Byron Katie on the Mind Waking Up to Itself

Byron Katie

Ray: When you describe your moment of realization—the cockroach moment—about not believing your thoughts, it sounds almost revelational. Do most people doing inquiry have revelations like that, or is it usually steady work in making the understandings become second nature?

Katie: Steady work, and making the understandings become second nature—or first nature.

People don’t need sudden revelations. They get what they need when they need it, thought by thought by thought. It’s a constant thing when the mind starts to wake up to itself.

Mind is infinitely creative. And when it’s not stuck, oh my goodness, that’s where the joy comes from. Something happens, and the way we think about it, understand it, see it, is actually hilarious, whereas before it used to depress us.

It would be like saying, “He told me to go away.” You can experience that in two ways: “He told me to go away” (Katie employs an aching, morose voice) or—and here’s how I would say it—“He told me to go away!” (Katie uses a bright, happy voice).

For me, if somebody tells me to go away, that is an opportunity: for me to give the person a better life, to realize where not to be, and to see what could be even better than being with that person I love.

So, the statements and concepts that used to depress me now bring me joy. That is not easily understood by people who believe what I used to believe.

*Read my full interview with Katie at and learn more about her at

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