Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I went to a very powerful meditation retreat on Saturday with Peter Williams. The theme was working with judgmental mind. At the end of the retreat after a full day of walking and sitting meditation he had us pair off and do Byron Katie's work called "the work". It was very powerful for me to do process work after my mind became stiller from hours of continually bring myself back to my breath from noticing my judgments and thoughts.
Byon Katie's work consists of four questions that you ask yourself about a judgment you are having about yourself or another person. These are the questions: 1. Is it true?
2. Do you absolutely know it is true?
3. What happens when you think that thought?
4. What would it be like to let go of that thought?

So I'll give you an example of a judgement I am having right now to show you how the process works. I waste a lot of time
Is it true that I waste a lot of time? Yes.
Do I absolutely know that it is true that I waste alot of time. No. I don't absolutely know that it is true.
What happens when I think the thought I waste a lot of time is that I feel small and rushed. My chest feels tight and my stomach hurts. I feel sad.
What would it be like to let go of the thought I waste a lot of time is that my body relaxes. I feel relieved. I can think more clearly and I can better prioritize what to do with my time. I also become aware of how well I am using my time and how much I am actually getting done. I even spell better.

After the experience of the four questions there is a turn around. A turn around is to think of all the possible alternatives to the original judgment and to see if any of them are true or truer. Here are some turn arounds to I waste a lot of time.
I use my time wisely.
I value relationships as much as tasks.
I am in process about learning to use my time in a way that is satisfying.
There is plenty of time.
I do a good enough job with time.
I am present with what works the best in the moment and make choices accordingly.
All of them feel true or truer than my original judgment. I'd like to take on the project of noticing when I am using time well and to acknowledge myself for that. Writing this blog is a good use of my time. I feel satisfied both by expressing myself creatively and by sharing what I am learning with you. See if you'd like to experiment with using the work with a judgment of yours. For more information on Byron Katie and her work go to... I just started looking through my books to find her book Loving What is and give you a web link. Instead I decided to use my time in another way and to ask you to google Byron Katie if you want to learn more. I am learning. Woo hoo! And woo hoo to you, too.

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