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Posts Tagged ‘Byron Katie’

Give and Receive

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

My meditations have shifted from listening to receiving. I find it so much easier to give and have struggled with receiving. I have lived from a place that dreads asking for help. My role as a giver comes from my work as “a giver” and my role as a healer, a coach, a mentor, and a teacher. And now I am ready to shift it. It’s time to receive. I’m open to receiving.

As Byron Katie says, “Have you noticed how many times you try to control what comes in by giving rather than receiving? What happens when you just stand there and receive? The receiving is the giving. It’s the most genuine thing you can give back. When someone comes to hug me, I don’t have to hug them back. To receive it—you can die in that! To receive it is to die to pain, and to be born into love and laughter.” 

How are you at receiving? What are you open to receiving? 

Mantra: I am open to receiving as a form of giving.

And I am ready to receive a hug too!

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Moving From Piece of Mind to Peace of Mind

Monday, April 4th, 2011

If you have ever read my blogs or know me personally, then you have heard me quote Byron Katie many times. I first heard of Katie back in 2002 when I bought the book, Loving What Is. After reading about 50 pages, I put it on my bookshelf and forgot about it. Then in 2004, I went and picked it up again. As I read through her process called, The Work, I realized how often I was addicted to many stressful thoughts. The Work is about questioning thoughts that cause us stress. As Katie says, “It’s not the problem that causes our suffering; it’s our thinking about the problem.”

As much as I meditate and write, I also have my fair share of stressful thoughts. I worry a lot about everything and everyone – only to realize afterwards that the worry was for nothing. I have had many moments of feeling disappointed and depressed and The Work has helped me question my beliefs and thoughts.

So when the opportunity to sit with Byron Katie in New York City and practice The Work came along, I took advantage. I sat and listened to my stressful thoughts: No one wants me to go to Egypt. I am crazy to go to Egypt. What if I get really sick? I should be working more. My shoulder is never going to feel healed etc…

Katie invited us to breathe and just listen to our stressful thoughts. She asked us to write our stressful thoughts on paper and question each thought. As she says, “We don’t let go of our thoughts. They let go of us.”

As I sat there moving through each stressful thought, I realized I wasn’t looking for “piece” of mind; instead, I was experiencing “peace” of mind.

What thoughts are causing you suffering? Question your thoughts – if for nothing else, but peace of mind.

Mary Anne

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You Are the Wisdom You Seek

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Throw away holiness and wisdom, and people will be a hundred times happier. ~Tao Te Ching

In her book, A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are, Byron Katie brings together self-inquiry (The Work) and the teachings of the Tao. Each chapter takes excerpts from that ancient text as a means for Katie to talk about some essential issues such as life and death, love, work, and getting out of our own way.

I am re-reading this book (actually I am re-re-re-re-re-re-reading this book). In the chapter referring to above Tao text, Katie writes, “You are the wisdom you’re seeking, and inquiry is a way to make that wisdom available whenever you want. My experience is that there’s no one with more or with less freedom. We all have it equally.”

Katie continues by telling a story:
God’s will and your will are the same, whether you notice it or not. There’s no mistake in the universe. It’s not possible to have the concept “mistake” unless you’re comparing what is with what isn’t. Without the story in mind, it’s all perfect. No mistake. Strangers used to hear about me and show up at my front door (this was in 1986), and some of them would put their palms together and bow and say, “Namaste.” I had never heard this before – people don’t say “Namaste” in Barstow, the little desert town where I lived. So I thought they were saying, “No mistake.” I was thrilled that the people coming to my door were so wise. “No mistake. No mistake.”

Namaste – No mistake,
Mary Anne

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Peace Is Here and Now

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

In their new book, Peace in the Present Moment, Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie remind us that stillness and peace exists in the present moment.

The most import, the primordial relationship in your life is your relationship with the Now, or rather with whatever form the Now takes, that is to say, what is or what happens. If your relationship with the Now is dysfunctional, that dysfunctional will be reflected in every relationship and every situation you encounter. –Eckhart Tolle

I don’t know what’s best for me or you or the world. I don’t try to impose my will on you or on anyone else. I don’t want to change you or improve you or convert you or help you or heal you. I just welcome things as they come and go. That’s true love. The best way of leading people is to let them find their own way. –Byron Katie

Yes, Peace is Now.
Mary Anne

The photograph was taken by Michael Penn. To see more of his brilliant photography go to: http://michaelpennphotography.com/

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How Do You Make Decisions?

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

I realized recently that most of my decisions happen effortlessly. If I have to think too much or too long, then I know that the time is not right to make a decision. Or as Seth Godin says about the ‘Decision Before the Decision’: “This is the one that was made before you even showed up.”

When was the last time I made a decision? Probably when I was hungry and decided what food to eat. Other than that, decisions just happen when the time is right

Byron Katie talks about decisions in this way: “You can’t make a decision. You can only experience a story about how you made it. Decisions make themselves; they’re happenings; they come when the time is right.”

What a relief!
Mary Anne

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All We Have Is This Moment (Part II)

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Just as I finished my last blog about living in the moment, I came across this topic in the book I am reading, A Thousand Names for Joy, by Byron Katie. In her book, Katie writes, “Where are you going, other than where you are right now? How can you go anywhere else? The direct path means realizing that the beginning and end of every journey is where you always are.”

Then this past weekend, I picked up the book, Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert and started to re-read all the dog-eared pages. As I flipped the pages, I came across the following lines in the book: “The other problem with all this swinging through the vines of thought is that you are never where you are. You are always digging in the past or poking at the future, but rarely do you rest in this moment.

In my meditation, this is what came through about living in the moment:

You are here. Not knowing, never knew. Never needed to and never will. If your thoughts float to the past, you can bring them back with love. If your thoughts wander too far into the future, you can bring them back with love. When we choose to live in this moment, we choose a direct path to our heart and the divine. Being present to this moment right now means being home. Welcome home.


To celebrating now with love,
Mary Anne

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Sitting in the Abyss of the Vast Unknown

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Non-doing keeps showing up. I decided to take the summer off from giving workshops, retreats, and healing circles. After announcing this in my newsletter, I thought, “What will I do with all this time off?” Quickly, I began a list of all the things I could “do” this summer. I started to look up classes and programs I could attend as a participant – none of which really excited me. Then my best friend invited me to do nothing – to stay in the abyss of not knowing and see what shows up. This has become my new practice – staying in the abyss and just listening for what is next.

I started with an easy topic – listening for what ought to be my next book to read. I stared at my bookcase for a few moments, reading dozens of book titles. I watched as my hand was drawn towards Byron Katie’s book, A Thousand Names for Joy. In each chapter, Byron Katie reflects about the Tao Te Ching. About ten pages into the book, Katie quotes the Tao, “Practice not-doing, and everything will fall into place.

Katie reflects:
“The Master leads simply by being. “Being” looks like doing the dishes, answering the phone and e-mail, shopping, going to work, driving the kids to school, feeding the dog, doing one thing at a time, without a past or future. She doesn’t empty people’s minds. She doesn’t have to (even if that were possible). The way she helps people is by living out of don’t-know, can’t-know, no-need-to-know, not-possible-to-know, nothing-to-know.”

And just as I was writing this blog, my friend Joe Monkman posted a blog about taking a day off and giving ourselves permission to change our routine. In his Fishing for Soul blog he wrote, “Let go and allow your self to do one new or different thing today.  Give your self the gift of not doing.  Permit your self to BE.  What might you create from that place?  The possibilities are endless.”

Joe’s blog was another reminder to do nothing – just be and see what gifts arrive. Or as my friend said to me, “Just listen. Nothing else to do.”

I am sitting in the abyss of the vast unknown and have no idea what will appear. It is frightening and thrilling at the same time. As T.S. Elliot said, “Teach us to sit still.”

What gifts are awaiting you in the abyss of the vast unknown?

Mary Anne

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Questioning Thoughts That Hold You Captive

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

‘When you question the mind, the only truth left is love.’  
Enlightened One

Barbed_Wire_2191 (4_3)How much does inquiry play a part in your life? At times of struggle, doubt, worry, anxiety, and even catastrophe, can you pause and question the thoughts that are holding you captive?

In a recent interview with Clayton Gibson (founder of MyOutSpirit.com), Byron Katie speaks about a powerful process of inquiry, called The Work. Katie shares how inquiry can be used to question stressful or painful thoughts. Gibson asked, “How can we release thoughts of shame, feeling less-than, and unworthiness?”

Katie responded:
“We can’t. People have been trying to let go of their thoughts for centuries, for millennia, through meditation, breathing practices, mind-control of all kinds, and it simply doesn’t work, though it may appear to work for a while. You can’t let go of a stressful thought, because you didn’t create it in the first place. A thought just appears. You’re not doing it. You can’t let go of what you have no control over. Once you’ve questioned the thought, you don’t let go of it, it lets go of you. It no longer means what you thought it meant. The world changes, because the mind that projected it has changed. Your whole life changes, and you don’t even care, because you realize that you already have everything you need.”

(For the full interview click the link: Byron Katie: The Work of Gay Liberation)

Is there a thought that you are willing to release the reins from long enough to question it? Inquiry is questioning your thoughts that keep you from peace. When you question your stressful thoughts, you give yourself the experience of bringing yourself to your growing edge and then welcoming yourself home. Inquiry brings us back to who we really are­­—love.

You are invited to question any thoughts that hold you captive.

Welcome home,
Mary Anne

I am so grateful to Clayton Gibson for the opportunity to provide support and assistance with the Byron Katie interview.

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Love Is…

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010


Love is


“Love what is in front of you.”  Byron Katie

In an effort to get a sense of how people think about “love”, I asked folks to finish the statement: ‘Love Is’. Here are some responses.

Love Is…
“All of it in this very moment”
“Available & accessible”
“Opening my heart and accepting what is”
“Home grown”
“Saints winning the Superbowl”
“Right where you are if you come from it”
“The pulse of life”
“Comforting—mentally, physically and spirituality”
“Knowing your child is safe and well by the sounds of his laughter”

My sister reminded me about my favorite reading from church that I have read aloud from the pulpit since the third grade. The last time I read it aloud was at my mother’s funeral and to this day it is still my favorite quote from the Bible about love.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13

To experience this even deeper I offer a Love Meditation: ‘And the greatest of these is Love’. I invite you to take a breath in and out through your nose, slow and soft, at least three times. Think about someone you love— a spouse/partner, your child, a friend, a parent— and visualize them with you. Close your eyes. Open your hands on your lap. Really sense the expansive love you have for that person. Feel all of it. Notice where in your body love is flowing. Is there an area you want to bring love—bring your hands there and allow love to come in. Stay still for a few moments and if your mind wanders, breathe in the words, “I am love” and breathe out the words, “I give love.” To release the meditation, bring your hands to your heart, smile, and bow. Open your eyes, and finish the statement, ‘Love Is’…

Expansive love to all,
Mary Anne

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My Favorite Books in 2009

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009


As an avid reader, I search out books that will broaden my thinking, open my heart, teach new ideas, and provide inspiration. I have put together my list of the best books I have read in 2009 (many of which were not published in 2009). Rather than give a synopsis of each book, I am including the book title, author, and a quote that moved me or inspired me. Hope you enjoy. Please feel free to recommend books you think I ought to add to my 2010 list.

(PS I will be sharing some of my best inspired lessons, insights, & meditations of 2009 in an upcoming blog~ stay tuned!)

My Favorite Books of 2009:

My Stoke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor
“By paying attention to the choices my automatic circuitry is making, I own my power and make more choices consciously. In the long run, I take responsibility for what I attract in my life.”

A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink
“Design. Story. Symphony. Empathy. Play. Meaning. These six senses increasingly will guide our lives and shape our world.”

The Soul of Money by Lynn Twist
“Reciprocity allows us to acknowledge each other in appreciation of our unique gifts. Reciprocity is like the breath we breathe in – no more than we need.”

Radical Forgiveness by Colin C. Tipping
“We recognize that Divine Love operates in every situation and that each person receives exactly what they want.”

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strought (this is the only fiction book on the list)
“Don’t be scared of your hunger. If you’re scared of your hunger, you’ll be one more ninny like everyone else.”

I Need Your Love – Is That True? by Byron Katie
“Your most intimate relationship is the one you have with your thoughts.”

Who Would You Be Without Your Story? by Byron Katie (Yes, she is that good!)
“I have come to see that this mind is seeking a place to rest. It’s seeking peace.”

A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
“Love in your mind produces love in your life.”

Who’s Got Your Back by Keith Ferrazzi
“Each of us is responsible for creating the safe place. It is a conscious choice that we make to create the environment that invites others in.”

The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson
“To “cure” him, in terms of trying to tear the autism out, now seems to me completely wrong. Why can’t he exist between the worlds, with a foot in both, as many neurotypical people do?”

Happy reading! Mary Anne

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