Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are” as Want to Read:
A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,761 ratings  ·  160 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 2007)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Thousand Names for Joy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Thousand Names for Joy

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,761 ratings  ·  160 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Thousand Names for Joy: Living in Harmony with the Way Things Are
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.
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
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
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...

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
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.
Rick Archer
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.
I'm not entirely sure what to think about this book...

interesting quotes (page numbers from edition with ISBN13):

"In my experience, confusion is the only suffering." (p.)

"The world is the mirror image of your mind." (p.)

"By its very nature the mind is infinite. Once it has questioned it's beliefs, it can find beauty in all things. It's that open and free." (p.)

"No one who ever lived is a better or aworse human being than you." (p.)

"Admire Jesus's compassion or the Buddha's wisdom all you want, b
Jun 08, 2017 added it
Interesting and very engaging.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
This book sounded great. But I couldn't finish it. The writing is horrible with scattered thoughts. And some of it is so far out in left field that it made me cringe. For example, on page 47 she writes "Until we know that death is as good as life, and that it always comes at just the right time..." Seriously? Could she tell that those who have had their children gunned down at a school shooting? Or how about to those who lost their loved ones in the Las Vegas mass shooting? Or other such tragedi ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
Ever read a book that was so awful you want to rethink your friendship with the person who suggested it? Yup, that bad. The whole book was a string of disjointed gibberish. What should I make of this? "A clear mind doesn't suffer. That's not possible. Even if you're in great physical pain, even if your beloved child dies, even if you and your family are herded off to Auschwitz, you can't suffer unless you believe an untrue thought." Excuse me??
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. ...more
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
Antonina Sh
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is my Bible now.

I've been doing the Work for about a month now, but this just took it to a whole new level for me.

I can see how my life quality is improving, in so many aspects - physically, emotionally, mentally. It's fascinating really. How much easier it is than suffering.

I will have it with me all the time, at all times, because just reading a couple of pages a day is the best therapy there is for me.
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.
Jan 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
I am reading this for the second time and it is really opening my mind about reality
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read twice in 2018.
Emilie Leonard
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
More spiritual and “Taoish” than her other books. I put it on at night while falling asleep and found it useful for that meditative state just before sleep.
Donna D'Angelo Struck
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
I liked her questions about the thoughts we are thinking:
is it true?
Can you absolutely know this thought / belief is true
Who would you be w/o this thought?

Basically: don't let your thoughts lead your life- they may not be true! Your actions will be better if you check your thoughts before just blindly reacting. We have a tendency to tell ourselves stories about what happened that may not be objectively true.

I didn't finish reading her view of the TAo as i didn't understand her views. Also i che
David Eggertsen
Sep 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I really like Byron Katie and her perspective and presence in the moment. I think there is still value in having a vision for the future, but for joy in the moment what she teaches is fantastic. This book didn't seem to have much practical application, but maybe I just need to read it again. There were some really powerful statements near the beginning of the book, but it mostly seemed like her sharing the way she views the world, which was valuable but I like a bit more practical application pe ...more
Karli Sherwinter
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Such a helpful book - particularly during these times when all we want to do is deny reality. I feel much calmer when I question my stressful thoughts and realize that freedom is always within us. It is our mind that keeps us trapped in fear - stuck in the stories that play in our head. I think it is best to have a basic understanding of “The Work” before reading this book because the ideas she presents are often off putting to people who haven’t started down the path of inquiry. Our minds want ...more
Zoe Hisey
Jun 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
I have to admit I did not finish the book. I was intrigued when introduced to her ideas of personal growth and mindfulness by a friend. However, once I got into the book I was definitely disillusioned. There are areas I agree with her, but for the most part her Work seems focused on minimizing rather than processing. In my experience, minimizing without processing leaves us either white knuckling life, or still acting out our unprocessed emotions. Neither of those options appeals to me.
Clearly s
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please delete this quote with typos 4 18 Jun 01, 2014 04:11AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao
  • The End of Your World: Uncensored Straight Talk on the Nature of Enlightenment
  • The Gift of Change: Spiritual Guidance for Living Your Best Life
  • Stress Less, Accomplish More
  • Welcoming the Unwelcome: Wholehearted Living in a Brokenhearted World
  • Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN
  • Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon
  • Teachings on Love
  • Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One
  • Byron Katie: Lessons Learned From Byron Katie And The Work (Byron Katie The Work, Byron Katie, Byron Katie Books)
  • The Cow in the Parking Lot: A Zen Approach to Overcoming Anger
  • Living with Joy: Keys to Personal Power and Spiritual Transformation
  • Talk to Yourself Like a Buddhist: Five Mindful Practices to Silence Negative Self-Talk
  • The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life
  • Timeless Healing
  • Vagus Nerve: The Self-Therapy Guide Based on the Polyvagal Theory Secrets: All the Exercises You Need to Know to Activate Your Vagus Nerve Accessing its Healing Power through its Stimulation
  • The Tao of Joy Every Day: 365 Days of Tao Living
  • Zen Poetry of Dogen
See similar books…
Byron Kathleen Mitchell, better known as Byron Katie, is an American speaker, writer, and founder of 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, rag

Related Articles

In these strange days of quarantine and isolation, books can be a mode of transport. We may have to stay home and stay still, but through t...
49 likes · 25 comments
“I love what I think, and I'm never tempted to believe it.” 27 likes
“When I am perfectly clear, what is is what I want.” 12 likes
More quotes…