Around the Medicine Wheel with Jim Frank

—Don’t we all want a map with a big arrow that says, “You are here!”

The Work of Byron Katie and the Medicine Wheel

Byron Katie’s idea to love our thoughts like they are our children fits into my understanding of the wheel perfectly.  We don’t scold our thoughts, nor try to push them away just for being thoughts, we accept them as they are and guide them to right action.

Thoughts are not our problem; problems develop when we believe our thoughts.  Thoughts come and go, if you have experience in meditation you know that that is true.  In the East of the Medicine Wheel we see the morning light of an idea.  This is merely a thought.  But if we harden this thought into a belief without taking it around the wheel we are in danger of taking the thought into the South where instead of using our emotions to test the thought we use our emotions to prove our belief.   When we give our emotions precedence over our thoughts there is a chance for significant error in the actions we take in the West.  Emotions call for satisfaction and when we act to merely satisfy our emotions we may be disconnected from our vision of what may be.  The West is the place of action and to act in integrity requires that we are guided by our visions not merely to satisfy our emotions.  If we have not done our work in the South we are likely to act out of what the Buddhist call habit energy which is prone to error.   In the North, we receive a blessing but the blessing is to a great extent dependant on how we have handled the East, South and West of the wheel we are on.  If we have not acted without integrity the blessing we receive may look more like bad karma.

The Work of Byron Katie is a method of seeing what is true, seeing what is rather than what we believe should be. Reality is always kinder than our beliefs.   Whenever we suffer, our emotional reaction is the result of not believing what is.  If we believe that there is a loving God we must be believe that God has everything under control.  There are no mistakes; God is in charge.  If I believe there is anything wrong I am arguing with God.  And every time I argue with God I suffer.

On the Wheel, the Work goes like this.  We have a thought in the East, and if we form a belief that is not true when we take it to the South we feel that something is wrong.  “People are not acting the way are supposed to act.”  “The economy is supposed to be better.”  “This weather is bad.”  The Work is a way to undo those beliefs that cause us to suffer.

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