Shahar Lev-AriRamat-Poleg, Natanya, Israel
Ever since childhood I have been fascinated by the nature of the world. I was trained in my academic studies as a scientist, and completed a doctorate in cellular biology. I currently manage the Laboratory of Medicinal Herbs and Cancer Research at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, and my other position is in the Department of Health Promotion at the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University. For more than 15 years I have trained in and gained a good deal of experience in various methods and philosophies aimed at improving people’s health and well-being, including Chinese Medicine, Shiatsu, Tuina, Qi-Gong, meditation (facilitator of Awareness Intensive), and various types of mind-body disciplines. It was in 2004 that I first encountered The Work of Byron Katie, and I was immediately deeply affected by its simplicity and power. I could not believe that a plain yellow card with four seemingly simple questions and turnarounds could have such a tremendous effect on people's lives in such a short time. This power of simplicity reinforces for me Leonardo De Vinci's words that "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication," and Albert Einstein's well-known saying that "God always takes the simplest way."
Through a series of fortunate circumstances, in 2008 my wife Revital and I participated in the intensive nine-day program at Byron Katie's School for The Work in Germany (it seemed almost impossible that in the middle of our lives, with little two children, we would have such an opportunity). Even though I had told my wife that it could be our second honeymoon, when we arrived there we were told that we would have to sleep in separate rooms. However, in trusting the Process, we had an amazing experience: a honeymoon with oneself. My heart opened wide, and I fell in love once again with the woman I had married, and I also fell in love with myself. Since that time our relationship has changed profoundly. The "Judge-Your-Neighbor" worksheet revealed itself to be the best way I know of for dealing with the controversies and debates we have with each other. Instead of arguing and trying to convince her that I’m right (being righteous and stubborn), we can now put our thoughts about each other on paper and just do The Work. I discovered that the most loving action in these situations was, surprisingly, to judge my wife, write it down, ask four questions, and then turn it around.
Since then I’ve been working in my profession with many cancer patients—either individually in my clinic or in groups—and experienced again and again the power of The Work and its life-changing ability. Many of the patients—including those who suffer from self-judgment, self-blame, or feel victimized, and others who fear the cancer, suffering, and death—have discovered through The Work a new way to love themselves, and to live in the moment with joy and excitement.
With my own eyes I have seen remarkable healing effects of The Work on the body, mind, and emotions of people in various states of distress, ranging from panic attacks to terminal disease. As a result, I am currently in the process of carrying out an investigation of the effect of The Work on health and well-being and its mechanism of action with rigorous scientific tools.
I am eager to share my findings and experience with my colleagues within the medical profession, and with you, whether you are healthy or sick, who want to experience this simple, deep, and life-changing experience.