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Go Read: The Surrender Experiement

    In his previous book, The Untethered Soul, NY Times Bestselling author Michael Singer wrote about giving into your soul’s path. When I heard he had a new release that carried on with this theme, I knew I needed to check it out.

    While the premise of both books is somewhat similar – quieting the voices in the head – the Surrender Experiment focuses more on living in life’s perfection, and uses Singer’s personal story to prove his point. It’s a memoir.

    The story goes like this:

    To pursue his spiritual yearning, Singer gives up everything to live in the woods. Though it may look like an intense yoga and meditation practice, it’s really an experiment in letting go. The ultimate YES project. To let go of all personal preferences / ego driven behaviors, and say yes to whatever comes his way. You know that phrase get out of your own way? It’s this.

    The book begins with Singer’s recollection of spiritual endeavors which initially comes to him through books (Three Pillars Of Zen was his first foray into meditation). This leads to personal encounters with some Indian greats, and later to becoming a spiritual retreat host.

    All the while his little property in the woods kept expanding (the money would show up at exactly the right time in exactly the right amount) to eventually grow into a full fledged spiritual community, The Temple of the Universe, still in existence today.

    But this is not just a guru story. Singer was a successful business man (though always with a pony tail and in sandals).

    Midway through the book there were definite moments when I thought ho-hum, of course it’s all going to work out for Mr. Singer, and his Surrender Experiment. Everything just falls into his lap without any effort aside from a sturdy meditation practice. For those of us who don’t have such a solid practice, and don’t live alone in the woods, this is completely unrealistic.

    Then the story takes a turn. Singer had major trouble with the government which landed him in a huge trial that received national attention. I had actually heard about the details years ago on an interview with Oprah (oh btw, what is going on with her network? Super Soul Sunday is on constant repeat.) Now, he tells his side.

    So surrendering didn’t always yield a life that comes up in rose covered glasses. In fact, it’s usually the opposite.

    He wrote:
    I had seen time and again how what at first appeared to be a problem turned out to be a guiding force of change leading us forward.

    It’s true that I was initially intrigued by the spiritual component of the book, but the latter part of the story got quite juicy with Singer’s recollection of the whole government showdown. It was a page turner that kept me up pretty late one evening to finish.

    And yes, I did try my own little Surrender Experiment.

    And no, it did not go well.

    My biggest takeaway from the book?

    I’m completely driven by my personal preferences, and have a lot of work to do before being capable of giving fully into life’s perfection.

    His words here help:
    Do whatever is put in front of you with all your heart and soul without regard for personal results. Do the work as though it were given to you by the universe itself – because it was.

    Oh well. The practice continues.

    Buy the book here.

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    13 thoughts on “Go Read: The Surrender Experiement”

    1. “And yes, I did try my own little Surrender experiment. And no, it did not go well.” Care to elaborate on the experiment?

    2. Yes, Elysha, I would like to hear about that little experiment too! The book sounds interesting – I read the other book that you mentioned a couple of years ago and found it hard going. It was long and repetitive I thought…but lots of other people must have disagreed with me. I prefer Tolle :). I like the idea of a surrender experiment though…go on, tell us yours!

    3. I so want to buy into the whole–let God take over and all will be well–but the other side of me says that I have two hands and a brain for a reason. Sigh. Can you partially surrender? ๐Ÿ™‚

    4. Out of 3 posts I read today, two talks about God and spirituality…
      I think it’s a sign intended for me lol
      Mustn’t neglect signs right? This is after all, given by the Universe. xo

    5. Terry, it was a disaster. Perhaps because I was so hyper aware of my personal preferences (and trying not to succumb to their influence) that they got so incredibly loud, and drowned out any chance for surrender. I got so consumed with doing things MY WAY that I couldn’t see any other ways of doing things. It was a rough morning on our family vacation. Finally, I surrendered to NOT doing the surrender experiment. Then things got much better.

      And though in the book, Singer did mention how hard it is to surrender, he didn’t really exemplify the challenges that get in the way of fully letting go which is what I experienced. It’s not easy to put personal preferences aside. Especially if they’ve been driving the ship for so long.

    6. Sara, I don’t think I finished his first book! I agree that his writing style isn’t the most compelling. But there is something about this idea of letting go that’s intriguing me at the moment. I remember you posted awhile back about finding the greater meaning of events (in your postal debacle). It’s this…giving in to what is, and knowing that it’s exactly as it should be. I shared more details on my little experiment in the comments on the post.

    7. I know, right? It sounds so easy — just give in, let go and all will be well. I think a partial surrender is an excellent place to start. ????

    8. A rough morning on the family holiday lol ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been practicing letting go for a few years now, ever since I read this most divine little book by Tosha Silver called Outrageous Openness. It’s easy to read, really personal, and by the end, you understand what letting go means and how to go about practicing it in every day life.

    9. Elysha, I think you made the right choice. Honestly, without preferences, we would still be in the cave eating raw meat. So preference is not all bad.

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