A Mind at Home with Itself: How Asking Four Questions Can Free Your Mind, Open Your Heart, and Turn Around Your Whole World
by Byron Katie with Stephen Mitchell —
From Ch.6 Mind is everything, mind is good.
Subhuti said, ‘Sir, will there always be mature people people who, upon hearing these words, gain a clear insight into the truth?’
The Buddha said, ‘Of course there will be, Subhuti! Even thousands of years from now, there will be many people who penetrate into the trust just by hearing these words and contemplating them. People like this, though they may not be aware of it, haven’t cultivated mental clarity as students of only one buddha; they have cultivated mental clarity as students of hundreds of thousands of buddhas. When they hear these words and contemplate them, they will see reality in a single moment, clearly, just as it is. The Buddha fully knows and appreciates these people as they wake up to their true nature.’
‘How do they do this? Once they see reality clearly, these people never again attach to the concepts of ‘self’ and ‘other.’ Nor do they attach to the concepts of ‘truth’ and ‘non-truth.’ If their minds attach to concepts o f separate things, they will attach to the concepts ‘self’ and ‘other.’ If they deny the existence of things, they will still be attaching to the concepts of ‘self’ and ‘other.’ So you should not attach to concepts of separate things, and you shouldn’t attach to the denial of separate things.’
‘That is why I tell people, “My teaching is like a raft.” A raft is meant to carry you across the river; one you have crossed the river, you leave the raft behind on the shore. If even correct teachings must be left behind, how much more so incorrect teachings!’ (61)
…these buddhas are the hundreds of thousands of unquestioned thoughts they have noticed and are noticing in their own minds. Each thought is itself; each thought is the Buddha showing you where not to go. (62)
It knows what to do and where to go. It’s all an effortless flow, and you feel an intense amazement — an intense excitement and awe — that everything is happening by itself, with your involvement, without your having to make any decision at all. (63)
If you believe there’s a world, you have two: and and the world; and it you believe there’s no world outside yourself, you still have two. But there aren’t two. Two is a creation of the confused mind. There’s only one, and not even that. No world, no self, no substance — only awareness without a name. (64)
There’s just the thing that is true for you in the moment, and if you investigated that, you would lose it too. But honoring the thing that’s true for you in the moment is simply a matter of keeping to your own integrity. (64)
So-called universal truths fall away too. …’Mind is everything; mind is good.’ …Anything that opposes hurts. It’s like a compass that always points toward true north. (65)
The four questions and the turnarounds help you move from confusion to clarity. Eventually, through practice, you no longer impose your thinking onto reality, and you can experience everything as it really is: as pure grace. At that point the questions themselves become unnecessary. They are replaced by a wordless questioning, that undoes every stressful thought immediately, as it arises. It’s the mind’s way of meeting itself with understanding, (65)
If you believe that nothing exists, you’re still identified as ‘you’ who believes that nothing exists. If you understand that the world lives only as imagination, you’re free; there’s no you; it’s over. You can’t identify anything. It’s the end of belief, and even the most profound thought loses meaning. (66)
…when the mind is aware of itself, it realizes that not only is it not personal, it doesn’t even exist; it’s an illusion. Prior to ‘I,’ there was nothing. The ‘I’ comes second, out of a nameless first. (66)
Eventually the mind automatically questions every judgment that arises in it and thus finds freedom from its own thoughts. (67)
The goodness of all things becomes evident with every realized moment. (67)
I urge you, Buy The Book !
The milestones which mark my life are life-changing traumas. I never learned to build resilience in the face of adversity and tragedy, maybe that has something to do with the emotional challenges imposed by Asperger’s Syndrome.
The last year has been my life’s Advanced-Placement-level of traumatic events. (I feel guilty even mentioning these things because they do not compare to the traumas experienced globally in recent years, but that feeling of guilt is a problem in and of itself.) In less than a year I’ve experienced job losses, my cousin’s suicide, my brother’s suicide, my friends’s suicide, the failure of my small business, serious illness, major surgery and medical bills, bankruptcy, and the end of my marriage and loss of my home. This series of events has left me with both devastation and a blank slate.
These works are true gifts from Byron Kaite. I will be forever grateful for the stories and techniques she has shared. I want to share her writing with others in hope to inspire others.