Byron Katie Quotes

Byron Kathleen Mitchell (née Reid), better known as Byron Katie, born December 6, 1942,[1] is an American speaker and author who teaches a method of self-inquiry known as “The Work of Byron Katie” or simply as “The Work.”

Biography Byron Kathleen Reid (or “Katie” as she is often called) became severely depressed in her early thirties. She was a businesswoman and mother who lived in a small town in the high desert of southern California. According to Katie, for nearly a decade she spiraled down into paranoia, rage, self-loathing, and constant thoughts of suicide; for the last two years she was often unable to leave her bedroom. Then, one morning in February 1986, while in a halfway house for women with eating disorders,[2] she experienced a life-changing realization. She called it “waking up to reality.” In that moment of enlightenment, she says,

“I discovered that when I believed my thoughts, I suffered, but that when I didn’t believe them, I didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Freedom is as simple as that. I found that suffering is optional. I found a joy within me that has never disappeared, not for a single moment.”

According to journalist Allison Adato, soon afterward people started seeking Katie out and asking how they could find the freedom that they saw in her.[3] People from her town and eventually from elsewhere came to meet her, and some to even live with her.

Katie is not aligned with any particular religion or tradition. She is married to the writer and translator Stephen Mitchell, who co-wrote her first book, Loving What Is and her third book, A Thousand Names for Joy.

Katie calls her method of self-inquiry “The Work”. She describes it as an embodiment, in words, of the wordless questioning that had woken up in her on that February morning. Adato further writes that as reports spread about the transformations people felt they were experiencing through The Work, Katie was invited to present it publicly elsewhere in California, then throughout the United States, and eventually in Europe and across the world.[3] She has taught her method to people at free public events, in prisons, hospitals, churches, corporations, shelters for survivors of domestic violence, universities and schools, at weekend intensives, and at her nine-day “School for The Work.”

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Byron Katie Quotes

“The Work is merely four questions; it’s not even a thing. It has no motive, no strings. It’s nothing without your answers. These four questions will join any program you’ve got ad enhance it. Any religion you have—they’ll enhance it. If you have no religion, they will bring you joy. And they’ll burn up anything that isn’t true for you. They’ll burn through to the reality that has always been waiting.”

“I don’t let go of concepts – I meet them with understanding. Then they let go of me.”

“Since then I’ve come to see that anyone who doesn’t question their thoughts is suffering from mental illness. No one has to suffer that kind of pain when life can be so simple.”

“If you put your hand into a fire, does anyone have to tell you to move it? Do you have to decide? No: When your hand starts to burn, it moves. You don’t have to direct it; the hand moves itself. In the same way, once you understand, through inquiry, that an untrue thought causes suffering, you move away from it.”

“I’m a lover of reality. When I argue with What Is, I lose,
but only 100% of the time.”

“Anything you want to ask a teacher, ask yourself, and wait for the answer in silence.”

“Do you want to meet the love of your life? Look in the mirror.”

On compassion and suffering:

“The end of suffering happens in this very moment, whether you’re watching a terrorist attack or doing the dishes. And compassion begins at home. Because I don’t believe my thoughts, sadness can’t exist. That’s how I can go to the depths of anyone’s suffering, if they invite me, and take them by the hand and walk them out of it into the sunlight of reality.

I’ve taken that walk myself.”

“That’s what my life is about now. When we get free, when our minds are clear, all it leaves is gratitude and how can I help?”

“A teacher of fear can’t bring peace on Earth. We have been trying to do it that way for thousands of years. The person who turns inner violence around, the person who finds peace inside and lives it, is the one who teaches what true peace is. We are waiting for just one teacher.

You’re the one.”

“We don’t attach to people or to things; we attach to uninvestigated concepts that we believe to be true in the moment.”

“Spare yourself from seeking love, approval, or appreciation—from anyone. And watch what happens in reality, just for fun.”

“The Work reveals that what you think shouldn’t have happened should have happened. It should 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. No one wants their children to get sick, no one wants to be in a car accident; but when these things happen, how can it be helpful to mentally argue with them? We know better than to do that, yet we do it, because we don’t know how to stop.”

“Thoughts are just what is. They appear. They’re innocent. They’re not personal. They’re like the breeze or the leaves on the trees or the raindrops falling. Thoughts arise like that, and we can make friends with them.

Would you argue with a raindrop?”

“The world is perfect. As you question your mind, this becomes more and more obvious. Mind changes, and as a result, the world changes. A clear mind heals everything that needs to be healed. It can never be fooled into believing that there is one speck out of order.”

“The teacher you need is the person you’re living with.”

“When I’ve learned to meet my thoughts with understanding, I meet you with understanding. No choice.”

“Placing the blame or judgment on someone else leaves you powerless to change your experience. Taking responsibility for your beliefs and judgments gives you the power to change them.”

“An unquestioned mind is the world of suffering.”

“I am never unhappy, you can achieve that as well.”

“For me, everything is God. Everything and everyone. So it was just, God needs me now, now, now.”

“An uncomfortable feeling is not an enemy. It’s a gift that says, ‘Get honest; inquire.’ We reach out for alcohol, or television, or credit cards, so we can focus out there and not have to look at the feeling. And that’s as it should be, because in our innocence we haven’t known how. So now what we can do is reach out for a paper and a pencil, write thought down, and investigate.”

‘Gratitude is what we are without a story”

“I only know that I have not seen a problem in 13 years that is real. And I have not met anyone or anything that I would change. Everything brings me such joy. I am everything.”

“The world is nothing but my perception of it. I see only through myself. I hear only through the filter of my story.”

“You move totally away from reality when you believe that there is a legitimate reason to suffer.”

“Nothing you believe is true. To know
this is freedom.”

“Reality is always kinder than your thinking.”

“When you stop seeking, the beauty concealed by the seeking becomes evident. What you wanted to find is what remains, beyond all stories.”

“You are what exists before all stories. You are what remains when the story is understood.”

“Everyone is a mirror image of yourself-your own thinking coming back at you.”

“When you think that someone or something other than yourself needs to change, you’re mentally out of your business.”

“Nothing can cost you someone you love. The only thing that can cost you your husband is if you believe a thought. That’s how you move away from him. That’s how the marriage ends. You are one with your husband until you believe the thought that he should look a certain way, he should give you something,he should be something other than what he is. That’s how you divorce him. Right then and there you have lost your marriage.”

“No one has ever been angry at
another human being-we’re only angry at
our story of them.”

“What is is. You don’t get a vote.
Haven’t you noticed?”

“You either believe what you think or
you question it. There’s no other choice.”

“We do only three things in life: we
sit, we stand, we lie horizontal. The
rest is just a story.”

“If I think you’re my problem, I’m insane.”

“Everyone and everything is doing its
job perfectly-no mistake.”

“Until we know that death is equal to
life, we live in fear.”

“How do I know that I don’t need what
I want? I don’t have it.”

“We fear only what we haven’t understood.”

“There are no physical problems-only
mental ones.”

“Some of us are returning to sanity, because we’re tired of the pain. We’re in a hurry. No time to mess around.”

“We never make a decision. When the
time is right, the decision makes itself.”

“The mind’s job is to validate what it thinks.”

“Hurt feelings or discomfort of any kind cannot be cause by another person. No one outside me can hurt me. That’s not a possibility. It’s only when I believe a stressful thought that I get hurt. And I’m the one who’s hurting me by believing what I think. This is very good news, because it means that I don’t have to get someone else to stop hurting me. I’m the one who can stop hurting me. It’s within my power.”

“Peace doesn’t require two people; it requires only one. It has to be you. The problem begins and ends there.”


“Who cares if you’re enlightened forever? Can you just get it in this moment, now?”


“You are either attaching to your thoughts or inquiring. There’s no other choice.”

“Do you want to meet the love of your life?
Look in the mirror.”

“When you realize that every stressful moment you experience is a gift that points you to your own freedom, life becomes very kind.”

“Though the mind can justify itself faster than the speed of light, it can be stopped through the act of writing.”

“Every story is a variation on a single theme: This shouldn’t be happening. I shouldn’t be having this experience. God is unjust. Life isn’t fair.”

“Everyone is a mirror image of yourself—your own thinking coming back to you.”

“The whole world is simply my story, projected back to me on the screen of my own perception. All of it.”

“It’s good that it hurts. Pain is the signal that you’re confused, that you’re in a lie.”

“God, as I use the word, is another name for what is. I always know God’s intention: It’s exactly what is in every moment.”

5 thoughts on “Byron Katie Quotes”

  1. I really love this one, “The world is nothing but my perception of it. I see only through myself. I hear only through the filter of my story.” It’s simple but well put :-)

    • thecurvyspine, I read it again, and this time it gave me little goosebumps, perhaps because I read it with more clarity. :) I love teachers like Byron Katie.

  2. You are welcome Curvyspine. She is very good for emotional, spiritual and general well being as she teaches us to have a healthier mind.

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