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Sunday Message 1/15/12: Loving What Is: A Few Basic Principles

Sunday Message 1/15/12: Loving What Is: A Few Basic Principles

Loving What Is: A Few Basic Principles
Rev. Jan Chase

This just can’t be.
I can’t stand it!
I hate it!
It drives me crazy!

How could he?
Why would she?
This can’t be happening!

I’m furious, enraged!
I’ll hold my breath until it changes.

They can’t do this to me.
It isn’t right!
It isn’t fair!

God can’t do this to me!
God knows I hate it!
God knows I fear it!
God knows it isn’t right!

Why does God hate me!
Why does God pick on me!
Doesn’t God love me?
God is supposed to love me!

There must be something terribly wrong with me for God to do this to me.
Why is everything happening to me that I hate and fear?
Why is everybody always pick’n on me?

Sometimes our thoughts sound like a country song, where everything is wrong.

It is not hard to throw a pity party for ourselves.

Today as we begin working with the book Loving What Is by Byron Katie we will explore some basic principles that will help us bring an end to those pity parties so we can live our lives in happiness and freedom!

And it all starts with WHAT? Our mind and our thoughts.

That is where everything starts, isn’t it. Mind/Idea/Expression.

Greek philosopher Epictetus writes, “We are disturbed not by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens.”

"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened." - Mark Twain

"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world." -Buddha

"Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace." - Buddha

Byron Katie finely found peace, deep peace. Here is her story.

Byron Katie’s Story p x-xi.
1. Byron Katie: Tell Story
a. Ordinary life, 2 marriages, successful career
b. 10 year downward spiral into rage, paranoia, despair, depression.
c. For 2 years she could seldom leave her home and stayed in bed for weeks at a time, unable to even brush her teeth.
d. She checked into a halfway house for women with eating disorders and scared the other residents so was relegated to the attic room.
e. One morning, a week or so later, as she lay on the floor (she had been feeling too unworthy to sleep in a bed), Katie woke up without any concepts of who or what she was, “There was no me,” she says.
f. Her rage was gone. Laughter welled up from the depths and poured out.
g. It was as if something else had woken up and opened its eyes and was looking through hers. It was delightful, joyful, intoxicating.
h. There was nothing separate, nothing unacceptable. Everything was its very own self.
i. “Freedom had woken up inside her….she …realized that all her old thoughts were untrue.” (xi)
j. She returned home feeling like a different person. A peaceful person, joyful and innocent and filled with love.
k. People started knocking at her door for help and she would ask them questions.
l. She was invited to go on the road to teach “The Work” in many kinds of organizations.

In fact Katie is Work is being presented at our SW Unity Regional Conference, February 27-March 1, 2012
KEYNOTER: Byron Katie
public is invited, so inform your members
Embassy Suites - La Qunita CA
Get REGISTRATION form from

So what did Byron Katie learn that changed her life? These are her basic principles:
3. P 1 A Few Basic Principles
a. Noticing When Your Thoughts Argue with Reality. (Read p 1-3) Discuss.

b. Staying in Your Own Business. (Read p 3-4)

c. Meeting Your Thoughts with Understanding (Read p 5)

d. Becoming Aware of Your Stories (Read p 6-7)

e. Looking for the Thought Behind the Suffering (Read p 7-8)

f. Inquiry (Read p 9)

I will be working with the first 2 principles mainly today.

a. Noticing When Your Thoughts Argue with Reality. (Read p 1-3) Discuss.

b. Staying in Your Own Business. (Read p 3-4)

2. Neuroscientists describe a function in the left hemisphere of the brain called “the Interpreter” that fabricates verbal narratives to convince itself that it is in control and to hold our “Personal Story together.”

Antonio Damasio explains it this way: “Perhaps the most important revelation is precisely this: that the left cerebral hemisphere of humans is prone to fabricating verbal narratives that do not necessarily accord with the truth.”

In other words, we just make up stuff naturally. We play fill-in-the-blanks with our lives, the lives of others and even with God’s life.
These made up stories are crazy making and cause us a great deal of trouble in our relationships and suffering in our lives. They can be very expensive.
a. Katie’s Work uses a self-questioning part of the mind to find a way out of its self-made trap.
b. After working with it a while, the mind notices each stressful thought and undoes it before it can cause any suffering.
c. What remains is love.

The Work that Katie teaches and with which we are working is not a quick fix or an easy enlightenment for most of us, but an “ongoing and deepening process of self-realization.. (that) brings to life from deep within us, an innate aspect of our being.” (xiii).

3. A Few Basic Principles
a. Noticing When Your Thoughts Argue with Reality. (Read p 1-3) Discuss.

"Your Duck is Dead" Story

A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet
on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest.
After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said, "I'm sorry, your
duck has passed away."

The distressed woman wailed, "Are you sure?"

"Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead," replied the vet.

"How can you be so sure?" she protested. "I mean, you haven't done any testing
on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."

The vet turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a
black Labrador Retriever.

As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs,
put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to
bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head. The
vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room.

A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and
delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches,
shook its head, meowed softly, and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said, "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most
definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck." The vet turned to his computer
terminal and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman.

The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried, "$150 just to
tell me my duck is dead!"

The vet shrugged, "I'm sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would
have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now $150."

Bible: story of the Israelites mummering in the wilderness. They wandered for 40 years, until all but 2 of the original travelers had died.
Could it be that their complaining kept them out of the Promised Holy Land?

My Story: Some of you have heard my story about becoming a minister. I was a medical technologist in a laboratory. For 15 years I wanted out of that business. I felt the call to ministry. The more I wanted out, the more I hated what I was doing. The longer I stayed in it. Then one day I had an insight: If I could make peace with what was, if I could love my job, I could free myself to move on. Fighting with reality was working against me changing my reality.

So I put attention on loving the people and loving the work, feeling gratitude for being there, and I found myself ministering there at the hospital lab. Before too long, I was free to leave the work and go to Unity Village to study Ministry, when I didn’t HAVE to.

Katie says: (P 2-5)
• All the stress that we feel is caused by arguing with what is!
• The “Work” revelas that what you think shouldn’t have happened should have happened, because it did and no thinking in the world can change it.
• This doesn’t mean that you condone it or approve of it.
• It just means that you can see things without resistance and without the confusion of your inner struggle.
• When we argue with what is, we experience tension and frustration.
• When we stop opposing reality, action becomes simple, fluid, kind and fearless.

b. Staying in Your Own Business. (Read p 3-4) Katie says that much of our stress comes from mentally living out of our own business.

John 21:20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?" 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about him?" 22 Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!"

1. Others: Sometimes we make other people’s business our business.
What's In A Name?
A young Jewish guy develops a crush on a girl, but when he tells his Father about her, the old boy just wants to know her family name. When the young guy tells him that the girl's name is Ford, the old boy tells him that Ford is not a good Jewish name, and he must forget her, and go and find a nice Jewish girl. So time passes, and the young guy finds another girl, but her name is Austin, so his Father tells him the same thing, to find a nice Jewish girl with a nice Jewish name. So more time passes, and the young guy finds another girl, but this time he is sure that he has solved the problem because the girl's name is Goldberg. "Goldberg !" exclaims his Father, "This makes me very happy because it is a real good Jewish name, and from a good established family" Then he asks what her first name is. "Is it one of my favourite names, like Rachael, or Rebecca ?" "No Father" replied the young guy. "It's Whoopi"
Whose business do you get into? Your parents, children’s neighbor’s, relative’s co-workers, friend’s, enemy’s.
Do you spend time thinking or wishing they were different?
Mrytle Fillmore’s Healing Letters: (p. 110-111) The best way to help your brother is to pray for him to be spiritually illumined. Then if he has come to a place in his soul development where he is ready to accept Truth, he will have the understanding and desire to seek the indwelling Christ.
It is never wise to try to force Truth upon anyone. Place your brother "lovingly in the hands of the Father," and know that his own indwelling Lord will take care of him until he is open and receptive to ideas of Truth.
What about God

2. How do we get into God’s business?
When we are worried about earthquakes, floods, war or when we will die, we are in God’s business.
When we are in another’s business, thinking we know what they should do, or when we are worrying about God’s business, who is attending to our business? (therapist)
• Who is living our amazing experience to the fullest?
c. Meeting Your Thoughts with Understanding (Read p 5)
Understand that it is our attachment to our thoughts that harms us, not the thought itself. When a thought becomes a belief we attach to, we can get into trouble.

Thoughts come and go all the time. We do not have to give them power!

We are not our thoughts. Our life can flow well without thinking, thinking, thinking. Thinking is the most common addiction.

Katie says meet your thoughts with understanding and they let go of you.

d. Becoming Aware of Your Stories (Read p 6-7)
Stories may be about the past, the present, the future. It may be about what could be, what should be or why they are.

Our Interpreter makes up stories for every little thing.
Why someone didn’t smile at you.
Where your neighbor went?
What someone wants from you.

Unless we check out these stories, we are living a lie. And we often act as if that lie is true.
Boy does that get us into trouble.

Small stories breed bigger ones and it all becomes frightening and terrible.

Example: Meditator aware of his thought realized this neighbor had not returned his chain saw. One thing indexed to another in his mind and suddenly he was afraid he had a chain say murderer next door.

Of course when he checked it out the man had just forgotten to return it.

e. Looking for the Thought Behind the Suffering (Read p 7-8)
Untrue thoughts cause us stress.
When we find the lie behind the stress, the suffering, we are free.
An untrue thought argues with reality. We feel torn.
As we recognize the thought that isn’t true, we move away from suffering.

f. Inquiry (Read p 9)
Inquiry is The Work that Katie teaches to find the untruths we tell ourselves that cause our suffering.

She uses 4 Questions to find these lies or stories that have not been checked out with reality.
Is it true?
Can you absolutely know that it's true?
How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
Who would you be without the thought?
Then turn it around (the concept you are questioning), and don't forget to find three genuine examples of each turnaround.
3. Turn it Around

I invite you to pay attention this week to 2 things:
1) Are you arguing with reality, with what is? Notice how that makes you feel.
2. Are you into someone else’s business or God’s business? Notice how that makes you feel.

When you spend your time doing what is your’s to do, and allow your Higher Power to guide you step by step, you will find your life is filled with Joy and Freedom!

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