Sep 25, 2019

The Work of Byron Katie

Life does not necessarily play out the way we want it. Much of the actions we take in the present, or our current behavior, is based on scripts written for us by others in our past. It may be a traumatic incident or a strong influence, but only through working to become aware of those past influences can we then actively re-write our own scripts to grow and change for the better. In this week's episode, Jeff works with Byron Katie to do "the work", recalling and reliving a difficult time that still impacts his life today. Through that recollection and allowing himself to respond differently in the present, the two of them can help turn what was once a trying time into an opportunity for growth.

In 1986, Byron Katie had an epiphany. She was in a counseling facility dealing with addiction to alcohol and codeine. She was agoraphobic. Her self-esteem was so low that she didn’t think she deserved to sleep in a bed. One morning, She was in slumber on the floor when a cockroach climbed over her ankle. She awoke and, in that brief moment, she saw how the universe was created, the source of all suffering and the way out of. She codified this vision into a method of inquiry called The Work which has helped hundreds of thousands of  people overcome trauma and pain. 

The Work is centered around 4 essential questions. The questions are facilitated by a mentor or Katie, herself, upon a willing student. The questions are: 

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can you absolutely know that it's true?
  3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
  4. Who would you be without the thought? 

These four questions are followed by turning around the thought to experience the opposite of the thought. 

In considering how to display the power of this method, I decided the best way would be to The Work with Katie, live on tape. To say this episode is vulnerable is an understatement. We delve into one of the most traumatic areas of my life, my parent’s divorce and my relationship with my mother. 

While doing The Work has impacted me  deeply, I hope you can also see some of your story in mine and that it helps you process your pain and trauma.  

I’m Jeff Krasno. And welcome to Commune.


Jeff: So your life changed, and this is a story that you've told many times, and you had an epiphany at a moment in your life when you were, I would say had low self esteem.

B.K. Reid: Yeah. You have very low self esteem. I would say depressed beyond what is bearable, for more than a decade and agoraphobic and you know, just oh my gosh, suicidal. And then one day as I lay sleeping on the floor, a bug, actually a cockroach crawled over my foot and I was completely asleep. Like we do, we go to bed at night, we wake up in the morning and I was asleep like that.

And when this bug crawled over my foot, it woke me up just like all of us knew every morning, but it woke me up so quickly, it's as though the ego didn't have opportunity to... It didn't have the opportunity to catch up with the action. So there was like this unidentified place and so I saw in that moment how everything was created. And I think what's important Jeff has is I saw in that moment that when I believe my thoughts I suffered. That was the cause of all suffering in the world.

And when I questioned them I didn't suffer. And I've come to see this is true for every human being and it was just an exquisite moment and the work was born out  of that moment. When I look back at hindsight, it was also clear that everyone, everyone, if their mind is open to it, could wake up to the cause of all suffering and how to question it and be free of, of anything that would cause us pain in our lives or disconnect with other human beings.

Jeff: Well, this was a time in your life where you are obviously going through a lot of suffering. Do you think that that is the universal human condition? Are we all suffering on some level?

B.K. Reid: Well I don't think I've ever met a person that had not suffered, that has not suffered in their life. So the answer would be yes.

Jeff: And the optimistic news is that there's a way out.

B.K. Reid: There is the way out. And for me, the way out is to go in because the answers... What we're thinking and believing can be identified. And then we can question those judgments separately, one by one and become enlightened to not only the cause of suffering, but we're shown in that how to be free of suffering. And you know, my process is inquiry and the inquiry involves four questions and anyone can do it if the mind is open to it.

Jeff: Hmm. I think as someone who has been in the room now I'm experiencing you facilitate the work with other people. And seeing the method of inquiry and the effect and impact that that it has, but not just on the person that you're working with also on the people in the room.

And part of it is, I think when you land on these universal truths that makes everybody feel the same for a moment and it lights everyone up in the same way. And then for me, very personally, and this is why I chose to write what I did or to to talk about what I hope we'll talk about. Is that you can't help but see your own story in the story of others. And that can be your first lifeline.

B.K. Reid: Yeah, truly. And you know, Jeff, I've come to see that in an all these years of doing the work with people on judgements, there are no new stressful thoughts. They're all recycled. Nothing new. And we wonder why we're bored over and over and over and over. And it's required at the ego otherwise it cannot con itself into believing that it exists as an object. So mind is, that's not something you can, you can't touch. It's not a thing. And so mind identifies as object. We could say on this body and all these judgments and the ego doesn't sleep. All these judgments unbelieved, keep one identified as on as what we're not. Mind is not objects. So that's original separation.

Jeff: Do you want to try this?

B.K. Reid: Oh yeah.

Jeff: Okay. Where do we start?

B.K. Reid: Okay, so what is your judgment?

Jeff: Okay, well, I wrote... My mother left me.

B.K. Reid: Okay. Your mother left you.

Jeff: And doesn't really care about me.

B.K. Reid: Okay. So let's do one at a time. Your mother left you... In fact we can do it this way. Your mother left you and she doesn't really care about you. So what is the situation where you're thinking and believing this? Like are you a young man? Are you a child? What situation comes to mind when you think that?

Jeff: Well, I was a boy, I was 13 and I had a brother, have a brother still. He was eight at that time. And it was on Christmas day. And you know, my parents would argue and my brother and I sort of almost, we had this sort of strange delight when they argued. It was like, "Ooh, mom and dad are in an argument." We woke up early and they were in the kitchen and we huddled on the stairs. We had these kind of, like, this was in the 80s we had like these shag, carpeted stairs. And maybe we went down three or four stairs from the top and we were huddling together, sort of like smiling and laughing a little bit at our parents sparring. And then my dad said, well, "If you're going to leave in June anyways, you might as well just leave now."

And obviously it ceased to be very funny at that time. And I just remember my stomach sort of, like, going into my throat, you know? And yeah, that was the moment where a lot of my life and the life of my brother changed. Or so I thought it would.

B.K. Reid: You know, Jeff, thank you for your courage to share that. That's really is running deep and me loving you as I do. So I'm going to switch it around because that's where you felt the emotion on the stairs with your brother, that shift. Boom. It was like the end of the world as you understood it to be.

So your mother is going to leave you. You're on the stairs with your brother, you hear your parents sparring, you hear your fathers say that. Okay, be there now your mother's going to leave you. Is it true? Can you really know that it's true? Yes, your father said that, but can you on the stairs really know that it's true. Your mother's going to leave you.

Jeff: No, I certainly don't want it to be true.

B.K. Reid: Okay, now just go back. I'll ask you again and then feel your no. So your mother is going to leave you, beautiful young man on the stairs. You heard your father, you were kind of maybe even giggly and then you heard that.

So I'm inviting you to be there now. Your mother is going to leave you. Is it true? Can you really know that it's true? She's going to leave you. You're sitting on the stairs. You don't even see her. You're hearing them spar.

Jeff: No.

B.K. Reid: So just feel that. In that situation you could not. So your mother is going to leave you. So now notice, close your eyes. We're going to continue to meditate there. Notice the emotions that happened when you had the thought, my mother's going to leave me. And try to describe them and where they are physically. Just really get in touch with them. That young man on the stairs, be there now.

Jeff: What I remember feeling was, I'm going to save this.

B.K. Reid: Now that's not a feeling. So it's difficult to sometimes to just drop into the emotions. How do you react? What happened when you believe the thought my mother is going to leave me on the stairs in that situation. Get in touch with that young man.

Jeff: I felt very confused.

B.K. Reid: That's not an emotion. It's an appropriate answer. And I'm pointing you to emotions. Maybe without naming them, maybe you can can begin to identify where you felt the emotions.

Jeff: Yeah. Well, there was this very physical feeling.

B.K. Reid: Okay. Describe it.

Jeff: Of, almost like something that you swallow that's like too big for your throat.

B.K. Reid: Okay. So just feel that my mother's going to leave me. So just feel that. And how much of your body does that emotion take over? Does it go as far as your stomach or just your chest or throat? Or does it go to your shoulders? Your feet, your toes? I mean follow it. How much of your body did that take over?

Jeff: I felt nauseous.

B.K. Reid: Nauseous.

Jeff: I felt really scared. Really scared at that time.

B.K. Reid: Okay. Now as a meditator, get really close to this, Jeff. Notice the images of past and future that were happening inside of you, in your head sitting on the stairs when you believed the thought, my mother's going to leave me. Look at you as you saw you in your mind's eye in the past with your mother in the future, without your mother. There is no way emotions like that can happen if we're not experiencing those past future images in our mind's eye.

Jeff: Yeah, I'm feeling at that moment, a sense of uncertainty about her future. Very much tied into my life, but also very much tied into my brother's life.

B.K. Reid: Okay. So those are the images of the future. You're on the stairs and in your mind's eye you're seeing you, maybe, you know that was Christmas. You're seeing an image of you having Christmas without her. She's gone. You're seeing, you may be going to school without her waking up in the mornings without her. All those images they flash.

You don't even know they're going on and they have to be. Because what we're thinking and believing as the cause of all suffering. Can't suffer without the ego's play. Now the images of the past, how do you react? What happens when you believe that thought your mother's going to leave you? Look at the images of the past as you've sit on the stairs, you see you with your mother. Maybe you see her on past Christmases. Maybe you see her as a little guy.

Jeff: Yeah, yeah, I see her driving me to camp. Which she did every day, every day. And we would spend that time. I just remember the smell of the car, all that.

B.K. Reid: So you see those images of the past and there the two of you are, and then you see the images of the future and who's going to drive you to camp? She's not in that car. Now, as you witness those images of past future, what is the cause of your suffering, your mother or what you're thinking and believing. What is the cause of your suffering on the stairs in that situation? What you're thinking and believing and witnessing in your mind's eye or your mother?

Jeff: I mean at the moment she's still there, so...

B.K. Reid: So there's no loss yet.

Jeff: Right?

B.K. Reid: And we blame our mother for years. And that's so confusing because it's what you were thinking and believing on the stairs that frightened you, that stunned you, that shocked you. It's the ego's work. And I'm willing to see it another way, if someone could prove it to me. It's a dream. And it's so vivid. It's like, look at you in the past, in the car with your mom going to camp. Is that you or is that an imagined you? Is that your mother or is that an imagined mother in the moment on the stairs.

Jeff: It's just a memory.

B.K. Reid: It's a dream.

Jeff: It's a dream.

B.K. Reid: It's a dream. And it's defining you and it's defining your mother. And did you see the you of the future with how am I going to get to camp? And maybe you see you not going to camp or maybe you see you going to camp with someone and you're not happy. It's not that precious time you look forward to. It's a dream. Is that you? Or is that a dream? So there's you the dreamer on the stairs and then there's that imagined you in the future, that imagined you in the past.

Now the answer... You know there's a question that has run for centuries. Who am I? So for me that's awakeness. You know, to know the difference between the imagined me, between imagination and reality.

So let's move to the fourth question. There are only four. So on the stairs, it's meditating here now. Meditating on then on the stairs. Who would you be without the thought, my mother's going to leave me. Listen to your parents. Listen to that. That going back and forth. Look at your brother beyond the stairs. Look around. Who would you be without the thought she was going to leave you. Look around, are you okay? Other than what you're thinking and believing.

Jeff: Totally, okay.

B.K. Reid: Okay, so just be there for a moment. You know, you left him there as this terrified young, beautiful boy. My mother's going to leave me. Let's find an opposite. No, these opposites, these turnarounds we try on like we're trying on a new pair of shoes and we're don't want to walk out at the store until we're really aware that they fit. We want to be sure they fit. So this isn't a way of exchanging belief systems. It's a way of just trying on opposites.

So my mother is going to leave me an opposite. What's an opposite?

Jeff: My mother's not going to leave me.

B.K. Reid: Okay, so beautiful young man on the staircase. About the fourth step down from the top, right there. Would you be without the thought? Who would you, who would you be without the thought and turned around, my mother's not going to leave me.

Jeff: I would have just been happy and normal.

B.K. Reid: And listening to your parents and open. And you know, this is that don't know mind. The only way I'm going to know my mother leaves me is when she's on her way out the door. Literally gone. And then I don't know that she's not coming back. If I have an open mind. My mother's not going to leave me.

Jeff: I think what I've been trying to grapple with is another form of turnaround.

B.K. Reid: So let's hear it.

Jeff: I'm going to leave my mother.

B.K. Reid: Yeah. And it happened right there. You left her. You see that? So tell me about that.

Jeff: Well...

B.K. Reid: That was not your mother in your mind's eye. That was fictitious. I'm going to leave my mother. So this look emotionally, did you leave her?

Jeff: Well, this is what I'm trying to figure out because essentially I became so angry that I took my brother and I basically just completely isolated her from our lives.

B.K. Reid: So my mother's going to leave me, I'm going to leave my mother. And you did.

Jeff: I did.

B.K. Reid: Yeah. So just feel that. I mean, did you have a choice when you consider what you were thinking and believing? Look at the tear on the stairs.

It's as though you just took you away. So you never have to hurt or be vulnerable. It's like you took... You left her. I didn't leave her any way back you?

Jeff: I mean, in my mind then I think I felt like that was a way to punish her. 

Jeff: And...

B.K. Reid: And she hadn't even left you yet?

Jeff: No.

B.K. Reid: She hadn't even left you, and you just get your brother and exit, emotionally and physically?

Jeff: Yeah.

B.K. Reid: Okay. So, my mother is going to leave me, my mother's not going to leave me? So, let's look at that. How often has your mother tried to have contact with you, intimacy with you, connection with you? And go back then, from there. Start there.

Jeff: Well, in the time right after that, in that period, she tried, but my reaction was generally very cool and distant, and I mean, this is a long time ago, Katie.

B.K. Reid: Yeah, but still sweetheart, it stays with us. So, close your eyes and look at her attempts.

Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

B.K. Reid: And this is so important, because if you did it then, it will be a pattern in your life.

Jeff: Oh, it is. I mean, she visited me last week. She left two days ago, and it's still cool.

B.K. Reid: Yeah. My mother left me, I left my mother. Okay. So I would love for you to do, we're doing a one belief at a time. I would love for you to do an entire worksheet, because it's all there. The way to get back with your mom, without pretending connection, to really be connected, and on that worksheet is... it's free on, and you just print it out, and there's six questions that you fill in, and the first one is, I'm upset with my mother, because she's going to leave me. We're doing that one. The next one is, I want, and then, you meditate on the stairs there, and you fill in, what did you want? And then, when you question that, and turn it around, it's what you want to experience with your mother. Not what someone wants you to do, but what you want, and it runs so deep.

And then, the next one is advice to your mother in that situation, and in that, it's questioned and turned around, it's advice to yourself, and it shows you specifically and completely out of your own wisdom. It just is beautiful that way. Best advice, how to get back with her emotionally, physically, to really heal this. Then the next one, what do you need to be happy? That's the next question on the worksheet, and when you question that, and you turn it around, it shows you how to live a happy life, including your mother. It shows you exactly how and and notice, Jeff, that these things aren't coming from the world or a therapist or anything else.

They're coming directly out of you, and then there are two more, but those wants, needs and shoulds, questioned and turn around they're beyond magical. They give people their lives back, and on this intimate thing, I only know you to be available and our friendship warm and open, and I mean the connection is ... I love being with you.

Jeff: This is the crazy ... thank you for saying that, and this is the-

B.K. Reid: But it's what your mom's missing?

Jeff: I know, and this is the crazy thing, is that when I was working and filling some of this stuff out, it's almost like I am warm and open and loving to people in spite of my relationship with her.

B.K. Reid: [crosstalk 00:35:28] Well, who are we when, when we threatened to leave you and you really care about us. These patterns are really worth being enlightened to, because enlightenment is a way of saying be completely free from this kind of thing. I'm invulnerable. If you left me, I'd be happy for you, because there must be something about me that, that isn't okay with you, and I don't want to put that on you. So, if I love you, it's not letting go. It's loving you.

Jeff: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

I've two fears really, which is that I won't be brave enough to really connect, to open this can of worms with my mother so many years later, where now, it's like our relationship is ... fine.

B.K. Reid: We need time together, Jeff. It's just you can do this just as easily as ... this is a lack of awareness and ...

This work ... we just need some time together. It's nice to be with someone that understands [inaudible 00:37:11] inquiry, and it's also something that anyone listening to our work here can't do on their own, especially meditators. We can get still enough to see on what you have seen, in our own lives. So, sweetheart, let's look at it. "I want my mother ..." fill in the blank on that situation with your mom. "I want ..."

Jeff: In the situation on the stairs or the situation now?

B.K. Reid: On the stairs, where you believe she's going to leave you, and you have no proof other than in your head.

Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

B.K. Reid: So what do you want? Beautiful young man on the stairs? What do you want? You want her to stay? You want her not to leave? You want her to what? What do you want?

Jeff: I want her to stay.

B.K. Reid: Okay. So you want her to stay. Is it true?

Jeff: Yes.

B.K. Reid: And how do you react when you believe the thought you want her to stay?

Jeff: I'm hopeful. I'm relaxed. I feel ... loved.

B.K. Reid: So, now try it, out of that young man and what he was thinking and believing and imaging. "I want my mother to stay." How do you react? What happens when you believe the thought? Look at those images of past, future again. The future. You see you all alone, in the past. "I want my mother to stay."

Jeff: Yeah. I'm seeing the warmth and the familiarity of my youth ... continuing.

B.K. Reid: Yeah.

Jeff: The love and the caretaking that she showed me that I essentially never really gave her any credit for.

B.K. Reid: Yeah.

Jeff: But I see that relationship preserved.

B.K. Reid: Yeah. So, "I want her to stay." Okay. So who would you be? "I want her to stay." Let's turn it around. Okay. So, now let's just move you up to this time recently with your mother. She just left a couple of days ago. So, you want your mother to stay. Is it true?

Jeff: I wanted her to stay, back then. But as I also began to question that, I also saw that it was very selfish because she wasn't happy obviously.

B.K. Reid: So just feel that. "I want her to stay, I don't want her to stay. She's unhappy. I love her."

Jeff: Well, if I truly loved her, then I probably would've wanted her to go, for her.

B.K. Reid: And that's like you. That's like you, but the ego was overriding ... that does not give you the option to be in touch with your true nature.

B.K. Reid: Meaning with what you really want from your heart.

B.K. Reid: Yeah. You truly love her. The turnaround was like, "I don't want my mother to stay."

Jeff: Yeah.

B.K. Reid: Now that you're in touch with that, just close your eyes and support her. How would you do that? You're sitting on the stairs, so how would you support her? Just visualize it. You're back into your self again, your heart again. That's what happens when the fear is gone, and those images are the cause of fear and suffering.

Jeff: Yeah. I could have told her then, that I would have still been there for her.

B.K. Reid: Yeah.

Jeff: But that's not what I did.

B.K. Reid: No, Well, that's the life of a believer. It's painful. To question the thoughts, you're freed. So, what did you say? "I could have supported her. I could have supported her to leave."

Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

B.K. Reid: So, what I said earlier about the wants, when we question them and turn around, what you want is to contact your mother and say what? "I alienated my brother against you. I was terrified. I didn't know what to do. And I want you to know that I didn't know how to support you. I see that that marriage, you didn't want that and I made it difficult for you. I'm sincerely sorry for you." You see how much there is to say here? And we've only looked at the wants.

Jeff: I'll tell you, Katie, I have three daughters. You met them. My other fear is that they witness the way I treat my mother.

B.K. Reid: They already have. They have met their grandmother through your eyes. They are those mirrors that show up for us, just in case ... it's just played forward.

B.K. Reid: "I want my mother to stay turned around. I want me to stay," okay? And the opposite was, "I want my mother to stay." All right, so, Jeff, let's move through. I just am going to trust you to go back, and there could be other wants there.

Jeff: [crosstalk 00:47:04] Mm-hmm (affirmative). Sure.

B.K. Reid: Okay. So, these turnarounds show you how to be with your mother. All right. So, what advice would you give your mother, on the stairs? You have the thought, "She's leaving me." You're on the stairs again. What advice ... to get what you want. Then, you wanted her to stay.

Jeff: Yeah.

B.K. Reid: To get what you want.

B.K. Reid: So, now for you to be happy, you're on the stairs. For you to be happy ... so, complete this sentence. "I need. I need my mother to ..."

Jeff: I need my mother to stay.

B.K. Reid: Good.

Jeff: I need my mother to say to my dad, "Oh, I'm not leaving."

B.K. Reid: Okay, beautiful. Anything else? What do you need to be happy, in that situation? Does that pretty much cover it?

Jeff: I think so.

B.K. Reid: Okay, so you need your mother to stay. Is it true? For you to be happy, you need your mother to stay? Is it true?

Jeff: No.

B.K. Reid: Okay, so, just feel that. But the young man on the stairs just ... get that. If he gets it, you get it. You get it. He gets it.

Jeff: Yeah.

B.K. Reid: Now, notice how you react. Notice what happened. Your mind play, and your emotions, when you think the thought, "I need my mother to stay," and you hear that discussion.

Jeff: Yeah. Of course I'm going through the thoughts a kid would have of like, "Oh, well ..."

B.K. Reid: But look at the images. Thoughts are nothing without images. That's the marriage. You look at something, you don't know what it is until the mind identifies it, names it.

Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

B.K. Reid: And that creates this really wild identity takeover. So, are you okay other than what you're thinking and believing?

Jeff: Yeah.

B.K. Reid: Is your brother okay?

Jeff: Yeah, he's fine.

B.K. Reid: Okay.

Jeff: Yeah. It's just that the scariness of that image of waking up without her ...

B.K. Reid: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jeff: ... of having dinner without her.

B.K. Reid: That's it. Yeah.

Jeff: Of doing the things that we used to do as a family, without her.

B.K. Reid: And, on the staircase, that's what you saw in your mind's eye.

Jeff: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

B.K. Reid: So what was frightening you? Was it your mother, or the images running in the moment in your head? And look how vivid they are.

Jeff: Yeah.

B.K. Reid: We can't stop them, but we can question them and understand them. And understanding is the power. I need my mother to stay with my dad. What was it I need to be happy? I need my mother to say to my dad ...

Jeff: Right. To say to my dad that she's staying, or that she loved him.

B.K. Reid: Yeah. So is that true? Is that what you need to be happy? Can you absolutely ... What is true? That you need your mother to say to my dad that she's staying. Just consider it. Would that make you happy in that moment in time, in that situation?

Jeff: Yeah. I mean, in that moment in time, I wanted that for them. I wanted it immediately after I heard my dad say what he said, that she was leaving. I wanted it for him because this was the other images of, flashing through my head at that time was who is my dad going to be without her. Is he going to be broken and betrayed and sad? And then who am I going to be to him? I'm going to ... He's going to need me. So that's where I've got to go.

B.K. Reid: Wow. Well ...

Jeff: Well that's what I did.

B.K. Reid: So how do you treat your dad? How do you react when you believe the thought he's going to need me?

Jeff: I want him to feel logged in and not alone.

B.K. Reid: So that's where you put your life.

Jeff: For a long time, yeah.

B.K. Reid: Yeah, so whether it's true or not, he's going to put that on you. You put it on him. He is going to need me, turned around.

Jeff: I'm going to need him.

B.K. Reid: Yeah. It's just an odd way of seeing it. But how much should he ask for and how much did you just serve up before he even would ask the question?

Jeff: Yeah. I think it was, there was a mutual fear, emptiness that was salved by each other.

B.K. Reid: Okay, but the question wasn't that. How much did you, you believed it on the staircase.

Jeff: Yeah.

B.K. Reid: And how much did you just take for granted that was true when your mother left and just lived it out, just to know how much was warranted and how much wasn't.

Jeff: Right.

B.K. Reid: I mean warranted meaning how much was projected onto him by you.

Jeff: Yeah.

B.K. Reid: And how much did he really ask for your help?

Jeff: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I projected it. He leaned on me a lot. A lot.

B.K. Reid: It'd be fascinating to go back and really look at that, to see if he did.

Jeff: It would. Well I think I would have to really meditate on that over some time.

B.K. Reid: Yeah, I do too. That's a good one.

Jeff: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, yeah. I've always on some level felt that my father owes me some debt.

B.K. Reid: Yeah. That makes sense.

Jeff: Yeah. Some emotional debt.

B.K. Reid: Yeah.

Jeff: Not financial debt.

B.K. Reid: Sure.

Jeff: But some emotional debt for what I did. And the simple breakdown of that exists as, listen, I gave up my relationship with my mother to support you through this time of great grief and pain. So ...

B.K. Reid: Whether you asked for it or not.

Jeff: Whether, yeah. So here I am ...

B.K. Reid: Whether you father ask for it or not.

Jeff: Yeah. So here I am, the great martyr. Yeah. Even if he didn't ask for it. But I'm never cool and distant with him ever.

B.K. Reid: No, you're just ....

Jeff: Never happened. No we're like overly affectionate, emotional men.

B.K. Reid: Yeah, that's beautiful. You were focused on him growing up.

Jeff: Yeah.

B.K. Reid: And of course he's emotionally grateful.

Jeff: Yes, he is. He is.

B.K. Reid: Yeah. But we're just looking at ...

Jeff: Yeah.

B.K. Reid: What was imagined about what he needed and what did you step in with? Just assuming.

Jeff: Yeah, I mean ...

B.K. Reid: It's good to sit in.

Jeff: It's good to sit in. I mean, in retrospect, obviously you never can answer some of these questions.

B.K. Reid: You get glimpses.

Jeff: You can get glimpses. I mean, whether he would have been actually better off if I had maintained a loving relationship with my mother and hadn't essentially put him in the position of pitting me against her or using me.

B.K. Reid: Yeah, that's a lot and there is a way out. For me, Jeff, no one could set me free but me. If I could set people free, I would just zap the world, but no one can set another person free. It's something we have to do for ourselves or continue to suffer, have an occasional epiphany, have a very enlightened mind.

But there's still a little this, a little that, that belongs on paper. And in a meditative state of mind that I would hope people would carve out once a day in the morning when they're ... We take our bodies to the gym and work them out, but we don't take our ... How often do we take our minds there? Meditators, when we get really still, we have just incredible epiphanies. But when we take these questions into that quiet space, when something arises, it's mind blowing. It's like it's a fast track. It truly is a fast track just to muse on those judgements with those questions holding us, holding us there. And the answers that meet the questions, that's it.

Jeff: Thank you for that great gift.

B.K. Reid: Oh my goodness.

Jeff: I love you.

B.K. Reid: I love you too. Oh Jeff. Yeah, it's just so, so sweet sitting with you in the work and out of the work.

Jeff: I know.

B.K. Reid: Yeah.


Jeff VO: Well, if you’ve made it this far in this episode, you know more about my personal life than virtually anyone else in the world (until now I suppose). The Work is a  powerful method that helps you meditate on the true cause of your suffering. So much of our pain is caught up in believing our thoughts, in projecting trauma from the past into the future. We are not our thoughts. We are not the chatter that is incessantly yammering on in  your heads. We are the listener. Becoming aware of this is not just the key to relief from trauma, it is also the beginning point of a contented and enlightened existence. 

If you’re  interested in learning more about the  work, check out our Commune course with Byron Katie. Just go to 

That’s all from the Commune for this week. Email me anytime at [email protected]

I’m Jeff Krasno. And I’ll see you next week. 

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