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