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Episode 181
The Doctor's Farmacy

Four Questions To Free You From Suffering

Open the Podcasts app and search for The Doctor’s Farmacy. If you’re viewing this site on your phone, you can just tap on the

Tap the subscribe button and new shows will be added to your library.

If you’re using a different device, our show is available on the following platforms.

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Suffering is part of the human condition. We create our own stories and believe them, however painful and untrue they may be. But it doesn’t have to be this way! We can find freedom from emotional, mental, and physical pain when we take the time to be quiet and ask some simple yet life-changing questions.

I studied Buddhism for a long time and have always been interested in self-exploration. My guest on today’s episode, Byron Katie, has created a powerful shortcut for unpacking and slowing down the mental processes that cause suffering, and her work has been one of my greatest tools for personal inquisition and growth.

I truly believe Byron’s work is a gift to humanity. Every one of us has had negative thoughts about ourselves and our lives that stem from an assumption. We had a weird interaction with someone. We didn’t get what we wanted. We are overwhelmed and stressed. We take on these things internally, let them dictate our worth, and live in pain. Byron explains what it means to do The Work and how asking ourselves four questions can profoundly shift our inner dialogue.

Waking up to what is real and what is not is the ultimate freedom. It means feeling content, enjoying the present, and living an empowered life. Doing The Work is all about embracing your true nature. Byron and I talk about breaking the cycle of suffering using some of her free worksheets—you can start changing your life today.

We also talk about the ego, the interplay of victimization and guilt, and how to approach the need to always be right. I’m so grateful to talk to Byron and share her wisdom with you in this episode.

This episode is brought to you by Primal Kitchen, BiOptimizers, and Cozy Earth.

Right now, Primal Kitchen is offering my community 20% off. Just go to primalkitchen.com and use the code DRHYMAN20 at checkout.

BiOptimizers is offering Doctor’s Farmacy listeners 10% off your Magnesium Breakthrough order. Just go to magbreakthrough.com/hyman and use code HYMAN10 to receive this amazing offer.

Nice bedding can feel like a big investment, so Cozy Earth makes it super easy to try out their products with a 30-day free trial and 10-year warranty. Plus, right now they are offering  40% off. Just go to cozyearth.com use the code HYMANPODCAST40 at checkout. 

I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD

Here are more of the details from our interview:

  1. Byron’s instantaneous insight into how to end suffering
    (9:18)
  2. The power of questioning what we’re thinking or believing about any given situation using Byron’s method, The Work
    (14:00)
  3. Why guilt drives addiction and is born of a victim mindset
    (19:12)
  4. Asking the question, “Is it true?” as the gateway to free ourselves of suffering
    (28:50)
  5. How to do The Work
    (32:17)
  6. Creating peace, sanity, and physical healing in our lives by questioning the ego
    (41:48)
  7. Using The Work to address fear of the future
    (44:09)
  8. Sourcing our own happiness by living in the present moment and waking up to our true nature
    (52:30)
  9. Loving where you are frees you of judgement and comparison
    (1:05:46)
  10. How we miss our lives when we live in the past and future
    (1:16:36)

Guest

 
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

 
Byron Katie

In 1986, at the bottom of a ten-year spiral into depression and self-loathing, Byron Katie woke up one morning in a state of joy. She realized that when she believed her stressful thoughts, she suffered, but that when she questioned them, she didn’t suffer, and that this is true for every human being. Her simple yet powerful process of self-inquiry, which she calls The Work, consists of four questions and the turnaround, which is a way of experiencing the opposite of what you believe.

Byron has been bringing The Work to millions of people for more than thirty years. Her public events, weekend workshops, intensives, and nine-day School for The Work have brought freedom to people all over the world. Her books include the bestselling Loving What Is, I Need Your Love—Is That True?, A Thousand Names for Joy, and A Mind at Home with Itself. You can visit thework.com for more about Byron and to access the resources we talk about in this episode.

Show Notes

  1. Learn more about At Home with BK
  2. Check out Byron Katie’s podcast

Transcript

Speaker 1:
Coming up on this episode of the Doctor’s Farmacy.

Byron Katie:
The cause of our suffering is what we’re thinking and believing in any given situation.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Welcome to the Doctor’s Farmacy. I’m Dr. Hyman and that’s Farmacy with and F, a place for conversations that matter. And if you’ve ever suffered about anything, well this is the podcast for you because it’s about why we suffer and how we can be free from suffering, which seems like a crazy idea but it actually is possible.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And today we have an extraordinary guest. One of my favorite humans on the planet even though I don’t know here that well. She is a gift to humanity. She is a woman you might’ve heard about. Here name is Byron Katie and she discovered, through her own suffering, a way out for all of us, believe it or not. And it was a way out that is simple to do, is obvious when you think about it but it’s not really something that most of us are very good at.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And Byron woke up one day after 10 years of depression and self loathing and suicidal thoughts and all kinds of horrible experiences and woke up one day filled with joy. And she realized that when she believed her stressful thoughts she suffered and when she questioned them she didn’t. And that was a true story that would be true for everybody who wants to take that on.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And she’s created an incredible process of self inquiry, which I know has helped literally millions of people, including many people I know and friends called The Work, which is very simple. But it consists of basically four questions and what we call turnaround, which is a way of experiencing the opposite of what you believe. So, it’s how do you get out of your stuck beliefs. She’s just worked on this tirelessly for the last 30 years in all kinds of events, workshops, intensives and she’s written some extraordinary books called Loving What Is and a book, which I love the title which is, I Need Love, Is that True? Because we all think we need love and what really is that about? A Thousand Names for Joy, what a great title. And a Mind at Home with Itself because how many of us are not at home and our own bodies and minds? You can learn more about her work going to TheWork.com.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And with that I’d love to welcome you, Byron, to the Doctor’s Farmacy Podcast.

Byron Katie:
Hi, Mark. Thank you. I love being here with you. It’s a joy. I love your podcast. I see you on iTunes and especially being with you right here, right now.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, it’s so important. I, through my own life, have really struggled a lot with challenges that I face like everybody, whether it’s divorce or health issues or challenges at work or relationships. When I was younger I studied Buddhism and that was my major in college. And when I think about your work I often think about what the Buddha was trying to do, which was illuminate why we suffer. The four noble truths basically of the Buddha is life is suffering, we suffer because we’re attached to the story we have in our head about what’s happening and there is a way out of the suffering and the fourth truth is called the Eightfold Noble Path. Your work is much simpler.

Byron Katie:
Yeah, that noble path, it can take a while, as they say, several lifetimes or something. [crosstalk 00:03:41].

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. Well, you’ve-

Byron Katie:
Mark, I was in a hurry evidently. I just wanted to cut to the chase or something. By some grace I just saw in a moment before the eagle can fill that space, I saw how my world was created. It was like, duh. And I began to laugh. I was literally sleeping on the floor and opened my eyes and again, before the eagle could fill the space there it was. And it’s nothing that I could tell or teach. I tried. I tried my children, tried the people on the streets. I was just wild with you don’t have to suffer but it was crazy times.

Byron Katie:
But learned to be quiet very, very quickly and just live it. And then out of that quietness people would… They noticed this radical shift in my life, radical shift everywhere. My physical, my emotional, my mental, everything was noticeable to my family and people around me. So, they began to ask how and because I couldn’t tell them I put it in their camp. That’s why this work is just inquiry. There’s no, [Byroncadian 00:05:12] it’s just inquiry. It belongs to everyone or what value is it? And no one has to use it. It’s just something that hangs out there. If you’ve tried everything else you might try this or you might start with it.

Byron Katie:
But I certainly encourage people to look into it now because I can see it’s shifting people all over the planet. So, it’s not just me that says it’s powerful.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No, clearly it’s a powerful tool. We’re going to get into the details of how it works, how The Work works. But the thing I want to get to first is how you were just one of us normal humans who was running around life miserable, suffering, trying to find happiness and struggled in your 40s and before with real serious issues around self worth and depression and suicidal thoughts.

Byron Katie:
It was horrible. For more than a decade just agoraphobic depressed. My prayer was death, to die as soon as possible. It was painful to breathe. No way out. So, I guess, seeing, really believing there was no way out, by some grace I was shown a way out. And it doesn’t have to be that dramatic or painful. Everyone experienced enough suffering as far as I’m concerned. We’ve all had enough that would take us to look to ourselves, which is what inquiry is about.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. So, you were in that state and then you had this epiphany somehow, like some crack opened up in your consciousness. Like you said, where ego couldn’t rush in and you were able to see everything all at once, which is not how it works for most people. We’re incrementalists and we learn a lesson.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
What did my friend tell me today? She’s like, “You have this forgetfulness when you learn something. Then you forget it and you have to relearn it.” I found myself doing that over and over again. Finally, maybe the lessons stick.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But this method that you call The Work came out of that insight and the unpacking, almost this slowing down of our mental process that causes suffering and a chiropractic adjustment on our thinking that allows us to be free from that suffering, which is a crazy idea. And it’s not something that most of us ever learned about, which is how do we navigate the jungle of our own minds that take us into dissatisfaction, disease, conflict, worry, future orientation. How do we just drop into this moment that we’re in and understand that it is perfect and how do you do that?

Byron Katie:
The ego, it’s job is to not be here now. It’s job is to [crosstalk 00:08:23]-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The opposite of be here now, right?

Byron Katie:
Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Be there then, be there then.

Byron Katie:
Yeah, be here then. Now see, that’s my song. Be here then because you are. If you can remember be sane, you are. You’re in the past.

Byron Katie:
So, I recall being depressed in my bedroom, just locked in there, just paranoid, just crazy. And I recall the pain, okay? So, now to do this work I would identify what I was thinking and believing in that situation because in that situation what I was thinking and believing was the cause of my suffering. And no way out so addiction happens in those states of mind.

Byron Katie:
Like how do I react when I believe the thought? I think I’m moving ahead too.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No, you’re right on it. I think the whole idea of our beliefs and our thoughts and our emotions being these things that you can unpack. Most of the times we’re in this class reality where we have a thought based on a belief that creates an emotion and it all happens in a nanosecond. And it’s almost like what happened for you is that it slowed down so you could see, oh, this thinking may not be true but I believe it and it’s causing me to have all these horrible feelings and all this suffering-

Byron Katie:
Exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
… and being miserable. And how do I break that cycle where I’m constantly believing the stupid thoughts that I have, making them real and putting meaning on things that are causing me so much pain?

Byron Katie:
Yeah, it would be like if I have the thought like I ran into an old friend and she was in a hurry and sloughed me off and my feelings were hurt. Okay, and now I’m thinking, what did I say, what did I dO, why did she and she this and she that and all of that going on. So, what is the cause of my suffering? What I was thinking and believing in that situation standing on the corner when she did not have time for me.

Byron Katie:
So, now people can do what I did. They can download on ByronKatie.com. They can download what I call a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet and there are six questions on that Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet. So, because the ego’s always in the past or future and since that situation is up for me now, I look at the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet knowing that the cause of my suffering, again, is what I was thinking, believing then. So, there’s six questions on the worksheet and I filled them in with what I was thinking and believing then. I just answered the questions. [crosstalk 00:11:45].

Byron Katie:
Now, I’m going to question what I was thinking and believing because it was the cause of my suffering. And then as I question it, there are four questions and then I invite people to flip them, to try them on to see what is as true or truer for them in that situation.

Byron Katie:
So, the first question is, is it true she doesn’t care about me?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No, clearly not.

Byron Katie:
And, so I meditate in it. The work is just pure. It takes stillness. It’s pure. It’s a pure and meditative process. It is contemplation and if I can do it anyone can do it. So, is it true, is the first question. Can I really know that it’s true? So, there’s a combination of really two questions there. Is it true? Can I really know that it’s true? She doesn’t care about me.

Byron Katie:
And then I meditate in that. I’m on the street corner with her. I see her face, I see her expression. I can hear her. Because when I’m believing the thought, she doesn’t care about me, I can’t really hear her then. But I heard her but the ego doesn’t want me to hear it. So, now I’m there. I’m still in it.

Byron Katie:
Then the third question, how do I react? What happens when I believe the thought?

Byron Katie:
Then, Mark, it moves into your field. How do I react when I believe the… Of course, this is your field too. How do I react when I believe the thought, she doesn’t care about me? I get really still and I get in touch with my emotional. I see where I feel that. I feel how powerful it was maybe on a scale of one to three, how much of my body did it take over? I think it’s just one place, like in my solar plexus or maybe only in my shoulders. But then I notice as I sit and how I react when I believe the thought, it hit my neck. So, I’m meditating in that. Then, my chest. I see how much of my body is taken over emotionally when I sit in and how do I react when I believe the thought?

Byron Katie:
Now, all those emotions show up for a reason and it cannot be what she said and did. It can never be that. It’s what I’m thinking and believing that is the cause of that emotion. Okay, so in that how do I react when I believe the thought? I continue with noticing the illusion the ego offers up. [crosstalk 00:14:41] it shows me the past where we were such good friends and it compares with and what did I say or do and then in the future where she’s going to talk to people about me. She’s going to ruin my reputation. She doesn’t care about me and that I know mind in it’s past, future. All the proof is right here in my head that she is a threat to my [crosstalk 00:15:15]-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You just made it all up.

Byron Katie:
A threat to my existence, meaning identity that I want people to see me as kind and loving and a good friend and she’s blowing it. You see that identity that the ego’s always protecting. So, as I sit in how I react when I believe the thought all of this comes up.

Byron Katie:
Now, this is where addiction comes in. When I’m thinking that on her I feel guilty. That’s just a given. I don’t have to like it. It’s a given and guilt, it’s an amazing thing. It says, look at you’re thinking, what are you thinking and believing? Something’s out of order and it’s not here. And I’m not letting her off the hook. I’m just doing my own personal work now.

Byron Katie:
Okay, so I see she’s going to tell people and they’re going to this and they’re going and she’s this and she’s that. Just my judgements about her I’m going to experience, I’m going to notice some guilt. Now guilt is the food. It is the food for addiction. It’s where addiction is born.

Byron Katie:
And so, then I see the chocolate ice cream. My ego’s gone as far as it can and then boom, chocolate ice cream. I see it in my mind’s eye and then if I say the word apple, immediately you see an apple in your mind’s eye. It’s like I’m casting a spell on you. Like, banana, you saw it. I just cast… Words cast spells. So, I see that. Now, chocolate ice cream. I said I’d never do it again. I said I was only going to have it once. I said… No. Now, if you imagine biting into a big juicy, ripe lemon right now you feel the physical effects. Physical. You did not eat a lemon. That’s the power of mind. The power of what we call ego.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
[crosstalk 00:17:37].

Byron Katie:
So, that’s addiction. If I see the lemon and it causes that thing in me, literally it’s so powerful it could raise blood sugar. It could do a lot of things. So, that’s why pills are so popular for stress. So, I notice the cause of my suffering on every level. Body, mind, spirit.

Byron Katie:
Okay, so how do I react when I believe the thought? I see that I went into victim mode as I was standing there. It was not too much but just a little. Okay, guilt.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Why does the guilt come from being a victim?

Byron Katie:
It argues with our true nature. And the proof of that is anything we think that is not understanding, kind, connected, is a word I love. Connected with the human race and everyone in it. Connected. It doesn’t mean I’m going to hang out with that person. It doesn’t mean we’re going to have tea. I’m connected. I understand. I understand. If I were thinking and believing what that person was thinking and believing that murdered another person, how could I not? How could I not?

Byron Katie:
So, this is not a little thing that we’re inviting people to. It is that identity from I can’t even leave my bedroom into a person that loves person, that travels the world for more than 30 years. That’s not a little thing.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No. So, when you’re saying all this, Byron, is that in your mind you’ve made up a story or a narrative about what this person’s actions meant.

Byron Katie:
But I can’t claim I made up my mind.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
What do you mean you-

Byron Katie:
I can’t claim I did it meaning, I didn’t do it on purpose. It’s the ego at work. I didn’t do it on purpose.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
For sure. So, your higher self, when you say I, you mean your higher self is doing it-

Byron Katie:
Well, it’s like find a place where you said or did something that you felt a little guilty over. A place where you… A little guilt. Okay, you find that place where you said what you said or you did what you did that caused a little guilt, something that you had hoped, wished you hadn’t done. Okay, so you’ve said what you said, you did what you did and you felt guilt. Now get really still and identify what you were thinking and believing just before you said what you said or did what you did and then tell me, did you have a choice?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
In that moment to feel what you’re feeling you mean? I think it’s automatic, right? We have automatic conditioning and patterning and beliefs that are embedded in us. But what you’re asking people to do is slow that down and start to look at the truth of it. And in this case what you’re talking about with your friend-

Byron Katie:
Did I have a choice? [crosstalk 00:21:16]-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
In that moment you may not have a choice to not have that emotion but then you can look at it and stop, which is what your work is about. It’s about okay, I had this experience. Now what? With this particular friend you don’t know-

Byron Katie:
Yes. So, if I were thinking and believing… I’ve tested this many times. It’s a way of life for me. When I consider what I’m thinking and believing I can even justify the thing I said and did.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Of course.

Byron Katie:
[crosstalk 00:21:43] okay. So, why do I feel guilty about it even a little? It’s not right or wrong. We’re just looking at how we react when we believe a thought.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, well that’s a huge thing and I think a lot of the times we have beliefs that create thoughts that lead us to interpret something as bad or in a way that causes us suffering, right? So, you interpret your friend’s behavior-

Byron Katie:
Yeah, that’s the whole deal.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
… as somebody who didn’t care about you, wasn’t interested in you, maybe had negative thoughts about you. But you don’t really know what was going on with that person. They could’ve been late to go visit their mother in the hospital who was dying. Or they could’ve been stressed about blabbity blah and you take that on as your own thing.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I had a friend once who said to me, “Stop looking for ways to be offended,” which is a great line.

Byron Katie:
Yeah, yeah, I love that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Or my mother used to say to me when you’re driving the car and someone honks is, “What makes you think that’s for you?”

Byron Katie:
Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Or when a police car goes by you’re like oh. And I think that is a very powerful concept in your work that I think is worth unpacking because most of us are so attached to our thinking and our thoughts and our beliefs that we don’t have a space between those thoughts and beliefs and our interpretation of those. And as reality-

Byron Katie:
And to believe…

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right? That’s why your question, is it true, is so important. Is it true? That’s the first question, right? Is it really true that she hates you or doesn’t care about you or that she’s going to go say bad stuff about you, right? And I think that’s really a powerful insight?

Byron Katie:
It is. It brings us back to some sanity. Just the question, is it true? The other three questions and turnarounds aren’t even necessary if a person just said, is it true? All of it would meet that question if a person got really still. Is it true? You’d be shown how you react when you believe the thought, what you said, what you did, how it felt. And the answer would reveal itself.

Byron Katie:
And yes or no, when I ask myself is it true she doesn’t care about me, for example. I get still in that and to find there’s only one syllable to answer the question, is it true. It’s either yes or no. And they’re both equal because, let’s put it here with me, I’m only looking for my authentic answer. So, that may take a while but I can’t answer what other people, how the world would answer it. The whole world could say, “She doesn’t care about you,” but I’m dealing with me. I’ve got to know. She doesn’t care about me. Is it true?

Byron Katie:
And then it’s a beautiful thing, Mark, because when these things are worked through I can just… It’s nothing to pick up the phone and say, “As we were standing on the corner I had the thought that you didn’t care about me. Do you? And was I missing something?” That’s not exactly a great situation but anyway, we’re free. We can do our work and call and test it and if she says, “I didn’t care about you,” and tells me why then there is something I can do about me that I was blind to that she opens me up to. So, people grow me in the world.

Byron Katie:
But we’re too fearful to even call and ask. We just assume and then we feel bad, guilty, and then we maybe eat the ice cream or take the drug or the pill or snap at someone that we love completely and then we’re guilty over that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, your work really is focusing on this simple idea that’s suffering, our own emotional, mental, spiritual suffering really is inside of our minds and is not real. And it’s a story we tell ourselves that we torture ourselves with and there is a way to be free of those thoughts that make us suffer. That’s really what your work is about.

Byron Katie:
Yeah, waking up to what is real and what is not. And what’s an illusion.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
How do you get people there? You do the four questions and the turnaround is really the simple process, right? It seems so simple but it really is very powerful. Maybe you can take us through what those four questions are again and what the turnaround is and how people can use this process to really get free.

Byron Katie:
Okay. So, the first question is, is it true? So, she doesn’t care about me. Is it true? Can I absolutely know that it’s true? And I’m going to meditate in that and I’m going to be there in that time and place, anchored there.

Byron Katie:
And then how do I react in that situation when I believe the thought, she doesn’t care about me? I get really still. My eyes are closed. I’m meditating in that situation. I can see my body language. I see clearly my attitude. I’m in touch with the emotional I felt. I’m not just pretending that didn’t happen. I’m present here now, seeing now what I saw then that I couldn’t see then. I’m present.

Byron Katie:
Then the fourth question in that situation, standing on the corner with her, fourth question. Who would I be without the thought she doesn’t care about me? So, to test that I’m going to get still, drop my story and listen to her words. In other words, I’m not going to put meaning on it. I’m dropping my story, listen to her words, see her expression, her body language. So, I’m seeing her without my story. So, who would I be without the thought? Learning a lot, learning a lot, Mark.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
About yourself.

Byron Katie:
I’m connected. I’m connected. And that’s never too late because the next time I see her I’m connected. I’m not seeing who I believed her to be in the original situation. I’m seeing her from an awakened mind, from a more awake mind. The compassion’s there and I’m not trying. I’m connected. In that case, self compassion unless I said or did something.

Byron Katie:
Okay, so then the last part of the work is to flip it, to turn it around. So, she doesn’t care about me. Turned around, she does care about me. Now, I’m not going to just believe that. I’m meditating in the situation she does care about me. Now, what you said earlier may show up for me. I may see that she was in a hurry, that she said something to tip me off, that she needed… Who knows what’s going to show up but I’m not going to make nice with it. I’m going to be there now. I’m going to be then now.

Byron Katie:
And she does care about me. Let’s see, she does care about me. She did stop to talk to me. I’m going to see a lot as I witness that in the silence from here. Then another turnaround, she doesn’t care about me. Another turnaround, I don’t care about her.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, wow.

Byron Katie:
In that situation where was I uncaring?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
[crosstalk 00:30:08] yourself.

Byron Katie:
And this work takes so much courage, Mark. Where was I uncaring? What did I say or do? Did I give her the look? Did I look bothered? Anything.

Byron Katie:
Okay, now let’s say I said something rude. It just came out of my mouth, which happens as a believer. She doesn’t care about me, for example. Okay, so now the next time I see her or I might call her and I might say, “When we met on the corner it looked to me like you were in a hurry and I’m sorry if I held you up. I was a bit rude and I’m sorry for that.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You get to clean things up if you made a mess.

Byron Katie:
I do. And then I get to make it right. I don’t do it with the next person. Maybe I’m a little more patient with the next person. So, these turnarounds, we’re not trading one belief for another. We’re meditating in the possibility of. [crosstalk 00:31:25]-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
[crosstalk 00:31:25] on the turnaround is to look at other ways of looking at the same situation from a different perspective and trying it on and seeing if it’s true or not true, how it feels.

Byron Katie:
Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And you’re not necessarily saying it is true but you’re saying, I don’t care about me but maybe that’s true and then you can start to [crosstalk 00:31:40]-

Byron Katie:
[crosstalk 00:31:40] and I look at I don’t care about her and then I sit in that and see, as I said earlier, anything that I said or did that would lead anyone to believe that I didn’t care about them.

Byron Katie:
Then there’s another turnaround, I don’t care about me. She doesn’t care about me, turnaround, I don’t care about me. So, where is it that I was disrespectful of myself? That I didn’t give it time. That I interrupted her. I was in a hurry. I was the one that pulled away, she didn’t.

Byron Katie:
And it shifts every relationship we’ve got because our identity is shifting every time we sit in inquiry. You talked about the Buddha’s four noble truths. The third one, there is a way out of suffering, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Byron Katie:
There’s a way out of suffering. But it’s like years of buddhism for some people and some get it right away. But here’s how. Inquiry is how. And what was the fourth noble truth? I guess, the end of suffering. And for me, anything I say or do that I experience in you or in me could use a little work. Because the people in my world, if I don’t respect them and feel connected to my world and my planet, the gifts of nature, each other, then I have to look to myself because until I do there’s not a lot of peace and when we’re not at peace we hurt other people and then the cycle just continues. We feel guilty over that and we can justify it. The ego is so good at that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, the work is really a way to get free from self destructive beliefs and thoughts that cause suffering and allow you to have a different way to navigate your relationships, your work, your experience that’s liberating, right? It seems so simple but it’s so powerful. And I think that we often spend years in therapy and years working on ourselves and this seems like a shortcut that short circuits a lot of the-

Byron Katie:
It is. And it’s-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
… common ways we think about change.

Byron Katie:
Yeah, it has everything to do with health because when we like ourselves our [inaudible 00:34:46] the decisions we make in life different. Oh my God, sanity, it’s a great gift and we can… No one can make me sane. I’m the only one. I’m the only one that can give me that and it’s a practice. It’s a practice in stillness and it takes a lot of courage, as I said earlier.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But the end result is what? The end result is joy.

Byron Katie:
The end result is I’m 78 years old and I’m healthier than I was. I have less pain than when I was a teenager. I don’t know how long it’s going to last, Mark, but the choices I make make sense that no one taught me. What I eat, my exercise. There’s no voice in my head that says I’ll do it later or I’ll double up tomorrow or I’ll eat it and I’ll make… There’s no ego in my head that would argue with right doing.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Where did it go? Where’d the ego go?

Byron Katie:
The ego, through inquiry, the ego sees that I don’t oppose it. To question it gives it fair play. So, the ego says, “She doesn’t care about me,” and it’s met with, is it true? So, it gives the ego a chance to just, where do I go from here, where do I go from here? And you’re just meditating, is it true?

Byron Katie:
Then, let’s say, wisdom, true nature are innate. Like just sanity, let’s say, just use that word, meets the question, is it true and the ego in this process begins to rest in that that I call the heart, sanity, compassion, understanding, right mindedness. So, there is not all this pain in this 78 years old body that I experienced in my early 40s living in a bedroom with everything to live for. Children, beautiful home.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
[crosstalk 00:37:36]. What you’re saying essentially is that through this practice you’ve been able to access a healing force in your body that is not just mental but actually physical.

Byron Katie:
It’s just waiting for an invitation. It doesn’t move. Mark, it never moves. It’s not going away, this wisdom, this love. It’s not going away.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, is really The Work an access point to love? Is that what you’re saying?

Byron Katie:
Yes, and love is… We each have our own definition of what that means but for me, it’s balance in all things.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
One of the things I wanted to ask you is a lot of us, and I’ve been going through this lately because with COVID everything blew up. My normal work life blew up, how I see patients blew up, my own time structures all changed and also went through a period of change in my personal life through a divorce. And I’m okay from it but it left me a very uncertain future. Where do I live? Who will I be with or will I be with someone? What am I going to focus on in my work?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, the future takes on this looming presence of uncertainty and potentially fear and I found myself feeling a little bit anxious about what now? And I’ve been really working with this process that you’re talking about and reexamining my beliefs and my thoughts about the fear of the future and where that’s coming from and how to let go of that and actually shift it to a level of trust and a level of curiosity and a level of comfort and the possibilities that are ahead without having to know anything.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, how do we get to that? I’ve been working on it but I don’t know if I’m quite there. But I’d love to hear your perspective on how do we not allow the future to affect our present.

Byron Katie:
For me it would be to fill in that worksheet. You answered the six questions there. If I feared something in the future, which can only be in the future. Fear is what we’re thinking about a future and guilt and shame is the story of the past running through us. But fear of the future, I would look at what I’m fearing, Mark, and I would answer those six questions on the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet and then I’d question them. And what would I question? The situation that I fear.

Byron Katie:
Put yourself in that situation you fear and identify what you’re thinking and believing as you’re experiencing that fear. Put that on the worksheet and question it. It will blow your beautiful mind.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheets seem to be about somebody else, right? Or can it just be about your own thoughts about your own life and future without reference to someone else?

Byron Katie:
What’s an example of a fear?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That I won’t really find a place that I want to live in where feels right to me. I’m just being nomadic and not really find my home and community.

Byron Katie:
Okay. So, I won’t find a place I want to live. I won’t find my community. So, for example, I would imagine myself to fill in the worksheet, answer those six questions. I would imagine myself in a place I don’t want to live. And then I won’t find my community. I would imagine myself in a community I don’t want to live with. And I would question everything I’m thinking and believing about that until I’m at home wherever I am and with people in this world without exception that I feel connected with, which for me is community.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Byron Katie:
My world. The world as you understand it to be.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, so this worksheet, people can just go Google, Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet and you can find it. And it’s a very simple, almost fill in the blanks in this situation.

Byron Katie:
Six questions. Yeah, six questions.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Who angers, confuses, hurts, saddens or disappoints you and why? And it gives you examples. It’s very simple. It’s very practical. And for people who are struggling with relationships or their work or beliefs of themselves or the relationship with themselves or their health. It’s really a simple process that I encourage you to do and it’s free.

Byron Katie:
Yeah, it’s free and all the instructions are there. There’s a thing posted there. I call it the one, two, three. So you answer the six questions on the worksheet and then you take number one as what you responded to number one, for example, and then you move just that one concept over to the One-Belief-at-a-Time Worksheet, which that’s one, two, three. That’s number two. And just answer the questions there. It’s pure inquiry. It’s the four questions and turnarounds, literally. That’s all. And so, then to do that is to sit in the practice of the work.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
There is One-Belief-at-a-Time Worksheet, which is essentially a written meditation of your beliefs and how you react and how you change it and turn it around, right?

Byron Katie:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And who would you be without that thought? That’s a beautiful one. Who would you be without that thought? That I’m not loved, that I’m not good, or I’m not good enough or whatever the thoughts we have about ourselves. It’s really [crosstalk 00:43:51]-

Byron Katie:
It’s like my life minus that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. How do you-

Byron Katie:
The cause of our suffering is what we’re thinking and believing in any given situation and that’s not something… That just sounds too simple to believe. I’ll just throw this out there because here we are. All fear is either remembered or anticipated. It never happens in the moment.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Byron Katie:
Life is remembered or anticipated. That’s all.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Remembered or anticipated. Isn’t it experienced in the moment?

Byron Katie:
All physical pain is either remembered or anticipated.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
What if someone’s stepping on your foot? That’s happening in the moment.

Byron Katie:
What if someone is-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Stepping on your foot.

Byron Katie:
Okay. Someone steps on my foot I am remembering… Okay, right now he stepped on my foot. I’m remembering it even though his foot is still on my foot. And I’m anticipating that I would feel less pain if his foot was off of it. Anticipating. When you sit on it you can see the images and his foot is still on my foot.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Hmm.

Byron Katie:
And our time together is showing you that you can do this. You have the gift of stillness and presence. You’ve got a Buddhist practice in you. I work with people at home with Byron Katie three days a week. I work with someone, everyone can sit in this practice and it is a practice. It’s so simple people find it difficult. But you know, Mark, sound is either remembered or anticipated.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
How?

Byron Katie:
You’ve heard life is an illusion and you’ve set in that practice. It’s not a theory.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No, it’s not.

Byron Katie:
So, this practice breaks down in real time and solves… It gives us… It’s on number, oh my gosh, let’s say… I prefer your questions. I could just go on-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, yeah. I wanted to ask you something about what you said, which is that we all have the key to our own happiness but we don’t look to ourselves for that happiness. Whatever we want, whatever we think another person needs to do maybe we need to do.

Byron Katie:
Yeah, number-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We always are looking outside of ourselves to blame what’s happening around us for our happiness or are suffering and I think we externalize happiness but we also externalize suffering. And I think what you’re saying is that neither of them are external. They’re coming from within us.

Byron Katie:
Oh, yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s almost like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. She always had that power to go home with three clicks of her ruby red slippers but she didn’t know that. You’re saying, hey, you’re reminding us that this is true. So, how is this true and how do we get to this ability to source our own happiness and freedom from inside rather than looking outside of ourselves?

Byron Katie:
Okay, so as I’m talking to you, Stephen, my husband, is in the kitchen.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I love him, by the way. I read a lot of his translations of ancient text of Buddhism and Taoism and [crosstalk 00:47:51]-

Byron Katie:
[crosstalk 00:47:52].

Dr. Mark Hyman:
He’s an icon. Because I majored in Asian studies so I was always really tuned in to his work.

Byron Katie:
He’s an amazing being to live with. Oh my gosh. We’ve been married, oh gosh, more than 20 years or something. So, he’s in the kitchen, I’m telling you. Where’s my proof? Here. Oh, I’m in a room. The door is shut. I’m imagining him in the kitchen so I tell you with all certainly, “Oh yes, Stephen, he’s in the kitchen.” Okay, he could be out in the yard. He could’ve gone to the store.

Byron Katie:
So, to answer your question, it would be where’s Stephen? I can say he’s in the kitchen but I’m awake to is it true? My only proof is I see an image in my head of the kitchen. I see an image of Stephen in that kitchen and if you say, “Is Stephen in the kitchen?” I say, “Yeah,” and believe it because my mind’s not open to is it true? And this is not a huge, big deal except we do it with everything. He’s in the kitchen.

Byron Katie:
Here’s another thing. Let’s say it’s in the morning. Let’s say we had a terrible argument. I can imagine Stephen arguing. But this terrible argument last night. So, this morning, let me tell you, Mark. He came in this morning and he said, “Good morning, honey,” like nothing happened. And I gave him the look. He knows because I gave him the look and I don’t answer him and he knows why he should be sorry. Okay?

Byron Katie:
I’m punishing the wrong man. The man in my head, that is not Stephen. That’s pure imagination. So, I am under the spell. Words cast spells. I’m under the spell. I see but I’m awake to the illusion. He comes in. He says, “Good morning, honey,” and I say, “Good morning, honey,” because I know what man I’m dealing with. Why would I punish my husband for out of my pure imagination and then argue that I’m right. See how crazy that is.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It is crazy but we do it all the time.

Byron Katie:
Then how do I react when I believe the thought? He owes me. He needs to make this right and when he doesn’t this guy I’m married to, he’s not what I thought he was. That’s crazy. So, this work has allowed me to love the one I’m with. In other words, to be connected and to listen and to be sane and to love. To love my mind is to love the world.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, once a friend said to me, “You can either be right or in relationship,” and I think your work really teaches us how we have this addiction to being right. How does the work that you do shift us in our need to be right?

Byron Katie:
Well, I can’t be right when other people have their right. There are a lot of rights in the world, as we see it. So, how can I argue with another person’s right if it comes up against mine as a contradiction. We’re believers. This is earth school. We’re believers. We’re here to wake up to our true nature and every time we do the work we come out as kinder, more understanding human beings. And I don’t call it The Work for nothing. It takes a lot of courage to look to [crosstalk 00:52:29]-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You don’t call it the party, you call it The Work.

Byron Katie:
Oh, boy. Yeah. It takes a very open mind but we don’t have to wait until we’re suffering. Anyone can have a better life.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s the gift that you’re giving people. It’s just understanding that a lot of our suffering comes from our own minds, that it’s based on our beliefs, our interpretation of reality. That often what we think is true isn’t true and that there’s a way to flip it around in our mind so that we actually can be in the right relationship to what’s happening and actually get back to our state of love and happiness and connectedness. It’s such a gift, Byron.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Eckhart Tolle read your book and he said, “This is a great blessing for our planet and your work is a great blessing. It accounts like a razor sharp sword that cuts through the illusions and enables you to know for yourself the timeless essence of your being.” He says, “Your book, Loving What Is, is really the key to knowing your natural state, which is joy, peace and love,” and I experienced that from you. That’s when I see you, when I talk to you I get this big hit of joy, peace and love, which is what we’re all seeking.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And yet, what you’re offering people is a doorway into that natural state. How do we unravel all the things that keep us away from our natural state and get back into it?

Byron Katie:
Identify what we’re thinking and believing and write down. Move it from our head to paper. That way what we’re thinking when we write it down, it’s stable, it’s stopped. Because if I say, “Is it true?” My head, my ego could win out. So, I just get what I’m thinking and believing about you, about the world, about life and move it from my head to paper and it’s stopped right there on that Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet and now I can question it. I can anchor in the situation that as I was believing it to be and question it.

Byron Katie:
And maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. But then I get to how do I react when I believe the thought I get to see the cause of my suffering. And then when I turn it around it makes more sense. And it sticks.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. And you’ve helped so many people work through really challenging emotions and beliefs and it works pretty quickly. What are the kinds of things you’ve seen happen to people? Are there any short stories you can share about people who’ve been able to get out of the suffering state their in or the challenging situations using The Work?

Byron Katie:
That’s an odd question.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You work with people all the time and you see this everyday in your work.

Byron Katie:
All the time, all the time, all the time. This is through my email, just incredible testimonials. Sometimes there are things that we want to publish, we don’t even publish because it’s not believable. It’s, I can say, just radical turnarounds. What matters to me is kinder mothers and fathers, more understanding. More understanding in the workplace. Out of a question mind, the stuff we see on the internet around winning and losing. And then we meet someone that’s patient and coming out, speaking from an authentic place. We trust that. It doesn’t create headlines but it shows us a piece of ourself that we already know. It’s like a home place.

Byron Katie:
And this work, when we question it and turn around it literally shows us how to live. Like people should be kind. That’s on the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet on question three. In that situation he should be kind to me. He should be kinder to me. Is it true? And how do I react in that situation with him when I believe the thought he should be kinder to me and he’s not? Then I witness how would I say what I do, how I am, my body language, my expression. Then who would I be without the thought, he should be kinder to me? I begin to listen and more often than not, in fact for me, it begins to make sense. I understand, whereas I couldn’t then as a believer.

Byron Katie:
But then who would I be without it and then when I turn around he should be kinder to me. In that situation I should be kinder to him. And so, I live that turnaround in my mind’s eye. These living turnarounds on the worksheet will just shift life. So, I close my eyes. I should be kinder to him. So, I live that out in my mind’s eye. And then, I should be kinder to me. So, as I meditate in that situation I live that turnaround. I should be kinder to me in that situation and I notice I’m quiet. I notice I don’t interrupt him and I was very interruptive. I notice living turnaround. I’m not interrupting. This is not a little thing because-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It breaks a cycle of dynamic in relationships.

Byron Katie:
It does. And then I find myself being kinder to other people because I lived the turnaround meditatively as I set in my work in that Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It is a powerful thing. It’s so powerful because what I think you’re offering people is a way to look at their beliefs, look at their ideas and slow everything down and question your own thoughts and beliefs in your interpretations of reality across suffering in ways that most of us never learn how to do.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We think what we think is true. That it’s a fixed reality and that what we interpret as reality with somebody else or something else in the world is just actually true. And it’s that illusion that causes the suffering.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s really what the Buddha talks about. Your work is sort of a modern spin on Buddhist thinking, which allows us to get access to things a lot faster than having to be meditating nine years in a cave, which I’m not ready to do. Maybe a week but nine years.

Byron Katie:
That’s not your idea of moving to a… That’s not the neighborhood you’re looking for.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No, definitely not. And I-

Byron Katie:
The trick is to love where you are. It’s very freeing, our choices. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
This whole idea that we are so entrapped in our minds. That they are the source of our joy but they’re also the source of our suffering. It’s a super empowering message because all of a sudden it takes the power out of the world to affect you instead of you being at the effect of everything that’s happening in your life. You’re sourcing your own joy and happiness and you’re at the cause of your life and you’re designing your own experience and interpretation.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I remember when I was really young I was picked on so much. I was a nerdy kid, read a lot of books. The nerds win out in the end so it’s okay.

Byron Katie:
So was Stephen.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I was out backpacking out West and I had a group of people I had met. I was camping with them in the woods and I was 18 years old and kind of goofy. These guys were making fun of me and it was just so unbearable and I had this momentary epiphany which has stuck with me my whole life, which is that either what they’re saying to me is their own movie. It’s their own interpretation of reality and it may or may not be true and I don’t have to take it on. Or maybe there’s something really juicy in there for me, a nugget of wisdom and a reflection that even though it’s in a package that feels crappy, may be something useful for me to look at in myself.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, all of a sudden I went from being really torn apart and just suffering so badly from all the hostility that was coming at me through picking on me and making fun of me and whatever, that I was able to feel really empowered. Like well, that’s their story and I don’t have to take that on or there’s something juicy in there for me to learn. And that really has stuck with me since I’m 18 and it’s really changed my life because all of a sudden I’m not afraid of people’s feedback or criticism or anything because I’m like, this is just their movie or this is something good.

Byron Katie:
Oh, Mark. That’s stunning.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It was really freeing.

Byron Katie:
That is stunning.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It just happened. I wasn’t planning it.

Byron Katie:
That’s it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I had this other moment, which was sort of what you had, maybe a little different. I had a really close friend and he’s just an adventurer and lover of life and spontaneous and dances to the beat of his own drummer and he just will be there but the next minute he’ll be gone and doing something and you don’t even know where he went.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We were camping out one night in this field and I woke up in the morning and he was just gone. He didn’t say anything. He didn’t leave a note. There was no cell phones back then so he couldn’t text me. He just disappeared and all of a sudden I felt all this suffering come up. Like oh, he’s off doing something fun and my life isn’t as valuable and what I’m going to do is not good. He’s just having the best time and I’m just stuck here by myself. I just went through this whole thing.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And then again, I had this epiphany where I was like, wait a minute, everything that’s happening in my life is equally as valuable and juicy and good and is the perfect thing for me to be experiencing right now and I just don’t have to worry about every comparing myself to anybody else in my life around what they’re doing and it’s better than what I’m doing. It was a real breakthrough for me. I think I was 20 years old.

Byron Katie:
Yeah, that is just such a gift. That is some kind of grace because you didn’t plan to know that or think that. It is grace.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, and it’s really helped me to be more free. And I still get suffering in many other ways but in those areas where I think people often get stuck, which is comparing themselves to everybody else or feeling the effect of people’s judgements or criticisms or comments. Those are really big things and for me, I felt a relief about that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I have other issues I struggle with but I think your work is really about helping people get to be good in themselves and trust themselves-

Byron Katie:
We all deserve those epiphanies and The Work give those to us. It’s an invitation. We can have them on purpose and not have to wait for these moments of grace. I think to sit in inquiry is a state of grace where the ego’s not talking us out of just sitting in ourselves a few moments, a few minutes a day.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
What you’re asking people to do is really quite extraordinary, quite simple and so powerful. And yet, most of us don’t have a roadmap of how to get there. And that’s why the simple tools that you share on your website, TheWork.com, or the incredible tools you have, the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet, the One-Belief-at-a-Time Worksheet that are free, people can go get them, are amazing.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And if people are listening and they want to know more about this work Byron has an incredible weekly process. Multiple days a week where she works with people in real time and you get to participate, watch, see and learn as you’re experiencing that and you can just go to athomewithbk.com. That’s athomewithbk.com and it’s happening every week.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, while you’re at home and if you’re still isolated from COVID or whatever, it’s really worth getting a flavor of what the work is. Because we’re talking a little bit in abstract but when you get working with people you get to see actually how this unfolds and you get to have the insights about your own life.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Also, Byron Katie has an incredible podcast called The Byron Katie Podcast. So, you can find it wherever you get your podcasts. You can learn more about it at podcasts.thework.com.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I’m just so happy that you were born, happy that you had your suffering and figured out a way out of suffering and have been teaching that to millions of people for decades. It’s just so critical. Honestly, I thought you were like 60. I couldn’t even tell you were 78. You’re just so vibrant, alive and clear. I’m like wow, I want some of that. Whatever she’s having, I want that.

Byron Katie:
Well, whatever it is, you’ve got a lot of it. Oh boy, Mark. I’m so glad you’re in the world. Oh, the difference you make. You’re just out there. I just love it so much. I love it so much.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
[crosstalk 01:06:53] thank you. Well, I feel the same about you.

Byron Katie:
You’re out there in more ways than one. Your mind is so beautifully open.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, thank you. Your work has really helped me personally and I know it’s helped my friends and family and it’s such a gift. I encourage everybody who’s suffering, which is pretty much every human out there except a couple of [inaudible 01:07:12] monks maybe in a cave in Tibet, but pretty much everybody else definitely needs to get this work in.

Byron Katie:
Come out of the cave. We need you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And definitely check out Byron Katie’s books. They’re just beautiful meditations on life and happiness and joy and how we get free from suffering. At the end of the day I think the purpose of life that I’ve figured out, and I’m going to be 62. Finally, I think I figured out it’s about freedom. It’s really freedom, mental freedom, spiritual freedom, emotional freedom, physical freedom, which is all under our control. And you think, oh well people are in horrible situations and how do you do that?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And people are, people are in tough situations. But I just remember reading Victor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, where he talked about his experience in Auschwitz in a concentration camp and he realized that the only thing that the guards and the Nazis couldn’t take from him was his mind. And he refused to be imprisoned even though he was in prison. And it’s such a beautiful story about reminding us that no matter where we are, what we’re in, it’s really our own interpretation and beliefs and our thoughts and our minds that determine our state of being.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And it also reminds me of when I was 26 I went to Nepal on a medical expedition and I met this guy who was a Tibetan doctor. So, it’s very interesting, Tibetan medicine. I went to hang out with him and we had a translator and this guy spent 22 years. He escaped from Tibet after 22 years in a Chinese gulag where he was tortured almost every day.

Byron Katie:
Oh my goodness.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I said to him, “What was the most difficult part about all of that?” And what he said shocked me and humbled me and blew me away. He said, “The hardest part were the moments where I felt like I might lost compassion for Chinese jailers.” I’m like, wow, okay. I’m far from that. But if that’s true, if a human being can achieve that state, whether it’s Victor Frankl in a concentration camp or a Tibetan doctor in a Chinese gulag, all of us can become free. And that’s what you’re offering to give.

Byron Katie:
As you were telling that of the torture and the hardest part for him, that question, I projected you were going to say, it would be like they’re torturing me and my mind might think I hope they don’t do this to them. I hope they don’t continue doing this to them.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Byron Katie:
[crosstalk 01:10:05] mind is free it’s not about you anymore. It’s about the apparent perpetrator and he’s doing that to him, meaning he’s stuck in that state of mind that he would go against himself whether he’s aware of it or not. We can’t shift our nature and our nature is, we have words for it, loving, caring, compassionate. But what the ego would think and what we’re thinking and believing would confuse us about that.

Byron Katie:
So, I know a man said he was going to kill me at one point and it was late at night. Maybe 2:00 AM in the morning, I don’t recall. But the moon was out and the clouds. It was beautiful. And evidently, I was in his space in the dark, it was in the desert by the river, and frightened him. But he said he was going to kill me and my thought was I hope he doesn’t do that to him. And he actually had a gun and pulled the hammer back and I could see the moon and the sky and the fear in his eyes and the compassion and heard the river and the beautiful desert. Who would want to miss the last few moments of their life? And that’s what we do when we’re in the past and future. We miss our life. We miss our life.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, wow. What you just said is the perfect summary of everything, which is we miss our lives because we’re living in the past or the future where the suffering exists and we’re missing the magic and meaning of the moment, which is always ready for us. And that is like whoa, that is so good. That is so good. That is so good. Well, thank you-

Byron Katie:
Who and what we are, huh?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Thank you so much, Byron, for being on the Doctor’s Farmacy. This has been the best conversation and everybody’s got to check out your work. Please go find out more about Byron Katie. Download the Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet, download the One-Belief-at-a-Time Worksheet. Make sure you check out her work, which you can view every week and be part of and you can even be the one she’s working with at home with bk.com and check out her podcast, own her books. She’s a national, maybe global treasure.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, Katie, thank you so much for being you. I hope I get to see you in person sometime soon.

Byron Katie:
Mark, let’s do that. I love you dearly and your work in the world, oh boy. Thank you, my friend. So much fun.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Thank you. Thank you. And if you’ve been listening to this podcast and you know anybody who’s suffering, well make them listen to it, which should be about seven and a half billion people. And subscribe wherever you do your podcast. Share how you’ve worked through your own beliefs and thoughts and maybe used the work to help you get free. We love to hear that. And subscribe wherever you hear your podcasts and we’ll see you next week on the Doctor’s Farmacy.
Speaker 1:
Hi, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. Just a reminder that this podcast is for educational purposes only. This podcast is not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services.
Speaker 1:
If you’re looking for help in your journey seek out a qualified medical practitioner. If you’re looking for a functional medical practitioner you can visit ifm.org and search their find a practitioner database. It’s important that you have someone in your corner who’s trained, who’s a licensed healthcare practitioner and can help you make changes, especially when it comes to your health.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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