Tag Archives: Surrender

The Way to Love: Meditations for Life by Anthony de Mello

Summary

  1. de Mello’s deep thoguhts on happiness, love, life

Key Takeaways

  1. Yet another belief: Happiness will come if you manage to change the situation you are in and the people around you. Not true. You stupidly squander so much energy trying to rearrange the world. If changing the world is your vocation in life, go right ahead and change it, but do not harbor the illusion that this is going to make you happy. What makes you happy or unhappy is not the world and the people around you, but the thinking in your head.
  2. If people want happiness so badly, why don’t they attempt to understand their false beliefs? First, because it never occurs to them to see them as false or even as beliefs. They see them as facts and reality, so deeply have they been programmed. Second, because they are scared to lose the only world they know: the world of desires, attachments, fears, social pressures, tensions, ambitions, worries, guilt, with flashes of the pleasure and relief and excitement which these things bring.
  3. And when you are depressed and miserable, the cause is there for all to see: Life is not giving you what you have convinced yourself you cannot be happy without. Almost every negative emotion you experience is the direct outcome of an attachment.
  4. In order to be genuinely happy there is one and only one thing you need to do: get deprogrammed, get rid of those attachments.
  5. Now the tragedy of an attachment is that if its object is not attained it causes unhappiness. But if it is attained, it does not cause happiness—it merely causes a flash of pleasure followed by weariness; and it is always accompanied, of course, by the anxiety that you may lose the object of your attachment.
  6. There is only one way to win the battle of attachments: Drop them. Contrary to popular belief, dropping attachments is easy. All you have to do is see, but really see, the following truths. First truth: You are holding on to a false belief, namely, the belief that without this particular person or thing you will not be happy. Take your attachments one at a time and see the falseness of this belief.
  7. Second truth: If you just enjoy things, refusing to let yourself be attached to them, that is, refusing to hold the false belief that you will not be happy without them, you are spared all the struggle and emotional strain of protecting them and guarding them for yourself.
  8. The third and final truth: If you learn to enjoy the scent of a thousand flowers you will not cling to one or suffer when you cannot get it. If you have a thousand favorite dishes, the loss of one will go unnoticed and leave your happiness unimpaired. But it is precisely your attachments that prevent you from developing a wider and more varied taste for things and people.
  9. Who decides what will finally make its way to your conscious mind from all the material that is pouring in from the world? Three decisive filters: first your attachments, second your beliefs and third your fears.
  10. True happiness is uncaused. You are happy for no reason at all. And true happiness cannot be experienced. It is not within the realm of consciousness. It is unself-consciousness.
  11. Change is only brought about by awareness and understanding. Understand your unhappiness and it will disappear—what results is the state of happiness.
  12. How can you achieve this? Through an important realization, namely, that every time you strive to improve on Nature by going against it, you will damage yourself, for Nature is your very being.
  13. with a view to making it learn something. If what you attempt is not to change yourself but to observe yourself, to study every one of your reactions to people and things, without judgment or condemnation or desire to reform yourself, your observation will be nonselective, comprehensive, never fixed on rigid conclusions, always open and fresh from moment to moment. Then you will notice a marvelous thing happening within you: You will be flooded with the light of awareness, you will become transparent and transformed.
  14. The royal road to mysticism and to Reality does not pass through the world of people. It passes through the world of actions that are engaged in for themselves without an eye to success or to gain—or profit actions.
  15. How does one attain this quality of love? Anything you do will only make it forced, cultivated and therefore phony, for love cannot be forced. There is nothing you can do. But there is something you can drop. Observe the marvelous change that comes over you the moment you stop seeing people as good and bad, as saints and sinners and begin to see them as unaware and ignorant. You must drop your false belief that people can sin in awareness. No one can sin in the light of awareness. Sin occurs, not, as we mistakenly think, in malice, but in ignorance.
  16. The cause of my irritation is not in this person but in me.
  17. Apply this now to every image that people have of you and they tell you that you are a genius or wise or good or holy, and you enjoy that compliment and in that minute you lose your freedom; because now you will be constantly striving to retain that opinion.
  18. So the first ingredient of love is to really see the other. The second ingredient is equally important to see yourself, to ruthlessly flash the light of awareness on your motives, your emotions, your needs, your dishonesty, your self-seeking, your tendency to control and manipulate. This means calling things by their name, no matter how painful the discovery and the consequences. If you achieve this kind of awareness of the other and yourself, you will know what love is. For you will have attained a mind and a heart that is alert, vigilant, clear, sensitive, a clarity of perception, a sensitivity that will draw out of you an accurate, appropriate response to every situation at every moment.
  19. It is in that act of seeing that love is born, or rather more accurately, that act of seeing is Love.
  20. It is the desire for “the more” that prevents clear thinking, whereas if we are discontented, not because we want something, but without knowing what we want; if we are dissatisfied with our jobs, with making money, with seeking position and power, with tradition, with what we have and with what we might have; if we are dissatisfied, not with anything in particular but with everything, then I think we shall find that our discontent brings clarity. When we don’t accept or follow, but question, investigate, penetrate, there is an insight out of which comes creativity, joy.
  21. The final disappearance of insecurity feelings will only come when you have attained that blessed ability of the birds of the air and the flowers of the field to live fully in the present, one moment at a time.
  22. Each time you attempt that task you will understand that what clear thinking calls for is not intelligence—that is easily come by—but the courage that has successfully coped with fear and with desire, for the moment you desire something or fear something, your heart will consciously or unconsciously get in the way of your thinking.
  23. Effort does not lead to growth; effort, whatever the form it may take, whether it be willpower or habit or a technique or a spiritual exercise, does not lead to change. At best it leads to repression and a covering over of the root disease. Effort may change the behavior but it does not change the person.

What I got out of it

  1. Surrender your attachment to desires, realize it’s your reaction to things that make you happy or not and you have control over that, be aware and truly see yourself and others (the act of seeing is Love)

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Singer

Summary

  1. What would it be like to free yourself from limitations and soar beyond your boundaries? What can you do each day to discover inner peace and serenity? The Untethered Soul offers simple yet profound answers to these questions.

Key Takeaways

  1. The 3 big distractions from the seat of our soul – the outside world, our thoughts, our emotions.
  2. All external movement is striving to make ourselves feel good inside. Aim to fix the internal rather than try to patch through the external
  3. Come to understand that nothing that happens is personal. You are witness to a tiny fraction of all the things that are happening, yet you think the one thing you’re a part of is happening to you. It isn’t
  4. Don’t surrender life, surrender resistance to life. Resistance or the clinging to positive things brings suffering
  5. Personal preferences get in the way of your ability to objectively view reality. The highest plane is to be able to observe, learn, grow, and accept from all of life’s experiences. Accept whatever reality throws at you
  6. Most people identify most closely with their thoughts, but realize these are padding as well. You can recognize them and then let them go. They need not rule your life
  7. Letting go of yourself rather than serving yourself is the real paradigm shift
  8. Every experience makes you a greater person if you don’t resist it
  9. Accepting an emotion is the midway between suppressing and expressing
  10. If you are wise, you’ll change your reactions to reality rather than fighting reality

What I got out of it

  1. A beautiful book that left me feeling grounded. Nothing new, but many simple, powerful reminders

The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection by Michael Singer

Summary

  1. Singer describes his deep dive into meditation and what he calls his surrender experiment – letting go of everything he can, letting the flow of life take him where it wants

Key Takeaways

  1. A constant practice of surrendering and non resistance. You do not control anything and are responsible for nothing. Do not give your mind the illusion of control, eliminate your personal preferences wherever you can.
  2. Aiming to control everything creates a feeling of stress and pain. But you are not powerless – you have a personal will. Trust the natural process of life and that good things will naturally happen. It takes care of the entirety of the universe.
  3. Use your free will to participate this flow of life rather than struggling against it. The question is: am I better off struggling to try to force what I want or am I better off surrendering and letting go of what I want, working with the natural forces of reality? This is the surrender experiment
  4. By aligning your will with the natural forces around you, powerful things can happen
  5. The ability to separate yourself from your thoughts and emotions is a superpower. Becoming aware of all this noise is the first step in this journey
  6. Mickey had a moving experience while meditating that shifted his priority to never disturbing his inner peace. He had to learn to live and function in the real world while keeping his inner peace intact
  7. Life has more to give us than we could ever take for ourselves
  8. Surrendering does not give you clarity into where your life is headed, but it does clarify your preferences – your likes and dislikes – and giving those up on the whole provides a tremendous amount of freedom and opportunity. This allows your journey to be guided by the very powerful force of life rather than your preferences. It can all unfold by itself without your hand forcing it
  9. Feel compassion for the human part of you, including all their faults and weaknesses
  10. Mickey had a very monastic lifestyle where he woke up at 3, meditates for hours, did yoga, mediated some more. He eventually found that life was moving him from a life focused on self to one focused on serving others
  11. Mickey and the rest of the senior team at Medical Manager were being sued by a disgruntled employee who had stolen nearly $6m and then blamed the senior team for making him do it. It took 5 years, but he was eventually found not guilty. By letting go at each step along the way, no scars were left on his psyche. He could learn from them, but like writing on water, the impressions would only last momentarily
  12. When life’s way becomes your way, all noise stops and peace ensues

What I got out of it

  1. A beautiful, grounding book on the power of surrender. Let go, don’t make things about you and your preferences, serve others, trust the natural forces of life