Personality doesn’t love, Part 1

“Personality doesn’t love, we/they always want something”

I hear this from Katie many years ago and coming to see the truth of this statement has liberated me from many unnecessary pain in my life.

For years, we have been told and taught ways to be.
“Be generous, don’t be selfish…”
“Be kind, always be polite, don’t be rude….”
Just to name a few.
And if we really look hard enough, are we all kind, polite and generous?  Why aren’t we?
Some of us spend so much time striving to be that and when we aren’t as good as we thought we are, we punish ourselves, we abuse ourselves.  And if we are “good” enough we project out onto others, and we get upset when we read about how people are not kind, not generous and rude to each other.

If we have enough courage to go inside, we come to see that every time I TRY to be kind, polite, generous, doing good, I am trying to get something for myself.  I am trying to do, say something or act in certain way so that you will think certain way about me, to give me what I want – the image that I want you to see me as.  And this is a lot of hard work.

So, the question is, if we don’t work so hard to be kind, polite and generous, does it mean that we are cruel, rude and selfish?  This is what your mind would have you think.

Is it really true that if one does’t act that way, one is cruel?
How do I treat the person when i think this thought?
How would I treat him/her if I never have the thought that if he/she doesn’t do this, he/she is cruel?
And with a turnaround that he/she is kind, if our minds are open enough, we come to see that what he/she does can be a kind thing also.



The Work Retreat in Hat Yai, Thailand

 The Work Retreat in Hat Yai, Thailand

Question Your Thinking and Change Your Life – Using The Work of Byron Katie

“I need more money”

“I’m too fat”

“he/she doesn’t appreciate me”

“the world’s not safe”

Thoughts like these may constantly run through our minds, fostering fear, anger, struggle, stress, loneliness, and depression.

How would your life be if these thoughts don’t bother you like they used to again?

This weekend retreat is designed for those new to The Work as well as those who are experienced in The Work. This weekend offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in The Work as you:

  • Inquire into issues on relationships, work, family, body, addictions, etc.
  • Experience practical exercises that challenge habitual and destructive thought patterns to find freedom and peace.
  • Discover and transform unhelpful beliefs with ‘The Work’, a simple yet profound method of finding happiness.
  • Experience facilitating as well as being facilitated in this simple process.
  • Discover the power of finding your own truth.
  • Experience the freedom of you without your story.

Bonus: Each participant will receive a FREE 75-minute one-to-one session (worth USD80) over Skype with Sue within a month after the end of workshop.

What is more exciting than to know that you now have a tool to free yourselves from the bondage of these stressful thoughts—truly a new beginning to start living a freer life, which is your birthright!!!

Certified Facilitator

For Registration, contact: 

Sue Lee
Phone No: +6017-367-1337
skype: pinenutter
Friday–Sunday, 15–17 August 2014
Friday 9 a.m.–8 p.m.
Saturday 8:30 a.m.–8 p.m.
Sunday 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Anveekshana Foundation / Stream Garden
Patong sub-district Hadyai district
Songkhla province 90230, Thailand
$565—Early Bird, pay before 1 June 2014
$595—pay by 1 July
$645—pay by 15 July
Lodging and Meals
Contact Troy Santos at Stream Garden for booking of accommodation:


Does Scolding & Judging work?

A dear friend told me she constantly judged herself as stupid and dumb when she found herself not performing at the level that she wanted herself to be at or when she found herself not knowing what to do.

Our mind tells us that if we scold ourselves enough, we would change for the better or smarter. And this concept has been carried down for generations without inquiring into the truth of it. Does it help if we scold ourselves?

When we inquire into the truth of our stupidity, we may come to see that we are forcing ourselves to be good in something that we have no interest in or something that we think we have to do and not something we want to do. We live in a confused state.

We can be very skillful in something and absolutely “stupid” in another field. But, if we hold the thought that we have to be good in everything or in a field that we hold as a goal for us, we fail to recognise our gifts in life, we deplete ourselves the energy and motivation to excel and be the best that we can be in areas that really interest us. Instead, we walked around trying to be everything for everyone.

Maybe instead of judging and scolding ourselves, we may start to pay attention and notice what we are good at and what we really don’t want to involved in. We may spare ourselves lots of time in finding and pursuing our passion in life.

Why Question our Thinking?

free kid
Someone asked me the other day why question our thinking? Why don’t they learn some techniques to stay centered and calm instead?

To be honest, I think learning techniques to stay centred and calm is wonderful. We can learn meditation, breathing techniques, learning to have body awareness. They are all great ways to have the body-mind connection that people talk about. And I am all for them!

Questioning our thinking is a totally different level of ball game. We are looking at things at the causal level. There is this sequence that people who does The Work recognise —
“The Order of Creation”: Think -> Feel -> Act -> Have

Everything is born from a thought, a belief. So, we identify the emotions that signal us that something is off with the belief that we are attached to and with this indication from the emotions felt, we identify and question the belief that is limiting us. Through inquiry into this belief, we come to understand at an experiential level the truth and falseness of the thought and naturally be free from it. And calmness and centerness is experienced effortlessly.

Do we have to teach babies to breathe naturally, to be calm and centered? That is its’ natural state. Only adults have to learn this and to master how to do it right and sticking to doing the right thing disconnects us from our feelings sometimes. We feel angry with a person and we learn techniques to deal with the person, to handle our anger, but we have not looked at the root of the problem, why we are angry with him/her in the first place. Once we come to undo the cause of the anger, there is less effort needed to learn to handle our anger.

“Free the mind, the rest will follow” i love the title of En Vogue’s song.

Fears around Judging Others

The first step in the process of doing The Work is to write a worksheet judging a particular person in our lives.
I remembered many years ago, I was invited to give a introductory talk to a group of Reiki Masters, a group of ladies that does hands-on healing. When I started talking about judging people, I saw absolute resistance, shocked, fear on their faces. “I don’t want to attract the dark, negative energy into my life”, “I don’t like to judge people”, “why do something so unproductive like judging?” these were the comments and feedback I got about writing a Judge-Your-Neighbor Worksheet.

I could relate to all these beliefs and why they see such resistance to judging others. However, the work is about writing the judgement down on paper, one doesn’t have to confront the person he/she is judging. We do that to enlighten ourselves from the untrue stories that is keeping us separated from the other person.

The truth is, we judge ANYWAY, whether we like it or not, although we may not want to admit to that! 😉

“What if they know what we are thinking about them?”
This thought would bring out a lot of fears in people who are afraid they will lose something like love, approval, acceptance from others. Yes, it is very normal to have fears. Until we are willing to risk, to rather be authentic with ourselves and others, we will continue wearing the mask to get what we want from others without knowing that we could have that otherwise.

Do you really want to know the truth?

For many years, I termed myself as a truth seeker and Buddhism has been the foundation of where I learned most of my life principles from. However, the more I knew, the more painful my life was. A simple teaching that says, “True seekers never see mistakes in others” – in chinese 若真修道人,不见他人过 was the killer. I knew in my mind that I was not supposed to see mistakes in other, but, I saw that in everyone that is around me and I couldn’t stop myself from judging them pettily in my mind, which made me even more mad with myself. How could I still judge and see mistakes in others after being a Buddhist for so long!!! I couldn’t find a way out of my misery.

And when I found The Work, I really saw how it was helping me to live the principles – not by mind control or denial or by force. It was through answering the 4 questions and slowly, gently, come to see that I am a human being. It’s through the mirror on the outside that I come to know my very own self. It takes a lot of courage and willingness to be vulnerable as the ego starts to loosen and not be the center of my life.

So, what does it take to have truth as the foundation of your life? I remembered those days when I already have The Work in my life, I would go to my friends and ask them, “if you can say anything about me without worrying about me getting upset, angry or unfriend you, what would that be, what would you say?” I would really listen as they said what they said, and really go inside and feel if there is any uneasy feelings around what I hear. I wanted to allow people to share what is true for them, I wanted to hear their truth, not what I want to hear. I became so courageous because I knew what to do if I notice any hurt feelings, feeling of wanting to run away, feeling of being victimised, feeling of being misunderstood, feeling of separation.

Through The Work and many worksheets that I did, I come to realized for myself that it is never what a person says that hurts me, it is what I think he says that is hurting me. Instead of taking it personally, trying to hide or suppress my feelings, and cut the person out from my life, I question what I think he/she is saying. People no longer have to hide or careful with words around me, they get to be themselves. And I never have to do that to myself and others either. Relationship becomes very simple, authentic and open.

So, if you feel it is very scary to hear the truth about what someone thinks about you, question your thinking. That’s all it takes. It’s a fun ride and there is so much freedom on the other side of the ride.

When Someone Criticize Us

Girl holding note
When Someone Criticize Us:

Before doing The Work, we become sad, hurt, feel being wronged, feel like a victim, we get personal, and we ask, “how could they do this to me… ” ;(

When we start doing The Work, we feel like we are walking on and through burning fire, we find ourselves still in one piece after that. We start to experience what it means by the outside world is our projection. We become more courageous. We are more willing to die in our egoic self. :I

After doing The Work for a while, we become very excited when we hear it, we ask for more, we take in the criticism like a newly discovered child that we never knew we have. We are so grateful for the gift of that missing piece that is given by them.

True Spirituality

I once went shopping with a dear friend in Beijing some time back and she pointed a store to me and told me that they sell spiritual clothing. “What do you mean”, I was really puzzled. “This is where spiritual people buy their clothes from” she explained. I went in and saw that they were mostly linen, loose comfy clothing. I then matched those clothing in my mind with the people that I saw in workshops and classes in the San Francisco Bay Area and realized that those people did wear similar kind of clothing. 😉

How interesting to actually notice this, I thought. Hmmm… how many people actually start dressing like that in order to feel belong to this group, to project the image that they are also spiritual…

If you ask me what it means to be spiritual, if a person is spiritual, I think my only perception would be that he/she is very human, humble, much in touch with the fact that he/she is only human and stands on the same ground with every one else. That’s as far as I can go with spirituality.

After all the far out game one plays, he/she has to come back to reality, to open his/her eyes to seeing the extra ordinary within the mundane ordinary day-to-day life. That is true spirituality! hahaha….