron Katie over 18 months to men who had no way to connect with it again on the outside, and, who themselves had inquired about a place for their loved ones to come and learn. I gave her a very brief example of the four questions and before I got to the part about Turnarounds, she said "tell you what, I am going to make an exception…now when do you want this meeting room?"

Katie, it so amazingly unfolded from there that every time she gave me a date that was open I could only say "wow". She apologized that she could only give me dates through August due to some city wide changes due to happen after then, and every one was on a Tuesday night. She just kept turning pages, noting the opening and saying…"and this is also on a Tuesday". She said, and I quote: "it must be that this was meant to be". Indeed.

Then I looked at the room, a beautiful room complete with a wipe-off board and equipment and a television with a DVD player, just like my classroom at Travis County. I left there elated. What a heaven this is.

The next day I shared the news with my immediate supervisor and with the Program Director and asked for help designing a flyer for the inmates and for the classes. They asked how many I wanted and asked me for the basic information.

Today when I arrived in the classroom, an inmate showed me his design for a flyer that he had done by hand, and asked me if there were any changes to be made. I had suggested some art for it, but the design had a copyright, so he created one on the spot and did the work right in the office of our programs secretary where he worked for hours.

Katie, it is beautiful. I never expected the lettering to be done by hand…and the art, it is superb, it is birds flying up and up, surrounded by a spiraling ribbon. As soon as the final copy is done, I will send you one.

Little did he know that the spiral has been my personal example for self growth for a very long time, and now, we will look at this flyer and talk a bit about our lives spiraling, touching something again and again ever more lightly and in an different way on a higher level of enlightened experience.

Yes, even in Austin, TX, this Work is flying out and in the most splendid, easy and wonderful way.

In gratitude to the Foundation and to you, Katie, and with SO much love, Joan



Would you like to contribute to a book, through your own experience, about The Work at Work? If you have a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet worked through or a One-Belief-at-a-Time Worksheet filled in and if you would like to contribute it/them, and words about how you have used The Work in your business or have grown your business with the help of The Work, send your contribution to book@byronkatie.com.

If we use your example in the book, we will include your name and website both in the book and online. Thank you for passing on The Work and the opportunity to shift the world’s marketplace and banking system to a kinder, non-competitive one, where people earn through merit and quality and awareness of the true giving that is always at the core of what every product is really about.

It’s a beginning,

In love and ever-caring mindedness,

and Christian Sarkar


Update: The Work in Tokyo, Japan


Certified facilitators Ashik, Nina and Jörg recently visited Tokyo to hold a Workshop with their translators and sponsors, Yoshiko Takaoka and Tim Mclean. It is such a pleasure to share with you more of our exciting Institute for The Work facilitators and their events.

Nina reports:

"One young woman who we knew from last year had come despite her recent job layoff and was now finding all the reasons why it was good that she had lost that job. We worked together as a group, and then people worked in pairs and staff were available to support them. This worked very well. 

"A woman who had been upset by her mother’s unpredictable fiery outbursts was now seeing her mother more clearly, and the irritation she had felt turned to caring as she saw how she could offer help instead of rejection, and being able to see her mother without the story of her being difficult and troublesome was very intense and she cried deeply in amazement, relief and appreciation as she experienced this new revelation.

"There were many touching moments of witnessing people’s discoveries. Sometimes we ran into those interesting blank spaces that appear when a Japanese thought seemed almost impossible to translate, or an English thought appeared to be understood quite differently from our intention, and all the time the group was becoming more harmonious and unified, a harmony beyond the words.  At the end of two days we felt like a single organism, sitting in a circle and sharing the changes that has taken place."


Audio CD

abuse CD

"My mother knowingly allowed me to be physically abused."

A beautiful woman, with a successful career, a wonderful partner, and a second child on the way, has lived with memories of fear and violence since early childhood.

How does a person live with that kind of history? How can she let it go?

Listen to Katie facilitate this woman as she inquires into her thoughts and sees that there is a way to approach pain in a healing spirit instead of a hardening one. Learn from her that you can know your own capacity to love rather than retreat into a defensive shell. When we investigate the stressful thoughts that cause suffering, our minds open, and then our hearts. When we don't shut down, we find that life is love.

Without forgetting or denying the reality of what happened, an abuse victim can recover her integrity as a person who can bring joy to herself and others.

Buy now >>



Details on events with Byron Katie >>


Turnaround House:

The Work's ongoing 28-day program exists for the sole purpose of turning your life around. The stories of transformation at Turnaround House are spectacular, and miracles are commonplace and daily. You are invited to bring your body and your open mind to your Turnaround House experience. Your program will begin the moment that you arrive. We are here to receive you today, our arms and our hearts wide open and we are ready to say to you with all our heart, "Welcome home."

Learn more >>

book rlcThe School for The Work

Download this first-hand account from Richard Lawrence Cohen. He describes his personal experience in this, a travel-log of his journey through The Work.

The School for The Work
Los Angeles, California

August 14 - 23, 2009

More events with Byron Katie >>

Events with certified facilitators >>

If it feels right to you, please share this email with your friends - kt


(c) Byron Katie Inc. 2009. All Rights Reserved. P.O. Box 1206, Ojai, CA 93024