Over the last few years, this book has been recommended to me but I didn’t pick it up until this summer. I found the audiobook version from the library and listened to a little bit each day when I walked my dog. But after I finished the book and was talking to a friend about it, that friend handed me a brand new hard copy. She said she had bought it years ago because she felt led to it but didn’t want to read it herself. She felt like it was meant for me. So now I have a hard copy to refer to as often as I need. And although most of it was not new information for me, all of it is something I have been working on and need to keep hearing. I have had trouble with letting go of things, people, and ideas ever since I was a little girl. And as I am rereading it, I am able to stop myself more often when I want to run down memory lane or close my heart off to something new. Specifically, this has helped me stop the anxious spiral of thoughts that are triggered by old fears.
This book talks about how the soul, that which is your true self, is tethered to your ego and the thoughts in your mind. Michael Singer wrote this to help us to put an end to the habitual thoughts and emotions that limit your consciousness. He talks about how simple awareness and observance of these thoughts can detach us from them. Basically, meditation and mindfulness can keep us in the present moment and help us to release the painful thoughts and memories that block us from happiness. As we practice this, we begin to become untethered and free.
What I like about this book:
- Learning about how the unfinished energy pattern of the Samskara (sanskrit for impression) blocks the flow of energy through your heart. Basically an impression from a past event cycles through you but becomes stuck when you resist it or can’t let go of it. All the details of the event are stored in you and are triggered at different points in your life. If when the Samskara becomes stimulated again, you allow yourself to fully feel it and then let it go, you release an energy blockage in your heart. I talk about my personal experience with this in Working Through Cycles of Trauma.
- His imagery that brings clarity to a deeper idea. Like the analogy of the house in the country field representing the mental structures that we have built to protect us but end up imprisoning us and keeping us from light and openness.
- The way he bridges Eastern ideas like the principles of the Tao, and finding balance in the middle way, along with Christian scriptures.
- His description of how thoughts and energy work together, and how we have the power to change the patterns in our mind in order to reclaim our lives.
- It is repetitive and may seem tedious. For some, the repetition is helpful if you are taking your time to read or listen to this book over a week or a month. Then it can be a daily reminder of what to focus on.
- He doesn’t explain how to let go. The biggest explanation he gives is to look up and relax your heart. It’s all very vague and nonspecific. He talks like it is simple. Or that you simply stay open by never closing…it is a simple choice. He makes it all sound easy but doesn’t actually explain it. If I hadn’t been listening to an audiobook, I would have thrown the book across the room by the fourth time he said, “Just open and relax your heart”! My friend told me it sinks into your subconscious and your body will know what to do once you let it. And surprisingly, I have been more aware of what I am holding onto and then consciously letting go of it.
- Some of his examples may be hard to relate to, feeling more like first world problems, when compared to someone who doesn’t come from privilege.
Once you have passed through trial by fire, and you are thoroughly convinced that you will let go no matter what, then the veils of human mind and heart will fall away. You will stand face-to-face with what is beyond you because there is no longer a need for you. When you are done playing with the temporal and finite, you will open to the eternal and infinite. Then the word happiness can’t describe your state. That’s where words like ecstasy, bliss, liberation, Nirvana, and freedom come in. The joy becomes overwhelming, and your cup runneth over.” – Michael Singer