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Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life [Paperback]

Byron Katie , Stephen Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 Jun 2002
The Work began on a February morning in 1986, when Byron Katie woke up on the floor of a halfway house, at a complete dead end in her life, and began to laugh. She had woken up without any concept of who, where, or what she was. She awoke to the fundamental, luminous state of being that is without any separation, that experiences itself as pure love. Like great spiritual masters from many traditions, she knew she had reached the end of confusion and suffering. That was the moment she burst into laughter. Determined to give people a way to discover for themselves what she had realized, Katie developed a simple method of self-enquiry that she called The Work, a life-transforming system for discarding the stories we tell ourselves, which are the source of suffering, and replacing them with the truth ("what is") and a life of total joy. She began teaching The Work wherever she was invited - at first in small, informal gatherings and eventually to packed workshops around the world. The Work consists of only four simple questions that you can apply to any problem. It is so easy and practical - but also profound in its application.

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Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life + I Need Your Love - Is That True?: How to find all the love, approval and appreciation you ever wanted + A Thousand Names For Joy: How To Live In Harmony With The Way Things Are
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rider; First Paperback Edition edition (27 Jun 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712629300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712629300
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"...a revolutionary way to live your life. The question is: are we brave enough to accept it?" (Erica Jong)

"...a pragmatic and simple way of getting people to take responsibility for their own problems." (Time Magazine)

Book Description

A major work by spiritual teacher Byron Katie: a simple, straightforward system for achieving inner peace

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Trust yourself instead 28 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have only got through part of this book, so I wanted to make this clear at the beginning of this short piece.
I found that in the parts I read, there was the odd inspiring part - such as questioning the underlying assumptions about your life and whether they are true for you. There is truth to the fact that attachment to certain thoughts can cause us suffering. However, a good book on cognitive bahvioural therapy is probably a better bet than this book. However, for me the book soon became hard going and repetitive. Is it really true, for example, that there's no such thing as verbal abuse? Byron Katie seems to think so. I wonder what her views on physical abuse would be! To be honest, I didn't have the motivation to carry on reading to find out. She also goes on about 'living amends' and making right past wrongs. Whilst this can sometimes be helpful and beneficial to us personally - many situations are far too complex to label with blame. Her argument here seems to be to create peace through what we do (rather than accept what is - which seems a little contradictory).
Also, I felt that by applying her 'method', it's impossible to have a view about something and stand against what we feel is wrong for us. The question will always be 'Is it true?'. In the end, it leaves you with little to stand on apart from an uncertain reality.
I am am glad for those who get something good from this book. I would just say...be careful, think for yourself and approach with caution. For me, it was seriously flawed. According to the author, 'The Work' always brings us back to ourselves. I would ask her 'Can you really know that's true?'. For me, it didn't and personally it just wasn't something I wanted to complete. Trust your own heart and let your own intuition guide you.
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars transformational 5 April 2008
By Janie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was a bit puzzled by this book at first - I thought the four questions were too simple. But by the time I reached the end of the book I had got it - a profound change occurs almost without you realising. Byron Katie's work is really a radical form of cognitvie therapy which makes you aware that almost all of our 'problems' and the negativity we feel is caused by our thoughts. It's interesting to read it together with Steve Taylor's book Out of the Darkness, which contains a section a section on Byron Katie and an interview with Eckhart Tolle. It explains the basis of spiritual awakening and is a massively inspiring book, full of amazing stories. Out of the Darkness: From Turmoil to Transformation
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revolutionary yet beautifully simple teaching 27 May 2005
By A Customer
For anyone interested in their psychological or spiritual or emotional well-being there simply is not a book on Amazon more worthy of your attention! The reason is that it is not necessary to accept or follow any particular spiritual beliefs in order to do The Work. Katie asks nothing of us but to investigate those judgements or events in our life that cause us pain and suffering in a compassionate and caring manner using a four-step system that is brilliant in its simplicity. And what's more, it works! Katie cannot be underestimated as a pioneering force in spiritual and psychoanalytical development and I urge anyone who hasn't already done so to treat themselves to a real gem!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Changes you before you finish the book! 21 Nov 2006
I had this book recommended to me and after reading the raving positive reviews thought that I'd give it a try. Wow.. this is such a good book that I cannot recommend it highly enough. I have been in therapy for over three years, after an abusive childhood and violent husband, and I can honestly say that this book was equally (if not more) powerful in changing the way I think just a third of the way into it. I have read many self-help books and this is genuinely the one that actually changes the way that you think and see things that have happened to you in the past and helps you feel calm about whatever happens to you in the fuure. It helped a good female friend of mine too but one word of caution.. I gave it to two male friends and they couln't get on with it. Maybe because it is dialogue based? it may be more suited to women. Katie takes Buddhist philosopies and makes them so easy to understand. An excellent book that if it works for you will completely change you for ever.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book WILL save your LIFE! 30 Oct 2005
PLEASE read this book. It is a revelation! I read this book then went on one of Byron Katie's Schools for The Work (read the book to see what this is) and I absolutely have never, ever experienced happiness, true bliss and joy like it! Katie is the truest embodiment of love I have ever met and if you read the book, and do the work, you will be ASTONISHED by how much peace and JOY will come into your heart and your life!
For me the Audio CDs were even better, hearing Katie doing The Work in person has to be heard - it truly is a miracle!!!
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107 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life transforming!!!! 11 Nov 2003
By A Customer
This book shows us that the root of all our problems begin with a thought. For example: "I hate who I am, I hate my job, I hate my life, I hate Bob, Jane, my ex-wife, I hate the rich, blacks, whites, Jews, Christians, Communism, I hate this world". The list goes on. How do these thoughts make you feel? Negative, resentful, angry, jealous, hurtful, all these things and more. The reality is: you simply are who you are, your job is your job and you are in it right now, Bob is just Bob, your life is just however it is. Life or existence itself is just however it is. It is at the very point of giving thought to a given situation that you experience an emotion. Before a (negative) thought, you're ok. Then the thought comes along, you're not ok, a problem has arisen. So who created this problem? You did. By holding on to a certain thought or pattern of thoughts, you create an experience that you take as reality, your world, THE world, but that world exists only in your mind. The problem exists therefore only in your mind. So what's your problem got to do with your job, your life, your father, your boss, Bob, your so-called enemies. Nothing! You place the blame on the world and then try to change it, when the problem lies internally with your thoughts about the the need to change the world. Change ones thinking, then the world changes too, because the world is simply what's going on in the thoughts of 6 billion individuals. Where is this world that we talk of? There is no world other than in our own minds. It is constructed out of the thousands of thoughts that we have about it, upon which he keep building more thoughts, more concepts.
This book is powerful stuff! Yet at the same time, utterly simple and accessible. Forget about religion and other silly beliefs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars clear and wonderful. It's good to look at Katie's videos online
This book came at the right time for me, and really helped me get past the hurdle of negative thinking. It is simple, clear and wonderful. Read more
Published 20 days ago by AB
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
an awesome book which genuinely changes everything. Deeps stuff
Published 21 days ago by J. W. James
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent book !!!!
Published 1 month ago by Atrium Partnership Llp
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
Enjoyable but a little mixed feelings about this, wasn't quite what I expected I guess. Worth the read though if you are thinking about making some changes
Published 2 months ago by Ms C. Cotter
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Very interesting book. The author was in deep depression until she had a big ‘aha’ moment, and turned her life around by asking herself four basic questions about everything that... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sue
5.0 out of 5 stars Sanity
I have only started this book but already it has helped me in very practical ways. It is I think a book to help one stay sane! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Michael Doheny
5.0 out of 5 stars Give it a go!
It makes you think yes, and it did make me feel better. Try it, it might be just what you need.
Published 5 months ago by Annette
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Book But Some Aspects Are Not So Easy To Apply.
This is a great book. It offers an unusual way of dealing with negative thoughts and their resulting behaviour. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sophia
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
I found this book easy to read and to engage with. I found The Work fairly simple to do and to continue doing. It was what I had been looking for. Read more
Published 6 months ago by David Steele
3.0 out of 5 stars OK to read in small chunks
This was the second Byron Katie book I had read, and for me that is quite enough. It's ok, but I read it a bit at a time - couldn't read too much at once before I was put off.
Published 7 months ago by ann smyth
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