Byron Katie: Loving What Is

Ontmoeting van gedachten

Een brief aan Katie, geschreven tijdens deelname aan mijn eerste School for The Work.

Los Angeles, Saturday, 20th October 2007
+ 2 h. in the morning.

Dear Katie,

Writing this letter is a bit like putting a piece of paper in the wall in Jerusalem. You need not respond to it openly. It will do its work.

I want to tell you how I discovered The Work. It’s through YouTube.
One week and a half ago (Tuesday 9th October) somebody e-mailed me she wanted to watch all the videos with you she could find on YouTube. I had come across your name a few times before, but hadn’t paid much attention. No that’s not true. I had paid attention that is why now I got curious and in two days’ time I watched all the videos I could find. It felt like a home coming. And here I am.

More than a year ago (September 2006) I quit my job – the nicest job I had ever had, with the nicest people I’ve ever worked with – because it wore me out. At that time I didn’t know I was already burned out. I just thought that the energy would come back to me once I had accepted that despite the good things about the job it wasn’t meant for me and that I had to go on.
I accepted to do a small project I could do at home one day a week and went to university to study humanistic (a study I had discovered the moment I decided to quit the job. I was thrilled about it). ‘Just let go and go on’ was my motto.
To make a long story short; I collapsed in November 2006. I thought with a month’s rest I would be over it.
In January it finally got through to me that it wasn’t going to happen. I had to really let go of everything.

It wouldn’t have surprised me if I had died. After every little exertion my body was shaking and pulling together. Once I sat at my table my conscious became just a great blank, a dark space. I thought: “Pay attention to your breathing” and said to myself over and over again “I can be in this place too.” There was peace.
After a while my conscious got filled again with the sensation of my body and my environment. I had passed this experience. It felt great.
My doctor urged me to listen to myself well and asked me time and again: “What do you need?” I only came up with: “I need a lot of rest, rest, rest.” After a few weeks and a lot of meditation I found words like.

  1. I need people who, from their own being, confirm the way I experience reality; I need recognition in others.
  2. I need to get imbedded in my own reality, stay in contact with it and find the courage to live it.
  3. I need to be aware of what distracts and undermines me without letting it get a hold on me.

At about the age of 24 I have had mystical experiences (the recognition as such came about 15 years later) that put my reality up side down. Although I tried I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. I didn’t feel understood. I didn’t understand myself. Had I become crazy? As a result of these experiences I quit my law study (which I finished 12 years later).
I knew I had been given something that I would have to make my own. It wasn’t embodied yet. I prayed to build a bridge, a bridge between heaven and earth.

It took me years trying to find my way in life (I know this is my way). I learned more about myself and others. I took a lot of chances and let go of a lot of things in search for life. I trusted others – because I didn’t have the courage to live my reality at the full -, where I should have trusted myself. I cried a lot and laughed a lot. Underneath it is joy for who I am, just life itself. There is still some identification left with my personality. It is really difficult to let go completely. It sometimes feels as madness.
Because I wanted to understand – I wanted to find words – I had to go a tough road and still it’s a beautiful road.
Then why am I hurt when other people don’t see it that way or want to give me hope? Hope doesn’t keep me going? It tears me apart. I just want them to stand beside me (a nice turnaround in there). I’m grateful that there are some who do.

How I decided to come:
After seeing the videos I knew this is it and I wanted to go. ‘But wasn’t I a bit foolish?’
So I sat down in meditation and asked myself ‘Is going to the School for the work by Byron Katie from 19-28 October the next step I have to take?’ And I instructed myself to get an answer not through a simple yes or no but by directing me to a passage in a book. I said to myself when there would be movement in it, I would go. When it would be stillness I would stay at home. Although I hadn’t thought of the Bible, this is what came to my mind: Mathew 3:5 and 17:8 and Isaiah 4:2 and the knowledge that the last one was the core of the three.
These passages are very promising. I still have to do the work. I don’t want to go into expectations but in to experiencing moment by moment.

Blessings. Namaste


Matthew 3:5
Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him

Matthew 17:8
When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

Isaiah 4:2
In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious; and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and appealing for those of Israel who have escaped.