Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: August 01, 2009 04:04AM

'I've attempted to be fair, balanced and honest in sharing my experience. I may not have come off that way. Please note that the technique is not ALL rotten and that Lester's original message of loving others and yourself is a good one. It is apparently working for some people. And some of the events I experienced were unforgettable as I listed above. I have also gained a great measure of emotional control that genuinely helps me in many areas of life. But all in all, it does NOT deliver on what it promises in the financial or happiness realm, and if it does, it does so in a highly inconsistent manner. I will NEVER spend one cent more on any of Larry's materials and will caution (but not stop altogether) anyone who is thinking of buying any of his products.'

I found the links posted by corboy, from which the above is the last paragraph of the second testimony, astoundingly illuminating. It also ties in with the snake and rope teaching story.

In their original contexts, both Lester's original emotional release technique and the Hindu snake/rope teaching story could be said to have some validity.

The problem arises when some tricky salesman takes these techniques, puts a wishful thinking spin on them and teaches his victims to use them as thought-stoppers.

Lesters technique is useful as a means to not get caught in emotional states, as a means of becoming a millionaire it is patently useless.

The Hindu snake/rope story is an illustration, a parable, an analogy to try to educate and describe something far more nebulous, to use it as a means of intimidation and thought stopping is quite nefarious.

BK's demanding loyalty without reciprocating and Mitchells 'versions' of other peoples translations, (other peoples work) is total intellectual dishonesty and exploitation of their customers and of the material that they are bowdlerising for their frauds.

All the most successful salesmen use stories to sell their products as people respond better (open their wallets) to the emotional pull of the story than to the grind of critically evaluating the evidence.

A story is only ever a story, an illustration. The complications arise when we take the story, any story to be reality. Every story needs critical evaluation and we can each only do that for ourselves.

Attending a LGAT or 'Work' session so that BK can twist your stories to suit her purpose--building her following and bank balance--- (the two goals to which she is exclusively loyal) will only benefit BK.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 01, 2009 07:40AM

Another Cliche Analogy Met With on the Ashram Circuit--The Clay Pot

Note: One of the best purchases I ever made was an outlay of 10 US dollars for a hard cover, second hand copy of the second, 1980 edition of Agehananda Bharati's memoir, The Ochre Robe. He went to India in 1949, 20 years before the Hippie Trail began. And Bharati takes you behind the scenes. His book is worth reading simply as a stunning adventure story. Bharati was born in Vienna, and gives a doozy of a story about the Nazi occupation and how he got to learn modern Indian languages in the Indian Foreign legion of the German Army.

Bharati encountered classic thought stopping cliches in India, and the kind of dumbed down mushy Hinduism that later become common place in the New Age circuit. He was kicked out of his first monastery and it took awhile before he gained access to the really high powered scholarly monastery universities that gave him the real deal..not the tea and toast Hinduism that had been filtered through Vivekananda and the Hindu reform movement. Bharati was also horrified after reaching India to learn that many considered Hitler an avatar. If you had power, power equalled legitimacy. He also tells you that the Bhagavad Gita is not really one of the canonical books of Hinduism, but its become the badge of identity for the Hindu reformers who are Western educated and lack the training to read the full texts of scholastic Hinduism...and thus try to state that such intellectual training is not necessary and actually corrupted Hinduism.

Its the Vivekananda trash that is the undergirding of the New Wage Hindu lite most commonly met with today.

Ive found at least $200 worth of inside tips, clues etc from this one book, and it is one of a handful that I will never, ever lend out. So this is one big source of my insights, folks--get a copy for yourselves. Truth warriors deserve a good set of illusion busting weapons and The Ochre Robe has been the prize sword in my armoury.

The clay-pot story seems bit less in use than the snake-and-rope, but it is still part of the tool kit of the Hindu teacher. It would also give someone that nice, familiar lullaby feeling if they've been on the ashram circuit for any length of time.

From a discussion board. The discussant here comments about both the snake and rope and the clay and pot stories, as if both are familiar landmarks in the Hindu landscape. They are.


Default Re: Is Shankara a Mayavadin?



The snake-rope and pot-clay analogy to explain or understand the world
and Brahman are often used and interesting. Shakara's analogies are
mainly to emphasize the functionings of our minds with a subtle
suggestion to go beyond.

In the snake-rope analogy, snake appears as a rope or vice versa due to
the subjective interpretation of the observer's mind and its associated
fear or lack of fear. However, both snake and rope have similarity in
their form, not in substance. Snake and rope have existence independent
of each other. Using the sense of touch one can know whether it is a
snake or just a rope. One knows the world (snake and rope) through the
senses. But the Brahman is not known to the senses. However, the analogy
drives home the point that the rope (Brahman) is real and the perceived
snake (world) is maya.

In the pot-clay analogy, one knows that the pot does not exist without
the clay. When the pot is broken the clay still exists. However, both
the pot and clay are known through the senses. But the Brahman is not
known to the senses. However, just as above, the analogy drives home the
point that the clay (Brahman) is real and the pot (world) is one
manifestation of the clay.

Both these examples are for the conditioned minds to peak out beyond
their boundaries and recognize what is not recognizable through the

A child which has not developed its mind-skills and conditionings sees
no difference between the snake and the rope nor does it differentiate
between the pot and the clay. For the child there is no difference
between the real and unreal!

An unconditioned mind is in a state of awareness and in that state "the
knowing" is not dependent on the senses and therefore it "knows" the
Brahman and all its manifestations without any effort. There are no


This story can be used in a variety of ways. Most of often it is used to illustrate unity of reality.

But sometimes a clay pot can be likened to a yogi or saint who has been fully formed by being baked long enough. Ramana Maharshi used the story both ways.



Muktananda says: O friend, as waves are in water, fragrance in camphor, ... as clay is inseparable from pots, so a Siddha is entirely one with God. ...Meditation Revolution


Ramana Maharshi


soundness of baked pots and find out which of the assembled saints was properly baked clay



In the first two lines of this verse Sri Ramana explains the first sentence, ‘deham naham’, saying that the body is not ‘I’ because it is jada (non-conscious) like a clay pot, because it does not have any ‘shining’ (or consciousness of itself) as ‘I’, and because our nature (or essential being) is experienced by us daily in sleep, in which this body does not exist.



Within this sheath of knowledge, the Self throbs as the self-effulgent light, the supreme soul, homogeneous, the Truth, all pervasive, complete, immutable, the supreme Lord. Yet the Self assumes limitations through the false superimposition of the intellect on it in this sheath, because this is close to it, and in fact the closest of its adjuncts. As a result it is deluded into thinking that it is this sheath. Just as a pot might seem to be different from its clay, so it imagines itself to be different from itself, to be the agent and the enjoyer, and seems to be limited in such ways, although it is like the fire in a ball of hot iron, unaffected by the shape of the ball.”



(context--The followers of (Pasupati)school recognise God as the efficient or the operative cause. They recognise the primordial matter as the material cause of the world. This (Pashupati)theory is contrary to the view of the Sruti where Brahman is stated to be both the efficient and the material cause of the world. Hence the theory of Pasupatas cannot be accepted....According to Vedanta, the Lord is both the efficient and the material cause of the universe. The Naiyayikas, Vaiseshikas, Yogins and Mahesvaras say that the Lord is the efficient cause only and the material cause is either the atoms, according to the Naiyayikas and Vaiseshikas, or the Pradhana, according to the Yogins and Mahesvaras. He is the ruler of the Pradhana and the souls which are different from Him.

This view is wrong and inconsistent

(the clay pot example is then utilized in the arguement through analogy as described by Bharati)


The Sutrakara himself has proved in the previous Section of this book that the Lord is the material cause as well as the ruler of the world (efficient or the operative cause).

It is impossible that the Lord should be the mere efficient cause of the world, because His connection with the world cannot be established. In ordinary worldly life we see that a potter who is merely the efficient cause of the pot has a certain connection with the clay with which he fashions the pot.

The Srutis emphatically declare 'I will become many' (Tait. Up. II.6). This indicates that the Lord is both the efficient and the material cause of the universe.



material cause: Hindu - Hinduism Dictionary on Cause

cause: Karana. Anything which produces an effect, a result. -

- efficient cause: (nimitta karana) That which directly produces the effect; that which conceives, makes, shapes, etc., such as the potter who fashions a clay pot, or God who creates the world.

- material cause: (upadana karana) The matter from which the effect is formed, as the clay which is shaped into a pot, or God as primal substance becoming the world.

- instrumental cause: (sahakari karana) That which serves as a means, mechanism or tool in producing the effect, such as the potter's wheel, necessary for making a pot, or God's generative Shakti.

See: maya, tattva



Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tat Tvam Asi (Thou art That)

We understand the word mithyA as a word referring to our understanding of the reality of an object, like a pot. MithyA is not an object. Similarly, satyam is also a word revealing our understanding of reality. MithyA is understood as the reality of an object which has no being on its own. The pot doesn’t have a being without clay. Pot is not an independent object; it is a just a word, a name (name) revealing a form and a function. The weight of the pot is the weight of clay. The touch of the pot is the touch of clay. The pot is not upon the clay, nor does it come out of the clay. We cannot even imagine a clay pot without thinking of clay. From this we understand that while the pot is clay, clay is not the pot. The word satyam is therefore used for clay, in terms of its reality, and the word mithyA is used to refer to the reality of pot. This has to be understood—mithyA is nothing but our understanding of reality. How do we understand it? That which has no being of its own, which has its being or basis in something else, and is not separate from the place where it has its being (adhishtAna-ananya), is mithyA. In other words, every product is mithyA. It is not separate from the material of which it is made. And satyam is the reality (sadvastu) in which all things have their being, otherwise called Brahman.

In the Chandogya Upanishad, the word that is used is sat. That reality, that existent vastu is real (satyam) and the world (jagat) is a product (kArya) not separate from the vastu, like clay pot is not separate from the clay. As the pot is nothing but a name and form depending on the clay for its existence, the world (jagat) is nothing but names and forms depending for their existence upon Brahman. That is the existent ‘thing’ (sadvastu). Therefore this sat alone is real (sadeva satyam) like the clay alone is real (mrdeva satyam) for the clay pot. The word satyam we can finally use only for Brahman, and everything else, including space, air, fire, etc., in our elemental model of the world, is mithyA.

Therefore we say, “All this is Brahman,” idam sarvam brahma. The cause of this entire world is Brahman, and all that is here, which in reality is mithyA, is not separate from that cause.


and if you want yet more examples of teachers using the clay pot story here is a list of my OCD Google searches:

Sai Baba


Sivananda--treatise on the 63 Nayanar Saints--yet more uses of clay analogies quoted from Hindu texts.

The Saiva Siddhanta Philosophy


The Five Activities of the Lord: The five activities of the Lord are: Creation, Preservation, Destruction, Veiling and Grace. These, separately considered, are the activities of Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Maheshwara, and Sadasiva.

Siva, Shakti and Maya: Lord Siva pervades the whole world by His Shakti. He works through Shakti. Shakti is the conscious energy of the Lord Siva. She is the very body of Lord Siva. The potter is the first cause for the pot. The stick and the wheel are the instrumental causes. The clay is the material cause of the pot. Similarly, Lord Siva is the first cause of the world. Shakti is the instrumental cause. Maya is the material cause.

Shakti is not the material cause of the universe, because She is of the nature of consciousness (Chaitanya). Siva is pure consciousness, but matter is pure unconsciousness. Shakti is the intermediate link between the two.

Shakti is the reflex of Siva. It has no independent existence. Siva assumes this form out of His great love for mankind. Siva wishes that all should know Him.

Evolution of the Tattvas from Suddha Maya: The world undergoes evolution for the benefit of the souls.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2009 07:54AM by corboy.

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Re: Byron Katie Inc (the Work) and Certified Facilitators
Posted by: scrambledeggs ()
Date: August 01, 2009 11:11AM

The Anticult
That Byron Katie Inc Certified Facilitators page is something else. []
There appear to be 100-115 "certified" facilitators so far. As shown in this thread, to become a "certified" facilitator costs a bundle (how much in total?).

Thanks for asking, Anticult. This was a very good exercise for me, putting this together!

Cost of becoming a Certified Facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie:

Join the 4-year program = $650
Attend one School = $5000
Return to School at least once as staff or repeater = $2935 to $3215
Attend 25 days of other "approved" BK events - at least $100/day = $2500
Work with your Mentor - 40 hours = $290*
Participate in monthly teleconferences with Katie - $348*
Participation in the "One-for-One" program - 160 hours = $1160*
Teleclasses - 70 hours = $508*
Work the BKI Do The Work Helpline - 130 hours - $943*
Once you have completed all of the above, attend a 7-day Certification Evaluation Workshop $1800 + minimum $448** for hotel/food (housing and food are NOT provided)
Once Certified, you are required to serve as a Mentor for one full year = $6300***
Annual renewal fee = $100

Total MINIMUM**** amount it costs to become a Certifiied Facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie = $22,982.00

*calculated using $7.25/hour U.S. minumum wage (What is YOUR time worth???)
**calculated using $64/day Ventura County IRS standard tax deduction for incidentals
***calculated using $75/hour facilitator rate (You just got a raise - you're Certified now, afterall!)
****NOTE: None of the above accounts for:
--travel expense to get to and from events
--time taken off work to attend events;
--cell phone minutes and long distance charges;
--paper, ink, notebooks, binders, pens, etc. for all the worksheets and One-for-One booklets that must be printed, assembled and filled out.
--time spent during Helpline volunteer time when the phone is NOT ringing (you are only allowed to log your actual facilitation time).
--website, marketing expense, self-employment and income tax, insurance, and all other costs associated with starting your own business

Disclaimer from the BK website:
"Please note that Certification Requirements listed on this page are subject to change during the course of a candidate’s enrollment in the Certification Program. Any changes made to Certification Requirements apply to all candidates enrolled in the program."

And as we all know by now, Byron Katie reserves the right to pull your license at any time for any reason without any explanation.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2009 11:14AM by scrambledeggs.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Meadow ()
Date: August 01, 2009 01:11PM


That Byron Katie Inc Certified Facilitators page is something else. []
There appear to be 100-115 "certified" facilitators so far. As shown in this thread, to become a "certified" facilitator costs a bundle (how much in total?).

And there are a couple of blank spots! Have people been pulled?

Of course it is equally possible that people are starting to drop out and are taking themselves off of BK's website...

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work), Janaki, and Certified Facilitators
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: August 01, 2009 07:52PM

I just read the following on the home page of Janaki's blog:


BKI has informed people that their profiles will be pulled from the facilitator’s page of, should they keep their profile posted on my website (

If your profile is on my website and you want it to be removed, please let me know as soon as possible.

(dated July 29, 2009)

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 01, 2009 09:53PM

Flowers and flowers in Vase--Yet Another Common Hindu Guru/Ashram Teaching Story

Flowers are often given and received as offerings to gurus and by gurus and vases of flowers are often brought to a guru. So this will be a seed on which many metaphors can crystallize.

A flower is often seen as a symbol of enlightenment--eg the lotus flower.

The flower, and flowers in a vase (or image of a single flower in a vase) can and has been used in Hindu teaching stories.

A French gourmet said, 'Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are.'

If you've been deep on the ashram circuit, you are likely to have heard the snake rope story, the clay pot story and the flowers in a vase story. That means someone can guess what metphors you carry in the back of your mind, without knowing it.

And if someone can accurately guess what metaphors inhabit your mind, they know something about who you are.

In persons acculturated within the British American literary orbit, yet more metaphors originate from literary sources such as the King James Bible, Coleridges poem, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Shakespeare.

The Hindu flowers in a vase story can be used in a variety of ways to make a variety of points. But if someone has been in an ashram a long term, or even with a series of gurus, chances are they've heard this story and it will be part of their meditation practices and still carry a charge from the ashram, even if on the surface, they thought they left that all behind them.

Here is Agehananda Bharati discussing this flowers-in-a-vase simile-story.

Bharati tells of how his first swami, from the rather anti intellectual Ramakrishna Order,
used the flower vase story to illustrate that scholarly attainment, though not needed for spirituality and final liberation, could at least adorn the final outcome.


'...Moksha (liberation) and the life of contemplation have nothing to do with learning. Ramakrishna was almost illiterate, other great souls were completely illiterate. But if learning is added to sagehood, it is like some beautiful flowers in an elaborately fashioned vase: the flowers are perfect without a vase, but the vase adds to their beauty, nonetheless. " Bharati, The Ochre Robe, 124

Bharati was later asked to leave the Ramakrishna Order and was initiated a sanyassi of the Shankara Dasnami Bharati order. His initiating swami used the flower vase story---but differely.

This is from Bharati's book, The Light at the Center: Context and Pretext of Modern Mysticism. Page 61. Here, another guru used the image of one flower in a vase and that same flower amidst a meadow of flowers in an open field to draw a comparison between two realized teachers, one who is socially unsophisticated, versus the other teacher who has scholarship and eloquence.


'You see, when you ask the merit of the adiguru (founder of the lineage) and of one who speaks in his own language and does not know a word of Sanskrit, their merit as jnani's (realizers of enlightenment) is absolutely identical; but their merit as teachers is very different, indeed.**

'It is like a flower on a simple meadow, and a similar flower placed in a marvellously wrought, expensive vase, surrounded by a marble courtyard in a prince's mansion. People will tend to praise that flower due to its enviroments--they might ignore it in nature."

**This version of the tale gives us a way to bypass the endless blind alley arguments about whether a troubled leader is enlightened or not.

We can thus create a strategy by which we can ignore whether a teacher is enlightened and instead look at the persons behavior and ask whether that person functions benevolently or not benevolently as a leader.

My basic criterion for whether a family, a friend, one's romantic partner, boss, teacher, or guru is worthy or not is this:

If they make a point of insisting on your loyalty, are they capable and willing to reciprocate your loyalty and the loyalty given to them by others?

Or does the loyalty endlessly go toward the powerholder and not return to the followers?

Sometimes a leader may, in the very early days, reciprocate loyalty and this is often talked about to later followers.

But, talk of early sacrifices by the leader and early ordeals suffered by the leader are just stories.

How is the leader reciprocating followers' loyalty today?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2009 09:58PM by corboy.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: rob ()
Date: August 02, 2009 01:35AM

Has this youtube clip "the tao of translation" been mentionned yet ?
Mitchell says that every translation of the tao missed the point and he is the one who got it right as he was in a zen monastery and reached all this stages. On top of that some mysterious chinese scolar without a name appears to tell him that he (Mitchell) captured the essence of the teaching. Most interesting is the end of the clip where he gives an exemple of his interpretation :
tao the king : masters keep their students ignorant and fill their bellys
Mitchell : masters teach students not-knowing and fill their essence.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Meadow ()
Date: August 02, 2009 02:20AM

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: August 02, 2009 02:24AM

A link to Mitchells apologia on youtube, mentioned by rob:

mitchells tao

If you want a humourous version of the Tao rendered into American English try this one, its free:

ron hogans Tao

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/2009 02:25AM by Stoic.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Stephen Mitchell Tao of Duh
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: August 02, 2009 02:51AM

Its interesting that the above reviews of Stephen Mitchell's Tao Te Ching, even mention Seung Sahn being inserted into it. Of course, they were not aware that he was a close follower of Seung Sahn, which ended at the time when the sexual scandals came to light, as shown in this thread, and this other thread.

(Seung Sahn) Kwan Um School of Zen []

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