Byron Katie: I’m being breathed, lived, done

I’m being breathed, lived, done, in a doing that is far
beyond me.

– Byron Katie

When we see thoughts as thoughts, we also see this. We see that everything about us – our thoughts, feelings, actions, perceptions – happen. They happen on their own. They live their own life.

Any sense of an “I” doing any of it comes from identifying with thoughts, and most obviously the thoughts saying “I did it”.

We can explore this through different forms of inquiry, including The Work of Byron Katie, Living Inquiries, and also Headless experiments. The Work helps us undo the specific thoughts around this. Living Inquiries helps us explore how our mind creates its own experience of being an I, doer, observer, and so on. The headless experiments shows us all of it, including any sense of an “I” doing it, happening within and as what we are.

One of my favorite explorations around this is to take a very simple activity in my life and then find the causes for this activity. On the surface, it may seem that I chose to do it and that’s why I do it. But when I look a little more closely, I find innumerable reasons and these stretch back to the beginning of time and the widest extent of the universe. There is always one more reason. After a while, it becomes clear that the idea of an “I” doing it is not as central as it initially seemed. It’s all of existence doing it.

For instance, I just brushed my teeth. What are the causes of brushing my teeth? I can find it in…. Culture. My dentist told me to do it. My parents taught me its importance. Other people do it. I have teeth. I have arms. I have hands. I have a tooth brush. Someone had the idea for a tooth brush. Someone designed this particular one. Someone made this tooth brush. Someone brought it to the store. The store sold it to me. I had money to pay for it. The Earth provided the materials for this tooth brush. The Earth – and universe and existence – created people with teeth that decay and tooth brushes and a culture encouraging it. The universe evolved into and as this evolving Earth. The Universe formed itself into matter, solar systems, planets, and this particular living planet. There is time that allows all of this to unfold. And so on. There is always one more cause, and then another.

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