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.7 At home in the ordinary.
The Buddha said, ‘Let me ask you something, Subhuti. Has the Buddha attained enlightenment? And does he have a teaching to offer?’
Subhuti said, ‘As I understand it, Sir, there is no such thing as enlightenment. Nor is there any teaching that is offered by the Buddha. And here is the reason: the Buddha has nothing to teach. The truth is ungraspable and inexpressible. It neither is not is not. Every mature person knows that there is nothing to be known.’ (69)
If you understand that the world isn’t separated into self and other, you’ll see very clearly that there is no such thing as enlightenment. …You would have to be someone before you could experience enlightenment. (69)
It’s true that when you wake up from the trance, you’re free of all suffering. …still points to a someone…who is supposedly ‘awake.’ It’s only when you see the Buddha as a separate self that you can form the concept that he’s enlightened. …concepts are just creations of the mind. (69)
Inquiry levels everything and leaves us all as equals. The story of having an enlightened master…is the story of separation. (70)
People think that self-realization is something special. But we’re not at home until we’re at home in the ordinary. (70)
I’m neither more nor less than you. If we’re even one breath more or less than anyone else, we’re not at home. (70)
‘I have a reaching to offer’ — is it true? Can I absolutely know that it’s true? Of course not. That is the teaching. (70)
There’s no answer to that. The questions short-circuits the mind. You can never have the answer. (71)
We can’t explain anything essential in our lives. But why would you want to explain? Does that make you any happier? (71)
I often say, ‘Would you rather be right or free?’ (71)
There’s only the story appearing now…You can watch these stories arise and pass away, and be aware that in this moment only the story exists. (71)
Each one of us in a mirror image of the source. …And when I investigate that statement, is it true? No. I can see that I’m prior to the mirror image. …I am the beginning (mind unreflected) and I am the end (mind reflected). And I am so vain that I want to see myself in the mirror. (71)
And the breath you just took — doesn’t it exist now only as pure imagination? (71)
Every work said, every teaching given, no matter how valuable, leaves a construct where really none exists. (72)
The Buddha-mind is already complete. …It’s everything it ever thought it wanted — right now. …It moves without resistance…Everything it would ever have or do, it has or does. It just flows as awareness. (72)
So to question the thoughts that are causing your unhappiness makes total sense, and when ‘out there’ is recognized as a projection of mind, it makes even more sense. (72)
As I see it, people do their best to believe what they think, yet deep down thy can’t, and don’t, really believe it. (73)
As the mind opens to the answers from the clarity within, people find that no matter how hard they try, they don’t believe the stressful thoughts they believe they believe. (73)
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.