The Work and EIQ


The Work of Byron Katie is a superior method of self-inquiry. Self-inquiry in general, is a centuries-old approach to end mental anguish and emotional pain. The aim is to become aware that any time you suffer, it's because there is an argument with reality. With The Work, you identify a stressful thought and question it's really true; if not, you recognize your freedom to choose: to keep on believing (and suffering), or to refuse to go along with it at all. The turnaround process integral to The Work ensures self-realization: The thought is not only recognized as not true, but realized in your life experience--where it matters.

EIQ  (Emotions Inquiry) supports The Work by identifying and questioning  the emotion.With EIQ, you recognize that emotions are the condensation of thoughts.  And inquiry into emotions requires an experiential understanding in addition to a mental understanding.

Within EIQ is TERA: The Emotional Resolve Approach. TERA is a precise and effective way to let feelings have their life, so they resolve organically, without any further need of involvement. When emotional feelings resolve, the mind that was fully “on the job” trying to solve them, simply retires itself. The “job” is no longer active; the feelings have resolved themselves.

EIQ uses many inquiry questions to support emotional resolving. These questions help you identify precisely where you’re emotional, and where you’ve given your mind the job to chronically argue with reality and judge anything and anyone who might push your unresolved emotional buttons.

Once you see that the mind’s main judging activity is all about trying to suppress, manipulate and control emotions, this inspires the energetic turnaround—I am willing to experience the feeling; I'm willing to discover my capacity to let feelings have their life, in the story-free space. This willingness leads to the experiential understanding.

EIQ includes TERA as well as these key inquires:

--Tail-Ender Exercise

--Inquiry into Labels

--Press the Pause Button Exercise

--Moment of Impact

--Inquiry into Resistance

--The Body as Container

--TERA Litmus Test

With The Work and EIQ, you'll questions chronic beliefs such as these:

This feeling is a threat;

This feeling is a command to react;

This feeling dictates how I must live my life;

This feeling is my identity.


Here is a segment from a recent one-on-one inquiry with someone who was terrified of his wife leaving him:

Jeff:  I dread her going to work in the morning because I know she is attracted to her boss. She might leave me.

EJ: “She shouldn't leave me”—because I don't want to feel what?

Jeff:  I don't want to feel the wrench in my gut, and the shock and the inner collapse. You know, what people usually call fear. That horrible feeling.

EJ: Yes. So you want her to never, ever leave you or be interested at all in any other person. Is that what you want, that is supposed to protect you from that horrible feeling?

Jeff:  Yup. That's what I want. Then I'll feel safe.

EJ: When in the past did you experience this terrible feeling?

Jeff:  As a child, when my parents announced they were getting a divorce.

EJ: How did you react to that feeling then?

Jeff [crying]: I froze like a deer in the headlights. Then I ran from the room and basically, didn't come out of my room for 3 days. I started using drugs after that.

EJ: So invite the memory of that, as best you can, here and now. [pause] As you watch it, let me know when you come to the moment of impact.

Jeff:  My Dad saying, “You kids are going to live in two different places now.” I feel a shock in my gut, then the clenching, then the freezing.

EJ: Okay, so that's like a shut down, right?

Jeff:  Total shutdown, I wanted to die and disappear, rather than let that feeling continue. So I shut down all over. I don't ever want to feel that again.

EJ: So here and now, can you invite the energy of that memory—you see, it's still active? Can you meet it a new way—I'll guide you.

Jeff:  I'm open to try.

EJ: So notice the tendency or the desire to shut it down, to freeze, and do the opposite. Start to flow your breath, to support the energy, Flow your breath into the middle of the most clenched part.

Jeff [long pause]: It’s getting more intense… almost like I feel an inner pressure to scream.

EJ: Okay. So widen your attention until you can sense the space, that's open in all directions. Sense the openness in which the inner sound of screaming is occurring. Forget about your body—just for now, let the chair have your body, recognize you don't have to hold it together just now. Give your body up to the chair... and visualize and feel the body as transparent. Can you do that?

Jeff:  Right. [Breathing] Yes, I let my body…. Almost like it's melting into the chair.

EJ: Good. And can you sense the space--a relaxed, wide open space, in which your breath is flowing?

Jeff:  Yes.

EJ: See if you can sense that the energy and the sounds, are floating in the same space--not a physical space, but a conscious space. A relaxed openness. Can you sense that?

Jeff:  Sort of. Yes, there is relaxation, all around the clenching. [pause] The clenching is easing.

EJ: Okay. Now, can you simply offer the unlimited space to the energy? As if, recognize that up til now, you've been suffocating it. Containing it, hoping it wouldn't flood you or something. So just for not, as best as you can, give it its freedom to be—to have its life in its own way and time, as you stay attuned to the relaxation of the space. Is that easy or hard?

Jeff:  Getting easier. The clenching is gone. The sick feeling in my gut—it's falling apart, floating away in the space. [pause] It's all gone now.

EJ: So that energy which just resolved—is it really a threat, that you have to shut down around?

Jeff:  Hmmm. No… not when I let it do what it did.

EJ: When you remove the control of it. The judgment of it. So when you meet it that way, it resolves itself in a few minutes.

Jeff:  Yes.

EJ: And isn't this the worst that could happen—if something suddenly changes, or someone suddenly happens? Isn't this energetic reaction the worst that could happen?

Jeff:  Well… yes. I didn't realize that before.

EJ: So the worst that can happen isn't actually a threat at all—you have resources, an innate openness that receives any possible energetic disturbance, and resolves it unto itself—just like the sky receives all weather  disturbance and resolves it unto itself.

Jeff:  So far… but the habit to want to shut down is so strong. I notice myself shutting down many times a day, when my wife texts me from work, like I'm expecting the shoe to drop at any moment, the shock to come if she says,  “I'm leaving you.” I have to shut down, or else I might... I don't know. Fall apart.

EJ: If that happened, and it was impossible to believe “This feeling is a threat, and I have to shut down"—what's the worst that could happen? If you feel the energy of shock, but you don't have any story? If you rather, turn within and focus on the story-free space?

Jeff:  I'd just feel the shock. [long pause] I’d breathe. I'd witness the shock-energy coming to a peak and dissolving.

EJ: Yes. So “I have to shut down”—is it true?

Jeff:  No, I have to stay open—that's the truth. If I want to be free of this fear.

EJ: And so long as you are NOT free of this fear, what happens? How do you treat your wife?

Jeff:  I'm defensive. I'm brisk and kind of cold.

EJ: How do you treat her in lovemaking?

Jeff:  We make love only rarely. And when we do, I treat her like a sex object. I don't want to risk... something. like--being vulnerable on all fronts.

EJ: So “She shouldn't leave me”—is that true? So long as you treat her like that. And treating her like that is only the effect of believing, “I have to shut down.”

Jeff:  No, I see the self-sabotage in this—when I treat her like that, it's not true she shouldn't leave me. It's like, how could she not? I see the self-sabotage in that, all because I was enslaved by this thing, the fear of shock and the horrible feeling in my gut. I've been pretty wimpy around that—afraid of just some energy that disappears when I open up instead of shut down.

EJ: Yes. So what's  the turnaround for "I have to shut down."

Jeff:  I have to stay open.

EJ: And a living turnaround for “I have to stay open”—regarding your wife going to work?

Jeff:  I have to stay open—when I imagine her getting her boss’s attention at work, I have to stay open and allow the energies from those images. And I have to stay open as the space of consciousness—just being. I have to not go mental and judge that feeling as a threat. I have to stay open and remember this energy is old, from the past, that I didn't know how until now, to meet and process. Whew! I'm going to be busy!

EJ: Yes, in your business, attending to unfinished energies, out of her business mentally. Is this a good place to stop for now?

Jeff:  Yes, thanks very much. I feel like I'm in the flow now, in my power, if you know what I mean, not forceful but stable and strong. Thank you again.

EJ: You're welcome.