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#3012 - Monday, December 10, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee  

Nonduality Highlights -      

Today's issue is a reader's submission from Susan Lucey. More information about Byron Katie and The Work can be found here: 

Byron Katie  

Someone recently sent me a questionnaire about meditation. Here are my answers:

What is the cause of our disregard for each other and our world?

We believe a thought, we assume that the thought is true, and then we act on it. Anger, depression, addictions, sadness, words that hurt others and ourselves, actions that are selfish or unkind, are the effects that we must suffer as believers. Mind is the cause of it all.

For example, look at the thoughts that you yourself believe or have believed, thoughts such as "He doesn't care," "She is wrong," "I have to be careful," "I need to know what's going to happen," "People shouldn't lie," "Life is dangerous," "She shouldn't have left me," "I'm not good enough." When you believe these thoughts, you suffer; when you question them deeply, you begin to wake up to what is, and what is is always beautiful. Actually it's heaven on earth.

The Work shows us how to come to a knowledge so bright, so close, so loving, so simple and kind inside us that everything makes sense. To use the four questions is to undo the judgments that have caused suffering and violence in humanity since the beginning of time. When you understand how the mind works, the truths within you can never again can be drowned out, covered up, or overridden. I invite you not to believe me, but to do The Work and test it for yourself.

What is meditation and what does it mean to you?

Meditation is noticing the imagined sitting, standing, talking, laughing, listening, reading the paper, drinking tea. It's quietly being as each image, thought, judgment, concept, scene, illusion, dream of what can never be. The old ones saw imagination as though it were real, they believed their judgments and thoughts as though what mind mirrored back were something other than original cause. And what they believed about mind's creation frightened them. They imagined their creations to be the enemy, and then they became victims of what they imagined. They began to do war with what they imagined, they even imagined themselves to be real and did war with what they believed their self-created self to be. They became lost in the self-inflicted suffering of the imagined world they had created without the ability to look to themselves for the original cause and go back home to what they really are, prior to imagination. They had become believers, they had become separate, they had become "I"s. Being an imagined self is a very strange reality. In fact, it is no reality at all.

Meditation--sitting, being still, waiting for the answers to arise to meet each of the four questions and show you examples of the turnarounds--shows you who and what you are not and can never be. Your answers wake you up to your true nature beyond any belief, even that one. Can you imagine a planet that doesn't yet understand the difference between imagination and reality? A you that isn't awake enough to laugh at what it believes itself to be and was never, and can never be and radiate as gratitude its own self as the cosmic joke that it never was? If you still believe that you are a you, sit, meditate, witness what is being, and what is being imagined as a you or another, and sit to the degree that you would no longer believe what is shown as anything more than… Notice what you believe as you sit in mind, meditating that what you imagine is what has been, as though what you are imagining really happened in another time, a time other than now. Do you understand yet that even "now" is something to question? That now is over and now is over, and now, whoops, it's gone. It is all that it can be only if you believe it to be. You are the only source of life. The images and judgments that you witness as you meditate are what you react to, this inner life, this only life, not the apparent physical world of mirrors.

The inner experiences of mind are the cause of all feelings and identification and create the physical feelings as well as a "you" and all life. When this is realized by mind, apparent "real" or "physical" life cannot compete with the excitement and unceasing joy of witnessing the miracle of the beginning and end of creation, and the old world simply falls away and ceases to be. Gone, the unreal apparent real. The old uninteresting becomes neglected, put away, secondary, and finally a nonexistent mirror no longer needed as though waiting on the ego that is required to exist, an ego to reflect what is not, and in the end it must simply stay clear with no job to do but wait, and watch, and be, until required to do its job.

How does meditation help us overcome emotional dysfunction or deal with fear?

Meditation, answering the four questions that make up The Work as we sit, eyes closed, still, mind open like a child to the old wisdom, the uninvited hidden unknown known, invite it to surface. Watch, it will show you the answers through the wisdom that lies beyond what you are believing, and your emotional dysfunction will lessen each time, as will your fear, and eventually you are enlightened to the cause of all suffering and each thing seen is seen through the eyes of God, brilliant.

Through meditation it is said we can wake up, become enlightened, and see the impermanence of all things. What does this mean?

Things are impermanent because the way that your mind sees things is impermanent. For example, if you have ever believed that you didn't like you or someone else, then you must continue to attach that belief onto others, even the others that you believe that you like. When you believe that you like "him" and he threatens what you want or what you have, you don't like him anymore. So who you believe him to be is always changing. If you look in the mirror and you like what you think, you automatically like what you see. If you look in the mirror and don't like what you think, then you won't like what you see. This happens before you even get to the mirror. If you don't like your thoughts, don't look, unless you really want to be free to understand the mind. Mind is not body. Work on the mind and the body will follow. The body is only a reflection of what you are believing; it can't be otherwise.

Can meditation affect the way we treat each other, as seen in racial prejudice, or the hatred, aggression and war between families, communities and nations?

Absolutely. Do The Work, tap into the wisdom within, listen as you question what you believe to be true, and allow the answers that will end your own prejudice, hatred, self-hatred, aggressiveness toward yourself and/or others. Question your judgments and end the war in your own mind and the war with your family, past and future will end as it ends also in your community and world. Your mind's war with itself is the only war to end, the only one you can end. Until you end this internal war, until you understand that you are the one to end it, war in the world will never cease to be. You are responsible for the world that you live in; no one can end it but you.

Can meditation affect us physically? Can it help us heal epidemic illnesses, such as addiction, AIDS or cancer?

Yes, and I invite you not to believe me but to use The Work to test it for yourself. I was an old woman at forty-three. Sick, agoraphobic, obese, dying, and twenty-two years later I am not. At my nine-day School we all get to see decades of high blood pressure drop to normal, blood sugar regulate without insulin, incredible miracles. We get to see sick people get well, frightened people become fearless, sores that haven't healed in weeks and months heal in days. We meditate, we call it The Work as we ask and wait in the stillness and allow the unknown to be known to us, to enlighten us, to heal us. What I love about meditation, The Work, is that when the mind heals and the body doesn't, it is of absolutely no consequence to the enlightened mind. The enlightened mind sees the body as not "it," and in that the body is able to mind its own business and heal itself or not, and always with the mind's unconditional love and service.

Do you believe that meditation can help solve world problems? For instance, can meditation lead to a big enough shift in consciousness that it can make a meaningful difference to the state of our current reality?

Of course! When you shift, the whole world shifts. So it's up to you: one two three, SHIFT! Or not.

Can meditation affect the way we treat our environment, such as pollution or global warming?

Absolutely. I have no reason to live because I can't, I don't. And yet my home is powered by the sun, my Segway by the house, the car I drive is a Prius. I am fearless, worry free, and yet I appear to do all these things for no reason. They just happen as thought happens. "Get solar panels," the mind says, and then the mind comes up with reasons that it is not possible and not one of the reasons is valid, as all thoughts have been tested by the four questions, and our electric bill has turned around. At some point I will have put back all that I have used and more. This will match my existence. All traces gone, a grateful life given back to what it came from.

Can meditation affect global poverty, or the economic and political systems that create poverty? Can it directly affect countries or peoples that are physically and economically underprivileged?

Yes, fear creates poverty. Meditate, enlighten the mind and end the fear that creates poverty, war, loss, sadness, hunger, and all suffering. Your enlightenment enriches the world, and sitting in The Work as you meditate leaves you fearless to be what you know to be. Enlightenment leaves a kind mind, a generous mind, a fearless state of existence that cannot be equaled or stopped. The enlightened mind lived as human rich or poor, with or without food, with or without others at war even when the war is in your own front yard, even when it costs you everything that the other world holds dear. In this enlightenment we cannot give enough, because we need nothing but to serve what needs to be served, and what needs to be served is clear, and you are fearless to do what can be done beyond belief.

Can meditation affect the way we do business and run corporations?

Of course. In BKI, people hire themselves and fire themselves. They say, "I can do it," their résumé says so too, so they are hired. They hired themselves, and I agreed to it. There are times when it turns out that they can't do it, even though they want to be able to, even though their résumé looked good, it just isn't true that they can do it, because they haven't done it, and so with all of the evidence in hand, I ask them, "If you worked for you and this, this, and this didn't happen, you didn't meet the deadlines, what would you do with you?" And they usually fire themselves. Also, when I fire them and they feel angry, sad, etc., I ask them for a list of ten reasons why I would want to fire them, and by the end of the list they understand and agree with me that this is the way that they can best support BKI and themselves. Also, I ask them to give me a list of at least three reasons why their life is better and kinder because they no longer work for me, and three reasons why BKI's life is better, and a list of reasons why the world is better off because they no longer work for BKI. I love that we all have the power to be fearless enough to come and go with what we know to be right. BKI operates on what it can give, and people buy and pass it on or not. If we have something of value, it lives, and when a product has no authenticity, when it is all package and little to back it, it doesn't live. Everything comes and goes in the universe perfectly on time, in time, and there is no exception to that, believe it or not. I have an amazing list of beliefs for leaders to Work as they meditate. Meditation is good business, the best.

What can each one of us do that will help make the world a more caring and compassionate place?

Each day do The Work with your stressful thoughts. When you are waiting for answers, look for negative reactions to arise in the third question and feel fully what arises before moving to the fourth question. In tandem with the Work meditation, each day do three things that are kind. Do these anonymously, and if anyone finds out, start over. This will enlighten you to what you don't want to see that you really want to see. This exercise will bring to you the greatest gift of all when combined with The Work, it will give you your self back, and that is the most caring and compassionate gift that you can give. You are the one you're waiting for. You are the love of your life and the first, last, and only one who can know you

All a sane man can ever care about is giving love.

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