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A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  1,357 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
In her first two books, Byron Katie showed how suffering can be ended by questioning the stressful thoughts that create it, through a process of self-inquiry she calls The Work. Now, in A Thousand Names for Joy, she encourages us to discover the freedom that lives on the other side of inquiry.Stephen Mitchell—the renowned translator of the Tao Te Ching—selected provocative ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 6th 2007 by Harmony (first published January 1st 2007)
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Farnoosh Brock
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this book on audio, courtesy of Byron Katie team themselves, pior to my interview with her.

The audio is simply mesmerizing. She has a voice that sounds like the voice of God if there were such a thing. She is incredibly soothing and comforting.

The book content is beautiful, but the concept of the Tao gets very esoteric for me, and I tried to stay with it. I did not multi-task when listening to this audio book and I really contemplated the deep concepts of truth, reality, self, ex
Sep 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book helped me relax and know that there's never, ever anything to worry about, that life is safe and good all of the time, and that as long as I question my thoughts and don't take my beliefs as truth, it always will be. What freedom.
Feb 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: self-help
I guess I'm officially giving up on Byron Katie. This is the second book of hers I tried to read (after coming across a quote that I liked*). Parts of the book made absolutely no sense to me, as if they were written in a language I didn't understand. The parts I could sort of follow seemed to be proposing a method for suppressing fear and anger, which, IMO, is not a good idea, as suppressed emotions are likely to come back eventually, stronger than ever.

Also, the book is not logically consisten
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm inspired to share how I found out about Byron Katie in the first place. Around the time I came to the firm decision to both retire and to pursue my MtF transition during retirement (September 2010), I realized that I'd begun returning to something I'd let fall by the wayside since my college days: the mystical writings of the so-called ancient Hindu and Buddhist writers, and to some extent Taoist. I not-did the theist approach for basically all the years between my marriage in 1978 up until ...more
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
The framework is too esoteric and fakey for the easy, natural philosophy of the primary author. The "Tao" and "master" insertions are rigid impositions that make the text inaccessible in places and give the impression of insecurity, or of a grasping for validity.

However, when these moments pass and Byron Katie sinks into to the stories and patterns that characterize her one-on-one dialogues (which are brilliant and can be found on YouTube), the book shows its real value. Without the trappings an
I have to sit with this book for a while before I really can rate it. I know I loved the absolutely unique voice of this woman, and her absolutely unique worldview; and I love anything that makes me think differently. I think about the book a lot. It might be too out there for me, but I think I can learn some things from her "Work" which is essentially a therapeutic tool to deal with unresolved issues. You make a statement about something unresolved, and ask some questions about it, and then rev ...more
Sep 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
What a horrible book. There are lots of good points and spiritual ideas that sound fair and true but if balance and joy means a life without Self, emotions, empathy and just basic humanity, I'm not sure it is worth it. The author's point seems to be that if you do not believe it, it does not exist. Like suffering. If you just tell yourself it is all in your thoughts and stop believing in it everything is perfect as it is. And yeah, that's a great way to make excuses for not caring a shit about a ...more
Alicia St Rose
Jul 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wishes to end their mental suffering by loving what is..
Shelves: selfrealization
As of August 2007, I'm on my fifth read of this profoundly moving book. I'm savoring it one paragraph at a time. I copy a key sentence from one paragraph each day and carry it with me.
Yes, this book is so rich in clarity, that every paragraph offers some insight.

If you are familiar with the Tao Te Ching, then this book will illuminate Lao Tzu's message like nothing ever has.

Simply amazing...

Jun 08, 2017 added it
Interesting and very engaging.
Jul 22, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: adult, non-fiction
I quit. I don't know if I'm just not used to reading this type of book, but I'm over it after only 14 pages. She's too damn repetitive and I just can't get behind her philosophy. Maybe I needed to read her other books first to really 'get' what she's talking about, but as of now I'm not a believer. She just keeps saying the same thing over and over, and that thing is that everything that happens in the present is what is exactly supposed to be happening and that fact should bring you joy - even ...more
Jeremy Neal
Sep 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I love this book.

It's quite rare to read an account by somebody who is relating the experience of enlightenment, I've read plenty of treatises on what you need to do to get there.

I'm not enlightened, but neither am I a cement-head, and I can see that on a spectrum of learning, all of these ideas make sense. This is written like a dream; not in terms of prose, but in terms of relating a particular perspective, it's beautiful.
Jan 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle
I love the core of her basic philosophy - that it's your thoughts about things that cause you stress & unhappiness rather than the things themselves - but I don't really buy into it quite as far as she takes it. As a result, a lot of this book felt way, way out in left field. This would've been more interesting if I were either more familiar with the Tao or a bigger believer in her philosophy.
Dec 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Byron Katie's best book. A commentary on the Tao Te Ching (translated by her husband) in light of her own experience. Read it several years ago.
Gregg Bell
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I thought Byron Katie was a flake. I had no interest in reading any of her stuff. But the book club I was in was reading her. As it was, this book club was very far from where I lived so I ended up buying the book, rather than making the long drive to pick it up from the library (where the book club had ordered enough for the club), and am I ever glad I did.

The title is misleading. A lot of what's within the book is misleading. But--the good news--you won't miss out on Katie's heart for people a
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Byron Katies' comments on the Tao Te Ching. Excellent "dip into" book for inspiration. She is a truly remarkable woman who genuinely lives her message - being in total harmony with the way things are. The book is not pretending to be great writing, but it is a great and real life interpretation of the Tao Te Ching. In each short chapter, Katie elaborates on her understanding of a snippet from the Tao - always fascinating. I can only read a few pages at a time. This is a book for slow reading, ma ...more
Jan 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Well I have to buy this book. It's a loose translation of Tao Te Ching. I felt like I could absorb it personally instead of intellectually. One of those books you can pop open to any page and it would apply to your current problem and perhaps give you a different perspective of it (like the Bible).
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: crazy ocd non-humans
If she isn't completely out of her mind, then I am. Hers is a life without emotion. I'm almost finished and will make an attempt at "the work" and let you know....

I couldn't finish this. It got too ridiculous.... It will go to the bookshelf for some other eager seeker of the truth.
May 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

I love her overall premise and thought process but had a lot of trouble translating it into real life.

She lost me when her house was robbed of all its possessions and she felt, um, grateful. I can't imagine losing my wedding album, scrapbooks, etc. and feeling grateful they are missing. She has suffered through a painful, debilitating eye disease apparently without complaint. Wouldn't any human have moments of self-pity as a result? Is she Mother Teresa?

In theory I want to believe and u
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Katie has found an enlightened way to go through life, face difficult challenges, and by questioning her own thinking processes, find joy in the way things are. This book applies Eastern philosophical thinking in an autobiographical examination of her own journey through life. By sharing her thinking in a personal way, the reader can relate to her on a personal level as well. And perhaps we can translate some of these thought-processes into our own daily lives.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Glad to discover the "Judge Your Neighbor" Worksheets and "The Work" system. It will be really useful. Some parts of the book did not resonate. I think I like watching her speak rather than reading her book.
Susan Kosel
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very interesting. This is Byron Katie's writing on Tao insights.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
I read this on the recommendation of a friend who felt like this book helped her at a difficult time in her life. I don't doubt that this book comes as a salve to many in the early stage of a healing, however I found her philosophy a ridiculous adulteration of eastern philosophies. She misunderstands Lao Tzu. Perhaps she never really claims to understand him. I also find her expectation that we don't recognize difference, we don't acknowledge emotional needs, and that we don't try to change anyt ...more
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
What does compassion look like? You don't have to know what to do. It's revealed to you. Someone come into your arms, and the kid words speak themselves; you're not doing it. compassion isn't a doing. Whether or not you're suffering over their suffering, you're standing or you're sitting. But one way you're comfortable, the other way you're not.

You don't have to feel bad to act kindly. On the contrary: the less you suffer, the kinder you naturally become. And if compassion means wanting others t
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Damn. If you want to get your ass handed to you in a fierce Trungpa Chogyam Rinpoche way, then this is it. I love the way she cuts through stories and beliefs we tend to attach ourselves to. She truly is a heart warrior and knows to be impeccable with her words. However, I also understand that some of us don't get what she is saying and this has nothing to do with her repeating her truth. If you haven't done your inner work on the inquiring side, if you haven't started uncovering the stories and ...more
Bob Paterson-watt
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book literally helped me raise my level of consciousness to a pretty high level. I was not able to read this book until I was "ready," meaning I had to be at least somewhat "on the other side of inquiry." Before then, it really didn't make any sense. I had to have the "right" perspective. I have read the Tao te Ching for decades and reading this book really helped me "get" Lao-Tzu and what he was trying to tell us. Again, I needed to be at a level of consciousness where these writings made ...more
Jan 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to jimstoic by: Jessica Rockers
Shelves: ultimate-reality
I read "Loving What Is" when it came out six or seven years ago. It was transformative for me at a critical point in my life. A friend gave me "A Thousand Names for Joy" on CD for Christmas, and I have been listening to it ever since. I'm on Disc 5 now and I'm sad that there are no more discs. The book is a sort of call and response between Stephen Mitchell, who reads a passage from his translation of the Tao te Ching, and Byron Katie, who responds to and explains the passage. All books change u ...more
Philip Morgan
Apr 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a book where the main message is slightly encumbered by the presentation. The author reflects on the Tao Te Ching to varying degrees of effectiveness.

The underlying message, though, is extremely important. The mind is a wonderful tool but a terrible master. Byron Katie is trying in her books to offer a protocol for breaking the tyranny of the mind which, by its nature, is changeful in the extreme and intent on being justified, even if it does not reflect reality.

So this book is worth rea
BLEEPING Herald Newsletter
I now own three books written by Byron Katie. I leave them lying around the house out in plain view, because her picture on the front is always a handy reminder to question my stressful thoughts. Is that true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true? How do you react when you believe that thought? Who would you be without that thought? Turn it around. Ah, that’s better. In each of her pictures on these book covers, there is something about Katie that tells you she is authentic and she is authenti ...more
Sep 16, 2009 rated it liked it
I really like Byron Katie. I will most likely continue to read anything she puts out. However, this book is a little different than the others I've read by her. While her ideas about life certainly shine through, and she does discuss The Work a bit here and there, most of the book is just her thoughts as she contemplates the Tao Te Ching. I will freely admit that I don't entirely understand or appreciate the Tao Te Ching (though I'd like to). I still enjoyed this book, but there were parts where ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please delete this quote with typos 4 17 Jun 01, 2014 04:11AM  
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Byron Kathleen Mitchell, better known as Byron Katie, is an American speaker and writer who teaches a method of self-inquiry called “The Work of Byron Katie” or simply “The Work.”

Katie became severely depressed in her early thirties. She was a businesswoman and mother who lived in Barstow, a small town in the high desert of southern California. For nearly a decade she spiraled down into paranoia,
More about Byron Katie...

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“I love what I think, and I'm never tempted to believe it.” 24 likes
“When I am perfectly clear, what is is what I want.” 10 likes
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