At the end of January, Byron Katie came to spend the day at The Center for Spiritual Living in Seattle. It was a very well attended event- 750 people, and it was so exciting to experience the power of Inquiry in such an expansive group. Participants identified beliefs ranging from annoyance and judgement about unwashed dishes to painful childhood memories. Katie walked people through these and other stories including the hardest parenting scenarios, and each of these were windows for the audience into the questions and turnarounds with unflinching clarity. The audience did not just sit idly watching either. There were many bold and rich questions, including “How can it be OK for a victim of violence to look to see how they might be part of the problem?”
The discovery that it is not what happened, but how we interpreted and continue to play back the stories is the cause of our suffering. It was a day of people sharing deep Work courageously on stage and of painful old stories loosening their hold. Katie went overtime and then spent nearly an hour book signing and selfie taking, for the many people awaiting their turn.
Tamami graciously opened her home for both a gathering. A large group of Facilitators of The Work came together in Seattle the night before the event for a gathering with shared love for The Work, laughter and a delicious potluck with Indian Curry, pasta, hand rolled sushi and salads. There might have been the seeds of a skit for the next Mental Cleanse taking root.
Our smaller group of camp hosts came together to deepen our practice with The Work and continue with our plans for our August event. As a group, we identified a particular stressful situation and together, as a group, wrote a Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet, and then worked through it over several hours as a group, collectively holding ourselves in Inquiry. This was a new approach for each of us and we were all struck by how powerful it was. It was so rich to spend two days working on our stressful thoughts together in such a supportive environment. this reflects a glimpse of what we might see at the Camp this summer.
What stands out in reflecting on our weekend is the laughter, our love for The Work of Byron Katie, a willingness to look again, and the sense of connection that comes as we experience mind coming home to reality.