Surrendering Your Resistance to Reality
The problem is, you have made a really big deal out of the moment in front of you throughout your life by bringing your personal preferences into that moment.
How to Coach Yourself Using these Wisdom Quotes:
Give yourself time to go through each point slowly
Consider your answers to any questions
Explore the links but come back to this page until you finish all the points
Pay particular attention to anything that touches your heart
1. The Giant Inkblot Test
"Let’s take the example of a psychological Rorschach test, often referred to as an inkblot test. The psychologist holds up an inkblot and asks what you see. You immediately respond that you see people making love or, perhaps, mommy and daddy fighting. In other words, the Rorschach test stimulates the patterns you’ve stored inside your mind, causing you to see what’s not actually there.
The truth is the whole world is a giant Rorschach test. The world is a flow of atoms unfolding in front of you. It’s no more personal than the inkblots. But it’s hitting your samskaras, [stored mental impressions] and that stimulates stored mental and emotional reactions.
Now, instead of experiencing what is passing by outside, you are experiencing the likes, dislikes, beliefs, and judgments stored inside. These impressions are so strong that you actually think they are what is really out there, just like the inkblots.
The personal mind has taken over your entire life. You are no longer free to enjoy the experiences that are actually happening - you are forced to deal with what your mind says is happening.
That’s why life seems so scary and why it seems to always be hitting your weak spots. The truth is, life is not hitting your weak spots, you are projecting your weak spots onto life."
~Michael A. Singer, Living Untethered
We begin this week's adventure by seeing that life is like an inkblot that means different things to different people. However, in reality, it's just an inkblot.
Do you see how we are all projecting our psychological imprints created by past experiences (samskaras) onto life? Do you see how we are taking something impersonal and making it personal, and how much suffering this can cause?
2. Noticing You're Bothering Yourself
“We are perfectly willing to admit that what is going on in Timbuktu right now has nothing to do with us. Likewise, we have no problem admitting that the rings of Saturn, the big storm on Jupiter, and the sands of Mars have nothing to do with us.
In other words, more than 99.99999 percent of the universe has nothing to do with us, but somehow the .00001 percent does. Which .00001 percent does? The part that’s in front of you. Somehow, because you’re looking at it, it’s no longer part of the impersonal universe. It has become personal.
The problem is, you have made a really big deal out of the moment in front of you throughout your life by bringing your personal preferences into that moment. Notice that the billions of people who are not looking at the moment in front of you don’t have any problem with it. They couldn’t care less about it. It’s not stirring up their thoughts, and it’s not stirring up their emotions.
When you’re no longer experiencing that moment, it generally won’t be bothering you either. Instead, the moment you turn to next will be bothering you. “Why is she sitting there?” “Who’s she talking to?” “The lights are way too bright..” All of a sudden this new moment starts affecting you because you’re looking at it. The truth of the matter is, it existed exactly the same before you looked at it.
One of the most amazing things you will ever realize is that the moment in front of you is not bothering you - you are bothering yourself about the moment in front of you. It’s not personal - you are making it personal.”
~Michael A. Singer, Living Untethered
It seems so normal to have preferences and to complain about our lives that we often don't give it a second thought. In fact, talking about how much we disagree with what's happening is a common way for us to connect with each other.
"The problem is, you have made a really big deal out of the moment in front of you throughout your life by bringing your personal preferences into that moment."
What would life be like without all your personal preferences? Would you be more open to how life is unfolding? Are you ready to experience life in an open and free way?
3. The Personal Mind at War With the World
"You can think of this as layers of the mind. The first layer is where the rendering of the present external experience is taking place. We can call that the here-and-now layer.
The next layer is the stored patterns from the past that you did not release when the external experience was over. We can call that the samskara layer.
But there is yet another layer. This layer is what you are doing with your brilliant mind to try to solve the discomforts created by the samskaras. This is the personal-thoughts layer, and it is the one you identify with the most - you think this is who you are. The combination of these three layers is what we call the personal mind.
We create the personal-thoughts layer when we use the tremendous intellectual power of the mind to conceptualize an outside world that will not bother us and will, in fact, make us feel good. It seems perfectly logical. The problem is, what we think will make us feel good or bad is simply the result of blocked mental patterns from the past.
If we use our mind’s brilliance to develop thought patterns based on how everyone and everything needs to be for us to feel okay, we have limited our life to serving our samskaras [unreleased patterns from the past, also referred to as blocked energy].
And our personal thoughts don’t stop here. What good is it to analyze how you need things to be if you’re not also going to think about how to get them that way? First we figure out the strategy of how to be okay, then we figure out the tactics of how to make it happen. Strategy and tactics - that’s military training. In essence, we are at war with the world."
"There are current impersonal forces that are causing it to rain. There are past personal forces causing you to not like the rain. You have just pitted yourself against the universe, and you are going to lose.
Nevertheless, the personal mind thinks it’s right. You actually think that the universe should be the way you want it to be."
~Michael A. Singer, Living Untethered
"You actually think that the universe should be the way you want it to be." Is this true? Or is there a crack in the authority of perception?
Do you see how we are all innocently using our brilliant minds to figure out "how everyone and everything needs to be for us to feel okay?" Consider Einstein and what he used his mind for. Imagine the intellectual capacity we could free up in our personal minds if we weren't continually serving our blocked mental patterns from the past.
4. Relax and Release
"When you reach the state where you can observe what is going on in the mind and heart, you’ll notice that you’re not always comfortable with what’s happening inside. What is more, there is a tendency to want to willfully do something about it. That’s very natural.
If you want to willfully do something, here’s what to do - relax. This is certainly not the intuitive thing to do. You want to protect yourself from the inner disturbance by getting rid of it. That struggle makes it worse.
You are capable of simply relaxing and not engaging with the disturbed energies. At first this seems impossible because you’re trying to get the disturbance itself to relax. Don’t do that; You relax.
You who notices the disturbance are not the disturbance. You are witnessing the disturbance, and you are welcome to relax in the face of it.
You are in the seat of awareness, way back inside, watching the dance of mind and heart. It’s a very natural place, this place back inside. If you don’t get pulled into the thoughts and emotions, you can just relax and notice. Don’t think about it.
The moment you see what’s going on - just relax. Relax your shoulders, relax your tummy, relax your buttocks, and most importantly, relax your heart. Even if the heart itself won’t relax, the area around your heart will. You have willpower in there, use it.
Here’s what you do with your will: relax and release. First relax through your initial resistance, then release the disturbed energy that comes up.
First relax, then lean away. You who notices are at a distance from what you are noticing. You don’t have to think about it. Just notice that what you are seeing in there, thoughts and emotions, are all distinct and at a distance from you. Now, lean away from their noise.
The mind and emotions make noise. That is not a problem. Just relax and lean away from the noise. When you lean away from the noise, you are creating distance between You (the consciousness) and the objects of consciousness (the thoughts and emotions)."
~Michael A Singer, Living Untethered
We are all very familiar with the noise of the mind and emotions. Michael Singer tells us, "that is not a problem." The noise of the mind and the emotions is not a problem.
He also says that, as we exercise our will to relax and release, "at first this seems impossible because you’re trying to get the disturbance itself to relax. Don’t do that; You relax. You who notices the disturbance are not the disturbance. You are witnessing the disturbance, and you are welcome to relax in the face of it."
You are the one who notices the disturbed energies. You are not the disturbance itself. You can relax and the disturbance can still be there, but now you're the one noticing it. This is a very empowering position to take, and one that changes everything.
5. Working With Low-Hanging Fruit
"The best way to let go of stored pockets of pain is to practice. Just as you practice scales to learn the piano or practice a sport to get good at it, so you practice letting go to learn how to do it. You start with simple things. We call these the low-hanging fruit.
Start with the small things to prove to yourself that you are capable of doing this. Working with yourself at this level is practicing letting go. Once you are able to relax and release through the relatively easy stuff, you will find you are better able to deal with the bigger situations. You are training yourself to deal with yourself.
Lots of different experiences in life fall into the low-hanging fruit category. A good practice for letting go can be found in your relationship with the weather. Believe it or not, you can use the weather for tremendous spiritual growth.
There’s always weather out there: hot, cold, windy, dry, humid, and everything in between. The weather has nothing to do with you. It has to do with the forces that are causing it to be the way it is. If you can’t handle the weather without getting disturbed, how are you going to handle anything else? What do you gain by complaining about the weather? Nothing, except to get upset.
For example, when the mind starts up with, "It's hot; I'm so hot..." Ultimately, what you need to do is relax and release past the disturbance. If you bother to relax and release, you won’t be so hot. After all, You in there can’t get hot - you can only experience that the body is hot. You are way back inside, witnessing the experience of heat.
If you relax and release back into your seat of consciousness, you are relaxing away from the part of you that’s complaining. There’s definitely complaining going on in the mind, no reason to deny that. But if you relax and lean away from where the noise is coming from, you will be leaning back into the seat of Self.
Two things happen when you relax and release. One, you stop fighting with the causes of your disturbed mind, and that gives them room to release. Two, you are actually relaxing back into the seat of Self, and you will grow spiritually.
If you will do that with the weather, if you will do that with the car in front of you, if you will do that with all these low-hanging fruit situations, you’ll grow every single day."
~Michael A Singer, Living Untethered
Here we see a simple way to grow spiritually every day: relaxing and releasing with low-hanging fruit. In other words, practicing creating a distance between our true selves and the part of us that is bothered by little things.
"Believe it or not, you can use the weather for tremendous spiritual growth." This is a very encouraging statement because all of us experience weather on a daily basis. Then, of course, there is the matter of driving and feeling bothered by other drivers. Again, so many opportunities to take our place in the seat of consciousness and become aware of those complaining thoughts and upset emotions.
Keep an eye out for low-hanging fruit situations and use them to your advantage.
6. A Beautiful Life
"If you work on yourself, you’re going to create a beautiful place inside to live. This is more important than your marriage or your family. It’s more important than your job or your career.
If you create a beautiful inner environment, you can have a wonderful marriage, a wonderful family life, and a wonderful job. But if you have a mess inside, you’ll just be trying to use these outer situations to make yourself okay."
"Once you learn to let go of the reactionary noise of personal thoughts and emotions, things will become clear. You will know how to work with the situation in front of you. If you're conscious, present, and paying attention, you will know what to do.
The moment in front of you is talking to you. It doesn't have to be in words. The piece of paper on the ground, the person who needs some help, whatever it is, your response becomes obvious.
The deepest truth is that it doesn't even matter what you do. What matters is where you're coming from. What matters is your motive. If your motive is to let go of yourself and serve the moment in front of you, you are worthy of great respect.
Practice letting go, and eventually you will find yourself in a seat of awareness that can't be disturbed by anything you are experiencing. There will always be a beautiful energy feeding you and raising you.
At that point, there are no more techniques; there are no more teachings. It all happens naturally from then on. You won't need anything. Your natural state is so beautiful; you are whole and complete within yourself. It simply depends on your willingness to work with the energies."
~Michael A. Singer, Living Untethered
Can you imagine what is being described here?
Being able to live as one who is conscious, present, and freed up to serve the moment in front of you,
Creating a beautiful place to live by working with inner energies to release everything that comes up, and have it replaced with an uplifiting, nourishing energy that transforms every aspect of your life.
Knowing that you're whole and complete without needing anything.
"It simply depends on your willingness to work with the energies." Keep relaxing and releasing every time you feel your energy changing, when you're allowing yourself to be bothered. Keep relaxing and releasing every time you sense resistance in your being. Keep relaxing and releasing, leaning back into the seat of awareness.