Somehow I landed today on the Rick Ross forum and encountered this thread on Byron Katie and Eckhart Tolle. I decided to offer my two cents.
Doing The Work
, the method of inquiry that Katie discusses in her books and seminars, has helped me tremendously. The main help it has gotten me is that as I do The Work I notice that it helps me take 100% responsibility for my own happiness and well being. My experience is that The Work does not foster dependence on any guru, teacher or outside source. Quite the contrary: I am less dependent on external circumstances for my happiness than I have ever been in my life, and I am still working on it.This is not some abstract philosophy I'm talking about here.
For example, last year my wife of 11 years and I divorced
(it was her idea). She was, and still is, the woman that I have loved the most in my life. I won't lie to you, the news that she wanted to separate were VERY tough at the beginning AND I immediately began questioning every stressful thought that I had about what I thought was happening to me. As a consequence of this questioning it became impossible for me to resent her for her choices. I discovered that I did not have to stop loving her just because we were parting ways, and that I was not a victim of a cruel world: I could see my part in it, and why she would want to separate from me. Thanks to doing The Work I could see why I was acting the way that I did, after I looked into what I was believing I needed from her. The natural effect of these discoveries was compassion towards myself and towards her, and that has bred a kind of peace and intimacy between us both that runs deep. We are best friends, we share with each other the most personal things. We are happily divorced
, and this seemingly impossible conundrum became the only thing that made sense in my world after questioning my stressful thoughts using the four questions that Katie shares in her books and workshops. And this is just one of many examples I could use to describe the kind of life that doing The Work can make possible. This is not to say that this is the only method that would have produced this outcome. It's the one that worked for me, and it worked fast
, in my experience.
I have attended many events with Katie both as a participant and as an unpaid staff since 2004. It is fair to say that I am very involved in it. I see people come and go, and I have never seen, not once, a moment in which anyone has been coerced to remain part of something they didn't want to be a part of. That just goes so contrary to what I have learned from doing The Work and to what I would want for myself that I could not support any organization that would be into anything like that. And so if you have specific examples that this has been going on, I really want to know.
I don't like cults anymore than you do. Before I became a regular at Katie's events I did come to the Rick Ross website to see if there was anything that I would find questionable about Katie's methods and lifestyle. There was nothing at the time, and that's why I was very interested in reading this thread today. I continue to search the web every now and then for any such evidence. I am open.I see the purpose of this forum as a resource where people can get concrete information about what works and what doesn't.
I am very grateful for its existence, as I don't wish to anyone the pain that comes from unknowingly getting involved in a cult. At the same time, if there is an approach out there, whatever it is, that seems to be of value, and the claims to its downside risks are unfounded, well, it is good for people to know that, also.
I did not come here to defend or attack anyone, or to espouse any philosophy or point of view. I simply came to say that, in my experience, The Work works, and this is why I use it in my life and share it with others in different ways. I see my post simply as information that can be read alongside what has already been said on this forum on this subject so that everyone can arrive at their own conclusions.
I will be happy, for the next two weeks, to answer questions you may have about what my experience is of doing The Work and of interacting with Katie on her workshops. Obviously, I cannot answer questions for Katie, as I do not represent her, her organization, or anything like that. I can, instead, give you 100% of my personal experience, as it's the only thing that, in some simple sense, is truly mine.