What is self-inquiry?
Inquire into your thoughts and emotions
Self-inquiry is placing our attention inwards to take a look at what is coming up in ourselves such as thoughts, emotions, and feelings. As opposed to going outward to change the world or situations, it is inquiring gently and with curiosity into what is moving us to be how we are in our relationships.
Are you in conflict? Unhappy? Question your thoughts, emotions and assumptions and access the wisdom and joy that is already in you.
Using simple questions to look at what is causing our suffering, self-inquiry provides a way to meet our stressful thoughts and emotions with clarity and kindness.
Like the lotus that grows in mud, peace can be found right in the midst of our suffering. Self-inquiry is a powerful way of connecting to the beauty that is present in every challenge or crisis.
“Peace doesn't require two people; it requires only one. It has to be you. The problem begins and ends there.”
THE WORK OF BYRON KATIE
The Work is a simple but powerful process of self-inquiry. It offers a very practical way to address any suffering in our lives.
The Work consists of:
Picking an uncomfortable situation or problem, identifying the stressful thoughts that we have about others or the situation
Deeply questioning the thoughts using four main questions/sub-questions:
Is it true?
Can you absolutely know that to be true?
How do you react when you think that thought? (how does it feel inside, how do treat others/yourself)?
Who would you be without that thought?
Turning the thought around
Since it involves inquiring into thoughts, The Work can be applied to any situation (from the past, in the present or about the future) that are experienced as painful.
Some examples are:
If you are in conflict with somebody at home or in the workplace, and feel you are not able to be at peace.
Loss/death of a person or a relationship
Body & health issues
If you are unhappy about your body or are experiencing your health as problematic
Anger and hurt
If you are unable to forgive or move on from past injustice
Of losing your job, of public-speaking, of death, of disease, of taking on responsibility
Of having wronged somebody or having made certain decisions
HOW TO DO THE WORK
The Work can be done individually, in twos or in groups. It has shown to be effective in any age group, including with young children. All you need is an open mind; a willingness to hear the questions and to allow the answers to surface honestly.
More information on how to do the Work, including videos and resources can be found for free on
Worksheets to do the Work:
The Judge Your Neigbour Worksheet
The One Belief At a Time Worksheet
In this transformational process, you will learn to see the cause of your suffering and be able to live the turn-arounds that come up in inquiry.
No mud, no lotus.
Thich Nhat Hanh
WORKING WITH EMOTIONS
Discover the gift of emotions
Inquire into your emotions and discover a new way of being, of not running away or being dominated by old patterns of mental responses to difficult situations. Instead of the conditioned response to uncomfortable emotions which either suppress or aggrandize disturbances, make space for the stillness within.
The Work and Emotional Inquiry as developed by Elizabeth Lavine (https://ejlavine.com/the-work-and-ei ) is a way of meeting what arises in a totally new way; not suppressing, not dramatising but in peace.
A few clear and simple steps in inquiry allow the space for emotions to arise so that they can be experienced without labels and in freedom.
My name is Lakshmi Chayapathi. I have been doing the Work and Self-inquiry since 2011. When my father was diagnosed with cancer and passed away soon afterwards, I plunged into grief that was overwhelming. It shook my confidence in life. Unhappiness built up and seeped into so many areas of my life and it affected how I related to my work, my family and the world around me.
A friend introduced me to The Work, and I cannot easily describe the effect it had on me. It was like a weight had literally been lifted off my shoulders. Sitting with the simple questions helped me to experience my emotions and thoughts without running away from them. Answering question 4 was like a light-bulb moment, where there was clarity and peace. It was like finding the lotus right there amongst the mud.
Since then I have used The Work on many thoughts concerning father, mother, sister, in-laws, husband, children, friends, teachers, neighbours, strangers, politicians, the environment, learning difficulties, the future, money...
A few years ago, I got operated on my hand and the pain got worse after the operation. The doctors did not have an explanation and therefore could give me no reassurances that it would get better. Having the Work enabled me to keep my head above water when utter panic, despair and anger threatened to take over. It has led me to deeply question the concept of pain, and to see how freedom is available even in the most trying of circumstances.
"Lakshmi is a skilled and experienced facilitator of The Work. I especially appreciate her patient and kind guidance. She will adapt to your pace and gently support you in your work, wherever you're at. She has a soft and kind presence, which gives you the safety to explore all area's of your life. "
"I am a repeat client with Lakshmi. My mind already gets still when I see the love and kindness on her face. However shameful and embarrassing my thoughts are, I feel accepted and being taken care of. Lakshmi guides me through my jungle of thoughts and emotions with presence and skillfulness, with just the right questions, offering me the space that I need to find and feel my answers."
Byron Katie herself will tell you that even a stranger on the street can ask you the Four Questions of The Work
It takes a skilled, compassionate, person who is open to listen with intent to your story. In my personal experience, Lak has facilitated me through my stories, my beliefs and stressful thoughts so beautifully and
with such a deep knowledge of The Work of Byron Katie.
Every time Lak has worked with me, has been a time in my life where I’ve found a woman who is gentle and kind and willing to stay with me until freedom and peace come to me."
M.G, New Zealand
"Working with Lakshmi has felt like a true gift. I love her softness, her clarity and the way she holds space for and greets whatever arises (and I really mean whatever). She has a very skilled and flexible way of following the mind and holding you with the sensations, that in my mind comes from pure feminine wisdom. I strongly recommend her."
Lakshmi Chayapathi is a sensitive and kind individual with a heart that embraces everyone. It is especially easy for one to open up to her because of her deep inner goodness and magnanimous and unjudgmental nature. I am not a person who shares traumatic experiences with others but she made me feel completely comfortable and as a guide in the Byron Katie sessions that she did with me.
The sessions helped me deal with difficult past memories and allowed me to feel less blocked by anger and hurt. She is an amazing soul and pours her energy sincerely into this work. If you have a chance to work with her, I fully recommend you take it.
With thanks to Lakshmi, a loving and dedicated facilitator, I experienced how light-hearted my life is with acknowledging reality. And how painful it is to be in a state of mind of wanting or needing something I don't have. I felt supported by her way in holding me in The Work to find my own truth.
J.K, The Netherlands
During my session Lakshmi explained the process of The Work. Her soft voice, calm, reassuring and professional manner helped me quickly understand what was involved. We filled in a worksheet together and she facilitated me. I went home with a light heart, and importantly having understood how to work through my suffering. Thank you Lak!
Certified Facilitator for the Work of Byron Katie.
Certified by the Institute of The Work of Byron Katie to volunteer on the international Helpline for The Work.
Member of the French association for the Work of Byron Katie (Association le Travail en Francophonie)
Graduate of the immersion course on The Work and Emotional Intelligence, which enables me to work with emotions fearlessly during self-inquiry.
Having been to two J.Krishnamurti schools (in India and in the UK), inquiry was a big part of my education.
Bachelor in Earth Sciences and a Master in Human Ecology, and in the past have worked in environmental consulting, in research on risk perception and risk communication.
Native English speaker, fluent in Dutch and French.
Learn how to identify what is causing you stress, and get facilitated in inquiry.
We can meet through a video call or by phone at a mutually convenient date & time.
FACE TO FACE SESSIONS
Whether you are new to The Work inquiry or need facilitation on ongoing stressful thoughts, you can choose to book a trial session or more.
If you would like an introduction to 'The Work', I offer workshops for small or large groups.
If you would like to deepen your experience of 'The Work' and explore inquiry into emotions and thoughts, I am happy to organise retreats with a combination of guided inquiry, walks and meditation.
What to expect
A safe space to meet and face whatever comes up in inquiry
Years of personal experience with The Work
An integrated approach using The Work with emotions, as well as teachings of non-duality teachers such as Rupert Spira, Gangaji, Mooji, Michael Singer and Eckhart Tolle.
Adherence to the Code of Ethics of the Institute for the Work
When I understand myself, I understand you, and out of that understanding comes love.
Doing inquiry does not involve psychotherapy or coaching. Advice is not given as the client's own wisdom is equal to the facilitator's, whose job is only to create a space that is conducive to deeply question and experience what comes up.
While it might feel therapeutic to meet one's emotions and thoughts with openness, it would be a secondary result of not fighting reality, and sitting in stillness.
IT IS NOT THERAPY
IT IS NOT ANALYSIS
"To inquire fully into anything is to discover this vast, simple, presence of being - yourself as you are. Being is not a practice. A practice involves some technique, a right way and a wrong way, a belief in getting someplace, and a reward or attainment. In the truth of absolute stillness, none of that applies.”
- Tue, 06 JulLe Travail de Byron Katie