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Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life Hardcover – March 19, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype; 1 edition (March 19, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609608746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609608746
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (567 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Remember the phrase "question authority"? Loving What Is is a workbook on questioning authority--but in this case, what is in question is the authority of our own fundamental beliefs about our relationships.

Known simply as "The Work," Byron Katie's methods are clean and straightforward. The basis is a series of four questions addressed to your own lists of written assumptions. Whether you're angry with your boss, frustrated with your teen's behavior, or appalled at the state of the world's environment, Katie suggests you write down your most honest thoughts on the matter, and then begin the examination. Starting with, "Is it true?" and continuing with explorations of "Who would you be without that thought?" this method allows you to get through unhelpful preconceptions and find peace. An integral part of the process is "turning the thought around," and at first this can seem like you're simply blaming yourself for everything. Push a little harder, and you'll find a very responsible acceptance of reality, beyond questions of fault and blame.

The book is filled with examples of folks applying The Work to a variety of life situations, and reading other's examples gets the idea across pretty clearly; chances are you'll find your own frustrations echoed on the pages a few times. Many chapters are divided into specific topics, such as couples, money, addictions, and self-judgments, with one chapter devoted to exploring the method with children.

Questioning your own authority is never an easy process, but it seems well worth the potential rewards--stress-free choices, peace, and affection for those closest to you. --Jill Lightner

From Library Journal

A thrice-married housewife and mother of three who once suffered from depression, Katie presents what she calls "the Work," a series of questions to help alter bad thinking patterns and reveal painful truths. So that readers might see the method in action, she has reproduced edited dialogs among herself and participants at her workshop. Direct and easy to follow, her book could indeed produce results for readers battling run-of-the-mill work and relationship problems. However, Katie and coauthor/husband Mitchell, a translator of the Bhagavad Gita, would like their audience to believe that this is heads above a standard self-help book: in Mitchell's compelling introduction, he compares Katie's process to the Socratic method and the Zen Koan and posits that it will enhance any other program or religion. These are heady claims, and it's up to the reader to decide whether the authors deliver on their promises. With the publicity campaign and author tour, there will likely be demand in public libraries. Susan Burdick, MLS, Reading, PA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Now when pain appears, I do the work and live free and in love with the truth.
R. Armstrong
In this book Byron Katie gave me just 4 simple questions/tools that I can use in every day life to change the way I think and get rid of the disturbing thoughts.
L. Rajski
This book can fundamentally change the way you see your life -- just by questioning what you "know" is true.
Michele T. Woodward

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

241 of 253 people found the following review helpful By Matt Cook on December 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book doesn't tell you what's what. It has no real philosophy in it. It simply gives you a simple way to discover your own truth.
I was very skeptical about even reading this book. Somehow I ordered it and it sat around in my collection of thousands of books. I was searching for a "spiritual solution" to my feeling terrible and this was one of many books I ordered.
Then one day, in emotional pain, I picked it up after reading many others. I started reading it.
I read and re-read. I went each chapter again and again and again.
A year and a half later, it is the only self-help book that I really care about. I have done "The Work" many many times and made it a part of me. I have purchased audio tapes of other people doing The Work.
My wife has asked me for help in The Work and my son also.
Here is what has happened to me: I suffer much less. I view every challenge in life as an opportunity for deeper self-realization. I am more comfortable with myself and my life. Things bother me less and less.
Bottom line: I am more in love with the truth than I ever was. I am still less than honest but I am more honest than I was, and loving the truth more and more as time goes on.
The truth does appear to set me free. Reading this book can help you see the truth for you. If you are interested then read this book.
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447 of 487 people found the following review helpful By Janet Boyer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this would be it. I'm an ordained Christian minister, and I'd give out *this* book before the Bible itself. That's how powerful her simple approach IS. It is literally the key to end all suffering. Sounds too good to be true? It isn't. I have been a student of psychology, personality and spirituality ever since I was a young girl. I studied theology in college, minored in psychology, have dozens of self-help and self-discovery books on my shelves, been a student of cognitive psychology and Toltec Wisdom (ala "The Toltec Way" by Gregg and "The Four Agreements" by Ruiz)...

From these, I came to believe that my own thoughts create my own suffering. It's never the person or situation that causes me grief; it's the story I *tell* myself *about* the person or situation that is the problem! Yet, although I knew this intellectually, I had a hard time dismantling all my core beliefs and judgments. My intellect likes mind candy and the accumulating of knowledge, but it wasn't enough to put me over the edge to freedom.

But this book did. It is all the above disciplines combined, but MUCH more. I was having anxiety attacks and an irrational fear of death and dying; this book helped snap me out of it immediately (along with the grace of God). Loving What Is is not by a counselor or some New Age guru; it's by a normal woman who was on the floor of a half way house, feeling bitter and angry, who had an epiphany when she asked herself a series of 4 simple questions. Her depression lifted, and she was a new woman in ONE instant. Since then (1986) she has shared her message, and it's changed thousands of lives.

To see what The Work is about, visit her website at TheWork.com. This book is a life changer. The information it contains can replace all self-help books...
Read more ›
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183 of 198 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This may be the first self-help book I've ever read all the way through. I was attracted to it by the name "Stephen Mitchell" on the cover. His paraphrase/translation of the Tao te Ching was my previous Most Influential Book. In his introduction we learn that Byron Katie is his wife. They appear to share a sort of Zen/Taoist outlook.
The tag line on the cover of the book reads "Four questions that can change your life." I like the use of the word "can." It's not that the questions "could" or "may" or "might" change your life: they "can" if you use them. I know because my life has changed.
But it's not just the questions that have changed my life. Rather, it's the outlook expressed in the book's title: "Loving What Is." My suffering comes from arguing with my reality. Peace comes from accepting and even loving my reality, whatever my situation.
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105 of 112 people found the following review helpful By Jan on June 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had a story. It wasn't a happy story. It was about an abusive childhoood. I wore that story like a pair of sunglasses. I saw my world through that story. I kept spoiling my present with those past experiences.
"The Work" a process contained in this book is the only system that allowed me to really get to the truth of my story - ah - the story under such examination just started dropping away.
This book is not in competition with any other. No other book can take its place. The niche is unique. In A Course in Miracles you are told forgiveness is the key but no one gives you a road map for how to do that - Byron Katies does. In The Power of Now Eckhardt Tolle tells us to be fully in the present moment and just be aware of the pain body - Byron Katie tells you to investigate that pain body so that it can drop away.
For me, this was the single best book that I've experienced that genuinely helped me...I went to A Course in Miracles classes for over 7 years - no real change - I read and am doing The Work in Loving What Is - major changes in two weeks....
I'm very thankful for this book, this work.

I'd like to say that now I wear sunglasses so that people won't be blinded by the light coming from my eyes...but that's stretching it a bit - I'm just a lot happier!
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